WHAT CAN WE DO? Part 7
John 8:32 “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
We (the church) need to shake the system. Looking back over the history of my own country (USA) we see how God’s people helped to bring about some of the greatest reform movements in American history such as abolition of slavery and guaranteeing of civil rights.
One of the problems we face in the west is that our evangelical faith became separated from public affairs. This in turn allowed the social gospel led by liberal Christians to take over, as we retreated into the four walls of our churches believing that the world was going to burn up and we would be removed.
I would say from 1980 on there has been a renewed interest among God’s people to see change taking place in our societies and cultures. Back in the 80’s I was speaking often in South America, mainly in Brazil about the need to see a change in our culture, but my theology, at the time, would allow me to go only so far because I still hung on to the thought that I would be taken out and everything was going to burn up anyway, so why bother changing the culture; just let us rescue as many as possible.
I still believe that we should rescue as many as possible, but through a transformation taking place in my own mind, going back to the cultural mandate that the Lord gave, I realize that God was working not only towards the redemption of man, but also the redemption of the earth. I slowly began to realize that God is concerned about the world that we live in. I always had that thought in the back of my mind, but figured God would put all things right when He comes to judge and rule. But what got me to thinking is that if I am to work as my Father is working then I need to be working towards redemption both of man and the earth.
To understand redemption we need to understand what was lost when man fell and sin entered into God’s good creation. What did we lose? Man lost his soul, he lost his body and he lost dominion of the earth. So we are to work towards conversion, the saving of the soul. This is why we are commanded to go and preach the Gospel to all. At the resurrection we will have the redemption of the body and at the second coming of Christ we will have the redemption of the earth. But we do not go into our little shells and hide, rather we are to be working towards these goals which will be completed at the return of Christ.
So what do we do? We already saw that we need to pray. Along with prayer is TRUTH. It was truth that launched American anti-slavery. The truth was simple. Slavery was sin.
Truth has power to move people. This is one of the reasons why the Name of Jesus is so hated, because He is the truth. We need to be able to articulate the truth in an understandable way in the circle where God has placed us to be an influence.
What is the truth about abortions, women’s rights, family, marriage issues, etc. Part of my reading of Scripture is reading through Leviticus. In Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 respectively we read: “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable. If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.”
In a Salon article written by Adam Hamilton he states that these prohibitions are about the story of Sodom (Genesis 19) that are not loving, committed relationships and are outside the bounds of marriage. So the argument goes that if the relationship between the two consenting people is ‘loving and committed’ then there is no prohibition. Satan is very good in twisting Scripture, but to know the truth we need to know God’s Word. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.” (Colossians 3:16)
We will find that the forces working against us will be strong and well-defended. We will see that most people do not want the truth. If the truth is to set a society free to live the way we were created to live then it will only be through the crucible of suffering. If the One who is the truth went to the cross then we will find as well that freedom will only come by way of the same cross.
We have what is known as the ‘fallenness of humanity’ and people will act from their own selfish interests. This is why the human heart must be changed, and that can only be brought about by the Gospel. Change in a society starts with a change in the human heart. The truth will set you free.