God charges believers with the responsibility of “speaking the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15).
This is increasingly difficult in a culture that is rapidly jettisoning its Christian heritage, and with this, its moorings as well.
American culture is adrift. We doubt or don’t like who we’ve been, and we don’t know who or what we want to be. Nothing is trusted. Nothing defines us.
Ironically, in a time when “identity” – sex, race, ethnicity – seems to matter above all else, America is in an identity crisis.
We don’t know who we are because our culture has rejected the One who created us, the One who gave us meaning, the One who established the parameters of our reality and told us how to live, how to love, how to avoid sin and destruction, how to flourish.
Indeed, God blessed us with the incredible transformative power that “if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here” (2 Cor. 5:17-18).
Think about what this means. No social or political problem, no sin we confront personally, no evil, no troubles of this world, nothing we’ve done, or nothing done to us is beyond the reconciling work of Christ and the healing power of the Holy Spirit of God. In the face of the world’s greatest evil, there is hope.
Yet if we speak this truth, even in love – and thus call into question false beliefs and ideologies – we’re told we are intolerant, judgmental, bigoted, even racist.
Meanwhile, the Middle East and North African (MENA) cultures are no different. Yes, many there affirm a common deity and religious system, but these beliefs provide no solution to the human dilemma. So, like America, the MENA is divided, seemingly hopelessly so.
Satan, the father of lies, loves division (Jn 8:44). He loves the anxiety, confusion, and hopelessness engulfing America and the MENA. The more divided we become, the more detached from personal and social wellbeing we become. We’re left with terrible turmoil, like Babel or Sodom and Gomorrah of old or, in the extreme, Dante’s Inferno. Pessimism, not optimism, is the new order of the day.
The practical outcome of this is everywhere evident: opioid and narcotics crises, rising suicide rates, faltering marriages, kids, in essence, raising themselves, sexual hedonism including pornography on-demand, increasing crime and lawlessness coupled with failed legal systems. If a culture believes truth does not really exist, then right and wrong are indistinguishable – and the only arbiter of “justice” we have left is power.
But God reminded us, “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace…Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming” (Eph. 4:3,14).
Christians need not be “tossed back and forth” or “blown here and there” or frightened by “deceitful scheming.” We know God the Father, omniscient and omnipotent, loving and merciful. He did not leave us twisting in the wind. He gave us Truth in the Word and Truth in Jesus, His Son. In fact, “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life” (2 Pet. 1:3). So while things may appear to be ripping apart by centrifugal forces, we know this is deceptive, for Jesus is still Lord and “He is before all things, and in him, all things hold together” (Col. 1:17).
As believers, we are to speak truth, to not become weary in doing good, and to “not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly, we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Cor. 4:16-17).
From the perspective of our Sovereign God, what we are experiencing are but “light and momentary troubles.”
So as ambassadors of reconciliation (2 Cor. 2:5), the wonderful healing and hopeful message we can speak with love into a divided culture is the opposite of confusion, disillusionment, and defeat.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power” (Eph. 6:10).
Dr. Rex Rogers
President, SAT-7 USA