As society cuts anchor from Christ our foundation, our culture has become lost in an ocean of ideas, all of which the progressive left proclaims acceptable—because, surely, we can all just get along. "Everyone has their own truth—all truths are welcome," they say—except, of course, the Truth of Christ. And while aggressive secularists portray themselves as society's liberators, ‘protecting' us from the Christian values underpinning our nation, political Islam is infiltrating our schools and governments to end the very freedom that we prize so dearly. In pursuit of peace and political correctness, have we trampled Truth? Endeavoring not to offend, as a nation have we abandoned virtue?
In our pursuit of the lost, we must leave neither grace nor Truth behind.
THE KEY TO OUR SURVIVAL IS REVIVAL
Though you may be tempted to respond to the news of the unmooring of our nation with a hard swing to the political right, the answer to this peril is not found in politics. Rather, as Dr. Michael Youssef explains in his new book The Third Jihad, "The key to our survival is revival" (203). Revival is not something we can manufacture, though; we cannot bring about a fresh awareness of God—eyes that see and ears that hear—that is the work of the Holy Spirit. But we can pray for revival. We can immerse ourselves in God's Word. We can repent of sin and humble ourselves. We can worship God. We can live obedient, godly lives. And we must testify to the power of the Gospel to bring dead souls to life. For, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is "the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes" (Romans 1:16). It wondrously displays the divine balance of God's Truth and love, His justice and grace—a balance not found in either political party—but one we must have in order to bring healing to our nation and usher many more souls into God's Kingdom today.
BOTH SERPENTS AND DOVES
In Matthew 10, when Jesus sent out the twelve disciples to proclaim that the Kingdom of heaven had come near, He gave them special instructions: "Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give" (v. 8). But He also instructed them to act justly, to not dilute their message to make it more palatable to the masses: "If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town" (vv. 14-15).
Summing up His instructions, Jesus was clear: "I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves" (v. 16). Likewise, when we go out representing Jesus, we must be both wise (shrewd) and godly (innocent) as we walk in a world that is deliberately hostile to Christ and His Gospel. Jesus intended us to assume all the good characteristics associated with the serpent and the dove, just as He did.
Jesus lived a pure and holy life, characterized by meekness and compassion—a bruised reed He would not break (see Isaiah 42:3; Hebrews 4:15; Matthew 14:14, 15:2938, 20:34; Mark 6:34; et al.). But Jesus was also fiercely passionate for the glory of the Father and defended it with word and deed, rebuking the Pharisees for their misuse of the law and driving out moneychangers from the temple (see Matthew 23 and John 2:14-17). He graciously spoke in memorable parables and stories to make His message clear to those who hunger for God, and He shrewdly responded to criticism with justice and reason. Jesus did not allow Himself to be caught in traps. But when the time was full, He laid down His life for our salvation. Likewise, we must endeavor to be gentle and sacrificial without allowing others to take advantage of us or to despise Truth and virtue. We must love as Jesus did, for "Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres" (1 Corinthians 13:6-7).
As we respond to the unreasonable calls for political correctness and acceptance of ideals that we know are contrary to the ways of God, we must remember that the real enemy is Satan and the spiritual forces of evil at work in this dark world (see Ephesians 6:12). The lost among us are not the enemy, but victims of Satan's lies. They need Jesus, just as we do. Now is the time to contend for our faith, to stand firm, and to boldly proclaim the Truth in love—because love without Truth is not truly love (see Jude 1:3 and Ephesians 4:15). God has prepared us for this work if we will only follow His Son, who holds in perfect balance Truth and love.