by Mike Ratliff
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” 13 Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness ‘sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 16 having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. 17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil. (1 Peter 3:12-17 ESV)
As I write this I am 62 years old and have been part of American Christianity my whole life either as a small child being taken to Church by my parents or as a young boy in Sunday School and later as a teenager in the Youth Group at Church. When I became a young adult I left all that, but God had other plans. When I was in my early 30’s I found myself with a wife and two small children going to a local Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma every Sunday and through that God caused the proclamation of the Gospel to finally work and He had mercy on me. Through all that I had gained much knowledge of how intertwined Evangelicalism is in the culture in Oklahoma. I knew this even when I was in rebellion and having nothing to do with “Church.” When God drew me to Himself in 1985-1986 and made me into a New Creation I still retained that “knowledge,” but now my focus was not on it, but on my Lord. From that point until early in this new Century I never thought I would see the throwing off of the moral covering in our society that comes from our culture being so intertwined with the knowledge of God and His truth. What amazes me the most though is how so many in so-called “Churches” are fully participating in this rebellion.