Who is Influencing Whom?

American Christians today like to glory in a bygone era when, we are told, Christianity prevailed politically, judicially, socially, and culturally.  We pray, give, work, and organize for Christian influence.  It seems obvious from current experience and history that Christian influence makes life better.

But a contrary thought enters my mind.  A combination of history and theology suggests that any church that so prevails among the unredeemed is a weak and polluted church.  I’m suggesting that the forces of evil will not cooperate with nor tolerate a healthy church.  Healthy churches are normally attacked.

Forty years ago numerous Evangelical voices lamented that we were not using our numerical strength. We were a minority – but a sizeable one.  We were urged to consider the examples of dedicated minorities who had influence far beyond their number.  So many Evangelicals became more active politically and socially.  We wrote to our Congress members.   Many Evangelicals ran for office and were elected.  Christian organizations lobbied and worked to rally Evangelical voters.  We marched for life and created crisis pregnancy centers.

I think we caught the non-Christian world by surprise.  We won some victories and still do.  But the secular world has awakened; it has been aroused.  The forces of darkness are using their majority status.  They have more lawyers and judges than we do.

Shall we stop lobbying and preaching about moral causes?  No.  We, like prophets, should urge repentance.  However, we must accept the fact that prophets are often irritating.  They are killed or run out of town.  We should expect the same.

It is ironic that during the same years we engaged in culture wars our Christian culture has been compromised with darkness.  Our worldliness is widespread.  We need more internal prophets.

Pharoah refused Moses.  But Ahasuerus sided with Esther.  Was that because Esther was wiser than Moses? I don’t think so.  Perhaps we should concentrate on righteousness, holiness, other fruit of the Spirit, and evangelism; then simply accept whatever level of influence emerges.



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