Saturday, February 17, 2024

Consistent Christianity

Surveying the state of affairs in our nation highlights many areas of critical concern: spirituality, politics, morality, economics, social relationships, and education priorities.  It is beyond the scope of this brief essay to deal with the full spectrum of grave concerns that must be addressed if the health of America is to begin to rebound.  But the most crucial issue is the state of our nation’s spirituality.  What one believes about God, the future, and what matters most in life is a chief determiner in how one deals with every other segment of life.   Such a cumulative collection of beliefs can be termed a worldview.  A consistently Christian, or biblical, worldview is that perspective in which every dimension of life, and one’s understanding of eternity, are governed by biblical principles and commands.

While we can lament the decline of Americans who call themselves Christian, of greater concern is the increasing number of professed followers of Christ who fail to hold to a biblical worldview.  The majority of Americans (68%) still consider themselves to be “Christian.”  But less than half of that number can be classified as “born again.”

However, a recent study conducted by Arizona Christian University found that of American adult “born-again” Christians, only 13% maintain a biblical worldview.   Among all adults that number drops to 4%.   And the situation is worsening.  In 2020, those numbers were 19% and 6% respectively.

Clearly what is needed for our troubled nation is the rebirth of a biblical worldview that drives people to view life as God does and to live according to the principles revealed in His Word.   Creating that biblical worldview is a task given to the church by Jesus Christ.  Some of His final words before returning to His Father in heaven were: “Make disciples of all nations … teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.”  Jesus was not interested in nominal followers who claim to believe in Him but fail to take His truth seriously so that it impacts every dimension of life.   Such is the sad outlook of the majority of Americans in 2024.   If that is to change, the church must take more seriously this mandate of our Lord. 

Researcher George Barna has diagnosed the dilemma we face: “The impact of arts and entertainment, government, and public schools is clearly apparent in the shift from biblical perspectives to a more experiential and emotional form of decision-making.” 

To address this crisis of belief and understanding, local churches and Christian parents must prioritize biblical instruction.  Developing a consistently Christian worldview will not happen apart from genuine disciples of Christ being focused upon this most critical task.  

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Our Sick and Decaying Nation

By nearly any standard of measure, American society is dying from within.  Yes, we face multiple international threats to our security and wellbeing.  But such dangers are only exacerbated by the declining fabric of our own civilization.

67 years ago, Russia’s Communist leader Nikita Khrushchev declared, “We will take America without firing a shot. We do not have to invade the U.S. We will destroy you from within....”  An objective analysis now indicates that we are well on our way to seeing America destroyed from within.

While we certainly face threats from the Russians and the Chinese and other international forces, our greatest perils stem from the unraveling of the Christian worldview upon which our nation was founded and which, in some sense, governed the general fabric of our nation throughout its history.  Until recently. 

George Washington, in his presidential farewell address, eloquently stated that “of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.  In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens.”

In 21st century America, biblically based religion and morality are in steep decline, being replaced by a diabolical mixture of wokeness and depravity that defy God’s authority and creative design.

A recent poll published by the WSJ indicates that over the past 25 years, those who believe that patriotism is an important virtue have declined from 70% to 38%.   Similarly, those who are convinced that religion is vital for a healthy society declined from 62% to 39%.   Respondents who believe that having children is “very important” fell from 59% to 30%.

Those dramatic changes are not indicative of a healthy, thriving society.  Instead, they reveal a nation in precipitous decline.

Is there hope for the future?  Can these patterns change in a positive way?  As Christians, we understand that the answer is absolutely “yes.”  But such hope can only be founded upon a spiritual awakening wherein society rediscovers the reality that God’s Word is truth.  Only His moral law can govern a healthy and stable society.  And the Christian church is called to shine forth the light of Scripture into this dark and unstable world.   May God give us courage, wisdom, and discernment to be a beacon for truth that shows the only path for national renewal.

