Archives For post-Christian

We live in a postmodern, post-Christian day, which we have known for some time. For most this statement has been made intellectually. With the moral and cultural sea-changes, and the speed with which they are happening, parallel with a moral tsunami, many are for the first time beginning to feel and experience palpably some of the implications of what we have for many years only known abstractly or experienced vicariously.

These shifts require a different way of thinking, engaging, and speaking, without compromising the Word of God or Christian faithfulness. In response to this reality, all too often one either ends up accommodating to the culture, or separating from the culture. As faithful followers of Christ, though we are in the world we are not of the world (Jn. 17). We are, as Jesus states, salt and light (Matt. 5:13-16). As Christians, it is not what we will be but what we are. It is vital for us to remember that during these days and live based on that truth.

We need to figure out how to live the Christian life with faithfulness in a post-Christian day. This explains the focus of our upcoming EFCA Theology Conference, “Christian Faithfulness in a Changing Culture.” This Conference is important for leaders, pastors and churches as we think about these matters and engage faithfully with the gospel of Jesus Christ. We have also included a detailed schedule which explains in detail the focus of each message.

The Conference is drawing near, January 22-24, so plan to register soon. I look forward to seeing many of you there, both to learn with and from you.

The significant cultural changes we are presently experiencing are unprecedented for any living today. For example, the cultural sentiment is sympathetic to same-sex marriage and the laws of many States are following closely behind. The moral dominoes are falling, and the speed with which they are falling is increasing.

There is a call, a commitment and a cost to stand faithfully on the Word under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The day in which the culture was sympathetic towards and reflective of Christian truths is behind us. This is what it means that we live in an increasingly post-Christian day. What we as Evangelicals must not do is to whine, become alarmist or play a martyr (this is wrong on two accounts: it reflects a “poor me” attitude, and there are those believers in many parts of the world who are literally giving their lives for the sake of Christ and the gospel, which none here are called to do as of yet). Writes one, to the extent that we respond in any of these ways, “to that same extent we show we’ve embraced an unbiblical and nominal Christianity.”

Mark Dever has insightfully written “How to Survive a Cultural Crisis,” which consists of “seven principles for surviving the very real cultural shifts we’re presently enduring.” These are just the principles. Make sure you read the further elaborations of each of these principles.

  1. Remember that churches exist to work for supernatural change.
  2. Understand that persecution is normal.
  3. Eschew utopianism.
  4. Make use of our democratic stewardship.
  5. Trust the Lord, not human circumstances.
  6. Remember that everything we have is God’s grace.
  7. Rest in the certainty of Christ’s victory.

A few questions to process living faithfully in this present day:

  1. How are you processing this cultural change?
  2. What are you doing to prepare God’s people to live life faithfully in the midst of this change?
  3. Where are you most tempted to doubt . . . what are the truths you most need to hear?

Killing of Christians in Nigeria

Greg Strand – December 7, 2012 Leave a comment

It is not news to anyone, but we are now living in a post-Christian culture. One of the implications of this is that any individual or group that experiences unfair treatment (sometimes only perceived or based on feelings) report their experiences as victimization and “hate crimes” and the perpetrators are punished. This is not to deny that hate-crimes exist and people and groups are hurt by them. I acknowledge it happens, it is hurtful, it is wrong and offenders ought to be punished.

However, I also find there is an often and obvious exception. When this happens to Christians, rather than providing a consistent response, the Christian or Christians are accused of bringing this on themselves. There is little sympathy or protection for them. And what we experience here is nothing in comparison to what Christians in other parts of the world experience, where persecution, suffering and death is the all-too-common experience of these dear brothers and sisters.

Recently I read a statement (HT: World) made by Emmanuel Ogebe, Christian Association of Nigerian-Americans, responding to the media reports that Christians were retaliating against radical Muslim attacks.

It’s very difficult to look at churches being blown up and say this is tit-for-tat. One side is doing the killing, and one side is doing the dying.

These are the sorts of unfair accusations that are being made, and more regularly. As unfair and frustrating as this is, if this is the way our Lord and Savior was treated, we ought to expect nothing different (Jn. 15:18-20). The preacher of Hebrews reminds his readers to “remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you are in one body” (Heb. 13:3). Though our experiences have not reached this point, we are to remember them.

At the local Free Church where I am a member, we pray specifically and explicitly for some member(s) of the persecuted church every Sunday. It is our attempt to affirm that we are “one body” and that this is an important way in which we are relating to them as though we are “with them.”

What are you doing? What more can you do?