Takes One To Know One

As I talk with other Christians about life and society and current events, it strikes me how suspicious we are of everyone. The atheists have taken over the public school system. The homosexuals want to turn all boys gay. The Mexicans are invading. The Muslims want to outlaw Christianity. Universal health care is communism. Don’t watch The Golden Compass. The Mormons own Coca-Cola.

We’re certain everyone is out to get us. Everyone surely has an ulterior motive and a hidden agenda. 
Of course I’m aware of the scriptural warning about the dangerous activity of our spiritual enemy. I know that we aren’t safe. We have good reason to be watchful, wary, and wise.
But I’m also wondering if our paranoia might be due, at least in part, to that fact that we aren’t always the most up-front about our agenda. Maybe we distrust the people and organizations around us because we have a long history of misleading people about who we are and what we really want from them. 
We’re not just knocking on your door to say thanks for visiting our church; we want you to pray a prayer of salvation. You’re invited to our fellowship, but we’ve carefully planned it as an entry point for you to join our church. We ‘re only giving out coats and blankets as bait to get you to sit through a sermon.  
Why is it okay for us to do it but scary when others do? Does it make a difference just because we’re right?
I wonder what would happen if we were totally up front and honest about our agenda. What about giving up our agenda altogether?
 I suspect it might lead us to abandon many of our methods, approaches, and techniques. 

About E. Goodman

Ernest Goodman is a missiologist, writer, teacher, and communications strategist.