The solution for America’s malaise is not ultimately found in politics or personalities but in an unfaltering commitment to the power of God to change lives and restore the rotting foundation of our nation.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Waning National Conviction

As we approach the midpoint of 2022, there are many disconcerting trends that are troubling our nation.  Skyrocketing inflation and energy costs are hurting all but the very wealthy.   The wave of violence and crime continues to afflict particularly large urban areas but is being felt everywhere.   Moral decay persistently tears at the fabric of human society as we drift further from the patterns ordained by the Creator.  Weakened families are failing to provide stable environments in which children may be established to provide sound, courageous leadership for future generations. 

At the root of these degenerative patterns is a waning national conviction of the existence of God.   Gallop’s poll conducted in May 2022 reveals the lowest percentage of Americans expressing belief in God ever recorded.   This year 81% of people surveyed answered that they believe in God – down six percentage points from the 87% who expressed their belief in God in the 2017 poll.

When this question was first asked in 1944, and twice annually through the 1950s and 1960s, consistently 98% of respondents indicated their belief in God.  By 2011 the percentage had dropped to 92%.   So, over the past decade, the pattern of disbelief has fallen over 10 percentage points. 

When nearly 20% of the population refuses to acknowledge that there is a God to whom they are ultimately accountable, such disbelief will inevitably affect human behavior and social trends in a negative way.   Some of those degenerative patterns were noted earlier.  

Indeed, most Americans understand that all is not well.  A Gallop poll released on June 15th indicated that half of Americans rate the overall state of moral values in the US as “poor.”  Another 37% rated morals as “only fair.”  Not surprisingly, these are the worst ratings received in the 20 years that Gallop has been asking the question.  

Our task as God-fearing followers of Christ is to ensure that our lives daily reflect the conviction that there is a God in heaven who rules in the affairs of men.   Scripture declares that only a fool tells himself that there is no God.   In our time we see many highly educated people living as fools.  

If there is hope for America, it will be found in a renewed commitment to our national Pledge of Allegiance which affirms that we are “one nation, under God.”  Whether as individuals, or as a nation, living as if there is no God will lead inevitably to devastating consequences such as we are witnessing in these perilous times.  

As we celebrate Independence Day, let us pray that the God of mercy will send revival and renewal across our troubled land.  

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

A Spiritual Pandemic

We have been overwhelmed since early 2020 with a daily barrage of information about the impact of the COVID-19 virus sweeping the world.  And we have all been impacted personally with the illness itself, the fallout of social restrictions, the death of friends and family, the general chaos that has impacted most of the world, or some other dimension of this plague.  Except for those who look favorably upon the heavy hand of government control, this pandemic cannot end soon enough.

There is, however, another plague which has been causing chaos and destruction at a spiritual level long before the coronavirus existed.  I’m referring to the destructive effects of the plague of pornography.  The American Family Association Journal observes Porn Awareness Week October 24-31 and highlights the devastating impact of pornography, not just upon society at large but also within the Christian church., an online accountability resource, offers help for those battling the lure of pornography.  It cites statistics from 2018 which reveal that one in five youth pastors and one in seven senior pastors use porn regularly and are currently struggling [with addiction].  64% of Christian men and 15% of Christian women say they watch porn at least once a month.   The impact of pornography has not declined in the past three years.  Currently, 35% of all Internet downloads are porn related.

As Christians we must take seriously this often-secret sin which has become exponentially worse since the advent of the Internet and especially with the prevalence of smart phones.  Today, 95% of American teens have access to a smartphone.  And 90% of teenage porn use happens on their smartphones. 

The Journal notes that in 2019 the leading porn site created 170 years of new content and garnered 42 billion site visits, with 115 million daily visits.  And this is a single website.

Ted Shimer has written a new book, The Freedom Fight: The New Drug and the Truths That Set Us Free.  He states, “This book is for anyone who wants to know the pathway to freedom for themselves or so they can be equipped to help others.” offers a biblically-based, no-cost recovery program.

If you, or others you know, struggle with this pervasive sin that is wreaking havoc in both the church and the world, I urge you to seek spiritual assistance.  Scripture commands us to “bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5).

