In an earlier part of this blog I suggested that the 1940’s and 1950’s religious faith hadn’t prepared Americans for the rigors of the 1960’s and later. That didn’t mean faith didn’t motivate significant moral and kingdom development. Lincoln Bible College, in Lincoln, Illinois, began in 1944. Ozark Bible College, in Joplin, Missouri, in 1942. Many new church buildings re-located from small to larger facilities. Churches sent missionaries abroad in increasing numbers.
However, that faith flourished largely in church-focused loyalty, not Christ-centered commitment. It was easier to be a church member since so many were. And easier to have a church-focused life since so many had.
Since the 1960’s, and increasingly in the 21st century, it’s easier to be an environmentalist than a Christian; or an animal activist than a Christian; or a climate-change advocate than a Christian; or a business major or Wall Street analyst than a Christian. To be a devotee of yoga, Buddha or Mohammed than a Christian. Anything now is easier than being a Christian!
Indeed, its UN-POPULAR to be a Christian, defending Jesus today. Try praying in his name in public; or condemning anti-Bible behavior; or insisting publicly that Jesus remains the only way to enter God’s Presence. Such “Christian” declarations earn disciples the label of “intolerant hate group.”
What, then, should Christians do in such a resistant society? Consider ourselves cab drivers in inner-cities at night. To make a living, they chance bodily harm or death. To make a witness for Jesus, we chance rejection, ridicule or worse. We risk whatever cost we pay to continue being his witnesses, whether wanted or not, welcomed or not. End Part VI.
How can we rise to the occasion and best serve Jesus? The answer in the Finale.