public faith

It seems in some quarters that you can’t be a Christian and be in public life. How dare Christians be shaped by their beliefs! How dare they try to practise those beliefs in public. It is the old sad misunderstanding of religious faith: it is a private thing best left at home and certainly not to be spoken about in public.

Jesus begs to differ. His followers are not to keep their faith a secret. It would be as foolish as lighting a lamp and putting it under a bucket. Our faith is meant to be public, meant to shape how we live in the public square. We are not to be bullied by those who loudly preach tolerance and yet are intolerant of Christians articulating and living out their faith.

Of course it is regrettable if Christians seek to impose their views on others, if they are stridently aggressive in telling people how they have got all the answers. Our faith can never be enforced on others. But the way of Jesus can be recommended, can be lived out, can act as the foundation of all we do in our community.

Keeping it a secret may silence our critics but will also rob them of the opportunity of embracing that faith for themselves.

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