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We Will Not Be Silenced: Responding with Courage to Our Culture's Assault on Christianity
by Erwin W. Lutzer
Learn More | Meet Erwin W. Lutzer
How We Got Here
The secular left does not believe that America can be fixed; they say it must be destroyed.
On the rubble of America’s Judeo-Christian past a new America will emerge, which they say will be free of poverty, racism, and white supremacy. The secular left’s goal is a future in which everyone will be equal on their terms and the disparities of the past will be read about only in history books. Those who resist this utopian vision are to be vilified, bullied, and shamed until they admit to the mistakes of the past and embrace the secular left’s great hope for the future.
Take a moment to reflect on what has happened in America in the last 20 years. Consider the increasingly sexually explicit curriculum in our public schools; listen to the racial rhetoric of the selfappointed social justice warriors who are committed to enflaming racial division; and look at the new laws forcing Christian colleges to compromise their biblical stance about marriage and surrender to the LGBTQ agenda.
Who would have ever believed the day would come when men would say that they too can bear children and menstruate and thus must fight for “period equity”? Or that drag queens would be allowed to read fairy tales to very young children in public libraries? This kind of sexualized thinking and behavior is spreading rapidly in a nation obsessed with its overblown emphasis on individual rights for a select few at the expense of others.
It’s difficult to even have a real conversation on the many social issues of our day, such as policies advocating unrestricted immigration and sweeping proposals to combat climate change. Or issues regarding racism. To merely question the viewpoints of secular left radicals on social issues is denounced as hateful, bigoted, and racist. We who are Christians are told that if we want to be known as good citizens, we should keep our antiquated views to ourselves. We are made to feel embarrassed about defending traditional marriage and a sane understanding of gender. Like a deer caught in the headlights, we don’t quite know what to do and whether we are willing to pay the price of fidelity to Scripture. We are shamed into silence.
To summarize the late Dr. Haddon Robinson: In the past, we, as American Christians, always had home-field advantage. We knew that in the crowd there were those from the other team who were opposed to us, but the larger stadium crowd was either on our side or indifferent to our witness as Christians. All that has changed. Now we play all our games on enemy turf. A minority is on our side while the wider culture sits in the stands shouting hateful epithets at us, rejoicing at our losses. And the elitists in the skyboxes cheer them on.
But here is the good news! Praise be to God we are on the playing field. And we invite all those who are on the bench to join us for some great fourth-quarter plays! We are more prepared for this moment than we realize.
But we must better understand the home team that opposes us.
Cultural Marxism’s Growing Shadow
A powerful cultural stream has fed this river of political correctness—the curbing of free speech, increased government control, growing racial conflict, and hostility toward Christianity. Leading these attacks against traditional American values is a form of Marxism that is widely taught in many universities and assumed by elitists as the theory that best explains the inequities of our society and our best hope for curing them.
Yes, incredible as it may seem, Karl Marx still rules from the grave.
Marx introduced a theory of state supremacy that necessitated economic and social controls that were imposed in Russia after the revolution of 1917. After this revolution, during which millions of people were killed, the state abolished private property and set out to bring “equality” and “justice” to an oppressed people. State supremacy necessitated religious suppression and the curbing of individual rights.
Today we face what is known as cultural Marxism. It is not being imposed on people on war battlefields; instead, it’s a form of Marxism that wins the hearts and minds of people incrementally by the gradual transformation of the culture. Bombarded with exaggerated and illusionary promises, people accept it because they want to; they welcome it because they are convinced of its “benefits.” It promises “hope and change,” income equality, racial harmony, and justice based on secular values rather than Judeo-Christian morality. It is known for professing inclusion rather than exclusion and promoting sexual freedom rather than what they view as the restrictive sexual ethics of the Bible. It is not stifled by allegedly narrow religious traditions but espouses progressive ideas that are deemed worthy of an enlightened future. It promises “social justice,” a term with various meanings that we will discuss later in this book.
Cultural Marxists seek to capture five cultural institutions: the social, political, educational, religious, and most importantly, familial life of a nation. And as we observe what is happening in our culture, we can say that they are succeeding in frightening ways—all in the name of progress.
