The following is a transcript of the above video, except that I certainly added a few things as the talk progressed. It is very seldom that I speak from a written presentation, but in this case, the Lord impressed on me to do so and to forego using Powerpoint slides.
This afternoon, I am going to make a case for Christians to be engaged in the culture and society that surrounds us. This may be a little bit off the beaten path of traditional Christian thinking but to help us get there, l want to lay down a few building blocks to keep in mind as we move through this message.
First, I want to remind you about the three fundamental functions given to every Christian. They should be thoroughly built into our lives and evident at all times.
- Preach the Gospel (2 Tim 2:2)
- Defend the Gospel (Phil 1:17)
- Contend for the faith (Jude 3)
Second, there is the Great Commission given by Jesus Himself in Matthew 28:19
Matt 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:
Third, wherever there is ignorance or lack of vision to the reality of the physical and spiritual worlds, people are unrestrained, wandering around as if in a dark room, unable to see the four walls or the door to escape. Proverbs 29:18 makes this very clear:
Prov 29:18 Where there is no vision, the people perish:
Fourth and last, both non-believers and born-again Christians struggle with the issue of hope – or the lack of it – and invariably that is seen tied in some way to his or her view of the world around them. Hope and fear have a curious relationship. When fear of future events is strong, hopelessness peaks. But, hope is an deep desire of man, and where there is no hope, we will automatically look for it wherever it may be found. That process of looking is always in the form of questions. When people ask questions about future things or about understanding current things, the apostle Peter’s instruction makes a lot of sense:
1 Peter 3:15b be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
Having laid this small foundation, let’s consider the role of believers and their influence on society and the world at large. We’ll find that the Bible sheds a lot of light on this.
For instance, we read about the results of Paul’s extensive preaching in Asia He literally turned the world upside down. We see the some of the outcome of this in Acts 19:24-27.
Acts: 19:24 For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, which made silver shrines for Diana, brought no small gain unto the craftsmen;
25 Whom he called together with the workmen of like occupation, and said, Sirs, ye know that by this craft we have our wealth.
26 Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands:
27 So that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at naught; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worships.
Do you think that Paul never talked about the temple of Diana? Or about silver idols and shrines? Or about practices of the idol worshippers? Of course he did, and the results were profound.
This was not an anomaly. With every Christian revival in the last 2000 years, the surrounding social fabric of society underwent a radical change. One Christian scholar wrote,
The normal traits of ungodliness disappear. Blasphemy and filthy language, drunkenness and immorality, dishonesty and selfishness are all replaced by a sweet sense of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Sometimes entire towns or areas are affected. At other times whole nations are so blanketed with God’s renewing activity that hardly any inhabited places are without some evidence of His glorious workings.
I have heard it said many times that things are different today. That there is no ‘Temple of Diana’ or other false gods to preach against, so what is the problem? Well, this thinking is patently false, and I will introduce you to the two primary religions of our day that the Christian church is still largely ignorant of, and offers little to no resistance to it.
First, there is the religion of Humanism – Humanism teaches that man – not God – is the measure of all things. One definition states:
It is an outlook or system of thought attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters. Humanist beliefs stress the potential value and goodness of human beings, emphasize common human needs, and seek solely rational ways of solving human problems.
Second, and closely related to this, is the religion of Scientism – That teaches that truth can only be discovered through science and science alone. One encyclopedia put it this way:
Scientific beliefs are destined to supersede and replace primitive religious views, once argued 19th-century French philosopher Auguste Comte. His scientific positivism birthed today’s scientism: the notion that science has exclusive access to the truth.
Both Humanism and Scientism have been publicly declared to be religions and their disciples are found in every inhabited area on planet Earth. They completely reject any form of divine revelation or the notion that there is a Creator who stands outside of time and space and yet is involved in the affairs of men.
The third revision of the Humanist Manifesto was created in 2003 by the American Humanist Association. The AHA tagline is “GOOD WITHOUT A GOD” and their credo is “ADVOCATING PROGRESSIVE VALUES AND EQUALITY FOR HUMANISTS, ATHEISTS, AND FREETHINKERS.”
Accordingly, Humanist Manifesto III states:
Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without supernaturalism, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity… Humanists ground values in human welfare shaped by human circumstances, interests, and concerns and extended to the global ecosystem and beyond.
