"The church has lost her testimony. She has no longer anything to say to the world. Her once robust shout of assurance has faded away to an apologetic whisper. She who one time went out to declare now goes out to inquire. Her dogmatic declaration has become a respectful suggestion, a word of religious advice, given with the understanding that it is after all only an opinion and not meant to sound bigoted."
In the first chapter of the Book of Romans, the apostle Paul describes for us what a culture/society will look like when it “[does]not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God” (v.28).
“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
“ For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.
“Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.” (Romans 1: 18-25)
Paul’s description is not pretty, but it accurately depicts the current condition of the “advanced”, post-modern west.
In a cultural or societal context, the process of “not retaining the knowledge of God” does not happen overnight, of course. Societies sleepwalk their way backwards into that particular mindset over long periods of time….a generation, or two, or three, or four….always imagining (blindly) that it is making “progress” when, in fact, it is sliding back into paganism.
The “apologetic whisper” that A.W. Tozer noted (see quote above) a couple of generations ago has evolved today into a blithely accommodating, cowering silence. The cultural fallout from this silence has become painfully and increasingly evident.
If it weren’t for the magnificent grace and righteousness of God demonstrated and proclaimed through the gospel testimony and promises of Scripture, one might be persuaded to be quite hopelessly depressed these days…..
Praise God for his glorious and righteous plan of Redemption, Forgiveness and Grace through the revelation of Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, dead, buried and resurrected. (See Romans 3: 21-26 below for the “good news” details)
“ But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.”
Yes, the world now is corrupt, dying, broken, and prone to wander, but it will not always be so.
Joy to the world!
See the Writing on the Wall
Hear the New Age gospel spouted,
Preaching “All you need is love!”
Watch the push for “Touchy-Feely”,
Not the Truth from God above.
Watch the darkness now descending,
Watch the spirit-toxin spread….
Watch the current fascination
With the ghoulish and the dead.
Watch God’s wrath now find expression,
Watch his judgment be defined,
Watch as man is “given over”
To the reprobating mind.
See the babies in the dumpster,
See the children disengaged…
Watch as lawlessness progresses,
See the fatherless enraged.
Watch as pointlessness finds favor,
Watch pornea taking hold,
Watch as nihilism triumphs,
Then watch boredom take its toll.
Watch the Hollywood illusion
Set the standard for today…
Watch demonic strong delusion
Seek the young, it’s precious prey.
Watch then sex become unbridled,
Watch the nation follow lies…,
Watch confusion in profusion… ,
Natural order be despised.
Watch the sinful nature blossom,
Watch the Truth not be proclaimed,
Watch the rebel self-destruction,
Watch the devil play his game.
Watch true Hope and reason vanish,
Watch the shooters now increase,
Watch Pandora’s Box flung open,
Watch the chaos swallow peace.
Watch the church diminish scripture,
Watch as no one hears the Call…
Watch the Body slowly scatter,
See the writing on the wall.
Watch the lukewarm getting cooler,
Watch the light grow strangely dim,
Watch the gospel compromisers,
Now avoid all talk of sin.
Watch the preachers say “What happened!?”
Watch the culture as it rots….
Watch the Ichabod-Confusion ….
Watch no one connect the dots.
Watch the Scriptures find fulfillment,
Watch prophetic Word unfold….
Hear the Holy Spirit’s message
Of Messiah long foretold.
Help us see, Lord, in the darkness,
We can sense it everywhere!
Help us see the Pride that blinds us…
In this Kingdom of the Air.
Give us Grace to name the darkness,
Help us see it, Lord, within!
Help us, Father, to see Jesus,
So we may be born again.
Take us to the foot of Calv’ry,
And there help us know our plight….
Help us turn in true repentance,
When, dear God, we see the Light.
“[T]he people living in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
a light has dawned.” (Matthew 4: 16)