Let me ask you a question. How do you think Christians should engage a culture that often stands in direct opposition to God’s truth?
There are likely as many different answers to that question as there are people to respond to it. In my view, that says a lot about the creativity and passion of the Christian community.
But, however we strive to influence the culture, I hope there’s one underlying value that guides all we do and say: Jesus offers salvation to everyone. Sounds obvious, I know, but with the church confronting so many contentious social issues it’s easy to forget that “we wrestle not against flesh and blood” (Ephesians 6:12). That means individuals, from those who work in the abortion industry to activists who fight for the legalization of same-sex marriage, are not the enemy. They’re souls, just like us, in need of God’s love and grace.
Let me convey a personal experience that illustrates my point. I am unwavering in my commitment to see abortion become a distant memory in our country’s history. To that end, I wanted to dialogue with people involved in the abortion industry. For years, their public rhetoric has included the idea that abortion should be rare. So I decided to find out if that was true. I mean, if we can scale a few barriers and get activists to support alternatives (like adoption) and see the number of abortions reduced as a direct result, isn’t that a good thing? Think of the babies that could be saved!
With that in mind, I invited someone to our offices who worked for a prominent abortion provider. Our conversation began awkwardly, but the meeting was cordial. But it was the events that followed that reminded me of where our deeper calling as a Church truly lies.
When the lady with whom I had met went home, she found a note from her husband waiting for her, telling her he wanted a divorce. Needless to say, she was distraught. But because of the love and respect she had experienced while visiting our campus, she contacted us. One of our staff here at Focus took her under her wing. No political agenda. No ulterior motive. She simply showed this woman the love of Christ by mentoring her and becoming her friend.
A few months later, I received a note from the woman. She wanted me to know she was walking away from the pro-abortion organization she worked for. Even more importantly, I think, were the heartfelt words she expressed for my colleague who had been the hands and feet of Christ in this woman’s life. She said: “I’ve never seen anyone love another human being the way this person has loved me.”
That is what I’m talking about!
Listen, I understand that proclaiming God’s truth in the public square can be difficult. Our culture demands its own way above God’s, and that ground won’t be given up easily. But that’s why, when the bullets of heated debate and even personal attack are flying, we need to remind ourselves that Jesus didn’t just die for the “nice” people who agree with our views. His death paid the penalty for everyone who trusts in Him.