1 John 5: 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
I have frequently seen Christians embark on campaigns against companies for not adhering to “Christian Values”. Such battles are often fought around holidays where companies choose to say: “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”, or they choose to replace the cross with bunnies and eggs at Easter. Other common fights are against companies who advertise in ways that promote lifestyles contrary to our Christian principles, whether that be promoting sexual lifestyles contrary to God’s design.
So, what should our reaction, as Christians, be? Do we boycott the company who is not overtly promoting our Christianity? I admit that there is a long list of difficult societal issues that are arising and that we face every day, and it is important that we be scripturally grounded in our beliefs in each, but that isn’t the question. How do we react to the world making their own personal and corporate decisions?
I think it is important to take a higher, scriptural perspective. For decades Christians tried to flex their corporate Christian muscles to alter the behavior of society. To what end? Do we really think that the Kingdom of God will advance if we convince a company to put baby Jesus and Merry Christmas on a cup rather than Santa Claus? Do we really believe that the Senior Executives of a company will repent and ask Jesus into their lives because we successfully lobby them to take an immoral ad off of television?
When discussing this topic with other Christians, I often ask them rhetorically (and continually reminding myself) “who is ruling this world?” Jesus himself answered this question. “Now judgement is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out.” (John 12:31). The apostle Paul called Satan the “prince of the air” (Ephesians 2:2) and he also called him “the god of this world”. (2 Corinthians 4:4). While Satan has limited authority on this earth (i.e. only what God allows), we can’t be surprised at the evil we see today.
We live in a secular society and by watching Jesus’ life here on earth, I do not see God calling us to lobby governments or private enterprise to change their behavior. While we as Christians might feel more comfortable walking through the mall if we see plenty of crosses and Nativity scenes rather than sacrilegious symbols, it means nothing if people are not believers. And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. (1 John 5:11-12).
As a Christian Athlete, you may get dragged into debates, even prompted by other Christians to use your influence to fight some moral cause. I encourage you to recognize what the real battle is. The battle is against Satan and his forces of evil and his desire to take every soul (Ephesians 6:12). Choose to be an evangelist for Christ who recognizes that all are lost without him. “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” (1 Peter 3:15). Jesus and his disciples radically changed a world far more godless than ours today, and through Christ, so can you!