To better interpret what is happening in our culture, we must understand more about Marx himself and his original vision. He knew certain foundational pillars must be torn down before a nation could rebuild a new economic, racial, and moral culture.
The Destruction of the Nuclear Family
Standing in the way of these changes is the nuclear family with a father, a mother, and children. Marx taught that families based on natural law and Judeo-Christian values breed inequality and feed on greed and systemic oppression. Such families had to be dismantled if the Marxist vision of equality was to be realized. (In legal history, natural law means divine principles imposed on the creation that govern its functioning, including that of humans, so that obedience brings benefits while disobedience brings consequences.1)
One reason the nuclear family is an obstacle to Marxism is because of the tendency for the children of the rich to inherit wealth and the children of the poor to pass along their poverty. Marx was determined to change this. The solution: If the state owned all the wealth, it could be distributed more evenly among all its citizens. Gone also would be disproportionate salaries and unequal economic opportunities.
Frederick Engels, who along with Karl Marx wrote The Communist Manifesto, said that the monogamous nuclear family emerged only with capitalism. Prior to capitalism, tribal societies were classless, children and property were community owned, and people enjoyed sexual freedom. Marxists claimed that the restrictions limiting sexual intimacy to a man-woman relationship within the marriage covenant were invented by religion to maintain the dominance of men. Belief in God and the Bible—with its teaching about social institutions such as marriage—was the source of multiple forms of oppression.
And there is more.
In Marxism, the family is perceived as a unit in which wives are suppressed by their husbands and children are suppressed by their parents. These clusters of oppression have to be broken up; mothers have to leave their homes and join the workforce. So, as Marx put it, “Anybody who knows anything of history knows that great social changes are impossible without the feminine ferment. Social progress can be measured exactly by the social position of the fair sex (the ugly ones included).”2
So “feminine ferment”—or feminine upheaval—is said to be the key to liberating the family from multiple forms of oppression and the capitalistic pattern of passing on wealth from one generation to another. Mothers have to be encouraged to leave their children for others to raise; after all, stay-at-home moms live in servitude to their husbands and are too easily satisfied. If their grievances—many of which are legitimate—can be exploited, they will then be willing to stifle their motherly instincts and step outside the home and enter the workforce. This can be sold as a step toward liberation and equality.
Marxists believe one of the benefits of mothers joining the workforce is that their children must then attend state-sponsored day care centers and schools where they can be taught about the errors of creationism, the church, and, of course, the Bible. Children can also be indoctrinated about the evils of capitalism and the benefits of socialism and “economic equality.” For this to become a reality, the education of children has to be taken out of the hands of the parents and surrendered to the state.
Government assurances are designed to create a dependency on the state that is essential for Marxism to thrive. Here in America, a boost to such dependency took place when trillions of dollars were created electronically for the massive government bailouts in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Going forward, we can expect calls for more government intervention, more government control, and increased redistribution of resources. As of this writing, the US government has not taken over the businesses of the nation, but we are incrementally accepting and making our way toward a socialist view of the economy.
Marxism proposes that the government take permanent control of the economy and provide financial security with cradle-to-grave benefits. Healthcare, guaranteed wage and price controls, free college tuition, and assured comfortable retirement are all part of its larger agenda. Marxism proposes a government-planned economy and, in the end, says that state rights should supplant God-given rights.
Oppression Is the Key to History
Marxists know they need to exploit the existing and often very real grievances of the proletariat (the working class) and, yes, even the grievances of oppressed mothers in their homes. Women are told they are victims—victims of the past, of social norms, of traditions, and of men. Only victimhood will make them willing to break out of their Judeo-Christian past and enter the Marxist ideal of a world where everyone is equal. If mothers want to achieve their potential, they should reject restrictive traditional roles and prove their equality by earning a living and enjoying the prosperity that a Marxist state will bring.
As will be shown in a later chapter, this emphasis on victimhood also applies to race—not with the intention of bringing about reconciliation, but instead, to keep the races in conflict with each other. Upheaval, with various factions fighting each other, is necessary for the larger goal of bringing about a cultural revolution that will destabilize the existing order and usher in a new era of government control and Marxist values. Impossible demands are made to hinder progress in race relations rather than searching for common ground and commonsense solutions.
