I’m out of town on a surfing trip this week taking advantage of my time off due to unemployment. So I’m cleaning out the draft folder and posting what I consider to be Charlie’s Church of Christ b-sides. Every band writes songs that aren’t amazing enough to put on the record, yet still shouldn’t be tossed out. These posts are like that. Hopefully you don’t think they’re “f-sides.” Please note I won’t have regular internet access and won’t be replying to comments until later in the week.
Recently I opened up a can of worms about evangelism and how we sell the gospel. Despite the fact that I operate a blog anyone can read I’m not necessarily public with my faith. I’m don’t mean I don’t have a Jesus fish on my bumper (though I don’t have one), nor do I mean I don’t wear a cross necklace (I don’t do that either). What I mean is that not everyone knows I’m a Christian – in fact the vast majority of my co-workers (now former) don’t know.
(I’m already imagining the rebuke I’ll get for that one.)
Christian rock bands play songs about not being ashamed of God, but truth be told there is a reason why we are a little ashamed of Christianity – the very ugly, well known public mistakes of our brothers and sisters. I remember in college if someone “found me out” I had already prepared a speech about how I’m not one of those Christians who shoves religion down your throat along with deep fried cooking. I didn’t want to put off that person simply because of their deeply implanted image of abusive Christians.
I think there has largely been a negative reaction to that sort of evangelism – and so many have compensated by choosing to show, not tell Jesus via love and forgiveness. That’s why you hear that quote “preach the gospel always, and if necessary, use words” at least once a week. We’ve retreated and began to preach ambiguously through our actions.
This isn’t a bad thing of course, I think Christianity needed the correction that love means nothing unless you actually do it in visible, tangible ways.
You may, possibly likely, disagree, but I think compensating for the ridiculous Christianity projected onto the skies for so long is a good move. I think we saturated the world with our ideas and it’s a good idea to step back and let the people detox. But, you can’t stay in the cave for too long or you’ll go blind.
I think it’s been a while now – can we re-emerge yet? Can be a little more vocal? When is it okay?
Was it okay for us to step back and not be like those other Christians? How do we re-emerge from that? How do you talk about faith without shoving it down someone’s throat? How does Christianity move forward from the era of obnoxious evangelism? What do you think the new path should be like?