Undercover Christianity

So many Christians these days claim their faith is “personal” or “private.” Their faith and belief is orthodox and founded in truth, it’s just the expression of their faith and belief is nowhere near the biblical example. Thus I know there are Undercover Christians, but I contend there is no such thing as “Undercover Christianity.” Christianity by its nature is just a description of Christ-likeness. Jesus died publically… for everyone… because He loved us… and knew He was the only hope we had for salvation. To claim that our own faith in Jesus Christ is personal and private and not something to be overtly shared with the outside world actually communicates a lot without trying:

It tells people that you don’t believe the Gospel is universally true

Others will definitely have the impression that there are lots of ways to heaven and thus it doesn’t really matter what anyone believes. Why wouldn’t they? The Undercover Christian never lets people know that Jesus is the only hope to a dying world. The Gospel isn’t like a diet that works for some body types but not others. If the Gospel is true (and it is) then it’s the only hope that anyone has.

It tells people that you don’t really care about them

Others will certainly believe you don’t really care about them if they ever accidently find out you are a Christian. That’s a pretty messed up thing to figure-out that your bestie thinks you are going to hell and wasn’t nice enough to share the Gospel with you.

It tells people that it’s not that important to you

Other people will assume that your faith isn’t that big a deal. Why would they? We talk about stuff we’re interested in. We talk football during football season. We talk comic books when another MCU movie comes out. We talk Olympics every 4 years and pretend we always remember what events make up the pentathlon. If Jesus’ Death, Burial, and Resurrection never crack the small talk Top-25, how can you say it’s important to you?

If a Christian remains undercover they are sure to begin changing the Gospel in some subtle but catastrophic ways. Either God stops being as powerful as He is, or Jesus wasn’t as necessary as He was, or our sin isn’t as bad as it is, or any other number of changes that irreparably damage the beautiful Gospel.   Once the Gospel is altered, it’s no longer as Good of News as it was before. It was perfect before, so it can only get worse. People like to screw-up the Gospel all the time and make it more man-centered because they want to feel better about themselves. They want more control.

The solution to all this is simply to act like a Christian all the time. Christianity is all about learning more about Christ and desiring to be more like Him. Christianity has built in urgency because all people are dying and the Lord is coming back soon. Christianity is all about building Christ’s Kingdom and His glory and not our own. Thus you can’t have Undercover Christianity. Real Christianity is the opposite of being “Undercover.”

The illustration I use most often is that people in church are either Batman, Superman, or Martian Manhunter.

Batman Christians

These people might call themselves Christians but they’re faking it. Just like Batman, they are not real superheroes. If the Joker ever just decided to shoot Batman in the face then the whole world would realize he’s just a smart, billionaire, ninja. Obviously Batman is awesome, but he’s not a superhero. There are some nice and amazing people who pretend to be Christians, but whenever it’s their turn to die (whether shot in the face or otherwise), they will find out how ordinary they really are.

Superman Christians

These at least are true Christians but they are pretending not to be. Superman is different from the rest of the mainstream superheroes. Everyone else puts on a costume when it’s crime-fighting time, but Superman is who he really is. Clark Kent is his disguise. Superman is pretending to be normal, but he’s not. In fact, his portrayal of a human as a nerdy, clumsy loser is kind of offensive. Is that how he views us mere humans? Christians are not normal either, they are sons and daughters of God! They are forgiven and redeemed! Christians shouldn’t pretend to be ordinary either. It’s offensive.

Martian Manhunter Christians

Nobody brags about Martian Manhunter. I’ve never seen a kid dress up as MM for Halloween. Poor dude isn’t even the Justice League movie next year even though he was on the comic book team for like 40 years. He’s as strong as Superman and can fly like him too. He can actually transform into other creatures and turn invisible which in some ways is more powerful than Supes. The problem is, he’s big, green and scary looking. The earth loves Martian Manhunter when he saves them from intergalactic evil, but in times of peace he’s a reminder of the dangers and evils that are all around. Superman looks like them and gets a pass, but Martian Manhunter isn’t so lucky. Christians should choose to be like the Manhunter. He is easily identifiable, he sticks out like a sore thumb, and he is a consistent source of goodness and help even to a world that rejects him.

“Let your light or good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father” (Matthew 5:16)

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