Boldly proclaim the Gospel in times of great joy as well as times of trouble.
Times are changing in Europe, Canada, and America. Proclaiming the truth of Scripture is becoming more difficult and culturally unacceptable. Most recently are concerns in Europe that new Sexual Orientation Regulations will discriminate against Christians as they have in Canada, “Christians have voiced their alarm at what affect their coming into being will have on their freedom to live according to their faith”, especially as hate laws are being stretched to include unpopular (subjectively considered hateful) speech (Mackay).
Case in point, 2/1/2007: a British Columbia City Council member is being forced to pay fines and make public apologies for saying “that homosexual acts were ‘not normal and not natural’” (Thomas), and 1/30/2007: Catholic adoption agencies in the U.K. will be forced to adopt to same-sex couples or shut down (Mackay).
It should be obvious that there is increasing hostility toward teachings of the Gospel. How will we react?
It can be easy to let culture box in our faith. We can all to easily stay silent when speaking out becomes uncomfortable or even criminal. But remember Paul who said, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.” (Romans 1:16)
Again we can learn from the early Church leaders and the Apostles. “Stephen ‘speaks to us above all of Christ, of Christ crucified and risen as the centre of history and of our life’” (Gold).
There is a point of tension we must remain in to work within and engage the culture, but we must also hold true to the Gospel and teachings of Scripture. Do not be ashamed of the Gospel and do not conform to the culture (Romans 12:2).
Let us commit to at least a week of praying that all members of the body of Christ will have the courage to boldly proclaim the Gospel in all circumstances.
Heavenly Father, may the Cross ever be before me. Fill my heart and my thoughts with Christ so that every word may come from my love of Him. I pray that you would give every one of your children hope and courage that we may be ready to speak of you above all else no matter what circumstance we find ourselves in. The world needs your hope of Salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ as much as it ever has. It is in His name that I pray – Amen.
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Background Resources and Works Cited:
Gold, Jennifer. “Pope Benedict: Church Will Always be Persecuted”. Christian Today. Posted: January 12, 2007: http://www.christiantoday.com/article/pope.benedict.church.will.always.be.persecuted/9094.htm
Mackay, Maria. “Government Must Protect Right of Christians to Live by their Faith”. Christian Today. Posted: January 11, 2007: http://www.christiantoday.com/article/government.must.protect.right.of.christians.to.live.by.their.faith/9077.htm
Mackay, Maria. “No Exemption for Catholic Adoption Agencies, says Blair”. Christian Today. Posted: January 30, 2007: http://www.christiantoday.com/article/no.exemption.for.catholic.adoption.agencies.says.blair/9324.htm
Thomas, Ed. “Canadian official fined for stating biblical stance on homosexuality”. OneNewsNow.com. Posted: February 1, 2007: http://www.onenewsnow.com/2007/02/canadian_official_fined_for_st.php
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