The American church is heading into unknown waters and difficult circumstances that American Christians have never experienced. In some ways the modern church is beginning to look much more like the early church. We are faced with some tough sets of challenges such as false teachers and cultural and political persecution. We have been on the road back to Rome for quite some time now. There is an increasing hostility to the Christian faith and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
A Changing Cultural Landscape
In the 1950s, it was culturally advantageous for you to be a Christian and belong to a church. It seemed like everyone went to church. If you grew up in the Bible belt there was incredible social pressure to church. However, over the past 50-60 years we have watched a rising secular and anti-Christian spirit begin to dominate the cultural landscape of the West. The privileged position Christians have enjoyed in the West over the past 1,000 years is quickly being eliminated. I believe that we are only seeing the beginning of a zealous secularism that seeks to permanently eliminate the church and its influence from the public square.
It is easy to be a Christian when you are the moral majority. Can we stand firm in Christ as we increasingly become what Dr. Russell Moore has called "the prophetic minority"? In the coming decades we will have an incredible task of standing firm in Christ in an increasingly hostile culture.
Yet, it is easy to see the cultural reshaping of our country and be pessimistic about this. It is a bad thing for our country, but I believe that this is a wonderful opportunity for the church. The dead weight chaff of an uncommitted cultural Christianity is being eliminated, and the opposition we will be facing will be used by God as a purifier for the church.
Standing Firm in Hostility
May we stand firm in Christ regardless of the blazing heat that may be rising around us. May we stand firm on the unchanging truth of the Gospel and may we boldly call all people to repentance and faith. May we urge every man and woman to trust in Jesus as their Lord and as their savior. May we unapologetically proclaim Christ as the exclusive means of salvation for all people as we stand on the solders of Christians over the past millennia who laid down their life for the cause of Christ. As the early church father Tertullian said, "the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church".