Christian and Unashamed

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. – Romans 1:16

My name is Cheri, and I’m a Bible-believing Christian.

This is how I’d like to introduce myself, because if you were to know just one thing about me (besides my name), I’d want you to know I’m a Christian. But if that’s true, why do I sometimes feel guilty about admitting that?

It’s because our society loves to bash Christians. Perhaps you’ve noticed. Christians hate, Christians oppress, Christians judge, Christians even kill. No, we can’t forget about the Crusades, though anyone who truly knows the Scriptures would be hard-pressed to admit true Christians could have been behind that murderous monstrosity.

To hear social liberals, agnostics and atheists tell it, Christians are on the same playing field with terrorists. We are radical and angry and coercive. We are guilty and should be ashamed.

So we suppress our identities in Christ out of political correctness. Discussing our faith is equivalent to proselytism; proselytism is equivalent to hate speech. It is, after all, our way of looking down our noses at those who don’t share our beliefs. It is our way of demeaning and dismissing those whose lifestyles we don’t support.

I’ve been told my Christian faith, partnered with the fact that I attend—for shame!—a Southern Baptist church is why a beloved family member has cut off relations with me. “All you Baptists care about is converting people,” someone close to him told me. Ironically, this loved one alienated himself from me while I was still in a Presbyterian church. I explained that I had believed the same Bible then that I do now, and my heart has always been for his salvation. For that I will not apologize.

This loved one wants to keep living the life he believes he has the right to live, so he surrounds himself with people who affirm him. Our society as a whole encourages people to behave in keeping with their true selves. We value such honesty and consistency in conduct. Yet when a Christian behaves in a way that is consistent with his faith, that consistency is not only not validated but is not tolerated. So we muzzle ourselves.

We can’t speak up. We are, don’t forget, the haters. We are the oppressors. We are the judgmental. So we remain silent.

But in our silence, we miss out on the power of God that is unleashed through the gospel.

Because it’s not God’s power we’re focused on. It’s our own acceptance in this upside-down good-is-evil, evil-is-good world.

Perhaps we need to be reminded how Jesus had His share of haters. Though He came and acted in love, they ended up conspiring to crucify Him. And He warned us our fate would be no better.

If the world hates you, understand that it hated Me before it hated you. – John 15:18

We should not be surprised the world hates us, but neither should we be daunted. This world is dying and shall soon pass. The opportunity for life will soon close.

Jesus said He came not for the well but for the sick. He gave His life so we might live. The gospel is the ultimate cure for the ultimate death.

In all sincerity, do we believe that? And if we do, how can we justify withholding the cure for the ultimate death from a dying world? How can we call ourselves Christ-followers if we fail to follow His command to go and tell the world what He has done for us?

It is time we repent of our shame. Until we do, we won’t see God’s power for salvation unleashed upon our terminally ill world. We will forfeit His power for our pride.

If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. – 1 Corinthians 3:15

So now it’s your turn. Just fill in the blank: “My name is ____________, and I’m a Bible-believing Christian.” If your faith is in Christ alone, you are a child of the Most High God. Now own it. Live it. Start today and shine for Him before the final darkness falls.

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