Saturday, October 20, 2007
The "Downgrade" of the U.S.
A few posts back, I referred to the Lord Jesus' words . . . Because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold (Matthew 24:12). These words are in reference to the last days. This morning, I thought of another warning from the Apostle Paul, who wrote to Timothy . . . But evil men and imposters will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived (2 Timothy 3:13). The immediate context of that warning dealt with false teachers in the last days, and the persecutions endured by Paul, no doubt at the instigation of some of these false teachers.
I don't believe any thinking Christian is blind to what is going on in our own society here in America. While much of the country's attention is focused overseas, we have a lot of troubling things happening here at home. Did you see the news from this week where a school district out East decided unilaterally to offer birth control to 11-year-old children no matter what parents say? How about the homosexual activists in San Francisco who invaded a Catholic mass and took communion from the priest while dressed up in garish costumes? How about 41 members of the U.S. Senate going after a private citizen, and LYING about what he said in reference to U.S. troops even though their lie could easily be disproven?
I should mention at least one reference from overseas simply because it's so awful, and because things that begin in Europe find their way here eventually. How about the Norwegian "expert" who said toddlers in day care ought to be allowed to sexually act out in the classroom because it's good for them? Catch that one? I won't spell out just what is included by "acting out," but pretty much anything goes. Houston, we have a problem.
But the churches, surely they are still refuges of sanity in this maelstrom? Yes, there are a dwindling number of outposts holding on to biblical truth, but they too are dwindling it seems. Even in evangelical circles, where pastors and theologians (not to mention laypeople) ought to know better. The rot has set in and as usual, the rot begins from the head down.
The thing is, none of this has happened in a vacuum. And honestly, none of this should be a surprise. We were warned about it in advance by the Lord Himself and His apostles. None of this could ever have gone as far as it has if the Lord's church was awake and doing what she is supposed to be doing.
Read the letters to the seven churches in Revelation again. Every one of them. Note what the Lord praises and note what the Lord condemns. And then evaluate your own fellowship. While you're at it, evaluate yourself. I am in the process of doing that myself. I am not immune to the influence of this culture. Now more than ever, I need to hold on to biblical truth and trust in the Lord, whose Spirit has sealed me and will keep me by His grace. That does not absolve me of responsibility to do what I know to do, and to be "salt and light" in this culture.
Being children of God does not mean we will not face difficulty. Being saved doesn't mean we won't be called on to sacrifice, nor does it mean we won't be called on to die. But we have a whole generation of fat and sassy Christians who don't have a clue. It might well take some very hard times to wake them up. Oppression and persecution tends to purify. Do I want that to happen? Of course not. But I can't be a Pollyanna about it either. Can things be reversed? Yes, if there is repentance on the part of the people of God. The prayer of righteous people still avails much. But we as the church have a house to get in order. And it can begin none too soon.