Christians are to be the leaven in society that permeates the whole. We are to be the salt that preserves the taste for God and His ways. We are to be lights that reflect the greater Light to show others the path to knowing the One who loves them and seeks to bridge the sin gap that separates.
We cannot do that, though, if we become just like the society and fit into the culture. We fail in our mission when we dilute God’s truth in order to be accepted by those who spurn His truth.
There is always the temptation to water down the straight gospel message because we don’t want to suffer. Most of us don’t want to be in the shoes of those who bake cakes and have to go all the way to the Supreme Court to maintain the civic right to hold to our Christian convictions. We don’t want to be that photographer who is being coerced into taking same-sex wedding photos.
Victories can be won in the Supreme Court, but what of the next attack from those with a cultural/political agenda?
Will we stand when we are told we must make a choice? Are we standing now even before that choice becomes so stark that it threatens our livelihood and liberty?
We have to get over the false idea that everyone will love us because we are Christians. In fact, throughout history, it’s been the opposite. Why? We call out the sin, and that’s not appreciated.
We call out the sin not because we don’t love others, but precisely because we do. We want them to know the love of God that comes through forgiveness and the grace of God that provides the strength to live a life free from the bondage of sin.
But it’s not often received in the same spirit in which we offer it.
Jesus told us this would happen, didn’t He?
If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.
Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. –John 15: 18-21
We are not greater than Jesus, who never did harm to anyone, but instead revealed the heart of God. As He said to Nicodemus when that man came to inquire of Him,
This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
We need to understand that people cling to their sins and don’t like having them exposed. They are blinded by the mini-god of this world, a mere fallen angel whose goal is to deceive.
There is a song whose lyrics have always made me think deeply about this. It’s called “There Is a Line,” and it begins with this thought:
It’s hard to tell just when the night becomes the day
That golden moment when the darkness rolls away
But there is a moment none the less
In the regions of the heart there is a place
A sacred charter that should not be erased
It is the marrow; the moral core that I cannot ignore
The second stanza continues the theme:
Ask the ocean where the water meets the land
He will tell you it depends on where you stand
And you’re neither right or wrong
But in the fathoms of the soul that won’t ring true
Cause truth is more than an imposing point of view
It rises above the changing tide
As sure as the morning sky
The chorus then zeroes in on the stance a Christian must take:
Within the scheme of things
Well I know where I stand
My convictions they define who I am
Some move the boundaries at any cost
But there is a line, I will not cross
No riding on the fence – no alibis
No building on the sands of compromise
I won’t be borrowed and I can’t be bought
There is a line, I will not cross
Those words resonate in my soul: my convictions define who I am; I won’t be borrowed and I can’t be bought.
There is a line I will not cross.
Find your moral core in Christ. Don’t be bought. There is a line we never should cross.
Here’s the song for those who would like to hear it and meditate further on the words.