If you fight fire with fire, you will burn everything down. If you fight moral relativism with moral relativism, you will undermine a society’s appreciation of absolute morality.
Since before I was born, the Christian church in America has been engaged in a culture war to preserve baseball, apple pie and the American way of life. From Pat Robertson, to Gary Bauer to James Kennedy, to James Dobson and Chuck Colson, Christian leaders have railed against drug use, divorce, abortion and homosexual rights and urged Christians to solve the problem by voting for godly and righteous candidates of the Republican party. After almost fifty years, a great deal of money has been spent, a great deal of rhetoric has been spoken and a great deal of heat has been generated, but what has been the result? Is the country once again walking the narrow path of righteousness? Or are we on the brink of utter destruction?
Amidst all the different strategies that have been tried, the root causes of this problem have been completely ignored and the solution that God presents in the Bible left untried. What is the fundamental cause of the problem and what is God’s solution?
Now some would say that the fundamental problem is sin. This is not correct. While sin is ultimately at the root of every human problem, it is overly simplistic and unsatisfying as an answer in this case. Jesus Christ paid the price for sin and sin alone is not enough to derail a Christian nation if it will recognize and repent. The real answer is that there is a deception that blinds the nation so that it will not see and repent. What is this deception? To answer this question, let us perform a thought experiment.
Let us imagine that there is a man in the desert offering water to marathon runners as they pass by. Though the runners are literally in excruciating pain for lack of water and they are initially interested in getting a drink, as they get a good look at the water he is offering they continue on their way without accepting it. Why? Closer inspection reveals that the water bottles are filled with raw sewage and after getting a closer look the runners believe that drinking it will cause them to die.
The fundamental problem that is causing the destruction of the West is that the conservative church is offering a Christianity polluted by the flaws of the historical church. When Christians offer unbelievers a medieval Christianity that ignores the major problems of the historical church, they offer a world that is dying of thirst a glass of raw sewage. After offering the world the righteousness of George Washington, John Calvin, Martin Luther and Moses, they then wonder why the world crinkles its nose and gags as it passes by. Little wonder. If Christians are honest, they will find it difficult to blame unbelievers for rejecting slavery, segregation, totalitarianism and the other evils that modern people associate with Christianity. What is the answer?
if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)
The answer is the purity and truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ cleansed of the errors of human tradition. In countries with none of the errors of Christian tradition, the gospel is changing lives every day and we desperately need that same power here. Only if the church repents of the grievous errors of the past and seeks the face of Jesus Christ will our gospel message have the power to heal our land.