Pop the bubble
Christians place too much emphasis on keeping themselves safe from the secular culture. | Jess Byrd/THE CHIMES
I recently overheard a conversation between a classmate and her friend about her new job. While the conversation seemed full of excitement, it contained a little nervousness as well. She admitted to not expecting the amount of cursing that goes on in her office and said it shocked her. Personally, it shocked me more that she had not prepared for it.
As Biola students, we surround ourselves with a Christian atmosphere. We study and live our lives trying to become the best Christians we can — all good things. But sometimes I feel as though we pull ourselves away from the rest of our culture. When we do, we lose opportunities to reach out.
Though the majority of the United States population considers themselves Christian, as a whole, the nation has adopted a secular culture. “Living in sin is the new thing,” sings Britney Spears in her song “3.” Does this mean we should immerse ourselves in a sinful nature? Of course not. However, does standing against sin also mean we should not have anything to do with non-believers? Considering we have all sinned and God loves us equally, I do not think that either.
Jesus encourages us as Christians to “go and make disciples of all nations” in Matthew 28:19. We have all heard the verse here at Biola, I am sure. When someone prepares for traveling abroad, they read about the customs. They learn before they visit, in an effort to avoid making a fool of themselves. Yet, I believe many of us are ignorant of our own culture.
I am not condoning sinning or our secular culture. Nor am I saying we should snort cocaine in order to reach addicts. I am saying we should be aware. We live in a secular culture and we should learn about that culture. We should not hide in our Biola bubble or even our Christian bubble. How can we reach out to people who live next door if we feel too scared to associate with them, simply because we do not approve of their lifestyle?
If we continue to live in this perfectly shaped bubble, pretending everything is fine and not bothering to pop it, I believe we have fallen short as Christians. Despite Jesus never having sinned, He still spent time with sinners. He still left his comfort zone — most obviously when he left heaven to come to live with us on this fallen planet — and he did not turn his back on anyone. He learned about what went on and how others lived, yet he did not shy away from loving them or from getting involved in their sordid lives. He dirtied his hands, eating with the sinners and showing them that God loves them despite their lifestyle.
Remaining in our bubble of ignorance does not prepare us for the inevitable future of interacting with non-believers. Our co-workers, neighbors, children’s friends and almost anyone with whom we interact will not always believe the same thing we do or live the way we do. Becoming their friend and not sheltering ourselves ensures opportunities to minister to them. Do not live a life of ignorance and fear, and avoid having conversations like the one I overheard.