There is no such thing as "acceptable" Christianity

Apparently even the great Mother Church's own clergy are beginning to see what a poor benighted agnostic like me figured out a long time ago:
Despite the bright, warm sunshine outside, a pessimistic fog spread over the Washington Hilton early this morning as the 10th annual National Catholic Prayer Breakfast was underway in the ballroom. 
“My message for you today is a somber one,” said Professor Robert George, who lectures on civil liberties at Princeton, to a packed ballroom of Catholics that included failed Virginia gubernatorial hopeful Ken Cuccinelli. “The days of acceptable Christianity are over. The days of comfortable Catholicism are past. …It’s not easy anymore. There are costs to discipleship, heavy costs that are burdensome to bear.” 
Soon enough he’d get specific. George stressed that there are “powerful forces and currents in our society that press us to be ashamed of the Gospel. For example, if you believe that marriage is the consensual union between a man and a woman, you’re portrayed as bigoted, even hateful. …If you believe these things, some forces say you are a bigot [who is] against homosexuality [and] you ought to be ashamed.” 
Again and again, George said Catholics must be brave — pointedly protecting the unborn and marriage between a man and a woman. “One can still be a comfortable Catholic, a tame Catholic who is ashamed of the Gospel,” he said. On the other hand, “A Catholic who makes it clear that he or she is not ashamed of the Gospel is in for a rough go.” 
Believing in the Gospel, he warned, makes you “a marked man or woman” and jeopardizes “one’s standing in a polite society.” He said it also may cost you friends and provoke the alienation of family members. 
His speech didn’t conclude on an optimistic note. Instead, he had pointed questions: Will we be like the other disciples and flee in fear? Will we silently acquiesce to the demolition of human lives and the destruction of marriage? 
And he pushed practicing Catholics to not be wimpy. “Courage and cowardice, that’s what makes history,” he said. “We are not pawns moving around a chess board. We have choices. 
“History is not God. God is God.”
It is well past time that we heard "mainstream" Christian voices saying these things. There was a time when Christianity was spat upon and reviled for being a massive threat to the temporal power of the god-Kings and petty tyrants of the ancient world. Early Christianity was not a "comfortable" or "acceptable" religion. Worshipping the Lord and His Son were punishable by the most painful deaths possible; crucifixion, in particular, has to be perhaps the third most horrifying way to kill a man, right below burning him at the stake and flaying him alive.

The early Disciples of Christ were not initially brave or upstanding men. When pressed by the authorities before Christ's death, they fled, or lied, or cowered in fear. They were hardly paragons of virtue; in fact, they were much like most modern Christians- weak, afraid, willing to submit to the authority of the temporal while refusing to pay heed to the power and glory of the spiritual.

Yet, something changed them, fundamentally and completely. They went from being timid, cowardly, and weak, to being lions among men- willing to die fearlessly for their Lord and Saviour, willing to endure the most horrific of punishments, willing to preach His Gospel unto their last breaths. They did so because they witnessed a miracle.

They witnessed a man, who died before their eyes after suffering the most excruciating pain and making the most terrible sacrifice in the history of mankind, rise from the dead as final, incontrovertible proof that He was indeed the Divine made Man.

The power of this revelation was enough to turn even Saul of Tarsus, a fierce and committed persecutor of early Christians, into the Apostle Paul. That revelation had such impact that a man who had once condemned men to death for spreading the Gospel of Christ, died himself in agonising pain for spreading that same Gospel. The man who once tried to destroy the Christian faith, became its greatest champion and protector.

That is the true power of the Christian faith.

Compared to these monumental sacrifices, what is social ostracism but a mere flea-bite of discomfort? So what if Christians refuse to be "acceptable"? Christianity was NEVER about being "acceptable". It was, as it has always been, about upholding TRUTH.

To be a true Christian today is to sacrifice and toil, often in pain, often in obscurity. To be such a one is to be an outcast from "tolerant" opinion.

And yet, despite everything that is done to Christians by their Churchian inferiors, the Ministry of the Lord and Saviour endures. Perhaps, at long last, the fallen Churchians will hear the call and return to the fold. Maybe, just maybe, Christ's sacrifice will not have been in vain for them.


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