Please understand that Marx was right in pointing out that oppression exists, often in horrible ways. But his solutions are entirely wrongheaded and destructive. By locating the problem as only the external systemic oppression between classes and by ignoring the biblical doctrine of original sin and individual responsibility, he sent his followers on a path of endless and unresolved conflict. Historically, when Marxism has won victories, it has done so at the expense of millions of lives and then set up its own system of oppression—a system with far worse oppression than the oppression it promised to alleviate. Later in this book, we will discuss such failure in more detail.
Many people who know nothing about Karl Marx nevertheless advance a Marxist agenda. For example, rather than simply insisting on fairness in policing and weeding out “bad cops,” the movement seeks to neuter the police force altogether to destabilize the existing social order; they know that anarchy is an important step toward destroying capitalism and Western culture.
Marxists insist schools must change their curricula to reflect this alternate view of society. Works written by Western writers must be rejected, bizarre behavior must be normalized, the need for socialism must be emphasized, and contrary views must be shamed. The hope is that future generations, controlled by political correctness and pro-Marxist politicians, will embrace the Marxist vision. Freedom from sexual taboos, traditional gender roles, and natural law will result in racial and economic equality that will eventually liberate an otherwise complacent and oppressed population. Once their leaders are in charge, these reforms will be ushered in.
And today there are organizations dedicated to this agenda.
We all agree that yes, black lives matter—in fact, all black lives matter, but the organization that was formed using this slogan hides its real agenda, which is fueled by Marxist ideologies. For example, its website says, “We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and ‘villages’ that collectively care for one another...We foster a queer-affirming network.”3 And one of its cofounders admitted, “We are trained Marxists.”4 Obviously the organization Black Lives Matter does not speak for all black Americans, but after the brutal murder of George Floyd, it has gained widespread national and political support. Those who don’t support it are frequently denounced as racist.
Various changes are demanded in the name of equality and justice, terms that we will discuss later in this book. Meanwhile, let’s pause for a moment to trace the influence of someone who helped to break down the family structure.
Margaret Sanger Advances the Agenda
Margaret Sanger, influenced by the ideals of cultural Marxism, was a revolutionary who intended to transform the American family so she could change the world. In March 1914, she launched a newspaper called The Woman Rebel, which promoted moral and political anarchy. Her motto was “No Gods, No Masters.” In the paper she touted the virtues of single motherhood, contraception, and asserted that women have the right to face the world “with a go-to-hell look in the eyes; to have an ideal; to speak and act in defiance of convention.”5
In her 1920 book Women and the New Race, she predicted that the rebellion of women would remake the world. She believed in evolution and that the fit should have more children than the unfit. She endeavored to liberate women by affirming “reproductive freedom,” which would give women the ability to be promiscuous and still be able to decide whether they wanted to bear children or not. “Even as birth control is the means by which woman attains basic freedom, so it is the means by which she must and will uproot the evil she has wrought through her submission.”6
Don’t miss what she said: A woman must overcome “the evil she has wrought through her submission.” In other words, submission to her husband was evil; to stay at home to rear children was servitude. The home would no longer consist of a father, a mother, and children. Liberation meant equality of roles, equality of income, and equality of sexual freedom. The biblical roles of marriage and faith in God were deemed obsolete and harmful.
Illegitimacy would serve the Marxist cause well because out-of-wedlock children would be less likely to be devoted to their homes and their parents or church. Children without family roots can be more easily directed toward secular values and state benefits. The state can do for them what their parents failed to do. Freed from the constraints of sexual fidelity, along with promises of income equality, society could finally be liberated.
