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.
Kanye West recently announced that he was running for president and was promptly endorsed by Elon Musk. Welcome to the year that is 2020. In his wildly entertaining and slightly bizarre interview shortly after his initial declaration, Kanye made a statement that is worth zeroing in on. No, I’m not talking about the fact that when asked what party he would be running for he said “Birthday Party” or his campaign promise that everyone would get 40 acres and a mule. I’m talking about his stance on the mark of the beast. When asked about a COVID vaccine Kanye said:
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?
On January 26, 2020, our world was shocked to hear of the tragic death of Kobe Bryant. He was just 41 years old. Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna was also killed in the crash. Our hearts sink just thinking about the family members still alive that are affected by this. I was personally moved, because I can understand a little of the pain they are going through. I lost my brother, sister-in-law, and their unborn baby girl to a bus crash that happened right in front of me. It was a tragedy that seemed to sap the vitality of life right out of me. All of this tragedy has left many people asking the same age-old question that man has been asking:
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