Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Need of Our Day

What is the need of our day as Christians in North America? We are faced with a multitude of "crises" calling for action. But how many of these are symptoms of some deeper problem? Evangelical Christianity today in general has become so well known for what we're against that as a group we've become gun-shy of taking a stand on any issue, afraid we'll be perceived negatively in the press. At the same time, we continue to be bombarded with what we're against. According to the world's perspective we're not for life, we're against choice (and so by extension enemies of freedom). We're not for truth, we're intolerant. We're not for moral standards and wholesome values, we're legalistic bigots who are judgmental of others.

I would suggest that, among other things, the need today is for Evangelical Christians to stand for some things. We have some leaders who do an outstanding job of standing for important matters in our society and in our churches. But at the same time we have a lot of people in our churches who are afraid to stand for those same things in their day to day dealings with people at work, at play, in our neighborhoods. We need everyday people who will "stand in the gap" (Ezek 22.30) on a number of key issues. What are those issues:

1. The core of Christian beliefs as taught in the Bible and expressed in the Apostles' Creed. This, of course, means that there are some beliefs that attempt to pass themselves off as Christian that must be rejected as pretenders to the name "Christian".

2. The core Christian commitment to the sanctity and uniqueness of human life--all human life from conception until natural death without regard to mental capacity or the potential for economic or social contribution.

3. The core Christian commitment to live a life of moral rectitude toward others as created in the image of God, and therefore as worthy of dignity, respect, honesty, and unselfish, even sacrificial love.

4. The core Christian commitment to love the Lord our God above all others, even to the point of sacrificing job, family, and life, if need be, for his glory and the advancement of his cause in the world.

5. The core Christian commitment to a life of prayer. It is curious to Western believers who place great stock in intellectual attainment that in the Eastern Church a theologian is not recognized by what he knows but how he prays. Prayer is an admission of our total helplessness and dependence on God. It glorifies God by humbling us in the dust of self-humiliation. Prayer recognizes that "I" can't do anything but that "with God all things are possible." We cast about for this method or that program to bring "revival" without recognizing that only God can send a true awakening, and if we're to see it, we must seek it from him, not from some trumped up event with a lot of bling.

6. However unpopular it is to the world, and no matter how it is misrepresented, Christians must stand up for biblical morality as the God-ordained check on increasing moral degradation, sky-rocketing crime, and societal disintegration. True liberty only comes when one knows and chooses to do what is right in God's sight. All else is bondage of the worst kind.

7. Christians must stand for compassion to people whose lives have been wrecked by sin, enslaved by government, and disillusioned by unmet promises from Church and State alike. The Christians of ancient Rome won over their pagan neighbors because the one thing that could not be assailed was their sacrificial love, even for their enemies and persecutors.

This is my first blog, and it probably reads like it. In recent days I've seen an onslaught against the very fabric of the Christian worldview and moral foundations from pretenders to the Christian name with their trumped up "history" of pre-Columbian America and man-made god, to people who could not bring themselves to say something they knew was wrong was really wrong for fear of offending someone. While many of us debate and wrangle over theological minutia the world, and our churches, are crumbling around us. Where are the people who will stand in the gap? "I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found none" (Ezek 22:30, NASB).

1 comment:

  1. Very good post. I am standing in the gap with you brother.