By Suzanne Gill
Monday afternoon’s breakout session on “Proclaiming Christ in a Post-Christian Age,” led by plenary speaker Eric Metaxas, began on a positive note. “The good thing about living in a post-Christian world,” Metaxas said, “is that it forces us to be [truly] Christian, not just culturally Christian.” Nominal Christians, especially those in leadership roles, produce cynicism in unbelievers, he noted. But where Christianity is a distinctive, with a different message from the cultural norm, Christians can offer truth, compassion, and hope to broken and hurting people.
In fact, our own era may not be so different from the rest. “The golden past does not really exist,” Metaxas urged. Even the Victorian era, which produced generations of missionaries, was not saturated in piety. Rather, in every age, “there has always been a holy remnant.”
Revisiting a theme from the earlier plenary session, Metaxas reminded the 200 or so men and women in the room that Jesus is Truth, and that anything true is of Jesus, and biblical principles can be found outside religious precincts. Noting the universal human instinct to avoid suffering, he suggested that those who hurt often look for relief in destructive behavior that only ends in more pain. Christians, he said, can offer a true remedy. “We have a way to alleviate suffering that’s not going to lead to more suffering.”
He encouraged Christians to reach out to the world with humility. “If the term sin is too loaded use other words,” Metaxas said in response to a question. “Start by sharing your own brokenness.”
“We are in the business of stooping.” An overbearing approach to sharing the Gospel may fail, but “humor can show humility, because we don’t take ourselves too seriously.”
Finally, he urged those present to believe Scripture and “be anxious for nothing” – not even saving souls – because “anxiety comes across.”
“Some people are not reachable now. Try the person who is halfway there.”
Suzanne Gill is the Director of Communications for the Diocese of Fort Worth, TX.