You don’t have to look further than the most recent titles to see that we live in uncertain times. Many people believe that the world has never been more hostile to Christians than it is now, especially as cancel culture continues to target people who are not considered politically correct.
To be a Christian in a deeply secularized society is a growing challenge. Everyone’s truth seems to be accepted unless you’re a Christian. So how do we live out our faith in such a hostile world? With the escalation of wars and tensions all around us, the persecution is becoming more and more common.
Berni Dymet leads the organization Christianity worksas well as hosting his radio show A different perspectivewhich is broadcast on Radiovision. Berni recently joined us on 20twenty to give us his thoughts on how we can continue to live our faith as Christians.
The Word of God is Immutable
“People are happy to talk about Jesus,” Berni says. ‘As long as there is nothing about repentance. They want to believe that he loves everyone and was a great teacher. But the Bible has a lot to say about what is right and wrong according to God. This has not changed for several thousand years. What has changed is our culture.
Berni believes the Christian voice is no longer an acceptable part of our nation’s narrative. Biblical Christianity is quite different from cultural Christianity. It costs something to be a true Christian, and we must not forget that. Being a normal Christian and going to church is cheap and easy work.
“But hearing the voice of Christ, says Berni, and believing it and confessing it requires a lot of self-sacrifice. The biblical Jesus is not a very popular figure these days. There has been a very deliberate campaign, whether on gender or sexuality issues, to silence the Christian voice.
Berni wonders if Christians understand what it means to say the love of Christ in this reality. We have seen in the last two censuses in Australia that secularization is happening at a rapid pace. It’s a very different environment. Most of us never imagined that we would one day have the world in our hands on a mobile device.
“As a church, we face a hostile environment,” Berni says. “But we behave almost like we’re still living in the good old days when everyone went to church. We are shocked that this is happening. But it’s not something Jesus didn’t predict in the New Testament. So let’s not be surprised.
Many Christians are persecuted around the world for their faith. But overall, in the West, we have it quite well. In Australia our government changed in the last election and there were no soldiers on the streets with machine guns. There was no bloodshed.
“We are very lucky to have this kind of democracy,” Berni says. “But I think we were lulled into this feeling that life should be comfortable. But let me tell you, as Christians, life is going to get less and less comfortable. It will be more difficult to talk about the things of God alone or in public. Jesus said, if they persecuted me, they will persecute you.’
Kindness and love
The reality is that there are pastors in countries like North Korea and India who are being killed in their churches. It is a reality in this world. The question for us is, what do we do with our faith in the context of the cancellation of culture, in the context of the closing of the Christian voice?
“Each of us who believes in Jesus has to find a way to be a Christian,” Berni says. “Always believe the Bible, but do it with love. I like what Francis Schaeffer once said. He said biblical orthodoxy without compassion is surely the ugliest thing in the world.
As Christians, we can sometimes have this idea that our tribe has to win. But this is not a biblical expression of God’s love. The greatest act in all history was Jesus laying down his life for you and me. Jesus did not come to condemn the world. He came to save the world.
“If that was Jesus’ job description, maybe it’s ours too,” Berni says. “I see a lot of Christians being tribal and condemning these sinners, rather than standing up for biblical truth. We must defend the good news of Jesus. But we can do it without hitting people over the head.
Want more teaching from Berni? The freedom to share Jesus is based on an incredible 10-part audio series created by Berni Dymet. This book and audio CD will help ignite your heart for the lost. A resource available from our Vision store.
This article was inspired by Berni Dymet.
Listen to Berni’s full interview on 20twenty below, and for more resources on sharing the gospel and speaking out in the lives of others, visit our Vision store.