Mike turned to drugs and alcohol at around eleven or twelve years of age. Later in life, he would end up homeless, pursuing a life on the streets. But one day, God miraculously opened his eyes to the good news about Jesus. And he’s never been the same. He’s now a member of his church where he faithfully serves as a deacon.
I sit down with my old high school buddy, and now Leukemia-survivor, to ask what he means when he says that he wishes everyone would have a “successful brush with death” and that “getting cancer was the best thing that ever happened to me.”
Integrity matters. If you want to serve as a testimony to Christian ethics, then you’re actually going to need to hold them, and that means holding them with consistency. Hypocrisy and double-standards will effectively serve to mute your witness.
It’s hard to cry out against a sin in one instance when, in another instance, you’ve excused, blown-off, or chosen to overlooked that sin.
What if the sort of “power” and influence Jesus intended for his followers wasn’t one of ends-justify-the-means ethical compromise and political power-plays, but witness to a “revolutionary”-like ethic like that of Mt 5-7, with all the integrity, lowliness, and self-sacrifice involved therein (5:13-16)?
Many advocate ethical compromise for the sake of “the greater good” (or “the lesser of two evils”). But what shall it profit the church if it gains a whole election but loses its witness? What if the church’s witness is the actual means of its impact?
“Stepped out in faith.” “God laid it on my heart.” “Ask Jesus into your heart.” All of these are what we call “Christianese” phrases. UrbanDictionary.com defines “Christianese” as “A communicable language within the Christian subculture with words and phrases created, redefined, and / or patened that applies only to the Christian sphere of influence.” Another example of this sort of sub-cultured speech is the term “witnessing” or “being a witness.” Now, I have absolutely no problem with this particular “Christian term.” In fact, I think it is quite helpful (contrary to most ambiguous Christian lingo). I also believe it can teach us something incredibly vital to our Christian life. However, as with all “Christianese,” confusion can also accompany its use.