Christian Behavior in a Secular World

Confession time – I like to watch the true crime-forensic programs, where they walk you through how they solved real crimes. I guess that goes with my heavy science nature and background.

A recent one I was watching was about a pastor, who, to make a long story short, committed adultery and murders. While watching the program, I heard many friends and parishioners say that they were shocked and surprised to learn about the pastor’s actions behind closed doors.

I got to thinking of how, over the past few decades, a number of Christian leaders fell from grace and their pulpit due to hidden sins, most of which seem to be linked to pornography and adultery. When their sins were exposed to the public, the fallen Christian leaders were not only embarrassed and disgraced, but they were fired and in a few instances, their entire ministry collapsed. Some were even sent to prison for their actions.

I’m sure you have heard other people use these fallen Christian leaders as part of their argument against Christianity. They point out the hypocrisy of someone preaching Christ who then turns around and starts breaking a number of the Ten Commandments. I’ve hear them and I always point out what Scripture says about human nature in general:

Trending: Normalizing Sin Has Consequences

“For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:22b-23

However, I don’t stop there with my response. I point out that when someone does lead a very righteous life, that they are often criticized for being ‘holier than thou’.

For example, Vice President Mike Pence who is a devout Christian, has been frequently criticized for his living and adhering to his faith. Pence refuses to allow himself to be alone in a room or car with a woman. It’s not because he is tempted, but rather he does not want to put himself in a situation that could be misunderstood. If he travels, his wife Karen is often with him, or he has a number of people with him.

Pence is criticized for living his faith and he would be strongly criticized if he violated his faith. In today’s secular world, you are condemned if you do and condemned if you don’t live as a Christian should live.

So, as a Christian how should we live?

From the time my two daughters were little girls, they learned that the rule of the house was 1 Corinthians 10:31:

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

That doesn’t mean we all have to run around bragging about our faith or trying to force it on everyone we meet. Sadly, some Christians are so overbearing on their intent to win everyone over to Jesus Christ, that they push more people away by their behavior, than they save.

Some years ago, a work acquaintance of mine won a number of people over to Jesus by NOT witnessing to them, but by living his faith. I recall a number of occasions when someone asked Don if he was a Christian and he would say yes, he was. They would say that they thought so because of how he conducted himself. He didn’t rant and rave about being saved, he just lived and conducted himself as a Christion should. He didn’t allow himself to display anger. He didn’t use foul language and he never said anything off-color or distasteful. He went out of this way to do his job and to help others. Several co-workers became Christians as a direct result of Don’s quiet witness of living as a Christian should.

I worked with Don for 2 years and during that time, he quietly did more to calm my explosive anger and foul mouth than anyone else had. He was an example that I will never forget.

In today’s world, a Christian has to understand that we are all sinners and fall short, but we can make a difference in the lives of those around us when we learn to live our faith, but not in a holier than thou manner. The secular world will criticize us no matter what we do, but then our motive is to live as Christ and not to please the secular world.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

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R.L. David Jolly holds a B.S. in Wildlife Biology and an M.S. in Biology – Population Genetics. He has worked in a number of fields, giving him a broad perspective on life, business, economics and politics. He is a very conservative Christian, husband, father and grandfather who cares deeply for his Savior, family and the future of our troubled nation.
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