In a discussion which has taken place this week about the appropriateness of people’s attire in parliament our Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, declared that the wearing of the burqa was too confronting. The comment sent shockwaves throughout the media.
While I don’t agree with the wearing of burqas, we must remember that it represents an act of submission. In an individualistic society like Australia any act of submission is going to be confronting.
However, it might be helpful for followers of Jesus to ask themselves “Is the way in which I live my life confronting to those around me”? We have been reminded through the prayer of Jesus in John 17 that his desire is that his followers would be different from the world, because they are not part of the world, while at the same time remaining in the world.
For this reason we shouldn’t confuse being confronting with being confrontational. Many Christians think that if they are confrontational, if they get into arguments, or if they are intentionally divisive that they are following Jesus faithfully. Jesus called his followers to live such radically different lives that it was like shining a light into darkness. In Matthew 5:16 he tells his followers, “let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven”.
Submission to Jesus should be confronting as people see a distinct and different life to their own.