Keep in mind the enemy of God – Satan himself – is the father of all lies. He and his demonic forces are fiercely focusing their fury against God’s kingdom purpose and anyone committed to it. What you are witnessing daily in news reports concerning Washington’s bad practices and policies related to the gross abuse of power by the IRS, along with unconstitutional checks on the free press, reveals satanic intent to take away freedom.
What we’re actually witnessing is a cosmic battle between God and Satan; good and evil; right and wrong; absolutes and cultural relativism. It is the collision of two diametrically opposed worldviews. Forget the hypocritical, manipulative rhetoric. One wants to remove God, redefine truth, replace Christianity and the Judeo-Christian ethic. Tragically, this has been happening with nauseating success because many who claim to know and love God have allowed it to happen because of indifference and lack of involvement.
The truth remains, however, that those who have allowed it to happen are the ones who can correct it – and the only ones who can. Those committed to a biblical worldview and God’s kingdom purpose hold the key to the future here and in the hereafter.
Here is an example of what church leaders can do. On Friday, May 31, a significant bill went before the Illinois General Assembly: SB10, the “Religious Freedom Marriage Fairness Act.” Due to the efforts of a coalition of African-American pastors who decided to take a stand against same-sex marriage, the legislature ended its session – without voting on the bill. Led by former Sen. James Meeks, now pastor of Salem Baptist Church in Chicago, the group actively campaigned with automated calls, urging voters to contact their local representatives and tell them to vote no for the bill. Clearly, their voices were heard. It was a victory for everyone who supports traditional marriage.
Rep. Greg Harris, the bill’s sponsor, acknowledged that his colleagues wanted more time to talk with their constituents. The bill could come up again this fall for a vote – but it isn’t likely that the bill’s opponents will change their minds. What looked to be unstoppable was at least put on pause. If other professing Christians, pastors, priests, and church leaders will come out of the closet, the present cultural shift away from God could be stopped.
Twelve states have legally recognized same-sex marriage. This shows how distorted America’s worldview has become because so many Christians are complacent or ill-informed. More than 30 years ago, in his landmark bestseller A Christian Manifesto, Francis Schaeffer described the fragmentation that has accompanied the shift toward relativism in our society. Schaeffer suggested that the basic problem with our culture was that parents and leaders had only “seen things in bits and pieces instead of totals.” The result was an inability to deal with the full scope of society’s dilemmas.
“They have very gradually become disturbed over permissiveness, pornography, the public schools, the breakdown of the family, and finally abortion,” Schaeffer said. “But they have not seen this as a totality – each thing being a part, a symptom, of a much larger problem…They failed to see that all of this has come about due to a shift in worldview – that is, through a fundamental change in the overall way people think and view the world and life as a whole.”
In other words, according to Schaeffer, part of the reason it has been so difficult to address the cultural challenges of our day is that we have largely ignored the fact that these changes in our society have occurred primarily because of changes in our thinking. Not only have we failed at times to acknowledge the consequences of our ideas, we have often failed to recognize the ideas themselves. Many have not clearly seen how our worldview affects our decisions and our values. If we are to have any hope of maintaining a civil society, it is essential that we recognize not only that ideas matter, but that having the correct ideas makes all the difference. If we fail to see this basic reality, we will be morally and culturally hobbled.
If one’s worldview is fractured, his or her decisions, practices, principles, and policies will be off-center, and the effect is always negative. The less people think of God, the less they think of others. The less they love God, the less they love others. The smaller God becomes, the bigger government and other things get. The more dependent we are upon government programs, the less dependent we are on God and less thoughtful of one another. The bigger government gets, the smaller citizens become. When we do not keep God in first place, some other power always takes over – and the indifferent, uninformed and uninvolved allow it to happen.
Most people are generally not concerned about their worldview. They act as if they can separate their ideas from their actions – in effect establishing a worldview in which worldviews are irrelevant! If this ironic paradigm, rooted in relativism, is allowed to stand, it strips all worldviews of their functional value.
