Last week, I brought up a story about going to far about keeping church and state separated. As if on queue, I just ran across another article that brings up the problem in precisely the opposite direction.
An article on OneNewsNow, another story was reported about a jail house in South Carolina that banned all literature from being allowed to the prisoners…all literature, that is, except for the Bible. This is pretty much the opposite extreme that I’ve already talked about.
Now, of course, as a Christian I feel that if someone were to only be able to have access to one, single book, it would be the Bible. While I truly believe that it is the best book anyone can possibly have, I recognize that not everyone agrees with that. And, given that this prison is a government-run facility, it does seem that restricting all literature except the Bible really impedes on the First Amendment protection for religious freedom and shows a distinct favoritism toward a particular religion.
I’m not quite certain who is responsible for setting this restriction, though I think it’s pretty obvious that it is a professing Christian at the heart of this. The concern that I have for this is that it is this type of thing that hinders and weakens the Christian message. I casts a negative light on Christianity because many will see this type of thing as representative of the Christian world view.
My hope is, moving forward, that Christians would recognize when we (or others espousing similar beliefs) have pushed the limits too far, that we would be proactive to correct such things in order to help show the integrity of a follower of Christ. We must always remember that, from the outside, Christians are the primary representation of Christianity. When they see a Christian act, they assume that this action reflects Christianity.
Therefore, let’s be conscious of our actions and attitudes so that we can more accurately represent Christ and prevent ourselves from weakening the message of the Gospel.
What are some specific things you, personally, can do differently to help give the Church a more Christlike appearance in order to strengthen our message?
Grace, love and peace.