About Jesus - Steve Sweetman 

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Keep Your Faith To Yourself  


"You can keep your faith and beliefs, but just keep them to yourself," we're being told.    


"And if we don't keep our faith to ourselves, what then?" we respond.


"You will.  The privatization of faith will become the law of the land," they reply.   


"And if we don't comply?"


"We'll see what kind of faith you have then."   


Our post-Christian western culture knows little about the nature of religious faith let alone Christian faith.  When I see them discussing religious matters on CNN, more often than not they show themselves to be ignorant of the facts.  That leaves me shaking my head, wondering what else they are reporting that isn't factual.      


An example of misunderstanding religious faith was demonstrated on CNN's Sunday morning news show.  On December 13, 2015, Fareed Zackaria, a CNN news host, admitted that he was a Muslim.  He went on to say, however, that he was not a practicing Muslim.  Allow me to suggest that a non-practicing Muslim is not really a Muslim.  How could he not understand that?              


Christians don't just adhere to a bunch of beliefs they can pull off their theological shelves at a whim.  We are those who have handed our lives over to the person of the Lord Jesus Christ who we understand to be the ultimate universal authority.  In return He has placed the Spirit of God within us.  We have no other logical choice but to live, not just believe, our faith.    


One thing Jesus requires of us is that we make disciples for Him from every nation (Matthew 28:19).  That requires speaking, promoting, and implementing our faith within our cultural setting, and, unlike some religious zealots, we are not permitted to use force in the process (John 19:36).  We simply cannot keep our faith private without compromising our faith.  As the Apostle Paul so pointedly put it; "I am compelled to preach.  Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel" (1 Corinthians 9:16). 


"Christians are a bunch of hypocrites," or so I've often heard.  I recently heard 3 sportscasters on a Toronto sports radio show laughingly mock a Christian athlete for living his faith.  They publically ridiculed him for keeping his virginity despite the countless sexual invitations by beautiful women who cling to his every move after a game.  "If that's his trip," the host muttered in bewilderment, "he's crazy for refusing these free gifts from so many fabulous looking women."  They proceeded to laugh their way into the next topic of discussion.  So, if a Christian guy engages in premarital sex he's considered hypocritical, but if he refuses to engage in premarital sex he's considered crazy.    


In the final analysis true Christians will follow the example of Jesus and let the chips fall where they may.  "Do you refuse to speak to me?" Pilate said.  "Don't you realize that I have the power to free you or crucify you?"  Jesus answered, "You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above" (John 19:10 - 11 NIV)  In a quiet, confident, but authoritative manner, Jesus told the most powerful politician in the Roman province of Judea that he wasn't the guy in charge of the situation.  I can picture the angels in Heaven rising to their feet, clapping their hands with enthusiasm, and cheering Jesus on as they hear Him putting Pilate in his proper political place.     


The time is approaching when we will indeed see what kind of faith we really have.  Without apology, we must follow Jesus' lead.  When or if we stand before our legislators of law will we quietly, confidently, but authoritatively proclaim, "You would have no power over us if it were not given to you from above"? 


Let this fact be known; keeping our faith to ourselves is not an option.    



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