Christianity has always been viewed as something of a sub-culture, as has just about every other major religious system, but Christianity more so, in my opinion, because of its nearly unique exclusivity (Islam may be the only other that I can think of right off the top of my head that is equally exclusive). There is no room for other religious thinking in Christianity, unlike so many of our New Age, Eastern, and postmodern religions and philosophies that are so very accepting of other faiths. As a result whenever we as Christians suggest that something is sinful, we are merely written off as a wacko subculture that has absolutely no relevance on ‘reality’.
Why is it so easy to push Christians aside like this? It boils down, I think, to the fact that most people are content with their lives as they are. Very few people I know like change, let alone the kind of the drastic change that results from discovering that you have been doing incorrectly some of the daily things in your life. As I stated in my “previous article”:http://open-dialogue.com/blog/?p=298, no one likes to be told they are wrong. No one likes to find that their entire lives have been wasted, to some extent or another, that they have been lived in vain because of some ignorance or misunderstanding. That’s the sort of horrible reality they are faced with when they are told that some of the most fundamental elements of their lives are sinful and wrong. It means that all the time, energy, and resources that have gone into that activity have been absolutely and utterly wasted, thrown away and spent on something that, in the long run, yields absolutely no return. It’s almost like throwing money into the stock market, only to have it crash and lose the entire investment, or placing a huge wager on a casino game, only to be taken by the house and left with only the lint in your pocket.
That’s not an easy thing to swallow. It means that you made a mistake, an error in judgment, and as we all know, it hits the ol’ pride in an awfully sensitive place. Is it any wonder that the subject of sin is such a touchy one with most people? We really don’t like to be wrong, let alone find out that so many years were wasted on vain pursuits.
Fortunately, when we _do_ get it right, when we repent and turn our lives over to God, the rewards He gives for doing so far outweigh the prior squandered opportunities. It is just that swallowing our pride is so very hard to do, and for many people, it is an impossible hurdle. That is why we as Christians must be loving and accepting from the start. It is that kind of support that makes it easier for others to push past their own pride, the only true barrier between them and God. It also enables us to support and uplift one another, since Christians are still just as vulnerable to pride. ((We have not been perfected yet!))
However we are perceived and received by the rest of the world, our faith _is_ relevant, but more importantly, it is living and it is powerful because it is based on a living and powerful Savior!