The following is from RC Sproul, Jr and cuts me personally to the very core of my self-justifying, slothful life. I hope it will do the same to you. Read and be warned.
It is because we love the world so profoundly that we think we’re already being persecuted. That is, we see ourselves as bold prophets confronting the sin of the world because we vote for candidate approved by the National Right to Life. We watch pundits on CNN mock us. We might even face a moment or two of awkwardness at work when word leaks out we’ve opposed to murdering babies. We conflate having our feelings hurt with being burned at the stake. We think that because we are, mostly secretly, part of that group the secular world thinks weird and mildly dangerous that we are Polycarp.
Of course the even more craven wing of the evangelical church only encourages this. That there are those who profess to be evangelical who vote for Democrats is proof to us that we are the hard-core ones. We are the bold, world-denying ones because we still have a Huckabee campaign sticker on our car. The truth is we’re like those Nazi’s who wanted to oust Hitler because he was just crazy. What they wanted was a more sane and reasonable Nazi regime. We may be less of a problem than our brothers to our left, but we are still the problem.
This is one of the reasons why I strive to encourage people to go visit their local abortion mill. We go of course to prophesy against those who work there, or those who are customers there, but more to come face to face with our own failures. One cannot spend two hours outside the mill and come away thinking, “I need to work harder next election cycle to get the less pro-abortion guy into office.” Instead one beats ones breast crying, “Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner.” One comes away repentant.
What clued me in to this delusion, however, isn’t the abortion issue, but the homosexual marriage issue. We have witnessed in less than half a decade a titanic propaganda triumph of the left. Gay marriage has gone from a bizarre pipe dream among the fevered brow flouncers down at Queer Nation to a civil right. Decent people who were naturally repulsed by the perverse assault that is gay behavior suddenly are made to feel like Bull Conner. And if there’s one thing evangelical Christians can never abide it is being considered not nice. Watching the rhetoric ratchet up even over the past few months I began to imagine the actual beginning of genuine persecution of the church. They will not abide our conviction that they are in grave sin, so surely they will come after us.
Then I realized they will never catch us. We are too good at retreating. If for forty years we have failed to stand for the babies such that either they became protected by law, or we became martyred for our faith, then neither will this latest moral sexual atrocity cost us our comforts, our ease, our respect. In five years there might be a few of us still talking among ourselves about what should be done about homosexual marriage. We might have a few fringe ministries trying to scrape by and fight a battle the rest of us have forgotten. But it will become as much as part of the landscape, and invisible to us as abortion has become – just a seedy reality we don’t approve of, but would rather not think about.
Of course we’ll still be busy growing “grace based” churches. We’ll still hold conferences on living gospel-centric lives. We’ll still write learned defenses of what Jesus actually said. What we won’t do is depend on His grace, while repenting of our failure to call the world to repent, as Jesus told us to do. And the world will know us for what we are, mildly annoying, but harmless.