Sunday, February 20, 2005

This Is What We've Been Trying To Say

Some may be put off by the title of the news service, but this article in particular hit the heart of what we have been trying to say. While we here in the west have been trying our best to liberalise our faith to get people interested again, in the so-called third world the Christians are holding to faith and holiness in the face of severe opposition. Why is it that here when we face opposition we say," Oh, I am so sorry, we can change that for you so you can be in our club too." Why is it that after decades of decline we think that any of these tacks are working? This includes the fortress church, the seeker friendly church, the emerging church, and all the other 'churches'. It seems that whenever the church actually stands its ground in the face of oppostion, this is when it grows.
Now please don't take this as some excuse on my part to say that we need to start some kind of protest campaign, or civil uprising. I am not saying that we need to go and find opposition and then stand against it, I am saying that if we are actually standing then the opposition will take care of its self. As much as we love others we will have to get used to the fact that some of those we love will hate us. Some of them will hate with the very fires of hell, but this will not change the fact that we love them and pray for them. While we were in Asia we knew full well that there were Christians being imprisoned and tortured for there faith. We prayed for their release, but we also prayed in thankfulness that God had allowed their persecutors to witness the love of Christ in our brothers and sisters. The Lord showed me these torches burning in their dark cells and bringing light where there was none. This is the love of God, it shines so bright in the darkness, and most especially when the darkness is trying to snuff it.
Unfortunately we do not seem to be able to face opposition without giving in to a burning desire to reconcile it. We are ministers of reconciliation, but we are not in a position to change our faith to acheive this. Only our Father can do that and over the last 2000 years He has never once moved an inch. We must love tenaciously even when the loved one forever hates. We seem to be caught in a place where we think we are protecting some earthly kingdom when we stand and thereby end up hating or at least despising those we stand against. When we see this in ourselves we leap away in fear and disgust. Trouble is we always seem to leap too far.
So let us 'withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.'

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