If Religious Freedom Is So Important, Why Do So Few of Us Exercise it?Monday, June 01, 2015
Religious freedom has certainly been in the news over the past few years, given the controversy over many elements of President Obama’s healthcare program and the recent religious freedom bills in Indiana and Arkansas. But if I am honest, I sometimes wonder why we, as Christians, are so concerned about religious freedom. Especially when don’t seem to exercise our freedom very often.
As I travel around the country making the case for the Christian worldview, I sometimes ask my audiences about their own efforts to share the gospel or defend the faith. In most settings (at churches, Christian conferences and schools), there are only one or two attendees who say they regularly share their Christian beliefs in any setting. Think about that for a minute. When was the last time you shared the truth about Jesus with someone at work, at school, at family gatherings or (dare I say) in public? I bet if you are honest, it’s been a while. For the majority of us (yes, the majority) it’s probably never happened.
I’ve written about evangelism quite a bit at ColdCaseChristianity.com, and I think there are several obstacles (either real or imagined) that keep us from sharing what we know to be true. Here is my list, hyperlinked to articles I’ve written to help you overcome whatever fears may have:
- We mistakenly think our beliefs about Christianity are entirely subjective
- We think we have to be a theologian or apologist to share effectively
- We aren’t sure who we should share with
- We are simply afraid to take the first step
- We think we have to know someone well before we can share the truth
- We’re not sure how to engage people (especially people we don’t know well)
- We’re afraid of feeling uncomfortable at any point in the process
- We hold pessimistically low expectations of being successful
- We have been conditioned to speak a Christian language foreign to the secular culture
- We think our success as evangelists is entirely dependent on our individual effort
Take a look at that list; I bet your hesitancy is represented somewhere. It’s time to get busy, folks. Don’t let your excuses become obstacles. If we want to be consistent in our concerns and objections related to the shrinking religious freedoms we are about to experience, we need to be a people who actively exercise our religious freedom on a daily basis. We can’t simply complain about losing something we never used in the first place. Exercise your freedom. Speak up. Share the truth.
I’ll post these ten evangelism obstacles later this week in the form of a free Bible insert.