Above are pictures of top secret “Area 51” in Nevada.
One of the strangest things in American history is the mystery and continual misinformation given by our government about the infamous top secret base called “Area 51” that is located just outside of Los Vegas, Nevada. No matter how secret the government wanted to keep this place, in July of 2013, the CIA was forced to publically acknowledged it for the first time due to a Freedom of Information Act request that had been filed 8 years earlier.
What’s so bizarre about this whole thing is that “Area 51” had been under public and private scrutiny for decades. It’s existence was well known, and thousands of photographs, articles and eye witness accounts had been collected about the facility and it’s location, following the report of a “UFO” Crash in the 1950’s. Information and speculation continually surfaced about it year after year. Some of it was pure fabrication, while other things were either undocumented half-truths or simple eye-witness reports by military people who worked there or been in the facility.
With all this going on, the federal government continually denied the existence of “Area 51”. Strangely enough they also debunked or threatened anyone who claimed to have been there, or been close enough to photograph it. I personally know of military personnel who mistakenly went on the property and were confronted at gun point and threatened to be shot or immediately arrested. Thus, our government openly denied the reality of this place, and deliberately mislead the public for years, even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
In my mind it is hard to believe that such a thing could possibly happen, and yet it did. The facts did not matter. The truth did not matter. The evidence did not matter. What others wanted us to believe was in place, and that was blindly followed regardless of the truth. Finally, a few brave souls broke from their comfort zone and refused to simply go with the flow. They began to think for themselves and search for the truth. They forged ahead against the prevailing mindset and the end result was the truth finally had to be admitted. Once the lie was exposed, the “big secret” was over. It certainly did not uncover all that had or may still be going on in “Area 51”, but it did bring in some much needed honesty and light.
As I pondered this, I began to see the parallels between what happened with “Area 51” and what still happens when it comes to people understanding real Christianity. For the most part people see Christianity as being mysterious, full of secrets and still shrouded in a great many misunderstandings. Let me also say that in part, this is correct. What I mean is, for those who are on the outside looking in, much of what we do and say as Christians really does not make sense. Our language, ideas, beliefs and practices are pretty strange and they can’t connect the dots. Things can be so strange in fact, that we have lost touch with the very ones Jesus sent us to, to bring into His Kingdom. Basically, we are as strange in our ways and are as odd in our practices, as the atmosphere around “Area 51”.
Take, for example, our language. We say things like, “I’m pleading the Blood”, “I’m covered in the Blood” or “I’m washed in the Blood”. Now these may be Biblical truths, and we as Christians may understand their application, but consider what an unbeliever thinks when such things are spoken. The response is likely to be ….“Huh??? You are what????”. It’s a foreign language and they are not likely to be drawn to God because of it. To them you are speaking a foreign language, from a foreign land, and they have no interest in following you to wherever that is.
In my experience, another issue is that far too many Christians come across as having an attitude of superiority or self-righteousness when it comes to connecting to unbelievers. We shoot down their music, their style of dress, their language and personal recreations. However, for them this is normal life. My point is, Jesus never did that! He simply went where they were and demonstrated the love and power of His Father’s Kingdom. He ate with anyone and even went were tax gatherers, prostitutes and the ungodly were hanging out. He never snubbed them, criticized them or refused their invitations. He simply participated where it was permissible and used each situation to introduce them to the love and light of God.
We, on the other hand, tend to be “sin conscious” and uncomfortable with the ungodly things around us. Because of this we miss the cry of those broken hearts that are looking for the truth we possess. Imagine what would happen if you were able to look beyond the mess, past the alcohol, the addiction, the sexual sin, the language, tattoos, piercings, etc . Think of how God changed you and how He wants to change those who are hurting, soaked in and stained by the things of this world. Is it possible that He could use you in amazing ways if you were only willing to go where He needs you to go, and do what He needs you to do?
Let me encourage you to speak so those around you can hear what you are trying to say. Let me suggest that building bridges into the culture that is around you is much better than build walls to protect yourself from it. Look for the good in what people are doing, no matter how they dress or where they go. Focus on what’s right about them and not the sin or lifestyle that holds them captive. Our job is to be the hands, feet and mouth of Jesus to a lost and hurting world. That job is made easier when we demonstrate the love of God and leave judgement up to Him.
Do we condone sin? Never! Do we participate in ungodly lifestyles? No! Is it our job to police the unsaved and point out all that is wrong in their lives? Certainly Not! Our Job is to do what Jesus did, the way He did it. He loved the people. He met them at their own level, right where they were at and exactly the way He found them. He spoke the truth in love and He spoke it in language they could understand. More than that, he demonstrated the power of the Father’s Kingdom without judgement, and the people responded to it. If we can learn to do the same, God’s Kingdom will come and the harvest that is waiting will certainly be brought in.
My question today is simple: Will you be an “Area 51” Christian or will you be one who engages the culture with truth, transparency, love and care? Your answer to this is very important because billions of souls hang in the balance. Like it or not, you can make a difference!