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Facing the Demands of Secularism with Hope

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Truth Network Radio
May 4, 2021 6:00 am

Facing the Demands of Secularism with Hope

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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May 4, 2021 6:00 am

Dr. Al Mohler and Jim Daly offer hope and encouragement for parents - and all believers - to hold fast to the truth of God’s Word and the hope of Christ, as we share His love and grace with others.

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Allie's husband was an alcoholic and verbally abusive. She wanted to leave but a Focus on the Family broadcast convinced her to stay one more day on Jim Daly today. Allie's marriage is thriving. Working together we can provide hope to more marriages like hers.

Please give generously@focusonthefamily.com/real family to find out what the Christians are when being a Christian may mean you can't make all partners when being a Christian means you can't get a cab to the medical school. We did not choose to be alive in the year 2021 but that is not by accident, or certainly living in very challenging times and it is easy to become discouraged as we watch culture just decay around us today on Focus on the Family. Dr. Al Mohler will offer some great perspectives and insights, and he'll encourage you to depend on God in all things roast spoke as president and author Jim Daly and I'm John thought Jon.

I know our listeners and viewers are very concerned about the direction things are going in our country today and there's good reason to be. It seems like were on the backside of influence as the Christian community.

I mean we all recognize that this nation, most of us recognize this nation was founded on Judeo-Christian principles. The framers were so wise and how they gathered those thoughts, and of course the Constitution to guide our social order.

But things seem to be unraveling and I can't think of a better guess and Dr. Al Mohler who is involved in observing the culture understanding of the culture, of course, is a theologian in bringing Scripture to bear on what were experiencing in the culture today. He says it this way. In his book the gathering storm, the secular age writes checks.

It cannot cash it claims to uphold human rights even as it undercuts any argument for human dignity and natural rights. It invents new rights like same-sex marriage at the expense of fundamental rights, such as religious liberty. It claims a high view of human dignity but aborts millions of unborn human beings in the womb band that is powerfully said and I want to also say Dr. Al Mohler is a former board member to Focus on the Family. We've had the privilege of his wisdom, helping guide the ministry here and he is certainly a leader among evangelicals.

He's the president of the Southern Baptist theological seminary esteemed authority on contemporary issues. He has a podcast he appears in national news programs. He's a rather prolific author and a Jimmy mentioned that his book they were talking about today is the gathering storm, secularism, culture, and the church and we got copies of that here.

Just check the link in the episode notes Dr. Moeller, it's great to have you, albeit by phone today. Thank you for joining Jim is great to be with you and I'm just so thankful Focus on the Family and thankful for the conversation going to be with you and John looking forward to it because you know the meetings that I'm having across the country with donors and clinical leaders and church leaders.

There seems to be definitive concern about where the cultures that and where we are going. So in that context, luscious start there kind of the overview of where you believe were at were actually just on the far side of the modern age. So many things were set loose just in the beginning of the time we call the modern age are what academics call modernity, but the fact is that everything changed but the changes are accelerating now and amongst the leading edge changes is secularization and with that secularization is not tested. Increasing numbers of people especially relate to our culture, art, growing distant from Christianity there growing openly hostile to it.

Because the values and the goals of so many driving the culture right now are actually in direct collision with what Christians believe to be absolute truth and so we got a big collision that has been looming before us, but you can't deny it now and that court decision, the court decision University policy campus by campus Hollywood statement by Hollywood statement were saying how this happens with big legislation looming before student your book titled the gathering storm I think was inspired by the former Prime Minister of Great Britain, Winston Churchill explained that connection what he coined as well. The gathering storm generally means a lot to me.

Churchill's been fascinating. Figured me ever since I was a 13-year-old, and Churchill of course is known as the great savior of England and of Western civilization during World War II, but people forget that he spent about 20 years outside political power there in Britain because of his warnings about the threat of Nazi Germany and especially in the 10 years before he became prime minister written off as a as an excessive crank because he kept pointing to the move militarization of of Nazi Germany to Hitler's war aims. He kept pointing to the fact that all of the elites in Europe were so willfully blind to reality.

After the war, and according what it had to turn to him for leadership in order to survive. After the war when he was a hero now. He wrote that six volume history of the second world war in the very first volume was entitled the gathering storm in that entire volume really was what took place before the war when everyone should have seen the war coming in Britain could've prepared for.

Tragically, it didn't. And that's the whole point of that title in connection into the spiritual warfare I guess would be the direct correlation you're suggesting Christians are now seeing the gathering storm of spiritual battles from the universities from big tech modern media. What's happening at describe the landscape in that repair from those institutions that are really arrayed against people of faith in this country. I think it helpful sometimes to think about how social forces work and Christians that haven't had to give a lot of attention to that. We have to give attention to it now.

