Recently, I have heard many Christians lamenting that we are being marginalized in our society. People, in general, seem to be far less interested in hearing the gospel than in times past. Instead, those of us who believe in the Bible are often viewed as fringe whackos. Many believers wonder, How could this have happened?
Personally, I don’t think this scenario is difficult to figure out. It’s called inoculation. Think about it. When a person receives an inoculation, they are given a very small amount – or a weakened strain – of a particular disease. The idea is that their body will then build an immunity to the disease, keeping them from contracting it.
The majority of people in our culture have encountered only a weak form of Christianity. The most common people who refer to themselves as Christians are those who may – at least occasionally – go to church on Sunday mornings, but have no real evidence of faith in their lives.
No wonder our society has no interest in Christianity. Why would anyone be favorably disposed toward a milquetoast, emasculated religion that clearly has no true impact on the lives of its adherents? The very idea is ludicrous.
The Church in America looks so much like the rest of society that people can see no discernible difference. So of course they ignore and marginalize us. We are seen as having nothing to offer of any real value.
So, perhaps, instead of laughing at the dirty joke around the water cooler with the other guys, what if we demonstrated that we weren’t interested in it? What if we told positive stories about our spouse instead of negative ones? What if we were clueless about last night’s popular racy television show, because we aren’t interested in that type of “entertainment”? What if we encouraged people instead of dragging them down? What if we genuinely cared for people, not just superficially? What if we publicly admitted that our lives are far from perfect, but that we have a Savior who is still at work in us?
Because, by His grace, He is.