November 23, 2009
I think some of the "embarrassment" comes from understanding that you can easily become the "elephant" in the room with your statement. However, Christ made it very clear that our proclamation or denial of himself to others has consequences such as being denied to the Father. I think nobody wants to be the "weird" one, but if we can discuss silly things such as super heroes (Spiderman, Batman, etc) we can discuss the way, the truth and the life. God help us!
I think this is due to our evangelical code-talk where "saved" means hell avoidance. To say I am "saved" is as even an 8 year old now recognizes making a statement about an entire worldview, one that likely for an 8 year old is tied to bunches of things, practices, communities, etc. <br><br>"The fireman saved the cat" means something different from "I am saved". The brevity of the sentence assumes an insider language. Even an 8 year old gets this. Missiologically that should make us pause.
I'm not embarrassed by my faith, and I'll openly talk about it. But I do hesitate to put it on display, with loud exclamations, or by inserting a reference to God where it doesn't actually need to be. There is something about that which feels like showing off, like Pharisees praying in public where they may be seen of men. Perhaps that is also because I know my faith is full of questions, doubts, conundrums, that using a few simple phrases may mean one thing to me and another to my listener, and not wanting to blow myself up in a false picture of virtue.
I grew up in a family of university academics. I didn't inherit the same intelligence genes, and when I became a Christian I wondered how that would affect my family's view of my new faith. Sure enough, every time I mention Christianity, they look at me with pity in their eyes, as if I became a Christian because I'm too simple to understand "real life." So, yes, at times I have been embarrassed to mention it. There are times when I don't want to be told that "intelligent" people don't believe in fairy tales. The truth is so clear to me, though, and I wonder how they don't see it--intelligence and high IQs obviously don't mean much!
I have really mixed feelings about this one. <br><br>On the one hand, I find it really awkward if a Christian hijacks the conversation with a statement which doesn't match the rest of the conversation - e.g.<br>'The goalkeeper made a good save'<br>'Jesus's save of me was even better'<br><br>But I agree, I almost always assume that Christian conversation isn't welcome, even if I have no evidence. Some of my colleagues have no problem regaling me with their drunken exploits - why shouldn't they listen to me talk about God?<br><br>I think I need to get my spiritual life into the normal arena, and not think that it stays in the personal domain.
Great post. I have to admit, a lot of my hesitance in being more vocal about my faith is being associated with some of the more radical and/or political views that come with the label "Christian." I'm passionate for Jesus, but the so-called "gospel" presented on most Christian TV stations makes me cringe. And the interconnectedness of American Christianity and the Republican party also makes it difficult at times, too. (And I lean Republican!) <br><br>Those shouldn't be excuses, but and I know I shouldn't be ashamed of my fellow brothers and sisters in the faith. But honestly, it's tough.
I'm not embarrassed by the cross, or the blood or the name of Jesus, but I am embarrassed by what passes as the Church. As disciples we are students and followers of Christ, I see little of that in the health and wealth Gospel and what passes for Christianity on TV. I'm embarrassed when people look at young people who drink to excess, smoke weed, attend violent and sexual entertainment and then say they are followers of Christ. Or pastors who feel they must use coarse language to relate to the peasants . . . how insulting. All of that embarrasses me. So, when people ask me if I'm a Christian or am "saved", I rather answer with qualification and explanation. There is the "club" called Christianity, open to whomever wants to hang around; and there's a Christianity that follows Christ, including dying to self.
I'm thinking about just exactly how honest I'm willing to be in this comment ... Embarrassed? Too many times. Missed opportunities? I don't want to know the exact number. The big question is, "Why is this true in my life?" A thousand reasons are running through my mind: my church doesn't emphasize evangelism like it once did ... others will think I'm weird ... that's just not what people talk about in society today ... I'm scared (ah, we're getting closer to the truth) ... I think for me personally, the question of why there is embarrassment and, consequently, missed witnessing opportunities is because my focus is on the wrong person in the relationship. It should be on the Person of Christ, not on my own fears and inadequacies. This may not be true for any other person who reads your post, but that's how I would have to answer your questions, Jerod, honestly speaking.
