You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. -James 4:4 (NIV)
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. -2 Timothy 1:7-8 (NIV)
We live in a world, and especially a modern culture, that tells us everything is okay, and everyone is okay. Everything should be inoffensive, so we walk on eggshells to not offend anyone. By voicing any beliefs that could possibly not agree with another person’s beliefs, we run the risk of alienating others.
On top of that, we’re told that, as long as we feel good about it and no one else is hurt, that we can do what we want.
But what I’ve found is that, talk of non-Christian beliefs are okay, but Christ and His followers are fair game to lambast and muzzle. It’s cool to be wished a happy Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Diwali, Ramadan greetings, or any other greeting…but to be wished a Merry Christmas is likely to be met with a corrective, “You mean Happy Holidays!”
The danger here, as believers, is that there is cultural pressure to be silent…to go with the flow. To compromise your beliefs to fit in and be inoffensive.
The truth is, the gospel is offensive in this day and age. No unbeliever wants to hear about how God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son to make a way for us to be with Him.
The truth is, believers live by God’s laws, which do have defined boundaries between right and wrong. (And though followers of other belief systems have their right and wrong, they are silent in this culture.)
Following Christ is not like sliding a tray down a cafeteria line, picking and choosing what is convenient and inoffensive, or selecting just what makes you happy. Christ asks for all of us in surrender, not some of us. Not what’s convenient or inoffensive. And He calls us to tell of the Good News to the corners of the earth.
We serve a God who, like no other, gave up His Son for us. May we unashamedly go all in and be as uncompromising as the loving God we serve…and be as relentless as the world that wants to squelch us.