One of the highest values literally worshiped by our modern American culture is tolerance. “I must not judge you, and you must not judge me. If I am a druggie, gay, straight, bi-sexual, transgendered, Buddhist, atheist, agnostic, Hindu—whatever—that is my business, not yours! So keep your nose out of my business, thank you!”
Then along comes what appears to the world as the caricature of a squeaky-clean, Bible-thumping, evangelical Christian telling those around him that Jesus is “the way, the truth, and the life” and that no one can come to the Father except through Christ. At minimum, upon hearing this, our culture rolls its collective eyes and walks away shaking its head in disbelief, amazed that someone can be so clueless.
But some will refuse to walk away quietly. Instead, they will point their bony fingers in the faces of Jesus’ followers and accuse them of being bigots or homophobes, or worse.
In other words, our culture will tolerate anyone who refuses to make moral judgments on others. But woe to that man or woman who presumes to actually believe in an absolute standard of right and wrong! Our culture becomes totally intolerant of that person.
Underlying this is the conviction that, by definition, there are no moral absolutes, no system of right and wrong that applies to all people in all cultures at all times, no Ten Commandments written into the very fabric of the universe like the law of gravity. Everything is relative—everything, that is, except for this one reality: We are absolutely sure there are no absolutes. (!)
So what is a true follower of Christ to do, living in such a culture? We can either capitulate to it by cowering and never sharing our faith, or we can boldly and lovingly seek to make disciples as we are commanded by Jesus Christ. It’s that simple.
Yes, if we obey Christ and go against the grain of culture, we will be persecuted in a variety of ways. For starters, some will label us as intolerant, bigoted, hateful, and evil.
And unless we have the revival and awakening we are seeking and praying for, it is likely to get even worse. We could face more painful forms of persecution, such as our ancestors in the faith experienced and other Christians are enduring in various parts of the world today.
My dear friends, living in America does not exempt us from the reality that we are at war with invisible spiritual enemies (see Ephesians 6:12). So let’s buck up and obey our Master!
Find what works for you to be a good witness and share your story of salvation and how to grow in Christ. Here is a simple OneCry tool many have found helpful in sharing their faith.
Please know that despite the antipathy of our culture to biblical faith, there are so many hungry and needy individuals who desperately need to hear about Jesus. The fields are indeed white unto harvest! Jesus truly is the only way to life. The Spirit will draw people to Christ as we humbly share the Good News.
Let’s be like Paul, who exhorted his young son in the faith Timothy, in a time when Christians paid a high price for being true disciples:
Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained. Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory (2 Timothy 2:8-10).