August 24th, 2013
08:40 AM ET

Should Christianity be so boring?

Opinion by Jon Acuff, Special to CNN

(CNN) - No one has ever accused us Christians of being fun.

No one has ever said we are a laugh-filled group.

No atheist has ever said, “I might not love Jesus, but his followers sure know how to party!”

And yet, in my favorite story in the Bible we actually see Jesus paint the opposite picture.

If you’re a Christian, you’ve heard the Parable of the Prodigal Son in the Gospel of Luke referenced in approximately 42 million sermons. If you’ve missed it though, allow me to summarize.

A young son said to his dad, who represents God, “I want my inheritance.” This was the cultural equivalent of saying, “I wish you were dead!” The father gives him the money. The son immediately runs off to the Jersey shore and fist pumps the night away with 4 Loko and Skrillex. [Not a direct translation.]

After squandering all the money and awakening in a pig pen, the son devises a plan. He will come home, apologize and throw himself at the mercy of the father. His greatest hope is that the father will let him be a servant. He can’t even imagine getting to keep the title “son.”

He comes home expecting punishment, but instead something weird happens.

The father sees him from a distance and sprints toward him. He runs toward him and embraces him. Before the son can even get his whole apology out, the father has already started planning the last thing he expected.

A party.

Instead of punishment he gets a party.

The idea that God fixes problems with parties is crazy.

Who does that?

Life doesn’t work that way. Imagine that you messed up at work. Your boss called you in and said, “Johnson you lost our biggest account! You just cost this company more than 3 million dollars. You know what that makes me want to do? Throw you a party!”

Or think about this in the context of a marriage. Have you ever had an argument with your spouse? Not a fake argument but one that lands you on the couch overnight.

You come into the kitchen and your wife is doing that “mad dishwashing” move we all do when we’re upset. Just power scrubbing pots and pans with a vengeance, mumbling the entire time.

You approach her slowly and say, “Heyyyy baby, how do you feel this morning?” Without looking at you, she takes a deep breath and says, “You really hurt my feelings. Last night, you really surprised me by what you did. My mom was right about you. I’m so angry and disappointed. This whole thing makes me want to get an inflatable bounce house and throw a huge celebration in your honor!”

That would be ludicrous.

Our worst mistakes don’t end in parties, but in this story in the Bible, it did.

When given the opportunity to talk to a group of people, the picture Jesus drew of his Father was of a party giver; someone who met sinners with welcome home banners.

What if Christians were like that?

What if churches became the place where failures found new beginnings?

What if we were known for our parties, not for our Pharisees?

It all feels a little crazy, but I don’t think it’s impossible.

Christians should offer hope in exchange for hurt, new in exchange for old, parties in exchange for pain.

Are we there yet?

Nope, we’ve got a long way to go. We’ve still got a lot of things to work through, a lot of progress we have to make.

But when you think about the prodigal son story, I hope you will remember something.

Two people moved.

One walked.

One ran.

And we prodigals are the walkers.

We still have a running God.

And he is ready to throw a party.

Jon Acuff is a keynote speaker and the author of four books including The New York Times best-seller, START. Acuff is also the author of the popular blog, Stuff Christians Like.net.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Jon Acuff

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church • Opinion

soundoff (4,711 Responses)
  1. eeee


    3 billion and prison

    January 21, 2014 at 1:18 pm |
  2. google.com

    Greetings from Idaho! I'm bored at work so I decided to browse
    your blog on my iphone during lunch break. I really like the
    information you present here and can't wait to take
    a look when I get home. I'm surprised at how quick your blog loaded on
    my mobile .. I'm not even using WIFI, just 3G ..

    Anyways, good blog!

    January 9, 2014 at 11:56 am |
  3. ugg outlet store

    http://mandelocoin.com/page10.php http://mandelocoin.com/page2.php http://mandelocoin.com/page15.php http://mandelocoin.com/page13.php http://www.friendsofrrfschool.org/2012_tigerfest.php http://www.friendsofrrfschool.org/construction.php http://www.friendsofrrfschool.org/sewing.php http://www.friendsofrrfschool.org/recipes.php http://www.friendsofrrfschool.org/program.php http://www.friendsofrrfschool.org/fit_moms.php http://www.friendsofrrfschool.org/food_prep.php http://www.friendsofrrfschool.org/contact.php http://www.friendsofrrfschool.org/calendar.php http://www.friendsofrrfschool.org/gardening.php http://brotherhoodsecurityservices.com/page22.php http://www.brotherhoodsecurityservices.com/page21.php http://brotherhoodsecurityservices.com/page9.php http://www.brotherhoodsecurityservices.com/page26.php http://brotherhoodsecurityservices.com/page12.php http://www.brotherhoodsecurityservices.com/page23.php http://www.brotherhoodsecurityservices.com/page20.php http://brotherhoodsecurityservices.com/page11.php http://www.brotherhoodsecurityservices.com/page18.php http://www.cokeburgboro.com/page4.php http://www.cokeburgboro.com/page2.php http://www.cokeburgboro.com/page21.php http://www.cokeburgboro.com/page6.php http://www.cokeburgboro.com/page5.php http://www.cokeburgboro.com/page19.php http://www.cokeburgboro.com/page20.php http://www.cokeburgboro.com/page3.php http://www.cokeburgboro.com/page8.php http://www.cokeburgboro.com/page1.php http://www.cokeburgboro.com/page7.php http://www.compiled-designs.com/page13.html http://www.compiled-designs.com/page15.html http://www.compiled-designs.com/page16.html http://www.compiled-designs.com/page14.html http://www.compiled-designs.com/page10.html http://www.compiled-designs.com/page3.html http://www.compiled-designs.com/page1.html http://www.compiled-designs.com/page2.html http://www.compiled-designs.com/page11.html http://www.compiled-designs.com/page17.html http://www.compiled-designs.com/page7.html http://www.compiled-designs.com/page4.html http://www.compiled-designs.com/page6.html http://www.basoarts.com/page1.php http://www.basoarts.com/page12.php http://basoarts.com/page30.php
    ugg outlet store http://www.shiamas.com/UserFiles/inc_index.asp

