The title of this post is something that my spirit has become increasingly troubled with in the last couple of years. I sense Christian Americans wrestling with how to respond in the midst of personal and national crises, especially from a moral standpoint. Of course, at a Kingdom level, it should be obvious .. Micah 6:8 asks the following questions, and then gives us God's answer: What can we bring to the Lord? Should we bring him burnt offerings? Should we bow before God Most High with offerings of yearling calves? Should we offer him thousands of rams and ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Should we sacrifice our firstborn children to pay for our sins? No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what He requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.
Goodness ... righteousness ... virtue ... they are all words that describe Biblical morality; and all are essential qualities in the exercise of faith. In other words, as Christians, moral neutrality in the midst of societal chaos cannot be up for discussion. We must remain committed to godliness and fruitfulness in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Yet, in recent years -- actually, in recent decades -- we have seen our religious communities falter in this commitment, and I am reminded of what the Prophet Isaiah says in Chapter 59, verse 9: Therefore justice is far from us, and righteousness does not overtake us; we hope for light, and behold, darkness, and for brightness, but we walk in gloom. We can't just "hope" for the light of God to permeate our country; we must overtake the darkness with our moral and just decisions. We cannot just sit on the sidelines and wait for God to make things right.
At the foundational level, this conflict is simply a question of Good vs Evil. It is as old as time; ever since the Garden of Eden, God has made His desire known for our obedience to His ideals and principles. Yet, centuries later, men and women, cultures and societies, still struggle to do what is right in the midst of upheaval and lawlessness. But why? Certainly, we can't expect to believe that "good Christians" were confused as to whether Good or Evil was occurring, can we? I refuse to believe that our consciousness has deteriorated so far that we are unable to distinguish the moral choice. But, yet, Christians looked the other way in WW II, as their Jewish neighbors disappeared. Through our silence, abortion laws were passed in 1973 that have resulted in the deaths of over 62 million babies. According to the website, liberatechildren.org, human trafficking has surpassed the illegal sale of arms, and is expected to surpass the sale of drugs in the coming years -- and in 2018, over half (51.6%) of the criminal human trafficking cases in the U.S. involved only children! And on a more individual level, just a few weeks ago, there was a story in the news of a woman raped on a subway in Philadelphia while onlookers reportedly recorded the rape with their cellphones, while no one called 911, or tried to intervene. As is quite obvious, the consequences of taking a neutral stance in any of these events resulted in horrific costs to humanity.
Why is it so important to acknowledge this phenomena in our societal disintegration? If you will allow me to give you a rather simple analogy, consider this: in the operation of a vehicle, NEUTRAL is a disengaged position of gears in which the engine is disconnected from the driven parts. Let's translate that to our spiritual relationship with our Creator... If we, as God's Heavenly Kingdom representatives on earth, remain neutral in situations or questions of morality, we are [in effect] disengaging ourselves from our positions as His children and co-heirs [of His Kingdom] with Christ. If we are disconnected from God, who is the engine [or power] that drives us to do good works for His sake, then the result is a society that morally disintegrates into chaos and lawlessness.
I know this is nothing new in the history of man, but it is deeply disturbing to me in the history of my lifetime. I fervently believe in the goodness that is inherent in every human being, but my spirit also knows that Evil is looking for any open door that allows it to influence another human's heart. Have we become so conditioned to questioning our own moral meters, for fear of being criticized as biased, prejudiced, or exclusive? We must have the courage to stand up for Godly principles and moral laws! God is not impartial when it comes to fence-sitters! Remember, Jesus says in Revelation 3, that He would prefer Christians to be either hot or cold; lukewarm is not a state that gains us favor!
So, I applaud my fellow Christians for having the courage to stand for justice and good and what's right in the eyes of God -- despite the criticism from those who bow down to political, social, or peer pressure. If we call ourselves Christians, then it is incumbent upon each of us to stand against immoral tyranny. For any form of tyranny is not conducive to the moral integrity God demands of a just society. Parents have a right to be involved in their children's education; truly righteous people need to stand against lawless mobs; and our children [and unborn] need to be protected from those who would prey upon their innocence -- all accomplished within the laws of this great land, of course. If the laws are no longer moral or righteous, then it is up to us to change them in a righteous, moral, and legal manner. I am heartened as I see the Body of Christ coming together in recognition that now is our time to consecrate ourselves to God's purposes on this earth; to be imitators of His holiness and righteousness, no matter the cost.
Remaining neutral is no longer an option. As moral Christians, we have the Holy Spirit to guide us in our actions. Refusal to make a choice, or choosing to sit on the sidelines in the midst of a moral conflict, IS a choice that is not desired by the Lord. When it comes to morality, we MUST be biased in favor of pleasing the Lord. Anything less is moral compromise, and we can no longer afford to be lukewarm. In the words of German Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a man I greatly admire, in his book The Cost of Discipleship, "The price we are having to pay today in the shape of the collapse of the
organized church is only the inevitable consequence of our policy of
making grace available to all at too low a cost. We gave away the Word
and sacraments wholesale; we baptized, confirmed, and absolved a whole
nation without condition. Our humanitarian sentiment made us give that
which was holy to the scornful and unbelieving ... But the call to follow
Jesus in the narrow way was hardly ever heard". Jesus followed a narrow, moral, disciplined, and righteous path in the midst of societal chaos. He never took a neutral position. May we imitate His life in the way we live ours; and may we defeat hate, darkness, in His Mighty Name!
Isaiah 59:21 And as for Me, this is My covenant with them,” says the Lord: "My Spirit that is upon you, and My words that I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouth of your offspring, or out of the mouth of your children's offspring," says the Lord, "from this time forth and forevermore."
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