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January 31, 2008

Comments

Bo

· Do you think some Christians are afraid to engage the world because they are ashamed of the gospel or their faith in Jesus Christ (when not in a "church" setting) that they avoid non-Christians or conform to non-Christians in order to conceal their faith?

· Are we so prosperous and comfortable in our society that we don't want to be bothered with persecution or resistance however it may come? What does that say about our faith? Are Christians our worst enemy?

· Our American culture is trying everything it can to censor and place the obscenity sticker on the Christian faith while the lawmakers that be pray before they persecute Christians in a building that is esteemed with ornate carvings of prominent Biblical figures such as Moses.

Alex Marshall

I think in American culture a lot of Christians are ashamed of the gospel, and perhaps for a number of reasons.

Two things I know I have wrestled with a lot that I think are pretty prevalent:

First, I think Christians in this country have unfortunately degraded faith to meaning a "blind belief in something" rather than the more reasoned trust in authority that it seems to be in the New Testament. I think because of that, a lot of Christians feel intellectually insecure (especially sense the stereotype of Christians in this culture is by and large that they refuse to use their minds). That makes it pretty easy to feel ashamed of your faith, especially when confronted with some one who takes a more "enlightened" position (ie., post-modernism, naturalism, secular humanism).

A second issue is that for whatever reason I think Christians feel the need to develop their own subculture. Personally, I think its vital for us to engage our culture in order to effectively make disciples, but a large part of the Christian community in this country seems to self-isolate itself from the rest of American culture (our own music, books, cinema, cable channels, radio stations, focus groups, communities, etc). Yet, most of us can't really isolate ourselves (the Amish get close, but even they have contact with the rest of society). So perhaps that gap between our "Christian" society and American culture at large contributes as well to a sense of "being ashamed of our faith." Shame may not be the best term there, but to some extent it seems this "sub-culture" trend also carries with a desire to almost make Christianity a secret. Not exactly what we're supposed to be doing...

Jim Fleming

Here is an interesting statement in John: "Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God" (John 12:42-43). These rulers believed but could not bring themselves to openly voice that belief because they cared more for the good opinion of men that God's. Some things never change.

That being said, here is an important Proverb to remember: "Even a fool, when he keeps silent, is considered wise; When he closes his lips, he is considered prudent" (Prov. 17:28). When we open our mouths, we ought to have something more to say than the prattlings of a fool. The world needs to hear from us what is articulate, gracious, well-reasoned, and on-point. But let's also not kid ourselves that whenever they do they're going to like us!

Randy

These posts just keep getting better. It’s amazing how many subjects (economics, politics, science…) where we can look to the Bible for a Christian worldview perspective. Thanks!

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