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A rising number of Christians in the West are coming to grips with the reality that the Judeo-Christian worldview no longer holds sway.
Of course, we’ve always known that there are parts of the world where missionaries undertake their work in the teeth of opposition—opposition that is sometimes cultural, sometimes judicial.
Home - Missionaries - Pastors - Evangelists - Folk
At home, however, we didn’t deploy missionaries; we deployed pastors and evangelists. But as the folk song puts it, “The times they are a-changin’.”
In the Bible Belt, especially in the population that is 35 or older, it’s still perfectly acceptable to be a nominal Christian: the subculture reinforces us as we lurk in our pious comfort zones. Elsewhere in the country, however, and just about everywhere for young people, nominal Christianity is becoming obsolete: It costs too much, with no real advantages. Decidedly non-Christian and anti-Christian agendas, riding the digital waves, increasingly prevail.
Stop - Living - Life - Fear - Dissonance
Stop living your life in fear, and wear the cultural dissonance as a badge of honor. Fear no one but God.
It turns out that’s not entirely a bad thing. As the number of nominal Christians thins out, it’s becoming a little clearer who is a Christian and who is not. Christians are encouraged not to be like the culture, but to be countercultural. Pastors and others enjoin us to be like the people the apostle Peter addresses: sojourners, aliens, exiles. Instead of whining and feeling sorry for ourselves because the culture is becoming unrecognizable, Christians should align their vision with that of the most mature first-century Christians.
Opposition - Mounts - Place - Persecution - Apostles
If opposition mounts to the place where it can be rightly called persecution, well, then we’re called to follow the apostles, who “left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name” (Acts 5:41). After all, hadn’t the Master, only a short while earlier, told his followers...
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