‘Not Ashamed’ is an initiative of Christian Concern for our Nation, now renamed Christian Concern.
It’s a Christian organisation that campaigns to put Christ back at the heart of national life. If you had to caricature where they fit in amongst the better known Christian political organisations, you might say that they take a prophetic stance. CARE work from the inside and take a softly, softly long term mediatorial, perhaps priestly approach. Christian Institute are kingly and administrative. They’re well organised and seek to motivate disgruntled Christians from middle England to take up their pens and write angry letters to the House of Lords as yet more bad legislation comes to Parliament. Christian Concern are a little more in your face. They campaign. Loudly. And I’m thrilled that they do. Chief amongst their staff is Andrea Minichiello Williams. She’s the co-founder and Chief Exec. She’s a force of nature. She’s like a Christian version of Boadicea. From what I know of her, I think she’s terrific. I love her work. And I’m glad we’re both on Christ’s side. Not everyone will like her style. But I do. I think there’s a place for shouting in the Christian life!
‘Not Ashamed’ is a recent campaign launched by Christian Concern. It’s an opportunity for UK Christians to stand together and express their confidence that Jesus Christ is good news not just for individuals or for the church but also for our nation as a whole. Wednesday 1st December 2010 has been designated ‘Not Ashamed’ day. It’s the focal point of the initiative but the campaign runs throughout the Autumn and into Advent.
Why do it?
1. we are indebted to Christ’s influence on our nation
Jesus Christ has shaped our nation and influenced its culture more than any other person. We may have lost confidence that many of the things that we and our unbelieving culture takes for granted come as a direct result of the light shone into the world by the church. Prison reform, medical care, abolition of slavery, abolition of child labour, establishment of orphanages, education, reform of the penal code, economic and political freedom can all trace their roots to the massive impetus provided by the Christian worldview and Christians who were active in trying to see it implemented. Imagine a world without any of those things. Jesus Christ alone can provide a solid foundation and a robust fabric for our society. Yet the truths, values and behaviour consistent with that foundation are under attack.
2. we are increasingly encountering attempts to exclude Christ from public life
There is growing pressure to exclude Jesus Christ from the public domain. Many in our society and many in Government would prefer to consign him to the realm of the ‘private and personal’. Increasingly, Christians are encountering attempts to restrict their freedom to speak and live in accordance with biblical teaching in the workplace and in public life.
3. we have a responsibility to speak about the life found in Christ
The path of least resistance would be to run into our ecclesiasical bunker and hide. We’ve done that individually and corporately. And we need to repent. God has given us a prophetic responsibility to love those amongst whom he’s placed us. We can’t very well do that from the lonely isolation of the church building. We need to regain our confidence that God is sovereign so that we might speak with clarity, compassion and courage aboutthe life to be found in Christ alone. We need to do this for His glory and for the sake of a society that so desperately needs him.
‘Not Ashamed’ is an attempt to do that.
So what could we do?
1. Wear the Symbol
One day the kids will realsie that it’s embarassing for Dad to wear things like baseball caps and bracelets. But they’re not there yet! There is a whole range of themed merchandise that can adorn your clothing. Why not find something that you’re happy to wear.
2. Declare the Hope
The high visibility of the campaign should give rise to many opportunities to explain to friends, neighbours, colleagues, family and others why Jesus Christ is such good news for individuals and for our society. We need to make sure that we have soemthing sensible to say when people ask ‘why are you wearing that ridiculous bracelet around your wrist’!
‘Not Ashamed’ day will also see the delivery of the following ‘Declaration of Christian Hope for our Nation’ to leading figures in public life.
A DECLARATION OF CHRISTIAN HOPE FOR OUR NATION
WE BELIEVE that Jesus Christ is good news for our nation. He is the only true hope and solid foundation for our society. WE CALL on government, employers and other leaders in our country to protect the freedom of Christians to participate in public life without compromising biblical teaching and to promote in our society the values that are revealed through Jesus Christ and that have so shaped our nation, for the good of all.
If we agree with that, we can visit the website and add our name to it.
3. Share the Vision
We can spread the word about this campaign and encourage others to get onboard. No doubt, there will be flaws in what’s being done and how it’s being done. But in essence, what have we got to lose by being supportive? We’re Christians, we have no credibility in the world’s eyes anyway! God could well use this campaign, in the way that he used the Pope’s visit, to encourage the media to revisit the place of faith in public life. We want Jesus to be worshipped in the public square, and if not worshipped then welcomed so that we’re free to debate the difference that he makes to our individual and national lives. So get onboard, pray and persuade others to sign up and be part of teh ‘Not Ashamed’ movement.