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The Winds of Persecution

But our goal as Christians should be to stay detached from the frantic demand that everything be ramped up into a frantic crisis. I distinguish here a real crisis from a frantic crisis. These frantic crises are the handles on the hand basket in which we are all being carted off to the Bad Place. A real crisis must be dealt with, but setting your own hair on fire is not a good way of doing that. 

So as a pastor, my goal for our people is that we would be enabled, by the grace of God, to remain a hotbed of cool customers. 

If we want to model an alternative way of living in 2021, it will be at this place, in this way. No Christians should want to live unhinged, with his defense for doing so the fact that a bunch of other people, in some other place entirely, are also unhinged. This truth applies whether or not those other unhinged people started it, or appear to be getting away with it. You still have to set a direction for your family. You still have to make decisions, but you will be making those decisions like a responsible adult, and not like a nutcase. These are tumultuous times… and in such times, some things must be adjusted, while other things must never be adjusted.”

Pastor Doug Wilson

As we find ourselves on the eve of a sweeping political and social change in our country, I think a lot of us are assuming (at least metaphorically) that ‘brace for impact‘ position you see on airplane cards. At the same time, many of us are also peeking a nervous eye out of the rubble pile that was 2020 and wanting to come out and start rebuilding.

We want to move on, get back to life, work, and the things we enjoyed and took for granted last year at this time. Given recent events across the board, I’m not sure that we ever will return to that old normal again. I don’t even mean just politically, I mean culturally and socially as well. We are a country of angry mobs, ideologically obsessed hotheads, and rabidly self-centered people. I’m trying to be kind. That’s the best I have right now.

How can we remain a “hotbed of cool customers” in such epically chaotic times? How do we stay informed and engaged while at the same time clinging on to what is really true, being bold witnesses for Christ in a world so desperate for His Gospel?

One thing I feel heavy and sure about today: Christians, it’s time to enlarge your circle and look beyond your worldly checklist to be fulfilled. There, I underlined it. When all else becomes unhinged, we must step up and be well… really, really hinged. More like, bolted to the floor.

The coming months and years may bring with them a very cold wind in our direction. We must not be so obsessed with trying to get back the summer breeze that we find ourselves unprepared. I am epically terrible at this, but I want to do better. I get lost in “good old days” nostalgia very easily. Looking at the facts about where our society is headed is not an exercise in optimism for me. All this would be terribly depressing if not for Jesus and what I know to be true about Him and His promises.

We are all here in this place and time because He ordained it to be so. We don’t need to wring our hands and join the world in endless lament or offense. We do need to get on with the task at hand, which is serious as a heart-attack, but still not without it’s share of JOY.

Find healthy people, get in a healthy church, go about the business of loving your family and friends with all you have. Stop hiding your faith under a bushel. Be countercultural in how you live, meaning, when everyone else comes undone, be grounded in Jesus. Make them ask what the heck is keeping you at peace. Point them to Christ, who “for the JOY set before Him, endured the cross…” (Hebrews 12:2). We can run our race, we can set aside every weight and sin and GO because Jesus did it first.

Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain.”

I Corinthians 15:58

We aren’t without help! We haven’t been set free amongst the wolves to fend for ourselves. When regular Christians go about obeying Jesus with their plain old abilities, big things happen. I want to punch the TV every time this phrase comes on, but in this case it’s actually true: We are all in this together.

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