We are being confronted on a regular basis these days with numerous issues in our society that have a profound impact on us. It seems like in the last couple of years the floodgates have been opened afresh in areas that directly impact the values we hold to as biblical christians.
Marriage, family, sexuality, economics, work ethic, roles, and on and on. In our society we are not only being told its OK to marry someone of the same sex, but if we don’t agree with it we may lose our own liberties. Recently in Georgia the state legislature passed a law protecting churches and religious organizations from being forced to hire or maintain anyone who violates or disagrees with the basic tenets of their religious beliefs or the Word of God. This met with an outpouring of wrath from Hollywood companies and various other business interests who threatened to pull out their business if the law was signed into being.
Of course it was not surprising that the governor refused to sign it. Too much at stake. I suppose this is to be expected on a secular level, but what is at stake is our ability as christians to practice what we believe without being restricted by the government. Its simply called freedom of religion...a basic idea this country was founded upon. But now this freedom, we are being told, is not something we should expect to have if we disagree with those who differ with our beliefs. Its not enough that they don’t have to believe what we believe, but that we as Christians and churches must be compelled to hire a practicing homosexual or abortionist who disagrees with our teachings or values to work for us. Whether someone agrees with your statement of faith or values or even believes the Bible cannot be a factor in determining who you can say no to.
This is just one current area of challenge we are being faced with right now, but it is only one and it will not be the last. The secular world does not like anything that implies that it is wrong- or for that matter -that there is any such thing as an absolute standard. It is getting to the point now that they not only want to believe what they believe, but they want to force us to believe it too. Some concept of freedom, huh?
The point I am trying to make is that ultimately we are being forced to take a stand on truth. Truth that is often unpopular or even subject to derision or scoffing. A stand for truth that may eventually cost us. Yet we must stand. We must stand, however, in such a way as to be unmoving and firm, yet loving and humble in our demeanor and actions. We are called to stand, but do it in a way that demonstrates Christ’s love and character.
May we have the grace of God to do that in ways both big and small in our daily lives. Maybe its just being committed to voting our values and beliefs. Maybe its taking a stand for biblical values in our daily conversations. Possibly, its taking part in a peaceful vigil at the local Planned Parenthood facility or showing compassion to an unwed pregnant woman who is talking about an abortion. Whatever way that stand looks it must be practical, real, and consistent.
You and I will be given chances to take a stand for Jesus. Let’s not squander them!