We were driving home from church today and passed a greenhouse with a Christian Easter message on its board: "Because He lives, I can face tomorrow." I drew the family's attention to it. Youngest Daughter exclaimed solemnly, "Wow, that's really good, that he's being so bold."
I was struck.
I cannot imagine making a similar remark to my own Christian family in childhood. I'm not saying we never heard anything about Christians being mocked for their faith in America--usually in public schools, which I did not attend. But the idea that a businessman would have been "bold" in the 1970's to put up a quotation from a Christian Easter song would never have crossed our minds. In those days businessmen still occasionally pretended Christianity to make themselves look good!
I'm not going to say that Youngest Daughter's ideas about the Christian's need for boldness in 2015 have been formed entirely independently. Without giving her the lurid details, I have definitely conveyed the fact that Christian businessmen are sometimes targets of those who hate our faith and who attempt to "get them in trouble."
It's true, isn't it? The culture has changed, and boldness is needed. Our community is probably one of the better ones, but it is still entirely possible that someone would target a business in our area for "discrimination" against certain "identities." In fact, shortly after our region passed a "gender identity" ordinance, the story came back of a Christian girl working at a local clothing store who had to deal with two cross-dressing men, one of whom demanded to try on clothes in the women's dressing room and then flabbergasted the young lady by asking, "How do I look?" after putting on a skirt. I would like to think that she put on her driest face and tone and said, "I don't think it's your color," but I'm sure she didn't have that much savoir faire.
So we can't say, "It would never happen here." A greenhouse, unlike a florist, does not celebrate events, so that helps, but any business that employs people can be the target of an employment discrimination "sting" by the shrieking harpies of tolerance.
There is a generation gap. The temptation is great to keep a low profile, and when it comes to young people with a place to find still in the world, maybe that's good advice. But I'm glad that Youngest Daughter's first thought was to admire the greenhouse owner who is displaying the words to "Because He Lives."
The new generation needs people to admire, and a bold Christian greenhouse owner is a good one to start with.