Nehemiah had a godly worldview. He gained favor from the pagan King Artaxerxes, who gave Nehemiah permission to rebuild Jerusalem’s walls, even supplying the building materials. Nehemiah recognized that the people would be vulnerable without walls. The purpose of walls is to keep the enemy out. The walls are built to avoid unnecessary pain, problems, loss, and devastation, which is how good government will function. When government functions properly as Thomas Jefferson communicated to Danbury Baptists, it is never to protect the wilderness from the garden, but to “protect the garden from the wilderness.” Principled people can solve problems and actually take the garden into the wilderness, but we don’t want the wilderness in the garden even more than we want weeds and pestilence in any garden. Joining together with others to “protect our garden” will prove to be fruitful, as it was for the Illinois coalition of pastors.
Be on guard: There is a worldview committed to getting through the walls of truth and principles upon which we stand. As the prophet Joel noted, the destructive enemy comes through the windows at any point of vulnerability (see Joel 2:9). We need to be aware that there are opposing worldviews. One has God at the top; the other only acknowledges Him when they think it is advantageous to further their liberal, inverted, secular agenda and force their ways on the American people.
If “we the people” do not call upon God, seek His face and His will, make wise decisions, we will witness the collapse of freedom. We will witness firsthand: small God, big – indescribably big – government, devastating debt, economic and moral collapse. Our worldview and commitment to stand courageously for truth and freedom makes all the difference determining our direction.
Among other things, I seriously take issue with your claim that “we recognize not only that ideas matter, but that having the correct ideas makes all the difference”, and that if we fail in seeing that, we will be “morally and culturally hobbled.” I have always been able to see the value in having faith, and some forms of structured religion certainly provide standards of morality which enforce positive family and other values. However, as a role model in faith for many, I am extremely disappointed that you explicitly dismiss the value in dialogue and even opposition of ideas in the spirit of discourse with other religions and cultures. Culturally-speaking, at least, American culture would be a dull and dreary kind of animal, were it not for diverse opinions and perspectives. If you truly believe that your ideas are correct i.e. the idea of vehemently opposing same-sex marriage- the legalization of same-sex marriage as a threat to the idea of traditional marriage is still a weak argument for me, as I see no reason the two cannot co-exist- then maybe you should have some faith that those ideas will prevail based on their inherent truthfulness. Or have you no faith in God, in his centuries-long battle against Satan, to emerge triumphant without your esteemed contribution to his cause? Please do not continue to color your fear mongering as virtuous enlightenment.
I suspect that many of those Christians, whom you have characterized as “complacent or ill-informed”, are neither. Rather, you misunderstand their unwillingness to openly alienate alternative worldviews and aggressively sermonize in public, as “complacency.”
Neither my father nor I “fear” advocates of gay sex. Our sincere wish is to see them set free from their poisonous entrapment.
If you will read his columns, you will see that he encourages dialogue among those who do not agree. He just doesn’t believe that dialogue means acquiescence to those who demand that we agree with them.
As for faith in God, naturally we both believe He will ultimately triumph. But that is no excuse to advocate actions or attitudes that oppose Him. Since His word says that murder is wrong, it would be absurd for His followers to justify murder and claim they have faith that He will prevail. The same is true for every other thing that He says will bring death.
Finally, aligning one’s self with the word of God always alienates alternative worldviews. Scripture teaches that there is no virtue in pleasing others, only in pleasing God.
I totally agree and have been in prayer about the situation.
James, This is exactly what is happening in our nation today! Thank you for boldly speaking the truth. The most unrighteous government in the history of America.
To quote my departed father, who lives with the LORD now, “You hit the nail smack dab on the head!!”
This is a great assessment of America today! Right on PASTOR! I am sharing this around! Also I love Beth Moore and her teaching! Love DG <
Thank you for always telling it “like it is” so others can actually see what’s going on.