‘Comfortable Christianity... —Is Over!’
“The days of comfortable Christianity in the United States are over!” So states Princeton University Professor, Robert P. George in an interview with the Southern Baptist Ethics and Public Policy Center. He likens the situation to Christ’s command to “take up your cross and follow me.” In many parts of the world that cross can literally mean physical death. The number of martyrs for Christ, world wide, has doubled in the last four years.
But Professor George is speaking primarily of changing conditions in America. Like the rich young ruler who “went away sorrowful,” many “…will not be willing to place at risk reputation, social standing, professional opportunities, and the like, in order to bear witness and remain faithful to Christ.” Many Christians are already reeling under the accusations of “bigots,” and “homophobes.” One recent case that got wide attention in the Christian media was of Brendan Eich, co-founder and recently installed CEO of Mozilla, the producer of the popular Firefox web browser. Within a week of his election to CEO, news broke that he had contributed $1,000 to the California Marriage Proposition 8 campaign to protect marriage as between one man and one woman.
Accusations of “discrimination” were lodged against him and a boycott declared against Mozilla. Eich and the Mozilla corporate board soon “agreed” that it would be best if he stepped down. Professor George sees Christians being increasingly “discriminated” against in “... employment, licensing, accreditation of institutions, and government contracting. This is going to be rough sailing,” he predicts.
The tide is clearly turning against Bible believers. Recent court cases have begun to go against Christians in business who object to providing services such as wedding cakes and photography to same-sex weddings, and bed-and-breakfasts who refuse to allow same-sex couples to rent bedrooms. Other “Christian” businesses that have tried to hold to some kind of biblical standard have backed away from the fight.
In the broad scope of history, few have been privileged to live a “comfortable” Christianity. Right out of the box, Bible believers were attacked by the Jews and the Romans. They hid in rocks and caves while pagan “Christianity” flourished for over a thousand years, then came the Inquisition! For freedom’s sake, the pilgrims fled persecution in Europe and most of them died before a solid beachhead was planted in the New World.
Finally “comfortable,” we ignored the infiltration of godless humanism, so-called “scientific” evolution, legalized sin, sexual liberation, and lately, militant Islam. We declared government policy making (politics) too dirty for our concern and now will face anti-biblical laws and godless judges who ignore the First Amendment and push us further from public view.
Witnessing and soul winning are finding rising resistance. Christians in the Air Force Academy dared write scripture on their personal white board outside their dorm room and got slapped down for it. Christian ministries are listed as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a think tank advising on government policy.
Jesus’ name is increasingly unwelcome in the official prayers of military and prison chaplains. Only prayers to a generic god who offends no one is preferred. This highlights another threat to soul winners: ecumenism, or the drive for Christian “unity.” Lost are the distinctions of who is a denomination and thus it is off limits for witnessing to cults such as Roman Catholicism and “mainline churches” that have abandoned basic biblical doctrines.
Professor George is probably right: the time is upon us when serving Christ will require counting the cost. If revival is still possible, wide saturation with no-nonsense gospel tracts will go a long way toward bringing it on.