We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God.
Today I read an article about an organization that is filing a complaint with the Department of Public Instruction against a local Christian School because of their discrimination policies against LGBT students. The school maintains the right as a private Christian school to “discipline and dismiss (a) student” for adherence to an LGBT lifestyle[i]. This is another story that highlights the fact that we in America are living in a post-Christian Culture. A poll out this past year showed that many non-religious Americans believe Christianity is extreme/extremist. “The perception that the Christian faith is extreme is now firmly entrenched among the nation’s non-Christians. A full forty-five percent of atheists, agnostics, and religiously unaffiliated in America agree with the statement “Christianity is extremist.”[ii] Barna research also discovered that in 2013 37% of Americans qualified as post-Christian while in 2015 44% qualified as post-Christian.[iii] This is not the America anyone over the age of 18 grew up in.
That isn’t all. Consider the rulings coming down from the Supreme Court, the “orders” from our President, and the legal battles in Kentucky and Alabama. All of them in some way are about weakening and tearing down Biblical morality in both the private and public sector.
If this is true and we are living in a post-Christian culture, what does this mean for followers of Jesus Christ moving forward. I believe that there are three things we need to keep in mind.
First, we need to remember that the New Testament was lived out and written in such a culture. Christians were the extreme minority for centuries and suffered at the hands and legal system of the Roman Empire. Christians were considered to be Atheists because they didn’t worship the Emperor or the pantheon of Greek and Roman gods. As history demonstrates the persecution of Christians is nothing new.
Secondly, we need to remember that Jesus told us we would face trouble in this world; John 16:33. We need to remember to have the same mind of Christ who did not retaliate when He suffered but entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly; 1 Peter 2:23. Jesus faced a culture that was against Him and He submitted to injustice, was humble, meek, and loved His enemies.
Finally, as we see in the 2 Corinthians 5:20, we remember that we are here on this earth as Ambassadors for Christ. Our mission is to make disciples, to call the world to be reconciled to God. As we live each day in a country that is more and more hostile to our values, beliefs, and practices we remember that our “struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12.