Over the last eighteen months in America we have seen evil advance at a pace never seen before in our land. It used to be that speaking the truth in America was a virtue. But it is this way no longer. In the history of the church thousands upon thousands of Christians have been martyred for their faith in Christ. The reason they were martyred is because they did not toe the party line. John the Baptist was put in prison and later beheaded because he called out Herod Philip’s sin of incest (Matthew 14:1-12). John the Baptist said something that got him into serious trouble. He called out evil and it cost him his life. This is the story of Christians down through the ages. But what is interesting is that these Christians were not put to death explicitly for their Christian faith, but for another reason. As Christian missionary Paul Washer has said, “Down through history you have a wrong idea of martyrdom and Christian persecution. You think that these men were persecuted and martyred for their sincere faith in Jesus Christ. That was the real reason but no one heard that publicly. They were martyred and they were persecuted as enemies of the state. As bigots, as narrow minded stupid people who had fallen for a rouse and can contribute nothing to society.” Then Washer says something very sobering that Christians should pay close attention to: “Your suffering will not be noble, so your mind must be filled with the Word of God when all people persecute and turn on you.” What is interesting is that Washer warned American Christians about these things ten years ago. His words are prophetic. To stand for Christian truth in modern day America will put you in the minority. In America today it is risky to speak the truth. To call out the LGBTQ agenda as sinful is risky. To call out the social justice movement for what it is (Cultural Marxism) is risky. To call out abortion as murder is risky. To call out human trafficking when many want to sweep it under the rug is risky. To say that Jesus is the only way to God in a believe whatever you want society is risky.
It is even risky to speak the whole truth in mainstream Christianity, but God is pruning his church in America right now. Much of what we thought was American Christianity is in fact a worldly version of Christianity. The very things I mentioned above are either avoided altogether or watered down to make the Christian message more palatable to the secular world. But what these Christians (some real and some phony) forget is that the world will most often have a negative view toward Christians as they follow Christ. Jesus said, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you” (John 15:18). The same world that killed Jesus is the same world that is opposed to his followers. Over the last year I have seen the unbelieving world say good things about some Christians but they all have one thing in common: every person was compromising in some area. These compromised Christians were promoting worldly causes such as social justice or toning it down on the sins of society that are celebrated, such as homosexuality. At the same time these compromised Christians are frustrated with the Christian who are consistently following the Bible on all of these issues. What compromised Christians are saying is that the more rigid Christian is ruining our witness to the world. But they once again forget what Jesus has said. The world will look down on us as we follow him without compromise.
Frankly, John the Baptist type faithfulness is foreign to most of the American Church. Most American Christian leaders today would not call out evil like John the Baptist did because of the uncomfortable consequences. The problem with American Christianity is that most Christian leaders are calculated in what they say. They soften Christianity in order to get the world to like Christianity. But what they are doing is drawing people only to a perverted understanding of the Christian faith. True Christianity loves what is good and hates what is evil. True Christianity has a righteous anger toward sin. True Christianity calls evil for what it is even when there will be blowback. True Christianity does not see “Bible thumping Christians” as the problem, but is alarmed at those so willing to compromise to receive the applause of men. True Christianity is willing to be ostracized from mainstream society like John the Baptist was. True Christianity trusts God to take care of you even though the world despises you. True Christianity is so unlike this world that is passing away. True Christianity is rare air in American Christianity. But even though this is the landscape in America right now may we make it our aim to please God (2 Corinthians 5:9). May we remember that the world’s opinion is so fleeting, but God’s opinion is eternal. May we long to hear the words, “Well done good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21) as we stand with him in a world that largely opposes his followers.
Grace and Peace,
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