As Christians, it is not unusual for some of our beliefs to be challenged or even attacked by the world. While it may feel this is a contemporary issue, thousands of Christians have been defending their faith for two millennia. Their stories can give us comfort and hope today for a brighter future.
For example, in the Bible we see Paul defending pure doctrine against false teachers in churches across Asia, insisting that we aren’t saved by commandments of the old covenant, but by Christ’s death and resurrection. With this in mind, we need not rely on ourselves for a better future, but instead hope in Christ our Lord. Instead, we can focus on becoming more like Christ rather than over little details.
“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7)
Another example from church history is John Chryosotom. He was a devout Christian who lived during the late 4th and early 5th centuries, and he fought against those who used the Gospel to further their own goals. Instead of letting those who had power abuse it at the expense of others and the faith, he respectfully called them out on their blunders. His epithet, “Chryosotom,” means “golden-mouthed” because of his speaking abilities. I would agree he carried out the Scripture when it said:
“And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness.” (2 Timothy 2:24-25).
One last example is Cyril and Methodius. These were two men who lived during the 9th century who sought to evangelize Eastern Europe, which had little Christian outreach at the time. To help with this, they translated most of the Bible and many other works into the native language, Slavonic, even though it meant creating a new alphabet to do so. Despite the overwhelming odds against them, through prayer, petition, and determination, they helped convert the region.
All of these people, despite the odds, fought “the good fight of the faith” (1 Timothy 6:12). Let us find encouragement through God’s work in their lives.