I was on my way home this evening, listening to the local radio station, when the Casting Crowns’ song “Thrive” came on. As I listened to the chorus I thought to myself, “Yeah, that’s what we sing out loud, but inside we’re actually saying, ‘We know we were made for so much more than ordinary lives. But just for now we’re glad to just survive. We’ll wait for Heaven to thrive.'” I follow a blog called “Fire Breathing Christian”. While I don’t agree with everything he says (he seems to have a bent towards Dominion Theology — the teaching that Church will grow and grow and overcome the powers of darkness here on earth and take dominion. Then Christ will return.), but he’s been talking recently about how the Church in America has wimped out on the Great Commission. We seem to limit it to just missions and we don’t realize that we are supposed to have an impact on not just “foreign fields”, but we should be fighting for our own culture as well; the arts, entertainment, politics, social welfare, etc… In my last posting I know I sounded like I was just throwing up my hands and saying, “There is no hope. We’re doomed.” And, if you look at the parallels between the United States today and the Roman Empire nearly 2000 years ago then, yeah…it doesn’t look good for us. But the song on the radio just jarred something in my brain. We don’t have to be like that! We don’t have to fade into the annals of history for generations to come to read about and say, “Wow, wish I’d been there.” In fact, I think we’re going to have a LOT to answer for if we do. I’ve heard that the Church in China is actually praying for the collapse of the United States and the persecution of Christians. NOT because they think we deserve to suffer because they’ve had to. No! They are hoping that maybe that is what it will take to get us to get out of our Western Religious stupor and stand up and say, “We’re mad at Hell and we’re NOT gonna take it anymore!” That we’ll stand up to our culture and say, “Not one more inch! You will not force us to stay silent! We will stand on the truth of the Word of God and we will NOT back down and kowtow to your political correctness! We will not sit in front of your electronic Colosseums and watch you destroy our children with the crap you broadcast! We will not attend your endless of orgies of ‘do whatever is right for you — your truth is your truth’ and applaud the ‘bravery’ of ‘Doogie’ and Ellen and Whoopi! We will bow to the false gods of Rob Bell and Oprah and Universalism! Your Caesars will not legislate us into accepting sin and removing us from the Public Square! Your Siren’s songs by Beyonce and Jay-Z and their ilk, who encourage our kids to dishonor their own bodies and kill cops and treat each other like objects rather than human beings will be called out for what they are…garbage! We don’t demand you believe what we do, but we will not let you be the only voice! And, the firmer we stand the quieter your voice will become!” There are millions of Christians in the world living under oppression and poverty and the threat of death! How dare we, here in America — the freest, most prosperous country in the world — cower in our closets with our copies of “Left Behind” just praying the Jesus returns soon to take us out of this horribly corrupt world! How dare we wring our hands and say, “There’s nothing we can do! ‘Be in the world not of the world.’ You can’t show the love and power of Christ in politics or in the work place or in Hollywood. You can only do small things!'” There is a whole world out there depending on us to stand up, even if it is just one last time, and live out the Great Commission. The Apostles didn’t stay in their churches and just let the world go on it’s merry way! They stood before the Religious and Political and Cultural establishment and said, “There is only ONE Way, ONE Truth, and ONE Life and NO ONE comes to the Father but through Him.” They risked ridicule and beatings and the loss of everything, including their lives, to fulfill their calling. The early Christians did the same thing! What makes us think we can do any less? This country may be heading for disaster, but will we give up in silence or go down swinging? When Christ returns for His Church will it a noticeable loss or great relief to the rest of the world? This world may be fading away, but will pass with a whimper or go out with a bang? It’s time to get off our collective duffs Church in America and start living more than ordinary lives! It’s time to Stand and to Thrive!