Are these people, going somewhere? Why have I never cared?
I have a somewhat cheesy habit of using parts from songs when I sit down to write. But sometimes, that’s just what it is I’m thinking about. Believe me, it’s not easy to have to look at things like they are. I’m not sure about the rest of you, but I’m usually quite comfortable with “Bible-belt” Christianity around us. A lot of it, admittedly, is lifeless, but in a way it’s our American comfort zone. We look with pity on other nations, thinking how sad it must be for Christians to live in such a liberal environment. My heart goes out to these people. But then I have to draw my hand back and think, “I like where I am as an American far to much.” Thank God, Christianity is never easy whenever we’re on our knees. But at least we don’t have to suffer persecution where the rubber meets the road.
I talked about it with a friend this morning. We had been doing some work at the recent Gumtree Festival in Tupelo, MS. While there, I kind of felt myself forced to think on the state of Midsouth Christianity. Our Christianity. You can usually tell something about the Church by the culture around it. Or at least, how it stands out. Really, if we are willing to be different for Christ’s sake, and to live for Him, in stark contrast to the crowds that push in around us, we will be hated. We will suffer persecution, if not in the physical sense. And it will come from within the Church buildings and without. It is a sad point to have reached when God-given peace leads to licentiousness; when our nation is so Christian that it’s not.
I get the chance to see and speak briefly to a lot of people when I’m out petitioning. I don’t try to look at people by whether or not they signed my page, but it is clear to see that their is very little care for the things of God. Abortion, is one of the few examples of our not living up to the implications of our beliefs. We should be willing to do something, if not for our nation’s sake, but in love to Christ. Trying to change the culture is an excercise of faith. We aren’t seeking per se to altar the course of history by our actions. There’s really no reason in and of ourselves why success should ever attend us. But it is in many ways similar to our seeking to reach the lost. If, like me, and most I’ve talked to, God has burdened you recently for the souls of others, you’ll know what I’m talking about. I found I had no real concern for souls, like I’ve been given now, till I had grown more deeply in the Word. God seems to give grace like that in degrees. If I had immediately sought to reach others, I wouldn’t have been well equipped because of my own lack of experience, which, compared to the depth of the Mystery, still has so far to go. But away from rabbit trails, unrelated to the topic at hand. But so often, going back several sentences, at times, and by Grace, you have that reassuring feeling [when striving to reach the lost] that exhorts you to persevere, because, even if your every effort is in vain, it is not their response that makes in difference in relation to you. It is that you have been given the chance to serve Christ in seeking their souls, and with peace in your labours, you can fall asleep in Him, knowing that whatever the results, they are in His hands. God must be praised, when we can look clearly to Him, rather than the hopeful end. In that is true peseverence found.
Should we not all pray to God that He will open our eyes to the real state of things around us? To see the need as it really is; to act upon it. We are in a land of rebels, and they, and in many ways we ourselves, are wearing that rebellion on our sleeves.
“God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God. Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” Psalm 53:2,3
We can’t afford to be so caught up with the concerns of those nations which to us look so needy while we forget our own. The greatest weapons we can use are available wherever we are. We may smile, and look at the land around us, burdened perhaps for a more vital Christianity, but still quite comfortable with having, as we suppose, an easy culture familiar with the principles of Christianity. But when we step out on the busy street, in our confidence we are reminded of what the One we serve said: “A prophet is not without honour, save in His own country, and in His own house.” Matthew 13:57 Yet we still sing, that we are proud to be Americans.
I’m not sure how well I got my ideas across, but there it is. Do not think I take a totally pessimistic view. (Believe, me, there are more than enough sites out there that people can gripe on.) Stay tuned.