And so the way social forces work is that you've got the at the elite level at the at the level the people who make the movies and to decide what's news and you run the political parties, and in particular those who are in charge of the of the major damage, setting universities basically inhabit a world and in that world. What we would consider to be orthodox Christianity little notice to it of the tradition of Protestant or for that matter Catholic Christianity even just theism.

The fact that there is a binding authority of of the living God growing increasingly unthinkable and so here's the thing. It means that Christians in the Christian church are the one major force in society can't go along in the direction that virtually every other social forces going and that's why all the sudden we feel so alienated on the college campus police things so alienated from Hollywood good on the list from the mainstream media from think. Recently, the political class and so here's where we we understand this wasn't an accident that has been happening for some time is just so far along now that the unit grassroots Christians can't deny it's happening right before our eyes, yet there are some in the church that certainly deny it or embrace it and I really want to hear from you about how culture and the things that work against the word of God are seeping into the church and in the churches value system. Of course it's principles, it's orthodoxy. In fact you were involved with the Southern Baptist convention having to expel a couple of churches within your convention that were embracing same-sex marriage. That's right I be your at the forefront of this as a theologian, as is a seminary president. How is culture seeping into the church and then how do we as pastors and as leaders and as churchgoing people. How do we buttress the church so it doesn't get in to these cultural nuances? You know my hero, and so many ways.

A specially young Christian was a man by the name of Francis Schaeffer. I got to meet him.

He had a determinative influence in my life and he pointed out that the two great issues for Christianity is that number one there is a God and that number two.

He speaks and so the first principle of Christianity is that there is an omniscient, omnipotent, holy and righteous God who created the world and rules over it and thus his truth is true. Truth and Schaeffer had to say in a world in which people are saying you know truth merely a claim you God's existence.

God's authority is true truth and then the second thing is that he speaks in the Bible and so where you find authentic Christianity find scriptural Christianity because the wind when the Bible speaks God speak that it is inspired and inerrant and infallible word where you find this to believe you actually find what will might be biblical Christianity where you find this release denied. There may be a tall steeple out front. There may be someone wearing vestments inside. But as Martin Luther would've said during the Reformation is not a church. Liberal theology says the world is changing and we have to change with it. And by the way that that argument began early in the 20th century where the liberals that look, we're going to change the doctor been working to keep the morality lease all along that lasted by the end of the 20th century was we got to change the doctrine we got to change the morality and do it.

We didn't start with the LGBT Q revolution but it got there in a hurry and so the one thing that Christians need to be watchful about is that were the last people on earth. Practically, at least, and in our own country who really believe that morality doesn't change, and it mustn't that truth doesn't change, it can't and so we very much out of step with the society, but there are those Jim and this is what you're talking about inside are churches who are saying, you know, maybe we can change just a little bit and and that's the beginnings of theological liberalism became just a little bit and then of course you changed and you have to change a little bit more and then you can see exactly how this goes.

Liberalism is an omnivorous beast. It is never satisfied, and that's why the liberal Protestant denominations around us have been evacuated, people. There's just no truth there is this this balance between the grace of God in the judgment of God and how there certain aspects or certain scriptures in the New Testament that certainly encourage us to be kind toward the world to live at peace with all men.

If it be possible, how do we specially on the backside of having the significant influence in the culture for 240 years as the Christian community has how do we manage now being on the other side of that power pendulum and where we are saying. No longer is influencers in the culture. How do we balance all of that. How do we treat the world graciously, but remain firm in our principles will challenging you put your finger right on it because for one thing, it being kind means surrendering biblical truth that the definition of kindness this morning to the Bible.

The Bible doesn't defined kindness or grace at the expense of truth is really interesting when you consider the problem to the gospel of John the most famous verse.

There is a course of John chapter 1 verse 14 we beheld his glory, glory as of the only begotten of the father full of grace and truth there together and God are combined, we get a figure way to demonstrate that same unity in grace and truth.

Weekly can't be graceless, we can act like we hold our position by moral superiority, but we also can't compromise the truth. Basically everything important in life comes down to requiring grace and truth.

From the Christian understanding and now the differences Jim and this is implicit in your question. The difference is that now the culture thinks we're those people and and this is uncomfortable for so many Christians because throughout Western civilization. Christians have been considered at the center of the society holding now to biblical morality biblical truth it puts is increasingly on the periphery of society and that could have real impact about the way the Christians do and do not have access to the professions do and do not get accepted to the University likely is it that someone who holds to Orthodox biblical Christianity is going to get tenure at University. Look what we're seeing is that society is using all of its powers of coercion to bring the entire society into line and a course is not just the LTV DQ plus issues, but that but they are the leading issues right now so just consider what happened in major league baseball. Just consider what that one.

