Welcome to 2013.
Since becoming President, Mr. Obama has proclaimed that America is no longer a "Christian" nation. Others are doing their part to perpetuate the notion that most people no longer hold Christian beliefs and values.
Atheist organizations mock God and Jesus Christ publicly, while Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the ACLU file suit after suit seeking to remove any vestige of Christian faith and morality from public life in America.
With the continuing shrill voice of these activists, and a few cultural defeats, good people of faith sometimes feel they truly are in the minority. Washington State Representative Jamie Pederson, who helped lead the campaign to redefine marriage, called people of biblical faith and values, "a dwindling minority." It is rather easy to feel that way in Washington State following the legalization of pot and so-called homosexual "marriage" this past year.
However, this is not consistent with how a majority of Americans actually feel.
A Rasmussen Poll published this past weekend reveals a very different America.
A Rasmussen Poll published last week found that 64% of Americans not only believe in God, but believe in the God of the Bible.
This is a very different "truth" than that advanced by anti-God, anti-Christian activists.
In fact, 81% of those who celebrated Christmas last week said they celebrated it as a religious holiday, not a secular one.
A Rasmussen Poll conducted last Christmas found that most Americans believe political correctness is a problem in our country and 79% said they believe religious holidays should be celebrated in public schools.
Last February, Rasmussen also discovered that 65% of Americans favor prayer in public schools.
There is no question our country is staggering along the edge of a moral cliff. And clearly, to fall off would be culturally and spiritually disastrous.
However, it is also clear that there are those among us driving the notion that everybody is "doing it"---forsaking Christian values and replacing them with secular progressive beliefs.
The New York Times did their part to advance the narrative with an op-ed they published 3 days before Christmas titled, "One Nation Under God?" Other newspapers and magazines followed their lead.
There is no question people of biblical faith and values in Washington State had a setback this past year.
There are reasons for that setback that must be addressed and corrected. Probably the least of those reasons was that a majority of Washingtonians no longer actually believe the Bible.
There are always setbacks for those who stand for righteousness in the culture.
First, a majority of Americans share your biblical beliefs.
Secondly, consider what the late Chuck Colson wrote in 2009 on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day:
As Americans observe Martin Luther King Day today, I am reminded of the rich Christian tradition of activism in this country. For millions of Christians who have gone before us, activism was considered fruit of the faith. Not only was the civil-rights movement led by evangelical Christians like Dr. King, so too were campaigns for abolition and women’s suffrage heavily influenced by Christians expressing their faith.
But for much of the twentieth century, Christians—especially white evangelicals—shied away from activism. Part of the reason is that from about the 1920s to the 1970s, many evangelical Christians simply withdrew from the public square. Defeats in Prohibition and the discouraging results of the Scopes trial left many evangelicals disheartened. Soon the rich activist tradition was lost or divorced from true faith.
But in the African-American community, Christian principles and hopes prodded the rise of the civil-rights movement. It was not until the ’80s with the rise of the Moral Majority, that activism began to resurface among white evangelicals. Unfortunately, as Tim Stafford notes in his new book, Shaking the System, by then, “The very idea of Christians advocating for public causes created panic among secularists and dreams of utopia (a long-lost Christian America?) among true believers.”
This is why I like Stafford’s book so much: It draws from the rich history of Christian involvement to revive that lost knowledge of what it looks like to be a Christian activist.
True Christian activism, Stafford writes, always begins with the truth. “That means,” Stafford says, that “the true activist is a witness, anxious to pass on truth to others.” This is how the abolition movement began in the United States. About 30 years before the Civil War, the truth that slavery was a sin began to break through the consciousness of more and more Americans.
Soon all activists, however, learn that not everyone can handle truth. That is why a second thing that any Christian should know about engaging the world with a Christian worldview is to expect resistance. When truth collides with the status quo, Christian activists had better know where their ultimate hope lies.
Christians must also have a strategy for shaking the system: from prayer to dialogue, from political involvement to pressure tactics such as boycotts and strikes.
So if the life of an activist holds so much discouragement and risk, why get involved at all? Because a Christian understanding of the world compels us to combat injustice and promote truth.
I personally, and Faith and Freedom, have experienced much resistance, especially in the past several years. Sometimes from the most unexpected sources. I expect that to continue and increase, not decrease.
Thank you for walking with us as we cross the threshold of 2013 and the challenges and opportunities it will present to those of us who hold a biblical worldview and believe we are called to speak that truth to the culture.
Be Bold. Be Vigilant. Be Discerning. Be Informed. Be Prayerful. Be Blessed.