Moving the Goal Line By Bill Perkins Imagine if a football team drove 99 yards…
Should Christians Speak Out Against the Secular Culture?
By Dr. David Reagan
Tim Wildmon, the president of the American Family Association (AFA), is an expert on this topic, and he speaks from a biblical viewpoint. His father, Don Wildmon, founded the AFA back in the 1970s. This organization is on the front lines of the cultural battle in America today.
To show you how much our nation has changed in the past 40 years, the AFA was celebrated at its beginning as a great defender of traditional, biblical family values. But, today, it has been labeled a hate ministry for defending such values.
Tim Wildmon makes the case in the article below and this week on Christ in Prophecy that any nation which calls evil “good” and good “evil” is courting the judgment of God. You will find those words in Isaiah 5:20. In fact, if you want to find a biblical description of modern-day America, read all of Isaiah 5 and you will notice how the sins Isaiah lists are the sins of our nation today: greed, injustice, pleasure seeking, blasphemy, moral perversion, intellectual pride, intemperance, and political corruption.
Isaiah, gives the reason for the sins in verse 24 where he says, “For they have rejected the law of the Lord of hosts, and have despised the Word of the Holy One of Israel.” That is our nation today! We are in the process of rejecting God and His Word.
No More Ignorant Christians
Tim Wildmon: We don’t need no more ignorant Christians. Amen? We don’t need no more ignorant Christians. My apologies to you English teachers out there. But, we don’t.
I saw a survey the other day. Some 10% of Christians thought Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife! We have a lot of biblical illiteracy out there in our churches, don’t we? It’s a serious problem, more so now than it’s ever been in our country among Christians.
We also have in the general population ignorance running rampant about our responsibility as citizens, about the Constitution, and our nation’s history. We have a serious problem in our country about what makes us the United States of America.
Nevertheless, as Christians we have hope. We know that God is working in the world today. We know that soon, and very soon, we will be with Jesus Christ in Heaven. There will be a New Heaven and a New Earth, but until then, Jesus teaches us to occupy.
I believe our country is worth saving. It’s worth preserving. I know we’ve got serious problems, and we all see that. But, we can’t give up. We can’t quit. If we do quit, one day I’m going to have to write a book called Nowhere Else to Sail To. Am I right?
We’re taking our stand here. We are either going to win, or we are going to go down in a blaze of glory. What we’re going to do right here in this country is fight for Jesus Christ and for Christianity!
American Christians are facing serious problems both from without and within. We know what’s going on from without. It’s Secular Liberalism, or Secular Humanism, also known as Progressivism. It goes under different names. My father and others started speaking on this problem in the 1970’s, but the movement of Secular Humanism started way before that. That is kind of when it began to manifest itself publicly, with the breakdown of moral values in our country. The moral changes to our country have been dramatic. I’m talking about values, and decency, and those kinds of things that used to be unquestionable in our culture.
Remember Ricky and Lucy slept in separate beds? They slept in separate beds on television because they didn’t want to do anything which would appear inappropriate on TV for children to see, or for adults to see either, for that matter. That’s how times have truly changed.
The societal changes that have come in the last 30 or 40 years fundamentally are due to Secular Humanism, if that is what you want to call it. Politically, it is called Progressivism. This is the idea that Man is his own god. God does not hand down His moral values, but rather Man makes up his own.
Secular Humanism has become front and center in our culture. It either took the place, or it is taking the place depending on your perspective, of the Judeo-Christian worldview. The Judeo-Christian value system that our country was built on is being replaced by Secular Humanism, which is of Satan.
We are facing serious problems from within the Church as well. Many churches have helped the cause of Secular Humanism. I believe in the Devil, or Satan. Jesus did, too. Today, though, we have some of our fellow Christians who are casting doubt by teaching there is no Satan. I don’t even know if they are Christians, but just to be generous here. They don’t teach that Satan even exists! I think this in and of itself is satanic.
Secular Humanism is from Satan because it teaches the idea that Man is their own god and makes his own rules about what is right or wrong.