From these basic premises, feminism flourished, as well as abortion, the sexual revolution, homosexual marriages, and more recently, transgender euphoria. Incredibly, in 1969, Judy Smith, a member of Students for a Democratic Society, predicted our future when she wrote, “We in Women’s Liberation deny any inherent differences between men and women…All of us are trapped by the society that created our roles. We are questioning the ideals of marriage and motherhood…[and] the very society that has created these roles and values must be questioned.”7
Natural law would, of course, have to be abandoned in this quest for equality. This quest would become the overriding mantra that would bring about the destruction of the family so necessary to achieve the Marxist vision. Today, we know that same quest for equality has led to the notion that two men or two women can have sexual relations and these “unions” should be normalized. And yes, two homosexual men can adopt and care for a baby just as well as a traditional mother and father.
The doctrine that men and women are alike in all respects (in fact, we are now told that even a man can give birth to a child) is now an article of faith that permeates the minds of many progressives. Those who celebrate the differences between femininity and masculinity are said to be old school and out of touch with the world as it is supposed to be. They are “on the wrong side of history.”
Woe to those who challenge the orthodoxy that the roles and aptitudes of men and women are interchangeable. Even back in 2005, at an academic meeting, Harvard University president Larry Summers was asked why so few women had been receiving tenure in mathematics and the hard sciences. Summers had the temerity to say that the reason might be because of the variant abilities of men and women. “In the special case of science and engineering, there are issues of intrinsic aptitude, and particularly of the variability of aptitude…these may cause the different availability of aptitude at the high end.”8
The fuse was lit.
MIT biology professor Nancy Hopkins, who heard the remark, said, “My heart was pounding and my breath was shallow…I just couldn’t breathe because this kind of bias makes me physically ill.” She went on to say that if she had not left the room, “I would have either blacked out or thrown up.”9
Later, Summers was subjected to a “no confidence” vote and forced to resign. So far as I know, no one has produced hard data that proved him wrong. But as we will see later in this book, when it comes to cultural Marxism, science, history, biology, and reason must be cast aside to maintain the current orthodoxies. Freedom of speech and diverse opinions are strictly forbidden—or else.
The trans movement (which we will also look at later in this book) has further broken down gender distinctions and ushered in a whole new range of gender options. And as we will see, reason, civility, and science would again be discarded in favor of the Marxist vision of a classless and genderless society.
And we have not yet seen the end. New barriers will be crossed, new ideologies developed, and new laws adopted that Christians will be expected to gratefully accept. This is what progress is said to look like; and from a biblical perspective, it is progress in the wrong direction.
The Benefits of the Women’s Movement
This is a good place for me to say that not all the changes brought about by the women’s movement have been negative. It is hard for some of us to realize that although some states had already given women the right to vote, the Nineteenth Amendment, which codified that right, was adopted in 1920, nearly 150 years after the United States became a nation. In 2020, we celebrated the one-hundredth anniversary of this milestone. Like many reforms for women, this right was long overdue.
Women who join the workforce should receive equal pay for equal work. And we agree that women have often been victimized not just by their husbands but by their employers and others in society. Certainly the #MeToo movement, though occasionally misused, was long overdue. I rejoice that many lecherous men are finally being held to account for their abuse of women. Thankfully, the church is waking up to the reality that in many homes there is abuse that should neither be overlooked nor somehow tolerated. It’s time that women have their say. And we as Christians had best listen.
The Bible teaches that the genders are equal in value but different in roles. The creation mandate specifies unique and complementary roles for men and women as it relates to marriage and the family. The exact nature of these roles has been and continues to be debated, but it’s clear that mothers and fathers should rear their children together. The ideal, biblically speaking, is for the father to work and provide as the mother cares for and nurtures the children, but with today’s significant economic pressures and in the case of single parents or other difficult family scenarios, that’s not always possible.
There was a time when those who desired to follow the biblical pattern could do so peacefully, but today, those who seek to adhere to this ideal are mocked.
The Media: Leading the Culture
The media not only reflects the culture but directs the culture; it is out front and we are expected to follow.
We should not be surprised that the focus of the cultural Marxist revolution would center on sex and gender and race. After all, these themes play dominant roles in our lives and are especially impressionable on young people. Sexuality promises pleasure and fulfillment; its transcendent feelings of connection and value are the source of enduring hope and fantasy. It is the basis for our identity as male or female, as men or women. Sexuality gives us the privilege and responsibility of reproduction and the guarantee of future generations. We are all sexual beings.
