Have you heard the joke about the two patrons of a restaurant sharing a quiet Sunday afternoon meal? One turns to the other and says, “What is you want to order? I think I’ll take the fried chicken…”
His companion responds thoughtfully after looking at the menu, “For me, I’ll order the roasted Christian…ah, I mean, duck.”
This scene could easily be seen in a modern sitcom. Designed to draw viewers and raise ratings among today’s skeptical audiences, it might.
Conversely, in the “bumper sticker” Christianity of the 1970’s, 1980’s and 1990’s, there was less risk in pursuing a life of faith, and acknowledging it. In fact, doing so sometimes even boosted one’s popularity.
It sometimes might have earned leverage over others when job hunting. After all, without doubt, if a professing Christian got hired, didn’t that mean excellent productivity and commitment?
Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case.
Years of scandal and corruption in the church, and the result, in part, of professing church-attending Christians straddling the fence-posts of morality, have tarnished the sterling silver reputation the church once had. So, as an institution no longer generally held in high esteem, it is less apt to attract kudos for one’s character to belong.
As an aging baby-boomer, the temptation is to play ostrich, to remain in those glory days of pop Christianity, blissfully ignorant of just how seriously the church has changed, as has the culture we live in. Yes, being a Christian today is different, and carries a whole different set of risks than it did twenty or thirty years ago.
Today, using the old “Christianese” lingo such as the need to be “born again” or “saved” might elicit either a patronizing acknowledgement or a polite dismissal altogether. As a culture, we have grown jaded and cynical about “conversion” experiences. Television sitcoms slam dunk Christianity and reflect today’s attitudes with open ridicule.
In his article, “ABC’s ‘GCB’ series offends Christians”, James Hersen, in his article on the site, “Newsmax.com” says, “’GCB’ ABC’s new television offering, demonstrates that when it comes to ridiculing faith, Christianity is Hollywood’s religion of choice….it “features so-called Christian women who go about plotting nefarious acts while justifying the wrongdoing with biblical quotes.”
In such a cultural environment that might cause departed godly Christian leaders to turn in their graves, is it a surprise that with so much static, fewer people are willing to take the risk to share their faith?
With Christ’s coming possibly imminent, we might want to get our godly heads out of the proverbial sand. There’s groundbreaking to do. What some might consider setbacks for evangelism, are in reality, potential plusses.
It depends upon the perspective one has.
Fewer churchgoers mean more opportunities among the indifferent and unchurched. Parallel to current strains of antibiotic-resistant germs that resists today’s medicines, past attendees once became callous to the importance and potential of the messages they listened to every Sunday and left the church.
The good news is that their children are a whole new field of potential for God to reveal Himself to, and we are His Hands and Feet. So, Body of Christ, let’s take the risk. Why aren’t we rolling our proverbial spiritual shirtsleeves up, shedding the Christianese, bigotry, and complacency to step out into this new world opening up?
Take the risk. Yesterday’s glory days are gone for the Church. We’ve got new ground to break. Let’s start fresh and create, working together as the Holy Spirit leads, something different, vibrant, and effective.
Yesterday’s gone; Today’s here!
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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