I feel that the American culture gets a bad rap. Everyone is always talking about how evil is on the increase—gay marriage, abortion, millions in prison, drunkenness, immorality, fewer interested in God, and the list could go on and on.
But people are simply doing what they have always done.
Throughout human history, people have run from God and tried to fill the emptiness of their soul with everything the culture tells them they need to make them happy.
American culture tells us that more money and more power will result in more happiness. Onward and upward … that is the American Dream. But do you know why I don’t think the culture is to blame? It’s because that is what I would be doing if I hadn’t been transformed by the redeeming love of Jesus.
America is just doing what America—and the world—has always done outside of a relationship with Christ Jesus. The people are running from God to get all they can and all they “deserve.”
Yes, America is retreating—morally, economically, politically—at a staggering pace. But the problem is not with American culture. The problem is with the Church.
It’s the Church that is responsible. The Church is not being the community transforming Body that it was designed to be. Instead, the Church is retreating, and that means culture is expanding.
The reason that the Church is retreating is because many of us want the best the world can give us and the best God can give us. We wrongly think that God will cover the afterlife for eternity, but we can cover the present life of the temporal. We want the best this life can give and the best God can give.
This attitude makes us neither good for God’s Kingdom because we are holding on to the world nor for the world because Jesus is in our lives.
James had this to say about this kind of person:
“Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.” -James 1:8
Until the Church—and that includes you and me—says, “I am all in, Lord, for Your Kingdom agenda,” we will continue to retreat in America.
We are left with a choice. And it’s one of the most important choices we’ll ever make.
“But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” -Joshua 24:15
The times are indeed very serious, and a sense of urgency should be penetrating our hearts on behalf of the Gospel.
We—the Church—are the hope of the world, but we have to stop postponing our obedience.
We need to say today loudly and boldly, “This little light of mine, I’m gonna to let it shine.” It’s what Jesus told us to do in Matthew 5.
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” -Matthew 5:16
Are your peers and friends pointing to your life and saying “yes” to Jesus? I hope so! Let’s engage the world as changed people because Jesus has transformed our lives.
John's travels for ministry behind the Iron Curtain led him to found East-West Ministries International in 1993. John and his wife, Susie, live in Dallas, Texas and have a grown daughter and two grandchildren.