Secret Christians

Secret Christians

Many people did believe in him, however, including some of the Jewish leaders. But they wouldn’t admit it for fear that the Pharisees would expel them from the synagogue. For they loved human praise more than the praise of God. (John 12:42-43)

Read: 2 Kings 25:27-30, Jeremiah 52:31-34, Ezekiel 29:17 – 30:19, Ezekiel 47:1 – 48:35

Relate: My family moved from Syracuse to Rochester right near the beginning my eighth grade year. In Syracuse I had always gone to a Christian school and now for the first time I was to be attending a public school. To say it was a culture shock was a bit of an understatement. I handled this change in culture with about as much grace and tact as an angry bull in a small cramped china shop. I had an abundance of truth but practically no grace. It did not take long for pretty much everyone at school to learn I was a Christian and that if my mouth was open I was probably telling you all about it as well as what you were doing wrong.

One day I was in a nearly empty hall getting something from my locker when another student came up to me and began a conversation:

Him – Hey
Me – What?
Him – I’m just like you.
Me – What do you mean?
Him – I’m a Christian.
Me – Really? I never would have guessed. What makes you think you’re a Christian?
Him – You know. I believe in God.
Me – So what? Demons believe in God too. That doesn’t make them Christians.

He looked at me confused. Like I said, I wasn’t one for tact back in those days. I much preferred an argument to an agreement. That doesn’t change the truth of what I was presenting. This kid was trying to live his life as a secret Christian. He was more concerned with breaking in with the cool crowd than he was with standing up for Jesus. Eventually, plenty of other Christians started coming out of the woodwork. There were a lot of others who were willing to stand up and be counted. He wasn’t one of them. Eventually, a lot of others could be found sharing their faith in their study halls and in the lunch room. To my knowledge most of the others never even realized that he considered himself one of them. Over the years I would have plenty of other conversations with him. He knew all the right things and he really did believe that he believed it, but He loved the pull of the world even more. By the end of high school, while so many others were standing ever stronger and taller for Christ, he was beginning to reject more and more the truth of what he knew.

React: I was learning a sad lesson through that student’s life. Nobody can survive for long as a secret Christian. A light hidden under a bowl is soon snuffed out for lack of oxygen. Christ is contagious. If He is really living in us, then He will be flowing out of us. If we are trying to prevent or hide the flow of God then it will soon become stagnant, stale, and poisoned. If we aren’t life giving, then we are not truly alive.

Do my co-workers know who I am? If they don’t realize I am a Christian, then is it really them that I am fooling or is it myself? When was the last time I have shared my faith? When was the last time I have told someone what Christ has done for me in a real time, face to face situation? Is my light shining? If not, has it gone out?

Respond: 

God, I recognize that the only way I can truly stand for You is through Your strength. I can never do it on my own. The pull of the things of this world will always be too strong. The lure of the desires in my flesh is killing. Make me come alive. Breathe on me. Breathe through me. One of the proofs of life is reproduction and I ask You for spiritual children. Give me the courage to boldly speak out what You have done for me. When I speak place an anointing on my words so that they will have an eternal impact. I want to live for You but more than that, I want to be seen and known as one who lives for You. Through my life let all who can, see Your glory.

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22 thoughts on “Secret Christians

  1. Hi B.J. Your comment about the demons believe, too sounds like me. But then I do go on with a bit more tact. lol I enjoyed your article. I’m still chuckling.

  2. This is the exact subject we discussed in Sunday school today. We are studying Weirsby’s guide to John.
    This is a very powerful subject that we all need to be honest with ourselves about every minute of every day.
    He promised us an abundant life if we follow him…the world makes NO such promise to us.
    Thank you for bringing even more clarity to this topic to me today.

  3. Then there are stories from behind the Iron curtain and from countries where the predominant religion oppresses and persecutes Christians. These stories often tell of those who hide their faith in order to fly under the social radar in order to help those who are carrying the gospel to their fellow citizens. From religious leaders to govt officials a secretly gather intel necessary to help local church leaders.

    This is in no way intended to argue the point of your post, simply to augment. I agree that in a free society there is no excuse not to be open with our faith. Yet in such countries where govt officials, often working with religious figures, sanction the abuse, and even murder, of “public” Christians, there are those who risk their lives to secretly aid open believers by hiding their faith. Often they aren’t even known by the local church body as a fellow believer, meaning they cannot even enjoy the gathering of fellow saints, instead suffering isolation and even the anger and distrust of the very “public” believers whom they are assisting, their identities protected by the few who know the truth.

    The only question I have is “will it happen here some day, for the same reason.”

  4. This reminds me when I first got to Sweden, and someone asked what my parents did, and when I said “missionaries” they said, “oh, we don’t talk about things like that there, you shouldn’t do that” and it was so odd for me…What was even odder was that he was “spiritual” (his words, not mine), but would never say so…it was interesting.

  5. What shall I render to the Lord
    For all His benefits toward me?
    I will take up the cup of salvation,
    And call upon the name of the Lord.
    I will pay my vows to the Lord
    Now in the presence of all His people.
    Precious in the sight of the Lord
    Is the death of His saints.

    Psalm 116:8-15

  6. Amen to all these prayers Lord! Let my life count. Reading this piece today struck a cord afresh in me. Am I really living for the Lord? Do I reflect His love and grace? Father forgive me and help me to grow each day to be more like you reflecting your love, kindness and grace. May my conduct and character be Christ-like more and more. Wow! This is soul searching. Thanks!

  7. I’m terrible about just coming right out and saying something. I have often been asked why I won’t drink (or on very rare occasions), don’t do drugs and I’m just like because God. It always makes me laugh. After I get to know people, I have a multitude of Bibles at all times, I will often pass one along if they show interest. Many of my friends have heard of Jesus but somehow still believe its works based for salvation and we often DISCUSS (I won’t argue) things like grace.

  8. Todd White made this analogy that is in part a reason for my boldness.

    Paraphrasing: “If someone were to pour gasoline on you and light you on fire, there is no way you’d just stand there silent; you’d scream, or drop and roll, but you would not keep quiet. And it should be the same with the Holy Spirit. We have the fire of God in us… how can we be silent.

      • My best advice is to just go do it. There is no formula or system for witnessing that will ever come across as genuine as the natural outflow of everyday conversation. I found when I had a crush, when I was in love with someone, they seemed to invade all my thoughts and conversations. When we fall more deeply in love with Jesus, wont He do the same?

        • Yes. Thanks. I struggle with saying it to my others at my Christian school because they just tell they are already Christians, even though it is not clear through their actions and words. I want to speak in love but don’t exactly know how? I try to ask them not to swear or gossip or do other things and they usually ignore me or chang the subject. This post really gave me the reminder to perserve
          Thanks. ☺

  9. I’ve always wondered if sharing your faith could also be casting your pearls before swine? I think it’s important to share your faith, but through practice even more than words.

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