Copyright 2016 Theresa Harvard Johnson

The term ashamed as we are using it in this discussion means to be humiliated by or embarrassed by someone’s actions, characteristics or associations.[1] As it relates to our faith, we can describe this as being humiliated or embarrassed by the words, works and worship of God – especially when embraced from a pure place. It is also the hesitancy or the reluctance to “act on God’s behalf” because of the fear of man, the fear of embarrassment, the fear of loss status or the fear of shunning due to affiliation. In this context, shame has the characteristics of being “lukewarm” for the message of Christ (Rev. 3:16 ), and failing to have deep roots in the Gospel message (Hebrews 12:15 ).

This message is not meant to be accusatory in any way; but to challenge every believer to review the condition of their own hearts in the presence of Holy Spirit. Simply pray, “Holy Spirit, reveal my heart to me. Am I ashamed of Christ, the Word? Show me.”

2 Corinthians 13:5 NIV says, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you--unless, of course, you fail the test?”

Being ashamed of Christ causes those who experience conviction to walk in shame. Walking in shame is to experience “a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior.” In this instance, it can shift into condemnation (criticism and attack) – not solely from the perspective of self; but also from the perspective of condemning others. In the end, it is being outright embarrassed by what the entire gospel message (WHICH IS CHRIST) represents.

**In sharing this, please note that this post is about “being ashamed of the CHRIST” – we are not looking at being ashamed of the the local church or other people who represent the church poorly. In other words, this article should not be read with this thought in mind: “I don’t like the way people or the local church present the Gospel.” You see, even if you DO NOT like the way a person or a group might present the Gospel… the conversation is not about THEM, but about you. In this day and time making this distinction can be tough but it has to be done. Failing to make this distinction, will turn this blog post into a different conversation and shif the conversation away from self.**


Here are 10 signs that you might be ashamed of Christ, the Word:

1)       You have forgotten and forsaken the purpose of the Gospel (preaching Christ crucified). In fact, it barely has a place of remembrance in your heart. (John 3:16 ; John 10:28-30 ; 1 John 2:17 )

2)       You have no concern to see yourself or others embrace the callings and ways of God as holy. Defense stands with the ways of men. (2 Timothy 1:9 ; 1 Peter 1:16 )

3)       There is a rush to defend and represent people, but absolutely no urgency or command to convince men of God’s truth and love. (2 Corinthians 5 : 11-15; 1 Corinthians 7:19-24 )

4)       You have made it your life’s mission to be an accuser of the congregation (local assemblies, organizations, groups, leaders, doctrines, followers, etc.) for the purpose of identifying their failures without giving life to the people God chose. While there is great compassion for the world, there is absolutely zero compassion for the growing and maturing church or its people. (Romans 15:1-4 ; Galatians 6 ; 1 Corinthians 13 )

5)       You fail to publicly acknowledge the truth of God’s word as it relates to sin and death – verbally, through action or within your lifestyle and associations. There is also a desire to minimize sin. (Psalm 97:10 , Romans 12:9 ; 2 Corinthians 6:17 ; James 4:4 )

6)       You make conscious, deliberate choices to teach, preach and release messages that please people and make them feel good. You are afraid to offend and confront. (Luke 2:34-35 ; Galatians 1:10 ; Colossians 3:22-25 )

7)       You no longer see the scriptures as the central authority on understanding the heart and mind of God, the road map for governing your own life or as the foundation for interpreting scripture. There is an over reliance on revelation, dreams, visions, prophecy, etc. outside of scriptural context and accountability. (Hebrews 4 ; John 1 )

8)       You avoid outward or inward appearances of righteousness, sanctification and holiness before men in order to fit in, be accepted. (Galatians 2:11-13 , Paul Confronts Peter)

9)       The interpretation of the scripture as it was presented by its original authors is now outdated because of new Babylonian scholarship. (2 Timothy 3 ; 1 Timothy 4 )

10)   You advocate a private faith, and have no desire to see the Gospel multiplied. You prefer not to be public about your belief and insight. (Matthew 28:18-20 ; 2 Corinthians 5 ).

I pray that this article is a starting point for examining self in this area. We all have done this or will one day be required to do it. God is looking for a bold and powerful people in this hour, those who will represent him well. If you are among the ashamed, repent... and allow Holy Spirit to work in your heart. There is no condemnation here, just a charge to love God above self-preservation and men.

Romans 1:16-17 AMP, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.  For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith,as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

Luke 9:26 NIV, “Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”

[1] Oxford Dictionaries Online, Ashamed, http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/ashamed

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