Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Shining light in a dark culture

Secular humanism is all around us. As Christians we must seek to challenge it not flee from it. All too easily we can throw up our hands in despair, feeling powerless. But too many Christians keeping quiet for too long is what got us into the mess! We must speak out against all ungodliness as beacons shining in the dark. We must resist the unbiblical division the world tries to put on us that faith is a private matter to be kept at home and in the church and that it has no place in the public realm.

God rules all His creation! There is nothing that is not His and there is no creature that does not owe Him everything. Every law, every policy decision, everything in the public domain actually procedes on the basis of assumptions about the purpose and common good of mankind. The reality is that everyone has faith in something yet most people just assume and never stop to question the reliability of the object(s) of their 'faith'.

Christians need to start engaging in matters of public interest at all levels of society and exposing the bankruptcy of the faith assumptions that underpin secularism. And they need to proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord of all, including politics, the arts, commerce and the law. This is NOT a calling reserved for the elite and powerful. Each of us move in circles in which opportunities present themselves to us, whether it be the workplace, a local fund-raising committee, public debates and so on. In fact widespread internet access means almost all of us have such opportunities. Yet how many Christians restrict themselves to 'safe' Christian websites and only contribute to discussions in safe Christian environments? Why is that?

Are you frightened that you will make a mess of it?
Did not Christ die for you precisely because you do make a mess of everything you do!? And, is not the outcome the Lord's and nothing to do with how good a job you do!?

Are you afraid of people's rejection?
Was not Christ rejected so that you could be accepted by Him!?

Are you afraid of persecution?

Did not Christ face the fiercest of persecution and surrender His life that you too may know the joy of losing this life in order to gain life eternal!? To live is Christ and to die is gain! (Phil 1:21) Has He not promised to be with You always?

The times we live in may be evil, godlessness, greed and "Me-ism" may abound, but consider the Israelites when they went in to exile in Babylon. They too, like many coming from Christian backgrounds in our day, had forsaken their God and so He had given them over to the rule of the Babylonians, just as He had warned them (2 Chron 6:36; 7:19-20; Jer. 25:8-9). The Babylonians wanted to supress Israel's spiritual identity and make them conform to Bablyonian culture. Yet God did not say to the exiled Israelites 'have nothing to do with them', He told them to seek the peace and prosperity of the city and, in so doing, they would find their own peace and prosperity (Jer. 29:7). Likewise, instead of lamenting the times we live in we must engage with and seek the peace and prosperity of those around us.

Of course, true peace and prosperity is not found in the fleeting pleasures or treasures of this world so this will involve confronting the dominant worldview and presenting the risen Christ as the only hope for lasting peace and prosperity. He is, after all, THE way, THE truth and THE life. To the extent that we believe that, so should we proclaim it as we have opportunity.

The next post will give an example of what this could look like.

No comments:

Post a Comment