As I and others have pointed out, while the West is becoming increasingly secular and hostile to biblical Christianity, with things moving from post-Christian to anti-Christian, many great things are happening in the non-Western world. The spiritual centre of gravity has shifted.
With my title in quote marks, I must be quoting someone. I am: myself. While out on my morning prayer walk, I was reflecting – as I do so often – on the deteriorating condition of the world. I was thinking of all the evil rulers and governments we find ourselves surrounded by. And worse yet, I thought of how many of these have the support of the masses. Many of them were cheerily voted into power by the majority.
We seem to keep voting in leaders, parties and governments that are in so many ways peddlers of evil and hostile to the faith. And the majority of folks seem to love it this way. One thinks of the words of the prophet Jeremiah when he was denouncing the false prophets and their influence in Jer. 5. He said, sadly, that “my people love it this way” (verse 31).
So as I thought about and prayed over this sad state of affairs, the phrase popped into my head, ‘The whole world is turning toward evil.’ There certainly is every indication of this – something I have documented countless times on this site. Those who are biblical Christians – that is, those who are not ideologically blinded, or living in a Pollyannish world – know this to be the case.
But if things are so bad, how is the Christian to respond? Let me offer three general considerations. They may not tell us all that we are wanting to know in terms of dealing with this, but they should at least give us some perspective and some comfort.
Our haters and critics on the secular left will gloat gleefully over all this and say, ‘See, your side is losing. Your side is the clear and shrinking minority.’ That may be the case, but I actually have some good news for those who may be losing heart here.
As the Bible makes perfectly clear, as history demonstrates, and as I have so often written about, it is God’s customary way to use a remnant to accomplish his purposes. That is usually how he gets the job done. And of course that is how he gets the glory. As we read in Zechariah 4:6 for example, ‘“Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.”
Biblical examples of this are numerous, including the story of how God commanded Gideon to whittle down his army of 32,000 to just 300 men! And Wilberforce never had more than a small committed group of co-workers as he took on the giant slave trade. I speak to these realities further in this piece.
Let me offer a famous quote from Whittaker Chambers. He was a noted Communist who turned anti-Communist. A conversion to Christianity was the basis for this, based on an incident as recorded in his powerful 1952 autobiography Witness.
In it he mentions how simply looking at his young daughter’s ear one day convinced him that there must be a creator, and that life did not come about by accident. I record the episode here.
But the quote from Witness that I had in mind is this: “I wanted my wife to realize clearly one long-term penalty, for herself and for the children, of the step I was taking. I said: ‘You know, we are leaving the winning world for the losing world.’ I meant that, in the revolutionary conflict of the 20th century, I knowingly chose the side of probable defeat.”
At the time he said that it did indeed look like Communism was the wave of the future, and that Christianity would eventually disappear. But of course Communism is now largely a relic of the past, while the Christian faith continues unabated. But yes, true believers will always be a remnant in a largely hostile world, and it may SEEM like we are on the losing side.