Why are Christians so terrified of reaching out to the lost? We were called to be in the world but not of the world and yet we are afraid to actually go out into the world in any way. We are terrified of non-Christian music, rated R movies and wearing hats in church. But we are also afraid of bars, 'bad parts of town', credit cards, public schools, and even Santa Claus (He's not the real reason for the season....surprised you didn't know that [in the voice of Chris Farley in Tommy Boy). When we are afraid long enough, we can become utterly indignant about it. We find ourselves flaring up our chests at Olive Garden to proudly deny the complimentary taste of wine. "Proud to say I've never touched the stuff," while the waiter thinks to himself, "Okay, fine! A simple, 'No thank you.' will suffice.....jerk."
I think it is because if you jump in the deep end without knowing how to swim, you will likely drown. So why not just stay the heck away from the entire pool? We are afraid of the world because we can't swim. We are not confident and strong enough in our faith, beliefs, and stances to not be swayed by the thoughts and ways of the lost. I think we are afraid because we are not strong enough.
On the other hand, I do not think the fact we cannot swim should keep us away from the kiddie pool or maybe, I know its risky, the shallow end where at least the water comes up to our chests.
We have to learn how to swim and we have to begin getting out of our pool and swim the ocean as we are called to do.
But we are terrified of the world for some reason. I think that reason is because we are too weak to stay strong while being in the world. Sure, it's risky and it will come with temptation, but how strong am I? And if I am truly not strong enough yet, then what have I been doing in the church this whole time? Have I been strengthening myself enough to get out into the world or am I just going to bask in the kiddie pool for the rest of my life?
* We should know where we are especially weak and stay away from dangerous temptations we KNOW we will fail in, but we cannot avoid the entire pool.