I recently became aware of “The Lifeguard Song” by New Zealand band Krusty, even though they released it way back in 1996. (I’m just a few years behind the curve on my pop culture references.) Anyway, the lyrics offer such a strong indictment against lazy Christians that they got my attention.
I like being a lifeguard
sitting on a high chair
wearing special underpants
I can swim and everything
and at the end of the day
theres always the club house
I am a lifeguard at a surf beach
I am a surf beach life guard
I see people swimming
I see them drowning
but I do not help them, no
Cause I think its their faults
that they’re in trouble
and anyways I hate getting wet
What if they want to drown
dont want to be saved
what if they call me a fanatic
There’s too many beaches
too many people drowning
if only I could devise a way of saving them all
…or even just one
What kind of lifeguard would give such lame excuses for not rescuing someone from drowning? And yet, how many of us Christians use these same excuses for not sharing the Gospel?
- “They’ve been to church before so I’m sure they’ve already heard the Gospel.”
- “They’re older, more educated, or more successful than I am. What if they asked me a question I couldn’t answer? They probably wouldn’t respect my advice anyway.”
- “They know that I’m a Christian. If they were interested in learning about it, they would ask me.”
- “Religion is such a divisive topic. I don’t want to bring it up and cause an argument or ruin our relationship.”
The list goes on and on, and unfortunately I’m also guilty of using lame excuses like these to avoid my Christian duty to evangelize (Matthew 28:18-20). How horrible is that? In the words of atheist Penn Jillette:
If you believe that there’s a heaven and hell and people could be going to hell—or not getting eternal life or whatever—and you think that, well, it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward. . . . How much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize? How much do you have to hate somebody to believe that everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?
I pray that I never again walk by someone drowning in their sins without attempting a rescue.