I suspect that as American society grows more and more impatient with Christians, our numbers will shrink as the anemic, the pretenders, the cowardly, the “can’t we all just get along?” crowd vanishes. I suspect that what’s left will have more muscle, and become more effective. And suffer. For …to this you have been called. (1 Peter 2:21).
The Chick-fil-a controversy has stirred up ominously dark clouds for Americans. What other nation is as casual as the USA when its citizens say whatever moronic, repulsive, vulgar, or threatening thought crosses their minds? Yet let a business owner donate dollars to organizations which endorse (which is not the same as enforce) a historical concept of marriage–and mention it publicly, and suddenly the same thought police that brought us no-holds-barred speech, want it to apply only to their convictions. You’d have thought Dan Cathy was urging those who agree with him to arm themselves and injure opponents. You’d have thought that. But he just used his constitutionally guaranteed rights. Dark clouds for Americans.
But not dark clouds for American Christians. Maybe the reverse, actually. Face it Christians, historically, we’ve never been popular. Hounded, imprisoned and executed whether for refusing to worship the emperor, or for celebrating communion, or for urging people to repent and turn to Christ, or for insisting there was such a thing as sin. Our ancestors’ children were killed, their lands and houses confiscated. That was then.
Today in America, some believers are multi-millionaires, some are in elite positions of civil power, some are professionals who enjoy wide respect. We’ve got men and women in high places in schools, sports, government, and business/industry. Some church leaders have the ear of those with secular power. The children of Christians are protected from bullying like other children. They get an education. Christians can borrow money without being cheated by banks.
This is all good; but not necessarily wonderful.
Honestly, most of us American believers are soft and timid. Yes, we’re nicer–which doesn’t hurt all by itself. But people don’t necessarily recognize faith by niceness any more than they do by the meanness of some of our brethren. After all, some atheists and agnostics are nice. Faith is a platform for truth. God says “…speak the truth in love…”. Speaking the truth without love is godless but so is speaking in a loving fashion without speaking the truth.