Do you ever feel, as I do often, that Christianity is under attack and that we as individuals are under attack because of our faith? I would be surprised if anyone answered no. Our "progressive" society is one of consumption and relevantism. Anything goes, so they say, if it makes you feel better about yourself. Our system of government, based on freedom and liberty and the principle of God-given rights, is no better than any other system of government, so they say. Freedom of speech should be sacrificed at the altar of the speech gods who determine what is and is not acceptable based on their own views, which are the only views to be tolerated (as exclusionary and oppressive as they may ironically be), so they say.
What's our response?
The good news is that we have an infallible standard, God's word, which is not subject to change based on the morals or immorals of the day. Either you believe it's God's word and should be obeyed, or you don't. There are no shades of grey. Does that mean everything should be taken literally? No, Jesus used parables and the authors used hyperbole for effect sometimes. But the message and meaning are clear, and those are inviolable standards.
The bad news is that overall, we have been far too sheep-like in our defense of Christianity, far too passive, far too quiet in just accepting society's demands that we change our outmoded beliefs or at least keep quiet while they use protest, name-calling, and ridicule to bulldoze their way to power and redefinition of normal behavior. It's easier for us just to keep quiet than draw attention to ourselves, face hostile reactions, or be ridiculed.
There is our problem. There is nothing to be ashamed of in God's word; just the opposite! We should stand proud to defend it. Just as Travis drew a line in the sand at the Alamo, so must we. Look at the persecution the early disciples faced, yet they persevered. One of the points I recall Lee Strobel made in his book, The Case for Christ, is that no one would endure such persecution, pain, and death for a lie. To use another example, from my book, Walking With God, consider what our hero soldiers endure and are willing to sacrifice to defend our freedom. How much less risk we face, yet we too often cower in fear.
Let us all not just meet at the river, but from there disperse into our communities and be a mighty force for good, for defense of our values and God's word, for what the highest ideals of man can achieve. Those highest ideals are our ideals. Love and honor God, reflect the light of Christ, love your neighbor.
But first we must draw that line in the sand and refuse to back up any more. Instead, let's test our faith and glorify God.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
- Matthew 5:11-12
Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
- James 1:12
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith - of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire - may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
- 1 Peter 1:6-7