Times are changing in our culture. In the past few months we have seen major media outlets demonize a fast food chain president for his Christian beliefs. We have seen a pastor forced out of a national prayer meeting after teaching Biblical values in a sermon delivered twenty years ago. Last week, a professional football play was bullied into canceling an appearance at a church, because the church is on record as supporting a Biblical sexual ethic. It is no longer cool to be Christian.
When the winds of change are howling, it takes deep roots to remain upright.
Christian, tend to your roots.
Make sure your roots are:
- Planted in the right soil. Plant yourself deeply in the Word of God. Set your feet on the solid surface of God’s law. Enrich yourself with the gospel of Jesus Christ, finding your regeneration, adoption, and identity in His work – not your own.
- Growing deep, not wide. A shallow faith can be seen in many different ways. Sometimes it is displayed by great works in the name of Jesus, but with little reliance upon His Spirit. Other times shallow faith operates as a fresh coat of paint on a tomb, hiding the decay inside with a little work on the part people see. Sometimes, our shallow faith is shown by living a safe life.
- Being watered regularly. Allow the soothing, refreshing waters of Christian community and Christian worship to feed your soul. Do not forsake the habit of gathering together, for that is where God works through others to strengthen you.
- Showing fruit. Every root is either growing or dying, but the best roots eventually result in a harvest. Your life should be bringing forth good fruit. James explains that a faith without good works is dead, but our good works are the result of faith; our roots of true faith bring forth good fruits.
These are vital practices for maintaining strong roots, and I assure you, a storm is coming that will rip away all of those with weak or shallow roots. This past week showed us what is coming in the future. There was a fierce outcry over Tim Tebow speaking at a church who dared to echo the Bible’s statement that homosexuality is sin. The offense was not about the pastor of this church or the way he spoke about homosexuality; critics made it clear – the message of the Bible was the offense.
The day is fast approaching when a Christian espousing a Biblical sexual ethic will be considered something equivalent to a white supremacist espousing hatred. There will be public shaming and personal hatred. People will look at us with disgust and treat us with contempt. That day is coming, and it is coming faster than we would like to believe. In that storm of persecution, your roots must dive deep.