Though I am optimistic about the long-term future, believing that the nations will in fact be discipled, and the kingdom will cover the earth the way the water covers the seas, it’s an ugly world out there. Every cultural indicator is alarming- more divorce, more illegitimacy, more crime, more drugs. Our entertainment is increasingly morbid and putrid. Those who practice sexual perversions have become a protected class. Business, families and governments sink deeper and deeper into debt. The church has not just grown increasingly worldly, but now celebrates its worldliness, calling it outreach. And we still haven’t even touched on the one evil that dwarfs them all, the 3,500 moms who each day murder their own babies, while the rest of us watch.
And so we wring our hands about what they are doing. We write our blog pieces about our strategies to change them. We bewail their folly. We hold our prayer vigils, all of which amounts to, “I thank you Lord that I am not like other men.” Antithesis is important. So much of the problem among God’s people is that our identity is found outside the body. We have forgotten the reality of the war between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent. We have forgotten our call to make manifest the reign of Christ over all things.
That reign, however is not marked by the glory of battle victory. It is not found where we triumphantly plant the flag of Jesus. The antithesis is far too deep for that. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal. His reign is manifest as we fall to our knees. His victory song is no martial fanfare, but is instead a dirge, as we cry out “Lord, be merciful to me a sinner. ” The glory is the cross, but the cross is also the glory.
Things, in short, are bad out there because that’s where we are. Those who name the name of Christ create those alarming cultural statistics. Christians are the ones consuming Hollywood’s sewage. We are the ones who can’t tell the difference between a man and a woman, between the natural and the unnatural. We are the ones who not only spend our children’s inheritance, but demand that the state put our grandchildren deeper in debt. We are the ones flocking to arenas to pay homage to rock star preachers. Worst of all, we are the ones going to abortion mills- not to pray and preach but to procure. We have met the enemy, and he is us.
We, however, have been given the solution. We don’t need a new strategy. We don’t need a new political coalition. What we need is to repent and believe the gospel. We must acknowledge our sins, and turn from them. The first sin to confess is our pride, our blindness to our blindness. And then let us confess that good news that first changed a dying and decadent empire two thousand years ago- Christ is Lord. And then let us pray that He would be pleased to once again change the world with that most precious seed, that most potent weapon, the blood of His martyrs.