The problem with this is that it is an utterly and thoroughly bankrupt philosophy and invariably leads to outcomes that are the polar opposite to the declared intentions and regardless, there is no increased personal fulfillment in the end.
Nevertheless, these are the people who have been and still are currently running the world, our nation, our states, counties and cities and all of our institutions.
And don’t think to yourself, “I knew it. It’s those darned Democrats”, or “It’s those sneaky Republicans”. The political right and the left in America are merely two roads leading to the same destination. They are both trying to fill the vacuum created by the loss of what Francis Schaeffer called the “Christian consensus.” When Christians pulled back, humanists took over. The fact is, that each and every side of the political landscape is steeped in Humanism and increasingly, in Scientism.
Unfortunately, the Christian community at large has been in full retreat from challenging and reproving these Humanists and disciples of Scientism. Well, what might have been is not, and this is what we have to deal with now.
You and I both know that our world is currently gyrating out of control. I can tell you that the pressures are building to crush the very institutions of government and social structure.
The Wuhan coronavirus has entire continents in a panic over the possibility that it is morphing into a pandemic with the potential of killing tens of millions of people before it peters out.
The financial structure of the world is beginning to disintegrate before our eyes, threatening monetary and financial system collapse and a deflationary depression. Equity markets are turning upside down. President Trump says he wants interest rates to be zero percent and financial analysts are already saying it’s on its way. Last Friday, the 10 year Treasury note that historically has traded between 4 and 6%, crashed to 0.7 percent for the first time in history.
The Federal Reserve just stated that people are losing confidence in its ability to properly regulate monetary policy. Actually, it’s a wonder they got this far.
Cargo ships are sitting at anchor, empty and begging for cargos to transport. Supply chains are being totally disrupted and things made in China may not grace our store shelves for a long time.
If you think this isn’t a big deal, I just heard that our local Costco stores are out of toilet paper!
Well, Biblical-sized swarms of locusts are absolutely decimating food crops from the Horn of Africa to the Persian Gulf Region and now even into China. China has amassed an army of 200,000 ducks to fight their locust invasion. (Ducks apparently see locusts as a yummy delicacy)
Another mega-trend is that censorship is running amok on social media, and on search engines like Google and mainstream media. Politically incorrect or dissenting views are methodically being dropped out of public discussion. Label-lynching mobs on social media are swarming anyone who dares to share a different opinion or use words they do not approve of. For any minute or insignificant reason, you can be labeled called a homophobe, misogynist, racist, Islamophobe, Nazi, Climate Denier, Anti-vaxxer, nativist, sexist – and these are just the nice ones.
Does anyone think that people in our own communities are not asking urgent questions about what is going on in the world and what the future could bring?
Well, while all of this has been going on, the toxic religion of Scientism has been sneaking up on us for decades now. Scientism paved the way for a new economic system to be created back in the 1930s, called Technocracy. This is rule by a scientific elite, according to a perverted form of the scientific method.
The early Technocrats defined Technocracy like this in 1938:
Technocracy is the science of social engineering, the scientific operation of the entire social mechanism to produce and distribute goods and services to the entire population.
Most of you know that I have written two books on Technocracy in the last five years. It’s a topic that I know very well, and I have done a lot of research on it.
The economic system of Technocracy is known today by the name Sustainable Development, as propagated by the United Nations, and has spread to all corners of the planet. Here in Tempe, Arizona State University bills itself as the “most sustainable university in America” and offers several degree programs for ‘Sustainability”, including a PhD degree. I have been to the ASU campus and viewed its four-story building dedicated to Sustainability studies.
There are two important facets of Sustainable Development, or Technocracy, that are important to note here.
First, is that it seeks to control all resources, all production of goods and services, all consumption and all people, from cradle to grave.
Second, the means of control is scientific autonomy. Artificial Intelligence and massive data collection are two key elements being used to achieve this. Of course, since science is promoted as a god, whatever science says, you must do.
There is a professor in Great Britain. Her name is Dr. Patricia MacCormack and she teaches at Anglia Ruskin University. She has the ultimate answer on how to save the earth from the ravages of man – she says that ‘The only solution for climate change is letting the human race become extinct’.
How can you respond to that? It takes your breath away. All I can say is that she should show us by example what she means.
The eminent Christian philosopher from the last century, Dr. Francis Schaeffer, made a number of statements about where we are today. He had no crystal ball. He was not a prophet. He did, however, have a very clear Biblical worldview based on a deep knowledge of the Bible plus a deep understanding of the world system.
