Doug Giles challenges us to live out our faith
If Christians would toughen up a bit, get out of the religious closet, follow their faith instead of their fears, and live their beliefs in a more robust way, we would once again change the face of this nation.
Hey Christian, why don't you go public with your faith? Why don't you work what you supposedly believe into your sphere of influence, huh, PC JC man? Come on, Dinky, true faith is resilient. It can handle scrutiny. It has answers for tough questions. It has solutions for societal pollution. It wants to go play outside.
God designed Christianity to be a 4WD spiritual vehicle with mudders, a truck that brings life to the outback. It is not a sensitive hybrid that must be preserved from going off road and into the bush. Quit treating the truth claims of the scripture, the power of the Holy Spirit and the compassion of the Creator like they are some fragile little eggs that must be coddled, kept in the sanctuary and never exposed to the mean world.
Look, if the believer really wants to change things that he feels are detrimental to both the soul of man and the soul of our nation, and not just blather on about how bad things are then he must embrace four spiritual qualities.
Yes, the following four points were common denominators, fundamentals that Christians have joyfully lived for hundreds of years around the globe, principals that eventually caused the land in which they dwelt to be changed for the better. If you live, eat, sleep and breathe these four things for a few decades, history states that you'll watch their positive impact on the course of your life, your church and your nation.
Are you ready for this? I knew you were.
1. Incorporate what you believe into your daily grind.
2. Bump up the quality of your spiritual experience.
3. Get a passion for effective action.
4. Labor for personal, ecclesiastical and national reform.
* BTW: 1-4 have been borrowed from J.I. Packer and abused by me.
Incorporate what you believe into your daily grind. Look, we're not going to change our nation if we compartmentalize our faith and relegate our Christianity to once a week ditty. Where Christianity has historically rocked, its adherents saw no incongruities between their sacred worship and their secular work.
Martin Luther, the 16th-century Augustinian monk who shook all of Christendom like a bowl of liposuctioned fat, said the Christian was worthless until he could vibrantly live a profane life, which means in the Latin, outside the temple. Luther not only brought clarity to the gospel message, but he also catapulted believers beyond the stained glass walls of the Church, exhorting them to be salt and light in places where they might be skewered and lampooned. Yes, Martin re-tabled the New Testament notion that the secular environment was not to be avoided because it was bad and that all creation is sacred so all activities are to be done to the glory of God.
Listen: true spirituality is incredibly practical, robust and workable no matter where you dwell or what you do. If your spirituality/Christianity isn't viable and stout in the most difficult of cultures, then it ain't the stuff Moses and Christ sold.
To help you take your Christianity out of the Christian ghetto where the secularists would love you to remain, here's a simple can do: start to see life as a whole. Begin to merge, as J.I. Packer says:
- Your Christianity with culture
- Your contemplation with achievement
- Your worship with work
- Your labor with rest
- Your fasting with a Fosters
- Your love of God with love of neighbor and self
- Your personal identity with social identity
- Your wide spectrum of relational responsibilities with each other in a thoroughly conscientious and considered way.
Try that next week, next month and the next few years, and watch your influence spread like butter.The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.
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