However, if the biblical teaching about marriage can be redefined, then the social order can be transformed. Homosexual activists learned early on that the advancement of their agenda can be achieved through bullying, threats, and when necessary, violence. But their agenda can also be presented as the high moral ground by cloaking it in the language of love, acceptance, and inclusion. In doing this, activists emphasize the word cultural Marxists repeatedly use: equality.
The Power of Media Images
You may have missed it—I sure did—but if you had watched the 56th Grammy Awards program on January 26, 2014, you would have heard the song “Same Love” sung as an ode to same-sex relationships. Afterward, Queen Latifah invited 33 diverse couples onto the stage—gay, straight, multicultural, and multiracial. They were asked to exchange rings and she pronounced them legally married as “the white outlines in the backdrop burst into a rainbow of colors, gleaming like windows of a cathedral.”10
Madonna entered the stage to sing “Open Your Heart” as the couples were seen hugging, crying, and singing along as the crowd rose to a standing ovation. Then a choir sang the opening words of 1 Corinthians 13, interspersing it with Mary Lambert’s chorus from “She Keeps Me Warm.” Of course, this was an attack against the biblical prohibition of same-sex relationships. As Robert P. Jones described the event, “It was a direct challenge to religious opposition to gay rights mounted in front of 28.5 million American viewers on a Sunday night.”11
That evening, nearly 30 million Americans saw what appeared to be a display of love that clearly attempted to make a mockery out of Christian morality. Never mind the implications for the family or society in general.
In one of the lyrics, the Bible was dismissed as a book written long ago, yet the same book was conveniently embraced by emphasizing its references to love. This serves as a wonderful example of how today’s culture believes it can cherry pick the parts of the Bible they like and dismiss the parts they don’t. That mentality is a danger for all of us.
The mainstream media is the handmaiden of the sexual revolution. It will never, under any circumstances, expose the dark side of the same-sex movement—its commitment to unrestrained sexuality, its unnatural physical relationships, and the deep regret and confusion that exist among those who want to leave same-sex relationships or have had gender-reassignment surgery. This same media does not want to present the benefits of natural law and why the traditional family is to be preferred.
In fact, television programs such as Will and Grace have humored secular culture by depicting those who oppose same-sex relationships as being bigoted, uninformed, and nasty. Modern Family, which had a successful 11-year run on television, sought to destroy any vestige of the traditional family with clever scripts and humor. Who could possibly object to two men who are in love with each other having sex? Don’t we need more love, not less?
The sexual revolution is not the only challenge that the church faces today but is surely one of the most important. In this book we will address social justice, racism, socialism, propaganda, and the like. But the pressure to accept our society’s sexual transformation is on our doorstep. Or more accurately, it has invaded our homes.
The Ominous Choice We Face
Will we confront or compromise?
Robert P. Jones, in his book The End of White Christian America, describes the challenge facing Conservative Christians:
What’s at stake isn’t just the outcome of political debates. Conservative religious groups’ very future hinges on how willing they are to navigate from the margins toward the new mainstream…To move away from strong opposition to same-sex marriage would spark a profound identity crisis and risk losing support from their current—albeit aging—support base. Refusing to reevaluate, on the other hand, may relegate conservative religious groups into cultural irrelevancy and continued decline, as more and more young people leave church behind.12
Basically, Jones is saying that those who hold to biblical teachings about marriage appear to be forced “into cultural irrelevancy,” and proof of this is declining church attendance as the younger generation leaves the church. In the above quote, Jones lays out for us the challenge today’s Christians face.
Secularists are not content to “live and let live.” They are not satisfied with pluralism and the exchange of ideas. They seek not just to be equal but to dominate. That which was at one time condemned must not simply be tolerated, it must be celebrated. And that which was at one time celebrated must be condemned. Only then will these crusaders see their vision of utopia come to pass. Their goal is the total capitulation of the culture to their point of view. Dissenting voices are shamed into either submission or silence.
Some believe that if the church does not get on board with the same-sex agenda, its schools will have to close and the church will become obsolete. Already Christian colleges are facing legal and economic pressures to revise their biblical stances, particularly on sexual issues.
