Last Wednesday evening in Bible study, I read my comments that were to appear on Friday in our Friday Reminders email. In them I was reacting to the misuse of Scripture in defense of public policy, but I further observed that I don’t often wade into such murky water. I was doing so now, not because of the particular issue, but because of how wrongly Scripture had been used to support it.

I went on to clarify by saying that I do not often comment on public policy not because it isn’t important — it is; not because there aren’t Christian stands to be taken — there are; and not because I don’t have opinions — you know I do. No, I don’t often comment on issues related to politics or a Christian perspective on public policy because I despair of changing anyone’s opinion.

Apparently, we all have our minds made up and, in accordance with that thoroughly contemporary term, confirmation bias, we only listen to sources that confirm what we already believe. In conversations with people — Christian people — who have firmly implanted themselves in particular political camps, it is as if we are living in parallel universes. No appeal to the example or teachings of Christ or to clear biblical principles would seem to cause people even to consider changing their minds.

From my limited historical perspective, I have succumbed to the belief that Christianity is not just in decline, but is on its way to extinction. I just don’t see how Christians can be so willfully removed from our founder and expect to survive.

And then, providentially, I read a passage in C. S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity in preparation for our Wednesday men’s group that gives me great hope, not so much for the church today as for the church of the future. Even though he was writing over a half century ago, his words are (I hope) very applicable to our age. He speaks of how he believes Christianity may yet evolve. This is what I read:

Compared with the development of man on this planet, the diffusion of Christianity over the human race seems to go like a flash of lightning — for two thousand years is almost nothing in the history of the universe. (Never forget that we are all still ‘the early Christians’.) The present wicked and wasteful divisions between us are, let us hope, a disease of infancy: we are still teething. The outer world, no doubt, thinks just the opposite. It thinks we are dying of old age. But it has often thought that very often before. Again and again it has thought Christianity was dying…. But every time the world has been disappointed. Its first disappointment was over the crucifixion. The Man came to life again. In a sense — and I quite realize how frightfully unfair it must seem to them — that has been happening ever since. They keep on killing the thing that He started: and each time, just as they are patting down the earth on its grave, they suddenly hear that it is still alive and has even broken out in some new place.

I pray to God that Lewis is right. I hope I am looking merely at some brief, dark moment when Christianity (at least Western Christianity, the only kind I personally experience) is just going through a phase of self-centeredness, isolation, apathy toward the concerns of the poor and downtrodden of the world, tribalism, and triumphalism. It may not be here, but surely somewhere, the teachings of Christ will reemerge in the lives of people committed to the coming of God’s kingdom, “on earth as it is in heaven.”

Lewis goes on to say that people who have evolved into these new creatures already exist, “dotted here and there all over the earth.” Maybe you and I could rise above personal concerns, political interests, tribal protections, and selfish possessiveness to become some of those new people that Lewis envisioned and that God, in God’s providence, intends to create. I believe the offer is there. We must choose to accept it.