Archive | January, 2000

Mission Monthly – January 2000

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of men who by their wickedness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse; for although they knew God they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened.”

Romans 1:18-21

As the year 2000 has dawned with all its anticipated worldwide celebrations I have found myself contemplating the common future of man. There is much to be optimistic about in the 21st century, especially for justice as mankind considers the consequences of violence in what is becoming more and more a “global” community.

For Christianity the 20th century has been a challenging era. The rise of humanism in the mind of man has produced what many consider to be the most self-directed social “progress” of recorded history. The American “experiment” has provided an unrestrained personal and economic incentive resulting in consumer production virtually beyond comprehension. No other century can match this century’s advancements of education, technology, finance, etc… For some this only reflects man’s “coming of age,” his “coming out” from under the restraints of an antiquated moral code no longer relevant to an “enlightened” society. For others, however, this loosening of the restraints has set at liberty the self-centered tendencies of the human heart and thereby seriously threatened the delicate balance of a healthy society. If God (the True God) is being left out of the equation, unrestrained freedom will inevitably lead to the further surrender of man’s fallen nature to the enslavement of the passions.

The challenges which lie ahead for Christianity in the 21st century are precisely reflected in the words of the Apostle Paul in Romans.When I was a boy growing up in Madison life couldn’t have been better.I had a close and loving family, a secure home, and a church that provided stability, guidance and protection in a rapidly changing world. In the naivete of my mind I believed that everyone was as I was and that things probably would always be the same. But things have changed, also beyond comprehension.I believe that much of this change is the direct result of wickedness, unrighteousness and the suppression of Truth.

Previews of millennium celebrations from around the world have shown with much fascination the diverse and beautiful cultures of the human community. There are, however, many ominous “religious” and political climates which increasingly threaten Truth and true liberty in the world. A recent statistic showed that more Christians around the world were martyred for their faith in the last decade of the 20th century than in the first three centuries of the Christian Church. One often ignored “statistic” is the systematic dismantling of the Russian Orthodox Church and its estimated 45 million dead by the communist government of Soviet Russia. One chant from a recent anti-Christian demonstration outside a church right here in Madison, Wisconsin, carried by the national media, simply stated “Bring back the lions.”

Beloved in Christ, we can no longer ignore the suppression of Truth which is disabling our society. Our vulnerability is increased by our own resistance to accountability to the Christian life as revealed in the Church. This “resistance” is as much a suppression of Truth as any in the world. We too are “without excuse.” Let us therefore make this new beginning one of vigilance and rededication to our conviction and obedience to true discipleship in Jesus Christ. The mind of the world around us may darken but ours can be faith-filled lives of hope, unselfishness, and Light, to the glory of the True God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Who desires but one thing, “…all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of truth” (1 Tim. 2:4).

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