As time goes by Christians seem to be more and more rejected by society. We’re criticized as bigots, anti-progress, out of touch with reality and those are some of the better things we’re called. Some group us with people like the Nazis and Klu Klux Klan because we stand for traditional marriage and against abortion. Basically, people would be happy if we just shut up and drop out of the political process.
There is a cost for practicing Christian values and it seems to be getting higher as we go along. Being a pro life politician seems to be an invitation for the most vicious of attacks especially on the national level. Actively participating in the pro life movement means you will be abused, harassed and possibly cited or arrested. If the pro choice movement had their way it would be illegal to pray outside of clinics.
You have to wonder where we’re going as a nation. In all likelihood it will be more difficult to practice our faith without compromise. Traditional marriage seems to be just another lifestyle especially in New England. We have a president and party that opposes any restriction on abortion. Each year the media gets more and more risqué. Soon it will be virtually impossible to find TV programs that don’t compromise our values.
Values of honesty and service seemed to have disappeared over the past three decades. The attitude has been to get it while you can and not worry about the other guy. Greed was sold to us as a virtue. Honesty in business seems to be a value that is in decline.
The sad truth is that if you practice honesty and stay true to Christian values you probably don’t have a chance for a career in Washington, Hollywood, Madison Avenue or probably Wall Street. Academia is another career path closed to those who publicly profess Christian values. In how many other careers are Christian values now considered an inconvenience?
It is no wonder people are tempted to keep their mouths shut and appear to agree with the world so they could get by. It is no wonder that people wonder if the Christian life is worth it. Why should we continue to suffer rejection, ridicule and persecution?
Jesus gave us the answer in John 14: 1-6 “Jesus said to the disciples: Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself…”
Somewhere along the way during the last century we seemed to have lost our focus on heaven. We seemed to have become busy trying to create our heaven on earth so the values of society of what it takes to get ahead become important to us. We want heaven now on earth. But there is no heaven on earth. Everything we worked for, compromised our values for can be wiped away in hours by a natural disaster or a drop in the Stock Market. Didn’t Sandy and other recent disasters teach us that? How many people have discovered this the hard way during the past couple of years?
We really should be asking ourselves is this heaven on earth that we attempt to create really worth the cost, the compromises, the keeping our mouth shut or the flat out lies. Is it really worth risking delaying our entry into the real heaven because of our attachments to material things and sin or losing heaven completely?
A focus on heaven changes our perspective. The early Christians were willing to lose everything because their focus was on Jesus and their desire was to serve Him and be with Him. We need to regain our focus on God and Jesus. We need to love Him so much that we can’t wait to be with Him so this world and the sacrifices we make to follow Him won’t really matter?
Lord, we desperately need Your grace to focus on You and what really matters rather than the things of this world. Help us to stay true to You despite the growing persecution. Amen