Monday, May 23, 2005

Christian Leaders Continue Defending Truth As Culture War Wages On

COMMENTARY by Ed Nicholson

Anything goes in our ever-increasing, relativistic culture. If the death of Terri Schiavo wasn’t a telling sign, we can see that the culture war is far from being over. The November elections did not end the culture war, they only brought a reprieve, or an opportunity for the Church to recommit, re-group, and re-focus our efforts at holding back the advance of darkness while waging our own offensives. What we do after the election is just as important as what the Church did on Election Day. The next few years will most likely determine whether our society and our children’s society experience a tide of revival or a spiritual slide further into the mud of moral decay.

We probably can see no better example of the intensity of this threat than in the “hate crimes” legislation that persistently tries to make it’s way into American law. This insidious ideology has been instituted in other countries like Australia. Canada enacted their own version of this legislation in 2004, which now makes it a crime to read Romans Chapter 1 in a public forum – including in church services! Through what is called C-250, this law not only tells Canadians how they must feel, but it makes it a crime to think a certain way. Can you believe it! Some actually believe that government is capable at judging hearts and knowing one’s motivations. Give me a break! I thought only God had that gift! This scary legislation is now at America’s front door. After nearly 20 years of trying to get similar “hate crimes” legislation through Congress, liberals like Ted Kennedy have never been closer.

In response to the downward moral spiral of our country today, evangelical leaders of all stripes and perspectives are coming together and saying “Enough is enough!” Many have made significant decisions in their respective ministries to encourage Christians everywhere to “Be Silent No More.” In his newest book by the same title, Charismatic leader Rod Parsley, pastor of World Harvest Church in Columbus, Ohio, urges believers to engage in the marketplace of ideas and public policy. For this reason, he has started The Center for Moral Clarity, which “exists to affect moral change in our nation by encouraging passionate and persuasive Christian leadership, educating Christians, mobilizing believers in an organized fashion and by providing a wide-range of tools needed to equip everyone . . . to be a voice in our nation.”

Due to the increasing threats to the family, Dr. James Dobson has decided to make a bold, new move with his mega-ministry as well. While maintaining his Chairmanship on the board of Focus on the Family, he decided in 2003 to step down as CEO to focus more of his time and attention at defending the family in the public arena through the newly created Political Action Committee known as Focus on the Family Action. (Here’s his April newsletter about Life, Death and Judicial Tyranny.)

Within the Conservative Evangelical community, we also find up-and-rising stars like Greg Koukl, who are making inroads encouraging Christians to not only be “light,” but “salt”(Matthew 5:13-16). As President of Stand to Reason, Koukl has devoted his ministry to helping Christian think more clearly about issues of moral, social, and religious significance. The scope of his ministry is specifically aimed at “equipping Christians in three vital areas: Knowledge, Wisdom, and Character.” Recently, he debated the kingpin of New Age gurus, Deepak Chopra on PAX television. You can read more about Stand to Reason at http://www.str.org/.

In the 17th century, the Church in Europe fell asleep. The result was the ushering in of the “Enlightment” period. The Enlightment Period set the stage for Charles Darwin, who later deeply influenced Joseph Stalin, who later killed millions of his own people.

With the emergence of a new nation in the midst of a different kind of war, Thomas Paine wrote in 1777: “It is not a field of a few acres of ground, but a cause, that we are defending, and whether we defeat the enemy in one battle, or by degrees, the consequences will be the same.” Americans today are facing a similar challenge, and a similar crossroad of personal – as well as corporate – decision-making. The question is, are we going to stand and take action, or are we going to go back to bed? Collectively, as the Church, we will decide what will be our legacy.

Please join with other believers to do our part in influencing those in our centers of influence with the Truth and the redeeming work of Jesus Christ.

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