Let’s make no mistake about it any longer there is a full frontal assault on Christianity in our country. It’s direct and it’s subtle, it’s overt and it’s clandestine, it’s emotional and intellectual and clever and base all at once. And, if we were watching the evening news trying to keep score, you’d have to conclude the Christians are losing ground. Yes, we are. No, you can’t convince me otherwise.
Ok, so what do we do about it?
Allow me to suggest four strategies that I believe will not only help you survive the onslaught, assuming of course that you’re a Christian, but also help to, in the end, win the war.
Strategy #1: Shut up
I know, it’s an odd start, but remember this ultimately isn’t a battle against flesh and blood. We either throw cliche’ re-quotes of religious slogans that were fresh in the 40’s and 50’s as Facebook stati or throw ‘those people’ under the bus because ‘our version of church’ is ‘fresh and different’. Thus strategy one, shut up.
If we bash each other it makes it easier for others to bash us. Most non-Christians will tell you they “don’t want to hear it”, as was evident in the midst of the Tebow phenomena. Ok, let’s oblige them and NOT preach to them.
When someone talks incessantly no one wonders what they’re up to. When someone is quietly and effectively about their business it makes people wonder what they’re thinking…and eventually those people start asking questions…
Strategy #2: Live it
I think we passed through a period where it was important of Christians to be socially relevant. I’m starting to think that time has past. Daniel and his buddies are the classic example. If you’ve forgotten the story read it again. Overt social disobedience coupled with respect, a very interesting approach.
This strategy is easy to dismiss because it sound so familiar but I think in our context today living it means:
- Caring for those in need in your immediate surroundings without hope of recompense
- Taking a stand, not vocally but economically, against mind poisoning media
- Finding joy in a relationship with Christ that shows in your face no matter what the circumstances
- Being often enough in the word and in prayer that we’re confident in what we believe
Strategy #3: Choose Wisely
My wife Libby and I had a chat this afternoon en-route to IKEA about this very topic. It struck me that Jesus typically only “preached” in a couple settings:
- The synagogue
- With the Disciples
- In small group settings where people came to hear him
- In large group settings where people sought him out to hear him
I doubt he would have been tweeting the beatitudes or “rendering unto Caesar” as a Facebook status. Oh He was ready to tell it when the opportunity arose but I can’t find instances where he went out and created public opportunity. It seems to me He more often tended to pick and choose when, where, and with whom.
“But wait”, you might say, “He commanded us to go and make disciples.” Yep, He did. And how did HE go and make disciples? He chose wisely.
Strategy #4: Pray
…for opportunity to exercise the other three strategies.
I had the opportunity a couple weeks ago to go to my daughter’s middle school and teach improv skills to a couple of drama classes. One of the concepts you always teach in that kind of setting is “show me, don’t tell me”. Don’t say “I’m sad” show me sadness in your face, don’t say “I’m hungry” show me hunger in your actions. It’s the same thing here.
In the face of full frontal assault it’s time to stop telling and step up the showing.
Which of these strategies do you find the most difficult to master? Why do you think that is the case?