How does what we believe as Christians impact the way we live?  That’s not a new question. As believers in Christ, we wrestle with how to live out our faith within our culture. And our culture is hostile to the precepts of the Bible.  What is different today, however, is that the cultural push-back is intensifying at an alarming rate.  Sadly, self-proclaimed Christians are being bullied into silence.  This might be out of a fear of being cancelled, but I think the problem goes deeper than that.  What I’m seeing is shallow faith that is not rooted strongly enough to withstand the shifting winds of culture.  Strengthening faith roots will be my focus in the coming weeks.  I hope you’ll join me!

Shallow Roots

I grew up in the South and I remember when hurricane Fran plowed through our little historic town.  Hurricanes typically hug the coastline.  Fran was not typical!  Fran plotted a different course, striking communities 200 miles inland.  Our picturesque Main Street was lined on either side by historic homes and old oak and maple trees.  Walking under their canopy was a real treat on a lazy afternoon.  But when Fran hit, winds plucked those old trees up by their roots.  It became evident that their roots were rather shallow.  The trees had survived for years with those roots.  But when faced with the impact of 80 mile-per-hour winds, they could no longer stand.  That’s exactly what it feels like is happening right now in our culture!  We are being battered by hurricane force cultural winds and we are seeing Christians topple, exposing their shallow faith roots.

A Category 3 Cultural Shift

Many Christians have managed to survive for years with shallow roots.  But now that we are facing a “category 3” cultural hurricane, many Christians will topple.  Some will no longer stand.  This is particularly true of our children.  And it goes back to roots, shallow faith roots.  Some people approach faith blindly.  They presume faith has no real basis in evidence.  Faith is just a feeling.  It’s “your truth.”  Sound familiar?  But faith is so much more than a feeling.  And the faith the Bible calls for is certainly not blind.  Hebrews 11:1 tells us that faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the certainty of things not seen.  Blind faith and feelings are incapable of withstanding attacks. And those attacks are everywhere, from the classroom to the workplace.  Assurance and certainty must have deeper roots and strengthening faith roots takes time and effort.    

Building Assurance and Certainty

So, the time and effort we put into building assurance and certainty is worthwhile.  And it means that we approach scripture with the eyes of a detective, looking for solid evidence for our faith.  If you go back and read the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) you might just notice that all four place an emphasis on eye-witness accounts.  John is probably the most direct, he tells us in John 20:30-31 that the whole point of these eye-witness accounts is to provide evidence for our belief.

Jesus performed many other signs in front of his disciples. They are not written down in this book. But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God. If you believe this, you will have life because you belong to him.”  John 20:30-31 (NIRV)

The gospels are more than moral stories.  They have a distinct purpose.  And that purpose is to help us know things about Jesus from people who were there during his lifetime.  When we take the time to examine the evidence we are developing assurance and certainty with roots in truth rather than feelings. 

Examining the Evidence

Taking the time to examine the evidence is what the study of apologetics is all about.  That’s a big word, seems dry and boring.  The word means “to give a defense.”  We are told in 1 Peter 3:15 to prepare ourselves to give an answer to anyone who asks us why we have hope.  That’s basically it!  We need to know what we believe, why we believe and be able to articulate that to people who ask us.  We also need to know how to weed through the cultural lies and defend what we believe when we are faced with those lies and attacks.  It’s easier to stand up for what you believe when you know why you believe it.  This is where most of us are ill-prepared.

Let’s Do This Together! 

Strengthening faith roots will be my emphasis over the next few weeks.  And I think you’ll even find it exciting!   I’ve found some great resources to help us along the way. And I’ve found some excellent resources that will help prepare your children.  They are the ones who are really facing the challenges. I’ll be introducing you to these resources in the coming weeks.  And I am so excited about these!  Stick with me as we build our faith to withstand the coming storms!

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