Lately, it seems there has been an avalanche of questions over what Christians should stand for, withstand, stand against. It has made me think, especially as I have solid friends with strong faith who vehemently disagree one with another. It has also reminded me that the general Christian and Christian Church in America is more of a country club with political ties than a religion under the Lordship of the Creator God through His son, the incarnate Jesus Christ. I think that is perhaps why my Christian friends disagree. Half of them are responding to the church as it is, and the other half to the church as it ought to be.
I could be wrong. But, in this case, I don’t think I am.
Now, disclaimer. My theological views have undergone a metamorphosis. Think normal human being to spiderlike superhero with grippy fingertips and the ability to spin & shoot webs from the wrist metamorphosis. If you haven’t had a conversation with me regarding these changes in the past 6 months you may be very confused as to my starting points. I apologize in advance.
You see, I’ve traded in my evangelical fervor for a belief that what I have in Christ is worth desiring. And what I have in Christ cannot be accurately, or, better qualified – fully, exhibited from an evangelical platform. This is not a blanket statement about all Christians, but if I may be so bold, it is a statement for all Christians not given the gift of evangelism.
Christ laid down His life so that I may have life. And the only life I have on earth is this one. If, upon receiving that life I then focus completely on evangelizing everyone I meet (remember, I have no 24/7 Holy Spirit powered evangelical gift), what I am “selling” them is not worth buying.
Instead, as a Christian, my life itself is the export. How I live: the joy of my marriage, the training of my children, the modesty of my dress, the security of my friendships, the events I attend, and the causes I support – all of these (to name a few) reflect Christianity. Each must be infused with the truth of Christ (I will not attend a pro-choice rally for example, nor will I train my children in necromancy), and some of them will change as my relationship with the Lord deepens, but it is THESE – this life – that is my witness to the world. This is the church that ought to be.
- The church ought to be at the forefront of the arts, for it is God who created and lauds beauty.
- The church ought to be full of individuals free from debt and responsible with their credit, for God’s first charge to man was stewardship.
- The church ought to discipline one another, for God disciplines those He loves and we are to love one another.
- The church ought to love one another – forgiving graciously and fearlessly, for we are brothers and sisters in Christ.
- The church ought to believe in Truth, for God is Truth and nothing exists apart from Him.
- In no way is this exhaustive, nor is it pointedly practical. I could go there…but I think it would offend. Even more than I may have already offended. Which was not my intent!
My friends may be less opposed to one another if this church existed. If this church was the one making headlines and its members were the ones responding to personal conviction or the prompting of the Holy Spirit. This church would be transparent enough to wield a sword against sin. This church would rightly divine what to stand against, withstand, and stand for – because it would be a church of individuals led wholeheartedly by the Lord.