The conversation was between a militant, Russian Communist and a reserved, elderly Christian in the days before the collapse of the Soviet Union. A disciple of Marx and Lenin, the Communist proficiently argued his case against God and those who believed in Him. He expertly unloaded on the elderly follower of Jesus a barrage of Communist dogma and atheistic vitriol. Finally he paused to ask the old man what he had to say in defense of his beliefs.
The gentleman responded, “I can see that you are obviously a man of superior intellect and eloquence. Furthermore,” he replied, “I could never begin to compete with your ability to express yourself about what you believe about religion and politics. But I do have the advantage over you in one important aspect of life. I am assured of my future, and you are not.”
The old man expressed the material point when it comes to our situation following an American election that so clearly revealed the revolutionary moral and social convulsions that have developed in our culture over the decades. Belief in both the absolute authority of a divine Sovereign and the truth of His Word has been dismissed as myth and fable. The great masses apparently feel that only intellectual dwarfs cling to their “crutch” of faith and obstinately attempt to communicate their beliefs to others. Neopaganism is fast becoming a staple in America and the Western democracies.
Neopaganism travels in the same circles as ”inclusivism,” which contends that every religion and cult possesses qualities equal or superior to Christianity and the biblical Judaism out of which the Christian faith came.
The truth, however, is that radical, liberal religionists have reintroduced the polytheistic worship of many gods, which our forefathers in the faith rejected. Also, I might add, some elements in evangelicalism are now moving away from the traditional one-God, one-way Christian position.
To make neopaganism palatable will require a concerted effort to emasculate “outsiders,” meaning Bible-believers who adhere to inerrancy of Scripture and the Great Commission to “go into all the world and preach the gospel” (Mk. 16:15). We will either have to be silenced or brought into the mainstream of contemporary religious thinking and practice.
Already some politicians are beating the drum to resurrect the slyly named Fairness Doctrine designed exclusively to suppress free speech in the news media. It would use intimidation and/or legislation to make conservative journalists and broadcasters pay a heavy price for bucking the enshrined secular system.
Charles Colson, eminent evangelical and founder of Prison Fellowship Ministries, cited a prime example recently when he spoke of California’s Proposition 8 that in November reversed a ruling allowing same-sex marriage. Californians overwhelmingly rejected gay marriage in 2000 (Proposition 22), only to have their will overridden by the California Supreme Court on May 15, 2008.
On Election Day, voters courageously rose up and reversed the reversal. You can be sure, however, that the matter is far from closed. Appeals will fill the courts. And the courts may well again declare that the majority doesn’t make the rules; judges and radical minorities do, particularly those harassing for change and promoting deviant lifestyles. It is worth noting that the California Council of Churches joined 250 other organizations supporting same-sex marriage.
In an October 27, 2008, New York Times article by Laurie Goodstein, Mr. Colson made this observation: “This vote on whether we stop the gay-marriage juggernaut in California is Armageddon. . . . [If] we lose this, we are going to lose in a lot of other ways, including freedom of religion.”
Colson may be like a prophet. Far too few leaders today are as willing as he to speak out and warn people about what’s ahead. We are, like it or not, living in the vortex of a political, moral, and social revolution. Too many true evangelicals are content to believe “It can’t happen here.” Oh, it can, and it is.
The time may be near when you or your pastor will be behind bars for daring to articulate a clearly defined biblical issue that doesn’t mesh with what neopagans deem correct. It has happened before.
The obsession with change has become the shibboleth of our time. We are still waiting for what change means. From this vantage point, it doesn’t look promising.
But we do have, with absolute certainty, the same assurance the elderly Christian told the Communist about. Only believers have a grasp on the future; and that truth will forever be unintelligible to the masses.
We may not understand everything in this life. But we know who holds our lives. And that’s something to hold on to.