Today was a rather normal day at my internship. I played the role of copy princess yet again, in lieu of anything else to do. As always, the “support staff” (i.e. secretaries) and I chatted as we went about our work. As I was copying, one lady and I hit upon the topic of Christianity and religion. We did not get into anything too deep, but it was interesting that it had taken almost three months of interning at this “Christian” counseling center for me to have a discussion about religion and faith with someone else. Granted, I am one of the shyest people I have ever met, and this summer has not been the easiest on my faith, but I suppose I expected such things to happen more often at a “Christian” business.
I do not mean to criticize or critique, but such is my nature. As the lady and I were talking, there were several times I wanted to challenge what she was saying, where I wanted to ask, “aren’t we as Christians called to something more, to sacrifice of ourselves?” But I didn’t. The idea was in my head, but given the office situation (a “Christian” boss who does not treat her employees like Christ would, and some rather sore but light-hearted employees), I did not know how to bring such ideas up, or if they would be appropriate. This discussion reminded me of the problem with Christianity in America – it is our civil religion, the status quo. And when Christianity becomes the status quo, it’s potency, it’s power, it’s central message seems to get lost. Christianity isn’t just about being a good person, it’s about laying your life down for others, about loving a God who loves you passionately and pursues you all the days of your life, about serving a Savior who went to hell and back to bring healing and restoration to your soul and your life and your world RIGHT NOW. That is the fiery message the civil religion of America seems to be missing.
However, the discussion we had did give me hope – perhaps talking about faith and belief is not so hard after all. And, if at least some Americans go to church and have a genuine interest in their Christianity, like this lady does, then perhaps there is hope for the American church yet. Perhaps revival is possible. We just have to figure out how to make our beliefs on Sunday translate into behavior on Monday. We have to choose to discuss faith, to live faith, to do things that are not normal and may not make much sense, to really live for our Savior.
Faith starts in the heart, and is demonstrated by action. “For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” ~ Romans 10:10
May we freely confess our Lord and Savior before men.