I awoke this morning to read an article from The Washington Post about a monument of the Ten Commandments in Oklahoma, that was quietly removed over night after being declared by a court as a violation of the state constitution on the use of public property to support “any sect, church, denomination or system of religion.” I’ve seen other articles like this. Even here in Florida there have been similar battles for remove Ten Commandment monuments.
But as I read this article, I began to think about the obvious increase in open hostility toward Christianity in America. I have read many articles just this month dealing with the new reality of a post-Christian era in America. Less than a decade ago, we were reading about using “Happy Holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas”, thinking that was a big deal. How quickly things can change.
As you know, despite the deafening silence from mainstream media and any government officials, the Oregon shooter, specifically targeted Christians in his murderous rampage last week, marking a clear transition in the history of America, with regards to Christianity. This has certainly been a tough year for followers of Jesus Christ. Earlier this year, a divided, partisan Supreme Court, imposed its own interpretation on marriage, casting aside the most basic and fundamental institution of civilization to placate the outcry of a super minority seeking approval and acceptance. No one stopped to consider the full implications of such a decision, which had immediate ramifications on a young private business owner who refused to create a wedding cake for a same sex couple; a couple she knew and had served many times in her store.
More recently Kim Davis, another committed follower of Jesus, was thrown in jail for simply trying to live out the tenets of her faith. Although there are varying circumstances and opinions in each of these situations, when you put them all together, one thing becomes crystal clear: America is quickly moving away from its Judeo-Christian roots. WIth that in mind, the question for Christians becomes, “Where do we go from here?” Let me offer a few thoughts for consideration:
- STAND- I was so moved by the testimonies of the Oregon shooting. The man asked if they were Christians. If they said yes, he killed them immediately. What faith! What reckless abandonment and boldness for Jesus Christ! Can I tell you, it’s not going to get any easier. Jesus warned us. The Apostle Paul warned us. New Testament Christianity has always been despised by the world. Yet Christ has called us to stand unashamedly as bold witnesses of His cross!
- SPEAK- As you read the account of the early believers in the book of Acts, we find them standing boldly and preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They faced tremendous persecution, but they would not be silenced. Peter declared “Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” Acts 4:19-20 Listen! Christ has called us to proclaim His Gospel! People will hate you, despise you, refuse to listen to you, but Jesus has called you to compassionately share His message of salvation to those in need. You are to be the salt! You are to be the light! Stand up and speak up for His glory! Do it without reservation and fear. There is no room in today’s culture for “closet-Christianity!”
- SERVE– Yes things are tough, and it’s only going to get worse. But what a glorious time to serve our Savior! What an opportunity to be a bold witness for Jesus in these last days. We could very likely be the generation that ushers in the coming of our Savior! Don’t sit back in fear and complacency! Don’t “hunker down and hold on.” Get busy serving the Lord through your local church! Become an active part of the body of Christ and find something to do and determine to make a difference in someone’s life for eternity.
There’s so much more to be said on this issue, but I pray that this short article will encourage you to remember that Jesus said these things would happen. But He also said “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” Luke 21:28 Stand up and speak up! Determine to be a faithful servant of Christ in these last days! #IamAChristian