There is no denying that Christianity, at least in the West, is taking a bit of a hit. Christians are being called bigots, fundamentalists and judgemental. The church is no longer seen as the compass of morality, and in this world ,were to offend people seem to be the worst crime, those who do not agree with the church and the teachings of Scripture are marginalised.
There used to be a time when Christianity was at the centre of our society. It was seen as normal to be a Christian, but this time is long gone. Today we live in what conference speakers and authors call a ‘post-Christian culture’, today it is no longer seen as the ‘norm’ to be a Christian or to go to church. Rather, Christians can be seen as strange or bigoted because of our stance on what the bible teaches.
“Unless you want to place your head in the sand and leave it there, there’s no denying the fact that fewer and fewer people are claiming to be Christians throughout the West, and that Christians are losing social status and favor more and more, almost by the day.”
How should Christians deal with this truth? Should we run and hide, lock our church doors and hope for the best? Or should we do, what some have sadly already done, and conform to society?
Matt Chandler says that as we look at our culture, as we see how the church seems to be more and more marginalised, Christians should Take Heart. In these times of change and as the church gets pushed closer and closer to the edge of society Chandler calls Christians to have courage.
How is that possible you might ask? Well Chandler takes you through church history and he calls the reader to look up to God, to see and know that He is sovereignly in control of all things.
Church history shows that the church has grown and thrived most during times of pressure and marginalisation and has actually deteriorated and become more self-focused rather than Christ-focused during time when society was ‘Christian’.
The church thrives in the margins because it causes Christians to look and depend on God and to find their hope and courage in God. As you feel the pressure at work, as you’re questioned by friends or family members because of your faith or as you take a stance because of what you believe, the bible teaches look to God and take courage!
We can have courage when we have a great view of our great God because as Chandler says:
“if we have a God-sized, God-given courage, then we will be freed up to be the people of God, living out the mission of God, marked by the joy of God.”
This is a very helpful quick read that puts our culture in its context, helps us understand church history and gives practical insights into how to live as a Christian in a world that is trying to fight Christianity and forget about God. If you are struggling this book will give you hope, it will cause you to look to and depend on God and, as it says on the tin, it will give you courage to live in this world and age of unbelief as you serve the Lord.