Have you seen those games in the arcades or the amusement parks where the little moles pop their heads up from the plastic turf, and the waiting assailant stands ready to pummel the ascending rodent back into terra firma oblivion with a mallet? It’s called “Whack-a-Mole.”
The game begins as the moles slowly appear at irregular intervals at different locations, yet one at a time. The action proceeds to intensify as the varmints pop up at increasingly accelerating intervals, and in multiples. The intent of the assailant is to clobber as many as he can, increasing his score until the moles stop coming up and the game is over. Pretty funny game albeit a little violent perhaps.
Maybe it’s a little bit of an odd metaphor, but I see this as a history of Christianity. In the beginning the apostles “pop up,” one at a time in various locations and pretty much get pounded down. Yet, the Church increases in numbers and fervor, popping up all over, only to be assaulted by opposition over the course of millennia.
When we speak the truth about God and His Word- WHACK! “You’re a Hater!” When we uphold God’s truth of biblical marriage and sexuality – WHACK! “You’re intolerant!” The truth regarding the sanctity of life in the womb- WHACK! “Rights!” The truth about the creation of man – WHACK! “You’re so ignorant.” Each time our opposing culture is waiting to pound us back down, and sadly enough it appears the attempts to profess the truth are slowing – we appear to be losing the battle.
It seems that the latest cool craze is to take shots at Christians who raise their heads even a bit, and as a result, in many ways, the Church has gone “underground.” Sometimes we are shell shocked that this has happened when in fact, Christ warned of this coming increasing hostility toward His people. “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also” (John 15:20). We need to expect adversity in response to our mission in the same way Christ was mistreated.
Still Church, Jesus said the gates of Hades would not prevail against the Church (Matthew 16:18), and He has given us the privilege to be the “pillar and support of the Truth” (1 Timothy 3:15).
Paul reminds the Corinthians of the privilege to carry and proclaim this Gospel, yet not without hostility from the world. 2 Corinthians 4:7-10, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.”
We have recently seen the strength we possess when Christians are unified. When Phil Robertson spoke the values of Christian Truth, he was hammered. Yet, the Christian community rallied in support and was heard, AND had a profound effect.
From here on out, until the “competition” is over, our job is not done. I know that nobody enjoys the beating, but we still have the Gospel of Truth to communicate to a non-receptive world. And God has provided us with a helmet of salvation for protection.
Well, I am going up; anybody else care to join me?