One of the side benefits of traveling to visit our fellow missionaries in Europe has been the opportunity to do a little sightseeing. The Pont du Gard was built sometime in the first century A.D. as part of an aqueduct that brought water to the Roman colony of Nemausus (present day Nimes, France). This impressive structure is still standing after two millennia, a testimony to the Roman engineers and construction workers who built it.
The protestant evangelical church in Europe is still standing, too. Despite hundreds of years of persecution and the twin scourges of Nazism and Communism, the tiny evangelical church remains. It is tempting to bewail her present weak condition and find fault with her for failing to win the continent back to Christ. I’d rather praise God for her faithfulness. She has weathered the storms and endured the trials. In many countries here she has been an outcast for centuries, always in the minority, always marginalized, but continuing to hold fast.
As the church in America struggles with the hostility of her culture, the loss of her freedoms, and the marginalization of her ideas, perhaps we could learn a thing or two from our European brothers whose faith, by God’s mercy, has lasted.