Whether you are a Republican, a Democrat, an independent, or you align yourself with some third-party, there is a good chance you may not like what I’m about to say. While it’s never my intention to offend anyone, sometimes an offense cannot be helped. The truth itself often causes an offense.
In recent years, our civilization has retreated from the godly values and principles it was founded on. As our culture drifts further and further into secularism and hedonism and postmodernism, Christians are increasingly confronted with a choice: Should we speak out, loudly and clearly, for godliness and biblical truth in this dying culture? If we do, we may find ourselves challenging — and even abandoning — our old political allegiances and alliances.
When we take an unflinching look at the corruption of our leaders, we have to ask ourselves — why does the church have so little influence over our government? Why are we forced to choose a “lesser evil” instead of the greater good? Why isn’t the church raising up vast numbers of godly leaders to serve in our city councils, statehouses, and in Washington, D.C.?
As the church drifts into apostasy, the time has come for a New Reformation.
If we lived under the oppression of a dictatorship or a monarchy, the church might have a good reason for having little impact on the government. But we live under a democratically-elected representative government. Our national character should strongly reflect the character and influence of the church. And here is a troubling thought: Perhaps it does.
What if the corruption in our government is merely a reflection of the corruption in the church? What if the abysmal candidates we are offered on election day are God’s judgment against our country and against the apostasy of the church? One of the most frightening principles in Scripture is found in both the Old and New Testaments, in the recurring phrase, “God gave them over.” God, speaking through the Psalmist, said, “But my people would not listen to me; Israel would not submit to me. So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices” (Psalm 81:11-12).
And the martyr Stephen, in his speech to the Sanhedrin before he was stoned to death, spoke God’s response to Israel after the people made a golden calf and worshiped it in the desert: “But God turned away from them and gave them over to the worship of the sun, moon and stars” (Acts 7:42).
The apostle Paul, in his letter to the Romans, wrote about the ungodly people of the world, saying, “God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts” (Romans 1:24). There are numerous other passages I could cite. In each case, we see this principle at work: When people persist in their sin, God eventually removes His hand of protection from them and allows the consequences of sin to take their natural course.
So, if we in the church do not live out godliness in our own lives and if we do not demand godliness from our leaders, we will get the leaders we deserve. We will get the government we deserve. God will give us over to the consequences of our own ungodliness.
In Nazi Germany, the German state church became a willing accomplice of the Nazi party. A minority movement of German Christians formed what they called “the Confessing Church,” led by people of conscience like theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer and youth evangelist Wilhelm Busch. The Confessing Church challenged and confronted Hitler and the Nazis. They tried to warn their fellow German churchmen that God would judge Christians who supported the godless Nazi regime.
Writing from prison, awaiting execution for opposing the Nazis, Bonhoeffer wrote, “One may ask whether there have ever before in human history been people with so little ground under their feet — people to whom every available alternative seemed equally intolerable, repugnant, and futile.”
When our political system coughs up only candidates who seem “intolerable, repugnant, and futile,” we should ask ourselves if God is trying to get our attention — or worse, if He has already handed us over to the consequences of our ungodliness.
Western civilization is the product of the Reformation. The Reformers threw open the windows of God’s light after a thousand years of spiritual and cultural darkness. Today, as the church drifts into error, ignorance, and apostasy, the time has come for a New Reformation.
What would that New Reformation look like?
It would call men and women in the church to repent of all the things they have added to the Gospel — or have taken away from the Gospel. It would call them to preach God’s truth out of pure motives, instead of a lust for wealth or fame. It would call them to put away idols of the Prosperity Gospel, the Social Gospel, the Emerging Church, and all the other distortions and perversions of the Good News of Jesus Christ.
A New Reformation would expose the lies that have blinded so many professing Christians in our time. A New Reformation would awaken the West from the false hope that we can bargain with the barbarians or persuade them to turn from their way of destruction. A New Reformation would be rooted in realism, not wishful thinking, and it would recognize that those who seek to destroy our civilization and our faith will never abandon their quest. Only the Good News of Jesus Christ can melt a barbarian heart.
A New Reformation would stand in opposition not only to political Islam, but would also stand in opposition to the City of Man — our secular Western society, drunk on wealth, power, sex, and drugs.
A New Reformation would draw a clear distinction between the City of God and the City of Man. A New Reformation would show the world the face of authentic biblical Christianity — a Christianity that preaches the Good News of Jesus Christ without compromise, that demonstrates truth and love in perfect balance, that cares about people in need but refuses to back down from the truth in the face of threats and terrorism.
A New Reformation is the only hope Western civilization has to reverse its present course of destruction. The God of the New Reformation is the God of mercy and grace. He is the God who hung on a cross to redeem humanity, the God who rose again to prove His divine power.
Today, with arms open wide, the Lord Jesus calls to the world, to all people of East and West, to everyone living in the City of Man, “Repent and come to me. Come live forever in the City of God. This world is heading for destruction, but I have made a way of escape for you — a way of salvation.”
Come, Lord Jesus!