Over the past few years it has been interesting to see how our sharing of faith has been viewed in America. In my first years as a child I don't remember that "God-talk" was viewed negatively but it certainly has changed for the worse. So, what should we do?
I think there are two very appropriate responses to negative people and negative press we seem to attract as Christians. The first is pretty simple. When God-talk is negatively viewed and even suppressed, we talk about God anyway. Our passage for Sunday will include parts of Deuteronomy 6 in which God tells His people to talk about God when they get up, when they walk down the road and when they Go to bed at night. Andy Andrews does this in a beautiful way as each night he prays with his kids and asks them, "How was your day? Did you do anything you regret and need to confess? Are there things you need forgiveness for? Are there things you wished you had done?" These questions call his children to reflect on God's activity in their day and to seek God's activity in the days to come. Confession, forgiveness and dreams are always appropriate places for God-talk.
The second response is to think and reflect upon our actions. How am I impacting those around me? Is my witness reflective of Jesus or is it an expression of my self-centerdness? Is my God-talk, as expressed through my actions, truly God-talk or is it ME-talk? "God told me ___ !" ... "My God is like this!" ... "I don't think God meant that!" Do you see how those statements frame God in a very me-oriented box? Thankfully, God is not anything like me!
Mother Teresa had her God-talk and actions suppressed in India. A group of officials gathered to determine how they could expel her and end her Christ-oriented work. It seemed the expulsion would happen until one official said, "Expel her when you find someone else willing to do what she does!" Her God-talk and God-action trumped their religious persecution. May it also be so here! Randy