Read Matthew 28:18-20
18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (NLT)
We live in a time when surrounding society seems intent on demanding that followers of Jesus keep their faith to themselves. Believe what you like in private, but don’t you dare share your beliefs, or worst of all, seek to persuade others to come to belief.
Of course we have to avoid arrogant and insensitive so-called ‘evangelism’. And of course people have the right to believe what they choose and we can’t enforce belief on any individual or demand society keep in step with us.
But Christianity can never be squeezed into one’s private space alone. Note that the Great Commission spoken here by Jesus is all about seeking to get others to follow Jesus. It is about making disciples and helping those disciples grow. And it encompasses all people everywhere. Therefore a faith which confines itself to private devotions and internal feelings falls short of what Jesus is on about.
Certainly our public faith must arise out of a personal faith. But it is too good to be kept to ourselves. It is a faith which is meant to shape all of life not just some so-called spiritual component. Jesus is Lord of all and we are invited by him to proclaim that Lordship.
Curling up in a corner arranged for us by those who want to silence faith which dares to challenge them is not obedient to this Great Commission. Our faith may be deeply personal, but can never be allowed to become merely private.