Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels. (Mark 8: 38)
As John wrote a few days ago, I, too, no longer feel much of a tinge of shame to mention that I’m a believer, even within my usually very secular work environment. For John, it was the shameful state of the church. (And parenthetically, I have to sound a bit of a note of caution to John that, in the end, he may be disillusioned about the Mennonites as he has in the past about other groups of believers. They–we–can be just as silly and stupid as anyone else buffeted by the world, the flesh and the devil. For example, see this bitter rant).
I, too, have been ashamed of the behavior and beliefs of other people who claim the name of Christ. But I was also worried about my reputation as a scientist or thinker among my colleagues. But in the end, I had to speak as Simon Peter did to Jesus: “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (I’ve written about this before). In other words, I’ve found in the person and teachings of Jesus that which gives me life and raison d’etre, not anything in the “adulterous and sinful generation,” whether that’s inside or outside the church. And there’s no shame in that.
Jesus, and shall it ever be,
A mortal man ashamed of Thee?
Ashamed of Thee whom angels praise,
Whose glories shine through endless days.
Ashamed of Jesus! just as soon
Let midnight be ashamed of noon;
‘Tis midnight with my soul till He,
Bright morning star, bids darkness flee.
Ashamed of Jesus, sooner far
Let evening blush to own a star;
He sheds the beams of light divine
O’er this benighted soul of mine.
Ashamed of Jesus, that dear Friend
On whom my hopes of heav’n depend!
No, when I blush, be this my shame,
That I no more revere His name.