Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Split Personality

Recently posted over @ Blogging Teen

During my short life so far, I have seen three types of people that attend the church.

1) A person that is not ashamed of the gospel in church as well as in the secular world.
2) The most common type of person is one who is ashamed of the gospel in the secular world, but is not in the church.
3) Finally, a person does not even believe the gospel, period.

I posted a question that went:

do you ever wonder why that is? are we more afraid to share the good news, or are we more ashamed to share the good news? or is it something else entirely?

I'd like to comment a little further on this, then open it up (since there are so many people flooding the comments section today /sarcasm). It doesn't require a seminary student to point out open religosity is rather anemic. In this day of secularism (or its opposite, militant religious extremism), religious individuals carefully parse their statements when outside the confines of church walls. Bringing up God @ work or school can bring callous cries of "creationist (as if this is an insult)", "bigot", "racist", "member of the VRWC", "Hitler Spawn", and on and on and on. While one can feel free to express love for God @ home, church, or somewhere private, most are ashamed to demonstrate this love (and fear) where someone might see. So which is it, fear of someone speaking out against us, or shame for having these beliefs? Both?

From a theological standpoint, I sometimes wonder if this is a result of The Fall. Once we were separated from God, did we not only become aware of our nakedness, our mortality, our falibility, but perhaps also, shamed for who we are and where we came from? When Adam lunged for cover, did that also represent things to come for man, constantly lunging and hiding from God in work, in carpools, in school....? Like I said, and Blogging Teen stated, it poses an interesting question/dilemma.

If we are to be good Christians, what sort of example does it send when we extol the virtues of Christ in Church, but nowhere else? It reminds me of a scenario where Ted Kennedy stands in front of ANSWER protestors screaming "BUSHITLER NEEDS TO GO!!". Sir, you're speaking to the choir, just as Christians do when they only praise the Lord in the company of other Christians.

Christianity has a great message, and it needs to be heard by others, not by your church elders.

On the same token, along with hiding our love and praise for God, most of us are very bad at molding Jesus to fit US. Sorry folks, that's not how it works (I'm just as guilty as the next person). You likely know this, but selectively ignore it so that you feel less guilty about 1) premarital sex, 2) homosexuality, 3) cheating on your taxes, 4) not helping your neighbor, etc. It's called 'hypocrisy', and it's what I used to 'preach' to my 'bible-thumping' friends before I became a Christian. Those youth group kids Blogging Teen mentioned, I knew them. Right after they finished it was off to drink beer, have sex, vandalize, etc. Mind you, not all the kids did this, but the majority did and it made it that much easier for me to write off what they had to say regarding the Lord.

Actions speak louder than words, so act like you love and fear God, don't just say that you do.