Sometimes it’s easy to get discouraged these days. The deck seems stacked against biblical standards: a morally tone-deaf media, an academy that promotes anti-Christian worldviews and “lifestyle choices,” and a culture growing increasingly vulgar and coarse.
Take the recent decision by a slim majority of New York state legislators and the governor to ram through so-called “gay marriage.” Even though most Americans oppose this bald-faced redefinition of marriage — and it has failed in all 31 states where voters have had a choice — a small group of committed activists has pushed this nation to the brink of embracing a radical social experiment that threatens to undermine marriage, hurt kids, and destroy religious liberty.
And yet, in an unexpected kind of way, their breathtaking success — as bad for the country as it may be — actually gives me cause for hope. Think about it: Most surveys estimate the number of homosexuals in America is only around two to four percent.
If these few people, with the help of like-minded liberal elites, can bring America to this dangerous tipping point, why can’t faithful, orthodox Christians — who make up a far greater percentage of the population — bring some sanity to the critical moral and cultural issues of the day?
Indeed, according to a recent article in ScienceDaily, “Scientists at (RPI) Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have found that when just 10 percent of the population holds an unshakable belief, their belief will always be adopted by the majority of the society.” Did you catch that? When just 10 percent of the population holds an unshakable belief, their belief will always be adopted by the majority of the society.
According to the researchers at RPI, this is possible because people do not like to hold unpopular opinions and are always seeking to reach a consensus. So those who stick to their intellectual and moral guns can eventually influence their undecided neighbors to adopt their views — and begin to spread them themselves!
This principle, of course, is not really new. Jesus launched a world-changing movement starting with just twelve disciples.
See, all it takes is a committed number of change agents. In the words of one RPI researcher, “Once that number grows above 10 percent, the idea spreads like flame.”
Well, you might argue that we already have over 10 percent of the population with unshakable Christian beliefs, and so why are we still losing on so many cultural fronts? Where is our tipping point?
First, we need to be more active in sharing our beliefs about absolute truth in our pluralistic society. Too many culture-war-weary Christians have retreated to the pews. And too many so-called “Christian leaders” are advising the rest of us to do the same. Nonsense. Now is the time to speak up.
Second, we need to make our case confidently, winsomely, and positively. For nearly 20 years on BreakPoint, I’ve said that the Christian worldview provides the only way to live rationally in the world. It is the blueprint for human flourishing. And it is visible whenever we defend the dignity of every man, woman, and child; when we feed the hungry and clothe the naked, and when our marriages and families and churches and schools are refuges for love and learning.
Does that sound like too hard a task? Well, it isn’t. Just remember: It only takes 10 percent.
Chuck Colson's daily 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: August 19, 2011.