The Missing Element
The Missing Element
By Dave Breese
Western civilization is today characterized by many things. These include political developments, economic manipulations, military activities, vast pronouncements by statesmen, scientific experiment, and a thousand other things. The world of our time is a veritable kaleidoscope of colorful thoughts, things, activities, goings and doings. Todays world is a busy place with hopes and happenings aplenty. Any given day can be filled with activities and fascinations enough to preoccupy us all.
But also, there is a certain disquiet of soul, new nameless apprehensions, a sense of unsurety, the feeling that things are out of control. Yes, there is a missing element in most of the speeches, much of the teaching, and a lot of the preaching of our time. That missing element leaves us with the impression that life is finally without substance and anyones ideas are just as good as anyone elses.
What is that missing element? It is, we suggest, the Christian view. The modern mind, the world of western thought, is attempting to function without the great imperativethe Christian view. There are many illustrations of this.
The professor stands before his students, even in our Christian schools, and says, Think of the wonder of it all. You were once a tadpole, a fish, a monkey, a bird, and now, thanks to the evolutionary process, you are a human being. You were made by the impersonal forces of nature, and isnt it grand what you have become? Natural selection has brought you a long way.
This statement, while interesting, is a lie. The truth is that man was specifically created by God and made in the image of God (Gen. 1:26,27). For want of the Christian view, man thinks of himself as being a beast of the field and entitled to act like one.
The Sodomite, his tribe increasing in our time, announces that homosexuality is a perfectly acceptable alternative lifestyle. He ought to, therefore, be received by society and within the Church as normal and acceptable.
This also is a lie. The truth is that vile affections are condemned by God and that homosexuals will receive in themselves that recompense of their error which was fitting (Rom. 1:27).
The politician breaks a solemn earlier promise, announcing that, New economic considerations have made me change my mind. Such an attitude is a great mistake, for it assumes the philosophy that the basis of life is financial. It is not! The basis of life is moral. In fact, the truth is that morality, kept promises, fidelity alone, and the like produces prosperity. For want of the Christian view in our time, economic determinism replaces morality. This is a deadly alteration of the truth.
Hundreds of new events break upon our society every day. Most of them are beyond explanation to the natural mind because that mind does not know or does not care about what the Bible says concerning the world. For want of the Christian view, the Western mind in our time is without foundation and without proper alignment. This is why, among the ordinary people of our world, there is an enormous thirst for reality. People everywhere want a Biblical, moral, spiritual, and prophetic interpretation of the events in which they find themselves. The comment, the explanation, which they receive of those events from the public press is simply an empty explanation in which drought is explained by saying, The winds are from the south, and hurricanes come because of the el nino factor.
Any explanation that includes the fact that God presides above history and that He is the Creator and Sustainer of everythingsuch an explanation is laughed at in our time. But of course, there is no final explanation of anything whatsoever which leaves out the existence of God and His providence continually working in our world. Now rejecting this, the Western mind increasingly thrashes about in frustrating impotence, unable to explain anything. Not only is the Western mind willingly ignorant of the Christian view, but for want of that view, it entertains pernicious insanities which are even now in the process of destroying our culture. The opposite of the Christian view is not merely ignorance; it is in fact insanity. Yes, even the public press in these days, with its remaining rationality, talks about the strange insanities of our time.
What is the Christian view? In abbreviated form, the Christian view as relates to the world is the message that there is a God; that He exists as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; that He made and sustains the world; that man is a sinner, unable to extricate himself from his problems; that Christ came into the world to die for our sins; that by faith in Christ we have everlasting life; that believing in Him we have all that pertains to life and godliness; that wisdom comes from Christ alone; that the world will pass away, but he who does the will of God abides forever.
The Christian view teaches that reality is not political, not financial, not academicrather, reality is moral. The issues of good and evil are more important than profit and loss, succeeding and failing, winning at cards or at roulette. The Christian view teaches the nonfinality of this world and insists that it is a backdrop in which the play, the life of humanity, is carried on. The Christian view teaches that heaven is more important than earth and that this life at best is our light affliction, which is but for a moment (II Cor. 4:17).
At the center of the Christian view is the cross of Christ and the message of what Jesus did there, dying for us that the world through Him might be saved. But, of course, the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness. The world laughs at the message that the cross is the key to life and that Christ is Himself the answer to every human need.
Why is the Christian view so ignored in our society? One reason is that so much of our activity in evangelism and Christian teaching does not reach thinking people; it is not even the subject of a serious attempt to reach thought leaders, king-makers, and the world of academia. The Christian view must be presented in a way that it cannot be discounted by those who plan the affairs of this world.
But also, the Christian view is often unheard in our time because the god of this world, the Devil, has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine to them (II Cor. 4:4). Satan is yet the god of this world, and his major activity is perverting the Word of God, obscuring the Gospel, trivializing the message so that it loses its sense and saving power.
What then shall we now do? We Christians must determine to present the Gospel of the grace of God with clarity and precision so that its truth cannot be mistaken. Perverted versions of the Gospel, so common in our time, will not avail in these demanding times.
Believing and preaching the message, we must also pray that the Word of Christ will be favored of God with a new social, cultural penetration in these days. Thoughtful Christians should have available a position paper on every relevant subject in our time so as to know how to answer the worldhow to give a reason for the faith which is in him.
If we fail to newly influence the world of Western thought, civilization will have no future except to convulse with new agonies and then die. The only remaining answer to the preservation of Western civilization is a mighty, new resurgence of thoughtful Christianity. Apart from this, a sane tomorrow will not be.
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