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“In a world of darkness, turn to the light,”
(Kerry Livgren, Crossfire, 1982).
GK Chesterton warned previous generations that the time would come that we would elicit condemnation for telling the truth and receive praise for eliminating it and exalting error. He wrote, “We shall soon be in a world in which a man may be howled down for saying that two and two make four, in which furious party cries will be raised against anybody who says that cows have horns, people will persecute the heresy of calling a triangle a three-sided figure, and hang a man for maddening a mob with the news that grass is green.” Friends, I have news for you. In some places in our nation, that day is now here. It even exists in some corners of our community. In some places, right is wrong and wrong is right, truth is error and error is truth, and wisdom is foolishness and foolishness is wisdom.
I spoke with a community leader a few years ago about the needs of our community and how so much need arises when dad is not in the home. He cautioned me stating, “We can’t show preference for mother-daddy families.” What he was stating is that our governing entities cannot show preference for the best circumstances that give children the best opportunity to thrive. We cannot prioritize children’s best chance for well-being!
While free enterprise has fueled rapid rates of decline in chronic hunger in the developing world, socialists are on the ascendency in the United States. While advances ultrasound and sonogram technology and prenatal medicine have proven unborn children are in fact humans, extremists, even some presidential candidates, argue for abortion of full-term babies, and many Americans take them seriously. And do not even get me started on sexual and moral behavior. What has happened to the nation we love?
There are several causes for this confusion. The root consists of spiritual warfare, of course, but this spiritual warfare manifests itself in several places. To begin with, Protestant churches abandoned biblical inerrancy and authority about a century ago. This has resulted in American churches that are queasy about truth, and if they embrace truth, they do so without intensity. Instead of building their people and churches in holiness, many of these churches discourage it and battle other Christians who promote it. Next, the education theories of John Dewey, most notably values clarification, have undermined truth. Further, and I cringe to admit it, but Elvis and company bear responsibility for this, too. America still has not recovered from the rock and rebellion movements of the 50s and 60s. More, the pampering, spoiling, and coddling of generations since WWII has produced waves of “me first” citizens who can’t get satisfied until others grovel before them to satisfy their every demand. Finally, the hijacking of the American dream and its transition from a promise of opportunity to a demand for entitlements challenges truth. Truth for such persons consists of what provides what they want and not that which corresponds to reality.
These realities can tempt many of us to anger, but they should not. They can also tempt us to prioritize politics and political activism. This will not help either, but it will alienate. Instead, we are always to respond in love (to be differentiated from indulgence), prayer, and witness. The only antidote to error is a Spirit empowered advocacy of truth, and this truth is found in Jesus (Eph 4:20—21). This is why your Christian service offers the greatest practical tool to address what ails us.
What can I do? Christians God has used through the centuries to transform communities prioritize several daily practices. These include laying hold of the power of the Holy Spirit by faith and a pure life, verbally sharing the gospel of Christ, worshipping the Son of God with all our might, demonstrating God’s love in service to people, and bold commitment that does not flinch in the face of criticism. Transforming a community really is not any more difficult than that. Once we prioritize these practices, we can create a world of truth. How about we join together in these practices and make the truth a thing of celebration again?
I Stand Amazed,