If you’re not called to stay, you’re called to go. ~Keith Green
I come from the Keith Green generation. Anyone familiar with him knows that he was a no-holds-barred brand of Christian. All or nothing. In or out. Hot or cold.
And he utterly fascinated me.
Not only was his ministry wildly appealing to zealous Christians like me in the late ‘70s, but his messages and music moved me to tears and spurred me on toward greater surrender to God.
After Keith Green’s death in a plane crash, his wife began touring with his last concert on video. We attended one of the Memorial Concerts with another couple. I was about 20 at the time.
After the concert, I was never again on board with his ministry.
Keith Green’s final message was true to his form. His words were bold and unwavering. When it comes to Jesus’ command to go into the world and preach, Keith said: If you’re not called to stay, you’re called to go.
Here it is if you want to watch it.
I was MORTIFIED by his message. Terrified, actually.
His delivery hit me like an ultimatum. Heavy handed guilt and manipulation played on my emotions to such a degree, I felt a near panic. At that age, I was utterly unprepared to leave my family and friends for a foreign land. And yet, I did NOT know what God’s call on my life was at the time. Did that mean I was called to GO?
Melody’s words of caution don’t go far enough in my opinion. “Don’t go unprepared” could mean anything depending on the listener. Without detailed instruction, one has to wonder: how many of these people had Keith stirred into a frenzy? How many thought 2 or 3 weeks was enough prayer and fasting to consider themselves prepared to board a plane for Africa?
The many dangers of his message are painfully clear to me now. But frankly, they were clear to me even during my crazy Christian days. Hopefully, his message doesn’t pack the punch it once did.