"The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain." - King David
As Western culture and society becomes increasingly secular, skecptical, and materialistic, it is also becoming more and more uncomfortable to be publicly identified with the name of 'Christian'. And that isn't a bad thing, if its understood properly. And like every adversity, it can be used for your good. I would offer some advice for those who may be troubled by the mounting pressures of living in a secular age.
First, remember that God is not in the thoughts of the unbeliever; their thoughts do not begin with God and their plans do not end with Him. Don't expect them to. More importantly, don't be intimidated because your's do, and you feel different or uncomfortable because of it. Expect it. And let that work for your good because seeking the approval and the praise of men is acid to faith in God and the uncomfortableness that comes from being out of step with your peers and associates can be the very thing that God can use to wean you from needing the vain and empty approval of men. Christians will suffer persecution in some form, whether it is against the body, or it is against the mind. Expect it, and know that it is one of the things in this life that God intends to use to make you more like Him.
Christians can do much however to keep from fueling the ridicule of the World.
One of the worst enemines of truth is a lie in the mouths of those who would defend it. Don't repeat lies, especially ones that are told by well-meaning persons in order to defend some doctrine or part of the Bible against the constant secular assault it has been under for centuries. A good rule to go by would be this: if you really don't understand for yourself what you are repeating, if you have any doubt about it yourself, and if you have not researched it for yourself apart from the source you first read it from, you have good reason to be hesitant about repeating it to others. The truth that stands on two legs needs no one-legged lies to hold it up so be careful what you quote and repeat from others!
Besides this, be more confident in repeating the truth that you do know, the Bible! The Bible has been famously compared to a lion that needs but to be let out of its cage. Let it out, preach the Word! Annointed preaching is far more convincing than well crafted arguments and sound reasons for faith or against unbelief.
And have confidence in this: that God IS upholding His testimony in the Earth; through signs, through wonders, miracles and visions and by the power of the Resurrection, it is Christ that continues to uphold the testimony of the Gospel in the Earth. In every place and age, God upholds His Word and will continue to do so. And we can have more confidence in preaching the Gospel than the ever changing theories and stories of men.
Besides this, don't be intimidated by the skeptics. In fact, be more skeptical of them than they are of you and the Bible! The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. As one minsiter said " all you learned in school was one fallen head instructing another fallen head, and you don't have to appologise for him(that is Christ)". Despise knowledge and learning? Not at all. God forbid. All truth belongs to God, whether it comes out of the mouth of a donkey or a mathematician and when men look down on you like an uneducated donkey because you hold to Bible truth, don't be impressed with them. One of the few things that excell some men's intellects is their ability to overestimate their own abilities. Men are proud and pride disposes even the keenest mind to self-deception and foolishness. No doubt the Devil is or was sharp as a tac, but blind as a bat. Be more confident in the power of sin in the hearts of men to blind them than in their ability to poke holes in the Word of God. Like little children that poke their hands in the mud and cry because they found no golden trinkets, don't be impressed with the shallow mudpuddles of skeptical minds no matter how loud they shout there is no god.
As dark and antagonistic to God and Christ the World may now seem, we have as much, if not more, reason to be confident in God and in His Word. Stand on it. And don't be intimidated because you look foolish doing so.
Christopher Joel Dandrow