I "Like" Christians
May 17, 2012 by Pastor Jeremiah
Christianity is not a popularity contest. At least, it shouldn’t be. I don’t think Peter, John, or Paul ever lamented the fact that what they were doing and saying in the name of Jesus was celebrated by the masses, or “liked” by thousands of 1st century citizens of Palestine. Could the same be said of 21st century Christians? Should we be concerned with public opinion? Do we place an overemphasis upon the popularity of Christianity in the public’s eye?
Remember the good old days? When one could tell others that they were a Christian and that was something admirable. When heathens used to feel guilty that they didn’t go to church, read the good book, or pray. Back then, being a Christian meant something good, nowadays, at least in the city I live in, I’ll tell someone I’m a Christian and there’s a 50/50 chance they will convulse, or have a physical reaction in disgust. In their opinion, the word Christian is synonymous with bigot, hypocrite, fundamentalist, or even worse the ultimate curse word of our generation “evangelical”.
Some people want the good old days back. They just wish that it were popular to be Christian again. Wouldn’t it be a whole lot easier if everyone just agreed on Biblical morality? Wouldn’t it be better if everyone stood up for what I believe in? Hmmm. Easier yes, better, I’m not so sure.
You won’t find me wishing we could have the old days back. Comfortable Christianity has never produced the real thing. It tends to create a shell of a Christian with no real substance on the inside. History has proved that Christ followers thrive when their faith is under fire. “Consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds, for the testing of your faith produces perseverance… let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James says.
I find all around me a new generation of Christians who hunger for authenticity in their faith. They don’t want to just give lip service to Jesus Christ, they want to live for the things he lived for and die for the things he died for. Yeah, they’re kind of soft and don’t really know all of what that entails, but I think that’s just immaturity that will work itself out. The good news is – Christianity is hard again. It’s difficult to live out your faith at work, school, in your neighborhood. There are adversaries, challenges, and forces pulling in the other direction. In other words, there are trials and tests and it requires perseverance. But that’s the good news! Let’s press on friends.