Sunday, July 7, 2013
A little Sunday sermon from a guy with no license to preach: For those of us who are Christian---and I suspect the same is true of our friends of other religious traditions---it is tempting to embrace those doctrines and teachings of our faith that are acceptable to the "beautiful people," to the trend setters and opinion shapers, to the powerful and influential, while going silent on, or even denying, those teachings that will mark us as standing in opposition to the values that are dominant in elite sectors of the culture. We're all-too-willing to be "tame" Christians. We want the comforts and consolation of religion, but we'd like to have them without risks or costs. We don't want to jeopardize friendships, family relationships, professional and economic opportunities, prestige, social status, and the like. We don't want people to think of us as retrograde or "out of touch with the times," much less as intolerant or prejudiced. So we are tempted to pick and choose---to be "cafeteria Christians." But if we are serious about our faith, we will understand that a true Christian is never a "tame" Christian. A true Christian will stand up and speak out for what is good and true, what is right and just, both in season and out of season. He or she will not go silent, even when bearing witness is unpopular---even when it is personally or professionally risky. He or she will know that there truly is a "cost of discipleship," and will be prepared, with God's help and by His grace, to pay that cost---whatever it turns out to be. A faithful Christian will be ever mindful of the words of Christ himself, "If anyone would be my disciple, then let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me."