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Steadfast in a Dying Culture

As I glanced through the weekly headlines and articles over the course of the last few days, it occurred to me that there should be some great concern in the hearts of individuals. As American Christians, over the course of the last 75 years, we have been trained to become distraught over the latest report on national news, which is an assault on our faith. We have seen this routinely occur for the last 25 or more years, with an emphasis since 2020. In my lifetime, I have only known Christians to be generally disgusted toward news stations, because it appears that all stories are slanted left.

Now, the purpose of this article is not to debate the intent behind the stories of the national news. The reason for writing this article is not to argue for or against any specific Op-Ed that has been released over the last few days. Instead, the objective of your pastor taking some time to write in regards to the current cultural stories that are surrounding our everyday lives is so that our church can find hope in a depressive, anti-God world.

As we see the increase of anti-Biblical propaganda, the natural reaction is to lose heart. As a matter of fact, we have been taught by the last two generations of America Christians to publicly defame anyone and everyone who speaks against our faith. There are entire political organizations, who raise the flag of Christianity and then act, speak and think in a manner that would be opposed by the words of Jesus. As someone who has been raised in the church, this has become normalized in my life. Actually, more than normalized, this type of behavior toward “political leftists” is very often celebrated in churches. Somehow we have blurred the lines between “conservative” and “Christian” in such a way that they are almost synonymous with each other. And the most fascinating element of this situation is that no one in the Christian world is batting an eye. Instead, there is a wave of welcoming this type of conduct into the church as a means of potential political gain. And, in turn, we have exchanged the cross for a flag.

How you react to your given circumstances will directly point to the grip-tightness of whatever you believe. In other words, when pushed to choose “good vs bad” or “right vs wrong,” your reaction will manifest the strength of your belief system. This is explained in Biblical terminology with the word “steadfastness.” You have often sat under my teaching, which explains the meaning behind this word. James 1:2-4 says, “…for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” In other words, your faith will be tested constantly, and your reaction to this “testing” will either prove that you truly believe that “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God” (Matthew 16:16), or you do not.

If you have spent anytime listening or reading the national news lately, your faith is being tested. Here, in this very situation, you have the opportunity to find hope in your faith or fear the culture’s current circumstances. Your reaction to the headlines will tell you more than you realize about your faith in Christ. It is not Christian-like behavior to slander a news station nor is it a Christ-like reaction to become angry at a political leader who voted against a bill, which would make your life easier as an American Christian. No, your attitude to what is happening all around us should not be distress; it should be joy. “Count it all joy…when you experience trials of various kinds…” (James 1:2-4).

In the first sentence of this article, I wrote that “there should be some great concern in the hearts of individuals” based on the current headlines and articles that have been released across national news stations. The “individual” that I am referring to is not the Christian. It is the lost world. As Christians, we should not be surprised that an unbeliever is opposed to the things of God. We should not be surprised when an unbeliever publicly defames the name of Christ. We should not be surprised when a non-Christian supports anti-Biblical ideals. This is how God designed it to be. “You will know them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:16). 

The American Church (in general) has convinced itself that the fight is against the “political leftists” who are simply acting as their nature would direct them. The American Church (in general) is wasting so much blood, sweat and tears worrying about the latest news article and political figure which are both admittedly against the name of the One True God. But please understand, “…we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). Satan is using the current culture to distract American Christians from remembering that the fight is against “the cosmic powers of this present darkness.” The bad fruit or the natural byproduct of a country being led by non-Christians is that it will be anti-God. And we should not be surprised by this. As a matter of fact, we should not even waste our time trying to force God down their throats. Instead, we need to recognize that God has specifically called us to be Ambassadors for Christ in a foreign land, which does not recognize our new-found citizenship.

As an American Christian, you have an opportunity to prove the sufficiency and satisfaction of your Savior by being steadfast in a culture which is gradually gaining momentum in the direction that is more and more ungodly. First of all, we should not be surprised that a country, which is led by people who are selfishly-ambitious, has fallen prey to a post-modern ideology. This information is provided for us time and time again in Scripture — from Genesis to Revelation. Secondly, we need to remember that our reaction to this increasing distain for the Gospel is an embedded spiritual reality into the souls of those who are born at enmity with God (John 3:16-21). Therefore, you, as an American Christian, have a responsibility to preach the truth of the Gospel in word and deed (Colossians 3:17).

As the culture continues to offer you opportunities to find pleasure in the desires of the flesh, you should choose to delight in the the Lord (Psalm 37:4). This means that you do not find the things of this world appetizing. This means that you do not fall for the schemes of Satan and engage in ungodly behavior toward authority (Romans 13), because God has positioned these individuals to aid in your sanctification. This means that when given the chance to choose the entertainment of the world or to choose to abstain, you should choose chastity for the sake of your soul. Strive to refrain from the entanglement of what this world has to offer. You will never benefit from lowering your standard of beliefs in order to partake of the offerings of the world. But you will always grow in sanctification, when you choose to bypass the things of this earth.

As mentioned previously, you can test the measure of your faith by the tightness of grip that you have on Christ when pressured against this present darkness. For instance, if your reaction to a sin-stained movie is happiness and pleasure, then the grip that you have on Christ is either extremely loose or non-existent. If your reaction for a political endeavor to emphasize homosexuality in our culture is anger and slander, then you have a grip on Scripture that is either extremely loose or non-existent. How we respond in behavior toward our sin-driven world will tell you more than you realize about how much you trust Christ. You are either consumed with the fear of God or the fear of this world.

So, church body, as our nation continues to bombard your social media with leftist ideology and post-modernism, do not lose heart. For our citizenship is not here on earth. Our home is in heaven (2 Corinthians 5:1). Instead of being distraught and angered by how the non-believer lives his life, find purpose in walking in Holiness (1 Peter 1:13-21). Instead of succumbing to the desires of the flesh, find joy in “putting off the world” and “putting on” the new nature that has been given to you (Ephesians 4:17-24). We are not going to redeem this country to a Biblical form of self-government one tweet at a time. Instead, we need to recognize that God is going to purify His Elect in this country by heating up the furnace around us. Our job is to remain steadfast and find contentment in His salvation.

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