In Schaeffer’s last video in the video series called “How Should We Then Live”, he noted:
“When the Christian Consensus is gone, there is only one possible result: that a single individual or a group will come forward as an elite to give arbitrary absolutes to society.”
He reasoned that since the church had ceased to provide the necessary ethic, society would turn to another form of control and containment. He further stated,
“Daniel Bell, who is one of the great thinkers of this particular moment of history, has written a book called The Coming of Post-Industrial Society. In it he says, both government and business become so technical that the Technocrats must become the elite to take over. And he says this is what’s going to happen if we continue in a straight line from where we now are. But in it, he gives a most distinct warning. “the lack of a rooted moral belief system is the cultural contradiction of the society, the deepest challenge to its survival.” In such a society there is no absolute ethic to accompany the absolute power.
This is exactly where we are today. Power is running amok with no ethical control or containment, and we see the painful results everywhere we look.
When Schaeffer spoke of a “manipulative authoritarian elite”, he was quick to explain that this is not at all like dictators of the past – Hitler in Germany, Stalin in Russia or Mao in China. The arbitrary ethic and morality is supplied by the subjective god of scientism and humanism, both of which are self-referenced to man and not to God or the Bible.
And, 50 years later, the world is reaping the deadly fruit of a system completely devoid of the concept of an infinite God who stands outside of time and space. The system being created with advanced technology will ultimately produce an authoritarian system of Scientific Dictatorship.
A leading globalist scholar out of Singapore, Dr. Parag Khanna, is a self-professed Technocrat who recently wrote a book called Technocracy in America. He called for America to be converted into a direct Technocracy, setting aside all of our institutions of a Constitutional Republic, including the Constitution itself. Let the scientists and engineers run the nation he said.
Khanna made a telling statement in his 2016 book, Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization. He wrote this,
”We are building this global society without a global leader. Global order is no longer something that can be dictated or controlled from the top down. Globalization is itself the order.”
This means that the system must be autonomous, guided by Artificial Intelligence and funded with massive amounts of data collected in real time from every sensor device on earth. This would include things like cell phones, smart meters, facial recognition cameras, license plate readers, aerial surveillance, geospatial intelligence, health records, social media and so on.
May I suggest that this “headless” system is being tailor-made by the devil himself to deliver to the soon-and-coming Antichrist as a command and control mechanism over all the people on earth?
Whereas only God can control believers by the Holy Spirit within us, the Antichrist is compelled to imitate this by controlling his “believers” by external means.
Humanist man has no answers for what makes the world tick. No moral absolutes means that moral values can change according to whim and to meet the inherently sinful nature of humanist man. Furthermore, when presented with the actual truth, they will suppress it because of their own sin. Scripture is clear about this,
Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness;
19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath plainly showed it unto them.
20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
23 And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
Schaeffer was careful to point out:
“People act upon the basis of what they think. The problem is not outward things. The problem is having the right world view and acting upon it. The worldview that gives men and women the truth of what is.”
It is Christians, however, who have been entrusted with the very truth that people in the world suppress and yet so desperately need.
It is Christians who are the custodians of God’s word, including the Testimony of Jesus Christ himself!
We are called to be ambassadors for Christ. (2 Corinthians 2:20)
we are called to be salt and light. (Matthew 5:13-14)
And, we are commanded to study diligently in order to rightly divide the Word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)
In short, it is Christians who have the vision so desperately needed according to Proverbs 28:19,
Prov. 29:18 (ESV) Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint
Prov. 29:18 (NKJV) Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint;
Prov. 28: 18 (KJV) Where there is no vision, the people perish:
Whenever we come to church, we do so for spiritual refreshment, fellowship, instruction in the Word, worship, and rest from our labors. It’s often a mountaintop experience.
But when we exit from these doors, we enter our mission field, full of people wandering around in a daze looking for answers, searching for understanding of what is going on around them, even for a kind word. But WE are the only people on the planet who can help them. They have no answers. But WE DO have the answers.
How can we not have compassion for those living in harm’s way? How can we ignore the lost who are perishing? How can we ignore the unrighteous acts of society that unfairly oppresses men in every conceivable manner?
Many Christians argue today that we have no place involving ourselves in civil society to have an influence on people and institutions.
Yet, the Bible is full of examples where God’s people were used to have a major impact on civil affairs.
