Take a few moments and consider this quote from Patrick Johnstone. I think he may be on to something.
“We are being compelled to return to a much more biblical and radical position – that of being a minority in the world but not of it… The church deprived of political power is free from the burden of trying to use human power to dominate and influence the world… Our reference point is not territorial or church growth aggrandizement, but building a kingdom that is not of this world, yet which will fill the earth as a contrasting alternative society. We need to return to the concept of a pilgrim church, the church will be hated, rejected, despised, persecuted, yet be an incisive, decisive, victorious minority which one day soon, will be ready for its heavenly Bridegroom as the perfected Bride.”*
Wow - "hated, rejected, despised, persecuted" - these are difficult terms for us Americans to grapple with. But again, take a moment to think on this. Is this not what we see in the New Testament? Were not the disciples building an "alternative society" that was often quite unpopular. Maybe we need to spend a bit more time getting ready to meet our Bridegroom rather than building programs, and buildings, and lives that will not last.
When I was a teenager in rebellion my dad wrote something in the front of a Bible that he gave me that has continued to call me forward. He said that it was written in the front of the chapel where he went to boarding school. He wrote,
Only one life, twill soon be past;
Only what's done for Christ will last.
There is a lot of truth in that little rhyme. Oh that our Lord would burn it deeply on my heart and mind. He is returning. He will reign supreme. Don't waste your life on superficial pursuits. "All nations whom you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord; and shall glorify your name" (Psalm 86:9).
Christian, don't fight it. God will be glorified. Joyfully, willingly engage in what really matters and what will last.
With you in the fight,
*Patrick Johnstone, The Church is Bigger than You Think, 263.