Archive for July, 2010

The Pernicious Power of Passivity

July 23rd, 2010 4 comments

In my last blog, “What Can I Do?,” I offered some practical solutions on ways the “common man” can work in meaningful ways to have a positive impact on a nation that is running from God. Let me offer a quick reminder for the directionally challenged. If an individual or nation is running from God, then where are they actually headed? What is his/her final destination?

In a word: HELL.

Nations who reject God and His revealed wisdom for living will unsuspectingly embrace a counterfeit god, usually the secular State, as its new source of blessing and prosperity. History, for those who care to learn from it, clearly reveals that the almighty, secularized State will always result in tyranny and oppression for the people under her ”care.”

This is why we must fight the carnal and cowardly tendencies to remain passive in the face of godlessness. To ask the question, “What can I do?” is a great indicator that you have not yet succumbed to the pernicious power of passivity.

In Erwin Lutzer’s book, When a Nation Forgets God, he tells a chilling eye-witness account from a practicing Christian in Germany during the time of the Holocaust. It highlights the danger of  a “business as usual” attitude of pious passivity:

“I lived in Germany during the Nazi Holocaust. I considered myself a Christian. We heard stories of  what was happening to the Jews, but we tried to distance ourselves from it, because, what could anyone do to stop it?

A railroad track ran behind our small church and each Sunday morning we could hear the whistle in the distance and then the wheels coming over the tracks. We became disturbed when we heard the cries coming from the train as it passed by. We realized that it was carrying Jews like cattle in the cars!

Week after week the whistle would blow. We dreaded to hear the sound of those wheels because we knew we would hear the cries of the Jews en route to a death camp. Their screams tormented us.

We knew the time the train was coming and when we heard the whistle blow we began singing hymns. By the time the train came past our church we were singing at the top of our voices. If we heard the screams, we sang more loudly and soon we heard them no more.

Years have passed and no one talks about it anymore. But still I hear the train whistle in my sleep. God forgive me; forgive all of us who called ourselves Christians yet did nothing to intervene.”

Lord, help us to be faithful in our time of human history. Give us eyes to clearly see the wickedness and tyranny around us, and give us the courage and wisdom to act.

So What Can I Do?

July 20th, 2010 3 comments

Each time I preach about our nation’s forgotten and maligned Christian heritage, and I highlight the rising tide of tyranny and perversion currently sweeping across our nation, people come up to me with the same response: “What can I do?”

It’s very easy to feel completely powerless and even overwhelmed by this bloated, unresponsive monster we once knew as the Federal Government. How do we stop this nightmare? What can one little person like me really do to make a difference?

A lot!

Here’s a few bullet point suggestions I recently sent to one of our frustrated, world-changing young men. I hope you find them helpful. The key thing to keep in mind is that each of us must do our part. If I focus on my responsibilities before the Lord, and you do the same, we will ignite a grass roots fire that will prove to be unstoppable. So here’s some practical suggestions:

1. Make sure you are living in intimate fellowship with Christ. Stay on fire! Be passionate, pure and singleminded in your affection and devotion for Jesus. Strive to be like Christ in every aspect of your life and character.

2. If you are married, make sure your relationship is solid and thriving. This is your first ministry. Your marriage must be strong or you open the door for accusation from a watching, and cynical world. Love your spouse. Be faithful and committed. And if you have children, keep Jesus in the center of your family. A strong marriage and family provide a stronghold of strength and protection as you venture out into your role as a kingdom reformer!

3. Win the lost and make disciples. Are you using your voice in the marketplace? Do people know of your love for Christ? Change starts one heart at a time. America needs Jesus and they won’t be able to hear about Him if the Church is silent. Speak out on the issues of our day.

4. Get involved in your community. Serve. Offer ideas and assistance. Run for office.

5. Practice responsible citizenship. Vote. Call your current legislators and express your opinion on the issues. I just called each of my US Senators and weighed in on the Elena Kagan nomination. I took 30 seconds to use my voice. What would happen if each of you did the same thing? Write letters to the editor. Write thank you notes to elected officials. Pray for them. Send them a birthday card. Get in the game.

Each of us has more power, influence and leverage that we are currently using. So don’t sit around complaining and cursing the ever-increasing darkness. Instead, look for ways to proactively engage with the people God has placed in your sphere of authority. Finally, be happy….we win!

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Living as Marked Men #3 – Courage in the Midst of Conflict

July 2nd, 2010 5 comments

During his years as premier of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khrushchev denounced many of the policies and atrocities of Joseph Stalin. Once, as he censured Stalin in a public meeting, Khrushchev was interrupted by a shout from a heckler in the audience. “You were one of Stalin’s colleagues. Why didn’t you stop him?” “Who said that?” roared Khrushchev. An agonizing silence followed as nobody in the room dared move a muscle. Then Khrushchev replied quietly, “Now you know why.”  (Today in the Word, July 13, 1993.)

Conflict has a way of making cowards of us all. After all, who wants to rock the boat? It’s easier, so we think, to choose the path of least resistance, opting for the path of compromise or all out avoidance.

As Christians, we must consciously choose courage over in the face of cultural conflict, and moral clarity over momentary compromise.

Consider the example of the Apostle Paul. In Galatians 6:17, he writes,

From now on let no person trouble me [by making it necessary for me to vindicate my apostolic authority and the divine truth of my Gospel], for I bear on my body the [brand] marks of the Lord Jesus [the wounds, scars, and other outward evidence of persecutions--these testify to His ownership of me]!

Paul’s courage in the midst of conflict came with a price. He could point to the battle scars on his body as a reminder of the cost of following Christ. These battle wounds were visible marks of Christ’s lordship in his life. In effect, Paul was saying, “I’ve taken a stand for what I believe. My commitment to what I profess is authenticated by my willingness to endure pain and suffering for the sake of Christ like character and conviction.”

The Bohemian reformer John Hus was a man who believed the Scriptures to be the infallible and supreme authority in all matters. He died at the stake for that belief in Constance, Germany, on his forty-second birthday. As he refused a final plea to renounce his faith, Hus’s last words were, “What I taught with my lips, I seal with my blood.”

Can you say that about your beliefs? The enemy is always poking, probing and prodding to find your price. Is your courage worth more to you than your comfort?

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