For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile. This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.” (NLT)
Living as we do in a society which misunderstands our faith, it is easy to be swamped by unfair criticism, by accusations levelled against us that imply we believe in some bearded old gentleman in the sky. It is easy to be ridiculed for believing in miracles, or holding moral standards that don’t fit in with contemporary opinion.
And it is easy to be discouraged by those who level powerful arguments against our faith even when that faith is properly understood. We may be made to feel like gullible children who have kissed their brains goodbye. Or who use faith as some sort of crutch to help them limp through life in the vain hope of a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.
But we need not be ashamed. It has always been so. In fact, Christianity is healthiest when it is on the margins, and grew corrupt when it became the “in thing”. I, for one, am a Christian because this faith makes the most sense of the world I live in, and tells me the best truth about myself. It tells me what is wrong and how it can be put right.
There are powerful and seductive voices raised against us. But we have hold of a greater power. And that is the power of God to put things and people right. Our faith is not some bitter medicine to be forced down others’ throats. It is good news, and thus no cause for shame.