“This was evil’s hour: we could not run away from it. Perhaps only when human effort had done its best and failed, would God’s power alone be free to work.” -Corrie Ten Boom ‘The Hiding Place’
Since homeschooling my son this last year, we begin each day with The Pledge of Allegiance. In the pledge we recite “one nation under God” and we talk about justice and liberty for all. Unfortunately this isn’t true in today’s America. We have taken God out of our schools, businesses, homes and in some cases, our churches, replacing God with government instead. Justice and liberty are terms twisted to define them as we see fit instead of submitting to the Lord’s definition. The results are playing out in real time with homosexuality and transgenderism not just to be tolerated, but as something which must be applauded by all with the Equality Act Biden is pushing through Congress.
Under the Equality Act, LBGTQ “history” will be taught in public schools, men who identify as women have access to girls lockers rooms and restrooms, doctors will be forced to perform sex operations even for minors without parental consent, gender identity will become part of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and those seeking religious exemption will no longer be protected under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993. Christian business owners or anyone with a moral conviction on these issues will have no choice but to provide services or hire individuals that are practicing homosexuals or transgender. On the surface this seems mostly like matters that won’t affect us personally, but the tentacles are far reaching in its effects. For example, should a Christian baker make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple even though this goes against God’s command of what marriage is? If the baker or florist or minister even, refuses to comply, they are no longer protected by any sort of religious exemption. Pastors will not be allowed to uphold God’s Word and speak against these issues. Your convictions are now obsolete and even criminal.
Or what if a man who decides he’d like to be a female goes into a salon spa and requests a bikini wax? This is gross but not unlikely since this is where we are today in putting blinders over our eyes in biology. The woman who is forced to give the bikini wax to a confused man pretending to be a girl is victimized in this case. It is interesting that the Democratic party celebrating the #MeToo movement, and has been the face of feminism since the 1960s now decides they will no longer protect women. Women’s sports are at an unfair advantage as transgender men seek to compete against females and will dominate since biologically speaking, men are stronger then women in most cases. We are sexualizing our children by allowing them to choose their own gender, teaching them in public schools that their biological sex can be disregarded, aiding even more gender dysphoria. But none of this matters to the Left. Tolerance is an antiquated word from their past which must embarrass them in 2021. Truthfully, it was only a gateway word for demanding acceptance to their ideology anyway.
Even though the current times should grieve Christians, it can also be a time to praise God. The next few years will bring even more clarity, contrasting true believers from the unbelieving. One good thing that can come from the rise of a new pagan political religion is the middle of the road, lukewarm, cultural Christianity will evaporate. This will be one less deceptive tool used to lull souls into spiritual dormancy. Our post-Christian nation is a time for God’s people to persevere in His strength and wisdom. We have ample opportunity to proclaim the gospel with our lives and words. Lately it seems to be a radical act just by going to church in person! Believers can no longer afford to be passive, convinced this is the same as gentleness. This is an error that must be corrected. It is not sinful to call out sin- Jesus did this, as did John the Baptist and also Peter (Matthew 23; Matthew 3:1-12; Acts 2:36-41). Speaking against lies and sin, is an act of mercy as the goal is to cause the individual or group in sin to be confronted with their sinfulness, repent and turn to Christ. The difference is in how we say God’s commands are good, His mercy is enough to cover even the most vile sinner, and God’s grace abounds. Uncompromising Christians will need to be the standard. We show others the redeeming work of Christ in our own lives, calling the lost to repent of their sin and turn to Jesus.
As Romans 1 plays out before us, Christians must also examine our part in how we got here as a nation. This is a spiritual battle manifested in the political sphere. Whenever the news is distressing we need to remember this. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of the dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12). Yet we must also repent of our own spiritual complacency, apathy, fear of man, lack of courage, or plain ignorance in how to communicate eternal truths.
In Daniel 9:1-19, Daniel learns the judgment against Israel would last seventy years through reading Jeremiah’s prophecy (Jeremiah 25:11). He immediately goes into prayer. There are 3 things to notice in his prayer- Daniel’s prayer consist of adoration, confession and petition. The chunk of his prayer is confession- his own sin and for the nation of Israel. It is a helpful template for how we can repent and pray for these times.
Christian, we do not have to lie down and fold our hands. We mustn’t fall asleep. God’s Sovereignty works with man’s will, not excusing man from his responsibilities. We need personal and national repentance from our complacency and rebellion. In John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress there is man named Honesty. Mr. Greatheart is the guide for Christiana and her sons, and they meet Honesty on their pilgrim journey:
“Soon they came to a large oak tree, and saw under it an old pilgrim fast asleep. They knew he was a pilgrim by his clothes and his staff. Mr. Greatheart awoke him. At first he was frightened, and asked, “Who are you? What do you want? What is your business?”
Greatheart: Calm yourself, my good man, we are all your friends. (The old man’s name was Honesty.) My name is Greatheart; I am the guide of these pilgrims who are going to the Celestial Country.
Honesty: I beg your pardon. I was afraid you might be of the gang who sometime back robbed Little-Faith of his money; but now I know you are honest people.
Greatheart: Why, what could you have done if we had been robbers?
Honesty: Done? Why, I would have fought like a tiger, as long as I had any breath. And had I done so, I am sure you never could have conquered me, for a pilgrim can never be defeated unless he yields himself.
Greatheart: Well said, my brother, now I know you are a good soldier.
Honesty: And by this I know you are informed as to what a true pilgrim is, for all others think that we are the easiest to overcome of any.”
Understanding sin, the freedom of the Gospel of peace, and the realities of spiritual warfare should make us a people of prayer. We don’t wish to see any perish into eternal Hell. So the answer is to examine our own hearts, repent, and stand firm in the truth we know without fear of being canceled, villainized or even criminalized. God’s truth will stand no matter if we decide to uphold it or not. This is the beautiful call we have as believers. Show Christ to the world even if it costs us everything.
“Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil of comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” (Ephesians 6:13)
Grace upon grace,