You see, sadly, what has happened in some of our mainline church denominations over the last few decades since Secular Humanism has gotten into our pulpits, into our seminaries, and into some of the training places for pastors. Denominations which used to be called the Mainline Protestant Denominations were very vibrant for most of our country’s history. They took their mission of evangelism and spreading the Gospel seriously.
Now their churches have left the fundamentals of the faith in many regards. The result is that mainline Protestant denominations have lost millions and millions of members in the last 25 or 30 years.
The reason? They’ve left the Gospel! After all, if your church doesn’t believe in anything anymore, how do pastors expect somebody to want to come to your church? Go golf, or fish, or stay home and watch TV instead. If you’re not going to believe and teach biblical truths that are life-changing, and you are going to water the Gospel down to “all roads lead to God,” then your church is not going to stay in existence.
I’ve often wondered why a lot of these dwindling churches for self-preservation’s sake would at least step back and ponder, “We must be doing something wrong here, because we are dying. At this rate of member loss, we’re not going to have any members in 20 years.” Sadly, a lot of churches are going to become empty. The Christian community has problems.
Historically, even if a citizen wasn’t especially religious, they at least respected the Christian faith in America. That’s why we have been known as a Christian nation. In fact, in 1892, the Supreme Court of the United States said the United States is a Christian nation. We are not a theocracy, but we have been a Christian nation in the sense that the vast majority of people were Christian and our institutions reflected Christianity.
Many Christians have come to the point now where they are not going to find a doctrinally sound church in the area they’re living in. Some may be still trying to hang on and change those wayward churches. God bless you if that’s what you want to do. I got out myself, even though my Dad was a minister in one of those failing denominations, because I just couldn’t support the doctrinally unsound teaching any longer.
The other extreme are people who are conservative on doctrine. They believe in the fundamentals of the faith. They love the Lord. But, they have this idea that Christians are supposed to be separatists. They believe in getting out of the world completely by staying out and having their own little communes. I’m not talking about the Amish here. I’m talking about people who don’t want to have anything to do with politics or government. They believe in government, but they don’t believe in being involved.
These separatists will put the spiritual guilt trip on you. They’ll argue that God doesn’t care about human government. Those things are going to burn. God only cares about sharing the Gospel, so you’re wasting your time getting involved and caring about politics and government and culture.
Well, just because you’re going to die, doesn’t mean you don’t exercise! We’re all going to burn, in the sense that we are all going to die. The country is going to die one day as well. But, if the doctor tells me I’m sick, I’m going to want to do some things to preserve myself and to make myself healthier. Why can’t we apply that same principle to our country? Why must we take a defeatist or fatalistic attitude that things are inevitably going to go downhill in the next 10, 15, 20 years?
Christians should never take the attitude of disengagement. We just can’t!
This defeatist, separatist philosophy permeates about 10-20% of our brethren. They believe in disengagement from society and that politics and government are a waste of time. I’ve never understood that philosophy because we’re supposed to be Romans 13 people.
Sure, as Christian citizens we are supposed to obey the law, as long it doesn’t conflict with God’s law. Now, it may come down to that. It’s coming to that in some cases. We may have to say, “Not going to do it!” But as long as the law does not conflict with God’s law, we are supposed to be good, law-abiding citizens.
I’ve never understood this idea that we are supposed to obey the law, but leave the law making to the pagans. That just doesn’t make any sense! So, you are telling me not to waste my time being in politics and government, but to obey the law? Leave it to the unbelievers to make the laws that they tell me we’re supposed to obey? That makes no sense to me whatsoever.
Called to Engage
Christians need to be engaged in society. We need to be involved in politics. We need to understand what’s going on in government. We have to make a difference in society so that we can make a difference for God and for Christianity.
This idea that government can not save us, I know that. Who thinks government can save us? Nobody but Progressives believes that government is our savior. Government can not save us, and we need to trust in God, but we also have to live in this country. Public policy decisions that are made for us matter. If you take the attitude of being a separatist, then I have no sympathy for you when you lose your freedoms.
