Between the years of 1976 and 1981, a man named Donnie Brasco began working for the Bonanno crime family. During this time, he reported to several captains in the crime family and was trusted with important jobs. In fact, in 1981 he was set to become a “made man” and officially become part of the Bonanno family. However, Donnie Brasco wasn’t real. He was actually an undercover FBI agent whose real name was Joseph Pistone. This undercover operation became one of the most successful in FBI history. One man was so good at going undercover that he tricked an entire mob family into believing he was simply just one of them.
Unfortunately, many Christians do this same thing. They may not be going undercover to join a crime family, but they are becoming undercover Christians. What I mean by this is that they have been born again (John 3:3) and added to the church (Acts 2:47) but they slowly slipped back into becoming just like the world. Some may even come Sunday, worship with fellow Christians,and then slip back into their undercover identity Monday morning. Christianity is not meant to be an undercover operation.
While teaching His sermon on the mount Jesus said, “Let you light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matt 5:16) This coming on the heels of Him telling them not to hide their lamps under a basket. Christianity is not supposed to be hidden, but instead intended to be visible by all of those we encounter in our lives. There is nothing wrong with being among sinners. Jesus was eating with them and was among them on a regular basis. But what Christians cannot do is hide are Christianity from them.
It is easy to slip into the role of an undercover Christian. To fall into the same patterns and lifestyle as the world. It’s easy to fit in with the world. Christians are called out of the world though (John 15:19) and born into a newness of life. (Rom. 6:4) Again, Christianity is not meant to be an undercover operation, but a visible difference in our lives.