I’ve been trying to rethink my approach to sharing what I believe. Will you join me in this?
Hi, I’m Rex Rogers and this is episode #111 of Discerning What Is Best, a podcast applying unchanging biblical principles in a rapidly changing world, and a Christian worldview to current issues and everyday life.
I’ve been thinking a lot about how I analyze current issues and events, and how then I apply a Christian worldview to these developments.
I suppose some might say, I hope, that I do a reasonably good job of identifying and detailing the problems, that I can tell you what’s happening, what’s wrong with it or threatening about it, maybe who’s behind it. I can describe the emerging worldview or rejection of historic Judeo-Christian values. Drawing on the scholarship and evaluations of many others, I can even predict what might happen next, that is, where this slippery slope is headed.
I can describe our American 21st Century culture that’s constantly offended at anything and seemingly everything, the culture giving itself over to nihilism and perpetual rage. This culture is not a pretty picture.
All this is well and good, and I’d argue necessary if we are to understand the post-Christian culture in which we now live.
But if my assessment of my own abilities and track record are accurate, then OK, what’s the problem?
The problem is that I don’t think I am nearly as adept at providing or recommending solutions, in particular biblical remedies for the challenges we face in our post-Christian age. Or if I am, I don’t spend as much time on this part of the situation report, thus potentially leaving those who listen to me feeling down, discouraged, and God forbid, hopeless.
It’s easy to do this. In a speaking engagement, Sunday School class, blog, radio program or podcast, there is only so much time or words to configure a topic. You have to get in, say something meaningful, and get out. OK, but how does one use the available time and space?
Too much time on background and definitions, trends, and current stats—to set the scene, and viola, time’s up. No time for, “OK, what does God want us to do about this?”
I know I have done this, and God forgive me, it bothers me to think I’ve left people with a sense of the problem but beaten down or befuddled about how to respond.
For what became a 1976 best-selling book, the late Francis A. Schaeffer famously borrowed his title from the Old Testament passage, Ezek. 33:10, “How should we then live?”
That’s the point. How can I do differently in my analysis, such that I point listeners toward hope, not hopelessness, toward what God says about “How should we then live?” in this present post-Christian culture?
In his 2018 book, The Church in Babylon: Heeding the Call to Be a Light in the Darkness, theologian Erwin Lutzer says, “We have lost the culture war. The winners are drooling over the spoils. (Referring to the Jewish captivity in ancient Babylon, he said,) but we must remember that God didn’t abandon the Jews to random fate, nor does Jesus abandon us to our own foolishness.
Jesus promises us, ‘Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age’ (Matt 28:20). Things are not what they appear. Temporary victories and defeats do not tell the whole story. The story will only be written when Jesus returns to settle forever who the winners and losers are.”
Then Lutzer goes on. “Babylon, the United States, the Middle East, China—God is not intimidated by humanism, Islam, or American leftists. He will lead us if we seek him. There is no combination of Satan along with his demons that can permanently defeat us if God thinks we have work to do.”
Lutzer noted that there is blessing in desperation—people turn to God when they find themselves in trouble, and there is encouragement in divine sovereignty—
Christians can be forever optimistic because we know the author of the story—“his-story”—and we know the end of the story. Our task is not to be winners or to be successful per se. Our task is to be faithful.
So, part of providing hope is to provide perspective, an accurate and truthful big picture, and that means answering the question as best we can, What is God doing?
Scripture is eminently clear, not necessarily about the details of the future, but who holds the future and how we should relate to him.
- God is Sovereign, omniscient, and omnipotent. He is never surprised, never confused, never not in charge.
- In his Word, God has given us “everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of himwho called us by his own glory and goodness” (2 Pet 1:3).
- Jesus is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, and Jesus said, “Never will I leave you;never will I forsake you” (Heb. 13:5).
- The Apostle Paul said, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:38-39).
Now, none of this means that we should ignore life challenges. We live in a real world with real challenges. God expects us to be “in the world” even as he expects us to be “not of the world” (Jn 17).
This does not mean we ignore current problems and pain. It means we look upon these things with perspective.
I want to do a better job of reminding people that God is there, and he is not silent, that God is God in the face of the world’s false ideological “isms” and in the midst of life’s trials. Indeed, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. I will fear no evil,” Why? “Foryou are with me” (Ps 23:4).
I want to do a better job of reminding people that God is working…now.
For example, we know that God is doing more among Muslims than at any time in history. We know this because of what SAT-7, the ministry with which I serve, hears and sees on a daily basis and because of what other Middle East ministries tell us. We should find this encouraging and spiritually energizing.
We know God worked in ancient Babylon, and he is the same God today, so we know he will work and is working in our, so to speak, “Babylonian culture.”
We know that while people can mean things for evil, God can mean them, or use them, for good. As I noted in another podcast, there is no better illustration of this than the Roman cross, an instrument of pain, shame, and death that God turned into an international symbol of redemption and hope because of the work of Jesus Christ.
We know that things are not worse now in our post-Christian culture than they were for the early church in the First Century A.D. If God was faithful to the new believers then, he can be and he is faithful to believers now. If he could send revival into the prideful Roman Empire, he can send revival into our prideful culture today.
We know that for every sin there is a biblical remedy, a biblical solution provided by faith through grace in Christ.
We know there is nothing in this world, no circumstances, opportunities, and challenges of life beyond the ken of God’s Word. Consequently, we can seek to apply our Christian or biblical worldview to everything we experience.
What really does God want us to do and therefore, how should we then live? We can do this with everything in life. We can review, consider, and discern what does God want us to do and therefore, how should we then live?
We can do this with a pandemic, with sexual liberation issues, national security, education, race and racism, and business. God is there and he is not silent.
Our task – my task I think – is to share his voice of truth and hope.
Well, we’ll see you again soon. This podcast is about Discerning What Is Best. If you find this thought-provoking and helpful, follow us on your favorite podcast platform. Download an episode for your friends. For more Christian commentary, check my website, r-e-x-m as in Martin, that’s rexmrogers.com.
And remember, it is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm.
© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2023
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