Dear Friends,

As Christendom dies and as many people reject all aspects of Christendom, then the Christian faith becomes controversial. So, on one level, to be a Christian today is to be a controversialist. But can a Christian be a controversialist? But can a Christian be a controversialist in areas of social, economic, cultural and political life which are not directly connected to the Christian faith?

Last week in my blog I talked about “bearing witness to Jesus” when Trump is president. That blog came out of my recent experience that when I bear witness to Jesus, people often try to draw out of me my view on President Trump and/or his actions. My blog last week argued that if we are to bear witness to Jesus, then we should not get drawn into talking about President Trump. But some may wonder, does my advice mean that Christians must forsake all socially, politically, culturally and economically controversial roles and views for the sake of witnessing and evangelism? The quick answer is, “no”, but some qualifications are needed.

It is commonplace for people to talk of a pastor or missionary having a vocation. In other words, they believe God has called them to take on this office and/or role. This is a good way to look at the matter – but only if we realize that all followers of Christ have a vocation. We, as Christians, are to seek God’s will for our life and then walk in it. The lawyer, artist, civil servant, stay-at-home mom or dad, banker, business owner, tow-truck driver or cashier or ALL Christians are to see that God has called them to this role for a reason and that they are to do their work well for the good of our city and the glory of God.

This truth means that some Christians will be called to jobs or roles that are controversial in our country because they involve taking a side on contested issues that Christians can disagree about in good conscience. The politician or staffer who takes a position on minimum wages or capital gains tax. The union steward or business owner. The scientist or pundit on “climate change”. I can multiply examples but I think you get the idea. Some Christians will have a vocation from God in these types of “controversial” areas even though it means it will limit who they can bear witness to. So my blog last week still stands. In general, we should not get bogged down in controversies – they will blunt our witness. But some people are truly called to jobs and roles that “take sides” on contested issues.

One final note. People come to Christ from all sorts of places in life. But some jobs or careers will need to be rejected after conversion. The timing and needs of the change will require compassion, patience and encouragement from Christians. Some jobs may not be controversial in Canada, but they are not in keeping with calling Jesus Saviour and Lord. More on this next week.