If you claim to be a faithful Gospel centered Christian you are doing the following: hating evil, being at peace with your enemies, blessing them, helping them, zealous about your faith, patient with others. You share with those in need and bless those who persecute you instead of cursing them. You associate with those of a different social status, live in harmony with one another, and you don’t pay people back by seeking revenge if they’ve offended or hurt you.
Can we as individuals do all of these things as commanded by our lord on our own? No, the Gospel comes with the power of the Holy Spirit of Jesus to change hearts. No other message has that dynamic, that joy: that for us Jesus lived a perfect life and exchanged it in order to die the death our sin required. Then he was resurrected and is making all things new, until he finally returns to remake the heavens and the earth. The Gospel message changes everything: hearts, minds, lives, communities, and it is our privilege and task to take it to the world.
If does not take much to see that many Christians, Evangelicals etc. are doing the opposite of what Christ asked us to do. Their excuse is well times have changed and we must be as rude, vengeful, dishonest and difficult as those we oppose, those radicals, those socialists etc. But the reality in the Body of Christ in America for many years now is Christians would rather blend in than be known as Christian, they are afraid of offending someone. Political Correctness has invaded the Church.
“We have good news to tell. Before we think about how it is communicated, it is well to begin with a negative point. It is not communicated if the question uppermost in our minds is about the survival of the church…. Because our society is a pagan society, and because Christians have in general failed to realize how radical is the contradiction between the Christian vision and the assumptions [of our culture], we allow ourselves to be deceived into thinking of the church as one of the many “good causes” which need our support…If our “evangelism” is at bottom an effort to shore up the tottering fabric of the church (and it sometimes looks like that) then it will not be heard as good news. The church is in God’s keeping. We do not have the right to be anxious about it. We have our Lord’s word that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. The nub of the matter is that we have been chosen to be the bearers of good news for the whole world, and the question is simply whether we are faithful in communicating it.” Lesslie Newbigin, Anglican Missionary upon his return to America in the 1950’s.
We must realize that the Apostles evangelized in an environment much more hostile than anything we are likely to experience. No doubt they were frustrated and no doubt they often said what they should not say yet they managed to stay on task.
In our world today Christians living in China are oppressed, jailed, tortured, their churches are burned down by government officials. Their numbers may pass the 100 million this year, and by 2030 they may reach 300 million as they endure harsh oppression. In the image of Christ, they have not responded with violence or political power grabs; they have faithfully worshipped and witnessed publicly even when arrested.
We should look to them as a model. Our example as Christians has not been Christ like. We for the most part have become like our pagan culture.
“I believe in the politically correct, politically charged climate of our culture today, believers are afraid to take a stand and to look different for fear of being accused of being intolerant toward others. Unfortunately, we have reached a point in American history where Christians are afraid to speak biblical truth in love out of fear of retribution,”. Evangelizing in America when Christians are afraid to stand out, distrust is growing.” Rice told The Christian Post (link) Evangelizing in America when Christians are afraid to stand out, distrust is growing
“Many people in the current generation don't have the church experience that previous generations were exposed to. As a result, “their view of Christianity is what they have seen in pop culture, and what we are seeing even more so is that it's derived from social media," Heikkinen explained to CP.
He said that for a lot of younger people, "their whole perception of Christianity is not about the Gospel, or Jesus, or any of that.” From Christian Post Article: Evangelizing in America when Christians are afraid to stand out, distrust is growing (link)
Th sad reality is that many Christians have assimilated into our culture, you can’t tell the difference. This past year has been the best illustration with many self-proclaimed evangelicals becoming involved with political theatre, violence, revenge and if you want to see how far from Christ we are look at Christians on social media who for all practical purposes have become Conspiracy theorists and political character assassins. Is this you?
Salt and Light? What are you today?
The Christian faith is growing around the world. We see its growth in China and parts of Africa and South America. Even now they are sending new missionaries to the United States. We once evangelized the world, now we need evangelism ourselves. Perhaps you need to reflect on your thinking, your attitude and your daily walk with Christ. Is it time to repent and change your behavior? Are you afraid to be called a Christian?