American Christians are starting to get little uncomfortable.
No, we aren't suffering intense persecution like our brothers and sisters in other parts of the world. We aren't being driven from our homes or exiled from our communities. We aren't martyrs, and we shouldn't pretend that we are. We're just getting a little uncomfortable, which just might be a good thing.
As we watch our culture rapidly and radically shift, it’s clear that holding to the historical teachings of Christianity is going to become increasingly difficult.
Holding to biblical convictions regarding human sexuality and gender, the sanctity of preborn life, and even sharing our faith with others, is no longer considered to be simply unpopular, backward, narrow-minded, or intolerant--it’s considered morally wrong.
Nothing prepares you to hear your wife say the words “something’s wrong.” Her voice on the phone was strained and almost frantic. I immediately agreed to meet her at the doctor’s office and hurried to tell my boss that I was taking an early lunch. My thoughts raced during the short drive as a rock formed in the pit of my stomach.
Why is it that laughter is lauded but tears are shameful? We’re okay with saying a guy is “funny” but to say he’s a “crier” is a bit of an insult. No one has ever vocally admitted this to me, but it sure seems to be a common perception. Real men don’t cry–not in public anyway. And if they do cry, that’s just weakness.
There’s nothing more torturous, yet more necessary, than hope.
There is nothing more satisfying than a realized hope, and there’s nothing more sickening than having your hopes dashed. Truly, the words Proverbs 13:12 resonate with our experience: “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.”
We can’t help but hope. We hope for better days, for fulfilled dreams, for restored relationships, for financial security, for personal happiness. We tell ourselves the risk is worth the reward, we plug our ears when the pessimists call our hopes “wishful thinking” and we guard vigilantly against any threat to our hopes.
Perhaps you’ve seen it on Facebook. Perhaps you’ve heard it on the blogosphere. People are getting antsy under quarantine, no surprise there. Our worst fears about the Coronavirus have not been realized, praise the Lord there! But all of this raises several difficult questions. How long can they do this? How long can governors keep our economy shut down? How long can churches legitimately be told they can’t meet in person? How do we respond to violations of the constitution? And most importantly how do we as Christians think about being Americans?
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