As Christians increasingly come under attack, how should we respond?
In light of today’s volatile economy and nonprofit concerns dealing with everything from charitable giving to Obamacare, the American church faces many serious questions about the future.
“We are in a progressively anti-faith environment, and there is a tremendous shifting of churches that really believe the fundamentals and those that don’t,” says Bishop Harry Jackson Jr., pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, Md. “Fewer churches are teaching the truth than we realized.”
But Jackson is optimistic that these troubling times will bring positive change in America. “I have confidence that the great soul-winning churches are going to take up the trumpet to speak out about social issues,” he says, noting that in the past, churches were either focused on winning souls or social issues—never both. Jackson feels that churches increasingly recognize the need to embrace both camps, and he believes this shift will become evident before the next major political election.
“If the church would lead, there is a biblical way to solve the immigration problem that is not uniquely Democrat or Republican—it’s kingdom,” he says. “There is a biblical way to deal with racism [and] to defend life so we aren’t having more abortions.”
Tim Tiller, chief operating officer of Jewish Voice Ministries, believes the U.S. is at a turning point. “[Christians] are no longer the home team, so we have to be careful how we communicate our beliefs,” he says. At the same time, he feels Christians “should not stand on the sidelines and just watch everything unfold.”
Jack Hoey, chief operations officer of Seacoast Church in Mount Pleasant, S.C., encourages churches to focus on the apostle Paul’s mission: to help people’s love grow more and more in the knowledge and depth of wisdom (see Phil. 1:9).
“Why are Christians under attack?” Hoey asks. “Because Christianity is dangerous. It’s dangerous because it’s true. So being under attack isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though it might be uncomfortable.”
Believers need to buckle their seatbelts and, at a time when the nation is divided, seek to walk in unity with other believers. Ultimately, Hoey says, “If you are walking with God, He can redeem any bad situation.”