Sometimes people say, “My faith is just between me and God”. Jesus said, if you have a faith, let it shine from the rooftops! (Mt 5:14-16). God called His prophets to speak His truth to the nations (Jer 1:4), and we Christians are to be a prophetic community (Acts 2:17).
This doesn’t mean that the church is to be a moralisitic, ‘holier than thou’, ‘conscience of society’. “Judgement starts with the household of God” (Amos 3:2); because we know the saving, forgiving grace of God, we are held to a higher level of accountability. So, we will speak the truth first to ourselves.
Neither can we expect Christian standards of non-Christian people. The reason that we can follow a Christian standard is that we first have all the resources of the saving, forgiving grace and love of the Gospel to motivate and enable us. The public truth we hold out needs to be more grace than law; only when people really ‘get’ grace, can they get to doing the law.
People will react against the truth of God at points; this can’t be helped, and we must ‘cop it’. Yet the truth is ultimately grace and salvation for all who will receive it – we need to emphasise its character as good news.
Grace, and cheers, Jonathan.