A Guest Post By Larry Kutzler, Producer God’s Work in Progress
Christians are like guns, people want to ban our presence in the marketplace, in politics, and in society as a whole. Our values and moral foundations collide with the values of this world. We are often seen in the same light as the Islamic Jihadists who want to bring Sharia law into all aspects of Western society. Most of us are aware of this hostility toward our faith and practice, but even when Christianity has a moment of true heroism, the hero’s are the people, and not the Lord Jesus who gives them the strength. I am referring to the senseless murders in Charleston last week. Interview after interview, the loved ones of that AME church talked about forgiveness, mercy, and grace, yet somehow the name of Jesus Christ was missing from the discussion. Now, I am not sure if it was purposed that way by the media, or an oversight of people in great pain. In either case, it will take the love and grace of Jesus Christ for them to recover, and move forward without hate, without bitterness, and without malice.
Then you have the MPV of the recent NBA championships, Stephan Curry who made it clear who was behind his successful career in the NBA.
The headline on the original story of Curry’s acceptance speech was, “Curry Told By The NBA Not to Mention Religion!” Of course, Curry ignored their request, and gave credit to His Savior. However, the time is coming, and probably is here, where the mention of Jesus Christ will not be accepted speech in the the public arena. I am finding that more Christian leaders are speaking warnings to the church, but I wonder how many of us are paying attention?
Virtue is a good thing, but it can be dangerous when you uphold it as your standard for goodness. I realize I would rather live in a virtue driven society than not, but remember virtue does not make you right before God. Virtue may bring the accolades of men, but before God it does nothing without having faith in Jesus Christ. That is why virtue can be so dangerous, “look at how wonderful the people in Charleston are reacting,” yet the reason they have such a demeanor is because of Christ, not because they are virtuous people. Jesus is the grace, He is the forgiveness, and He is the mercy people are see coming out of Charleston these days, and not because they are a community of virtue. As humans we know nothing about forgiveness other than what we see modeled for us by Jesus Christ upon the cross. We have no resources within ourselves to forgive, if it wasn’t for His example, and His teaching that requires it. The virtue we have as Christians is because of Jesus who lives and breathes within us, it is not of ourselves. Again, however, as soon as you give any credit to Jesus Christ, it becomes an intolerance speech. You can talk about forgiveness, mercy and model the very virtues of God, but don’t mention His name. His name is offensive, it divides, it causes people to be uncomfortable, and soon it will not be tolerated in the arena of public debate.
That is why we need people like Stephen Curry to be out spoken about his faith by naming the person of Jesus Christ as the reason for personal success. Jesus needs to have a more front and center presence in our lives, as the reason for life, and the purpose for which we live and die.
As you can see, living out the virtues of Jesus Christ can make you an outcast, yet at the same time if your virtue is centered in social justice and not Jesus, you could be an idol worshipper. As I said, virtue can become dangerous.