This blog has been adapted from In God We Trust: Five Anchor Points in Turbulent Times by Dr. Steve Whitaker and Matt McGee. This week, Upper School house groups will be discussing this topic with their teachers and classmates.
The light in the kitchen was on. The coffee pot was brewing. The radio volume was turned down low as my dad diligently studied his map. It was the summer of 1979 in South Florida and Hurricane David was racing toward my hometown. My father carefully explained the magnitude and danger of the storm. As he took off his reading glasses and looked me in the eye, I knew he was worried.
However, his fear soon gave way to peace. I watched my father methodically execute a plan to keep us safe during the next 48 hours. He charted the course of the storm on a hurricane map. We boarded up our windows, filled milk jugs with water, and invited friends into the safety of our home.
Similarly, we are facing uncharted waters in our culture. The dangerous winds such as moral relativism, political turmoil, and an all-out assault on religious liberty can lead many of us to worry. We can be at peace if, like my father, we make an action plan and know the path of the storm. Here are three things we must recognize if we are to thrive in the midst of troubled times.
Our Churches are in Trouble
Church attendance is declining. Once-faithful attenders are going to church less frequently. The only increase seen in the recent Pew Research Center study on religion was the “none’s” – a group who has made it their habit to reject denominational labels and church affiliation all together.
The loss of Biblical literacy and a Christian worldview have grave consequences for our nation. Author Nancy Pearcey believes we have lost our culture and we are losing our children because young believers are not taught how to develop a Biblical worldview. The Bible is displayed on the coffee table but has little impact on how we live our lives.
Communities and Culture in Crisis
Philosopher Will Herberg said, “We are surrounded on all sides by the wreckage of our great intellectual traditions. In this kind of spiritual chaos, neither freedom nor order is possible. Instead of freedom, we have the all-engulfing whirl of pleasure and power; instead of order, we have the jungle wilderness of normlessness and self-indulgence.”
The practical implications of the crisis are seen in every neighborhood across America. Businesses are no longer free to operate in a manner consistent with the conscience of the owner and public schools have fallen victim to political correctness run amok. I don’t know about you, but this leaves me discouraged until I consider the fact that God has promised to show himself strong on behalf of His children.
There Are More With Us
In the book of 2 Kings, we find the prophet Elisha surrounded by an enemy army sent for his capture. He is calm but his servant is overcome with fear. I relate more to the servant.
“[Elisha] said, ‘Don’t worry about it—there are more on our side than on their side.’ Then Elisha prayed, ‘O God, open his eyes and let him see.’ Then the eyes of the young man were opened and he saw with a heavenly perspective. The whole mountainside was full of horses and chariots of fire surrounding Elisha!”
We may be surrounded on every side. The political world may look worrisome. The pollsters may predict woeful outcomes. But we can say with confidence to our children, “There are more with us than be with them. We are on the winning side. We’ve read the last chapter of the book and we know Who is victorious!”