I appreciate your candor. The experience of hypocrisy is a discredit to the gospel.
My friend Andy Bannister spoke about it this way:
A few years ago, a colleague of mine was traveling in Pakistan. During the trip he met a Pakistani Christian pastor who had been arrested many times and horribly tortured for his faith. He rolled up his sleeves and showed my colleague the scars that he carried. As they talked, the pastor asked, through an interpreter: “What it is like for Christians in the West?” My colleague, slightly embarrassed, replied: “The greatest fear most Christians in the West have is embarrassment. They are afraid of looking foolish, so most do not talk about Jesus.” The pastor replied with tears in his eyes, through the interpreter: “Such a church is dying.” Then the interpreter paused and apologized: “I am sorry,” he said, “I interpreted that badly. What the pastor actually said was: ‘Such a church is already dead.’”
How different might our culture look if Christians were prepared to live out our lives as followers of Jesus Christ as if we really meant it? If we daily demonstrated our willingness to take a stand for Christ no matter what consequences might follow? Unlike Hans and Sophie Scholl, Kurt Huber, or that Pakistani pastor, we are not yet, at least in the West, likely to face imprisonment, torture or death. But what about being willing to sacrifice our reputation, our popularity, our chance of promotion, our easy, comfortable middle class existence? Or are we, if we are entirely honest with ourselves, more tempted to choose the path of personal benefit?
The only answer to moral relativism will only come not from better education strategies—which, at the end of his essay “Moments of Startling Clarity,” is all that Stephen Anderson had to offer. Rather, cultural transformation must begin with personal transformation and that will only happen when people really see what the gospel looks like when it is lived out. What our country, our culture, our world needs are Christians who are willing to display the character of their convictions, no matter what the cost.
I pray you will grow in your faith through participating in Connect - and that together, we will demonstrate an uncompromising faith in Jesus that inspires many to follow him.