Mobilizing the Church. Transforming the World.

How Do We Defend and Commend Our Faith?

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2-men-talkingI’ve always been concerned for people who are far from God. When I first engaged with the Christian faith as a pre-teen I was taught that it is every Christian’s responsibility to share their faith. Over time it became more than a duty, it became a deep concern for others.

Through the years this burden for others has not ceased but has become stronger, particularly as I’ve experienced friends and loved ones rejecting the truths of my faith.

I’ve attempted to think deeply about truth, life, relationships, and spirituality. I have been willing to step back from my cherished faith assumptions and re-evaluate, examine, and question. This has not moved me away from my Christian beliefs but has in fact solidified my convictions about God, Jesus, the Bible, and the Gospel.

Today I think I am more open than ever to critically examine what I believe. But honestly, the more I do, the more I discover what I have come to believe is enduring truth, that which I continue to find in my orthodox Christian beliefs.

Over the past 10 years I have been a serious student of culture, both in the West and around the world. Most of this research was in the context of missions and particularly church planting, and most of my work over the past 2 decades has been centered on church planting, both locally and globally. However, over the past year I have begun to think more about culture and how it relates to religion, politics, and economics. I hope to start a new journey in my blog now of reflecting on what I see and learn in culture.

I have become increasingly aware of the fact that my country, the United States of America, is decreasingly a Christendom culture influenced predominantly by Protestantism (like it was in the first 200 years of our nation.) But it is increasingly becoming a pluralistic culture influenced by many ideologies. In fact, the privileged place that Christianity once held is being attacked and replaced by not only secularism, but almost anything other than Christianity. This influence is becoming evident in legislation, politics, economics, education, as well as religious practices.

The question I ask myself today, more than ever, is this: “How do we, as members of the Christian faith community, properly offer what we take to be the blessings of our faith, to others? How can we both defend and commend our faith without needlessly offending our friends and loved ones and exacerbating the tensions now being posed by pluralism, and particularly secularism?”

Yes, the message of the cross will always be an offense to some, but how do we share it without us being the offense? If you have thoughts, I would love to hear your comments.

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About Angelo Gonzalez

Angelo is the Associate Pastor of Creekside Community Church, a multi-ethnic church plant in the Houston, TX area. He also is the Marketing Director for The Growth Coach Houston, a business coaching firm and New Church Initiatives, a missional church planting organization.

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