Times are hard these days for a Christian. Never has persecution been so severe. Just the other day some acquaintance of mine made fun of my Jesus fish; and the week before, a complete stranger scoffed at my Jesus shirt. And just yesterday–I can hardly recall it without tears coming to my eyes–someone called me intolerant!
Yes, the opposition we face today cannot be compared with that which the first century church saw. They were only beaten to death, but WE aren’t allowed to hang the ten commandments in courtrooms. They were sawed in half, but WE are losing our majority in the House of Representatives. They were devoured by lions for a public spectacle, but WE–God have mercy!–we are denied nonprofit status and our due tax exemptions. Woe to us, Lord, we are undone!
You will be good enough to understand, therefore, why we are sometimes hesitant to proclaim your Word, why we laugh and remain silent when unbelievers disparage your name, why we even concede a few minor points for the sake of fitting in. We hope you won’t mind if we wuss out with regard to a few theological claims which we have deemed unimportant. After all, we can’t spread the Word if we can’t be popular…right? And we hope you will understand why we fail to give an answer for our reasons for believing in you, why at the first sign of intellectual opposition we sink back into intellectual complacency and softly reply, “You just have to have faith.” You didn’t really expect us to be like Paul, who is said to have “vigorously refuted the Jews in public debate, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ” (Acts 18:28), do you? You don’t really expect us to put forth the mental effort to study the historical and philosophical evidence for Christianity? That’s so much more work than our subjective appeals to personal experience, and with what persecution as we face these days, you’re lucky we identify ourselves as Christians at all!
A Concerned Believer
See HERE the response of the Lord to this concerned believer. 🙂