Didn’t I see you with Jesus?
By Bill Holland
I’ve often heard people say that we should not discuss religion or politics and I agree we are less likely to argue if we avoid these danger zones and just talk about the weather. There are several reasons why individuals are private about their convictions and it’s true we do not always need to tell everything we know. Sometimes people are not confident in what they believe and simply do not want to risk being embarrassed. Others may not want to reveal their views because they enjoy being friends with everyone and do not want to offend anyone. We realize when a person speaks up and declares their personal convictions, they are immediately labeled and categorized. It’s up to the individual what type of impression they make and how intense they present their opinions, but there is also a price that comes with being vocal. We may win allies and friends, but there is also a good chance we will make a few enemies as well. When it comes to our allegiance to Christ, spiritual discernment is critical when it comes to knowing when to speak and when to be silent. I’m convinced that being a serious follower of Jesus includes being committed to relay the gospel every chance we have, however these divine appointments are not always a verbal communication. The most effective way to represent Jesus is to always listen carefully to His voice and when He wants us to speak is just as important as what He wants us to say. Yes, this is difficult, but when it comes to sharing our faith, hopefully we can agree that following His lead must be at the top of our priority list. How unfortunate that many who profess to be a Christian and have their own religious interpretations, cannot effectively explain what they believe or why. There is even more misunderstanding and confusion when they attempt to discuss their opinions about the Bible without studying it. It’s only natural to be more knowledgeable about subjects we actually know something about. For example, it would be ridiculous for someone who has never been to medical school to believe they could perform a brain surgery or a heart transplant. My intention is not to be insulting, but without being well trained and dedicated to a lifestyle of prayer, we simply do not have a strong spiritual connection nor the ability to comprehend spiritual wisdom. It’s true, if we relay a positive feel-good message, we are less likely to arouse the lions, however, when we start teaching the serious demands and requirements of Christ, it stirs the evil spirits of hatred and rebellion. Remember when Pilate offered Jesus and Barabbas to the angry crowd and asked them who they wanted to be released, they cried out give us Barabbas. Why? Because the spirits of darkness will always reject the light of God’s truth. We are noticing a growing animosity toward evangelical Christianity and this is becoming a socially acceptable mindset of our culture. We are being programmed through the media to accept this negative mentality and is why many liberal churches have backed away from the biblical instructions associated with sacrifice and self-discipline and have compromised with a more peaceful and relaxing message. Instead of trusting God and being obedient to His will, many have calculated that it’s less threatening to please the people than to be honest with them. In general, the masses love to hear how great and wonderful they are but are not fond of being reminded how they must repent and submit to God’s authority in order to walk in His Spirit. Human nature loves to live independently in the name of religion, but scoffs at the thought of allowing Christ to sit on their throne of their heart to control and possess them. The more a person teaches about taking up our cross and yielding our will to Jesus, the more rejection and persecution they will face. So, in conclusion, while the Christian has a right to speak God’s truth whether it is politically correct or not, we see the world becoming more aggressive against the followers of Christ and taking a stand for Him is now more challenging than it was just a few years ago. The question remains; will we hide and deny that we know Christ like Peter did, or will we say, “Yes, I know Him and love Him with all of my heart”?