It is difficult living in captivity to a secular, anti-Christian culture. Anytime you speak truth you can expect to be criticized, mocked and marginalized. This past week Snopes published an article titled, Why Creationism Bears All the Hallmarks of a Conspiracy Theory. Even though the Snopes’ website said that it has not actually done any work to “fact check” the article, they were publishing it because they thought it would be something of interest to its readers.
The article states that young earth creationism can’t be ignored because it is dangerously opposed to science. The article goes on to warn readers that if you visit websites that promote the biblical account of creation, you will find that their creationism is completely hostile to science, while paradoxically claiming to be scientific.
There is even an attempt to compare creationism to the QAnon and the stolen election conspiracy theories that led to the January 6th riots at the U.S. Capitol building. The article is another example how the anti-Christian culture of today wants to “cancel” anything that even remotely hints of the truth of God and His Word.
We have to know how to live in Babylon and stay true to biblical Christianity. Here are a couple of truths that we must fully grasp in order to remain faithful and steadfast.
Why are we in Babylon?
Whenever God’s people have been taken captive, either literally or figuratively, they have a tendency to blame the world for their problems. It is easy to cast blame on today’s anti-Christian culture for the mess that we find ourselves in. The Israelites saw the problem as the Babylonian empire. If only they could defeat this wicked empire, everything could be brought back to normalcy.
We face the same danger today. We can blame the moral decadence of the culture today for all of our problems. In reality, God’s people are taken into captivity because of their own behavior; not that of society in general. Erwin Lutzer addresses this problem in his book, The Church in Babylon, when he writes,
The Church did not lose its position of privilege simply because of evil enemies of the faith. We lost our position as part of God’s judgement on our pride, our hypocrisy, our love of power, our prejudice, our bigotry and failure to hold onto the truth. This is the way in which God gets people’s attention.
We are not living in Babylon because of the wickedness of the lost world. We are here because of our sin and unwillingness to repent of it.
God has you and me where He wants us!
I must confess that there are times when I want to pack my bags and move to some remote island. I just want to get out of this mess. Other times I long for another time when my faith wasn’t constantly attacked and I could live my life in comfort. Of course, I quickly realize that there is no utopian place where I can escape the fallen world in which we live.
There is a verse that has been quoted by quite a few people in recent months. It is something that Paul wrote in one of his letters to the church in Corinth. When this verse is referred to, it is usually done so in the context of the race issues of today.
He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth… Acts 17:26 (NKJV)
This is a powerful verse that makes it clear that there is only one race of people — the human race. However, the rest of the verse is too often overlooked. The entire verse reads,
He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings. Acts 17:26 (NKJV)
I am living in this country at this time because the eternal, omniscient God has predetermined this is when and where I am to live and fulfill His will for my life. You and I are to advance God’s kingdom right here and right now.
What does God expect of me today?
God expects from me what He has always expected from His people. Consider what Paul went on to tell the Corinthian Christians.
…they should seek the Lord…and find Him…for in Him we live and move and have our being. 1 Corinthians 17:27-28 (NKJV)God wants you and me to be His disciples right here and right now. However, this is where the rubber hits the road. Being a disciple of Jesus Christ is not an easy path to take; especially in today’s hostile environment.
The most common passage of Scripture referred to about what it takes to be a true disciple is found in the gospel of Luke. Jesus clearly states what is required of each of us.
Then He said to them all, “if anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow Me. Luke 9:23 (NKJV)
Most Christians are very familiar with this verse. However, at the same time, very few believers want to obey it. God expects me to die to self every single day that I am alive. This is especially challenging to do when living in a hostile, anti-Christian society. When I am under constant attack, I want to defend myself and get even. Instead of reacting in this manner, God expects me to die to myself.
Then, I must take up my cross each day as I follow Him. It is noteworthy to understand that the cross I am to bear is not something that is placed on me. I have to voluntarily pick it up and carry it. Facing ridicule and persecution from a lost world is not the cross that I am to bear. That is something that the world wants to put on me.
I am convinced that the cross that God wants us to bear in today’s world is standing up and boldly declaring truth to everyone around us—especially to the next generation. In the introduction of the current issue of The Voice of the Martyrs magazine, Cole Richards writes,
…most [crosses] are optional situations in which we must choose to pay a price out of obedience to Christ.
Cole goes on to explain how the crosses that Paul bore were not those of being in prison and beaten regularly. No, they were crosses,
…that he chose to bear many that he could have easily avoided by choosing not to boldly proclaim Christ…Most persecuted Christians can avoid suffering for Christ by simply deciding to stop bearing witness to His truth. They face a daily temptation to avoid suffering through silence and inactivity.
Concluding thoughtsIt is difficult living in Babylon. But, we are not alone because God has promised never to leave us or forsake us. Not only is it important that we deny ourselves and daily pick up the cross but that we become more intentional to train the next generation and prepare them for life here in Babylon. I close with a challenge that Richards gave in his editorial.
As biblical disciples, we are called to deliberately and repeatedly leave the security and comfort we are tempted to design for ourselves in order to embrace the cost of bearing witness to Christ to the lost around us…The truth of Christ is incompatible with corporate America’s social agenda and so-called inclusive messaging. All of us—especially the young generation of Christians preparing to enter the workforce—need to prepare for the increasing cost of discipleship here in the U.S.
It is no time for Christians to try and avoid suffering through silence and inactivity. We need to deliberately and boldly declare the truth of God’s Word to a lost and dying world.