Swimming against the tide

Increasingly today, evangelical Christians are swimming against the tide.

That can be daunting, but the rewards are great for those who keep on swimming.

General social attitudes on issues such as marriage and abortion are a sign of what is happening in the religious landscape in North America.

In my lifetime, I have seen a radical shift away from the traditional Christian view – based on the Bible – that marriage is only between men and women.  And the general population now approves of abortion.

This has happened bit-by-bit over the last few decades.

Attitudes toward evangelical Christians have also hardened.

I remember reading a poll published in a newspaper some years ago that asked people of different racial and religious backgrounds whom they would least wish their sons or daughters to marry.  The answer was they would least want their children to marry evangelicals.

The editors of Evidence for God have quoted a 2007 report published by the Institute for Jewish and Community Research which found American college and university faculty “overwhelmingly assert their desire to see Christian influence lessened”.

In fact, the report concluded that even atheist faculty “defend the right of Muslims to express their religious beliefs in American politics, while holding openly hostile views of fundamentalist Christians”.

We Christians have helped cause this reaction by some of the things we have said and done in the past.  But this widespread view among reasonably well-educated North Americans goes well beyond that explanation.

It represents a fundamental clash in world views: Do you – or do you not – believe in God and that faith in God is more important than anything else?

If you believe in Jesus, you will want others to find eternal hope and joy in God.  You will place Jesus ahead of anything else in life.

The evil one will fight this view with all his resources.  His principal weapon is deception.

Should we believers be discouraged and allow ourselves to be swept away with others in the tide?

There is no need to give up.  The story of God in the Bible tells of far worse situations which were surmounted by ordinary men and women who followed God.

Sometimes they died for their faith and saw no changes in their lifetimes.  But God moved and over the centuries, God triumphed.

The story of Moses, the story of the prophets, and the story of Jesus tell us that the battle is not as uneven as it seems in our eyes.  What seems like victory for the dark side is upended as time goes on.

The ultimate reward for faithfulness to God is waiting for us in heaven.

But even in this world, we have a foretaste of what is to come when we see the love of God touch someone’s heart – someone who seemed lost forever.

God’s love is greater than any force arrayed against it.


2 comments so far

  1. Madeline on

    Bob, Such beautiful thoughts to take to heart. Love them

  2. Robert Douglas on

    Many thanks, Madeline.

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