In the ever-present effort to keep religion out of politics (I actually don’t think this is even possible, but that’s a subject for another time) many Christians are not doing their faith much justice. I’d like to say that I am often surprised at how often people downplay the importance of their faith in their lives, but I can’t.
While I understand the concept of not having a “state-sponsored” religion, I sometimes think that many Christians cut themselves off at the knees when it comes to proclaiming their own faith. They relativize it and feel uncomfortable sharing what they believe and why.
On the one hand, this could be largely due to the fact that many Christians today don’t really know the answer to either of those inquiries. If someone were to ask them what they believe and/or why they believe it, most Christians would be hard-pressed to come up with an answer.
Another issue with this, however, is that they don’t share their faith because they are afraid of the socio-political consequences. People feel uncomfortable sharing their faith because they have bought into the idea that taking a stand for something somehow means that one is being “intolerant.”
Therefore, many adopt the attitude of “true for you but not for me” or in this case, more appropriately stated “true for me but not necessarily for you.” Therefore, they will say that they will personally try to live their lives in a way that goes according to their understanding of morality based on what they may have learned in their Bible or at church, but they won’t ask others to take on those same moral values.
They somehow miss the fact that there are such things as objective moral values and they should stand for these values and truths whenever they can. Instead, they acquiesce and allow God to be removed from everything under the guise of “separation of church and state” all the while misunderstanding what that actually means.
Much of the reason for this misunderstanding is that those who try to push this idea are changing the context of the idea and making it into something that was not originally intended. The idea was to ensure that the government would not force people to follow a particular religion. It never was the intention to rid the “public” of God in every way, shape or form.
But, today, even Christians buy into this new meaning of the First Amendment and continue to lie down and allow their faith to be further and further stuffed into a black hole so that eventually nobody will be allowed to even talk about their faith except in their home. Who knows…one day, even that may end up being prohibited if any of your guests or family members could potentially be offended by what you believe.
We need to live our lives in such a way that we are not forcing our beliefs on anyone, but we also should not be allowing others to force our beliefs out of us.
Grace, love and peace.