What happened to the Christianity that bleeds?
It is interesting to note what Christians in history did because of what they believed. I remember back in a philosophy course when my atheist professor said, “Beliefs are action guiding.” I will never forget that. He was right. We see the truth of that statement all around us.
Sometimes we wonder how in the world America has gotten into such a mess. Well, beliefs are action guiding. Why is it that the church is not guiding culture, but culture guiding the church? Well, beliefs are action guiding. Many Christians view the world as a sinking ship, so why get involved? How does the metaphor go? Why rearrange the furniture on the Titanic? Just make sure you are on a lifeboat when it goes under! This line of thinking is resolutely unbiblical and does not follow from the belief that Jesus has all authority in heaven and on earth right now.
If the church believed the truth that Jesus does have all authority in the universe why are there only five Christians standing on the sidewalk outside Planned Parenthood singing Psalms and praying?
But I digress…for the moment.
In my reading today (and now I plan on bringing this back to the topic I started above) I came across the study note in the Geneva Bible on Mark 8:34 in which the Reformers wrote, “The disciples of Christ must bear stoutly what burden soever the Lord layeth upon them, and subdue the affections of the flesh.”
Let’s get rid of the whackadoodoo notion of “It’s just Jesus, me, and my Bible” for that is a nasty idea and one of the contributing beliefs that leads to a weak church. So, what is the burden the Lord layeth upon the disciples of Christ, the church, in 2016?
Our burdens are many, pick one: Gay mirage. Socialism. Statism. Abortion. Euthanasia. Radical feminism. Negligent manhood. And so on.
Now Jesus says that we must bear crosses, which means we must be willing to die because we believe in Jesus. He also says that if you are not willing to do this because you are afraid of men or ashamed of Him, He will reject you. Do you believe that? If you do, and you should, what does that belief guide you to do?
Does it guide you to fight? Not back down? Admit that there is no neutral space? Does it lead you to a cross to carry?
It is as though this accusation applies to us, “This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me; in vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men” (Mark 7:6-7).
If you believe what you say, then your works must follow your belief. This calls for stouthearted Christians. Christians that move history forward for the glory of Christ are those who are willing to suffer, and they usually do.