Our nation for decades enjoyed an uneasy peace on the question of the Christian faith in the public square. The state could not promote any one particular religion. But, everyone knew our cultural momentum was Christian. Thus our pledge acknowledged that we are under God, our money noted we trusted in Him, and even the astronauts circling the moon read from Genesis to the watching world.
But, the unwritten rules are changing. Christians have moved from the cultural majority to the moral minority. R C Sproul, Jr. makes this observation:
As we seek to make known the glory of the reign of Christ over all things, get used to the new normal. It is not easy giving up privileges we once took for granted. The broader culture no longer recognizes our day of rest, and so many of us are expected to work, or to get our children to the game. It no longer recognizes our holy days, so now Turkey Day opens the Winter Holiday Season, and “Merry Christmas” is now less a greeting, more a political statement. The broader culture finds our sexual morality not just silly and old-fashioned but oppressive and demeaning.
He makes this conclusion:
The loss of these privileges comes with a great blessing, the giving of a greater privilege — we are now hated and despised for His name’s sake.
Or are we? It will not be long, I suspect, before those who believe marriage is between one man and one woman will have all the cultural respect as a member of the KKK. Will the church be telling us to soften on this issue, to not talk about it, so accommodate the broader world for the sake of soul-winning? If so, we will have sold our own soul. Jesus was rather clear — if we were of the world, the world would love its own. But we have been bought with a price (John 15:19).
Pray that we don’t sell our birthright of persecution for the stew of respectability.
We have been bought with a price, we belong to Christ. We have been adopted as sons into the family of God. Of all the glorious benefits and responsibilities that come with this reality, one that we don’t often think of is the blessing of persecution. If you are living as a Christian should, growing in Christ-like-ness, you will image Christ and the world will hate you. We should not hope for it, we should not ask or pray for it, but it will come if we are living as aliens in a world not our own.
Will you be persecuted today?