Why do we treat our faith as a "disease"?

Hi everyone,

This question is a strange one, but I’ve just recently come to ask the question of why we treat our faith in Jesus Christ as a proverbial disease…

Our culture and groups celebrate sexual orientation preferences, pro-abortion, financial and social positions, political parties, sports teams and ‘other’ religions and the list just keeps on going, but as Christians we feel as if our faith is a secret (except for when you’re with like minded people/groups).

Have we been silenced…muzzled by groups and organizations and have we allowed to stay silent and compromise THE TRUTH so much that we as the Body of Christ is seen as not being worthy of a place in society-even when most of the Western World was founded on Judia-Christian belief.

I’m just curious about how others feel as I know that when I tell people I’m a lover and follower of Jesus Christ I feel (my flesh feels) almost ashamed, like I should hide it. I feel horrible in saying this out loud, but it’s the truth. Shouldn’t we stand on top of the “mountain” and shout it to the world?

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Hi Juandre,

Here’s a few of my thoughts:

If you went to somebody’s door and tried to sell them a vacuum cleaner you’d probably have a difficult time doing it and you’d have “horrible” feelings to report about the experience (most would anyways).

What’s the point I’m trying to make by pointing that out?

To some extent the social dynamics you’re bringing out in this topic might not be as much of a “spiritual thing” as many assume. Sometimes Christians count the appearance of rejection to be a “spiritual thing” when that may not necessarily be the case.

Ultimately this topic is very spiritual. But I think there are “technical” layers to the topic as well that aren’t necessarily spiritual. For example: dealing with inner-false-presumptions that the world has somehow legitimately stolen or muzzled the Christian voice is both incorrect; and it’s clearly a self-fulfilling-prophecy if we allow that to be our presumption.

It’s possible the fields actually are whiter than we think… John 4:35

(and it’s possible those door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesmen have got a better handle on their feelings and false presumptions than most of us Christians)

There might be over a dozen different “technical” reasons why a person genuinely CANNOT “stand up” or speak up when they need to. And there’s another slew of different reasons why we may feel stupid or horrible or invalidated when we do speak up or stand up with opinions (truth) that differ from the main stream.

I think those various technical reasons would be a great topic to discuss at some point but ultimately, the “customized” teaching that fits our exact personal situations comes from God and our study of his word.

If we didn’t grow up in a home that modeled and afforded proper self-respect and backbone, and if we didn’t learn it at school or church or in Sunday school or seminary or the workplace; then beyond the ministry of the Holy Spirit to help us address the issue, the road forward ends up involving courage, regret, and pondering those regrets.

It’s possible that part of how the Holy Spirit ministers is through our ponderings and meditation… I kind of look at it sometimes like a “debriefing with God” (or lots of them) and study about my regrets where I didn’t really stand up and do or say what I needed to say… and the horrible feelings involved at those times. It’s kind of like a learning session that makes a big difference for the next-similar situation…

It’s like when you get slammed to the ground (in one way or another); It’s good to discuss the matter with God and with yourself and say “Now… What just happened there?” And how can I keep that from happening again? "

So I would say that the resistance to speak the truth is real. It’s internal, it’s external, and it’s all mixed in with social dynamics. But speaking the truth and challenging the falsehoods can actually be rather amazing even when we get hurt by doing it…

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Hi JDCoetzer,

I too have felt the same feelings of shame, or embarrassment when talking about my Lord Jesus. It’s funny that talking about God is fairly easy, but as soon as you bring up the name of Jesus things get awkward. I hate that I have to fight these feelings.

I don’t have a whole lot to say about this, except that this world is set against Jesus Christ. Jesus told us that the world hated him and it will hate us as well. The reason we can talk about any other religion without feeling embarrassed is because every other religion is a lie and that’s what the prince of this world wants us to talk about. If we dare speak the truth, sin (Satan) is right there trying to stop us. It’s similar to what Paul was talking about in Romans 7 when he says that whenever he desires to do good, evil is right there to stop him. I believe that we will always fight this to some degree because of our sin nature.

Just remember that we have a spirit of boldness and power and greater is He that is in us than he who is in the world!

God bless!
Mel Greene

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You know, @JDCoetzer - the point you’ve raised is exactly what first caught my attention as a teenage rebel against the Christian God and drew me to Him!

I remember my first semester on a secular college campus where I had gone, not to get an education at all - simply to get as far from home as I could to connect with fellow potheads like myself without any parental oversight. I didn’t attend classes, I took no tests - I dropped out after one semester and went to live with friends on the coast where our whole lives were wrapped up in staying as high as we could for as long as we could.