Thursday, September 9, 2021

A Critical Misdiagnosis


One does not have to be a news junky to be aware of the growing lawlessness and corruption that is sweeping across our land.  Open violence that is tolerated by many who advocate reducing police presence in our inner cities is a growing threat to those populations.  Outright lies are being told to influence public opinion on matters dealing with health issues and legitimate treatment options.  Retail outlets in certain parts of our country are facing a wave of theft that is generated by a refusal to prosecute criminal offenders below a certain level.  Parental rights and responsibilities are being undermined by public officials who believe they know better than moms and dads how children should be taught and disciplined.  Efforts are being made to cancel major dimensions of our history, thus preventing future generations from learning the lessons of the past.

What is the source of such aberrant behavior?  Why do humans engage in actions that ultimately harm those they profess to care most about?   What drives powerful people to espouse policies and actions that are detrimental to those they are charged with leading?  Why is our nation divided in a manner not seen since the Civil War? 

The wrong answer to these questions is at the root of what ails America these days.

In May of this year, 1000 Americans were surveyed to determine their worldview.  A key finding of this study revealed that 51% of adults claimed to have a biblical worldview.  But, in actuality, their responses indicated that just 6% actually have one.  A biblical worldview is an outlook that integrates the Christian faith into every dimension of life.  The Bible does not just address how and when we should gather for worship, it provides principles that must govern behavior 24/7.

Among the discoveries of this study is that just 33% of the 51% “believe that human beings are born with a sinful nature and can only be saved from the consequences of sin by Jesus Christ.”  That means that only about 17% of our population recognizes our inherent sinful nature and that the only cure is found in the work of Jesus Christ as Redeemer.

Throughout history, the depravity of the human heart has been on full display.  In the Old Testament era, children were offered as burnt offerings to the heathen god Moloch.  Today they are aborted from the wombs of their mothers in service to the god of personal freedom and convenience.   National leaders in ancient Israel abused their authority, led the nation astray, and brought the crushing judgment of God upon themselves and their people.

Today, we are in danger of suffering a national collapse because our collective conscience fails to recognize the inherent depravity of the human heart which can only be cured by the power of God.  So long as we blame our social ills on educational methodology, or the color of our skin, or the level of the minimum wage, or any other peripheral issue, we will never get to the root of the problem.

We are each born a sinner.  Only the power of the gospel can change the human heart so that one can begin to reflect a lifestyle that honors the God who made us.  As a church, our task is to effectively communicate the gospel message so that individuals can be changed and families can build their lives upon God’s eternal truth.  Any other foundation will crumble over the course of time. 

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

The Perilous Perspective of Gen Z

The current crop of teen-agers and young adults born between 1997 and 2012 has been dubbed Gen Z.  Raised on the Internet and social media, what the majority of these individuals actually believe should cause great alarm in the Christian church.  In 2018 Barna research characterized Gen Z as the “first truly post-Christian generation,” with only 4% holding to a biblical worldview.  Since then, the trends have only worsened.

A new study conducted last year collected data from 1,503 young adults ages 13 to 21 between June 15 and July 17, 2020.  From that study, Barna researchers determined that two-thirds (65%) believe that “many religions can lead to eternal life.”  This figure was up from 58% in 2018.

The moral relativism dominating this generation of young people was further seen in the fact that 31% “strongly agree” that what is “morally right and wrong changes over time, based on society”.  This number increased from 25% in 2018.  Another 43% agree “somewhat” with this perspective.

To look at the situation from a different standpoint, only 10% of those individuals surveyed “strongly disagree” that what is “morally right and wrong changes over time, based on society. 

Malachi 2:15 states that God ordained marriage because “He seeks godly offspring.”  I.e., God expects parents to have children and to raise them to know and honor Him, fully committed to a biblical worldview.  It is apparent that many professing Christians today are failing in this most critical mission.  

One of the primary tasks of the church is to encourage, support, and come alongside Christian parents to accomplish this God-given responsibility toward their children.  Obviously, the parents themselves must be absolutely committed to the unchanging authority of Scripture before they can instill this perspective in their sons and daughters.

