Tuesday, 9 December 2014

9Marks Journal (Fall 2014) on the Church and Opposition

The latest issue of the 9Marks Journal, available here as a pdf, is devoted to the topic of ‘Vanishing Church? Seeking the Right Perspective as Opposition Grows’.

In the Editorial, Jonathan Leeman writes:

‘The growing opposition to the Christian faith in Western culture is heart breaking and worth challenging. That said, God has good purposes for letting the nations – even a so-called Christian nation – oppose his people. And one of them is to sharpen the church’s distinctness. He is seeking a bride for his Son, and he means for her to radiate.

The nature of our relationships inside a church should be distinct. Our ways of serving our employers and employees should be distinct. Our treatment of spouses and children should be distinct. Our loves and our laughter should be distinct. Our sexuality and family budgets and vacation plans should be distinct. And the more our culture opposes God and his people, the more the distinctness of our churches should shine. Yes, there should be points of commonality. We never stop being human, and our lives and loves should be deeply humane. But we are the new humanity. Our neighbors should find us both familiar and exotic.

Notice, then, the further a nation moves away from Christian moral assumptions, the more its churches have occasion to radiate the life-changing power of God. Which means, cultural opposition shouldn't scare us. It sets a backdrop for the display for the glory of God in our lives.

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