I have a confession to make. In social settings, even at Christmas parties, I’m not quick to volunteer my Christian identity.
I’m not ashamed of the Gospel. Experience simply has taught me that identifying myself as “Christian” rarely sparks conversation about Jesus Christ.
Most people fast forward to polarizing politics, and I am summarily dismissed as a whacked conservative. Conversation over.
Definition of “whacked conservative”?
- a) Religious person whose views convey a lack of intelligence and a naivety about popular culture.
- b) Misinformed person who gets my news from the Fox Channel and Rush Limbaugh.
- c) Selfish person who is more concerned about lowering taxes than meeting needs.
The American wedding of conservatism and Christianity has stymied authentic discourse about Christ. The popular view is “I am liberal. Therefore, I think.” But if I’m Christian, “I am conservative. Therefore, I’m an idiot.”
Twisted thinking. Jesus had intelligent conversations with sinners. He ate with them, attended their weddings, their dinner parties. He answered their questions, provided a living, breathing representation of the invisible God.
Religious conservatives, of course, rejected Him as a liberal friend of sinners and tax collectors. He denounced the conservative for public piety without inward repentance.
Christians used to be known by the charities, hospitals and colleges we established, by the lives changed through our sacrificial service — things worth discussing. That kind of conversation might lead to Why we do those things, which ultimately brings us to Who.
There are still a few more parties to attend. What will you be talking about over Christmas cookies and punch?