If you haven’t noticed the world for the most part seems to be in chaos, well maybe more than usual. The pandemic acted as a trigger for many things. God has a way of doing that and if we look back into the Bible and history in general, we see this pattern over and over. God only allows our sin to go so far and he has to reign it in in a multitude of ways.
“You sweep them away as with a flood; they are like a dream, like grass that is renewed in the morning: 6 in the morning it flourishes and is renewed; in the evening it fades and withers.” Psalm 90:5-6
Futility means things fall apart and continue to fall apart. What begins fresh, new, and thrilling in the morning of our lives fades and withers in its evening. Futility entered the world with sin.
We fight futility every moment of everyday. Evil and disorder relentlessly cause problems and suffering in your life. People die, families fall apart, churches break up, love is betrayed, revivals dissolve, revolutions devolve into corrupt establishments, and universities founded to preserve Christian orthodoxy decline into institutions of godlessness.
We are the object and the subject of futility. We live under its governance. But God has made futility to serve us.
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. Isaiah 55:8
God uses death for life.
14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong … Hebrews 2:14-15.
Foolish things are made to shame the wise.
27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 1 Corinthians 1:27
God uses humility to exalt us.
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 1 Peter 5:6.
God uses poverty to bring about riches.
9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. 1 Corinthians 8:9
For God, the point is hope. Which is very strange. Futility and hope are not friends. The former tends to kill the latter. Humans can’t make them both be true at the same time. But God can.
For us Christians in the West today, the most dominant worldview (aside from Christianity) is a fundamentally nonreligious one. Our nation is constitutionally constructed to allow a plurality of worldviews, which, generally is a good thing. Metaphysical naturalism (denial of the supernatural) has become an easy default in a world dominated by human science. This acceptance of this worldview is largely due to inferences taken from discoveries in various scientific fields, most notably Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection. Today the debate has centered on the very existence of the supernatural realm. As a result many of us feel inadequate to the task of defending or explaining our faith.
A lack of direction seems to be a big problem in Christianity and Churches today. Every day there seems to be a new issue that confronts Christians. You read a blog or watch the news or hear a sermon and a new ‘enemy’ has been identified with a new cause to fight. The result is we can’t make up our minds, we are overwhelmed and often just give up. Do we listen to the progressives who can adapt and change – or the conservatives who remain faithful to the old way?
The Apostle John wrote to a congregation in Laodicea, Turkey: “Because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth! For you say, ‘I am rich; I have prospered and grown wealthy, and I need nothing.’ And you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind and naked.”
Many groups have positioned themselves like the New Atheists. LBGQ, and more recently White Supremacists, Neo-Nazis, Qanon to name but a few. They have all become more strategic in championing/promoting their godless worldview and with the pervasiveness of the internet and the rise of expressive individualism and moral relativism truth has become strictly subjective.
The increasing reluctance of Christians to engage in faith-oriented conversations becomes extremely important. The question we must ask ourselves is why we won’t discuss our faith, our Lord, the Gospel?? Why would any of us as Christian’s be reticent about living and sharing our faith in Jesus Christ? Could it be because neither the Word nor the Lord is real to us? Could that be the doctrines or lack of doctrines presented to most Christians is illogical, contradictory, confusing, boring or unmotivating? Could our neglect of scripture, our resulting biblical illiteracy have made us incapable of defending the faith?
Be honest and reflect on your life as a Christian. What do you need to change, to repent of, do different? Now is the time, life is short. We must make choices in what we believe and how we live the Christian life. Christianity is about doing the right thing. Honesty in people, even Christians is something very difficult to find in our culture today. There is a crisis due to a breakdown of trust. Who do people trust? Politicians? Banks? Churches? Adults? Police? Scientists? As Christians we need to return to the basics and live Christ-like lives that build trust and point individuals to our Lord and Savior.
Why should non-Christians trust Christ if we do not live loving, humble, obedient, self-sacrificing lives in the way Christ did?
The world, the flesh and the devil has infiltrated many churches like the hate messages of Westboro Baptist Church for example. Sexual scandals that have rocked the Catholic church and across the board like the recent revelations concerning the late Ravi Zacharias. The result of years of this bad publicity I that the influence of Christianity on culture and individual lives has become largely invisible. The reality is Christianity has added more value to American culture than any other religion, philosophy, ideology, or community. The irony here is contemporary Americans find it difficult to identify any specific value Christianity has added to their lives.
In a time in history where image is construed as reality, life-changing decisions are made on the basis of such images and fallacies the church is in desperate need of a more positive image and understanding. To get back to the basics of our faith the church must worry less about visions, plans, strategies, the latest trends in new teachings, authors, bands, missions, buildings, teams, etc. Our call has always been to be the feet, heart, hands, voice, and compassion of the Body of Christ. You don’t need a degree in Theology or missions to witness and spread the good news, just be yourself. Each one of us is at a different place in our faith and life story. And none of us know it all. Be genuine, even if you say I don’t know a whole lot, but this is what I know, let’s talk about it.
So then where are you in your daily faith, your daily relationship with Christ? He is a person, so is the Holy Spirit. Do you talk to them every day? Do you without fail find a way to read some scripture, pray, confess your sins, work on repentance. Do you the live out your faith at work, at home on social media? Only the Lord Jesus can really touch your heart to a degree that your love for him makes you a ‘slave’ to him and allow you to articulate his faith such that others can believe. What are you waiting for seek Him and ask Him to show you what you’re supposed to do? The underlying power of Christianity for believers has always been a one-on-one relationship with the Creator of the Universe. God has said to us repeatedly “Be still and know that I am God”. Then stop, slow down, listen for direction. Be reflective on your life perhaps the biggest problem is too few of us are listening to Him!
But you see God did not intend for you to be able to dismantle someone else’s worldview. Peter said, “Always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you” 1 Peter 3:15. He meant we all should be ready to explain our hope, that is all, nothing fancy or extensive. Christianity always sounds like “folly” to unbelievers (1 Corinthians 1:18). God designed it that way as He has chosen “what is foolish in the world to shame (those who believe they are) wise” (1 Corinthians 1:27). Metaphysical naturalists, Atheists and others will call us unrealistic. The reality is Christianity is rich in precisely what metaphysical naturalism and Atheism is bankrupt of: Hope! This can and should give us courage as we confess our belief in God the Father, Creator of heaven and earth. So be ready when someone asks us to explain our faith, we can be prepared to offer them what they most need in life: The God of Hope.