It’s a scene that has become all too common. Imagine sitting in the break room at work, eating your lunch, and people start talking about a politically sensitive subject like abortion. While listening to everyone share their views about the woman’s right to choose, you realize that you are simply outnumbered and keep quiet. Or maybe it is a conversation about gay marriage, and you keep your mouth shut so that you don’t come across as being intolerant. Maybe it is a little more subtle than that. Maybe you are sitting at home watching TV with your kids while children on the programs constantly disrespect their parents and get away with it. And then there is the “swear word” or two that pops up that was unheard of on prime time TV 10 or 20 years ago.
This is a serious problem in Christianity, and is causing the church to loose ground in America quite quickly. The problem is that many Christians today lack boldness. The body of Christ is loosing its backbone, and many a chiropractor will tell you that the health of your spine is one of the greatest factors in determining the health of the entire body.
Jesus never wanted His church to be apathetic. He wanted it to change the world. It had to be revolutionary. When Jesus saw people selling “sacrifices” in the temple, he got angry and started tossing tables around. On the day of Pentecost when His disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit, the whole world was watching and expecting this thing to fade away. But the disciples spoke the Word of God with boldness, and they began to change the world.
We cannot settle for a mamby-pamby, watered-down Christianity. Our Jesus deserves more than that. I cannot watch The Passion of the Christ anymore without breaking down during the scene where Jesus is being whipped by the Roman soldiers. With each flesh-tearing strike that he took, I think, “that one was for my partying in college, that one was for how I treated that old girlfriend, that one was for that time that I looked too long at something that I shouldn’t have on the Internet, that one was for the mean thing that I said to my wife the other day,” etc. But that is exactly why He did it. He did it for you, and He did it for me. He took our punishment so that we wouldn’t have to get what we deserved. He certainly deserves more than we currently give Him.
I believe that our response to what he has done for us should be a life worthy of Him. This is a life where we must not only be bold in our actions, but also in our words.
When thinking about being bold in our actions, I cannot help but to think about the CBS TV show Jericho. Its inaugural season ended with a cliffhanger of a battle, where the star character responded to threats by simply saying “NUTS” (Not Understanding the Term Surrender). Shortly after that episode CBS announced the cancellation of the show. The public responded by sending literally thousands of cans of nuts to the president of CBS. After such an overwhelming act of support for the show, CBS has since agreed to bring the show back for another season. The church can learn a great lesson from this. We too should “not understand the term surrender” when it comes to broadcasting and the values that are important to us.
We also need to be bold in speech. However, this one comes with a warning. While we should voice the ideals and principles that are important to us, we must also remember that when we speak to people, that we should speak in love. We are called to love people, but also to stand for righteousness. We will never win a person over by arguing against them, which means that we need to learn how to state our case without alienating people. But most importantly we must not be afraid to speak.
A Christian life should be a bold life. Christianity has not gotten to where it is today without a great deal of backbone. So take a stand for your Jesus, and live a life worthy of what He did for you. Now imagine a world where Christians don’t have to be afraid to be Christians. Cool, huh?