Do you keep your faith in a box?

From J. Gerald Harris and The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

“Several of our ten grandchildren enjoy playing the game of Monopoly. Once we have completed the game and all participants have sufficiently demonstrated their greed and avarice I insist on being the one to put all of the components of the game back in the box.

I know precisely where everything goes – each denomination of currency, the houses and hotels, the cards of Chance and the Community Chest, the dice, the deeds to the property, and the tokens. I want each component to go in its specific compartment. I don’t want $10 bills to get mixed in with the $100 bills and I would be horrified to find the Baltic and Mediterranean property mixed in with Park Place and Boardwalk.

That is also the way I like my closet. There is an item of clothing for every place and a place for every item of clothing. Some may say I am obsessive compulsive, but that is nonsense. However, in my opinion there is a divinely-ordained place for white shirts, a supernally-ordered location for blue shirts, a providential-designed place for striped shirts, etc.

I wouldn’t be gripped with a panic attack or be hurled into a fit of apoplexy if I found a pair of blue slacks mixed in with a pair of grey slacks, but it would seriously infringe on my normal state of serenity.

While some of us may wisely compartmentalize facets of our lives, it is undeniably true that there are those of us who profess Christ who regrettably either carelessly or unintentionally relegate Christianity to some small corner or segment of our lives.

What happens when we compartmentalize or trivialize Christianity? What happens when we consign our faith to Sundays, but refuse to let it permeate our lives the rest of the week? What happens when we reduce our religion to some antiquated tradition or a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof?

A compartmentalized faith becomes like an addendum to a book, a postscript to a letter, or a codicil to a will. It is like a side street rather than a major highway, a strip mall rather than a downtown shopping district, a minor skirmish rather than the main battle, a pinch hitter rather than the starting line-up, the appetizer rather than the main course, a computer program rather than the operating system.

When professing Christians fail to integrate their faith into the whole of their lives and do not boldly live out their beliefs in the neighborhood, the school campus, the factory, and the marketplace, the church loses its influence and becomes nothing more than an irrelevant sideshow rather than the primary focus of life.

Consequently, the world recognizes Christianity as just one minority among many. We are tolerated and sometimes defended, just like any other minority, but not really taken very seriously. Sadly, Christianity has for the most part accommodated to the culture rather than successfully called the culture to accommodate to Christ.”

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