The loss of the Evangelical middle / fragmentation
A Biblical response
The paradox of the Gospel (I Corinthians 1:18-25)
Rejecting fear and shame (Romans 1:15-17)
We must proclaim the Good News in boldness and wisdom. (Ephesians 6:19-20, Colossians 4:5, I Thessalonians 4:12)
Search your hearts for fear. Confess any shame of the gospel.
Rally with likeminded believers around the Gospel. Keep the list of deal breakers small.
Take a bold and wise stand for Christ.
Grow in your skill in answering reasonable questions. Get your answers, get others’ answers.
Do you think people are more afraid today to speak out on their beliefs? Is there a pressure to fall in line with the politically correct response? What is it like for you in your environment (work, school, etc.)? Are you free to share your thoughts and feelings as you would like?
How are we doing in the area of tolerance? In the public square, are people allowed to share all points of view in an equal manner? In America, we celebrate our First Amendment right to free speech. Are we allowed to speak our values in the public arena?
What was the dominant religious influence for you growing up? Have you had much connection to the mainline churches? Do you have friends and family members in more liberal churches? Have you noticed a trend in the last number of years to migrate on key issues?
When someone mentions the name Billy Graham, what comes to mind? Have you ever been to a rally? Why do you think Billy Graham was able to unite so many Christians around proclaiming the gospel? Do you think anyone is playing that role today?
Is it hard to think of the Gospel being both wisdom and foolishness? How can it be both? Is that a contradiction? How do you react when someone thinks of your wisdom as foolishness? How do you interact with someone like that?
Is the typical American Christian ashamed of the gospel? What could produce that shame? Is that a problem with the culture, or is it our problem?
What does it look like to boldly proclaim Christ with wisdom and discernment? Have you seen it done? If so, talk about that experience. What happens when you have boldness without sensitivity? What happens where there is sensitivity without boldness? How do you stay in the middle? How are we doing on this at Calvary? How are you doing on this?