"There was a time when the church was very powerful—...

"There was a time when the church was very powerful— in the time when the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society. ... The people in power sought to convict the Christians for being 'disturbers of the peace' .... But the Christians pressed on, in the conviction that they were ... called to obey God rather than man. Small in number, they were big in commitment. ... By their effort and example they brought an end to such ancient evils as infanticide and gladiatorial contests.

"Things are different now. So often the contemporary church is ... an archdefender of the status quo.

Taking off the blindfold
January 20, 1992

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