In one of his final addresses to the nation of Israel that he had led for 40 years, Moses expressed the urgency of imparting this outlook to their children in this way: “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” (Deut. 6:6-7).  Hence, the constant, consuming passion of parents must be to ensure their children embrace the unchanging truth of God’s revelation as the foundation for their lives.  The importance of this priority has not changed in 3500 years.


Monday, March 23, 2020

Christ & Covid-19

Daily, it seems, we are inundated with messages from every imaginable type of business, from banks to insurance companies to tour guides to vitamin distributors to automobile dealerships– all expressing their response to the current crisis creating havoc across our land.  Throughout the world, churches and other Christian ministries have curtailed their public activities out of a concern to cooperate with efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19 and to mitigate its potential impact upon us all.

Looking through the lens of a biblical worldview, how should Christians view this present crisis? It is easy to be driven by a fear that belies our professed faith in the Lord.  Or, on the other extreme, it is possible to ignore the present realties and act as if Christians are impervious to the potential impact of the coronavirus threat.  Neither response reflects a truly biblical perspective.  So what should we do and think?  The essence of a Christian response will include the following dimensions.

First, rest in the sovereignty of God.  The God who spoke the universe into existence continues to providentially direct the course of history.  The inception of this pandemic is no more of a disruption of God’s plan than were the Ten Plagues that rained down upon the Egyptians as a means of freeing Israel from slavery.  The Lord gave Job a strong lesson in the realities of life, reminding him that God’s infinite power, dominion, and wisdom providentially direct all that happens, from arranging the constellations of the stars to the movement of mammoth sea creatures to when mountain goats give birth.  Nothing happens in this universe apart from the sovereign will of God, including the spread of Covid-19.  Humanly speaking, the actions of Chinese government officials may have initially facilitated the spread of the virus, but ultimately God was accomplishing His purposes.

Second, recognize the fragility of life in this world.  Millions who a month ago may have been living a care-free life, without regard for the possibility of imminent sickness and death, are now overwhelmed with concern for themselves and their loved ones.  Nothing like a pandemic to bring a solid dose of a reality which has been the message of Scripture for generations!  Over 2500 years ago Isaiah declared, “All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field.  The grass withers, the flower fades, because the breath of the Lord blows upon it; surely people are grass” (40:6-7).  In light of this tenuous hold on life, we should pray Moses’ words in Ps. 90, “So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”

Third, realize that Covid-19 is not a sign that the end is near.  There are enterprising, self-styled prophecy experts who seek to capitalize on every major upheaval in society as a sign that the “end times” have come upon us.   Newspaper editors and internet news sites have long known the axiom that “If It Bleeds, It Leads.”  I.e., sensational news stories about big trouble are a surefire way to attract readers.  And so such stories invariably make the headlines.  Given this reality, we must resist efforts to claim that this current pandemic is a sign of the end any more than were the 14th-century plague of Black Death, the 18th-century  Yellow Fever outbreak, the 19th-century Cholera Pandemic, and the early 20th-century Spanish Flu.  These periods of intense disease killed many millions.  It is estimated that the Spanish Flu alone killed at least 50 million worldwide, a number that dwarfs even worse-case scenarios for Covid-19.

And fourth, redeem the opportunities this crisis affords.  Paul wrote to the Ephesians, “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”  The curse of sin is manifesting itself in unusual ways these days. But we who know Christ are charged with living carefully and wisely, taking advantage of the open doors for ministry that God provides.  While we are not able to maintain “business as usual” public gatherings right now, God is still at work and using His people.  Let us be praying for His guidance in these regards and for His purposes to be accomplished.  He will be glorified through Covid-19 in ways we could not have anticipated.  Let us, therefore, remember to pray what Jesus taught us: “Hallowed be Your name. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”  And remember that God works through the hearts of kings and those with civil authority (Prov. 21:1), so let us be praying for them to be filled with wise guidance as we navigate these uncharted waters.