It's No Joke Being Christian

I'm often confused that the radical one, the rebel, the non-conformist is often presented as one who is not a Christian.   Really?  Maybe it's my context, but I don't see it this way.  It's no joke being a Christian.  

I recently ran across a statement from Daniel Akin worth consideration.  

"A word about the future of the church, specifically in America, is order.  Those of us in the West must be prepared for the jarring truth, that just as in Revelation 2:9 and Smyrna in the first century, those who oppose and reject Christianity are going to oppose and persecute us.  Not only will they say we are wrong; they will say we are bigoted, dangerous, and evil. 

"We will be slandered as antichoice, antidiversity, antigay, anti-inclusion, anti-intolerance.  We can anticipate economic boycotts, governmental restrictions, and social ostracism.  Eventually more severe persecution and even imprisonment will likely be our experience.  Of course this is already for true for followers of Christ around the world, and it is coming to America. 

"What should be our response?  Exactly what we see here in Revelation 2:  Do not be afraid; expect it.  Receive it from the hands of a sovereign God who is testing, pruning, and refining your faith.  remember James again: 'Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance' (James 1:2-3)"  (Daniel Akin, Christ-Centered Exposition: Exalting Jesus in Revelation, 2016, p. 48)

Reading a statement like this one, it would seem that the Christain life is a bit more hardcore than it gets credit for.  Maybe it's my context, but I live in a place were 2% of the population is Christian.  Just 2%.  That small band of Christians lives their lives by a Christian conviction.  They follow their heart toward Jesus.  And in the process, they are deemed intolerant, bigoted, and against diversity.  Yet, this is the environment where many Christians have lived for many centuries. 

This should shape the way we view Christians.  And as Christians, it should shape the way we live. It's who we are.  We mustn't be apologetic for that, or ashamed.  For we are not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of slavation. 

For the Kingdom!