02 August 2011

Christian: Proud & Available

The below is an article I just wrote for the August issue of the Finnish Christian Men's magazine, Tosimies. I think it has relevance not only in Finland but the Western culture here in Europe and America.


Christian: Proud & Available
By Rev. Lawrence Blakeslee

Recently, a Christian organization in America that works on university campuses announced that it was going to remove the word “Christ” from their organization’s name. The reason given was that it would be easier to reach out to non-Believers if “Christ” was not part of their name. Of course I do not agree with that thinking and I do not think the Bible does either.

Matthew 10:32 Every one therefore who shall confess me before men, him will I also confess before my Father who is in heaven. NIV

Jesus tells us not to deny Him but He was not afraid to challenge someone either. There is a fine line between being offensive and standing on what you believe. If we are embarrassed to admit we are a Christian, we are in trouble. If you purpose to hide your faith for the sake of being politically correct, you are also in trouble.

“Political Correctness” has taken a dominant role in Western culture. The “PC” culture does not allow you to express any strong beliefs or convictions of any kind that could remotely offend anyone else. It does not matter that your belief or view point might be in the majority. In the “politically correct world” those in the minority seem to have more “rights” than you do.

Is it politically correct to be Christian? Do people know that you are a Christian? Can they tell by the way you live your life? I am not talking about being offensive. I am talking about how you live your private and public life? How you treat your children and wife? How you get along with your co-workers? How do you handle a crisis in your life?

Everyone has challenging times in their lives whether they are a Christian or not. When people see that you handle it with God given peace in your heart, people can see it. They may not understand it but they see it the results of it. Some non-Believers might ask and based on the following scripture, God wants you to be ready to share it with them.

It reads: 1 Peter 3:15 But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have… NIV

More than confronting or condemning someone about their life style, we can effectively evangelize our small part of the world by being an ambassador for Christ on this earth. We can be available to help others, offer prayer or support them in their crisis. Be ready to tell them how a personal relationship with Jesus has helped and changed you.

Just the other day, a new Believer, who had been completely “unchurched” all of their lives, told me how they became a Christian because a co-worker had seen the deep depression they were suffering because of the death of her mother. The Christian co-worker simply gathered up the courage to ask them to attend church with them just one time. The non-Believer did and she and the Holy Spirit seized that moment to help her. It was all God needed to make a permanent change in that person’s life. Eighteen months later, the new Believer’s family saw the change in her life and asked about going to church with the new Believer. Do not hide but be ready to share the hope that God has freely given to you, with others in their time of need. Besides how are people going to know that there are solutions to life’s problems? How are they going to hear about the promise of eternal salvation in heaven?

And finally, as parents, do our children see us living our Christian life openly? Do they see us reach out to our friends and neighbors who are in crisis and stand by them during their challenges? Do our children see us praying and asking our Heavenly Father for direction when we have challenges in life?

Someone you currently know or might meet in the future might see the hope and peace that God has freely given you. Be ready to tell them. And do not worry about what to say to them. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you and He will. Also do not be afraid to allow your children or grand children see you live it and share it. It will bring great rewards for you.

Rev. Lawrence Blakeslee
Missionary to Europe

Information Links
Tosimies Magazine