It’s Up to You
In the heyday of the theological stampede toward liberalism, radical notions fluttered in the wind like puffs from a seedy dandelion. Sin, human depravity, judgment, and hell were all subjects banished from “liberated” pulpits and the halls of theological higher learning. The so-called inherent goodness of man and the divine seed in all of us made up the substance of the modern, pop-religious, mainline denominational culture. Historic biblical orthodoxy became little more than a laughing matter and the “social gospel” was heralded as the high road to the coming utopia.
Now, tragically, we know better. Evil inhabits this world of ours—a kind of evil that is not bringing mankind into the light but benightening us with a darkness we have not witnessed since the Führer and his demonic minions goose-stepped across the stage of human history more than half a century ago. This great evil is embodied in the incitement to kill those it deems “infidels”; and what’s worse, it kills in the name of its god.
The phenomenon, of course, is not new in the history of this planet. But it does appeal to the basest of all elements of the depraved human nature in this so-called age of enlightenment. And it does provide concrete evidence that Satan and his dupes are alive and sick on planet Earth.
Clearly before us now is the ultimate conflict of civilizations: the conflict between darkness and light, good and evil, God and the evil one. And though our liberal contemporaries may attempt to raise their weak arguments to the contrary, the evidence is on the table. There is an insidious, organized campaign to degrade and destroy everything related to Judeo-Christian societies and Western democracy. It is, as we are often reminded, a war the likes of which we in the Western world have not yet experienced in our lifetimes. It is also emblematic of the great issues of the last days.
Sadly, while a most vicious campaign of incitement attacks everything Christians and Jewish people revere, major elements in the Christian camp are leaving the field. Increasingly, we are hearing the voices of appeasement coming from “Christian leaders” who espouse an age of benign tolerance.
“We must, in the modern religious correctness of this new age, respect and embrace all religions as worthy of acceptance on their own terms,“ they say. “There is, therefore, no basis for conflict. We must, we are admonished,” they say, “in the name of Christian civility, to treat all faiths, cults, and ‘isms’ as equal in value to our own.”
In view of this new philosophy of ministry, evangelism is rapidly being repudiated and rejected as a relic of the past. To be a true evangelical Christian today is equated with being an intolerant, religious bigot.
On the surface, it is a rather intriguing turn of events. In light of Scripture, however, the change is something we should well have anticipated. We are witnessing a fight to the finish. It is the forces of democracy, freedom, and enlightenment against the powers of intolerance, suppression, and mental and moral enslavement. But the real fight, the one that should vitally concern Christians, is the fight for the gospel and the truth of God’s Word.
The forces of brutality and incitement to evil are equally committed to suppressing truth and spiritual liberty. To intimidate Christians into a state of evangelistic inertia is for them a major triumph. The only viable antidote to this insidious evil is not appeasement and accommodation. It is the bold and forthright proclamation of the gospel of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
We have been heartened by the ground swell of patriotic fervor and prayer for our nation and its leaders, which has risen in the aftermath of the tragic events of September 11. Yet to arise, however, is an equal sense of commitment to proclaim the gospel.
For several decades now, evangelical Christians in America have been distracted. Good times, peace, and prosperity have obscured our vision. Consequently, many of us began to feel that our tranquil state of life was the norm. Personal relationships and how to be secure, well-adjusted individuals in the here and now became much-sought-after, almost obsessive, goals in life. Seminars, sermons, upscale books on the better life and how to attain it became the fashion of the day.
But since September, Christians have been placed in shock therapy. As the Jewish people did in centuries past, we stand today in the cross hairs. An evil tide intends to destroy everything we believe and revere. To say we are involved in a clash of civilizations is by no means an overstatement. It is, like it or not, a fact of life. The issue is whether we will awaken and commit ourselves to proclaiming the gospel and obeying the Lord’s commission or throw in the towel. The choice is ours.