From start to finish, Brown’s Chapel talk is direct
By Rick Vacek
GCU News Bureau
Anyone who has ever given a speech should marvel at what Chris Brown did Monday morning in his Chapel talk at Grand Canyon University Arena.
In a 17-minute extemporaneous introduction that would make the best actor proud, the senior pastor of North Coast Church in Vista, Calif., painted an elaborate picture of Jesus’ miracles — all from one afternoon in Chapter 5 of Mark and then another in Chapter 9 — and how mind-blowing they must have been to His audience more than 2,000 years ago.
And while delivering that passionate rendition, in between waving his arms and raising and lowering his voice, Brown kept dropping in one-liners that had the crowd craning an ear to make sure they heard it right.
Try that sometime. Try being meaningful and yet so animated for 17 minutes, without looking at any notes, and see how well it comes off. Words can’t do it justice, and if you missed it and want to see it and hear it for yourself, click here for the replay.
Brown’s irreverent asides make his presentations a must listen. Some samples from Monday:
● After Jesus raised a young girl from the dead: “Then He said, ‘Oh, by the way, feed her some macaroni and cheese — she’s hungry.’ It’s in the Greek.”
● On GCU: “If God was fair, none of us would be here today. Except maybe your campus pastor (Tim Griffin) because he’s really holy.”
● On the Gospel of Mark: “No wonder this guy has the shortest Gospel. He’s terrible at descriptions.”
● After using his microphone to imitate how God must have sounded to Peter, James and John: “The voice of God is always played by James Earl Jones. You know that.”
But there is a message to Brown’s madness, and he used his final 12 minutes to hammer it home as only he can.
“It is the great things in life that are always going to compete with the God things in life,” he said. “And I’m so sorry if you come from a church where someone told you that Jesus died on the cross for your sins and rose again and He’s going to be part of your life and you ask Him to be part of your life. It is a lie. It is a lie.
“He will take all of your life or He will take none of it. The son of God didn’t die on the cross to be a part of your show. … You know what Jesus never told the crowd? ‘Just say a prayer.’ Jesus always said, ‘Follow me.’”
Brown said that in talking to students on campus, he found that they struggle with having God in all aspects of their lives, especially at those times when they might not make the best choices.
“Does God have all of you?” he asked his audience. “Because if He doesn’t have all of you, He wants none of you. Wake up, Christian church, because Jesus did not die on the cross to be part of your precious life. The amazing mystery and grace of all creation is that in spite of who you are and what you’ve done, this God will gladly take all of you.
“If there are parts of your life today that He is not Lord of — take-home quiz — then ask yourself, ‘Is He really Lord?’ Or do you just want a ticket to salvation?”
This was Brown’s second visit to Chapel, and he joked that he was “amazed” to be invited back, considering his animated style. But this is a style that cannot be duplicated. Neither can the message.
● Next week: no Chapel (spring break)
Contact Rick Vacek at (602) 639-8203 or firstname.lastname@example.org.