I scrolled past a dozen posts about the latest ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States followed by several posts discussing the latest church fires that have occurred throughout the Southeast. I saw link to an article about the 10 Commandments being removed in Oklahoma and then several other links to discussions about the oppression we are facing from our government. To top it off, there was another article about why millennials are leaving the church in droves.
I see a lot of fear and I see a lot of uncertainty.
As we watch everything seemingly crumble around us it appears we are desperately grasping at straws to stay relevant in an increasingly post-Christian society.
As Christians, our reactions are reflecting our desperation.
Just this morning I saw two more posts from friends threatening to ‘unfriend’ those who don’t agree with them.
Christians are fighting Christians. Believers are fighting unbelievers. Sarcasm. Spite. Anger. Hate.
The comfortable bubble that we have worshiped inside of for so many years has popped and we are scared.
For decades Christianity has been popular in America. It’s been a label that many have worn with pride; even those who aren’t living a Christ-like lifestyle. It’s been accepted and celebrated. We’ve credited all that is good in our nation to God; His blessing was surely upon us.
We have lived in the bubble that we are a Christian nation. Our Founding Fathers’ built this nation on Godly principles and that has been our security blanket; our comfort zone. Yet history has shown us from our earliest settlers until today that our history has been filled with darkness as well.
Yet as we continue to hear about Christianity being ushered out of our government; and it embattles us. We criticize and fight for an official recognition that affirms us in our faith.
Why? It certainly wouldn’t change anything.
Why do we think that the government removing God from daily discourse can remove God from us? Is our faith really that weak?
I understand our nation was founded on Christian principles, by Christian men…but why do we feel that if that is no longer our official recognition we can no longer go on following Christ and serving others just as we always have.
What if we were born in Iran? Or Egypt? Or China?
Are we afraid that if government removes Christianity from the mainstream it might be a little harder to be a Christian?
Are we afraid that if government removes Christianity from the mainstream being a Christian will be a little less popular?
Are we afraid that if government removes Christianity from the mainstream we may actually have to truly understand what Christ said when He said, “if the world hates you, know that it hated Me first?”
Yes. Yes. And yes.
Early followers of Christ didn’t live the American dream. They didn’t have a large government affirming and supporting their faith.
They were imprisoned for what they believed. They were crucified for what they believed. They were sawed in two for what they believe. They were burned alive for what they believed. They didn’t need an ‘entity’ to tell them their faith was real; they knew it was real. They were willing to continue in it whether it was popular or not.
I am afraid we fight so hard to keep God a part of politics so that we can continue to serve Him pain free.
We know when God is removed from government, persecution will come. So we fight to keep God in for our own comfort.
I have heard the argument from those who fight to keep God a part of government that it is so others can be drawn to Him. Guess what? If we all lived as true followers of Christ, others wouldn’t need a political entity to point them towards Christ. We were called salt and light; not the political systems around us. That is why underground churches are thriving around the world…WITHOUT the approval of government.
Christianity isn’t losing, it can’t lose. It is comfort that we are losing, and that is okay.
THIS kingdom is not our kingdom. God’s Kingdom come, and His will be done…regardless of a seal of approval on it or not.
Do I pray for our leaders, that they would make wise, biblical decisions with our Nation? Absolutely.
Do I respect our leaders, and the authority that they have over us? You bet.
But nothing can affect my relationship with Christ, nothing.
Jesus didn’t give us the example of fighting the empire. Jesus gave us the example of rescuing people from imperialistic thinking and introducing them to a new Kingdom.
We also don’t have to agree with each other to love each other. We don’t have to have a government that legislates the way we want in order to walk with God. We can stand for truth and for love amidst disagreement.
Does it bring conflict and tension, YES! That is okay. We are entering a time where we are seeing the true damage of the brand of Christianity we have embraced for years in the West, the Christianity that taught us it was our best life now and everything would be gravy.
That’s not what Jesus taught us. He taught us there would be trials and persecutions. He taught us we’d be hated for what we believe. And then he told us to LOVE ANYWAY.
Love demands truth…but truth also demands love.
We are better than this.
Don’t fight it. Live in it.
There are beautiful days ahead of us.