The title for this blog post came from a conversation I recently had with my husband concerning our ongoing frustration with who I can best describe as "cultural Christians". These would be people who believe in the atoning death of Jesus Christ and tend to play it safe in their faith. The reality of the cost of discipleship does not seem to factor into their faith. They love Jesus, go to church on Sundays, attend every social event with their "church family", and self-identify as a follower of Christ. There is absolutely nothing wrong with any of that! But when we, as human beings, find ourselves in the midst of growing evil and lawlessness, we cannot remain silent in the face of such obvious sin.
The truth is, the American Church has remained silent for far too long. And that is not the role, the purpose, nor the function for which it was designed. We represent God in our culture and in our nation! When we don't recognize [and call out] evil; or choose to ignore it because it makes us uncomfortable or doesn't fit the paradigm we've adopted; or we fear reprisal by our fellow man, then we allow evil to continue and flourish. And before we know it, our moral culture has changed and we find ourselves asking the question, "How did we get here?"
But we have no excuse. As the representatives for God and His standards in the world, it is our duty and responsibility to respond to evil in the manner that God desires and instructs. But for some in this current culture, evil has become entertainment, and therefore tolerated. Just turn on the TV or scroll the internet -- it's on the nightly news and in our movie theaters -- evil is everywhere! So much so, that we have become numb to it and accepting of it [especially among our younger generations]. As Christians, we are to have nothing to do with evil, and that means being intolerant of it. But far too many people interpret that as meaning we try to be righteous and live sinless lives as much as possible. Add to that the reality that in this Age the Church preaches grace and love, so our response to evil is tepid at best. Talk of God's victory in defeating Evil overrides any discussion of His righteous judgment against the Christian who remains silent in the face of it. Plus, we are told that the Church shouldn't "get political", so we are discouraged from directing any criticism towards those who govern over us. But is that God's way?
Remember, evil is not new. It has existed since the Garden. It has occurred throughout history and in our own nation. Our land has known attacks from foreign enemies [which has led to war], as well as seeing brother fighting against brother a century and a half ago. Our nation has seen how the Enemy convinces man to enslave his fellow man. And the world has seen what keeping silent looks like in the concentration camps of Europe. In this modern era in America, we have more than enough sin to repent for ... the bondage of the poverty-stricken to a welfare system that has kept them enslaved for generations; the sacrifice of millions of babies on the altar of abortion; the profiteering by politicians who get wealthy on the backs of their constituents; and the consignment of our children's minds and futures to an education system becoming increasingly consumed by indoctrination that goes against Christian principles and encourages alienation against parents. What would it look like if the Church warned our fellow countrymen of the consequences of those sins? Has the fact that the Church has tolerated these sins contributed to their proliferation?
Notice that I highlighted the word "repent" in the previous paragraph. It is my hope that I am able to convey my deepest thoughts here. What I want to try and express is this: Yes, God wants us to know how much He loves us and to know our ultimate victory in this life against Death. But His focus is also on Sin. And He wants us to be aware of not only our sin, but the sins of the people and our nation. When Jesus says in Mark 1:15, The time is fulfilled and the Kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the Good News of the Kingdom, He is not only announcing that the Kingdom of God is now available on the earth, but He is preparing the elect for their spiritual responsibilities now [and in the future] and the final fulfillment of the Kingdom at the end of the Age.
And repentance is more than just "to change" or "to turn", but to see the state of the world from God's perspective. God is concerned with Sin and seeing mankind transformed from a life of sin to a life that represents His standards in Heaven. Repentance is being so stricken by the sin we see in the world that we are willing to take action to rectify it and call it out. Has the Church done that? If you can say yes, then I would suggest that we haven't done a very good job of it. And are we aware that God will judge us for our lack of "follow through" in our responsibilities? We have been blessed to live in a nation that has been prosperous and free. But that prosperity and freedom does not absolve us of our instructions from God to rid ourselves of sin. We must not continue to reside in our own inordinate pride and achievements at the cost of watching our nation slide into the increasing sin to which we have become numb.
I'd like to conclude with a quote from Elizabeth Schmitz, a theologian in Nazi Germany, who confronted the passivity of the German Church during that nation's most sinful crimes. Schmitz's theology was simple and practical: "For the church, this is not about a tragedy taking place, but rather about our nation’s sin and, since we are members of this nation and accountable before God for this nation of ours, [it is] about our sin." Yes, we ARE accountable before God for our nation's sin. And the Church must now make a decision... is it going to continue to remain silent in the face of sin and evil while continuing to sing forth in jubilant praise of Jesus's return and victory? Or are we, the Church, going to speak out in our authority and purpose to warn the nation that God will not hesitate to judge us for squandering the favor and blessings He has bestowed upon us? Do we understand that God will not hold us guiltless?
It's hard to look at ourselves in the mirror, but perhaps it's time to lift that false mask we've been presenting to the world and each other and face the cold, hard truth of that word we don't like to acknowledge ... our SIN!
#Evil #ChristianResponsibility #Sin #Silenceinthefaceofevil
James 4:17 As it is, you are full of your grandiose selves. All such vaunting self-importance is evil. In fact, if you know the right thing to do and don’t do it, that, for you, IS evil.