HOW CHRISTIANS MUST RESPOND TO BARBARISM IN AMERICA
In 1857, Thomas Babbington Macauley, an English historian, author and member of the British parliament, wrote the following in a letter to an American friend: “I seriously apprehend that you will, in some such season of adversity as I have described, do things which will prevent prosperity from returning. There will be, I fear, spoliation. The spoliation will increase the distress. The distress will produce fresh spoliation. There is nothing to stop you. Your constitution is all sail and no anchor.” “your republic,” Macauley said, “will be as fearfully plundered and laid to waste by the barbarians in the twentieth century as the Roman Empire was in the fifth, with the difference that the Huns and Vandals who ravaged the Roman empire came from without; and that your Huns and Vandals will have been engendered within your own country by your own institutions.” Rather prophetic, wouldn’t you say? We are now in the 21st century, and our country is in the final stages of being “laid to waste” by the barbarians within it.
The word “barbarians” brings to mind the picture of hordes of wild-eyed savages rampaging across a county side, killing and brutalizing, burning down property and bringing down the institutions of a civilization simply because they want to, and because they can. “Barbarians,” it has been aptly said, “are governed by their own will to power, and neither know nor care a thing about what they are annihilating.” This describes those who now control the entirety of our government and that large part of our population that has brought them to power, and morally, mentally and otherwise approves of, and is complicit with them. These are those – our barbarians within – who have brought us to the state of things that exist now in America, and will continue to exist for a long, long time to come. We are now a long way from President Reagan's "morning in America" and entering into what will be a long lasting midnight in America.
None of the above could or would have happened had not Christianity become as rotted out by worldliness as it has been over the last many decades. The question now is, how are Christians now to live now under the conditions of barbarism in America? Here are my thoughts:
We need to understand the sad truth that millions of those who identify themselves as Christians are self-deceived and otherwise deceived, about this; many, if not most of them have no idea or interest in what real Christianity is, and are contented to seek out, or make up as they go along, a "Christianity" that suits their fancy and meets their own “felt needs.” Their Christianity is a pseudo, paganized “Christianity” that has no connection with the truth as it is revealed in God’s Word. It is part and parcel of the post-truth, alternative truth, subjective truth, the “you have your truth and I have my truth” age in which we now live.
As genuinely born again Christians committed to the practice of biblical Christianity, we are going to have to become more and more conscious of who we are and resolve to “come out from among” (2 Cor. 6:17) those whose concept of truth is described above. We are going to have to realize that the “New Normal” being imposed upon society now isn’t a problem that needs solving, but a reality that that we have to live and deal with. We are going to have to brace themselves for an acceleration of an already accelerated persecution of biblical Christianity in our country. We are going to have to embrace heartily and happily the fact that our primary citizenship is not at all of or in this world, but that we are citizens of Christ’s kingdom (John 18:36; Phil. 3:20), and that we are going to uncompromisingly live as such.
In times like this, the true church, wherever it finds itself in visible expression in local assemblies, is going to have to keep itself pure in terms of doctrine and lifestyle from the world (James 1:27) as it seeks to evangelize others and continually train itself in terms of its identity and mission. The hoopla, hullabaloo, and hypocrisy that characterizes modern “Christianity” is going to have to be forthrightly and flatly rejected regardless of the cost in terms of finances, fellowship or followship.
Someone once said, “Freedom doesn’t always win.” That’s true. America has become the latest example of this. Freedom doesn’t always win. But true Christianity always does. It always has. And, it will.