CP Opinion

Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014

Why Christianity Often Appears to Be Losing

  • (By CP Cartoonist Rod Anderson)
    Dan Delzell is an exclusive CP columnist.
July 16, 2013|9:06 am

You cannot judge a book by its cover. And you cannot attain an accurate reading on Christianity by appearances alone.

Just look at Jesus. Men were allowed to catch Him. They were even allowed to kill Him. It seemed to many people at that point, including His own disciples, that Christ had been defeated.

A bruised, battered and bloodied prophet. Not exactly the stuff winners are made of. Or is it?

Fast forward to our day. There were more Christians martyred for their faith in the 20th century than in all the previous centuries combined. Not exactly what the winning team should look like. Or is it?

As we gaze across America today, there are a myriad of current events which could lead a person down the path of pessimism. That is, if one chooses that mindset and decides to dwell in the dungeon of discouragement. In the history of the world, has there ever been a period which lacked plenty of problems which could lead to discouragement? "There is nothing new under the sun." (Eccl. 1:9)

And if a person really wants to dwell on the apparent defeat of Christianity, just examine the Middle East today. Or how about North Korea, or even most of Europe for that matter? So much for Christianity being "the winning ticket." Or is it?

Appearances can be deceiving, especially when the outward results don't appear to be keeping up with the inner expectations. Just ask the disciples about their expectations prior to Christ's arrest and crucifixion. It is easy to feel defeated. And on top of that gloomy outlook, all of us by nature are prone to speak words which curse the darkness rather than words which praise the Light.

But since when has God ever said in His Word that victory depends upon there being more people on His side than on the side of those who do not trust Christ as Savior? "When they were but few in number, few indeed, and strangers in it, they wandered from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another. He allowed no one to oppress them." (Psalm 105:12-14) God had His eye on them because they were His children. It had nothing to do with their numbers relative to the rest of the world's population. It had everything to do with God's love and care for those in His family.

So is Christianity winning, or isn't it? Well, just ask Jesus. Ask Him about that event which occurred on the third day after His death and burial. Ask Him about the miracles and Christian converts which are described in the Book of Acts. And then ask Him about every individual Christian and every Christian congregation on earth today where the wellspring of God's living water is flowing powerfully and producing compassion, unity and the fruit of the Spirit. (see Galatians 5:21,22)

Ask Christ those things. And just see if you come away from that discussion with a sense that Christianity is losing. You may be pleasantly surprised by your findings.

I suppose it would be similar to what Noah and his family might have said about their circumstances while aboard the ark. They were actually doing quite well in the midst of the Great Flood, wouldn't you say?

If you know Christ today, you are aboard God's ark. Jesus is your protection against the deluge of sin, death and the devil. Is there ever a legitimate reason for anyone aboard God's ark to complain or grumble? I sure can't think of one.

The Word of the living God is the only thing which can move our hearts to bask in the awe of Christ's victory rather than to get swallowed up in the dismay of apparent defeat. So what am I feeding my mind, and what am I speaking with my lips? That right there is likely the reason I perceive Christianity to be winning, or losing.

You cannot judge a book by its cover. And you cannot attain an accurate reading on Christianity by appearances alone.

Dan Delzell is the pastor of Wellspring Lutheran Church in Papillion, Neb. He is a regular contributor to The Christian Post.
Source URL : http://www.christianpost.com/news/why-christianity-often-appears-to-be-losing-99760/