Think the Church’s Precarious Cultural Situation is Unique? Think Again

by Michael Kruger

It is clear by now that we are living through one of the most monumental cultural shifts in the history of America.  While most cultural changes are slow and plodding, this one has been a rapid, raging flood wiping out everything in its path.

Christianity, while once the defining influence on American culture and policies, has now become public enemy number one.  In many people’s minds, Christians represent a clear and present danger to the social stability of the American enterprise. We are now less like citizens, and more like foreigners.

As a result, a bit of panic is spreading through the ranks. Anxiety levels are high. Christians are wondering how we should deal with this radically new and unprecedented cultural situation.

The answer may be a bit surprising.  We deal with this radically new and unprecedented cultural situation by remembering it isn’t radically new and unprecedented.

In fact, it is a return to normal.

Of course, I don’t mean normal in the history of America.  In the American experience, the pundits are right: this is an unprecedented cultural shift.  But, in the history of God’s people, this present situation is not at all unusual.  Indeed it has often been the norm; indeed, even the means by which God has advanced his Kingdom in unique and special ways.

I was struck by this reality the other day while revisiting the well-known story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in Daniel 3.  These three Israelites were no longer in Canaan, but were now in Babylon–a foreign country with no loyalty to the God of Israel. They had been exiled.  They were foreigners.

Even more than this, the cultural situation in Babylon was eerily similar to the present situation in America…

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