“…but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles,”
– 1 Corinthians 1 verse 23
When Paul wrote this to the Church In Corinth he did so to encourage them in the midst of being mocked by those around them. At the time the two biggest enemies to the Gospel were the Jews and the Gentiles; the Jews who were the religious celebrities with the majority of followers and the Gentiles(in this text the Greeks),the academics.
The Jews and the Greeks both had their own specific reasons for doubting the Christ that Paul was preaching. We can see this from verse 22:
“For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom…”
Although the names and practices have changed, the demands have not.
The current religious celebrities, who attract all the followers are still just seeking signs. Whether their signs take the forms of Glory clouds/feathers from God, mass healings or many other ‘signs and wonders’ type preaching, they are still seeking signs from Jesus.
In terms of the current humanistic/ atheistic viewpoint on Jesus and his death, very little has changed in the last 2000 thousand years. The death of Jesus is still as confusing to atheists now as it was to the unbelievers back then. Here is a link to just one of a silly amount of other similarly confused pages.
So the demands and questions have not changed in over 2000 years. The good news is, neither has the answer. When Paul wrote to the Church in Corinth he told them that :
“God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;”
At times we may well feel overwhelmed by the surge in false Christian teaching, or by the seemingly intensifying cry from the atheists. But nothing has changed, God still chooses us. Not because of who or what we are, not because we are able defend him or because we are anything special, he chose us so he can work through us and display his power through us.
If you are faced with opposition or worries, don’t try and tackle it alone, take it to God and let him work through you.
Let us all then “… boast in the Lord.”