I get emails and newsletters every day, speculating about the collapse of the American economy and what it will mean to us, as Christians, as our civil and religious freedoms are taken away. We’ve seen the 10 Commandments removed from public; God, Jesus, the Bible, and Christianity in history verboten in schools; Cursing Jesus’ name is OK, but praising it is ridiculed or forbidden; evolution the new state religion; constitutional foundations cast aside as old fashioned … on and on and on. What does all this mean to us, to individual Christians and to our children and our families?
I can tell you exactly what it all means to us – relatively little! People, of all the American citizens, WE have the least to be concerned about. Why? Because we have been through all this and much worse before! Time and time again!
We like to ignore history because it’s hard to keep up with, and it’s uncomfortable to think of how things have been before. I don’t know about your (step)children, but for mine getting her interested in history was like trying to feed her spinach! But if you push your children (and yourself) to take a bit of time to look back, you’ll be very encouraged by what you see … eventually.
Just after Jesus’ resurrection and ascension, the brand new baby church was almost snuffed out by the current general public. Civil religious rights? How about being shunned by businesses and government services? How about a school system that taught our kids to actually worship idols? How about being hustled out of our beds and homes in the middle of the night to be dragged into mock courts where we were charged with everything under the sun, found guilty without representation or recourse? How about having your family taken from you and probably tortured and killed? How about being the entertainment for a blood thirsty mob as you are murdered publicly in cruel and imaginative ways?
In the Dark Ages, we true Christians even had these things done to us by “The Church.” If we refused to accept the world government’s twisted version of Christianity, the very religion (in name) that we followed would jail, torture, or kill us!
Even following the Great Enlightening and the Reformation, which broke the monopoly of the false Catholic church, we were subject to the nearest king’s warped ideas of how we should worship, pray, or even believe. When we finally got miraculous freedom to worship publicly and we gained some influence over our own lives here in this new experiment of America, we saw enemies confront us on every front.
Despite political challenges, evolution, and a slowly eroding government, we have been able to relax into our illusion of security, forgetting where we have been and what we have come through to get here. We have found it easy and comfortable to think we have permanent home here in this world, when Jesus Himself regularly reminded us that we are strangers in a hostile land. We used to sing songs that were to serve as reminders: This World Is Not My Home, I’m only passing through, among others. But history is just to pesky to remember. And we’ve let ourselves and our children get lazy and complacent about our real position in a lost world.
And so, here we are again, about to be shaken from our reverie and woken to the harsh reality that we are Christians in a lost world. We may lose our temporary liberties to exercise our beliefs freely and openly. We may lose the right to worship at the corner church or promote our convictions in elections or wear t-shirts or bumper stickers that shout our ideals to the world. And we may feel really, really put upon and downtrodden and persecuted. And we may in fact be outlawed.
But, whatever else we lose, whatever else is taken away from us (or pried from our cold, dead fingers), Christians – true Christians will never lose our faith. Just as school boards may insist on no prayer in schools, but our kids can still pray silently whenever they want, in the same way we, their parents, can never be stopped from believing in our hearts that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. We may have to use codes, as some of our ancestors did in Ireland or Poland, but we will still be able to encourage each other. We may meet in back rooms and basements, but we will still pray and praise together.
So my idea of preparing for hard times is not to stockpile gold or bonds. Rather I’m concentrating on increasing my dependence on God’s providence, my familiarity with scriptures, and leading my family into a greater understanding of those Words of life. I know that, no matter what happens with the government, the economy, the ecology, the world community, or even the New World Order, my God will still answer prayer, He will still watch over His children, and He will provide for His own.
If we only survive a few years or months or weeks as fugitives and secret worshipers, we will leave others behind who know the truth and who know how to share it. And we will still have a wonderful, perfect future to look forward to in Heaven, then the New Earth with our God and our family. And it will be unimaginably better than anything we have had here, in America, over the last couple of centuries.
So, bring it on world, and Come Lord Jesus, Come!
STEPcoach (and Christian!) Bob Collins