What you can do to help avert a cultural tsunami
Any person with common sense can see that America is moving in the wrong direction. The “media elite” and much of the population continually mock the God of the Bible, diminish the value of marriage and family and have no concern for the sanctity of human life.
We’re headed straight into the ditch of out-of-control debt. Blind leaders are leading our blind nation toward a cliff. Thank goodness, some preachers and discerning Christians see what is coming and want to help right our ship of state.
One such individual is Jay W. Richards, an intellectual who has lectured before Congress and on leading universities nationwide. Jay has focused much attention on biblical economic principles—some of the best I’ve seen. Over the past couple of years, I have met with him on many occasions, and our hearts beat as one.
Jay and I began discussing the possibility of working on a significant book project together a number of months ago, and the result is Indivisible, which addresses restoring faith, family and freedom in America.
Someone pointed out that the title couldn’t be more appropriate because I’m an evangelical and Jay is Catholic. I’m thankful that our different theological views were never a consideration for either of us when we decided to write this book. We share far too much common ground to allow any theological differences to prevent us from addressing common concerns.
The Church’s Need for Unity
Unfortunately, the church has failed to change the culture largely because of our lack of unity. Protestants and Catholics have spent far too much time, energy and blood fighting each other. There are now some 42,000 denominations worldwide and still counting. Yes, we have doctrinal disagreements. But we share core beliefs and moral principles, and we worship the same God. It’s time for us to focus on restoring our nation’s foundation because future security and stability are at stake.
On the night He was betrayed, Jesus prayed that His disciples might be one, as He and the Father are one. Paul challenged the church at Ephesus to make “every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3, NIV). Unity is a sign of the kingdom of God. In our division, we have reduced the kingdom of God to a future reward rather than a living, present reality. It’s no surprise we have not made the kingdom imprint on our culture that we should.
Yes, there are some bright spots in our culture. Even in a time of high unemployment, most of us in America have our basic needs met, with plenty left over for extras. We don’t have to worry about being abducted by secret police. We have eradicated diseases that killed millions of people just a few decades ago. We live twice as long on average as our ancestors did a few hundred years ago.
People enjoy more food, technology and entertainment than the greatest kings and queens in history. Technology advances happen so fast that our computers and cellphones are obsolete before we figure out how to use them.
Moreover, violent crime is down in our major cities, after reaching a peak in the 1970s. Abortion rates have declined every year since 1990. Despite these encouraging signs, however, we don’t need the gift of prophecy to see the long-term trends. We’re like tourists on a sunny beach. We’ve heard news of an earthquake on the sea floor, hundreds of miles away, but everything still looks normal. Yet, when we look closely, we notice that the beach is growing wider as the tide recedes toward the horizon. If trends continue, a tsunami will come.
God’s Mandate for Ministers
What must we do to turn our Titanic ship of state? It is time for us to think clearly about the issues facing us, argue persuasively in the public square and act strategically to influence the people and institutions that shape culture over the long term. Pastors play a key role because they impact scores of people on a weekly basis.
In Indivisible, Jay and I are forthright about key issues impacting our culture such as freedom to preach and worship, right to life, marriage, free enterprise, immigration, social justice, wealth creation, government intervention, and environmental stewardship.
I have been an evangelist for nearly five decades, but in many ways, I feel that my calling today is clearer than ever. I am commissioned by God and His Word to speak to put a “trumpet to my lips,” “sound an alarm on the holy mountain,” warn the people, stand in the gap, repair the breech, rebuild the walls and restore the foundation, and faithfully present the one reliable standard: the Bible. I believe this is God’s mandate for ministers of the gospel in these challenging times.
I will endorse biblical truth, love, compassion, courage, convictions, strong marriages and families, and the importance of everyone assuming responsibility for their actions, as well as influencing local and national direction. Personally, I do not endorse candidates or parties. If a preacher or highly visible person decides to endorse a candidate, however, I believe that is their right and we should respect them—even if we disagree with their opinion.
Ministers are bound and obligated to speak out boldly and to stand for their convictions. Why are we afraid to stand for truth? People with a God-denying view that assaults Judeo-Christian biblical views and diminishes the importance of our godly heritage are continually organizing in every community. They force their views on the population through protests and radical political activism, while never giving up an inch of their “sacred turf.” They expect the church community to shut up and go back to sleep, keeping our faith private.
Proclaiming Truth and Liberty
When preachers do not proclaim truth and liberty throughout the land, we have failed both God and man. Interestingly, the Word of God is carved in stone on buildings throughout Washington, D.C., and it continues to testify—while some pulpits have gone silent, and the pews have become a sanctimonious mortuary. Ministers must not be timid and fearful, or we will have churches filled with spineless, fear-filled people who will never become a “city set on a hill.” World War II German pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “Not to speak is to speak; not to act is to act.”
I will embrace sound principles upon which we can build our lives, families and future. I support what has been proven to work throughout history to the real benefit of people, not some idea or suggestion that reduces human beings to something less than God created us to be. Lives, as well as buildings, must be established on a solid foundation.
I will expose evil, damaging practices and bad policy. Many media representatives and academics do not seem to believe in evil today, and a number of lawmakers and ministry leaders don’t seem to either. In other words, the “Three Little Pigs” and “Little Red Riding Hood” need to learn there is a “Big, Bad Wolf.” The evil naysayers chuck the Bible out the window and continue living in a failing fantasyland nightmare world.
I will encourage every person to assume responsibility for their own lives and decisions, and to diligently seek to assist others. Qualified people should serve, whether on a homeowners association, PTA, school board, local office, state and national. We need the best to run and be elected for the benefit of the people. It is our duty—actually our calling—to do so.
I also encourage every citizen to be well-informed and actively involved. Vote faithfully and with conviction for those who hold truth, freedom and sound principles. Do not vote just for one issue or out of mere personal preference, party loyalty or attractive personalities. Vote principle—and ministers should encourage their flock to do the same.
There has only been one perfect candidate—Jesus—and He won’t run for office. He rules in the lives of those submitted to Him. Ultimately, aren’t we all in the race to win? Not an election or the approval of others, but the “race God has set before us all.” This is a race for the full expression of the life, love and liberty only God can give. It is my hope to see Christians fall on our face before God and then stand on our feet for God.
Let’s pray for a historic
outpouring of the Holy Spirit on us and our nation—an outpouring that will lead us to speak with boldness, walk with integrity, reach our communities for Christ, and stand in unity for the renewal of our culture and the restoration of our nation.