A vital part of health societies and human flourishing is the ability to think critically and engage in society. This blog site, "Think Out Loud," engages our world and its issues related to Christian faith. Let us consider and engage while "Thinking Out Loud!"
September 28, 2020
Not An Endorsement, But A Defense!
In our modern 21st century, Christians are suffering persecution. They have become causalities in the public square. From bakers to florists to wedding chapel directors, to be a Bible-believing Christian in the 21st century public arena is a perilous thing. The notion behind Christian casualties evoke images of early Jesus followers dying martyr’s deaths in ancient times - similar to what was witnessed in the 2nd and 3rd centuries A.D. - before the rise of the institutionalized church under the Roman Empire. Many Christian believers during these early centuries experienced martyrdom. They can be named among the casualties who stood for their Christian belief. Such individuals like the early church fathers, Polycarp and Ignatius, as well as the early church mother Perpetua, would undoubtedly fit into this category. These and others did, indeed, suffer as early Christian casualties, without which the effective witness and growth of Christianity would have diminished significantly.
Bible-believing Christians in our modern era equally have become casualties for their faith and belief in Jesus Christ. Christian casualties have died and are suffering physical persecution throughout Africa (Nigeria, Darfur and Sudan), Asia (China in particular), and in the Middle East (Iraq, and Afghanistan for example). Whereas the attack on many of these saints has been unto death, there is yet a different kind of persecution, and hence causality, here in North America and throughout Western Europe. While admittedly these persecutory events don’t compare to the horrific physical violence and death of those noted above, these kinds of persecutions are exacted at the hands of ideological political agendas waged in the work place, on academic campuses, in the court of public opinion: vis-a-vie media and social network platforms, and even in households across the nation. Such has been the agenda of many ideologues in their attempt to severely disrupt and cri pple one’s lively hood, reputation and mere peace. Such is the case with supreme court nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who, because of her charismatic Catholic faith, is being derided as a credible nominee. Having suffered religious bigotry myself, I support Judge Barrett’s freedom to practice her beliefs in accordance with the Constitution of the United States. This is the reason I signed the letter "A Black Defense of Freedom of Conscience and Amy Coney Barrett" Barrett's confirmation should rightly be based on her judicial record and not on her religious faith.
Modern society’s norm is post-Christian where the worldviews of humanism, plurality and naturalism are commonplace. Such worldviews have even been emboldened to redefine Christian faith into what theology and apologetics professor Michael Horton calls a Christless Christianity. The experience of the persecuted, also known as a religio-political causality of a cultural war, however, does not warrant believers espousing deterministic or fatalistic attitudes. Rather, despite the persecution, forsakenness is not one’s ultimate fate. One is not forsaken on account of a lived-Christian spirituality and recognition of other-worldly reality of truth and righteousness though Christ. On the contrary. It was Jesus, himself, who said that “In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have overcome the world!" (John 16:33b, NRSV).