Hollywood things were not going to be doing any more films in state X or Y this is punishment. Coercion. This is the powers that be saying get into line and you know they got a big bat they got it whether it's economic or cultural or or just the socialist name was called cult social or cultural capital is the ability to say okay you're a robust date you your outlier group and and on a college campus laid out their lands and 18-year-old. Just consider the pressure put on that teenager under the circumstance that Dr. Maloney go back to Francis Schaeffer, you mentioned him. I'm thinking of something very specific that he said after the decision of Roe V Wade in the early 70s.

He warned the culture that if you do this you're going to dehumanize human beings and that it won't stop just in the one that will become euthanasia to become prescribed death for those who are mentally handicapped, physically handicapped, and he was ridiculed for that opinion in the 70s but yet that prediction is now coming to pass enough.

You're exactly right.

Schaeffer was prophetic and it wasn't just the head.

The insight by observing the culture he spent so much of his life in Europe where so many of these these trends were already far underway. He was quite familiar in his own lifetime with the threat of Nazi medicine and and with the fact that even before that, the rise of the Third Reich in Germany there was an effort to subvert human dignity and an argument for killing those who were defined as women's imperatives Lehmans life unworthy of life and that would win them. Francis Schaeffer is talking that way in the 1970s, 80s in the United States people dismissed him as you said is a crank, but that's exactly what we're hearing right now.

That's exactly the logic of the euthanasia movement and a course that is exactly the logic of the abortion movement and with tragic carnage by the millions. Babies turned into objects denied as persons. It's so true and that's something. Of course, will continue to fight here Focus on the Family I know Dr. Muller you do as well. Three writings your books etc. which kind of takes me to the next point. When will working in what seems to feel like early Rome, right, first, second, third century Christian church in Rome where everything is arrayed against us.

You know Nero's in power and I do want to talk to that idea that the church has. This is a new to the church to be under the thumb of culture, but it in that respect when when were looking at, you know, the forces arrayed against us. Yes, sometimes we just have to stand boldly right right as a matter fact that the biblical command therefore stand find it when the Christians are when being a Christian may mean you can't make all partner when being a Christian means you can't get accepted to medical school work were going to find out where the Christians are and we'll get to choose the times I didn't choose when I was born we did not choose to be alive in the year 2021 but Christians understand is not by accident. This is by God's grace into his glory and our purpose is to live faithfully and I want to be careful not to use the word persecution it can feel like that if you were denied a job denied access to, you know college admission, art, or similar thing there Christians who are in danger right now of losing their lives for their their faithfulness to Christ. This point I want to say it's marginalization and suppression. It definite discrimination. It's it's a real threat, but Jim, you know, the hard hand of the state turns really hard in every case against those it seizes its enemies. And that's a warning to us that Rome is not unthinkable, so true and and dad. There's where I think the church needs resources that can help provide argument in a good way to debate points so that we can engage the culture and I know you do a lot of that through your blog to help people attach that will I will make the matter you go to Focus on the Family will connect to your blog and other material but I'll add toward the end here. I want to get more practical.

I'm thinking I meet a lot of the donor community to focus and hence were so grateful to each person that helps us financially to carry out the mission.

Her focus to strengthen marriage to help parents do the best job they can do one of the things that I'm hearing more frequently now is their sons and daughters in their 20s. These are Christian homes and for the most part, these are Christian young people that cohabitation has kinda taken over within that 20 somethings in there justifying it by saying well were not sure if marriage is going to be the right thing but we want to live together. Speak to the parent about that discussion with her 20 something about cohabiting or other things that liberalization is taking hold of them in their 20s is where you parent doesn't want to respond first and foremost as a social scientist but rather the parent and that means representing truth, grace, love, but you know it is really important to say young people do you have any idea how unsuccessful. Cohabitation's turned out to be as a romantic relationship you understand it in the United States. It was often claim that cohabitation would lead to marriage. We now know it. It generally doesn't do you recognize that your giving each to the other sexually without making any long-term commitment how you think that's gonna work out another word there are good crews to present not to mention the fact that God has presented his pattern for us and that then the true human flourishing is only going to happen within that pattern and that pattern is marriage first cohabitation after that is living together in the conjugal union of marriage and you know that the biblical sexual sequence is just so important that it begins with commitment that commitment issues into the comprehensive relationship you can't have a comprehensive relationship before there is the commitment marriage indeed is a covenant test letter Christian parents, but the one thing we can't do is act as if we love our children so much were not going to confront them with the truth love that means we don't reject them. We don't push them away, but we also don't buy into the idea that this is just like marriage by another name. It's not that it fit the covenant without a covenant. It is not going to end well and the course.

