Friday, July 13, 2012

{problems facing young Christians today, pt 2}

Hello! This post is the second in a series I began in...erm, last November. I couldn't figure out the right things to say until now, so hope you enjoy it! This post is to equip/convict my Christian readers.

Nowadays, some Christians value political correctness more than anything else. The most important thing is to not offend people, to keep the water nice and calm. God is a "taboo" subject, just the same as it is with non-Christians.  Our culture preaches tolerance and outspokenness--for everybody except Christians.  You want to tell everybody about your drunken exploits or drug use, then we all have to accept you and listen. But when it comes to Christianity, we're taught to be quiet and not "force our beliefs on anybody" by not mentioning it.

And many Christians my age are perfectly fine with it, unfortunately. We go along with the crowd and bend to the world's wishes that we keep Christianity to ourselves. We come up with excuses to please everybody else. In our churches, we're radical and on fire for God, but everywhere else, we're quiet and subdued.

Jesus wasn't politically correct! He was probably one of the least politically correct people of his time. He called the church leaders "sons of vipers",  for goodness sakes! People wanted to kill this guy for a reason! And we are told to follow in his footsteps.

Our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of our hearts.
1 Thessalonians 2:4b.

I struggle with this very much. I've always prided myself on my ability to fit in, to get along with everybody, to be liked by even the most contrary people. I love fitting in, being comfortable, being loved! It's natural. 

But Jesus said : "Woe to you when all men speak well of you!" Truth should divide. If everyone likes you and everybody agrees with you, there's something wrong. It means you don't really stand for anything, when your beliefs(or your expressions of your beliefs) are so low key and so generic, they fit into everybody's mold. Is it possible that someone could spend the whole day with you and not know you're a Christian by the end of it?

Of course you should be considerate and not shove your religion down people's throats. You should also be aware of when the right timing is. But other people's feelings or opinions of you shouldn't be a barrier when deciding to share Christ, as long as you do it in a loving, gentle(but still firm and 100% not watered down) manner.

And what about when your friends talk about God or God-related things, and ask your opinion?

I'm ashamed to say that the topic has come up many times with my nonbeliever friends, and I let the opportunity slide by and say nothing, or come up with a lame, wishy washy response.

Some of the most common excuses:

"I believe that people who are just good/nice/honest go to heaven no matter what they believe, so they don't really need to believe in Jesus, so I don't have to tell them." or "People don't have to believe everything in the Bible or Jesus. It's optional, so long as they're basically good."

 This is really common for non believers, but it's not something Christians should believe or say at all, as it completely discounts our most basic beliefs of Jesus dying on the cross to save our sins. This is a nice belief. People will hear it and smile and nod, no matter what they think on the inside. 

If you believe this, you don't have to share your faith! You don't have to worry about your unsaved friends! You don't have to be set on fire for anything, be mission-minded, be passionate! You can live your life at peace and in comfort, knowing that everyone is taken care of and set for eternity. And to think you didn't have to do any work for it at all!

It's safe. Not to mention against preettyyy much the entire Bible. More on this later.

"I believe that I can share God just by living my life to be a good witness to those around me.  God forbid I'd actually have to open my mouth and share Him with nonbelievers. That's the missionary's/pastor's job. It's not my spiritual gift to be able to verbally share him with others."

   Certainly, letting your light shine and witnessing by living a pure, righteous life is necessary for every Christian. But it's only the first step(Your ministry would be totally ineffective without it anyways). If you live a righteous life, but the people around you have no idea WHY, it's a waste. The Bible says to give a reason!
This is another easy, comfy, excuse not to step outside your comfort zone.


And God has called each and every one of us to share God with our fellow people. The introverts as well as the outgoing people. He equips those he calls. Take the next step! (I'll post practical steps you can take in a later post).


Many people, including leaders, believed in Jesus. But they wouldn't talk about it publicly out of their fear that the Pharisees would expel them from the synagogue. They loved human approval more than they loved the approval of God.

-John 12:42-43. 

 What do you say when you're asked the tough questions. You know the ones: "Is homosexuality a sin?" "Why would God send good people to hell?"

How about when an unbeliever asks you "Is Jesus the only way to heaven?"

If you say:

"Aw, well...I'm leaving it up to God."

"
It's really between them and God."

"I believe God loves everybody and doesn't want them to go to hell...soooo..."

"Well um, I think the Bible says that, um, if you're just sincere.."(The Bible says nothing like that. Like my pastor says, you can be sincerely WRONG!)

  when you know the Bible proclaims the truth CRYSTAL CLEAR, you're punting the truth. Passing. Straight-up denying what God's Word says. You're brushing God aside. And for what?


So that they accept you, love you, agree with you?
So you can avoid the stares, whispers, rejection?

So you can line yourself up neatly with their values while disaligning yourself with God? Who's more important?


(And at church, you say: "Of course Jesus is the only way to heaven! I'd never believe anything else.")

If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, I, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when I come in my glory and in the glory of my Father and of the holy angels.
-Luke 9:26

God doesn't want his kids to be lukewarm, wishy washy Christians. So don't let what other people think be a barrier to you sharing Christ. Live for an audience of one.  Feel no shame when people attack you for sharing God's Word. 

Remember, one day you'll stand before God's throne and give an account of everything you ever did. Every word that came out of your mouth.  God will ask if you stood up for him when the pressure was on. When people were raising their eyebrows, waiting expectantly for your words. When the odds were stacked against you and you knew that there seemed to be no one on your side but you. What will you say?

You know the truth. You don't have to be pushy or obnoxious or even demand anything of your audience.  Just don't make approval and political correctness your idol. You don't have to have it all figured out! Your testimony should be simple. "Look at what God's done for me! Before, I was an empty boat, tossed about by life's waves. "free", but with no purpose or destination. But God forgave my sin! He set me free from my fear and insecurity and gave my life meaning. He loves me and wrote my destiny. With Him, the world makes sense. He will never fail me. And if you return to Him and agree to be part of His family, He will never fail you either."

And that's all you have to do.

 Of course, Jesus didn't have the internet. The exception is: NEVER get into an argument over touchy subjects on the internet.  People are out to troll you and you'll never reach their hearts anyway, since you lack the one-to-one connection needed to share Christ. A personal relationship with someone else is always the first step toward eventually sharing Christ with them.

Oh, and don't forget: This is not all a matter of going to heaven and not going to heaven. Jesus is about way more than that. There's a lot that we need Him for right now.

5 comments:

  1. Mmm....Amaranthine. You have hit the nail on it's point blank head. Bravooooo!

    I'm not a very outgoing person, and all my friends are believers, but there have been a few times I should've speaken up about small things, and didn't. That last bit really got me about Christ being ashamed of those who are ashamed of him.

    I don't want him to be ashamed of me.

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  2. wow great post i mostly agree with you I do however think that actions speak a lot louder then words so I show my love for God by loving my neighbor and trying to do good in everything i do. I live my life for him. I definitly agree with you about many putting their comfort and trying to fit ahead of doing what we were asked of by God but just because someone doesn't speak about God all the time doesn't make them wrong i think there are more effective ways to reach other's hearts with the lord if that makes sense.
    anyway enough of my rambling i really did love this post it needed to be said and you said it well Great post

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  3. Excellent post!!! I think it was absolutely perfect! I'd love to see more like this in the future. Like Ashley said, you hit the nail right on the head!

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  4. You certainly DO write beautifully inspirational (and incredibly true) posts! I wish more people would think like you do! Thanks so much!

    --David

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Amaranthine <3's you. Thanks for the comment!