Sometimes it happens when someone can really shake up your perspective. As stated a couple days ago I’m reading a book called “Fearless Faith” by John Fischer. He truly has a great feel for the Christian subculture that exists in America and is willing to ask the hard questions.
The big question that I’m getting asked of myself is how much of what I do is driven by fear? From politics, to the people I associate with, to how I raise my children, to where I live (on and on) what is driven by fear? Our fears are hidden by the Christian subculture that many of us exist in at various levels of participation. The first thing that many of us Christians have done is to act like France when something scary occurs, we retreat. Sometimes, instead of retreating, we attack and put this angry facade on top of our faith. In either case, how are we representing Christ? We should be engaged in the real world not just angry with it. No matter what many of us think, too many folks think that Christianity is based on just moral issues. How sad is that?
In “Fearless Faith” Fischer is asking some hard questions about the Christian subculture. What if it didn’t exist? What if we didn’t have Christian music, coffee shops, schools, mega-churches that fits all our needs? How much money that is invested in this culture is really paying off in eternity? I ask how can a Switchfoot album cost $16.98 at a Christian bookstore buy $7.99 at Target? How can Christians justify making money from worship albums? Are people who make money just from this subculture really good enough to do what they do outside this subculture? Are we able to function outside of this subculture?
For us who work outside this subculture, how much of it do we bring into our sphere of influence? Do we openly cringe when a co-worker drops an f-bomb on us? Do we put a layer of moral indignation on us and expect them to act differently when we are present? Let’s think, are people put off by Christ because of our representation of Christianity? For some people, we are the only Jesus they will ever have a chance to meet. We need to always be aware that, like it or not, we are the only Jesus they will ever meet. Do we ignore people because they may be a bit different? Do we grab them by the collar and give them the “turn or burn” speech? Do we, instead establish credibility with them with our integrity, character and work ethic? If we have credibility with them based on what they know of us then our words about Christ will have more credibility.
These are hard questions that I’m asking myself as “Fearless Faith” pushes me to think a bit more outside the Christian subculture. The scripture that Fischer uses for theme of the book is the prayer of Jesus found in John 17. How do we respond to John 17:15:
I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one.
It seems that, in general, the Christian subculture is not in line with the prayer of Jesus. We need to be “in, but nof of” the world and not be in retreat or in fear. Christ Himself prays to the Father to protect us from Satan. I don’t think we could ask for a better advocate than that. Now, I just need to live it.