"Christianity has lost its privileged status in our society." That is what a Christian friend of mine said recently; and I have thought about that quote extensively lately. I believe there is no doubt that he is correct.
Just yesterday the U.S. Supreme court refused to hear an appeal of lower courts' rulings overturning bans on same-sex marriage in numerous States'; thus by their judicial ruling invalidating numerous States' bans on same-sex marriage. What was the will of the people in numerous states has been overturned by the courts.
In addition to this news, Schools now face the threat of losing accreditation if they do not comply with full affirmation of same-sex attraction. [See here http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/gay-rights-vs-religious-liberty-again/] This will effect any student wishing to go to that institution while simultaneously attempting to procure grants or aid of any Federal or State kind; as to qualify for this aid the student must be going to an institution that is accredited.
I have no doubt, sadly, that we live in a country where the definition of marriage in secular minds no longer is exclusive to a male-female relationship. My daughters will grow up seeing in television, media, educational institutions, in the workplace, and in public - sexual deviancy. Of course this is not limited to same-sex attraction - the, "hookup" culture, the selling of sex alongside every commodity, and the promise of immediate gratification is sold to all people regardless of their sexual orientation. As girls all too often they will be looked at simply as an apparatus to male pleasure...or female pleasure. It is enough to make a father vomit.
Marriage is no longer looked at as the life-long commitment of a man and a woman - biologically ordered by the Creator towards the creating and rearing of children [have you ever stopped to wonder why the sex organs are the only human organs that are incomplete without their compliment - and they cannot function in their totality without the opposite?] This attempt to redefine the created order has tremendous impacts for our society that are as yet unseen by many in our society - but will throughout the generations reveal itself as destructive to the family, the very building block of society.
But this is but one example. Greed, deception, and violence - it is all on the increase. Behaviors and attitudes that were once hidden in dark places are now practiced proudly and openly. Greed is actually sold as good. We no longer live in a culture that values human life - but instead looks at people simply in economic means - are they useful? Will they be a burden? Will they negatively impact my emotional enjoyment at the moment? If so, eradicate.
We have doubled down on ignorance. Our cultural elite have lulled the population to sleep with gawdy entertainment simply to re-enforce the ideas that they want us to swallow wholesale. In general, we have become a populace that is uninformed, too busy to care, and simply focused on ourselves and our life.
Yet...what troubles me even more than the state of the culture that we live in is the Christian's response to this culture - capitulation, hate, fear, or retreat.
Some Christians simply capitulate. We simply rewrite the rules. We see that we are on the, "losing side of history" and attempt to accommodate and earn the love of this world. This will never work. We cannot capitulate enough to satisfy the desires of the world; and it only leaves both them and us confused as to the truth. That is why I would rather be on the right side of truth and the wrong side of history.
Some Christians hate. Because they feel pushed and threatened, they begin to hate. Hate the homosexuals! Hate the secularists! Hate the media! Hate 'em all! They rage against the news and televisions and stew in loathing. Again, totally misguided. While natural to hate when attacked....did our Lord not tell us to love our enemies, do good to those who hate us, and pray for those who mistreat us? All too often, in our safe circles, Christians make fun of, demean, and arrogantly put down those that are stuck in sin....as if we were not there once too huh?
Some Christians fear. I find myself here far too often. Afraid of what might come. Afraid of whether or not I will be able to stay true to the Savior in the midst of what is sure to come. Afraid of the economic impacts of me boldly professing the truth..."will I lose family, relationships, my job, etc..." Afraid of, "what might be..." This too is folly. Fear does not come from God - it is a tool of the enemy. Fear is not of faith. Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world.
Still other Christians retreat. I meet many Christians that simply think if they retreat to some corner of the world that is simpler, that is still actively Christian in culture, that is still, "wholesome" than they will be safe. Again, folly. Sin will find us wherever we go. We cannot hide. We cannot run. It is there.
So what is the answer? The answer can be found in Romans 13:14, "But put on the Lord Jesus Christ..." We need to love as we have been loved. Jesus sat with the tax collectors, the prostitutes, and the sinners. He ate with the depraved and the downtrodden. He sat and fellowshipped with those in the culture that were indeed sinful...not to affirm their sin, not to capitulate the commands, not to hate, and certainly not to fear - but to love. And that love transformed them. Those that took advantage - took advantage no longer. Those that were in adultery - went and sinned no more. Those that were in deviancy - were changed by the radical love of Jesus Christ.
Have you ever stopped to wonder why people get stuck in this cultural rot? I have no doubt that it is the human being's need for acceptance that makes them dumb down morality so far and so low in order that they can get the false impression that they can meet the standard. But deep inside us we know the truth do we not? We know that God knows - and we know that God cares - and we know we are in trouble. This is why the culture tries to shout down any dissenting voices to their immorality....they wrongly think that if they can drown dissent that they can create God's acceptance. This too is folly.
But it is when you actually sit down with people in sin, as we too were once deep in sin, that you find out that people...are people. Christians - do we want to win back the culture? Talk to people. Love them. Feed them. Clothe them. Speak Law to them...and when repentance is present give the Gospel - Jesus Christ came to save sinners, of which I am Chief. People are searching for acceptance - show them through love and truth - that God accepts all who turn from sin and embrace His Son Jesus. Love...as you have been loved. Radically love.
As Jesus said to the synagogue ruler whose daughter was pronounced dead...."Don't be afraid...just believe."
This is a call to all Christians - it is time to radically, unconditionally, love as Christ did.