By Jay Rogers
Published May 1, 2008
What should be our response to Godlessness in America?
If you are a true Christian who loves God with your whole heart and hates sin with your whole heart, then you are increasingly dismayed at the increasing godlessness in American society. Many Christians in recent years have realized that America’s early history was steeped in a high form of biblical Christianity. Godliness among our leaders continued until the beginning of this century.
In the 20th century, we have become, as Dr. Francis Schaeffer put it, “a post-Christian nation” not because of the superiority of the enemy, but because of the default of the Church. Some Christians have adopted a fatalistic view of the future. Their view seems to be: “We are predestined to fail; Society is predestined to get worse and worse.” The only strategy for resistance to increasing godlessness then becomes to “run up our bills for the anti-Christ.”
Since the 1970s, however, many Christians have realized that the reformation of society is necessary. These people have been comprised of mainly two groups: liberals and conservatives. These two groups are distinguished by their political affiliations and their view of the infallibility of the Word of God. Evangelicals who want to change America include the conservative Pat Robertson (representing the Religious Right) and the liberal Jesse Jackson (representing the Religious Left).
But there is a third group: those Christians who believe it is their responsibility to challenge the anti-Christian character of society and culture, not with a political agenda, but with the Law of God. This smaller, yet fast emerging group sees it as an obligation to seek to change society in ways that will bring it into conformity with the moral Law of God.
If we want to build a society without abortion, without homosexuality, with family values and with godly schools, then we are wasting our time if we adopt any other strategy besides the standard of God’s holy Word. The plan for rebuilding a society includes the following priorities: (1) bringing a significant portion of the population to personal salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, (2) the advancement of the kingdom of God through the preaching of the Gospel and the empowering of the Holy Spirit, and (3) the application of biblical Law as a standard to all areas of life.
The failure among liberal and conservative Christians to change America has been due to a popular, yet false, idea which views the moral Law of God as primitive, sub-Christian, anti-Christian, and irrelevant to contemporary Christian ethics.
This ideology has come in the form of the separation in our minds of “sacred vs. secular” and suspicion directed at Christians involved in social and political activism. These prejudices have led many Christians to abandon any attempt to influence government and society. This continues to be the norm today, with the notable exception of so-called “family values” issues like abortion, school prayer, home-schooling, and homosexuality, but even then rarely is a Christian voice heard except in protest.
If we want to rid our nation of abortion, and other ungodly evils, then our agenda must be larger than that. Our goal must be nothing less than a Christian nation ruled by God’s moral laws.
We can begin by laying emphasis on the Church’s “salt and light” (Matthew 5:13,14) functions in society and calling the Church to repentance for her neglect of these God-given duties. We must challenge our fellow Christians to reengage the society daily.
We must fight against the tendency to (totally) privatize our Christian faith. There is, of course, a vital private side to the Christian faith as all Christians would agree. The Puritans, for instance, would have called this “experimental religion” while Roman Catholics call it “spiritual formation.” This is an essential element to vital Christianity. If it is not there, then faith is dead. Yet when Christianity is reduced to purely individual, personal spirituality, an important aspect of Christianity is lost. There are also the outward demands of true Christian piety – the obedience to the Law of God.
We must seek to utterly destroy the anti-Law spirit which pervades churches where the teaching of “cheap-grace” is the norm. In many churches, even the suggestion that Christians have an obligation to keep the moral Law is considered an attack on the teaching on grace. In our day, the Church must return to teachings on (1) the grace within the Law, (2) the role of the Law as standard in the Christian life, and (3) the relevance of biblical Law to society.
In this call for Christian political and social action, however, we need to keep the emphasis squarely on the Word of God and not the agenda of any political group! Therefore, we must advocate the implementation of biblical Law in modern society and the Law’s prescribed sanctions.
What would such a “Christian America” look like? The following are some elements of a biblical Law approach to civil law and order:
1. It obligates government to maintain just monetary policies, thus prohibiting fiat money, fractional reserve banking, and deficit spending.