Now, we considered ourselves to be a very enlightened and tolerant group. If anyone ever came around talking about Buddha, we were all cool with that - “Yeah, man - Buddha’s like heavy stuff, dude!”

If anyone came talking about Krishna, or Mohammed, or Confucius, or whoever, we would nod wisely at whatever they said because we were all so open minded.

But if anyone ever came around talking about Jesus, well…that was different. Then, we’d all roll our eyes and get antsy for the “fanatic” to hurry up and leave!

And one day, that struck me. I thought to myself something like, “Why is it that we’re all so tolerant of everything but this one obvious exception? What is it about Jesus that turns us off in a way that nothing and no one else does?”

And as I pondered that, a crazy idea began taking shape in my mind. The idea went something like this, “You know, Lyons - if there really was a God as the Bible describes, and there really was a devil whose whole purpose was to turn people against that God, then wouldn’t the attitude of you and your buddies be exactly what you’d expect such a devil to encourage in people’s minds?”

And as I pondered that, I thought, “Whoa, dude! That’s just weird enough to be true!”

And right there, I began developing a suspicion about the antichristian bias I saw running through me and all my buddies.

And a few months later, I wandered into a church next door to where I was living, walked down the aisle at the end of the service, and let someone show me from the Bible how I could repent of my sins and trust Christ’s death and resurrection to save me from them. And my life has never been the same again since!

All of that to say that I agree with you. And I believe that what you are describing is something that has no natural explanation. I believe its origin is supernatural. The fallen flesh on the outside cringes at everything that the new Spiritual nature on the inside craves after.

And the Bible speaks of this as suffering shame for his name in Acts 5:41 - as the offence of the cross in Galatians 5:11 - as the world’s reproach of you in Luke 6:22 - as Christians being made the filth of the world and the offscouring of all things in I Corinthians 4:13.

And the flesh will always feel embarrassed about the Spirit’s witness for Christ. It’s just another component of that ongoing struggle that @Melvin_Greene alluded to in Romans 7. Galatians 5:17 summarizes it saying, the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh, and these are contrary the one to the other so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

And as long as we live in this fallen flesh, it will continue to resist being viewed as a fool for Christ’s sake. And everytime it does, just recognize it for what it is - the flesh misbehaving again. And crucify the flesh and walk in the Spirit - Galatians 5:16.

I hope this will help you!

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The bible says that "perfect love cast out all fear," and “God gave us a Spirit, not of fear, but of power, and love, and a sound mind.”

Being submerged in God’s love will undoubtedly help alleviate any feelings of shame. And this comes by prayer and devotion.

We should not be ashamed of the gospel at all. "Paul says, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God given unto us for salvation.” In addition Jesus says, “whoever is ashamed of me in this adulterous and sinful generation, so will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes with his holy angels.” Yikes.

We are to speak the truth, not on our own exertion, but the power of God dwelling in us. It is then with love that we can overcome any distasteful shame of King Christ and the gospel.

J.I packer, in his classic book ‘Knowing God’ define boldness as the evidence of knowing God. “Those who know God show great boldness for God”

So it is about developing our knowledge of God and maintaining it. That is, actually knowing God (personal and intimate), not just knowing about him (intellectual). I find that we can come out of that knowledge when we corrupt ourselves with worldly things. The Spirit is still there, but the flame in our belly is gone. But once we seek God and drop the vain hopes of the world, we have renewed boldness and fire. Countless times do I find myself worrying about absolute vanity: this is what may make me ashamed.

It is a matter of slowly ticking those boxes by prayer and devotion relying on Christ at all times to sanctify our bodies in truth and righteousness.

And why should we worry about what other people think when we have our eternity secured with God? The most precious gift possible. They are lost, we are free. So boast about it.

One of the most controversial chapters in the bible is Matthew 7. Jesus says we are to pick up our cross and follow him. This means to deny our flesh. Gal 2:20 sets an example. Think deeply about the connotations of carrying the cross…

But this is obviously not a call to physical suffering. However, it means that we should be willing to die for Christ, and accept that the world hates us because of the gospel. And we are to become fools for Christ, not letting any cultural fears to cause us shame.

We need to rejoice in faith. We give light to the world. And we need to light it with fire, with boldness, lest the salt lose its taste. Perfect love cast out fear.
And you are right about “shouting”: it is more loving to risk offending someone for the sake of their eternity, then to let them rot in hell forever.

Yes, proclaim the gospel loudly on mountains, just don’t blow the trumpet like the Pharisees.

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Thank you everyone for your encouraging words and responses. I initially thought that my question was miss interpreted, but the answers made me reflect on my own actions and pointed out that my own pride and fear is standing in the way of boldly professing my faith. I do however share my faith with anyone who asks. Thanks again.

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