Recently at work, I overheard a co-worker say, “Their family is very strict from a religious standpoint. Their daughter lived at home until her wedding night.” If not co-habitating before marriage makes you “very strict” on the religious front, then I guess I fall into the same category (for the sake of argument, I’m seeing religion as a positive thing). So do a lot of my friends. My co-workers statement struck me in two ways.
One, there was an implication that being religious (i.e., Christian) does not require you to live any different from the rest of the world. Only the strict live radically different. What a sad statement about American Christianity. Two, those of us who live out biblical values will continue to find ourselves increasingly at odds with the culture around us. Soon, we will stand out without even trying to do so. That’s a good thing. It will be an opportunity for us to show the world that God’s ways are best – provided we show that through humility and grace and not through condescending, judgmental attitudes.