Should Christians Be "More Evangelical" in Public?
Yes, says UK prime minister David Cameron, who recently voiced his opinion that Christians in the public square should,
"… Frankly, [be] more evangelical about a faith that compels us to get out there and make a difference to people's lives … Crucially, the Christian values of responsibility, hard work, charity, compassion, humility, and love are shared by people of every faith and none—and we should be confident in standing up to defend them."
While Christian engagement in the public square has a complicated history (to say the least), Cameron's observation ties in well with recent thoughts from pastor and key immigration reformer in the U.S., Alexia Salvatierra. In a recent interview with Leadership Journal's PARSE site, Salvatierra said:
We so easily become functional atheists when we enter into the public arena. "Professionals" aren't supposed to speak as if God is real or pray informally in public. When Rev. Martin Luther King gave his I Have a Dream speech, he quoted Isaiah—and the nation resonated with the spiritual power in the words even if they were unfamiliar. We must not be afraid to be who we are; in fact, that's the only way that God can accomplish his full will through us. Of course, we must be both bold and humble at the same time. Humility is an accurate response to human limitations. I keep in mind the moment when Martin Luther stood before the Pope and said "Here I stand. I can do nothing else. God help me." That vulnerability and honesty makes it possible for people to hear the power of the Word coming through us—so that any offense is the offense of Christ and not the offense of arrogance.
That humility and honesty stands in sharp contrast to both "functional atheism," and culturally-bound, politicized faith.
Copyright © 2014 by the author or Christianity Today/Leadership Journal.
Click here for reprint information on Leadership Journal.
Subscribe to read more
- Monthly issues on web and iPad
- Web exclusives and archives on Leadership Journal.net
- Quarterly print issues