The New World Times

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Caution - Politically Correct Area Ahead

Without re-hashing some of the U.S. judicial and political decisions in recent times that many Christians have found heart-wrenching, it seems clear that the Church in America increasingly occupies a place on the margins of society. Separation between the secular and the sacred spheres has become so commonplace that many Christians struggle to find ways to integrate their faith with their daily lives, which often occurs in the marketplace, right where most of us work.

My cross-cultural upbringing and diverse experience as a pastor, educator, and small business owner have attuned me to the need to bridge the gap between Church and community for advancing the kingdom of God. In my work environments, I have experienced firsthand the sacred-secular divide.

Is Political Correctness the New Norm?

The move toward political correctness makes Christians apprehensive to share their faith openly at work, especially in the public school system. During my time in higher education, I became even more aware that individuals from both Church and school appear to be at best timid, but most often fearful, to bridge the gap between sacred and secular.

This is our reality. And it falls on us, the corporate body of believers, to become stand-in-the-gap bridges for the sacred-secular divide.

Now is not the time for “either/or” propositions, be tolerant or be a bigot. It is time for all voices in the public arena, from conservative to liberal, to enter a respectful dialogue, amidst which people can share the stands they hold. Bullying one another is not the way to change anyone’s belief system.

In fact, history shows that the more the Christian faith is tried, the stronger it stands. My own experience of growing up in communist Bulgaria taught me that the harder the government came after the Christians, the bigger the church grew. Bottom line, God is still sovereign over the kingdoms of men (Dan. 4:17.) Jesus is still the originator of the Christian brand and its hallmark still carries the logo “love one another” (John 13:34.)

Can this current shift toward PC culture, instead of scattering Christians from the public square, gather us emboldened to bridge the sacred-secular divide? We can do so by doing two things:

(1) Unapologetically practice public faith in our work environments, and (2) Enter loving and thoughtful dialogues with people who hold differing viewpoints.

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Dr. Svetlana Papazov and her husband, Michael, are using their business and pastoral backgrounds to plant in the Richmond, VA area “a marketplace church that integrates faith and entrepreneurship.” To check out some of their exciting work, go to reallifechurchrva.org.

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