In the public arena, apart from the occasional lucid individual who gets through the wall of sound bites and edits, we 'Christians' seem to have traded our clear and relatively cohesive public voice for a garble of disunified, compromised and, now, quite muffled opinions. Statements of loving, Biblical position are rare in the public pressure cooker of 'tolerance', when the heat is turned up. Is it any wonder the culture has turned away from 'the church's' truths. We need to be who we say we are! No. More than that...We need to be who Jesus calls us to be! We are all over the place...though l haven't seen any edits in The Book itself!

Speaking

WHAT ARE WE SAYING? Ann Wojczuk says statements of "loving, Biblical position" are rare in the "public pressure cooker of tolerance". PICTURE: Marcos Luiz/www.unsplash.com

It's good that the social temperature has turned up in some ways. It's going to heat up the Jesus People too! And we're gonna have to get real clear on who we align with, follow and serve. Fashionable or not. Didn't Jesus say in Revelation 3:15-16: "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm - neither hot nor cold- I am about to spit you out of my mouth". Yep. Some of what l see is 'spew worthy!'

I see there has been a great cooling off among Christian communities in our relatively comfortable Western countries over the past few decades as our societies have evolved. The cooling effects within have been noted by the not-Christian population and clearly seen in faith communities, both individually and collectively, compromising Jesus's call to Christlikeness in how and why we love, live, serve and share our creed.

We're seeing the outworking of a slow malaise and, as yet, the reinvigoration and Godly recalibration rising again within many faith communities, though gaining momentum rapidly, is not yet very obvious 'out there'. That's actually up to us! Whether Christ following or not, our culture suffers from crazy complexity, busyness and fragmentation of community and relationships. You can see, hear and feel the yearning for authenticity, deeper relationships, creative living, meaning and love! Umm hullo! We can be that!

And now it's the done thing for the concept of truth itself to be fragmented into 'your truth' and 'my truth'! Is it any wonder people are confused! Tricky times. It's gettin' hot in here!

Reminds me so much of an old tale l loved as a child - The Emperor's New Clothes. Does the Emperor have clothes on? And if the majority say so and he's still butt naked, would we say so? And if we say he's naked, straight up, even very lovingly, will we be run out of town? And does it matter if we are? And why would we be? Or will our depth of love and acceptance of others, the clarity and consistency of our communication and the kind, unshakeably firm foundation of our God-faith life earn us the respect we need, to speak into the public arena again?

There's always going to be distortion, misinterpretation, those who cannot hear because of the hurt in their lives, our own struggle to verbalise faith and truth, the distraction of internal dialogue people hear as words are spoken, the sway of public opinion...And, surprising as it may seem, those who flat out don't agree! We need to steward our own souls and communities, and be worthy of the conversation if and when it happens privately or publicly...and l'm not just talking about gay marriage, gender, unsafe schools or any of the hot button issues of the day! This shift goes a lot deeper than its surface issues. Doesn't it?