No doubt you've heard the phrase, living in a bubble or something similar. It was coined a few decades ago, based on the movie of a boy with an underdeveloped immune system who had to live in a bubble-like environment.
This made-for-TV movie came out in 1976 (The Boy in the Plastic Bubble), combining the life stories of two boys with rare diseases. Of course, the movie dramatized the story (added some fiction) and a romantic theme far from reality.
But the concept of living in a bubble—like an incubator—caught hold as a cultural expression. In real life, these boys were unable to venture out of their bubble-like environments without fatal consequences. And yet, their great desire was to live outside the bubble.
Imagine what it would be like to live in a sterile environment without physical human contact.
Living in a bubble
It wasn't long before people applied the phrase living in a bubble to other situations and people. For example, the office of the U.S. presidency is bubble-like, with the 24/7 Secret Service guard, and screening of people with whom the president will come in contact.
Today it could apply to people focused on their cell phones, gaming, and social media in a virtual bubble. The phrase came to describe anyone isolated from the world around them.
Living in a bubble can describe anyone isolated from the world around them
Sadly, this describes many Christian believers.
Many Christians live in an insulated Christian world surrounded by other Christians and locked into Christian-oriented media and music. And, many Christians like it this way. They don't want to leave this protective bubble—their faith bubble.
And so, the world around them is untouched by their Christian beliefs and values. Why? Intentionally or not, we've constructed an ivory tower of faith.
Not as Jesus intended
This is not what Jesus had in mind when He spoke of the Kingdom of God on earth. Not at all.
This bubble-like isolation isn't reflected in Jesus' teaching about the kingdom of God. What Jesus intended for His followers is seen in several parables and other teachings.
In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus sent out twelve disciples to "preach the kingdom and to heal the sick" (Luke 9:1-6). Later, in the last year of the Lord's ministry on earth, Jesus sent out seventy others in the same way (Luke 10:1-12).
Here are His final instructions to those who would lead the church after His departure—
But the Holy Spirit will come on you and give you power. You will be my witnesses. You will tell people everywhere about me—in Jerusalem, in the rest of Judea, in Samaria, and in every part of the world. (Acts 1:8 ERV)
This is echoed in all four of the gospels and termed the Great Commission. Jesus intended for His followers to be empowered and go out with His message to the world around them.
Jesus wanted His followers empowered to go into all the world with His message
Getting out of the Christian bubble
For the "Boy in the Bubble," leaving the bubble put him at risk for his life. But it's different for us followers of Christ. Our spiritual life is at risk if we don't get outside the Christian bubble!
We need to engage people who have different values and beliefs than our own. Here's a blog post by Pastor Cary Nieuwhof that addresses this— The Evangelism Conversation No One Is Having.
I've posted similar or related articles related to sharing your faith without being aggressive or overbearing. But, we still need to get out of our faith bubble to engage people who don't share our faith. How will they know if we don't share God's redemptive message with them?
Our spiritual life is at risk if we don't get outside the Christian bubble!
One simple question—
Are you willing to get out of your own faith-bubble to engage people about faith?