Ultimately, without God nothing matters and nothing has meaning. As a race, we are on a trajectory of moving away from God.
In the West, so-called modern rational thinking has caused us to delete God and the Bible from our moral equations. Whether in science or archeology, or any other field, we have clung to whatever theory subscribes less to the facts contained in the Bible. In the East, we have clung to our three million gods, pet theories and mysticisms without the pain of having to explain a thing. Scientific temper is relegated to a mention or two by some rationalists in speeches once in a blue moon. Yet another of our great religions moves ahead in great strength driven by misguided zealots on a road cleared by misplaced political correctness and sheer fear. The sum and total of all our collective actions has placed us, as mentioned earlier, on a path moving away from the God of the Bible.
In a world of ever increasing chaos and moral entropy, God calls His chosen ones to hold aloft His standard in the world. In the old times, Jews were given the law and were expected to hold to that moral standard as lights in the world. As long as they adhered to the law and feared God, they were supreme among the nations. Whenever they lost that focus, which was repeatedly, they suffered under the hand of their enemies. But when they returned as a people to the Lord, their cries were heard and they were given the opportunity of upholding God’s moral standard again. Israel proved unfaithful again and again and again until God sent the Lord Jesus into the world.
The old order changed and the Lord Jesus now called for Christians to be a preservative, like salt slows down decay in a piece of meat.
In an ever-darkening world, the Lord called for His disciples to be lights. Even in the first century that process of moral decay had begun; it was a time when the New Testament declared that the spirit of the antichrist had already come. In the centuries that followed, Christendom has, however imperfectly, done much to brake earth’s headlong plunge towards moral destruction. Every land that welcomed Christianity moved instead towards reason, health, culture, and truth.
I can think of the dear country of my birth. Christianity came to India in its fullest sense between the 18th and 19th centuries by the prayers and gifts of many and spearheaded by the efforts of men like Ziegenbalg, Carey, Schwartz and many many others. Their coming was not because of the British and other foreign powers in the subcontinent, but rather in spite of them.
With sickly Ziegenbalg also came the first printing press to India. With him too came the first moves against caste divides. With Carey, the poor shoemaker with a wife who was broken by the stress of the mission, came the abolition of Sati in India and the ban on babies being thrown into the Ganges. These missionaries came in love and at great personal cost for the sake of the gospel. And with the advent of Christianity in India, we dared to think beyond caste lines, became monogamous, let our young widows live, educated our girls, and grew in moral stature as a nation. Of course, we soon forgot how we got to this stage.
My new country of New Zealand has moved away from its Christian heritage that is still evidenced in the gentleness of the people here. But today this beautiful country has moved away from Christian principles. If the face of the family is changing in the US, it has already changed in New Zealand. I fear that when the Bible is not given its due place, the country degenerates. Prostitution is legal in New Zealand, marriage is a quaint old custom, and it is an offense to smack one’s child to correct or punish.
In this world where the word has been preached even to the farthest reaches, and only a few tiny patches may remain where the light of the gospel has not penetrated, the light of the gospel is slowly growing alarmingly dim everywhere. Like meat in the heat of summer, moral values are fast decaying. Perhaps it is the beginning of the end. Of course, it is possible that we will see yet another great reformation. But it could be the beginning of the end.
Believers everywhere must be the salt and light that they have been called to be. You in your small corner and I in mine. We must each act as little brakes in this time of moral decline.
A special role is played by American Christians. They can slow down the speed of decline in that nation. If the US becomes morally barren, the rest of the world will follow in double-quick time. I have often wondered how even conservative churches in the US have fairly large congregations, when in most other parts of the world, the numbers of believers have dwindled. Yet, like with Queen Esther, who knows whether this privilege has been given them for such a time as this, to slow down the speed of moral decline in the US and therefore in the rest of the world.
America’s influence in the world is vitally important. American debates on abortion, stem-cell research, homosexuality, and evolution have been observed by the world. If not for America’s conservative Christians, the world would have gone far ahead in its self-destructive path without braking. But for now, a sizable number in the world’s super power stand responsibly and resolutely true. They must hold the beacon while we littler ones do our bit in our small corners as well.
Stand up, stand up for Jesus,
The trumpet call obey;
Forth to the mighty conflict
In this His glorious day.
Ye that are brave now serve Him
Against unnumbered foes;
Let courage rise with danger,
And strength to strength oppose.
George Duffield, Jr.