In America, the Judeo-Christian faiths have been a part of our development as a nation from the beginning. We’ve always been a nation that embraces diversity of opinions, but when it comes to understanding the right way to live, it has always gone back to the Bible as the way to secure the ideas that need to stay while changing the ideas that need to be fixed.
The civil rights movement, for example, was driven in large part by a Biblical understanding of acceptance and embracing our brothers and sisters regardless of their skin color. This is why a Baptist minister was able to change the nation for good while hate groups caused further division.
Today, that same spirit of Biblical guidance has been pushed aside for the most part. We’ve not only grown more secular but also less tolerant as a nation to Judeo-Christian teachings. Expressions of any other faith from Islam to atheism have been protected and even emboldened, but it’s become taboo to bring up Jesus Christ or the God of Abraham in public circles.
We’ve seen it in pop culture. At the Golden Globes, it was comical and only mildly controversial that Christian Bale thanked Satan for inspiring his portrayal of Dick Cheney. Had he thanked Jesus Christ for anything, it would have drawn a firestorm.
We’ve seen it in government as more and more elected officials refuse to take their oath of office by swearing on a Bible.
We’ve seen it on social media, where the worst thing anyone could say after a tragedy is offering “thoughts and prayers.” Instant and harsh rebukes follow every time anyone prominent invokes the concept of prayer.
We’ve seen it in schools where it’s against most states’ laws to even mention Creationism, yet the religion of evolution is pushed as fact despite clear evidence against it.
We’re seeing it in our own hearts as fewer people boldly declare the Gospel for fear of condemnation or even ridicule.
This shift has been much more sudden than most people even realize. There was a time not too long ago when saying “God Bless you” to someone who sneezed didn’t risk a negative response. Even this simple, instinctive act is considered a trigger and banned in many schools.
There may have been a solution to stop this trend before, but I’m concerned that it can no longer be stopped today. It’s getting to the point where Bible-believers have to choose between holding their tongues or facing backlash of some sort. As Christians, we need to be cognizant of these changes in American society. How we choose to fight back, or whether we choose to fight back at all, is a personal decision.
Despite these changes, I still believe a majority of Americans are either still embracing the faith or are capable of doing so given the right motivation. These precarious times represent a tipping point in which those who may or may not continue to be open about their faith must decide where they stand. If they’re going to follow the way of the world and embrace secularism over expression of their Biblical beliefs, it will be difficult to come back from that.
Keep in mind, our salvation is not determined by how we express our faith. I would never insinuate that one must be a bold and overt Christian in order to “earn” salvation. We will be judged for our works, but our salvation is determined strictly based on our belief in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. If someone chooses to be a “closet Christian” in order to get along better in modern society, so be it. Their salvation is not in jeopardy based on this decision. However, the judgment to come will weigh us based on our actions. Those who believe are saved, but our place in the next world is determined by our works.
Will you choose to be more personal and inverted with your faith? Or will you choose to be bold in your expressions of faith, suffering through what the secular world will throw at you in hopes that you might touch someone in a positive way?