Joseph, for instance, was the administrative ruler of Egypt and with the wisdom and skill God gave to him, he saved that wicked nation from famine and starvation.
Daniel was a servant of God who served as the Administrative ruler of wicked Babylon during the captivity of Israel and he did a spectacular job.
Nehemiah was cup bearer to the king of Babylon before he was released to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem, that had been broken down and provided no security for the inhabitants living there.
In all these cases, it was God who gave the strength, the wisdom AND the appointment to have an impact on the world around them.
I suggest that there should be a little bit of Joseph in all of us. Or a little bit of Daniel. Or a little bit of Nehemiah.
It is not our role to withdraw our potential influence on the world around us. They have questions, we should have answers.
Some argue that the early church was withdrawn from society and simply isolated itself from everyone else.
This simply is not true. Rome couldn’t care less about whether anyone was a Christian or not. In fact, they didn’t understand Christianity at all. For all those who were martyred by crucifixion, by being torn apart by wild animals, by being used as human torches to light the roads at night – all of these were killed because of their acts of civil disobedience. They simply refused to worship Cesar, and that act was worthy of death. They chose to obey God rather than men. They openly defied Cesar and they were killed for that act of insurrection.
Let’s be careful to say that we are not trying to establish some sort of theocracy on earth. Far from it. There will be no theocracy until Christ returns to earth and sets up his millennial kingdom.
But we should recognize that Humanism and Scientism have already established their own theocracy but with the wrong god as the head of it. It is completely rooted in society, and the world is being shaped in their image.
The Bible tells us that we are in the world, but not of the world. It tells us that we are ambassadors of Christ who are temporarily assigned to a foreign nation. We should never forget that our permanent citizenship is in heaven.
There was a group of men who lived three thousand years ago in the nation of Israel. It was a very difficult time for Israel. There was political confusion, economic hardship, military conflicts, idol worship, materialism, sexual promiscuity and a host of other problems. Doesn’t this sound just like today? Well, it is like today and it shows that little has changed in the affairs of sinful man.
This group of men were sons of Issachar, one of the lesser known tribes of Israel. Issachar was born to the handmaid of Jacob’s wife Leah. There was a lot of drama surrounding his birth. Leah was the ‘hated wife’ of Jacob and the Lord had mercy on her by opening her womb to have children. She constantly tried to win Jacob’s love and approval but had little success. So one day Leah gave her handmaiden to Jacob, who promptly got her pregnant and she gave birth to Issachar. Nevertheless, Leah considered Issachar to be her son and scripture records him that way as well.
Well, Issachar had sons of his own and even though they grew to become a relatively small tribe in Israel, they served the Lord with distinction. In 1 Chronicles, for instance, they are listed as “valiant men of might”. BUT, in 1 Chronicles 12:32, we see the most amazing characteristic that stands out like a diamond in the rough:
And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment.
Isn’t that amazing? They had understanding of the times. They knew how their nation should be guided. This wisdom was recognized by their brethren, who committed to their leadership.
We live in a day that we believe is close to that time when the Lord will return for his church. It is tempting to just sit back and wait for it to happen. But this is not a time to retreat. With the knowledge and understanding that the Lord has given us, it is time to advance – not retreat.
People have questions. We have answers. Our answers make sense. Their answers do not make sense.
As the ‘god of this world’ advances his schemes to deceive and destroy the lives of men and women throughout the world, how much more should we advance to “take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.”? (Eph. 5:11)
The little book of Jude comes just before Revelation, much like the book of Malachi comes before the New Testament. The words of Jude come alive to us:
Jude 21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. 22 And of some have compassion, making a difference: 23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
We must have compassion. We must make a difference. We have yet a short time to bring to remembrance the Josephs, the Daniels and the Nehemiahs of the Old Testament, and the Pauls, the James and the Judes from the New Testament. WE CAN HAVE COMPASSION AND WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
We are the “salt and light” of the world. Salt preserves and light brings the glorious gospel.
Indeed, we are the “church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” (1 Tim3:15) We have the vision so that people will not perish, and as many as we can engage – with God’s help – some – perhaps many – will be saved.
The final question that we must ask ourselves in these difficult times is this: “What is loyalty to Christ worth to us? How much do we believe Him? Do we serve Him because of what we can get from Him or because he is worthy to receive the fruit of his sacrifice?
May the Lord help us to endure and to make a difference. May He receive the Glory that He is due.