It’s time to count the cost
The past two centuries have been a great time to be a Christian in America. We have been able to worship freely, to publish freely, to broadcast the Gospel over the public airwaves and preach it in the streets. From the safety of this enclave, we have sent missionaries all over the world, preaching the Good News. That freedom may be drawing to a close.
There are many reasons for it, which I will not get into here. But as new pharaoh who knew not Joseph (Exodus 1:8) resulted in slavery for the Israelites, so the rise of the cult of the Woke in the West will likely result in constrictions on Christianity.
They may not at first be overt. Rather, they will be small limitations that chip away at the Truth that we are supposed to speak. Your employer may threaten your job if you refer to a sexually-confused man as “him.” You may be cited for hate speech for calling homosexuality evil. Your church attendance may be limited due to a “health emergency” even as the riots of the Woke are ignored. Ministries may be driven off the air, churches sued into bankruptcy.
As the Woke grow bolder and more confident, they will engage the power of government to stifle all dissent. These are haters of God, so your very belief in Jesus is dissent from their religion. Given our present political trajectory, there will likely come a real, personal cost to being a Christian in America, especially one who obeys Christ in the matter of witness and testimony. This is not to be feared, but rather expected. Jesus promised us persecutions. He also promised us rewards if we persevere.
If there’s one idea I want you to internalize, it’s this: There is no going back. There is no political way to make America what it once was, for we are not the same people we were. There is no voting our way to the heady times when everyone pretty much accepted Christian morality. While politics certainly has its value, it ought not be the primary concern of the Christian. Or rather, to expand the kingdom of God in a nation under wrath*, we need to do politics a different way.
1) We need to decide if we are truly going to follow Jesus.
This may seem like a silly decision (didn’t we already make it at Church camp?). It’s not. Jesus said that His followers will be persecuted (John 15:20). Paul said that if we desire to live godly we will be persecuted (2 Timothy 3:12). It is to be expected for us; it is not to be feared. Remember what Peter shared:
[I]f you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. – 1 Peter 4:16
The time is coming when you may suffer loss of property, freedom, family, even life for being a Christian. Christian history is full of such episodes. It’s time to get with God and decide how much stuff you’re willing to lose to gain everything.
2) We need to pray for those suffering persecution. And we need to help them.
It’s time to get serious about supporting our brethren who are suffering for Christ. Not only “over there”, but here as well. Look for those in your church, community and nation who are suffering because of God’s word in whatever way. Maybe they are being excoriated on Facebook because they stand for life. Maybe their property has been vandalized because they stand against transgenderism. Pray for them. Comfort them. Then stand with them in Christ and in public.
3) We need to consider it all joy when we are tried.
The New Testament is filled with admonitions and promises regarding suffering for what is right and the rewards that accrue from it, both in this life and the next (c.f. Matthew 5:10-12, Luke 21:12-19, Hebrews 10:32-34, Revelation 2:11). If we believe God, we will patiently endure suffering, if that is His will for us. We will not grumble, nor complain. Instead, we will glorify God and we will build His kingdom.
Men of the West do not need to fear suffering. The West was built by men who both suffered and conquered in the name of Christ. If we fear anything, it should be that the ease in which we have lived as American Christians — both in material comfort and spiritual sloth — has made us too weak to face the trials that are coming our way.
Let us pray that we are counted worthy to suffer, if that is God’s will for us. Let us remember that we are more than conquerors through Christ who loved us. And who showed us the way through His own suffering.
* The evidence that God’s hand is against America today is overwhelming. We have sexual confusion everywhere**. We have a national government that allows (and will likely soon pay for) the slaughter of our unborn. We are foolishly prodding other world powers, even as we prioritize diversity over competence in our armed forces. We are ruled by a dotard who is advised primarily by foreigners. There is tough sledding ahead in many ways.
** A careful reading of Romans 1:18-31 will reveal that sexual confusion does not bring God’s wrath on a people. Rather, widespread sexual confusion results from God giving up on people when they refuse to acknowledge Him. It is an external manifestation of internal trouble.
Amen. I accepted Jesus Christ as Savior in my late 20s. One thing that surprised me at the time was how many congregations sent money and mission trips to Central America and overseas. I remember thinking, “There are a lot of unbelievers right here in the USA.” I still think that.
There are, and they are becoming more common.
Part of that desire to go “over there” may be residual White Man’s Burden thinking, but another part is that it’s a good use of resources. For example, there’s a ministry in Illinois called “Love Packages” that ships used bibles, Christian books, “misprints”, all that fun stuff, to third-world countries that speak English. You can reach a *lot* of people who have never heard the gospel for relatively little money (most of the books are donated), and these folks are starving for the word.
Meanwhile, Americans voluntarily dial past the Gospel to listen to Beyonce. They politely accept the Gideon’s bibles and then trash them as soon as they round the corner.
Americans whom the Holy Sprit draws have can hear the Gospel with ease here, while there are a billion people in India alone who perhaps cannot.
There comes a point where you have to shake the dust off your feet and take the Word elsewhere. I’m not saying we’re there in America, but we’re close.
I find it funny that The Church of Woke still has “average” people believing that Christians are part of the power structure in the West. Atheism is clearly the spirit of the day, and even most “Christians” are atheists for all intents and purposes. Unlike in the past, this time when we are persecuted it will be by people claiming they are weaker than us. A new kind of persecution “by the weak” in return of our previous lives of ease. Fitting.