Do not fear. Have courage. These are admonitions Christians have received for centuries. Our response to the challenge of living a faith-filled life in the modern world can certainly require the gift of fortitude. Have we had the courage to stand up for truth and righteousness when we have been smacked down figuratively or even literally by those around us? Although it sometimes hurts, have we stood at the plate without bailing when the pitch comes sailing toward us? Have we stood firm on the promises of God?
The polarization of worldviews in contemporary society tends to create an environment in which an exchange of ideas in a thoughtful and orderly fashion is highly improbable if not impossible. Tolerance is preached as long as you agree with the views of the one preaching tolerance. Otherwise, the overriding sentiment seems to be that it would be best if you simply kept your opinions to yourself. Oh, and look out if you think there is an Eternal Truth. How unenlightened can you be?
As I continue to watch and listen to the many political discussions taking place across the country, it becomes more and more evident that Christians will be getting hit by pitches on a more frequent basis as the level of intolerance for traditional viewpoints grows. Are we going to be willing to stand firmly in the batter's box when the pitches are coming at us wildly from a variety of directions? We may not be called to martyrdom for the sake of the Kingdom, but it is likely we will take some hits at least verbally, if not physically. At 10 years of age I will admit that I experienced fear in the batter's box when the pitcher was lacking control, and there was no way I was going to emulate Ron Hunt. As an adult, I hope I can learn from his example and muster the courage I need to stand firm in the faith.
"Do not fear for I am with you."