I expected France to more like America than it is. Both are Western countries, both have democratic governments and both are committed to religious freedom. So, I assumed that the manifestation of my faith here in France would be more-or-less identical to the expression of my faith in America. As it turns out my presuppositions were wrong.
I know the US has its problems and there are times where I am not proud to be an American. And there are challenges to these freedoms in the news everyday. Yet I think I speak on behalf of my brothers and sisters who are overseas (especially those who are in countries where Christianity is illegal) when I say that we should be genuinely thankful for the freedoms that we do have. We are able to do things in America that are absolutely unthinkable for many people the world today. And, to adapt a well-known adage: with great freedom comes great responsibility. My challenge for my Christian friends in America today is this: be thankful for your freedoms and steward them well. I have heard many people say that we can fulfill the Great Commission right at home by evangelizing our neighbors, so by all means let us follow through. Let us have backyard Bible clubs for the kids in the neighborhood, let us not scoff at the car with 23 Christian bumper stickers on the back of it, let us open our mouths to speak on behalf of the unborn, let us pray for our neighbors and fellow parents at our kids schools, let us be ambitious to take advantage of every single freedom that we have been given. Let us not squander this gift of freedom, let us thank the Lord and use our freedoms to expand his Kingdom in the States.