2. It provides a moral basis for elective government officials.
3. It forbids undue, abusive taxation.
4. It calls for the reduction of the prison system into a system of just restitution for victims of crimes.
5. It forbids the release, pardoning, and paroling of murderers by requiring their execution.
6. It forbids industrial pollution that may harm people or destroy the value of other’s property.
7. It punishes malicious, frivolous malpractice suits.
8. It forbids abortion rights. Abortion is not only a sin, but a crime, and, indeed, a capital crime.
9. It commands the nation to welcome foreigners and legal immigrants.
The believer’s calling to be a transformer of society has always been standard in historic Christianity. Every believer has been given the charge to be salt and light in society. We must take those salt and light functions seriously. The Christian’s ethical responsibility to the Law of God extends beyond the simple personal observation of those laws. More than just obeying God’s commandments personally, the Christian is expected to promote the keeping of God’s Law in society.
More than just being involved in a few “hot-button” issues, biblical Christians must develop a comprehensive bibical worldview which can explain exactly how God’s Word can be applied to changing society on all levels.
Source: K.L. Gentry, God’s Law in the Modern World, Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1993.
Forerunner - Home » Pass The Word » Pass The Word - September/October 1996
Your comments are welcome!
“Here I stand … I can do no other!”
With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.
The dramatic classic film of Martin Luther’s life was released in theaters worldwide in the 1950s and was nominated for two Oscars. A magnificent depiction of Luther and the forces at work in the surrounding society that resulted in his historic reform efforts, this film traces Luther’s life from a guilt-burdened monk to his eventual break with the Roman Catholic Church.
Running time: 105 minutes
Special offer: Order 5 or more for $5 each.
Watch a clip from Martin Luther.
$9.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Special Two-Disc Set!
After 40 years of intense study and world-wide ministry, Dr. Francis Schaeffer completed his crowning work of scholarship – to present profound truths in simple film language. Dr. Schaeffer’s brilliant analysis of the past and predictions for current trends have proven so uncannily accurate that this amazing series still feels contemporary almost three decades after its initial release. Ultimately, Schaeffer concludes that man’s only hope is a return to God’s Biblical absolute, the truth revealed in Christ through the Scriptures.
Available for the first time on DVD, this documentary spectacular also includes intimate in-depth conversations with Francis and Edith Schaeffer. With the on-disc study guide, this presentation forms a unique course of comprehensive study. While this series forms an innovative analysis of the past, this outstanding work is more than history. Each episode focuses on a significant era, yet speaks clearly to 21st-century man with answers for modern problems.
$49.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Exposing The Occult Roots of Abortion
This presentation looks at the spiritual roots of abortion and exposes the myths surrounding child killing. Little known historical facts about abortion and how they relate to modern feminism are presented logically and accurately. Has been effective in converting many to a pro-life position.
Massacre of Innocence goes where no pro-life presentation has gone before in “tearing the lid off abortion” to reveal the spiritual realities we must battle if we will bring an end to this crime. The presentation is absorbing, fast-paced, informative and incredibly devastating to any attempt to justify abortion.
“… an extraordinary statement … a powerfully articulate presentation about what abortion really means, and why a great and moral nation like the United States must not allow the slaughter to continue.”
— Congressman Robert K. Dornan
Running time: 85 minutes
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!
Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.
Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.
$19.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)
Who is the dreaded beast of Revelation?
Now at last, a plausible candidate for this personification of evil incarnate has been identified (or re-identified). Ken Gentry’s insightful analysis of scripture and history is likely to revolutionize your understanding of the book of Revelation — and even more importantly — amplify and energize your entire Christian worldview!
Historical footage and other graphics are used to illustrate the lecture Dr. Gentry presented at the 1999 Ligonier Conference in Orlando, Florida. It is followed by a one-hour question and answer session addressing the key concerns and objections typically raised in response to his position. This presentation also features an introduction that touches on not only the confusion and controversy surrounding this issue — but just why it may well be one of the most significant issues facing the Church today.
Ideal for group meetings, personal Bible study — for anyone who wants to understand the historical context of John’s famous letter “… to the seven churches which are in Asia.” (Revelation 1:4)
Running Time: 145 minutes
$17.95 — ORDER NOW!(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)