Monday, April 27, 2015

What's a Christian to Do?

There is a lot of discussion today on social media and in other places about how America and other parts of the world are becoming increasingly hostile to Christians. This is not surprising, and is in fact predicted several times in the Bible. The apostle Paul puts it this way “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.” (2 Timothy 3:13)

We as Christians need to be aware of what is going on around us and we need to be prepared to stand for Christ no matter what the cost. We also need to continue to proclaim the gospel so that others can find the truth and be prepared for his return. That being said, I feel the need to take some time to address what I feel is a disturbing trend in Christian circles today.

I recently saw someone on Facebook (and I know he’s not alone) imply that there is nothing we can do or should do to stand up for our rights. If we are persecuted, we should just rejoice that we were found worthy to suffer and move on. I think this is the wrong view on this issue.

While persecution is a very real thing both here and abroad and will only get worse as time goes on, I believe we as Christians often contribute to the problem by taking an apathetic approach in the way we respond to the loss of our rights.

Many people would say that Christians should not be involved in things of a civic manner because they should be gospel minded. I agree that the gospel is important, however if the gospel does not change the way we live our daily lives what good is it?

It’s true that there is a lot in Scripture about heaven being our home and this earth being temporary. It may be easy for some to infer that these passages speak against being involved in government or standing up for earthly rights. It’s worth noting however, that the early church was for the most part under dictatorships and had little or no opportunity to affect their government.

As American citizens, we do have a voice. I believe that only do we have a right to influence the public arena, we have a duty to do so. The Proverbs say “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.” (Proverbs 29:2) I feel blessed that I can support candidates who have a respect for the word of God.

Another area in which I believe Christians miss the mark is that they often believe that legislation is a waste of time. To them I say if we are to do everything to the glory of God, shouldn't that include the way we legislate? I think so. I also think it’s important for us to know the law and to be able to articulate it well. If we are not, we can easily be made to believe that something we are free to do is illegal.

 I am very thankful for places like the American Center for Law and Justice who defend the constitutional rights of students and others were simply embracing their freedom to live out their Christian faith. They have had a great deal of success, and we should pray that it continues.

Another common misconception is that putting forthAnother area in which I believe some Christians are weak is when they. godly legislation is forcing our religion on others. The irony in this is that the reason for most God honoring legislation is because we as a country fail to see the “self-evident truths” upon which this country was built. Those of us who speak up about these things do so because we want to get back to the principles of freedom that made America great.

I would like to put before you the example of William Wilberforce. He was a man in the British Parliament struggled with whether he should leave to be a minister of the gospel. He realized that he could impact people for Christ while making his voice heard in Parliament on important issues such as slavery. Because of this, Great Britain outlawed slavery about half a century before America did. I don’t sacrifice gospel because I love this country, rather I love this country because it was founded (in large part) by those who loved the gospel.

I believe that if we stay quiet on the important issues of our day we will be contributors to the decay of our society. If we do nothing we in essence contribute to a self-fulfilled prophecy. I believe that we can be agents of change much like Wilberforce was in his day.

While it is true that the world is getting darker by the day you must remember that we have been called to "shine as lights in the world;” (Philippians 2:15) it is time for us to shine brighter! There is too much at stake to do nothing. What is God calling you to do?Call


Andrew Gommesen          

1 comment:

Laurel said...

Well said, Andrew!