Every year, Christians see an increase in stories meant to cast doubt upon the first and greatest story of “hope and change.” In media, spring is for bringing Christ out of Christianity, for pessimistic polling, and — this year — for both the president and the press to declare Christianity’s influence on American and world culture as vastly diminished.
The state of Christianity, every Easter, is media-examined and found wanting. Christians are increasingly seen as mere political operatives and impediments to both “peace” and “progress.”
That Christians are seen as such is partly our own fault. Christianity is a counter-cultural belief system, not meant to operate in the same way as “the world,” but in recent decades Christians have waded deeply into the political process and embraced activist tactics — to our detriment. Christians are supposed to be “in the world but not of the world.” By embracing the political methods of “the world,” we set ourselves up for defeat, for scripture tells us it is Satan who offers “all the kingdoms of the world in their magnificence” (Matthew 4:8).
Adopting the noisome, perpetually insulted rage of worldly activism interferes with the Christian’s ability to hear or depend wholly and supernaturally upon God. We know that God’s ways are not our ways, and yet we very frequently get hung up on our ideas of how a given situation must play out. We do not stop to think that our well-intentioned methods may actually be getting in the way of the Holy Spirit’s work.
No Christian, if given the choice between saving Christ from the cross or allowing his Passion to go forth, would choose the former. Gifted with hindsight, we say, “Without the crucifixion, there would have been no resurrection.”
This is often the way: that a negative, even terrible event must be allowed to happen, that the Holy Spirit may work within it something positive and salvific for mankind.
Sometimes, in fighting so ardently against what we know to be a wrong, we forget that — as Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection showed — the Holy Spirit must be allowed a little room to work, in order to effect confounding change.