The Christian Life and National Day of Prayer
May 5, 2011Posted by on
It’s not an easy thing to be a “Christian” in the world today. The skepticism, doubt, intellectual and scientific objection and at times, downright hatred towards any religious affiliation, especially Christianity, can easily lead to us running into the arms of our own circle of friends, family, and church who agree with us at large avoiding the outside world who beckons an explanation within the boundaries of their own standards for what is rightfully one’s own faith. Often times, Christians in general are accused of having the “I’m right and you’re wrong” mentality towards the world. In my experience, the majority who do the finger pointing are merely doing just that; pointing fingers. They seldom offer any rational explanation or a reputable alternative other than their own worldview which may or may not have any weight to begin with and is often associated with the agenda to discredit Christianity and religion in general. Other times their claims and arguments against Christianity tend to be misunderstanding the basic principles of faith, misinformation or out right lies. In this scientific culture, ravaged by intellect, logic, the need for empirical evidence to deem anything as fact, and dare I say a borderline fascist form of scholarship, what does it mean to be a Christian and how do we cope with this opposition?
Most people regardless of faith still consider America to be at large a Christian nation. But the word “Christian” has become very obscure. It’s often synonymous with a political position, ethical and moral choke holds, and other traditions and rituals that categorize itself as being a religion or worse yet, a cult. We’re allegedly the cause of wars, suffering, hatred, division and anything negative associated with humanity. We are the exclusivists (I think I just made up a word) who don’t accept any scholastic, scientific, and intellectual discoveries which directly contradict our worldview. But if we are to be honest, the church is not free from its own faults. The church at large has not done a great job in addressing various topics such as homosexuality, paranormal, supernatural, etc. Although there seems to be a movement of Christians heading in this direction, the focus at large seems to be in the condemning of others, that is to say going on the defense, rather than showing God’s will through our lives. This is not to say that we Christians should not partake in apologetic inquiry, but rather pointing out the retaliating nature of debates and arguments with a non-believing world seem futile.
The issue the secular world has with Christians is often limited to a sweeping generalization of the behavior of certain individuals who labeled themselves “Christian”. Heretical teaching is real, false teachers are abound, and un-biblical and unsound representation of the word of God is undoubtedly out there and has been throughout the ages. But this by no means proves or disproves the deity of Jesus Christ and the authority of the written Word. Behavior does not verify belief. However, it is apparent that our behavior does affect the perception of God to the unbelieving world. As non-sequitur as that first argument is, it is still our responsibility as believers to conduct ourselves in a certain manner to portray God into the world and re-present the truth to the best of our ability.
I remember growing up seeing people picketing on the street corner with signs that said, “You’re going to Hell unless you believe in Jesus!” This was a tremendous turn off and one of many reason why I thought Christians were nuts growing up. Although I’ve come to believe that statement, I would never hold up a sign and tell someone that they are going to hell since I understand that God is the judge, not me. These methods can be seen as pointing the finger back at the non-believing world instead of focusing on the calling and purpose set before us in Christ. I am certainly guilty. As someone who grew up without any faith or religion, and being somewhat a competitive person, I often times feel good when debating with a non-believer and logically break down their arguments or claims. But the feeling is short lived and I often times repent and think about how the point is not to win an argument, the point is to share the gospel so that the message of Jesus Christ can be relayed clear and concise. If we can focus on this, all of the attempts to discredit or outright bring down Christianity becomes mute. If we as Christians truly believe that the bible is the Word of God and that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior, then we really don’t have to stress over the opposing world. I’ve heard how the bible is like a lion; it doesn’t need defending, just simply let loose. Hebrews 4:12 comes to mind:
“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”-HEBREWS 4:12
As an AV and sound engineer for a church, I get to sit through a lot of services and events. A couple weeks ago, I was assigned to a Jr high service. In it, the Jr high pastor had a message that was so simple yet very profound. It was basically that there are actually five gospels. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and the fifth gospel being YOU! Our lives are meant to be a representation of the gospel. But this can only be done through our own decision to do so, and a willingness to let God’s will be done. Another good friend and pastor once made an analogy that each one of our lives is like the individual square mirror on a disco ball reflecting God’s light into the room (world). The better we polish the mirror, the better we reflect the light.
“You are the light of the world.” -MATTHEW 5:14
NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER
So as we come together on this national day of prayer, let us remember and take a moment to pray for our government, our media, education, business, military, family, and the church. For me personally, as a Christian who has a fascination with conspiracy theory, paranormal, supernatural and other topics that aren’t found in a typical Christian, it’s easy for me to point the finger and call out the obvious darkness and the problems that is present in the sectors of society I mentioned above. But today, I am humbled and need to remind myself that God has gifted me with a tremendously awesome life. I think it’s important to expose the darkness, but sometimes, we just need to pray.
Government – Pray for our leaders, as well as the judges in our courts. Ask God to grant them wisdom to act with integrity.
Media – Pray on behalf of the actors, musicians, and athletes our young people seek to emulate. Ask the Lord to strengthen and embolden any Christians in these fields. But more importantly, pray for those who are willingly portraying and influencing our society away from truth, integrity, and morality, that they may have conviction and awareness of their influence and power.
Education – Pray for our young people. Bless them and pray for the teachers and leaders to provide a morally sound and wholesome environment.
Business – Pray that God will raise up His ambassadors in the workplace. Pray for God’s will to be working through our daily tasks and assignments. Pray that our executives, business leaders, and corporations to conduct themselves honorably and honestly.
Military – Pray for the troops who serve each day at the bases, around the world, and here within our borders. Pray for their families. Pray for the Lord’s protection of these brave men and women. Pray also for those who have lost a loved one in battle. Ask that God’s comfort would be upon them in a special way. Pray that our media’s accounts of US Military actions are relayed fairly and impartially. Pray for divine protection and guidance for our armed forces. Ask God to intercede for military chaplains and loved ones at home.
Family – Pray for loving homes that model the virtues such as sacrifice, patience, and unconditional love to a watching world. Pray for the family to be preserved as God intended. Pray for those whose families are broken. Pray for those who feel alone and hopeless since the truth is that we are all adopted children of our heavenly Father.
Church – Pray for unity and boldness in proclaiming God’s Word!