When I was a teen, I lived on the south coast of England, where the sea was an inviting diversion from schoolwork. When the tide was high, I couldn’t be sure where the rocks were. It was only at low tide, they became visible so I could avoid them.
When I was a teen, England, like the west generally, pursued common life values promoted by the Christian faith. But now Christian values have ebbed, distinctive Christian values are sharply visible against a developing anti-Christian culture.
This creates two possibilities. First, it is easier to target Christians who speak publicly of their beliefs, the precursor to intimidation and persecution of Christians. Let us not forget persecution of Christians has been mostly normal for 2000 years. We may not escape.
Homosexuality is shaping up to be the leading edge for harassment of Christians. Recently, a London street preacher happened to state homosexuality, as well as adultery and sex before marriage, was a sin. He was arrested and interrogated for seven hours before being released without charge.
But second, and more positively, it is easier to be a witness when our lifestyles are increasingly different from the surrounding culture. Perhaps foremost in opposing Christianity is entitlement to personal rights. This is the basis of much social anger and unrest. Compare this to Christ who:
. . . made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!” Philippians 2:7-8.
This attitude can be the leading edge of representing Christ; it generates an approach to life that sharply contrasts our faith to the prevailing social outlook around us. Remember, Christianity is a counter-culture.