Christian revolutionaries

A long-time friend of mine said something that caught my attention yesterday – today’s Christians are revolutionaries!

He meant that Christians in North America are no longer part of the mainstream, but are “cultural revolutionaries”. It’s a good point.

My friend speaks from experience. He was a Marxist socialist for some years, working in small groups to change Canadian society. Then, several decades ago, he became a Christian and now sees the world through a very different lens.

As we all know, society has changed dramatically in the last 50 years. In Canada, the province I grew up in – Quebec – was one of the most religious states in the world in the 1950s. Today, it is the most non-religious in Canada with few holding to any faith.

Social changes such as open abortion and gay marriage are now generally accepted in this country – something that was unthinkable when I was a teenager. The left-wing liberals and socialists that my friend once worked with as a young man are in the ascendancy.

So much so that Christian believers are now swimming against the current, just holding on to their beliefs.

If we stand by the gospel – the good news of Jesus Christ – we are considered strange, intellectually-deficient, and perhaps people to be shunned. Years ago, I saw a poll in a Canadian national newspaper which found that Canadian parents would least like their children to marry evangelical Christians.

Already, action has been launched in courts and human rights tribunals against Christian schools for demanding that teachers hold to Christian social and spiritual values.

So, my friend is right: If we remain true to our beliefs we are revolutionaries – cultural revolutionaries. On some issues, we find ourselves opposed to generally-accepted social standards.

For me, it is important that we don’t confuse the gospel with inherited practices. The good news is that God sent Jesus to save us – to reconcile us to himself by dying on the cross and rising again. God acted in love and is still seeking those who don’t know him.

We should not be surprised that we find ourselves aliens and pilgrims in this world – it was predicted in the scriptures long ago. In fact, it is probably better that the lines are being drawn more clearly today than they were 50 years ago when many people were “cultural Christians” simply because it was good for business to go church.

I believe the Christian “revolutionary” should be different than bomb-throwing political revolutionaries of past centuries. We should be like Jesus, loving people and filled with his compassion and mercy.

In many ways, it is harder to be that kind of revolutionary – a revolutionary of love. But we can be sure that God looks down on us with a heart bursting full of love.

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