While You Were Sleeping…May 11, 2016
Almost five years ago, I wrote this column urging Bible-believing Christians to wake up to the reality of living as exiles within one of America’s largest mainline denominations, the Presbyterian Church (USA). Today, the call is culture wide. As Christians, we need to be awake to the reality of the culture we are living in — not what we dream of or even hope is true, but the reality of what actually is.
Before we can engage in the cultural conversations of the day, we need to step back from the latest drive by news and gain perspective on the underlying issues. On the surface is the current debate centering around gender identity and sexual orientation legislation; beneath is the badly eroded foundation of ideas. This is about much more than who-uses-which-bathroom. It is about a clash of worldviews and it’s time that Christians awoke to the reality that the culture does not reflect, or support, the Christian worldview.
You may not know or care about what has happened within the Presbyterian Church USA or the Episcopal Church or the Evangelical Lutherans Church or the UCC. But when we look at today’s”bathroom debates” and the redefinition of the very concept of gender, history not only repeats itself– it builds upon itself. Indeed, as goes the mainline so goes the culture.
Consider what I mentioned five years ago had happened in mainline Christian denominations in this country:
- Supernaturalism yielded to naturalism producing a skepticism that replaced faith. The church adapted by abandoning the exclusive veracity of the Gospel, diluting the message and delivering it through means designed to make the church “more culturally relevant.”
- Divine revelation was exchanged for human speculation. The church adapted by abandoning the authority of Scripture and its historic interpretation. God was “re-imagined;” Christ was reduced to an idea; and the church was robbed of her primary calling of evangelism and discipleship.
- Kingdom callings gave way to progressive socialist kingdom agendas. The church adapted by setting aside her Biblical view of history and her genuinely prophetic message for politically correct social engineering and a “progressive view” of history. Along the way she yielded her place of sacrificial service to governments guided not by God but by utilitarianism.
So for all Christians who feel as though they have woken up to find their country turned upside down overnight, here’s the news flash: it hasn’t happened overnight. This clash of worldviews has been brewing for a long time. It has been happening in our colleges and universities, in the media and entertainment industries, in the courts, and yes, in the pulpits of some of our nation’s longest-standing churches.
Now, the question is what will you do about it? The first step is waking up. We cannot address the situation if we are asleep to it. The culture shifted so far, so fast right under our noses. Look beyond the headlines and below the surface and consider what is actually happening.
In the story of Rip Van Winkle, a well-loved, joyful, albeit lazy and unproductive villager literally sleeps through the American Revolution. He unwittingly follows the lead of a spirit and drinks in the tonic of those who are quite literally dead in their sins.
He sleeps through the war. He sleeps through the growth of his children. He sleeps through the death of his wife and his friends. Twenty years later, when he finally awakes, Rip Van Winkle is understandably disoriented. His proclamation of loyalty to the King gets him into trouble since America now bows not to King George III but to George Washington. Rip walks around in a fog, unable to reorient himself to the new reality.
Wake up friends. You’ve slept through the American moral revolution. Our proclamation of loyalty to the King of kings gets us into trouble since America now has her own idols. Some Christians are walking around in a fog and others are still slumbering.
On Tuesday, Carmen spoke about this topic on The Reconnect. Listen here: