We’re becoming soft, straight up. We, as Christians, have become complacent, stagnant, and halfhearted. Christianity at its core is a world-shattering ideology that turns the world on its head. Masters serving servants, loving your enemies, undeserved grace—these aren’t normal ideas. Yet I can’t help but feel as if we’re continuing to live our lives however we want, putting God on the backburner. We’ve watered down the concept of grace to a “do good, avoid bad” theology. We’ve traded direct access with the Creator of the Universe for a “make-your-own-religion”; we pick and choose what we like and then have the balls to rationalize it into our convictions after the fact. Tithing? No, I’m a poor student. Missions? No I’ve got my 5-year-plan already mapped out. Share the Word with that stranger? No, he looks busy.
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.” John 15:18-20
We have changed our beliefs to accommodate the world because we’re afraid of hurting people’s feelings. The instant we are persecuted, we throw our hands in the air and tell ourselves that we must be doing something wrong.
Society tells you that you have the freedom to believe in whatever you want, as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone’s feelings. So now instead of a generation of warriors, seeking to bring as many souls to Christ as possible, we have become a generation of wimps who don’t even know what we believe anymore. Our faith is a radical faith that goes against what culture is telling us. Life is not all about you, money isn’t everything and happiness is not the meaning of life.
Now does this mean we are called to throw off our clothes, put on a potato sack, and spend the rest of our lives in a cave praying, trying to escape the sinful world? No. When Christ came to the Apostles, they were fisherman; and when he left, they were still fishermen. They were still in the same culture, but they had a new purpose. Life wasn’t just about the nine-to-five anymore; they were part of the bigger story of how God came to save the world. They were living in the world but not of the world. Living in the culture but not being absorbed by it.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you, and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven…” Matthew 5:10-12
In recent events, Trinity has been blasted by the media for its stance on issues surrounding the Community Covenant, and how the school expects their students to act. But why are we so shocked to hear this? If you wanted a smooth ride through life with no bumps, then following Christ was probably not the greatest idea. The Bible is not a prosperity gospel; life isn’t going to be all lollipops and rainbows. We were clearly told that we would be persecuted, sought out and hunted down for what we believe in, it should be no surprise. I mean look what happened to Jesus and those who followed him most closely. All of them, besides Judas, were stoned, beheaded, crucified, or stabbed to death. And we get scared when the media says some nasty stuff about us. Stand firm in the faith, always with truth and love, hand in hand, but do not turn away from the Word to follow the words of someone who doesn’t understand Him.
This is only one aspect of our faith, but I feel like right now it needs defending. Sometimes Christianity means washing your enemies’ feet; sometimes it means quoting verses sharper than any two-edged sword. All I ask is that you keep the latter from getting dull.