Our culture, our nation, could be seen as a mighty ship, willfully steered onto a lee shore, and now caught fast by the reef of systemic sin. What then follows is as inevitable as night following day.
Are current events really much different now than they ever were? Surely the history of mankind is replete with brokenness, difficulties and troubles? Indeed it is, but I would submit that for thousands of years our culture has been influenced by the salt and light of Christians. For sure – imperfectly, distorted, sometimes in the midst of evil ostensibly done in His name. But still acting, preserving and restraining.
But not so much anymore. The influence of Christians on our culture has been waning for many decades, and now we now see a society that has largely turned its back; unmoored from previous restraints. That is something new.
But we do not see this for what it is. The trappings of our culture and society mostly remain. Everything ‘looks’ normal. But it is the normal of a rotten tree – reaching bare branches blindly into the sky. We admire it, having stood for millennia; what could move it? We are secure, wrapped in the robe of complacency. Until one black night, a storm rolls in, and in the morning what was appeared so majestic now lies in ruins, broken on the ground. What then will we do?
What was hidden will be revealed. And it matters who we are, because in that time it will be revealed, to us and to everybody else.
Simon Leys wrote:
The everyday order of our lives may seem to us natural and permanent, but it is in fact as fragile and illusory as the cardboard props on a theatrical stage: It can collapse in a flash and turn at once into black horror. Our condition is forever precarious; even basic human decency can shatter and vanish in an instant.
Does that sound too absurd, too outlandish? Surely, that could not happen where I live?
Oh, really? Is human nature somehow different where you live?
Without the strong anchor point of Jesus, who stills the storm and commands us not to be afraid, what do you think will happen when the storm hits? When the comforts and trappings of our lives are taken away, and our very existence threatened?
Do not be afraid, but also do not be deceived. Most people will, as was ever the case, do what they need to do to survive. Only a very small minority will have the courage and fortitude to do something better – to resist evil men and their strongholds. Only those who have anchored on to the Firm Foundation, when the rock of self is proven illusory. And those who stand will not be those whom you think. Many of the strong, the great, the mighty, will fall, seemingly overnight. And the army of the weak and the broken will rise.
Only a few will find the road that leads to life. It is narrow, rocky, hard to follow, and along the way you will carry a cross to your own Golgotha, following in your Masters footsteps. It will be hard, yes – but not too hard for Him. Better that road than the easy one, sloping down gradually to death and destruction.
There is hope in that way, because He is the Way. And He is kind, He is faithful, He is the source of Love, and He promises to carry us when we cannot continue.
This remains the counsel in the twilight of this age – choose the Path, the Road, the Way that will cost you everything, but will lead you to life eternal.