Last week, as our church staff gathered for a meeting, one of our pastor’s observed, “I know this is coming out of left field, but I think a lot of Christians are afraid to share their faith.” Nick Hart is a guy who deeply cares about people, and loves them in a way that Jesus would be proud. He went on to say, “You know why lot of Christians in our city are afraid to share their faith? Homosexuality! I know that sounds weird, but hear me out. So many Christians don’t know what to say about the modern-day, hot-button issue of homosexuality and so they decide not to bring up the Gospel. They know that mentioning Jesus or the Gospel will bring up an issue they don’t know how to answer. So they say nothing.”
Sadly Nick is right. Many American Christians back away from sharing their faith out of fear that someone will bring up a taboo subject they haven’t thought through enough that they can “make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence” 1 Peter 3:15 (Note – I personally think the issue of hell is also a current taboo subject that makes many Christians wince and avoid evangelism) Let’s be very clear. Jesus didn’t say, “make disciples, but if people bring up tricky taboo subjects just do your best to be nice and avoid the subject.” Jesus simply said, “Go and make disciples.” It bums me out that our response to our Evanga-phobia is to say nothing. Jesus’ command to make disciples remains right in front of us no matter how anxious it makes us feel. Therefore, why don’t we press into the taboo issue, read the bible’s description of human sexuality (or hell, or whatever the issue), read other books on the issue, speak with our pastor about our concerns, and ask God for insight into the difficult and divisive issue so that we can arrive at our own personal conclusions. A lost and hurting world needs us to get over our fear and share our faith “with gentleness and respect” no matter what taboo topic gets brought up. But let’s be clear – saying nothing is not the same as “gentleness and respect.” What do you think?