“I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”
(2 Timothy 4:1-5)
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, reported last week that Barronelle Stutzman, owner and sole proprietor of Arlene’s flowers in Washington State, is in the process of losing her business and her home in her unwillingness to conform to the recent changes to marriage in America. She declined to make arrangements for a same-sex wedding, and has been in this legal fight for almost two years, just for exercising her First Amendment rights.
Now, the Washington Attorney General’s office backing their case, is going forward to not only close her business, but also to take her home and everything she owns in order to pay the same-sex couples’ legal fees. Some are saying they intend to leave her homeless unless she complies.
How are we to respond to these changing times in America? How are we to exercise our faith in a society and culture now openly hostile to the Christian faith? I say we must do two things: “contend for the faith once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3); and take wise counsel from a brilliant mind, namely Francis Schaeffer. In The Great Evangelical Disaster, his last book, written as he was dying from cancer, pleads with the evangelicals of his day. Schaeffer writes:
“We must ask where we as evangelicals have been in the battle for truth & morality in our culture. Have we as evangelicals been on the front lines contending for the faith & confronting the moral breakdown over the last 40 to 60 years?…Most of the evangelical world has not been active in the battle, or even been able to see that we are in a battle. When it comes to the issues of the day, the evangelical world most often has said nothing; or worse, has said nothing different from what the world would say.
Where is the clear voice speaking to the clear issues of the day with distinctively biblical, Christian answers? With tears we must say it is not there, & a large segment of the evangelical world has been seduced by the world’s spirit of this present age.
Here is the great evangelical disaster␣the failure of the evangelical world to stand for truth as truth.
And more than this, we can expect the future to be a further disaster if the evangelical world does not take a stand for biblical truth and morality in the full spectrum of life. This is not the exaggerated & gloomy view of a depressed mind.
Who would have imagined that promiscuity, adultery, and divorce would reach such proportions as to be an uncontrollable tide sweeping away all the norms which were once so widely accepted in this country?
Who could have believed that any church, calling itself Christian, would have received into membership any who were openly, even militantly, involved in homosexual practices or that such churches would ordain these people to positions of leadership?
Who would have believed that this generation would seriously consider the destruction of children, before or soon after birth, because they were known to be handicapped or that euthanasia would become a polite word to describe the murder of the incurably ill and the helpless elderly?
Evangelicals today are facing a watershed moment concerning the nature of biblical inspiration & authority. It is not surprising that the world exhibits a growing lack of respect for all lawful authority when the church is refusing to recognize the absolute authority of God and the final authority of His Word in all matters on which it speaks, both moral and spiritual.”
This is clearly an “out of season” time. We must pray, pray, pray! And we must be clear, loving, and we must speak with biblical conviction in the days ahead! After all, our King has spoken and He has acted on our behalf! We win! So, let’s take our stand with Him!