Wasted Freedom

Posted by on Oct 17, 2012 in Articles | 0 comments

“I think we are more effective if we try to just blend in.  People are turned off if you get over-bearing with religion.  It’s better to just keep quiet and try to be a good person.”  Sipping her coffee, she looked up at her friend, “Listen, this woman I work with even brings her Bible to work!  I mean, really!  You know as well as anyone that I’m a Christian, but that’s just over-kill.  That even turned me off!”

 

It was hard for me to keep quiet.  I finished my lunch, packed up my Bible and my study guide and paid my bill.  I left the diner wondering if I should have spoken up and perhaps even waved my Bible in her face.  I was so irritated that I probably would have done more harm than good.  I drove back to my office wishing I had said something.

 

So many people, even dedicated brothers and sisters in Christ, hide who they are.  They take for granted our freedom.  We live in a country that allows us to worship freely.  We can go to any church we choose, have Bible-studies in our home, walk into a store and buy Christian music, Bibles, Study guides, you name it.  We can even read the Word in public places.  Yet, we hide in the shadows.  We crumble out of fear of ridicule.  What would we do if we ever faced possible imprisonment or death because of our faith?  Most would never make it.

Roman historian, Tacitus (AD 60-120) wrote the following in his annals after the great fire that destroyed Rome during the reign of Nero (Nero was himself believed to have set the fires as an excuse to rebuild Rome in his own fashion):

 

“…arrest was first made of those who confessed [to being Christians]; then, on their evidence, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much on the charge of arson as because of [their]hatred for the human race. Besides being put to death they were made to serve as objects of amusement; they were clothed in the hides of beasts and torn to death by dogs; others were crucified, others set on fire to serve to illuminate the night when daylight failed. Nero had thrown open his grounds for the display, and was putting on a show in the circus…” (christiancourier.com)

 

Despite Nero andRome’s violent hatred toward the Christians, Paul, Peter, Mark and several other early Christians continued to live for Christ and proclaimed Him “Lord” openly.  They lived and breathed for Christ.

 

Throughout history, Christians have been persecuted.  Today, in our own time, countries around the world arrest and/or murder Christians.  Missionaries toChina,India, andLibyaare often attacked and arrested. Iranis vocal about their hatred toward Christians and their desire to wipe theUSandIsraeloff the map.  Other countries such asRussiatolerate Christian presence but little more.

 

God has blessed us deeply with citizenship in a country that allows us to worship freely.  We Christians must stop hiding in the shadows and shout proudly that we are followers of Christ.  Jesus said in Mark 8:38 “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”  We should let Christ pour from every part of us, living and breathing as the early Christians did.  Let us not waste the freedom we have been given and instead shout as Paul did “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes…”  (Romans 1:16).

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