The Rules Have Changed
Couldn’t believe what we saw and heard!
In a media interview, a pastor of influence had cited Scripture as his life guide and authority regarding a lifestyle issue. Driving for his agenda, the reporter responded, “But aren’t there times in today’s world when we sort of have to bring the Bible kicking and screaming into modern times?”
Hmm. . . . respect for God’s Word that a few years ago was considered right and healthy, now turned on its head!
On the issue under consideration in that interview, God’s Word is clear. God’s intent is seen with no ambiguity; several passages in the Scriptures address the issue.
The sense, however, was that human thinking and ‘wisdom’ is to be regarded as the guide for faith and practice—the authority of truth—rather than God’s wisdom as expressed in holy Scripture. What’s more, watching over a period of time other pastors interviewed, the impression is surfacing that the ‘in thing’ now is to make sport of God’s thinking in the Scriptures. Bringing in pastors known to teach and preach the Scriptures and making them the target of the sporting is to send the message that Judeo-Christian values, long held in high regard, are now to be marginalized. Ponder the steeples historically in cities, towns, villages, and across landscapes. Steeples—symbols speaking volumes, pointing upward to the ‘God in whom we Trust’.
When the thinking and attitude has become that we, the human family, knows what is best for this family and for our world, may we understand such purported ‘progressivism’ has spiraled retrogressively back to that moment in Eden when the first human couple expressed the same response and spirit to their Creator?
Our times have been vividly portrayed in the Word of God.
The ancient sacred writings of Scripture paint an amazingly accurate picture of the times we find ourselves in these days, in “the last days”, don’t you think?
Just listen to 2 Tim 3:1-5, TLV:
But understand this, that in the last days hard times will come – for people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, hardhearted, unforgiving, backbiting, without self-control, brutal, hating what is good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to an outward form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid those people!
Sound familiar? How closely does this describe what you’re hearing on the news every day now?
In case you haven’t noticed, it seems the rules have changed.
For years now, the elitist globalists have been aggressively rewriting the rulebooks – in government, in education systems, in the movie industries, in the media networks, in the marketplace, and even in churches. And now their agenda has become clear: pursuing Alinski doctrine, they seek to turn everything on its head, so that they can implement their world-power rulebook. They want to make good seem evil and evil seem good; turn truth to lies and lies to truth; bring light to darkness and darkness into the light.
It was the spring of 2015. We had served 11 years out of our home country, returning from missionary service in Africa for itineration, conferences, and vacations every 1 ½ to 2 years during that period. On that return trip from Africa in May 2015, we had occasion to spend several days in Israel. While there we spent time with the pastor of a mega church in the US who was on tour in Israel, one who stays closely attuned to current events and who engages analysis of the significance of those events. In clear statement, he confirmed what we had been sensing as we returned the last several times to our homeland.
He shared that forces are at work that are opposed to God’s agenda and His ways. In fact, he noted that after his 30+ years of ministry, evil is exponentially on the rise, in ways he has never seen before. His perspective was that if the agenda continued to be pressed to this degree, authentic Christ followers may have some serious decisions to make.
The Judeo-Christian values that made America a beacon of light are now under all-out attack. Yes, the soul of this nation has been tampered with. The floodgates have been opened; the tides of spiritual and moral relativity are now swirling and exponentially rising.
The nation has become ‘un-anchored’. Moral and spiritual truth are now subjected to human reasoning. “In God we Trust” is still on the currency. Clearly, however, in numbers of society’s sectors God’s Word is no longer respected. Despite the moto on the currency, God has been shoved. Now at sea, where will the nation drift? What will be its final destination?
Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people (Prov. 14:34, NASB).
Balance. So elusive.
“To be right with God has often meant to be in trouble with men.”
A church leader, mentor, used to say “Balance is a most elusive commodity.”
Well . . . in today’s headwind it’s a full-time job to try to keep your balance. You know what we’re saying? !
As we try to process this matter of balance, for us, spiritual basics as our standard of truth must remain a part of the equation. If we allow our devotion to Christ and His Word to cool; if we allow a spiritual fatigue to overcome real spiritual issues that require intentional vigilance and energy—the enemy of authentic spiritual life in Christ will shove us to his side. May we be frank? We don’t like what we see as his intention, nor do we like to consider the further reaches of what could too easily be the very wrong destination.
We get a sense that these are times when the enemy has found clever ways to play upon the thinking of believers. This we know: the enemy has a mega agenda—to sabotage the work of Christ in our world! This mega agenda, this overarching ‘meta-narrative’, of course, plays out in an infinite variety of micro narratives. When these stories serve the enemy’s overarching objective, any of the effective in-life ‘micros’ bring him gleeful delight.
It seems the enemy is using various pressure tactics these days.
Thus, these tendencies:
- to lower respect for the holy Scriptures as God’s authoritative guide for salvation, for spiritual formation, for the navigation of the holy life through the minefields of sin, corruption, evil—and yes, including the systemic evil of this world’s societies
- to press Christ followers to settle for life at lower levels, to diminish God’s vision and His grace that empowers spiritual victory
- to press authentic believers to allow the ‘cares of this life’, the pace, stresses, and technology of our age, to steal deep meaning from our walk with our Creator, our Father
- to push pastors and other believers to excuse sin, to euphemize it, to air brush it with the ‘O, I’m sure my heavenly Father understands’ kind of thinking—a diminishing of who God is, of the holiness of His nature, of His clear call to the human family in the holy Scriptures
- to diminish Christian faith in our world, with that faith’s profound meaning and significance. When the Son of Man comes will he find faith on the earth? (Luke 18:8).
Our attempt is to contemplate balance regarding the big picture of truth.
So we cry out with the Psalmist: When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do? (Psalm 11:3, NIV)
Like the Psalmist, we anchor to the words of our Father! We take refuge in our Lord, the “God of truth” (Psalm 31:6).
As we relate to daily life in our uncertain and tumultuous times, we need to anchor and nurture our faith in the Creator-Sustainer-Redeemer.
The true church is composed of authentic, transformed Christ followers. The gospel, the Good News is powerful! It brings wholeness where there was sin sickness. Thus, it needs no apology—as though someway we’re embarrassed—for its incredible healing power! So long as our human family wrestles this sin sickness, this Grand News will beam forth its brilliant transforming rays, undimmed by enemy powers!
So, we share in this blog reflections of what helps us anchor to a much larger picture as we strive to make meaning of truth, to maintain balance in our day-to-day, hour-to-hour life trek.
Of course, depending on your perspective, you may find our writings, or parts of them, out of balance. Sorry about that!
But, as we navigate life, this blog is an exercise for us in expressing a captivating vision that for us, brings significance in our quest for spiritual equilibrium in our tumultuous times. We hope it aids you in your spiritual journey as well.
Come along as we trek the journey together!
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Lisa Cherry. Like a Flood (Sapulpa, OK: Honor Net, 2016), p. 27.
 Saul D. Alinski, Rules for Radicals: A Practical Primer for Realistic Radicals (Vintage, 1989).
 A. W. Tozer. Man: The Dwelling Place of God (Blacksburg, VA: Wilder Publications, 2009).