Perhaps a good opener would be "Well, now that you've told me all about your drunken exploits, even though I don't drink, I'm sure you won't mind me telling you all about the church retreat I went on this week-end. We all like to share, right?
Hey Jerod, once again, you have some software or other displaying comments on the same post in two or three discrete columns, so everybody doesn't get to read everybody else's comments. Please twist the programmer's ears or something.
Problems with Disqus are really out of our hands since it's a third party application. I will mention it to our web guy to see if there's anything he can do. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Ha! I like this! Siarlys, I don't know you (except through your TC comments), but I can definitely see you saying this to somebody!! And I mean that in the best way. :-)
A few years ago a friend asked me if I would like to help her staff a small booth at our cityâ€™s Rose Festival Fun Center. The booth was a tiny trailer with a goofy sign on top that read, â€œAre you saved?â€. I am a business owner, part of the advertising industry in our city with many professional connections. I was eager to talk to people about Jesus but dreading running into someone I know. I realized though (at least intellectually), that Jesus hung naked on a cross before his entire family and community for me. In some sense it must have been a very embarrassing spectacle. He preferred not going to the cross, but said, â€œnot my will, but thy will be doneâ€. Despite the shame, embarrassment and pain, He did it for me. How can I do anything less? <br><br>I think that when we give our testimony or talk about being â€œsavedâ€, we too, are getting naked. We show a very intimate, vulnerable part of ourself. The world considers the cross foolishness. I am currently reading a volume on Church history and the Roman intellectuals during the first century considered Christians ignorant bumpkins, intellectual midgets. Things havenâ€™t changed much. <br><br>I wouldnâ€™t denigrate the word â€œsavedâ€ to mean â€œHell avoidanceâ€. Thatâ€™s ridiculous and a charge that theologians and non-believers level at new believers. When I was saved in 1970 I knew that my selfish life was over, I was no longer lord and it was the first day of my birth into a new Kingdom. I didnâ€™t aquire a new â€œfaithâ€ or mentally assent to the Bibleâ€™s doctrines, I put my whole future into the hands of the savior. (And, yes, I know that I was saved, I am being saved and I will be saved...Sozo is a process, but it has a birthdate). Iâ€™m not being religious here, that was how I felt and really how I feel today. <br><br>As it turned out, no business acquaintances came by and we were actually able to pray and counsel with many who wanted to meet Jesus. It was really outside my comfort zone, but I love those adventures that stretch us. My best friend today is somebody I prayed with at 19. So I think embarrassment could be a natural response to revealing the most personal things about yourself to another. I wish it wasnâ€™t, but Jesus overcame it for our sake and we need to get over it for our brotherâ€™s sake too.
Another issue I have is that this is all really personal to me, and I don't talk about deep personal issues to many people at all.<br><br>If I had to write a sentence about 'love', for instance, I wouldn't write 'I love my husband', I would probably write 'I love chocolate'.<br><br>So how much is the embarrasment not wanting to bare my soul, regardless whether the topic is spiritual or not.
i think abaout this every day! It's a real struggle in todays society.<br><br>U guys got any plans to make your videos embedable in other sites? - i'd love to put this on my site.
Hi Mark. That particular video is from Walk the Way and it's embeddable. Here's the link to the video. Just below it you will see the link in blue to embed it. <br><br><a href="http://walktheway.net/video/443-embarrassed-to-be-saved/" rel="nofollow">http://walktheway.net/video/44...</a>
I grew up in a fundamentalist Christian culture and I felt the same way as a kid, but it was because I didn't want to state something I didn't feel was true. It was a conflict between the pressure to "witness" and the pressure to tell the truth. Both would have got me in trouble with god. Plus, how would an 8 year old kid know that they were saved?<br><br>I think this type of thing is so high pressure and really exists in a world that is not very authentic. When one is deeply imbedded in this type of world view, it is often difficult to see that there may be a lot of other reasons for being embarrassed about claiming that one is saved.
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