I’ve been reminiscing this Christmas season. Thinking back on many wonderful memories of Christmases long ago. Thinking about the pure, wholesome, biblical parts of the season that are fading away due to the corrupting influences of our modern culture.
But my heart has been lifted by gazing through volumes of art by NC Wyeth and Howard Pyle. Artists who illustrated many beautiful, heroic, and wonderful things about our early American history.
However, I’m troubled that these things are disappearing with our culture’s rejection of the good things of our past. Along with its increasing hatred for the Puritan ethic of our forefathers.
I’ve watched as good things are corrupted by a culture which chooses to celebrate Christmas as a purely secular holiday – devoid of any biblical foundation.
Choosing instead, to create something that appeals to all people. Without regard for the necessity of exclusive faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. According to the scriptures.
The modern world wants all the blessings that Christianity has given it. But without actually trusting in Christ Himself.
The culture believes it can have a good life without any consequences for individual sin. Keeping only those things that it wants. And tossing out all else.
Just like a diner at a Chinese buffet. A little lo mein, a fried donut, some crab rangoon, and some General Tso’s chicken. Creating a very eclectic, personally-tailored, spiritually-inclusive, religious lifestyle.
But the Lord is not mocked.
Christ sees all things that men do. He knows the hearts of men. And, for the moment, He allows men to “fill up” their judgment.
In other words, the Lord allows men to fully reveal their true spiritual nature. He has patience as this takes place. As men remove all doubt about the corruption that is in their hearts. Stripping away all pretense.
The Rise of Religious Tyranny
This is what is taking place in our country right now.
The Lord is permitting the powers that be to become bold in their sin. To brazenly ignore the laws of this country. To arrogantly shut down those who disagree. To force their Progressive religious beliefs on the American people.
The Lord has allowed those who have rejected Christ to seize control of the government and its many agencies.
But only for a season.
He has also permitted churches, who have pretended to follow biblical authority, to reveal themselves in a similar manner.
As churches simply continue on their merry way with whatever programs, initiatives, and ministries they choose. Abandoning or twisting the Lord’s word in order to follow some new “social gospel”.
And even though this witch’s brew has been bubbling for a long time, now the tables have turned dramatically in favor of a godless culture and a godless government.
But the illusion they have tried to create is fading. The wickedness and unbelief of men is becoming obvious to those who have eyes to see.
There has been a faking-it mentality in the culture, as well as in the churches, for generations.
It is a phoniness similar to the nature of the Laodicean church described in Revelation Chapter 3. Which was a middle-of-the-road church. A group of Christians that was “neither cold nor hot“. That rode the fence on biblical truth.
In many ways, this is what Evangelicalism has become. A loose association of churches that has been deeply compromised by the culture; even while it has, supposedly, been trying to change the culture and win it to Christ.
Some of this is due to how Evangelicals have misinterpreted what Paul said. “… I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.” (I Corinthians 9:19-23). Using that verse to justify every kind of biblical compromise in the name of “evangelism”. Or, in the name of “love”.
What Love Truly Demands
None of this is new information.
Evangelicalism today is difficult to differentiate from unbelieving Protestantism, or Catholicism, or any other pseudo-Christian group who claims to follow Christ.
Because we have lost our First Love.
We have failed to put our love for Christ first.
This is also the very thing that the church in Ephesus, a very hard-working church, is rebuked for (Revelation 2:4).
True love for Christ demands a deep faithfulness and obedience to His words. And a willingness to separate ourselves from the culture and from any social or religious activity that, in any way, detracts from His Truth.
No, we are not to isolate ourselves from the physical world. Or try to create some Christian tribe that doesn’t mingle and work within the normal, every-day world. But we must separate ourselves from the world’s religious system. And from every religious or social compromise that seeks to mix truth and error.
If we are obedient in this way, we can establish a clear distinction between the gospel of Christ and the false gospels of the world.
We can be a light on a hill. Or a candle in the darkness.
The New Idols of Evangelicalism
Sadly, many churches today refuse to do that. They are too afraid of losing the Youth. Of losing the respect of the intellectual, academic culture. Of losing the respect of the socially-woke world.
Which includes all those Christian leaders striving to move churches to become more socially engaged. To set truth and doctrine aside in place of good works and social, political activism.
And encouraging churches to partner with groups that do not stand upon biblical truth.
All in the name of “Doing Good“.
All because we have made “social justice”, “racial justice”, and “social engagement” our new idols.
And because we have left our First Love.
We can change this by going to Him for help. He alone can change us. If we look only to Him. And to love Him and His word above all our other good things; whatever they may be.
Let us thank the Lord for this year (as difficult as it has been) and look with hope for the mercies and blessings He has in store for us in 2022!
Happy New Year!!
Image by marcinjozwiak from Pixabay