Pivotal moments in history
History records for us many moments where the tides have turned, where ideologies converged and where decisions were made that shaped futures for generations.
My friend, Dennis Peacocke, points us to two distinct moments that affected just such change.
The first such crossroads occurred in 325 AD when secularism and the church met as Constantine was converted.
However, governments cannot satisfy nor can they long exist without the author of government’s influence and dark ages were to follow setting the stage for science, philosophy and humanism to make their ascent to power and influence.
The second great convergence occurred just after the civil war in the 1860s when the church and secularism crossed paths again.
This time however the church made a decision in the aftermath of America’s bloodiest conflict to say in essence… you can have the world, we’ll take heaven!
The ensuing effects were that godlessness did take the world and where we are today, in my humble opinion, is a direct byproduct of that decision.
So, here we are!
Now, I am not suggesting that this is only about politics nor am I only referring to the upcoming election.
Here we are in this season of history and though the church may seem to be the least influential in this more than postmodern culture, I have good news… God hasn’t changed a bit!
So, what are we to do?
Well, I am of the opinion we should take Jesus’ advice! “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
In other words, to make a difference and to affect change in your sphere of influence as believers… be salt and be light!
As far back as I can remember, God has been opposed in our society, in the courthouse, the classroom, and in every arena of public life.
I really haven’t experienced in my lifetime the America I’ve read about in history books.
What I mean by that is I’ve not known a culture that lived like they completely understood and embraced the advice George Washington gave in his farewell address, “Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds…reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”
President Washington was warning our nation that in removing religious principles we would forfeit our morality as a nation. It seems we have done just that.
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council has said, “Bad politicians are elected by people who don’t vote!”
It is true, everyone serving in office anywhere in the United States only reflects the values of the Americans who voted in the last election.
Proverbs 29:2 tells us, “When the righteous rule, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people mourn.”
When I came of age, abortion on demand was legal and the Bible had been removed from classrooms.
Since I was born, human life became disposable, marriage, radically redefined and devalued, human origins taught in public schools with no allowance for a Creator, sexual promiscuity and perversion encouraged by the entertainment media and public expression of Christianity under assault.
President Ronald Reagan in his first inaugural address said, “On the eve or our struggle for independence a man who might’ve been one of the greatest among the Founding Fathers, Dr. Joseph Warren, president of the Massachusetts Congress, said to his fellow Americans, “Our country is in danger, but not to be despaired of.
On you depend the fortunes of America. You are to decide the important question upon which rest the happiness and the liberty of millions yet unborn. Act worthy of yourselves.”
Well, I believe we, the Americans of today, are ready to act worthy of ourselves, ready to do what must be done to insure happiness and liberty for ourselves, our children, and our children’s children.
We have a duty as Christians and as citizens.
Jesus tells us that we are called to be salt and light!
How is that done, you ask?
First, encounter culture with truth and the Love of Christ.
Remember, salt cannot affect the taste of food until it comes into contact with said food.
Secondly, be equipped with the truth of God’s word and our history which reflects an amazing God story.
Then, engage… do our duty as followers of Christ making the difference He has called us to make.
Shakespeare said it well… “There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune.” Let’s seize the moment before us and turn the tide!
Tim Throckmorton is the Midwest Director of Ministry for the Family Research Council.