Growing up I was surrounded by Christians. The friends of my parents went to church. The friends of my grandparents went to church. Growing up in the Bible Belt gave me a skewed view of America, but that background makes the changes I am observing even more sobering.This background heavily shaped my conversations with those who denounced Christianity (more often because of judgmental Christians than theological struggles).
As a child my friends either went to church or at least adhered to Christianity in a basic way. Although my friends were always at a different church, there was a commonality in the faith. We never discussed Christianity. We were kids and accepted what we were taught.
It was not until college that I was challenged on my faith. I had experienced a renewal at 18 right before I graduated from high school. I was a strong believer in college but did not have adequate words to express my belief.
Rarely in my twenties did I have “religous” discussions with non-Christians. It was easier to argue my version of Christianity against other versions (denominations).
Now in my mid thirties I am meeting more and more non-Christians. I am not only meeting them. We are becoming friends. My previous methods of evangelism have been a complete failure with my non-Christian friends. Last week I was wondering if I have planted a seed of God’s love in at least one non-Christian, or have I only tried to convince them of the “truth.”
Many in my generation have drifted away from Christianity either intentionally or unintentionally. This rejection, whether hard or soft, is now common in America. I am still more comfortable in a religious discussion with someone who has rejected Christianity than someone who is a non-Christian, but it is time for me to shed this comfort zone.
The nature of Christian apologetics is shifting. America is becoming an anti-Christian nation. I am not alone in this opinion and it was not my idea. My generation rejected Christianity and stopped going to church. My son’s generation will not reject Christianity. How can they reject something they will not experience? They will be introduced to Christianity in a “World Religions” class in college. They will examine Christianity the way my generation pondered over Buddhism and Islam. They will wonder why Christians are so extreme the way many Christians now wonder the same about Muslims.
The evolution of apologetics is changing, and I wonder if Christianity will evolve with it. I will not prepare my children to argue their faith against other Christians. I will prepare them to defend their faith in their own soul.
After its birth in 33 A.D. Christians suffered severe martyrdom and persecution for 300 years. For the next 1700 years we enjoyed freedom. Some enjoyed the freedom too much and became the persecutors. With regrets such as the crusades and Salem witch trials, we have our own guilt to contend with.I admit this paragraph is a bit simplistic. I will have to explore this information further in a different post.
There is no science in this, but it feels as though only 20% of Christians are sensing this change. I think the other 80% are trying to sweep this under the rug.
America is becoming anti-Christian. What if religious freedom for Christians is coming to an end? The world is not just shifting away from Christianity, but becoming intolerant of it. We are seeing the return of a world eager to kill Christians. We are watching the end of Christianity in the middle east, its birthplace. We have to consider our children growing up in an anti-Christian world. We have to consider if our Christianity is of no importance, or of significant importance (Lewis 1945).
Question: Have you noticed an increase in animosity towards Christians in America?