Yes, I Know…

our country, our culture, is in moral crisis. I see it every day and part of me dreads what new lows to which we may yet sink. Yet this I do know. The task of changing this to the better is not a task for kings and princes. They are already compromised. It may not even be a task for religious leaders because many, even in unexpected places, have sold their inheritance for a bowl of this world’s pottage.

Two things present themselves. The first is the call of God in all of this. We cannot go back to some mythical yesterday and live our lives in dreams. The world we have around us is the world as it actually is. We need, as Christians, to  see the events around us as a call from God to wake from our slumber and realize that for the sake of the love of God and neighbor we must always commit ourselves to be who we claim to be. If we are not who we claim to be than how will those looking for help know if there is an alternative to what they see around them? How deep the hopelessness must be for people who see everything in decay around them and no way out. Jesus is the way out and we are the ones who need to present Him to the world in thought, word, and deed.  Even if it is actually the end of the world, and no one but God knows this for sure, we are still not exempt from being a witness until the very moment of the angel’s trumpet.

Second, we need to do God’s things in God’s way. For too long we’ve played the world’s game of politics and economy as our path and we shouldn’t be surprised we’re losing because the game was rigged from the beginning. As Christians we live in many kingdoms but we belong to only one, the Kingdom of God and how we act in the world has to be on its principles if we are to succeed. The time of idolizing nations and institutions of power and wealth is long past. They are only tenants on this world.  When we seek the Kingdom everything else will find its true place and order.

It’s possible that things are going to get tougher for observant Christians of all kinds in the near future. We may rediscover we really are pilgrims and strangers on this planet. The depths of our faith may be tested. Deviance will become normal and those who attempt to live righteously will be identified as deviants. What did we expect? Jesus told us that if the world hated Him they would also hate us. Such a day may be coming. Such a day, in part, may already be here.

Yet don’t be afraid. It is also possible that God sees in this generation a people holy and wholly up to the task of being His in a dark world. There are lights among us, lights that can only be discovered and lit by the encroachment of shadows, lights that will draw strength from the Light which is never overcome. Prepare, be ready, but do not be terrified. The hostility of the world is a sign that they cannot win by conversion so force must be applied. The night is desperate because it knows morning is coming.

Remember Gideon.

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