There’s little doubt that it’s getting more difficult to live as Christians in a culture that not only rejects God, but increasingly and actively opposes religion in public life.
In his final Ash Wednesday address, Pope Benedict uttered words that are hard to disagree with:
In these times, he said, “It is not easy to be faithful to Christian marriage, to practice mercy in our everyday lives, or to leave space for prayer and inner silence. It is not easy to publicly oppose the decisions that many consider to be obvious, such as abortion in the case of an unwanted pregnancy, euthanasia in the case of serious illness, or the selection of embryos to avoid hereditary diseases.”
Now, “not easy” is not the same as “impossible.” And let’s remember, in those times when the Church faced active persecution, it grew — even explosively.
But we have to be honest, gone are the days when the Judeo-Christian worldview, morality and teaching, were normative in Western culture. The ground has shifted under our feet. In some ways up is down, out is in, and wrong has become right.
So how do we live as citizens of the Kingdom of God, and at the same time as citizens of an earthly kingdom that’s growing if not hostile, then at least indifferent, to matters of faith?
In other words, how do we make the invisible Kingdom visible in the communities in which we live?
That’s the question we will tackle at the 2013 Wilberforce Weekend Conference in Washington, D.C., from April 26th through April 28th.
And I’d love for you to attend. I will be speaking there, along with some top-flight Christian leaders, thinkers, and worldview teachers. Folks like Baylor historian Philip Jenkins, BreakPoint’s own John Stonestreet, theologian T.M. Moore, pastor, speaker and author Skye Jethani, and others.
To give you a taste, here are a few of the topics we’ll be covering: “Making the invisible kingdom visible — seeking the welfare of the city”; “Meditations on renewal"; “Modern-day Wilberforces — Christians who are changing today’s world,” and “Think kingdomly, act locally.”
This is not a “sit and listen” conference. Throughout the weekend, attendees and speaker will interact; we’ll have exhibits, resource tables, innovation stations and a “next steps” planning session so attendees can begin to put into action the things they’ve learned at the conference.
On Saturday evening we’ll enjoy an event that was near and dear to Chuck Colson’s heart: The presentation of the annual William Wilberforce Award. Chuck started the award in 1988 to recognize individuals who, like William Wilberforce, witnessed to Christ and fought social injustice in the face of enormous opposition.
This year’s award will be presented to one of the original signers of the Manhattan Declaration, Cardinal Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York, for his extraordinary defense of religious freedom, the institution of marriage, and the sanctity of human life.
It’s going to be a stimulating weekend and I hope you’ll join us. We’ve got all the details for you at BreakPoint.org — information on the cost, lodging, meals, the speakers, and everything.
Chuck Colson liked to refer to Augustine, who claimed that Christians should be the best of citizens in this world. To do that, we must reflect God’s love, grace, justice, and mercy in our churches, our communities, and our culture.
So please come to BreakPoint.org for complete details on the Wilberforce Weekend Conference.
Eric Metaxas is a co-host of BreakPoint Radio and a best-selling author whose biographies, children's books, and popular apologetics have been translated into more than a dozen languages.
BreakPoint commentary airs each weekday on more than one thousand outlets with an estimated listening audience of one million people. BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today's news and trends via radio, interactive media, and print.
Publication date: February 26, 2013