19 December 2013

Mike Tyson and the plague of complacency

On February 11, 1990, the undisputed heavyweight boxing champion, Mike Tyson, fought a relative unknown, Buster Douglas for the title. Tyson, considered by most at the time, was pound for pound the greatest fighter in the world.  I remember watching him get into the ring, wearing all black, and destroy his opponents.  He was not graceful like Ali; he was a wrecking ball. To everyone's utter surprise, Tyson was knocked out in the tenth round. It was the first time he was ever knocked out. It was the first time, he had ever been knocked down

What went wrong? Probably several things, but I believe at the base, Tyson underestimated his opponent. He expected to go in and easily defeat the no name Douglas on his way to a "real fight" with Evander Holyfield. Unfortunately, his underestimation cost him the title.

It seems to me that Christians in America are much the same way. Christianity, grounded in a biblical worldview, dominated the American landscape for centuries. Despite the claims that America was not founded as a Christian nation, there is no doubt that it was founded on Christian principles. But Christians in America have become complacent. We have grown flabby in our faith, reserving it for Sunday mornings...when we don't have hockey tournaments.

As a body of believers, we must seek the face of God and get training. We must individually and corporately pray that revival would come upon this land. We need to train church leaders and members to stand up in the face of criticism, which will keep increasing. When the media attacks orthodox Christian faith, too many Christians cower in fear or feel ill-equipped to respond winsomely. We need to know how to respond and why worldview matters.  We need to dig into the Bible to know what God actually says so that when we are challenged, we can stand firm on truth.  We cannot do this if put our faith in a small box that we only open at church with other believers.

In the past, Christians went to jail for their beliefs. Many were killed. In fact, in other parts of the world, many still are. Jesus told his followers that they would be persecuted and if you are willing to stand for truth, it is probable you will be too. 

Play time is over.

But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God's will, than for doing evil.-1 Peter 3:14-17

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