Summary: In times of upheaval when attacks against Christians by unbelievers and scoffers are ramped up, mature Christians persevere in their devotion to Christ and defend their Faith in a spirit of God's love and mercy.
IN TIMES LIKE THESE --- GOD NEEDS NO DEFENDERS BUT OUR CHRISTIAN FAITH DOES
In a recent episode of the TV Program Family Feud the question put to 100 women was: “If you arrived in heaven and found that there were no men there, what would you say” . . . and the number one answer was: “Thank God”. Hilarious!
In the same humorous vein of thought but with serious implications was my response this week to a friend who asked me if God is working through the strong stance taken by some leading public figures in our country to set up a fire wall for slowing down and stopping further infringement upon our freedoms - religious liberty in particular. My answer:
“Thank God for the bullishness of those who are on the side of Judeo-Christian values” - on the side of religious liberty which was fought for and won by brave men and women to keep us free on many fronts - but in the case of Christianity, to keep us free to BE Christian - and free to PRACTICE Christian principles without restraints imposed by government.
The conversation that prompted her question and my answer was the controversy over the demand made of the Salvation Army to revise the Christian organization’s biblical positions regarding gender and marriage - and to show their change of doctrine (meaning acceptance of the gay and transgender lifestyles) by making a large donation to the gay community.
Christianity, and also Judaism, are increasingly coming under attack by secular forces that have methodically gained control of certain segments of society and brainwashed people into accepting the falsehood that all belief systems - amoral, immoral or moral - are equally valid. AND, their argument goes something like this:
Since many practicing Christians and Christian institutions still cling to their Bibles and principles taught therein, we demand they revise, redefine and restate their doctrinal positions to reflect acceptance of all beliefs . . . lifestyles . . . behaviors, or else - by law or intimidation - be restrained from public expression of their Christian beliefs. Example after Example!
As an antidote to attacks on Christianity , some ministers and their parishioners have renewed minds . . . rededicated hearts . . . had our commissions re-signed to: Be strong in the Lord, stand by Christian beliefs, strengthen resolve to teach the Word and, when necessary, to defend our faith.
New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, for example, will be conducting a one-week Defend the Faith Conference in January --- sort of a “show stopper” type of get together to ask an awakened clergy to interrupt their previous plans to consider how to help one another deal with current threats to the public pursuit and practice of Christian ideals.
What Christians are up against today is not new! The pages of Church History are filled with accounts of persecution, mostly in countries other than America! But here we are: talking about it . . . reading about it . . . hearing about it . . . witnessing much of it firsthand in America.
Timely, therefore, is our study of the one chapter 25-verse little “book” authored by the brother of James, half-brother of Jesus – Jude - whose intention it had been to write on the subject, The Faith We Share as Christians, but felt the need to interrupt himself due to the rise of some alarming views that posed a threat to the early Christian Church – Jude 1-4 . . .
Consider Jude’s opening statement about what it means to be a Christian. Notice that Jude was content to be known as a second-place servant who was willing to take a back seat to his elder brother and play “second fiddle”. Yet, Jude makes it clear that he is a “servant” not of his brother nor anyone other than Jesus Christ. So are we! As servants:
Christians are folks who have been called by the Lord God to assume the highest role afforded to any person on the face of the earth – that of being: the beloved of God the Father . . . sanctified . . . preserved for eternity by God’s Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Folks:
We were called out of sin into salvation . . . responded in the affirmative . . . are servants of Jesus Christ . . . are being sanctified . . . are being “kept” in Christ.
If WE do not contend for the faith, who will? After all, the Christian faith was delivered to us – not manufactured by the figment of someone’s imagination but a set of facts passed on from generation to generation --- facts of actual miraculous occurrences that began with Jesus Christ himself. Not some fantasy . . . fictional tale told by an idiot. Facts!