I am actually old enough to remember doing some “duck and cover” drills when I was an elementary aged student outside of Washington, DC. The idea, as I recall the drills, was that in the event of a surprise nuclear attack, we were to duck under our desks and cover ourselves in order to help us survive. As I thought about it over the years… “Like that would really work???”
I heard that Facebook lit up recently with a report that a pastor was arrested in VT for his opposition to same sex marriage. It is a lie… it was a re-write of an urban legend. But then a baker in Oregon was fined $135,000 because as a Christian they could not in all good conscience provide a cake for a same sex wedding. I also read a post in the most recent erlc.com weekly posting that “Belgian doctors rule that a depressed woman has the right to end her life.” And the news and social media goes on and on…
June 26th seems to have become a watershed moment among evangelical Christians. Many of us are looking at a society, our nation, that seems to be morally and ethically unraveling. And for many it seems that they are one of two minds: (1) Get angry and bitter and let the world know it through social media; or (2) to try and “duck and cover”… hoping it will all go away, or that things aren’t as bad as they seem. I am thinking that neither really work, neither are really right, and neither are really all that “Christian”. So… what should we do? Is there a better way?
I believe that we as followers of Christ ought to get our theological thinking straight. What just happened did not catch our God by surprise. He isn’t up in Heaven wringing His omnipotent hands wondering what to do next. Our God is in control - He is sovereign (that is what the Bible teaches); He allowed this. What is happening is a reflection of a people who have turned their backs on Him… but then the Bible talks about that also (c.f. 2 Timothy 3:1-9; & 4:3-4 for example). Why is all this happening? I may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I believe I know in part, because I see what is going on in our world. And as I was thinking about Pastor John’s message from Sunday, as Americans, we’re not all that different from the ancient Israelites in Habakkuk’s day.
But God is still God; He is still on His throne. And His commandment to “Go and make disciples…” (Matthew 29:19-20) hasn’t been shelved because things aren’t going according to our plans… our hopes and desires. We still have our mission, and our work to do; and if anything, I truly believe we are seeing an even greater sense of urgency… And dare I say, the need is even more apparent. Yes, it might be getting harder, but the world that existed when Jesus gave Acts 1:8 to His disciples; and what Habakkuk faced was much worse than what we are facing in our country today. God told Habakkuk then, and He tells us today, “…the just shall live by faith.” That hasn’t changed.
I love the passage Pastor John taught on Sunday. I have kept these verses very close to me over the years, and often turn to them in times of stress and difficulties. I encourage you to do likewise… I believe we will all need them in the days that lie ahead. Here it is again:
Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places. (Habakkuk 3:17-19 ESV).
Have a blessed week and a wonderful summer. And remember, God still knows where you live… He’s not forgotten or forsaken you (Hebrews 13:5).