A Line in the Sand
Last week I wrote a brief article applauding Cardinal Francis George for directing Chicago-area priests not to serve communion to Catholics wearing the rainbow sash because it represents an open rejection of the Catholic Church's position on homosexuality. A day or so later my friend Skip Olson sent me a note entitled "A Line in the Sand." In his younger days he wondered why professing Christians could not stand arm-in-arm over issues of great moral importance. In many ways the disunity within Christendom opens the door for evil to flourish in our society.
But perhaps the critical nature of these times will force us to tear down some of the walls we have built: "We have been so comfortable for so long that we have been able to dwell on, indulge in, and obsess over the trivial things that separate us." But the age of comfort is rapidly coming to an end in America. It should be noted that the "age of comfort" never even started in most parts of the world. We in the West have had it easy compared to Christians in Muslim and Hindu lands.
Skip puts it very eloquently:
Now (I believe by God's grace) we are being mercifully pushed toward the line that marks Truth from Untruth. Forced to place "both" feet on one side or the other. Lord knows, I have tried to straddle that line on many occasions (one foot in the kingdom, one in the world). The reality and irony is that Truth cannot be straddled. As you have pointed out many times, "You're either in or out." You either stand on the side of Truth or you don't! There is no middle ground!
Then he adds words that seem eerily prophetic to me:
Every day it gets increasingly uncomfortable to be an evangelical Christian. PRAISE GOD!! For me, it's about time to once and for all place "both feet" squarely on the side of Truth. I think of the inspired words of Joshua, "...then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve...but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." (Joshua 24:15.) Or, "We will serve the Truth!"
If this is indeed true-and I hope and pray that it is--we should see the following things:
1) Christians uniting across denominational lines to speak on behalf of truth.
2) Pastors taking a strong stand against evil, even if it stirs up community opposition.
3) More prayer meetings, in more places, involving more people.
4) Christian teens leading the way in high schools across America.
5) Christians in public office putting truth ahead of political expediency.
C. S. Lewis once remarked that "Christianity is a fighting religion." The early church flourished in the midst of persecution far beyond anything we have yet experienced in America. And didn't our Lord himself promise a special blessing for those persecuted for the sake of righteousness? (Matthew 5:10-12)
Skip ends his e-mail this way:
I think of that wonderful scene in The Passion of the Christ where Jesus draws a line in the sand. Those present could choose to stand with Him or continue to reject Him. There is a line between Truth and Untruth, between Jesus and the world, between heaven and hell. So the choice remains for us today. On which side of the line are we going to choose to stand? On the side "with" Jesus, or on the side "without" Him? No middle ground!
Memorial Day is a good time to remember that some things are worth fighting for, and as American soldiers have proved across the years, some things are worth dying for. Those who stand on the side of Truth may not have an easy road, but in the end, they won't be disappointed.