Most Christian homes have one. It’s either found on a mug, a fridge magnet or in the bathroom! Can you guess what it is yet? It’s a copy of ‘Footprints in the Sand’. I’ve decided that even though it’s the most popular piece of Christian literature outside of the Bible itself, it’s a sacred cow and I don’t like it.

So much so, that I’ve had a go rewriting it (I have a feeling that you will instantly recognize my distinct changes!) I’ve called it the BBQ’d Version.

“One night I dreamed of walking along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
other times there were one set of footprints.
This bothered me because I noticed
that during the low periods of my life,
when I was suffering from
anguish, sorrow or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints.
So I said to the Lord,
“You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you,
You would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during
the most trying periods of my life
there has only been one
set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most,
You have not been there for me?”

The Lord replied,
“Yeah, sorry about that. I would have
loved to have picked you up and given you
huggles, but I’m kind of attempting
to make a champion out of you.
If I keep putting you on my shoulders
Like that ‘Footprints in the Sand’ stuff,
you’ll never grow past being a child.
My aim is to make you a world beater,
a Goliath slayer and a real History Maker.
Get it?
So would it be alright if you stopped
complaining and took it all on the chin …

I personally think it’s much better! The original has been grazing freely in the fields of Christendom for too long. It’s time, methinks, to turn up the gas and heat up the griddle!

It’s about time that intimate cuddles with Jesus be gazumped by increased capacity in Jesus, and it’s definitely time for the wet fish approach to our faith to be replaced by a purpose driven attitude accompanied by the signs and wonders of bruises, bumps and blisters! I have to admit it – I am attracted to Sacred Cows! Once I spot one, usually when I’m seated and listening to some great preaching, I tend to make a little beeline towards it to get a better look at it. After sizing it up, I usually set the table – it’s meal time!

What on earth is a Sacred Cow? I’m glad you asked. It’s something that we all accept as universally true, yet is only actually true for a certain time and place or true within very tight parameters. And more than that, it’s protected! Whoever dares lay a finger on it (or a tong) may himself get his fingers burnt! It may be a variety of Sacred Cow that believes that a certain way of doing things is essentially holy such as the use of hymns, length of our devotional times or even creating a cell based church. It may be the variety of Sacred Cow that believes that one truth fits all, such as ‘all sickness is from the devil’ and ‘all you need is more faith’.

Usually, these Cows are or have been accompanied by very big things – the great Methodist Revival brought with it the hymns of Wesley, and the seeming increase in healings across the planet have largely been accompanied by ‘binding the devil’. Association, however, doesn’t make anything sacred or necessarily right. If it did, we’d have a Spit Ministry in every church just because Jesus did it!

So why am I so attracted to Sacred Cows? Why can’t I let them graze happily next to the healthy cows and just get on with it? I think the answer is because through being a smidgen obsessive compulsive and also possessing a streak of perfectionism, I’ve regularly tried and tested a lot of the stuff that’s been bantered around. Believing in prosperity, however, hasn’t prevented me from living in lack (as some would have it), and believing in prayer hasn’t caused me to leapfrog from success to success. I’ve discovered that fasting (I fasted over 100 days in one year once) doesn’t necessarily bind up the devil and no matter how much I push it, 80 percent of my church is still carried by only 20 percent of the people. It’s not to say that what I’ve heard and what’s being preached is all wrong, but it is to say that when certain truths become elite and a little boastful they lose much of their original potency. When sacred cows abound, people move from the field of activity to the grandstand of passivity. Lip-service replaces gritty faith and real service. And that makes me even more passionate for my BBQ Manifesto.

It’s time to turn up the heat on spiritual myths that have been around for much longer than they should have been. It’s time for all of us to become smiling Assassins of Sacred Cows!

Get your copy of Dave Gilpin’s latest book release Sacred Cows Make Great BBQ’s! This book went straight in at number 2 on the largest online Christian resources website in the UK and its still holding position in the Top 10 Bestsellers Chart!