I have often wondered on what hill Canadian Christians would finally take a stand as our culture becomes increasingly dark. It appears to me that we have largely caved on abortion, we are in process of caving on the sinfulness of homosexuality, and the so-called mercy killing of the sick and aged is fast approaching as a new threat. I wish I were talking about merely the liberal wing of the church, but I fear that huge inroads have already been made in many so-called conservative churches because of a lack of teaching on sin and morality. For tragically, untaught Christian people will inevitably make peace with the cultural view of sin and will soon hold identical views with their unchurched neighbors.

I submit that many Christians are in the grip of accommodation with sin. One of the symptoms of this accommodation is the silence of the lambs. In many places there is more fear of offending with truth than there is fear of God to speak truth. There is unwillingness to face even mild persecution. And finally, there is acquiescence to the widespread new gospel of “toleration.”

How different were the Christians of the first three centuries. During that era, certain Roman emperors openly persecuted followers of Jesus. Christians at times could be killed just for admitting they were Christians. Believers who stood strong against certain sinful customs were accused of being “haters of mankind.” Isn’t it ironic that some 2,000 years later, some in our own increasingly secularized culture accuse us too, of “hate”? Then, as now, it’s all too easy to avoid confrontation by simply looking the other way and keeping one’s mouth shut.

How far will present-day accommodation go? Will believers deny the very Gospel itself, should it become illegal to preach Christ? I fear they are being conditioned to do so even now. After all, we are talking about low-key apostasy by stages. And, after many other things have been given up, why won’t it be the most natural thing in the world to incrementally cave on one final step by agreeing, “I guess it’s not really very tolerant to preach that Jesus is the only way to God.” But isn’t that a long way off? Perhaps not. In Australia, two pastors are currently before the courts because they offended some Muslims by teaching that Jesus was the only way to God. And in the U.S., Boston Globe columnist James Carroll has written a piece that attacks General Boykin of the U.S. military because he has dared to speak publicly about his faith. Carroll states, “Claims made for Jesus Christ by most Christians, from Vatican corridors to evangelical revival tents, implicitly insult the religion of others.” If it’s happening in Australia and the U.S., can Canada be far behind? Hmm, maybe the banning of the Gospel is not so far off after all. Food for thought, no?

Just recently, I had an unsettling conversation with a man at a town hall meeting on same-sex marriage. He was making the case that accommodation with sin has been going on for many years. Furthermore he put the blame squarely on the church. Angrily, he castigated her moral weakness, cowardice in facing down sin, her capture by materialism, and her willingness to send her children to public schools for indoctrination. I will never forget his words. Looking at me intently, he spewed out the words, “I spit on the church.” And then he hurled his charge once more, “I spit on the church.” I was shocked into silence.

Oh, he was doubtlessly wrong to attack the church so vehemently for her tepid condition. Indeed, his words rocked me like a blow between the eyes. Perhaps I should have chastized him for his intemperate speech. Nevertheless, his comment reminded me of Christ’s words to the church in Laodicea, “Because you are lukewarm, neither hot or cold, I am about to spit you out of my mouth” (Rev. 3:16).

Western culture daily grows more hostile towards Christian values. Tragically, at the same time, many within the church seek to find a more moderate, comfortable and less confrontational posture toward sin. Genuine Christians must take courage and find their voices. Lambs must throw off their guilty silence. They must openly speak against the shedding of innocent blood in abortion and euthanasia. They must reject all forms of sexual perversion as Scripture and tradition always have. Once-silent lambs must begin to roar.

By God’s grace, they can. By his grace, they must.