For all of the obvious errors that can be unveiled in a secular worldview, the strategy relativists and secularists have used to seize our culture has been amazingly effective. Say what you want, their relentless pursuit of changing the historical narrative of America, the philosophical underpinnings of our Constitution, and the dismissal of the need for a Judeo-Christian ethos has been remarkable. Everyone, including the most optimistic among us, recognize that we are on the front side of a “post-modern” America. Their success is due in no small part to capturing the minds of the next generation through any and every means possible. They have infiltrated the public school system, taken over most colleges and universities, and commandeered the media. There is hardly a direction you can turn that secularism hasn’t entrenched itself. The last bastion of hope still resides in the Bible-believing Church which unfortunately does not see the need many times to address the challenge or has simply capitulated to a theology of inevitability which has already raised the white flag of surrender.
Cover of Time Magazing week of March 26, 2017
Christianity is built upon truth. It has it’s roots in Old Testament revelation and it’s fulfillment is made complete in Jesus Christ who said unambiguously, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no man comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6) To think that Christianity is a subjective philosophy which can be synthesized with various other philosophies, religions or worldviews is simply wishful and erroneous thinking. Christianity teaches exclusivity with regards to salvation through Jesus Christ not because we are hateful, intolerant bigots, but rather we take serious what the Scripture has revealed. Christian orthodoxy maintains that truth can only be found in Jesus Christ and the totality of Scripture. There may be overlaps of truth found in other philosophies and religions, but that does not validate the entire truthfulness of those worldviews. It is only in the Scriptures where we can find a personal and corporate standard by which there is an assurance that we are building our lives and our communities (nation) on a solid foundation.
One of my favorite movies is Braveheart, the story of William Wallace. Wallace was a Scottish peasant who led Scotland to war with England’s King Edward the first. The movie is fictitious at numerous points, but nevertheless has a certain inspiration imbedded in it concerning the struggle for freedom over tyranny. The conflict (called a “rebellion” by the English and Scottish nobility) begins due to the murder of Wallace’s wife. Wallace had married his wife in secret disobedience to English law of ius primae noctis (Latin), “right of first night”. Once this news was uncovered, his wife was executed by the offended English lord sending Wallace into a killing rage of justice (vengeance?) which likens him to a 13th century Rambo. The village supports Wallace but now they realize they either fight England for their freedom or they all shall be killed.
A movement may have the best ideas, the best strategies, the best tactics, and even some of the best personnel available; however, if it has no courage it is going nowhere. The Church is replete with notable scholars and activists whose goals are to defend and advocate Christian (biblical) values and concerns. We have numerous para-church organizations resembling an alphabet soup (ADF, FRC, AFA, ARP, ACLJ, etc.) of experts who work under the broad banner of “faith, family and freedom” for various political and legal concerns. Yet with all this spiritual and intellectual firepower at our disposal, we are not only no closer to recapturing where we once were as a nation with regards to biblical worldview, but a case can be made we are moving backwards. We find ourselves on too many occasions defending our values rather than advancing our values.
“Then Joshua said to the children of Israel: “How long will you neglect to go and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers has given you?”
Joshua 18:3 NKJV
The children of Israel had become war-weary. They were called to possess the whole land which God had given to them, but between time and pain, it was getting long and hard, so much so, they were beginning to negotiate treaties. That was the reason for Joshua’s rebuke. They had only secured a part of the land…not the whole land. “But hey…some is better than nothing right? It’s not what God told us to do, but this conquering mandate is long and painful and since it’s a little better than what we had then let’s just call it quits here”…