Living as a Christian in Uncertain Times

Most, but not all, people want to live their lives decently, quietly, and without undue interference. Crystalline Waters, original oil painting by Steve Henderson of Steve Henderson Fine Art.

For someone who doesn’t keep up on major affairs — like the Superbowl (when is it, anyway?) or the latest little sparkly confection emaciated super-movie-starlets are, or are not, wearing, I keep remarkably informed about the important things –

  • The increasing bureaucracy and regulatory interference that invades all of our lives
  • Federal mandates that look like ducks, and walk like ducks, and appear to be at variance with Constitutional rights
  • The lamentable it’s-here-to-stay downgrade in our economy
  • Wars and rumors of wars

Spend five minutes on Facebook (that’s all I can stand) and you’ll find all sorts of links to all sorts of stories about schools deciding what to put in children’s lunches (Canada), road blocks that don’t look particularly in compliance with the U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment which protects us from unreasonable search and seizure (Texas, USA), or social service agents forcibly removing a baby not only from a woman’s home, but her womb (United Kingdom).

I put the countries of article origin so that you wouldn’t dismiss these news items as atrocities of third world dictatorships.

Yes, controlling people doing controlling things have always abounded, but for a long time, we who live in First World countries have been able to do so under the illusion that we were safe, unfettered, and free.  But then, so did many good people in Germany think, 80 or so years ago.

Safe, unfettered, and free. While outside circumstances can circumscribe, our spirits, reaching out to God, are safe. Ocean Breeze, original oil painting by Steve Henderson; licensed open edition print at Great Big Canvas.

Imagine what would have happened if Facebook had existed then.

I reflect upon that for a minute and then I think, “Maybe the same thing.” When good people don’t speak up and out, bad people can do what they do ever so much more efficiently.

“But what can we do?”

This is a good question, a difficult one to answer (like all truly good questions), but one that we, as Christians, must address. Those of us who reside, reasonably prosperously, in “advanced” countries have understandably, for a long time, lived as if this were a sort of heaven on earth, and because we have experienced overall security, and prosperity, and the luxury of focusing on the color of the cover on our latest digital device, we forget, sometimes, that this world is not our eternal home.

“Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth. Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21: 34-36)

Step One: Be awake. Be aware of evil, and stop looking to Establishments of Men for the answer. Because, my friend, they are the problem.

Step Two: Make God your God, not any man, any government, any church, any speaker, any organization. Talk to Him, everyday, throughout the day, and allow Him to guide you in what must be done. If you ask Him to direct your life, He will.

Step Three: Speak out and speak up. “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28). This is one of those verses we tend to skip over and hope we never have to live through. Too many people, in too many countries, experience this verse firsthand.

We live in the times we live, and while we wish it were a better time, a better place, it is the time and the place that it is. The only thing we can change is how we react to it.

Thank you for joining me at my Wednesday Contempo Christianity column. You may also find me at BeliefNet’s Commonsense Christianity, where I post three times a week. The latest articles at this site are

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