An image on the internet has haunted my thoughts recently. The picture showed Muslims at prayer. Below was a picture of a Christian church service. The text asked, “Why does our country accept the first and not the second?”
I think the best answer is, “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.” (G. K. Chesterton, What’s Wrong with the World (1910), ch. 1.5)
This quote is thought provoking. Christians are taking heat for our failures in unprecedented ways in our country, and people are turning toward alternatives. Many of these alternatives are frightening, like the Tolerance Movement. It promotes tolerance of anything non-Christian. We are now asked to accept gay, lesbian, and transgender lifestyles. Canada has announced legalized bestiality, and a new “gender” is now coming to the forefront, transabled, people who want to be disabled and will go to great lengths to lose limbs, the ability to walk, to see, or to hear.
I can only shake my head. These lifestyles are too foreign to understand.
It should come as no surprise that Islam is now the fastest growing religion. At the present rate, Christians could become the most hated faith in the world. We are half-way there now. Can we stem the tide?
Only if we can somehow unite all the Churches with some common ground, and act as a whole. Only if we stand up for what is morally right, without sounding and acting hateful as we have in the past. If we can, we might stem the unholy tide of society’s demands for tolerance of things ungodly. But if we give into hateful judgments, we move right back to one reason we’re in trouble in the first place.
Can we learn to practice more of what we preach in order to let go of righteous judgements and unbridled hatred? Can we offer loving alternatives to these other deluded lifestyles?
If we had put love first, before forced theology, maybe humans wouldn’t be putting animals first, as is evidenced with the uproar over Cecil the Lion, and the recent incident with the gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo. One woman actually stated that we have many boys, but few gorillas. It boggles my mind that anyone would believe a gorilla’s life is more important that a child’s.
If we had been more loving in our zeal to convert the world, maybe we wouldn’t be fighting over men using women’s bathrooms, showers, and locker rooms. Perhaps we wouldn’t be listening to debates over when life begins, or hear people proclaim the earth and animals have more rights than humans.
Then maybe we would.
History shows a pattern. After so many generations, nations eventually forgot their original foundations, and spiraled into decline.
Regardless, it is time for Christians to stop asking why we are under such prosecution and start looking for ways to live our faith better. Yet, that is a scary thought. Witness in Greek means martyr.
However, I take comfort in knowing St. Peter was once a coward too.