Parents love their children and that's that that's a big concern. Dr. Muller, what can Christian parents do to help their children lets you know soon.

There anywhere from seven years old to 15 years old. What can we do to help prepare our children for this chaotic world we know Jim Christians will have to do it Christian parent have to do in every generation and that is raise our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord which means we surround them with God's truth and so getting them actively involved in the local church is just really really important is not just because in a local church. They hear the truth of God's word taught that first thing, but it is also the fact they become a part of a peer structure with fellow Christian families and kids their own age who are learning how to think rationally together and that peer structure within Christianity within the Christian church turns out to be incredibly important. The second thing is, we've got to maintain his parents some kind of filter control over what is coming into the minds into the eyes and ears of our children, especially when they're younger, but increasingly thought was a warehouse there are certain things that just watched Arnstein we don't act navely, as if that to that material that out there in the culture around us, but you know at every young age, the mind and the heart are very tender things that are impressed upon those minds and hearts at a young age.

I tend to stay there for lifetime end up and then finally we just we really need to make certain that our children no good arguments. I mean how many of our children really can define why God gives us marriage is a union of a man, a woman they need to not only know that God gave us marriage.

They need to know in an argument why God gave us marriage, why it's important because of the good arguments we shouldn't be surprised that they fall to the very bad but very persuasive arguments of the other side's ICL that really is a good place to sit in with this last question. You know, as believers in the Lord says fear not live in peace.

Like I said earlier, how do we stay hopeful summer talking about how do we get back to where we were. How do we put the genie in the bottle sort of speak. How do we go back to marriage being understood as being one man one woman I don't know that we can if this moment get back to that.

That's going to have to be a revelation over decades I think. But again, how do we within the body of Christ operate emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, in this current age going to require wholeness and guilt conventional skills evangelistic skills cultural skills Christian and you know I like how you like the way you put that Jim I think it's wrong for Christians who think that we can turn back the clock that history doesn't work that way. But we do understand just from a biblical perspective that that it even if you you look at a prophet like Jeremiah or you legally connect king like Josiah. There are times in which there is an opportunity for recovery. You don't turn back the clock, but you do come to understand. Okay, maybe here's an opening to talk about why God gave us marriage is a union of a man and a woman is a lifetime covenant union. Maybe this is an opening for us to talk about why it's important to talk about the fact that every single human being from the moment of fertilization until natural death is made in God's image, maybe this is an opportunity where we can recover some ground. You know, Jim. The other thing is that's more likely to happen, person by person than it is right now using the mechanisms of the culture at large.

We don't have a Christian Hollywood.

We can't we just can't compete with Hollywood audit scale.

Anyway, that we don't have an alternative government. We don't have an alternative court. We got to work with in these structures and the and seek to be faithful and to remain faithful and that's gonna take biblically minded Christians tied to the Scripture and led by the Holy Spirit and under the Lordship of Christ.

But you know I say those things and realize that any time that the safest place for Christians to be Cialis is been so good that I want to take a couple more questions and go online and if folks want to follow us over there and go to the website I want to ask is more questions about the culture, religious liberty, my good friend your good friend Jack Phillips up the road.

Here the Baker in Colorado that literally is been harassed by the state by the human rights commission here in Colorado will ask you some questions about that. So if you want to be with us and continue that go to our website and you can act on that on that extended program. Alex been so good to have you with us.

The gathering storm. This is the kind of resource as parents, you really need to be equipped with the gathering storm, secularism, culture, and the church.

I would say pastors. This helps you to make certain that your staying true to the principles the orthodoxy of the church and yet being gracious toward a world that needs that tenderness. But don't give up your principles. Don't give up the, the orthodoxy of the church in lieu of affirmation from the culture it doesn't go well when we do that, Dr. Moeller, thank you, thank you for being with us today.

Jim is always what a great privilege. We've never needed Focus on the Family more so I pressed and I am thankful Focus on the Family is strong and faithful may we stay so. Amen.

And thank you for that. If you make a gift of any amount will send you a copy of Dr. Moeller's great book the gathering storm as our way of saying thank you for joining the ministry team and helping us do the very things were talking about here, engaging culture, saving babies from abortion saving marriages and helping parents do the best job possible to raise their kids.

You can make that donation online or call us. By the episode notes or call 800 the letter a in the word family to donate and get your copy of the book the gathering storm, secularism, culture, and the church written by Dr. Al Mohler and while you're at our website. Make sure you stay informed on news that affects you and your family by signing up for the daily Citizen arrives at your inbox in the morning. It's got a great synopsis of what's going on in the culture and news that you need to know all the details again are in the episode notes in behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team here. Thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back next time. As we once more help you and your family thrive in Christ.

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