So, must we choose to join the revolution lest we become obsolete? That’s what some pundits are telling us. We are warned that if we as a church do not bow to the powerful cultural currents of our era, we will find ourselves a relic in a cultural museum, an object of historical curiosity without influence and without a voice.
The other possibility is to stand for historic, biblical Christianity and face the consequences. Are we up to the task?
The Silent Church
It is time for the church to step to the plate and seize the high moral ground.
Those of us who have been witnesses to the rapid transformation of our country—we who are members of the church—have been strangely silent. And with good reason. To our shame, we are afraid of the secular left. We fear being misquoted by the press, vilified by the special-interest groups, and threatened by the radicals. There is no joy in being called racist, hateful, bigoted, homophobic, or accused of imposing our religious views on others.
I’m personally glad that I have seldom, if ever, been asked to comment on these matters on secular television. In 1982, I was part of a group of Chicago pastors who held a news conference to protest a gay ordinance that was up for debate in city hall. We experienced the usual criticism and, in the end, lost our battle. Later, one of our secretaries at The Moody Church received a phone call intended for me. The caller wanted to remind me that we had lost and they had won. He chided me for getting into the fray. We who are Christians have been told to stay in our corner, pay homage to the left’s revolution, and, at best, keep our mouths shut.
When I wrote a book The Truth About Same-Sex Marriage, demonstrators came to the steps of The Moody Church and shouted curses as they tore up a copy the book. One of the demonstrators shouted, “I would like to throw a brick through one of the windows.”
Who needs this kind of publicity?
There is another reason we have been silent. We want to be nice, welcoming, and grace-centered. We want to present Jesus as Savior to the greatest number of people possible. If what we say and believe about the secular left’s agenda becomes public, we will be called haters, grace-deniers, and legalistic. We will be scrutinized with even the smallest offenses magnified. We cannot shout as loudly as the radicals, nor should we. So we retreat into silence.
We, as evangelicals, are expected to stay in our small cubicles and keep out of the issues that pertain to secular culture. To speak beyond the leftist-approved boundaries risks humiliation and vilification. As one atheist told me, “The church is fine as long as it stays in its corner."
I write this book with a heavy heart. Never before have I felt so much like Jehoshaphat, who called a fast when several vicious armies united and came against Israel. He prayed a desperate prayer of repentance, pleading with God and saying, “We are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you” (2 Chronicles 20:12). But when the choir began to sing praises to God, the victory was won.
Clearly, the sovereign God who knows all things and plans all things has prepared us for this moment. We are more ready than we realize to represent Christ in our fragmenting culture. We might not know exactly what to do, but we say with Jehoshaphat “our eyes are upon you.”
The Purpose of This Book
How do we live courageously in a culture where the people who shout the loudest win the argument? How do we live during a time when Christianity is openly being remade to blend more comfortably into a secularized culture? How do we fight against legitimate injustices when we are asked to bow a knee to a larger destructive agenda?
The purpose of this book is not to inspire us to “take America back.” We have neither the will nor the clout to reverse same-sex marriage laws or to halt culture’s obsession with destroying sexual norms and erasing our shared history. It’s highly unlikely we will ever reverse the laws that restrict religious freedom in the military or return public education back to the control of the parents rather than school boards that proudly adopt the most recent “sexually liberalized” curriculum. We have crossed too many fault lines; too many barriers have proven too weak to withstand media-driven cultural streams that have flooded our nation. The radicals know how to make themselves look good and make Christians look bad.
I write not so much to reclaim the culture as to reclaim the church.
This book has several purposes. Most importantly, I want to inspire the church to courageously stand against the pressures of our culture that seek to compromise our message and silence our witness. This is not a time for us to hide behind our church walls, but rather, to prepare ourselves and our families to stand bravely against an ominous future that is already upon us. We must interact with groups and individuals giving “a reason for the hope” that is within us, and doing it with “gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15).
