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Living Christian Convictions Not Easy
Few people today understand the foundation of truth and morality on which the Christian faith is founded. It is our job as believers to demonstrate it to them.

While many aspire, or at least pay lip service, to living by the golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” the pragmatic approach is far more common nowadays.  This is aptly demonstrated by the current crop of “dog eat dog” TV primetime “reality” shows such as Survivor, where the philosophy seems to be, Go for what you want and survive however you can, no matter who else gets hurt in the process.

It is time to remind ourselves of Jesus’ words about what it means to live Christianly:

By the way, talking about the golden rule reminds me of a series of street interviews I saw on the tube some time ago where the question was put:  “Can you tell me what the golden rule is?”


At least half the interviewees didn’t have the foggiest notion.  Is this one of the reasons why standing for the Christian virtues of truth and morality in our society seems to be increasingly unpopular?


So what can we do about it?  Do we hunker down in our church ghettos and try to be as inconspicuous as possible, all the while complaining about the sad state of our culture?


A thousand times no.  A one-liner I heard long ago keeps coming back to haunt me:  “Unbelievers don’t believe because they don’t believe that believers believe.”  Or as someone else put it, “It you were brought up on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?”


What about you?  What about me?  It is time to remind ourselves of Jesus’ words about what it means to live Christianly:  “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”  That is what we are really all about, regardless of the consequences.


Hear the Apostle Peter:  “Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good?  But even if you do suffer for what is right, you are blessed,” and again, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope you have….But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience so that those who speak maliciously of your good behaviour in Christ may be ashamed of their slander….It is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil” (1 Peter 3: 13-17).


Jesus Himself says in the closing words of the Beatitudes (which may come to us as rather a shock), “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of God….Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.  Rejoice and be exceeding glad for great is your reward in heaven for so persecuted they the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:10-12).


So let us lend our best efforts to live out the great commandment, to love God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength and to love our neighbour as ourselves.


Even though those who do not believe may misunderstand, criticize or even hate us because of our lifestyle, let all our actions and attitudes toward them be consistent with our profession of faith in Christ – above reproach.


Interestingly enough, up-to-date research reveals why many in Muslim lands are turning to Christ.  Stated simply, “The number one reason Muslim converts listed for their decision to follow Christ was the lifestyle of the Christians among them.*1)


True Christian discipleship is costly, yes, but let us not grow weary in well-doing.  Let us live Christianly and share joyfully with all who will listen the good news of eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ. 

Endnotes

1)  Dr. Dudley Woodberry, quoted on “BreakPoint” radio, April 23, 2008.

Bert Warden is a former missionary and retired Alliance pastor.  He and his wife Lena are members of Sevenoaks Alliance Church in Abbotsford.

Originally published in The Times, Langley, BC, May 2, 2008.

 

 
 
 
 

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