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Would you accept more hostility toward the gospel if it meant more openness to the gospel?
A friend in Scotland recently told me that the hostility his very secular country is exhibiting toward Christianity is being countered by a flood of genuine interest in the gospel. “It’s never been so hostile here,” he said. “But never more open either.”
Question - Comfort - Conversation - Ease - Evangelism
So there’s the question. Would you trade some comfort for some conversation? Would you swap some ease for more evangelism?
Scotland is about 10 years ahead of places such as Australia and the United States in terms of secularism, so in a sense that’s the future speaking to us today. The hostility is coming; we’ve seen that already. A few are experiencing it even now.
Glee - Elites—a - Sense - Schadenfreude - Pleasure
There’s a positive glee among some, especially political elites—a sense of schadenfreude (pleasure derived from another’s misfortune)—when Christianity takes a battering. There’s a feeling that we’ve had things our way for too long, and now the chickens are coming home to roost.
And have you seen the anti-Christian vitriol on social media? I have plenty of believing friends who are laying low, hoping for a time when the hostility settles down and an openness to the gospel returns.
Thing - Openness - Hostility - Spite
Yet here’s the thing: Openness has returned, and it might be because of the hostility, not in spite of it.
Evangelists, churches, and student groups on campuses are reporting an upsurge in gospel interest from people searching for something, anything, that might provide a sense of purpose in a world. And there’s something exciting about that. And something we should have picked up on earlier—if we’d had our theological antennae up, and if we’d stopped being so busy trying to make ourselves comfortable.
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