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FIRST-PERSON: ‘They’ are watching, but so is He

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Warning: Reading the following column may lead to your arrest and long-term incarceration.

I willingly and knowingly expose myself to the imminent repercussions of the social reconstructionists. Like Winston in George Orwell’s “1984,” I realize I may be subjecting myself to the three-step process that leads to “Doublethink,” but the way I see it, we’re already facing the Learning, Understanding and Acceptance phases of the humanist agendas that are hijacking our culture.

Still reading? OK, but remember I warned you when “They” come for you.

This is not a dissertation on “1984,” but the book does provide a reference point. Orwell, of course, wrote the book in the 1940s and modeled “Big Brother” after Hitler’s Nazi Germany and Franco’s fascist Spain. History gives us perspective and we think, “How could that have happened?” How could a few so comprehensively alter a nation’s culture?

Wake up and look around. You’re living the answer.

Dateline Philadelphia: Eleven people were arrested and four ultimately charged with criminal conspiracy, possession of instruments of crime, reckless endangerment of another person, ethic intimidation, riot, failure to disperse, disorderly conduct and obstructing highways. Each faces a maximum 47 years in jail if convicted. Their crime: They were Christians peaceably assembled at a Philadelphia “Outfest” and preaching that homosexuality is a sin. Their “instrument of crime” was the Bible.

Dateline Atlanta: A U.S. District Judge ruled that a disclaimer in textbooks stating that evolution is “a theory, not a fact,” must be removed because it is a violation of the Establishment Clause, a section of the First Amendment that Constitutional revisionists claim calls for a separation of church and state. Always conveniently absent from this conversation is the phrase, “Congress shall make no law …” Even if there was validity to the separation of church and state issue — which there isn’t — Congress didn’t authorize the disclaimer for the text. But, since it is a public school system that receives public money, and because Congress is a public entity, a connection is somehow miraculously established.

The American Heritage College Dictionary (Fourth edition) defines “absurd” as, “Ridiculously incongruous or unreasonable.” America today is living the definition. Welcome to the tyranny of the absurd.

The first example above is a complete travesty of our First Amendment rights as Americans. The second example is more commonplace.

I could give you dozens of examples from courtrooms across the United States where similar cases are being executed. No logically thinking person can draw the same conclusions that the cultural revisionists have drawn from our Constitution, yet the assault on our moral foundation is constant and coming from all fronts, especially the judicial front, including the Supreme Court. Justice Stephen Breyer, on ABC News’ “This Week,” wondered out loud whether the Constitution will be a sufficient document to govern America in the future. So much for pledging an oath to uphold and defend what was once considered the supreme law of the land.

Drag from the scrap heap of history the great civilizations and look through their remains. You’ll find the genesis of their collapse in moral decay and tyrannical absurdity. Solomon is again proven prophetic: There truly is nothing new under the sun. Or consider Paul’s warning to Timothy: “A time will come when they will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will accumulate teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear something new. They will turn away from hearing the truth and will turn aside to myths” (II Timothy 4:3-4, HCSB). Could his statement be any more contemporary?

But those called to be living examples of truth — Christians — have missed the objective. We are living in a culture whose morality is aggressively declining, validated in the prophetic statements Jesus made in Matthew and through Paul’s observations in his various writings.

The Church — especially the Western Church — has been largely ineffective in the past 100 years in answering the challenges the culture has issued. But the objective has never been for us to win a culture war. Read the Bible; culture — all culture — collapses. We are significant participants in a cosmic war that’s been waging for thousands of years for the souls of men. The Kingdom of God is not confined to man-made governments or the freedom to exercise civil liberties. Our fight for Constitutional expression must never be viewed as an end, but rather as a means to an end that is found in the proclamation of the absolute truth that eternally changes man’s destiny. Likewise, the absence of those liberties must never quench the proclamation of that truth.

Jesus calls us to be good citizens under our governments, but He also calls us to be salt and light in a decaying world. The two are increasingly beginning to rub against each other. Where do you stand? Here’s my answer: As Paul charged Timothy so I urge again: “Proclaim the message; persist in it whether convenient or not … keep a clear head about everything, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry” (II Timothy 4:2, 5, HCSB).

We live in a culture whose moral equilibrium is lost and whose government is becoming increasingly more hostile toward Christianity. Big Brother is watching, but so too is the Father.
James T. Draper Jr. is president of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.

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  • James T. Draper Jr.