“America is in a post-Christian era; we’ve finally regained our senses and kicked all this Jesus junk to the curb. Now maybe we can get something accomplished.”
That’s what the informed, sophisticated, and elite are telling everybody they can get to listen. ” ‘S over. Done. Put a fork in it, pal. Your Bible and your Jesus just don’t cut it. We’ve been trying to tell you that; but, hey–if you wanna go over in an unused storeroom and keep practicing your silly, archaic beliefs, knock yourself out. Just understand: you’re in a minority. One day you’ll all die off and this will be a better place for it. Frankly, we don’t need very many of your kind.”
They’re right. Across the land, there is a strong rip-tide of anti-Christian bigotry and outright hatred out of all proportion to what one would expect. Jesus told us it would happen, and told us how to deal with it.
Really? Come on, now. You don’t need me spoonfeeding you. Christ’s teachings are all right there in the Gospels. They’re not confusing and take little time to read. Besides, you need to know for yourself what they say.
They’re also right in saying “we don’t need very many of your kind.”
All it takes is one.
Where you work, play, worship, shop, dine, go for walks, stop for coffee, even step inside to use the bathroom and refill your iced tea: all that’s required is a single authentic witness for Jesus Christ, shining through your eyes, tempering your words, softening your touch, flavoring and seasoning your attitudes.
And you may be it. Many profess popular Christianity because it gets most people off their backs. Pastors. Sunday school teachers. Group leaders. But as far as nitty-gritty, gettin’-raht-dayon-tuit Jesus followers? You might just be it. And if you are, thank God for the privilege of repping for His Kingdom values.
At this point in history there is a strong need for true, honest Christian apologetics. Know why? Too many waving the Christian flag have edged over into the harsh, brittle, caustic attitudes of the religiously-rabid, hardened activist. While their basic truths might be on the money, delivering them like removing a fly from someone’s forehead with a shovel is guaranteed to get lousy reviews.
It also pumps fuel into the tanks of those looking for excuses to discredit, even to destroy those trying to live Godly lives.
I know. The fierce, ugly attacks streaming in against conservative Christian values are constant and increasingly vile. They snare every Godly person in the same net, viciously making efforts to destroy their character. And the strange thing? Look honestly at who most usually shows up to offer loving and unconditional care when someone is in peril. Yeah–even those who hate ’em.
Come on, now.
Sure. The headlines are full of LGBT glee over the recent SCOTUS decision, and the judgment for plaintiffs ($135,000) of Oregon’s bakers. As with all such things, on both sides of the issue there’s more than meets the mouth.
Sometimes the best thing to do is shut up and do a little more listening. Okay, a lot more listening. Melissa and Aaron Klein have a right, as Americans, to make a living without harassment from anyone. If you don’t like their beliefs and attitudes, don’t patronize their bakery. No one forced you to make their electronic doorbell go “Dee-kooo” as you walked in.
Equally, as Americans, Rachel and Laurel Bowman-Cryer had no expectation of the intensity of harassment they received which included death threats from supporters of the Kleins–threats which involved their two foster daughters, who since have been adopted.
Point: this mess has stretched on since 2013. Did either the Kleins or Bowman-Cryers think to simply sit down together with someone both sides could trust and privately work this out? (Yeah. A Biblical concept. Embarrassing, isn’t it?) Is it possible the Bowman-Cryers were looking for some “anti-LGBT” bigots to target? Is it possible the Kleins might’ve had cupcakes on their shoulders, waiting for some of “those pro-gay” bigots to come in and knock ’em off? The, ah, cupcakes; not the Kleins.
I don’t know. I do know that it’s tough to pick a fight with somebody who loves you enough to not put on the gloves in the first place. See, I don’t know if the Kleins had other employees. But here’s the deal. Since Oregon’s Kleins could be so easily blocked from carrying on their livelihoods – maybe permanently – what’s that say to the Smiths from Toledo or the Framinghams from Muncie?
When stuff like this hits the media – which is already biased, figuring anyone claiming Jesus as their Lord is a whack job – everyone involved suffers from the unevenhanded treatment they receive. Everyone.
So, yeah. You a Christian? Seriously? Then you’re needed more now than at any time in America’s history.
- The farther from the truth people drift, the madder they get when confronted by it. Expect the pushback. Lovingly and firmly take your stand for Christ and love in His name.
- As America wades farther away from its God-recognizing roots and willingly embraces every other godlet out there – even those on the CLEARANCE aisle that never sold the first time – our society and culture is going to need to see, hear, know and be loved by The Real Deal: authentic, honest-to-God Christians.
- No matter how enemies of Christ try to say otherwise, this is a spiritual war. And guess what? Satan hates every human alive: no matter what your sexual choices are, you are squarely in his crosshairs. The only reason he cares about you at all is to waste you to get back at God.
- Overcoming evil with good is not a cute religious quotation. It’s a command of Jesus. Hatred fought with yet more hatred is a lose-lose, no matter from whence it comes, or what excuses are used.
- Live in truth, and keep it up. As the lies are exposed, all looking on, including nonChristians, will be able to discern what’s right and what’s not. An unknown writer: “God, give me real eyes so I can realize the real lies and know where the real lies.”
- Keep The Main Thing the main thing. I mentioned this is a spiritual war. There’s only one winner, and His name is Jesus, God Himself. Keep Him the focal point of all this – and specifically His death, resurrection and eventual return. The more you do, His enemies will try to distract in every imaginable way. Just keep the pressure on by lovingly referring folks back to His ultimate expression of Love: Himself, sacrificing life for life and then rising in ultimate power from death itself to prove Satan’s impotence. Know what that means? Anybody who sincerely turns away from worshiping self and embraces Christ, seeking His forgiveness for sin, can join Him in new life, both here and There.
Anybody. Got that? Aaaanybody. Doesn’t matter who you are, where you’ve been or what you’ve done. That, my friend, is Love. And I don’t care what you’ve been promised, nothing in this world can even come close!
So, therefore . . .
All it takes is one true Christian man or woman to show up the popular, cheap, glitzy, glossy, garishly-colored sideshow stuff that’s crammed on the displays just as you’re in line to check out of this life.
Your personal faith: STAND IN IT.
Do it now. Keep it up.
© D. Dean Boone, July 2015