We are involved in a war—not with a national, political enemy, but a spiritual war between the God of the universe and the god of this world. This battle has eternal consequences. We know how it turns out in the end: God wins! However, while we wait for that last chapter, single battles may be lost in our culture. Ultimately, we know that our Lord will triumph and those who are faithful will triumph with Him. Everyone will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Phil. 2:10-11).
While we look forward to that day and pray that our Lord would return soon, we must still take cultural conflicts seriously. God’s people are under attack in many parts of the world. Christians are persecuted for their faith. Our values are challenged. We are ridiculed and sometimes forced to pay a price for taking a stand for righteousness and practical holiness. Our enemy is often brazen, while we sometimes appear to be asleep at the wheel.
A former White House correspondent declared in an interview that she would gladly offer sexual favors to President Clinton because of his support for abortion rights. What is striking about her comment is not that she would make such an offer to the president. It is her brazenness in making such a comment, her contempt for morality, and her confidence that our times have degenerated to the point that she could make such an offer openly -- with little expectation of public outcry from today’s “politically correct” media!
Few people are as “brazen for Jesus” as she was for her cause! The day may be approaching when our advocacy of righteousness may have to be more boldly asserted if our message is to be heard in today’s marketplace of ideas.
The intensity of the spiritual battle going on around us was apparent to a friend who spent a couple of days in Indio, California. It was so hot outside that he decided to stay indoors to study and finish some writing projects. When he went out for a bite to eat, the temperature was well over 110 degrees. While driving to a restaurant, he spotted a couple of young men in white shirts, ties, and dark pants, on bicycles. They had stopped at a street corner, in the hot noon sun, to share their faith with a pedestrian.
Some might suggest that it is more stupid than strategic for those young men to be out in such brutal heat. Still, how many Christians do you know that plan their life, and count it a privilege, to donate one or two years in an adverse climate in order to share Christ with other people? The cultural war we’re part of will doubtless require us to make the tough choice between being uncomfortable on the front lines or remaining behind closed doors in comfort.
We are engaged in a war. We already know how it will end. But what are we going to do about the local battles God has called us to fight. Daniel attempted to prepare God’s people for the coming battle. He warned them that the enemy would deceive God’s people and lead them astray. In the midst of the conflict, he assured them that the people who know their God would resist him and that the wise would instruct many, though some would die for their faith (Dan. 11:32-35). Nevertheless, those who remain faithful and take a stand for godliness will ultimately triumph. Are we willing to take a stand for God and for godliness in our society?
The Union Church of Guatemala
Leaders & Church Staff
Dr. Ralph Porter
Women's Ministry President