Times haven’t changed- it is a question of remaining faithful.
There’s a growing trend in America for Christians to shrink back from boldly
declaring that Jesus is the way and truth and the life.
Churches, organizations, and individuals must deal with tremendous and growing
pressure to not use the name of Jesus, or declare there is only one true way.
It seems nearly impossible to stay true without suffering repercussions and
hardship. We were recently defunded by a formerly generous foundation because we ask all staff and board members to sign a statement of their Christian faith
in Jesus Christ. We will forego the funding and continue to have our team
sign a faith statement.
Others around the US are bowing to the pressure to not declare Christ as
central and are moving away from traditional Christian Values. They do so
while claiming times are changing, but are they?
The Israelites faced this influence away from their core belief in one true God
and faced dire consequences when they succumbed to beliefs of the surrounding nations.
Daniel and others in Babylon captivitiy faced a lion’s den and a fiery
furnace for staying committed to the one True God.
Early Christians in Rome were crucified (even upside down!), beheaded,
burned at the stake, and faced vicious animals and gladiators because of their faith.
Jude, the half brother of Jesus but more importantly a faithful servant of
Jesus Christ, spoke of this move away from Jesus 2000 years ago.
Times are not changing. This type of pressure and persecution is not new, it
is just new to us. It is our time of testing. As always, it will be a question
of the faithful remaining faithful.
Why would anyone deny Christ or Christian values in exchange for funding?
Why would we give into pressure from a funder and thus give up the
right to declare Jesus as the source and power for all we do and from
whom we see lives transformed? Jesus is who we follow, who we represent, the
core of who we are and what we do.
In what power would we work, what would we declare, and who would we be
if we gave up the right to declare and display that Jesus is Lord?
As for URM, we will continue, without embarrassment, to remain committed to
Jesus Christ as Lord and the Christian values as presented in God’s Word, the
Jude 1:4 New International Version (NIV)
“For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord”