Certainly, the separation of church and state has fostered favorable conditions for the Great Commission to flourish. Detached from the church, the state cannot dictate its temporal policies to the church. In conjunction, the church no longer shuffles between maintaining political power—a practice that often led to the extortion of faith for increased political muscle—and accomplishing the Great Commission’s directive.
On the other hand, secularists have affixed a decidedly more draconian connotation to the public’s perception of the privatization of faith. Not only do secularists long for a complete gag order upon the church in terms of influencing public policy, but they also seek to censure any public displays of faith. We watch the same sad song repeat itself on the news: Christians erect a monument of the Ten Commandments or a nativity scene, and some secular activist group raises a collective roar at such a brazen act (in their eyes at least.)
During a moment in its history when America requires a wholesale restoration of godly morals and attitudes, a sizable portion of its citizens vigorously snarl at any aggrandized attempt to put God in the public square. Like always in Biblical history, its up to us—the body of Christ—to establish a beachhead for Christ in the public arena.
For decades the church, was lavished with a certain degree of public respect. Christian virtue, public service, and work ethic were lauded. On the other hand, since the 1960s counterculture movement, veneration of the church has been sandpapered down from a shining city on a hill to a submissive doormat. It is a sign of the times, and while awkward, carrying the Gospel to the lost was never advertised as victory parade.
In lieu of increasing public scorn, a fresh temptation exists to circle the wagons around the four walls of your local church and ride out the rough waves until Jesus returns and says, “Peace, be still.” While I foresee a time when Christians could have to create their own communities and evangelize surreptitiously, I admonish those reading to take advantage of their religious liberties while they still exist on paper.
Exercising religious liberty means taking a conversation toward Jesus in spite of whatever hostile environment it may be. With all our resources, it would be an embarrassment for the Western church to abandon the Great Commission due to its fear. Despite opposition, the body of Christ retains its collective voice, and therein lies the caveat: as long as all of God’s children still draw breath, they must continue to preach the Gospel. If the church speaks up, it will either be opposed or begrudgingly dealt with. Either way, a beachhead will have been established, and is that not what we seek to establish in today’s culture?
Privatization Precedes Persecution
When referencing privatization, I’m not referring to its textbook definition. What should be and what is are worlds apart, and the current privatization gives cause for concern. Secularists don’t just seek the shriveling of faith; rather, they endeavor to extinguish it altogether.
Think I’m sounding hawkish? In my previous semester of college, I listened to a Western Civilization professor proclaim to the class, “If you scratch me deep enough, I’ll say get rid of all religion and just keep science.” Having been built upon the Judeo-Christian order, Western Civilization has departed from said order and taken a dip into moral insanity. As to the results, they are hot off the press at your local college campus.
As mentioned before, the secularists are going after nativities and monuments. How long is it before they run out of monuments and begin to go after people? Our brethren in the persecuted church across the globe have been living under that reality for decades.
Totalitarian regimes have a cynical political worldview, so their logical progressions go from unfair to aghast with astounding expedience. Thus, your Bible is burned first, and after that, your house. Finally, when the faithful find themselves burning at the stake, they understand the warnings were far from fear mongering.
Not surprisingly, militant secularists demonstrate a concerted strain of totalitarianism in their dealings with those of faith. Do we wish to see the hypothetical scenario in the preceding paragraph come true?
If not, take these challenging steps: first, voice your faith in the public square. Second, get involved in your community. Third, get involved in politics, whether through voting or running for public office. These are public matters and just like everyone else, you carry a worldview into the public arena. Finally, be vocal without fear and speak with conviction instead of bravado. Your religious liberty depends upon it.
Kevin Cochrane is a nineteen year old writer with the distinct purpose of radically restoring everyone with exposed ears to the original testimony of Jesus Christ. Want to read more? Check him out at themajestysmen.com/author/kevincochrane, a friendship and mentoring community for Christian males. For updates on his latest blog posts here at restandrefuge.wordpress.com, you can follow him on Twitter @RunFree_KC or click the follow button at the bottom of the page to receive notifications by email. To contact, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.