This past week I found in my mailbox a small book addressed to “current resident.” The book was written to “reveal” a government conspiracy theory that is going to lead to mass persecution of Christians, and set off an ugly chain of events as predicted in the book of Revelation, with key government leaders working as Satan’s earthly representatives.
I wish I could say that Christian literature with dramatic rhetoric like this is a rarity, yet it is something I am finding at an uncomfortably high volume. Language telling us to defend the gospel, churches proclaiming their most important characteristic is “pure doctrine,” and calls to stand up for your beliefs (whatever those things all mean), are relatively common place. What troubles me is what is left unsaid in those statements. What is not said when we speak of “defending the gospel” is the suggestion that we need to protect God’s Word that we need to be in control of the circumstances. It leads me to wonder, is God not enough, does God need our work to protect His Word, or to protect himself?
I want to be crystal clear, I believe each of us need to live authentically, making decisions based on our principles, and being honest about what is so for me. What I hear loud and clear in much of this rhetoric is one thing: FEAR. These words are spoken out of fear of change and fear of the culture among other things.
God speaks these words to us from 2 Timothy 1:6-7 “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
Our God is one who is bigger than our circumstances, stronger than the highest authority on the planet, and wiser than any-man made plan we can create. Our God is one of Hope. God promises to us in scripture His Holy Spirit who is alive and active in this world and is actively changing lives, and transforming circumstances. Our hope and strength lies not in what we can do, but in our God who can do immeasurably more, whose love is inconceivable, whose wisdom we can’t even fathom. My hope rests in that God, not our culture, our government, philosophies or anything I can say and do with my own two hands.