I write this book for anyone who has a burden to “strengthen what remains,” as Jesus told the church in Sardis (Revelation 3:2). I write this book so that families will know what their children are facing in the public schools, colleges, and in the broader culture. I write this book with the hope that we will remain strong and joyfully defend “the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). We must separate the true from the false and reality from desire-driven delusions.
Most critically, this book is also a call to prayer accompanied by deep repentance. This is a Daniel moment when we call on God, confessing our sins and the sins of our churches and nation. We cannot move forward with words alone but with our deeds, our resolve, and a renewed dependence on God. This book is intended to clarify the threats the church faces today, but this information will be of no value apart from an earnest desire to desperately seek God with accompanying obedience and compassion.
Americans are spending $2.1 billion on the “mystical services market” trying to find meaning by looking at themselves, trying to hear a voice from the heavens that would give them some hope and direction.13 If we think we can fight against this deceived culture by winning the war of ideas, we are mistaken. The best ideas do not win very often in a culture obsessed with empty utopian promises.
It’s vital for us to understand that behind the headlines is a raging spiritual battle that can be confronted only by prayer and repentance followed by action in keeping with repentance. Only then can we hope to be a powerful voice in this nation. I am skeptical about our willingness to stand against the headwinds we face. We are so much a part of our culture that it might be difficult for us to know where to begin in our resolve to remain firm. We are like a fish swimming in the ocean wondering where the water is. Perhaps we have lost our capacity to despise sin, whether it be our own or the sin prevalent in our culture.
A Wasp, a Knife, and a Horrid Discovery
In one of George Orwell’s essays we are given a graphic image of human lostness. He describes a wasp that was “sucking jam on my plate, and I cut him in half. He paid no attention, merely went on with his meal, while a tiny stream of jam trickled out of his severed esophagus. Only when he tried to fly away did he grasp the dreadful thing that had happened to him. It is the same with modern man.”14
Everything might seem normal among us. We have our homes, our vocations, and our salaries. Like the wasp, we are content because we still have elections, we still have courts. We still have a congress and a president. We are still able to preach the gospel in our churches. But recently we have faced a health pandemic, an economic crisis, and heightened racial conflict amid political wrangling and increased polarization. The underbelly of our nation is being eaten away and, like Orwell’s wasp, we might not recognize our true condition until we wake up and realize our wings have been severed. The America we thought we knew is no more. And our churches have accepted these changes with little more than a whimper.
We are in a firestorm for the future of America. But more importantly, we are in a firestorm within our churches, some of which have already substituted culture in the place of the gospel. I want to inspire us to have the courage to walk toward the fire and not run away from the flames. God has brought us to this cultural moment, and our future cannot be taken for granted. As has been said, “In a time of universal deception, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”15
Let us determine that we will not be shamed into silence or inaction. We will speak, and like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the book of Daniel, let us resolve that we will not bow.
The Layout and Language of This Book
As you glance through the table of contents at the front of this book, you will see that the next eight chapters discuss how the cultural left seeks to remake America. Each chapter ends with a personal word about our response as believers to these moral and spiritual attacks.
The last chapter is based on the words of Jesus to the church in Sardis: “Wake up! Strengthen what remains!” (see Revelation 3:2). This, I believe, is what Jesus is saying to the church today.
In most instances, I prefer to use the term radical secularism rather than the radical left because of the latter’s political implications. My concerns are not really about the right or left politically, but about the cultural transformations that are being imposed upon us from a variety of political viewpoints. My preference, then, is to use the term radical secularists, or another familiar term, humanists. When I do use the term radical left, it is because in those instances I see it as interchangeable with the other two terms. The underlying philosophies and attitudes advocated by radical secularists are so dominant in our society that they must be identified and seen as a threat to our freedoms and the strength of our churches.
Thank you for joining me on this journey. I pray that you will become better informed, more challenged to speak up for your faith, and more willing to act on the conviction that the day of complacent Christianity must come to an end.
Each of the following chapters in this book has a brief prayer that is to serve as an example of what we should be praying both for ourselves and for our collective witness; let these brief prayers be a springboard for extended repentance and intercession. We know that only God can rescue us from coming destruction. We must call on Him as never before.
Let us hear the words of the Lord to Joshua: “Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
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