We have some problems within the Church itself as American Christians. Therefore, we need to challenge our people who take a non-interventional stance when it comes to being involved in society and government. We need to challenge our brothers and sisters who think disengagement is the way to go.
The moral collapse of our country can be blamed on unbelievers and believers alike. I don’t place all the blame on the Church. I know some people do. But, I think we have our own responsibility. There is no question about it. We have not been the salt and light that we were commanded to be.
There’s also a growing hostility, a spirit of the age if you want to call it that, against Jesus, Christians and Christianity. It is getting more intense and more hostile. These people are getting bolder in their attacks on Christianity. There seems to be more and more people who are godless than there are godly across the country. In that respect, we Christians have got our work cut out for us.
But, unlike the godless, Christians have a responsibility. We have a responsibility to God. Look at Hosea 4:6, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” We’re God’s people. I mentioned about ignorance inside the Church and the growing biblical illiteracy inside the Church. “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge, and because you have rejected knowledge I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, listen, I will also forget your children.”
I grew up singing an old song, “Trust and Obey.” What does God require of us? Trust Him. Obey Him. It’s not hard to understand what God requires of us. In the New Testament God says His laws are not burdensome. We can do this. God gives us the strength to obey Him, and live for Him, and trust Him. But if we don’t, and if we reject Him, and if we are disobedient, He will forget our children. Apply that as a principle. God was talking specifically to the Hebrew children right there, but I’m thinking you can apply that principle to us today.
That warning also fits in with, “Be not deceived. God is not mocked. Whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap.” And so, what we sow in our personal lives we are going to reap the consequences of it one way or another, good or bad. The same principle applies to our country. If we sow evil, we’re going to reap destruction.
It’s our job as American Christians to raise up the standard of righteousness. When we do that, guess what? We are going to be attacked. We are going to be attacked by a world that doesn’t want to hear it. How many people like to be told what to do? Told how to live? We don’t. It’s human to reject somebody telling us what to do, especially as Americans, because we have our rights, right? But, when you become a Christian, and when you submit yourself to God, you have to trust and obey. We die to ourselves. We yield our desires. We want to obey God with our lives.
Backlash Against the Banner
When we proclaim this truth, people in the world will not want to hear it, and so they are going to react with vitriol often times. They are going to react in a way that is negative. When we as Christians hold up the banner of righteousness, and we say to the world that it’s wrong to kill unborn babies, for example, then they are going to lash out at us because we are holding up the standard of God’s righteousness.
When we say Jesus is the only way to Heaven, otherwise you’re going to Hell, they do not want to hear that either. They do not want to hear that. Why? Because you made a judgment. You made an absolute moral judgment even though it’s accurate according to God’s Word. When you so that in modern-day America, you’d better be ready. The Secular Progressives, the Secular Humanists, in essence are God-haters. That’s what they are fundamentally, and so they are going to come after you.
I can speak from personal experience, believe me. The American Family Association has been deemed a hate group because of our stand on the gay and lesbian issues, and on gay marriage, and homosexuality. They stole the word gay. When you grew up, gay meant happy. It still does mean happy, but they stole the word. Rewording is part of changing the culture as well. When you start changing the language and how you describe things, people begin to think differently about them. They’re changing the language.
This is sad really, and tragic, because these folks are trapped in a lifestyle of bondage of sexual immorality that will ultimately destroy them if they don’t repent and change their ways. Love wins?
In today’s culture, if you speak out for biblical morality, then they’re going to come after you. The mainstream culture has a really hard time accepting Christian beliefs. They do not want to hear the things that God teaches about morality, and especially about sexual morality today.
Regardless of the persecution, we’ve got to continue to stand up and tell the truth in love. We’re just reciting Romans 1 about how homosexuality is unnatural, immoral, and unhealthy. So, what’s wrong with saying that? Unnatural, immoral, and unhealthy. It’s sin like any other sin in terms that it must be repented of. We all have to repent of our sins, whether we are homosexual or heterosexual, we have to repent of our sins and ask Jesus to be our Savior in order to be saved and go to Heaven.
Christians cannot partake in calling evil “good.” Period!