Thursday, February 1, 2018


We live in a divided nation, so fractured by hatred and contempt for the other side that we are coming apart. The problem is so serious we cannot even agree on the most basic principles of right and wrong. For instance:

·       Four Christian pastors and a rabbi “blessed” a late-term abortion facility this week, declaring it a “holy” space. (LifeSiteNews)

This is only a reflection of a broad landscape of global changes that are dislocating the West. The common glue is dissolved. We live by the Tower of Babel, and our shared language has evaporated. Breakdown and dissipation are our only option.

I don’t think that there are any political solutions, apart from a swinging wrecking ball, destroying one edifice and then the other.

However, this collapse presents an opportunity. Only in the darkness can the lamp illuminate the landscape. We are the lamp, the light of the world. What is the light? The light of Christ and His Gospel of reconciliation and forgiveness, of love for our enemies and a hope invested securely in another world.

How do we manifest this transforming light? Not by winning arguments and triumphing over our foes, but by loving those who hate us.

I am not saying that we should abandon the cause of the aborted unborn or of persecuted Christians. Instead, it is even more illuminating and decisive for the world to see Christians carrying forth their principles, without demeaning the opposition, by loving and caring for them. Loving shouldn’t require us to become jello, which can conform to any cultural mold. Instead, love is a “striving side by side for the faith of the gospel”:

·       Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God. For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake, engaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have. (Philippians 1:27-30 ESV)

When we love our enemies in this manner, we hold forth a picture of “their destruction [and our] salvation.” In a world of hatred and darkness, love is a light revealing the ultimate hope. This had been the impact of our faith upon pagan Rome:

·       “The earnestness with which people of this religion help one another in their needs is incredible. They spare themselves nothing for this end.” (The pagan Lucian, 190 AD)

It was this Gospel, which had humbled Rome:

·       “Emperor Julian [an opponent of Christianity] ordered the creation of hospices saying, ‘It would be shameful, when the Jews have no beggars, when the impious Galileans feed our own people along with their own, that ours should be seen to lack the help we owe them.’” (Alvin Schmidt, How Christianity Conquered the World)

Roman persecution had actually highlighted the Gospel and had refined us so that we’d want nothing but the Gospel:

·       “If the brethren have among them a man in need and they have not abundant resources, they fast for a day or two so as to provide the needy man with the necessary food!” (Aristides of Athens)

However, our Lord must bring us to repentance. The Prophet Daniel wrote about the persecution of the last days and how it would affect us:

·       He [the wicked king, the Anti-Christ] shall seduce with flattery those who violate the covenant, but the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action. And the wise among the people shall make many understand, though for some days they shall stumble by sword and flame, by captivity and plunder. When they stumble, they shall receive a little help. And many shall join themselves to them with flattery, and some of the wise shall stumble, so that they may be refined, purified, and made white, until the time of the end, for it still awaits the appointed time. (Daniel 11:32-35)

How can we endure the persecution? Only by the grace of God and the knowledge that an eternal Kingdom awaits us:

·       As I looked, this horn made war with the saints and prevailed over them, until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given for the saints of the Most High, and the time came when the saints possessed the kingdom. (Daniel 7:21-22)

Let us ask the Lord to give us a lamp to open eyes, which presently cannot see, to the reality of the Gospel.

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