Are We Ashamed of Christ?

I’m going to take a short break from our study on the negatives in the Bible.  We’ve covered about a dozen instances of the word, “nothing,” and when we come back to the study, we’ll be looking at the word, “never.”  In the meantime, I have a few other thoughts to share with you.

As Christians, we have the responsibilityto speak the truth in love..png

This morning, I listened to an interview with the rising Contemporary Christian singer, Lauren Daigle. Before I go any further, let me say I enjoy some Contemporary music, and until now, I appreciated many of the songs performed by Lauren. I wanted to make that clear, so no one misunderstood my intentions with this devotion. I am not condemning the music or the person, but I am very disappointed with Lauren’s response to a particular question.

The interviewer asked, “Do you think that homosexuality is a sin?” This was the perfect time to speak out for her faith and proclaim the Word of God, but instead, Daigle answered: “You know, I can’t honestly answer on that because there are too many people that I love who are homosexuals. I don’t know. I actually had a conversation with someone last night about it. I can’t say one way or the other. I’m not God. So, when people ask questions like that, that’s what my go to is. Like, I just say, ‘Read the Bible and find out for yourself. And when you find out, let me know because I’m learning too.'”

Seriously? I appreciate she recognizes that she’s not God and doesn’t have all the answers, and in a way, I respect how she pointed people to the Bible, but I have to say my respect and appreciation end there. If she can’t honestly answer whether homosexuality is a sin, she has not studied the Bible much. It’s so obvious! It’s right there in black and white. And with that single interview, my admiration for this talented singer is gone. How can I admire someone who won’t stand up for the very thing she sings about?

This topic has flooded social media, and the comments vary. Some, like me, are disappointed by how Daigle chose her fame over her faith. (She made her stand clear in the interview when discussing her recent appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. When the interviewer remarked on the possibility of saying “no” to the invitation because Ellen is an outspoken homosexual, Lauren Daigle replied, “And that would be a surefire way to end your career.” To me, she betrayed in that statement where her loyalties lie.) Anyway, others are defending her answer by justifying that if she stood up for what was right, she could ruin her career and then she wouldn’t have the opportunities she now has to reach people for Christ. Are you kidding me? How can she reach others for Christ if she’s not willing to stand for Him? And who in their right mind would honestly believe the Lord would condone such tactics?

Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.
— Mark 8:38

Friends, we, as Christians, need to find some balance. On the one hand, we shouldn’t shun the lost and refuse to interact with them. How will we reach them? Jesus regularly spent time with those who needed a Savior, and we should follow His lead. On the other hand, we shouldn’t water down our faith to make it more palatable for those around us. Jesus never did that. He spoke the truth, even when it hurt, and generally, those who were offended by it were the religious crowd (not saved, just religious). The Bible urges us to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). Don’t belittle or be cruel and unkind to those who are lost but don’t hide the truth either. If it’s wrong, it’s wrong, and it’s our responsibility to say so. Not because we are God but because we know what God has to say about sin. And if the Bible clearly says something is a sin, then we need to point that out.  

I can’t say how I would have answered the question had it been posed to me unexpectedly like that, but I hope I would say something like this: “You know, it really doesn’t matter what I think. All that matters is what God says, and He has made it clear in the Bible that homosexuality is a sin. And if God says it’s a sin, then it must be because God doesn’t lie or make mistakes. I know that statement may offend some, but as a Christian, it is my responsibility to represent my Lord and Savior to the best of my ability no matter what it cost me.”

Oh, dear friends, we live in a wicked world, and it’s easy to go with the flow, but as Christians, that’s not what we’re supposed to do. We’ve been given the duty to stand up for Christ and His Word, but too many of us are falling down on the job. Let’s beware. 

I know this comes across as harsh, and I don’t mean for it to. Again, I am not condemning anyone. That’s not my place. That being said, I can be disappointed, and I am. My prayers are with Lauren Daigle. If she is saved, I hope the Lord will convict her heart and help her to see clearly what she claimed not to know. If she is not saved, I pray she will be soon. We all make mistakes, but we must guard against allowing fear of loss or rejection to make us ashamed of the One we claim to love.  Let’s allow this interview to be a reminder to us.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
— Romans 12:2

Either Live It or Just Be Quiet

Jason and I don't watch very many television shows, but one we enjoy is The Amazing Race.  We delight in the scenery and find great fascination in the various tasks the teams must perform to progress through the race.  Every once in a while, however, something is said or done that makes me mad.  This week's episode was like that.

There were two girls who, at the beginning of this stage of the race, were praising God and claiming that He was everything in their lives.  They stated that they were content with whatever happened because they were sure God's will would be done.  They went on like this for several moments, and to be honest, I had mixed emotions.  I was glad to hear the girls speak so openly about their faith.  However, I also knew that, in the past, the show had made a mockery of those who claimed faith in God.  Somehow, someway, they turned everything around and made the team look bad.  This time, unfortunately, the girls were as much to blame as the show.

Before arriving at their first destination, the girls were pulled over for speeding.  Moments before, the driver had commented that she had no idea what the speed limit was, but when the officer confronted her about her speeding, she claimed that she was sorry and that she thought the speed limit was a certain number.  She then proceeded to brag to her partner and camera man how she was a professional at talking her way out of speeding tickets.  Thankfully, she couldn't talk her way out of this one and was forced to pay the fine.  Unfortunately, the damage had already been done.  The producers of the show didn't hesitate to run the entire event together to where the girls were praising God with one breath and lying through their teeth with the next.  It made me sick!

And we wonder why it's becoming more and more difficult to win souls to Christ!  It's certainly not because God isn't working like He used to.  He hasn't changed.  Instead, it's due to the lackadaisical attitude so many Christians have.  They claim Christ, but they don't live it.  And so, when the world looks on, they don't see anything different.  Why do they need Christ when we act and talk the same as they do?  Where's the difference?  Where's the change?  I've gotten to the point where I just want to stand up and shout, "Either live it or just be quiet!"  In other words, if you've not going to live like a Christian, then please don't claim to be one.  Don't praise God with one breath and lie with the next.

None of us are perfect.  I get that, really, I do.  We all make mistakes.  We all fail to live up to the standard of Christ that is set before us.  But honestly, some folks make me wonder if they even try.  They seem so comfortable with their sin and their conformity to the world.  They don't bat an eye at lying, stealing, cheating and the like.  It's just part of life to them it seems.  I hate to tell you, my friend, but that's not a Christian at all, for the word Christian means "Christ-like".

It's one thing to have the world ridicule us.  It's quite another to provide them with the ammunition to attack.  If we're going to be Christians, then let's act like it.  Let's not be like the Laodicean church who was rebuked for being lukewarm.  It's time to quit straddling the fence.  Either we're Christians, or we're not.  Let's make up our minds!

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. - Romans 12:2