    November 25, 2013 at 6:00 am |
    • thank you

      thanks for deleting this

      January 21, 2014 at 12:54 pm |
  4. Louis Vuitton Outlet Free Shipping

    http://bbs.71i.cn/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=1756770&fromuid=142778 http://zhenaijie.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=1240875&fromuid=104311 http://laowen-studio.iego.net/bbs/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=1057593 http://bbs.cmjkw.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=2203667&fromuid=129943 http://www.nihaobaobei.cn/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=2495472 http://discuz03.iwonda.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=1517582&fromuid=184726 http://wangxiaohui.w53.youdns.net/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=3157347&fromuid=216903 http://bbs.nibaguai.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=1134445 http://shmmsp.net/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=2253952&fromuid=144472 http://www.bjmtlm.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=811650&fromuid=146985 http://8luo8.com/thread-1028615-1-1.html http://www.sr580.com/bbs/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=2055427&fromuid=231867 http://bbs.fyore.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=513823&fromuid=71974 http://vip.acehope.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=2633943&fromuid=175223 http://bbs.xsmgo.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=2113674 http://www.icgmt.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=406580&fromuid=41808 http://bbs.wxcbnet.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=254330 http://www.xmgjj.gov.cn/bbs/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=1130371&fromuid=82352 http://bbs.ymxx.mhedu.sh.cn/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=2636175 http://plugin.zfwq.net/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=5328764 http://bbs.dimmai.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=1324725&fromuid=145787 http://bbs.6331.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=3615952&fromuid=207136 http://www.91happy.cn/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=2083726 http://www.yilusoso.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=52688 http://www.0551920.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=2929832&fromuid=195272 http://www.ieecc.com/bbs/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=353044 http://www.shengri.com.cn/bbs/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=86943&fromuid=3206 http://mail.eachina.org.cn:8080/upload/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=1728456 http://www.292927.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=71654 http://www.xk4.cn/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=1501418&fromuid=208152 http://www.yourlijiang.com/bbs/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=211921 http://xingxiaochuan.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=193023 http://bbs.bobohuwai.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=139319 http://www.bldsbbs.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=551001 http://bbs.5917pk.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=343285 http://bbs.117yx.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=129934&fromuid=10578 http://www.91chuangye.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=151154&fromuid=15203 http://www.rmdx.com.cn/bbs/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=214688 http://www.ao185.com/thread-1200387-1-1.html http://www.linye123.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=581078 http://92sxy.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=174498&fromuid=94619 http://bbs.fdyle.com/thread-415701-1-1.html http://bbs.0714.cn/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=492083&fromuid=40266 http://1.3.dzz.cc/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=891800 http://1.3.dzz.cc/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=891799 http://1.3.dzz.cc/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=891798 http://bbs.37374.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=2238920&fromuid=162883 http://bbs.pmyd.com.cn/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=433534 http://www.zhenzhen.net/bbs/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=711473&fromuid=58610 http://www.sijidalao.com/rl/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=761192 http://www.zswan.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=516566&fromuid=44411 http://1.3.dzz.cc/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=891796 http://vinsonpaul.com/thread-1880240-1-1.html http://jrails.org/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=372182 http://helianshe.com/thread-176341-1-1.html http://cylyw.gov.cn/bbs/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=310453 http://wei0790.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=1299764&fromuid=99996 http://www.jguwen.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=742552 http://www.szsswd.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=648373&fromuid=91187 http://www.cdpaiqiuxh.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=1249639 http://ul-str.cn/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=377745 http://www.dezhiweiwatch.com/en/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=170448 http://www.ejinge.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=425635&fromuid=27286 http://www.zgyzyqw.com/bbs/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=604409 http://www.thehost777.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=448135 http://doranlol.com/bbs/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=289402&fromuid=30470 http://doc.lanwazi.com/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=230930&fromuid=20290 http://csgda.org/bbs/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=1564527 http://gruot.gicp.net:87/discuz/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=338461
    Louis Vuitton Outlet Free Shipping http://www.shiffa.com/admin/admin_md5.asp

    November 25, 2013 at 5:12 am |
    • thank you

      and this

      January 21, 2014 at 12:58 pm |
  5. Jared L. Loughner

    i like the atheist's gods

    November 1, 2013 at 10:27 pm |
  6. marcy

    Am very happy to tell every one to hear my
    testimony will say.
    am marcy from united state,am a nurse,this
    story of my love life.
    I have been married for 4years and on the
    fifth year of my marriage,
    another woman had to take my lover away
    from me and my husband left me
    and the kids and we have suffered for
    2years until imet a post where
    this man Dr. Prophetelijahspelltemple have helped someone
    and i decided to give him a
    try to help me bring my lover back home
    and believe me i just send my picture
    to him and that of my husband and after
    48hours as he have told me, i saw a
    cardrove into the house and behold it was
    myhusband and he have come to me and
    the kids
    and that is why i am happy to make every
    one of you in similar to met with thisman
    and have your lover back to your self.
    You can contact him with this email(prophetelijahspelltemple@gmail.com)

    October 29, 2013 at 7:27 pm |
  7. Akira

    O, have another cigarette, Salem's r they? and another cup of coffee and spend another useless day lying on the net! Fat slob!

    October 5, 2013 at 8:26 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.