Objection: You will be on the

wrong side of history

Christian are frequently told that they will end up on the wrong side of history. History, it is claimed, is moving inevitably in one direction. It seems obvious to many that gay rights is an issue of justice and equality that the world is waking up to and that will soon be simply assumed. Christians will find they are an irrelevant minority making outdated arguments that are ignored or despised. They will also be seen to have championed a point of view that has been found to be both wrong and unjust. Clearly, it would be embarrassing to be listed in history along with those who believe the earth was flat or who championed slavery. Christians are urged to wake up and see what is happening.

Response

There is no doubt that society’s opinion of homosexuality is changing rapidly. It does look as if the church will be a minority voice that is despised by many who are more “progressive”. However, it boils down to one question: with what do we want to be aligned – history or Jesus? History is simply an amalgam of people’s views and actions. And history is often wrong. Who has said that history is the ultimate gauge of what is right? History is replete with wrong beliefs and wrong actions. Those who supported Hitler in pre-war Germany and watched the rise of Nazism presumably believed that they were riding a wave that was supported by “right” principles. Likewise, those who currently fight for ISIS. Let’s imagine that militant Islam has huge success and takes over much of the world. Would that make it right? We need a much better guide as to what is right than fluctuating social attitudes or apparent success. History is not the guide. One can be on the right side of history and the wrong side of God (and vice versa). Christians may become a despised minority but so be it. Jesus didn’t promise popularity or that society would fall in line. In fact, He quite clearly said that Christians could expect persecution. John 16:33 ‘I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.’ The Christian’s peace is not found in a safe life but in Jesus, and his/her confidence is in the fact that Jesus has overcome the world. Jesus will prevail and Jesus will judge history. The Christian’s responsibility is simply to remain faithful. Jesus spoke the above words in the context of predicting that the disciples, who had just professed faith, would abandon Him. They would face opposition and trials within hours, and they would fail. But Jesus was preparing them for even more trouble with those promises that they would find their peace in Him and that He had overcome the world. Paul was even more direct. 2 Timothy 3:12 12  In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted… As always, the context adds significantly to our understanding. 2 Timothy 3:12-17 12  In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,  13  while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.  14  But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it,  15  and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.  16  All Scripture is God- breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,  17  so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. Those living godly lives, in the context of increasing godlessness, will be persecuted. Those living in the darkness hate the light (John 3:19-21). But note how Christians are to respond. We are to continue in what we have learnt and become convinced of. The basis for our convictions is the inspired word of God. It is the scriptures that are useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness and that equip us for the work God has called us to do. Christians know how history ends. Jesus will return as judge. At that point, all of those who have defied Him and who have led others into sin, will find themselves on the wrong side of history. Those who have been faithful, despite persecution, will be welcomed into the presence of God.

Related pages

© 2017 Peter Cheyne
A Christian’s Guide To Homosexuality
Truth In Love
Main sections Main sections

Objection: You will be

on the wrong side of

history

Christian are frequently told that they will end up on the wrong side of history. History, it is claimed, is moving inevitably in one direction. It seems obvious to many that gay rights is an issue of justice and equality that the world is waking up to and that will soon be simply assumed. Christians will find they are an irrelevant minority making outdated arguments that are ignored or despised. They will also be seen to have championed a point of view that has been found to be both wrong and unjust. Clearly, it would be embarrassing to be listed in history along with those who believe the earth was flat or who championed slavery. Christians are urged to wake up and see what is happening.

Response

There is no doubt that society’s opinion of homosexuality is changing rapidly. It does look as if the church will be a minority voice that is despised by many who are more “progressive”. However, it boils down to one question: with what do we want to be aligned – history or Jesus? History is simply an amalgam of people’s views and actions. And history is often wrong. Who has said that history is the ultimate gauge of what is right? History is replete with wrong beliefs and wrong actions. Those who supported Hitler in pre-war Germany and watched the rise of Nazism presumably believed that they were riding a wave that was supported by “right” principles. Likewise, those who currently fight for ISIS. Let’s imagine that militant Islam has huge success and takes over much of the world. Would that make it right? We need a much better guide as to what is right than fluctuating social attitudes or apparent success. History is not the guide. One can be on the right side of history and the wrong side of God (and vice versa). Christians may become a despised minority but so be it. Jesus didn’t promise popularity or that society would fall in line. In fact, He quite clearly said that Christians could expect persecution. John 16:33 ‘I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.’ The Christian’s peace is not found in a safe life but in Jesus, and his/her confidence is in the fact that Jesus has overcome the world. Jesus will prevail and Jesus will judge history. The Christian’s responsibility is simply to remain faithful. Jesus spoke the above words in the context of predicting that the disciples, who had just professed faith, would abandon Him. They would face opposition and trials within hours, and they would fail. But Jesus was preparing them for even more trouble with those promises that they would find their peace in Him and that He had overcome the world. Paul was even more direct. 2 Timothy 3:12 12  In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted… As always, the context adds significantly to our understanding. 2 Timothy 3:12-17 12  In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,  13  while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.  14  But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it,  15  and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.  16  All Scripture is God- breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,  17  so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. Those living godly lives, in the context of increasing godlessness, will be persecuted. Those living in the darkness hate the light (John 3:19-21). But note how Christians are to respond. We are to continue in what we have learnt and become convinced of. The basis for our convictions is the inspired word of God. It is the scriptures that are useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness and that equip us for the work God has called us to do. Christians know how history ends. Jesus will return as judge. At that point, all of those who have defied Him and who have led others into sin, will find themselves on the wrong side of history. Those who have been faithful, despite persecution, will be welcomed into the presence of God.

Related pages

© Peter Cheyne 2017.
A Christian’s Guide To Homosexuality
Truth In Love
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