The Dangers of Being Christian in America

eyesIt is no secret that many countries are openly hostile to Christians and Christianity.  Even countries that claim a policy of tolerance toward Christianity, often abuse, arrest, and kill Christians.  In many places it is risky to be called Christian.  It can be dangerous to share your faith, and even deadly to convert to a follower of Jesus.  According to the Voice of the Martyrs, North Korea is the “worst persecutors of Christians in the world,” where Christians are tortured, imprisoned, and murdered.”

Places like North Korea can seem so far away from the U.S.  Here, we have freedom to worship as we choose, and the freedom to share our faith.  However, this doesn’t mean that America is the perfect climate for Christianity.  As a matter of fact, I believe a special danger lurks in the capital of the free world.  It is a danger that few countries have ever witnessed.  It is born of a threat that is so lethal that at times it seems to be winning the battle against the church in the west.

There are many devoted followers of Jesus in this country.  They’ve dedicated their lives to Him, and are focused each day on the Kingdom of God.  Although they may not be facing the daily threat of violence or imprisonment, they battle a villainous enemy: the threat of opulence and ease.

In the history of time no country has ever experienced the level of freedom and wealth that we have in the United States.  According to some reports, the average global daily income is about $1.25.  Most Americans earn far above that rate. Comparatively speaking , we are a rich people.

Not only do we have an abundance of money, but we have an abundance of leisure time.  Hobby shops, craft stores, and sporting good outlets stand as monuments to the fact that we have both money and time to burn.

If I were preparing a foreign missionary for a trip to the United States, I would warn him about the dangers he will face.  His life may not be in constant jeopardy for the gospel’s sake, but, there remains a frightening threat.  I would warn him that many churches are filled with people who are losing interest in Christianity.  Their lives are filled with fun activities and leisurely pursuits.  Many are focused on multiplying their retirement accounts, or climbing the corporate ladder.  They are so busy seeking to make their lives even more comfortable that they will often forsake meetings of Christian fellowship.

I would warn the would-be missionary that in this country many Christians are building the “American Dream,” not the Kingdom of God.  I would caution him to expect to encounter Christians in the church who are ‘tearing down barns to build bigger ones’ (Luke 12:18).  I would prepare the missionary to encounter many who have grown indifferent to God.  Rather than being dependent upon Him, they have become dependent upon their wallet.  They no longer pray “for daily bread” because their pantries are full.  They will not be content with just “food and clothing,” but are already being drowned in “destruction” (1 Tim 6:8-10).

I would then try to prepare the missionary for the temptation of also entering the lifestyle.  He might see the ease and comfort and be drawn by it.  The endless supplies of food will entice him.  He may be offered a nice job with great benefits. Like many Americans, he may begin to think to himself, I deserve this.  I deserve to be happy.  I deserve these things.  He may turn on the television and see a preacher telling him that the Gospel should make him prosperous or that God never intends for him to be sick.  He may be tempted to think that the Gospel is about God saving him for heaven, not that it is about returning to God what is rightfully His.  He may be tempted to join the bands of Christians who have grown sleepy in their faith.  I would grasp the missionary by the lapels and shake him with a warning that he must always be on guard against the dangers of being Christian in America.








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