A Letter to Christians Living in America from a Christian Living Abroad

by Jonathan Trotter on December 4, 2017

I hear you.

Some of you are angry and disenfranchised. I’m on Twitter. I know.

You see the church and politicians wedded at the hip, and you throw up.

You feel like the American church has sold her soul and is rejoicing about the bargain.

You’re embarrassed, like a cool kid with an uncool mother, and now you’re asking to be dropped off a couple of blocks away from school.

You’re not quite sure what to do. Do you fight and rant and protest? Do you take the Benedict option? Do you just disappear out the back door?

 

Can I just encourage you to pause long enough to remember? To consider the extent of context and history?

Remember: the Church existed before America.

Remember: the Church will endure long after America.

Remember: the Church is older than Western civilization. 

This is old news, of course, but worthy of remembrance. Because we forget.

It sounds like some people believe that losing the culture war is equivalent to losing all of Christendom. It’s not just hyperbole; people act like this, defending every inch of ground with all their might.

But we must remember: the Church is global, and she is not dying.

She is not getting into bed with politicians of opportunity.

She is strong and she is bold and she remains defiant and glorious in the face of oppression and injustice all around the globe.

So remind yourself. Read the old stuff. Sing the old hymns. Re-discover the old Church, full of embraced mystery and deep sacrament.

And then read the new stuff. Sing the new hymns. Discover the young and vibrant bride of Christ, expanding and exploding all over the world.

The Church has been around a long time, and she will remain, and the very gates of hell shall not prevail against her.

And the American Church? She may seem warty and haggard to you now, but she is young. She is learning. Above all, she is his. She is loved. A washed bride. And he is jealous for her affection.

Remind her.

Love her.

Pray for her.

Lift up your head, and see the glory of the global Church. She is beautiful.

Lift up your head, and look at the One she’s been pointing to all this time: Jesus. He is regal and he is King, and he’s coming back.

His promises are true.

He is faithful.

And he is not blind or deaf or mistaken. He sees things as they are and for what they are. And he continues to love. And he continues to pursue.

And whatever corner of planet Earth you call home, these truths resound and these truths remain:

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)

“I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master.” (Luke 2:10-11)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About Jonathan Trotter

Jonathan is a missionary in Southeast Asia, where he provides pastoral counseling at a local counseling center. He also serves as one of the pastors at an international church. Before moving to the field with his wife of sixteen years and their four kids, he served as a youth pastor in the Midwest for ten years. He enjoys walking with people towards Jesus and eating imported Twizzlers. | www.trotters41.com | facebook: trotters41 | twitter: @trotters41
  • “The Church has been around a long time, and she will remain, and the very gates of hell shall not prevail against her.” What’s coolest about this passage (that I just realized this year) is the gates are a defensive position. The church is the offensive entity in this imagery. It’s not that hell is coming up against he bride, and we don’t have to worry because she won’t fall. No. The imagery is that the kingdom of God moves boldly forward taking ground, and the defenses of the kingdom of darkness will ultimately crumble – the gates will not prevail against the onslaught of love, hope, and faith.

  • bumis smichele

    Well said. And amen.

Previous post:

Next post: