Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Fearful (08/23/07)
I suspect they would act differently and dramatically effect the world making it a far different place. It seems to me that most contemporary Christians have become so afraid they might not "fit in" that they have gone to some trouble to hide their beliefs - mostly letting them be known among other Christians. Yet the Bible clearly tells us Christians are set apart and we should expect to be despised by the world.
What about those marked Christians? Would they be kinder, less rude to one another because they were being observed and judged by the public at large? Would they try to live more closely to a Christ-like ideal - not neglecting elderly, poor or widows? Would the national crime rate fall? How would such things as abortion, divorce and broken families be affected? Would the church become stronger and less timid? I suspect there would be positive changes in every category.
I believe we have become a culture of timid, weak people. There is a definite place for apology, but we apologize for anything and everything. That's really what Political Correctness is - apology. We apologize for bad behavior, good behavior, not being open-minded enough, not being inclusive enough. We apologize for thinking our enemies might want to hurt us. We even apologize for being Christians. You think we don't? Well, let me pose this to you: There would be no war with terrorists if the terrorists became practicing Christians. I doubt if we will use the Sword of the Lord in the current battle - we are too timid. We will not send Bibles and tracts to the war front. We will not broadcast evangelizing programs into the war zones. We will not send in missionaries. We will not provide safe havens for converts. We will not do those things because we have become too timid.
Christianity is being beaten down in this country by the secular community and Christians are allowing it to happen because we are too cautious, too unsure, too shy, too faint-hearted. We are afraid to speak out for fear of being embarrassed; yet a cursory review of Fox's Book of Martyrs will quickly suggest that a little embarrassment is nothing.
Paul specifically tells us we should not be fearful (2 Tim 1:7-8 "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God," NKJV) yet here we are afraid even of ourselves.
Our interpretation of a man wearing a turban or a woman with a veiled face would quite likely be that they are Islamic. They are identified by their clothing. They are not afraid to be marked as Muslim. Perhaps we Christians could do a similar thing for the Glory of God. Not turbans and veils, but perhaps a cross or a fish - not timidly, but boldly worn.
Yet, what is the need of such symbols? God Himself is watching each of us and already knows which are Christians and which are not. If we were all strong believers and understood this, identifying ourselves would be pointless. But we are not. We are fallen, human and weak. We respond best to that which we can see. In this case that means each other. Therefore, I challenge all of us who call ourselves Christian, to set ourselves apart; to clearly and obviously identify ourselves as Christian and to live our lives accordingly and without fear.
1Pe 4:16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter. NKJV
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