Many Christians have trouble wrapping their heads around several difficult questions regarding how they should respond to what’s taking place in the world. It’s not because of a lack of intelligence; it’s a lack of teaching and a narrow focus of what it means to be a Christian in the world.
The world has gotten more complicated. In one sense, it has passed us by. We have not kept up with what’s been going on except in bits and pieces. Instead of leading the way as Christians have done in the past where civilization was defined as Christendom, we have become reactionary to unbelievers who have co-opted the categories of biblical world-and-life-view Christianity and remade them into a secular god.
Democrat New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, who replaced Andrew Cuomo after he resigned because of charges of sexual harassment, declared during remarks before Brooklyn’s Christian Cultural Center that individuals who have not received the coronavirus vaccine “aren’t listening to God.” But when it comes to killing babies in the womb or supporting same-sex marriage, don’t you dare mention the Bible. “Keep your religion off my body,” we’ve been told. But when the interests of the deified State are threatened, their view of god becomes a savior to be worshiped and a club to be wielded against any and all opposition.
An atheist is an “interloper on God’s territory. Everything he uses to construct his system has been stolen from God’s ‘construction site.’ The unbeliever is like the little girl who must climb on her father’s lap to slap his face…. [T]he unbeliever must use the world as it has been created by God to try to throw God off His throne.” It’s sad that so many Christians don’t understand this principle and yet it’s the only way to make sense of the world.
Francis A. Schaeffer (1912–1984) understood the principle (being a student of Cornelius Van Til) even though he did not always apply it consistently.
But if I live in a world of non-absolutes and would fight social injustice on the mood of the moment, how can I establish what social justice is? What criterion do I have to distinguish between right and wrong so that I can know what I should be fighting? Is it not possible that I could in fact acquiesce in evil and stamp out good? The word “love” cannot tell me how to discern, for within the humanistic framework love can have no defined meaning. But once I comprehend that the Christ who came to die to end “the plague” both wept and was angry at the plague’s effects, I have a reason for fighting that does not rest merely on my momentary disposition, or the shifting consensus of men.
But the Christian also needs to be challenged at this point. The fact that he alone has a sufficient standard by which to fight evil does not mean that he will so fight. The Christian is the real radical of our generation, for he stands against the monolithic, modern concept of truth as relative. But too often, instead of being the radical, standing against the shifting sands of relativism, he subsides into merely maintaining the status quo. If it is true that evil is evil, that God hates it to the point of the cross, and that there is a moral law fixed in what God is in Himself, then Christians should be the first into the field against what is wrong — including man’s inhumanity to man.
Schaeffer stated that “if the unsaved man was consistent with his claim to autonomy of mind and law he would be an atheist in religion, an irrationalist in philosophy (including a complete uncertainty concerning ‘natural laws’), and completely a-moral in the widest sense.”