Unfortunately, I have this conversation with more people than I would like. I find many people have a false and negative view of the Christian faith and seem unconcerned about their spiritual well-being. While there have always been people who have rejected the Gospel of Christ and showed no interest whatsoever to the Christian faith, the difference is that it is now much more widespread as this destructive and false philosophy has percolated down from the ivory towers of the university and is now widespread among the average person. Postmodernism, quite simply, is the belief that there is no absolute truth. It attacks the classifications such as male verses female, straight verses gay, white verses black. Welcome to the Postmodern World where there are no absolutes and where many of the old societal mores have gone out the window. We see this played out in the ways people live their lives, in the disregard for marriage (i.e. people living together without the benefit of marriage, the devaluing of the human life through euthanasia and abortion, the strange discussion of "same-sex marriage" and other abnormalities that are too long to be listed in this article).
Here are some simple suggestions for the believer seeking to make a difference in the world in which we live. If you look at the New Testament, you find that the early church lived in a culture that is much like the one we live in today. There were no absolutes and when the Christian claimed that Christ was the only way, there was push-back by the secular society. Here are some suggestions for you as you seek to be a witness in this present culture:
The living of a godly life. The early Christians understood that they could make a difference by living a godly life before an unbelieving world. We also need to be above reproach in the ways we live our lives before unbelievers. Believe me; they are watching you to see if there is any difference between you and them. When we choose to compromise our faith by the decisions we make, what comes out of our mouths, and how we treat others, it hurts our witness. Be radically sold out to Jesus Christ.
Knowing the Truth by studying His Word. If you truly want to have an answer to those who know little of the Christian faith or the difference it can make in their lives, then study the Bible. Get a good Bible translation that you can understand and begin to read it. Memorize meaningful Scripture passages.
The proclaiming of the truth of God in love. We do not need to sit back and not proclaim who Jesus is and what He has done in our lives. If you have been transformed by Jesus Christ, you are a new creation. You need to proclaim that truth. When you proclaim the truth, do it in love. Be kind, and not judgmental. Not long ago, I met with a young man who was struggling with a very serious moral issue. He came in and we talked for quite some time. He let me coach him on how to escape from the sin that was destroying his life. At the end of the session, he thanked me for being kind to him. When we deal with people and proclaim Christ to them, we need to be loving. Remember the old adage, "hate the sin but love the sinner."
Quit riding the fence when it comes to your faith. There is nothing worse than a hypocrite. Don't pretend in your Christian faith. Be sold out! Remember that Jesus himself said that He was the only way. He is not one way, he is the only way. That way is narrow. It calls for commitment and dedication, but we don't go it alone. God is right there with you, guiding you along the way.
If you truly want to change the world, do it through Jesus! Jesus calls us to transform the world. He calls on us to spend our lives in the service of the least, the lost, the lonely. Following Jesus is about putting into practice the things that Jesus taught. If we do that, the world will take notice.
Dr. Dennis R. Culbreth is Senior Pastor of Jasper's First Baptist Church www.jaspersfbc.org