Expanding the Kingdom?
Are thriving churches influencing the surrounding culture?
Published: 9 July 2015 (GMT+10)
Originally published in a CMI newsletter, July 2013
As I write, my inbox is full of emails from around the world on the so-called gay marriage debate. The current conservative UK government is moving to support same-sex unions; New Zealand just passed legislation legalizing same, and Australia seems likely to follow. It is already legal in Canada, and in the US, Republican Party opposition is waning. [Note, since this article was originally published, the US Supreme Court and many other countries have legalized same sex unions]. What is really shocking is how many Christians also support, or just don’t care about, this issue. Mention ‘gay marriage’, and many Christians switch off and choose not to engage with what is happening around them. But this is just a symptom of an underlying problem.
A colleague wrote how the seeds of this problem were sown nearly 200 years ago when the church capitulated on biblical authority in geology, and “effectively declared that the plain text in Genesis was less important than the ‘experts’ and their ‘facts’. It cemented a neo-Platonic ‘dualism’ in which the Bible is not about ‘real-world’ things, only about stuff inside your head, like feelings. Darwin was a logical extension of that trend, and we are now seeing the outworkings relentlessly. First abortion, now gay marriage, and more to come, as these are all ‘redefined’ as ‘rights’ and ‘choices’.”1
Loopholes in the Bible?
How true this is. My youngest daughter is shocked when professing Christian youths in her US university classes defend abortion on the basis of women’s rights, and gay marriage because “it’s ok if they love each other.” Do churches or parents realize that although these young ones attend their churches and profess to be Christian, the reality is they do not possess a Christian worldview. They’ve adopted a humanistic worldview that places man’s opinions above the Creator’s. If the Bible really is the Words of the Creator then His rules apply. But, if one can pick and choose what one wants to believe in Genesis, then why not elsewhere?
Yes, I confess to being frustrated at the incredible apathy in the church. Many churches are reluctant to open their pulpits to creation speakers. “We don’t need a divisive issue like creation. It’s just a side issue—like abortion and gay marriage.” For example, we see the phenomenon of megachurches, all over the world with thousands in the congregations in enthusiastic worship, feeling spiritually ‘high’, and thinking that things could hardly be better. “What are these creation guys on about anyway? Look at us, we’re really expanding the Kingdom here!” While at the same time a massive erosion of Christian morality is happening all around us. Abortion ‘clinics’ (actually murder factories, like Kermit Gosnell’s) are violating women and killing their viable babies.
But, being a Christian is more than attending a church—something a lot of people do here in America’s Bible belt, where CMI-US is located. There are commands in Scripture for every Christian to be salt and light to the world, and to fulfil the Great Commission. And it is the church’s job to train Christians to perform this role (and not just ‘church-building’ for the sake of it). So, here is my challenge to churches both large and small and those who attend them (and feel their church is doing great). Despite the proliferation of churches, Christian schools, TV and radio stations etc., is your community, your town, your city, is your country becoming more Christian or less Christian? Are our ‘Christian’ youth following the worldwide trend of leaving the church by the time they reach adulthood? For too many this is true. If we want to effect a change in the culture, we need to change hearts and minds towards Christ our Creator and Redeemer. If we can show people the Bible is really, really true, then they should live their lives in accordance with its injunctions.
The government-mandated view of our origins—is not a side issue for the church.
Evolution and its millions of years of death before the Fall destroys the integrity of the biblical text and the very reason Christ’s sacrificial death became necessary. Most people have been taught evolution as fact. So for them, what is correct, the Bible, so-called ‘science’, or a compromise of the two where ‘science’ usually trumps the Bible anyway, relegating its teachings to second place?
It’s not hard to make a difference
At CMI we constantly show you testimonies of lives changed (including in this Prayer News) as a result of exposure to creation information. So, we can stop (or at least slow) the rot—one person, one family at a time. As Christian professor Dr Mike Adams wrote: “If Christianity dies in America it will not be for a lack of evidence of its truthfulness. It will be for a lack of dissemination of the evidence of its truthfulness.”2
We, the church, have access to more information today, to support what we believe in this crucial area of origins, than at any time in the church’s history. But most don’t even know it exists. Please, churches, wake up—recognize what is happening around us, and get information into your people’s hands to support biblical authority. One powerful way is to have a CMI event at your church.