It’s no secret that America’s Judeo-Christian society is crumbling. 34% of people under 30 now claim “no religion,” a three-fold increase from just a few decades ago. It’s apparent we are moving quickly from a post-Christian society to an actively anti-Christian society. As Sean McDowell has said, we, who grew up when Christianity was recognized as a force for good in the social order, have lived to see Christians become the bad guys of society.
As a mom of young adults and a grandmother, I have found myself wringing my hands and fearful for my children’s futures. Yes, I know that God is fully faithful and sovereign… and just. God would do no wrong in bringing judgment on a nation that has experienced so many of his blessings and yet increasingly and grossly reject the giver of those blessings. Still, we pray for a revival in the American church which has by and large lost its distinction and testimony in deference to an innocuous message that above all, seeks to not give offense.
Well, hope is on the rise!
Drew Dyke, in his book, Yawning at Tigers: You Can’t Tame God So Stop Trying, offers a silver lining in the face of the societal and cultural opposition that the American church is experiencing in our day:
I think that we will see a smaller, more committed core of Christians emerging. We are seeing the death of nominalism, name-only-Christianity, in North America. Being a Christian is just no longer what you do to be a good American. There’s no social pressure to go to church… And so I think we are going to see a smaller, purer core.
In the book of Judges we learn of Israel’s cycle of sin – a cycle of sin leading to oppression (or bondage), leading to repentance, leading to deliverance, leading to devotion and peace, eventually falling back into sin, etc. In America we often hear the gospel watered down and/or offered with strange fire. We pray for revival and this may very well be God’s plan in winnowing and refining the American Church.
As a mom of college-age and young adult children and a grandma to two small boys, I have spent so much time wringing my hands over what their futures will be like… this message was the first time I looked positively at what is happening to Christianity in America. It helped me see what we know from other countries – opposition is refining. God is at work always, isn’t He? Halleluiah!
I now look to my children’s generation with anticipation. God is certainly winnowing his church and I look for a purity to arise among those who will side with the one true living God despite cultural sanctions and pressures to side with the spirit of the age. To that end, I pray for myself and my family. I claim future grace for the days to come. If we are beaten (physically, financially or with societal hate or discrimination), if we are charged to not speak in the name of Jesus, I pray that we might rejoice like the apostles for being counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name and that we will not cease teaching and preaching Jesus (Acts 5:40-42).