You Have to Come Out As A Christian Before You Can Step Out As An Apologist

by J. Warner Wallace

Christian ApologistI have several friends at the Police Department who are Christians. Some of them are open about their faith in Christ; others are not. In fact, I have one friend who was known to be less than faithful to his wife for a number of years but identified himself as a Christian to those who knew him well. At some point, after trying to develop a relationship with him over a period of time, I asked him about the obvious contradiction. I was hoping to encourage him to see the inconsistency between his profession of faith and his behavior. Instead, he told me that he was careful to keep his faith relatively secret rather than appear to be a hypocrite. He understood the inconsistency in his life but chose to hide his Christian identity rather than correct his worldly behavior. He said he would rather not “come out” about his faith than have to “step out” as a true Christian. You and I often face a similar dilemma.

I started thinking about this years ago when I was working in an undercover capacity as part of a career criminal surveillance team. Whenever we served a search warrant, we wore ballistic vests that had POLICE and badge patches that folded inwardly to keep them concealed until the point of the warrant service. In the moments prior to entry, as each of us was sitting in our own undercover vehicles, we slipped the vests on without exposing the patches.

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By doing this, we were able to conceal our identities until the last possible moment. Once we got up to the door, we unfolded these patches to reveal our true identity. In many ways, the patches change everything. The patches actually afford us a level of protection that is superior to the level of protection that we have without them. They aren’t special bulletproof patches; they’re just regular, embroidered cloth.

But they represent something important, and they send a message to the people we are about to encounter…


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