Yesterday JTR posted a wonderful stirring speech by Bill Whittle, in which the compelling and TRUE statements he made were rewarded with more than one standing ovation from the audience at this year’s Western Conservative Summit.
Among the most eye-opening points he made was that our culture, for the past 40 years, has been instilling three false ideas into our minds:
- Wealth is un-earned;
- Everyone is special;
- Let us (“liberal” government) help you.
He unpacks his ideas about cultural decay and how to fight it, in that speech–which you should really go and watch (it’s Sunday, you’ve got time, right?). But as I listened to him yesterday afternoon, it occurred to me that a similar set of lies has paralyzed the Church and kept it from being effective:
- You can be “good enough” to please God;
- Everyone ultimately goes to heaven;
- Evangelism should be left to “the pros.”
That first cultural lie is in fascinating contrast to the one Bill Whittle mentioned. I understand him when he lauds the self-made millionaire who really DID earn his money–despite the Left’s constant insinuation that the rich are thieves who deserve to be taxed into oblivion. But MY point is that, contrary to the age-old lie that you can earn God’s approval, the gospel is founded on the opposite: no one can be good enough for God. (see Romans 3:9-12 et al)
If we could, then what need would we have for a Savior who paid the penalty of sin for us?
Granted, our government’s help is officious and counterproductive, creating a welfare state and taking away all incentive to work for oneself. However, we really DO need outside assistance in order to be fit companions for the God of the Universe.
“For God loved the world so much that He sent His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
See that highlighted phrase? It identifies a particular group (“whoever believes in Him”) and tells us what WON’T happen to them (“they won’t perish”). Which certainly implies that those who DON’T believe WILL perish. Salvation, though not earned, is not universal. I suppose that would be the “bad news” of God’s Word.
The amazing Good News is that He really wants our company enough to take on human form and die in our place. He loves us and has saved all those who accept the gift of salvation. (see Ephesians 2:1-5)
If we really believe that, how can we keep it to ourselves?
I was especially struck by one image in that speech yesterday. Whittle, quoting Tammy Bruce:
“Truth has presence. Light has presence. You can’t put darkness into a room….There are no darkness generators. All you can do is take the light out…and keeping all the light out of a room is a lot harder than you’d think…truth is on our side…”
Just as each of us, by calling the Left on its lies, can do our part to shine the light of Truth into our political and social worlds, so EACH of us who know the Lord should be actively countering the devil’s lies where we live, work and play, for the spiritual good of those we know and love. The Bible doesn’t tell just pastors and teachers to live this way. Rather:
“Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. “
Philippians 2:15, NLT
Bill Whittle makes an especially impassioned statement toward the end of his speech:
“If this party can’t sell freedom, private property and virtue, then we don’t deserve to be in this business. “
I say Amen to that. And if those three ideas cannot take root again in American hearts, then the freedom of worship we’ve enjoyed for 200 years may soon be lost.
But even more importantly, and because we must redeem the time for the days are evil, I say to every believer:
If you can’t speak love, repentance, and forgiveness to everyone you know, then do you deserve to be called a Christ-follower? No matter how much we love our country…do we not love our Savior more?