“Toto, I have the feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” -Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz.
The cultural cyclone that America has weathered in the past 50 years launched us over the rainbow to a land many true Bible-believers hardly recognize. The latest episode in Oz has become the “Christmas wars” – conflict over how much we’re allowed to celebrate Christmas as a society without being politically incorrect.
One website tells how:
- New York schools banned Santa from the campus during class hours,
- How Columbia University hosted a play called “xmas” where the virgin Mary begs for sex,
- How “The Eight: Reindeer Monologues”, performed in Philadelphia, features a discussion of Santa raping Vixen… and on it sickeningly goes.
Obviously, we’re now caught in a rip tide between two massive cultural currents: (1) Bible believers who think Western society will crumble in direct relation to the level of unbelief, and (2) secular forces trying to “liberate” the world from the supposedly tragic influence of religion.
If you’ll pardon another movie cliche, “Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night!” (Margo Channing in All About Eve). I’m not sure where or when all of this will end, but it will indeed be bumpy for a while.
During this turbulence, nominal Christianity will slowly die in the face of the black tide of cultural relativism. Only the strong (in faith) will survive.
Given the toxic cultural environment, what kind of faith will survive? Why is true faith such a struggle? Here are some possible causes:
- Familiarity doesn’t always produce faith. Jesus’ own home town had such little faith in him, that he couldn’t do miracles there. Just being a church goer and knowing about Jesus won’t produce faith. (Mark 6:5-6)
- Faith isn’t merely inherited. The greatest faith Jesus encountered in his ministry came from a Roman Centurion, who wasn’t a Jew and didn’t have the benefit of religious heritage and training. (Matthew 8:10).
- Faith is a choice. Thomas, one of Jesus’ closest followers, couldn’t believe that the Master had been resurrected. He chose his own reaction: “Unless I see… I will not believe it.” The resurrected Jesus told him to “Stop doubting and believe.” – a choice. (John 20:24-28).
- Faith dies without intentional nutrition. Without maintenance it can’t survive. Without time studying the Bible and praying, faith can’t live very long. (Rom 10:17).
Why do you think faith is such a struggle? Help us by telling how your faith has grown stronger. How did it happen?