INTRODUCTION AND SYNOPSIS OF THE SERIES
As Franklin Graham recently wrote in the January 2021 and March 2021 issues of Decision Magazine, circumstances are not going to get better for evangelical Christians in America. The left-wing cancel culture has evangelical Christians in their cross-hairs because we preach the saving gospel of Jesus Christ which calls our immoral secular society to task for sin. Since the cancel culture is coming for each and every born again Christian, what is a Christian to do? I see three basic options.
First, a believer, possibly using that term loosely in this circumstance, can cave in to the liberal cancel culture and “go with the flow.” They can take the path of least resistance which means just agree and compromise with society even if that goes against clear biblical teaching. In actuality, this is not a biblical option.
Second, a believer can remain quiet in the hope that the cancel culture does not discover their religious faith. They can bunker down and wait for the tsunami of the liberal left-wing to pass over them. Their goal is to remain out of sight until there is again no cost (or a minimal cost) for a person to say they are a Christian. Even if the cancel culture goes away, and it may never go away, this seems to be a coward’s way out.
Third, a believer can exercise courage and boldness in preaching the saving gospel of Jesus Christ in the face of the cancel culture during the upcoming days, week, months and years. This option is the only biblical option, but to be able to carry it out, a believer must prepare for the onslaught. Now is the time to steel oneself for the uncertain future for America evangelical Christ-followers.
In order to help you prepare, this series of articles suggests the following steps to prepare for battle: (1) examine yourself to make certain that you are saved, (2) pray to God for courage and boldness to biblically engage in the battle, (3) spend the time to better know God’s Word, and especially the saving gospel of Jesus Christ, (4) strengthen your resolve to obey God and not mankind, (5) strengthen your relationships with other believers in your Christian circles, and (6) reach out to the lost and boldly proclaim the saving gospel of Jesus Christ allowing God to save the lost from an eternity in hell.
In this first article, let’s take a look at circumstances that are already here.
THE TSUNAMI IS HERE AND CHRIST-FOLLOWERS ARE GOING TO NEED COURAGE
In the January 2021 issue of Decision Magazine, Franklin Graham writes in an article entitled” 2021: No Backing Down” (link: 2021: No Backing Down (decisionmagazine.com) ) about the probably future under The Equality Act:
In that climate, it won’t be long until churches and preachers are forbidden to confront and rebuke sin. They will call it “hate speech.” If we call someone to repentance, we could be accused of intolerance. That would cut the heart right out of the Gospel: “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38).
The march toward ever increasing immorality and godlessness is sweeping into virtually every corner of our culture. Even the financial sector is adopting a stance that would have been hard to imagine just a decade ago. The NASDAQ, our second-largest stock market, has proposed a measure to the Securities and Exchange Commission that would require companies to diversify their boards based on new cultural distinctions. NASDAQ-listed companies would be required to add directors who “self-identify” as female, an under-represented minority or LGBTQ.
This is not a time for the church of the Lord Jesus Christ to cower in a corner or back down from speaking truth.
Franklin is absolutely correct to say that this is not the time to back down from speaking the truth in the public forum. A born-again follower of the Lord Jesus Christ must summon the courage to speak out on relevant “hot button” issues.
In the March 2021 issue of Decision Magazine, Franklin wrote the following in an article entitled “The Voice of God Can Never be Cancelled” (link: https://decisionmagazine.com/franklin-graham-the-voice-of-god-can-never-be-canceled/ ) with reference to the current American cancel culture;
Madness is sweeping across our country.
I am referring to the ever-widening spread of what has been dubbed cancel culture, the suppression and intolerance of people whose viewpoints differ from what our godless society has deemed fitting and appropriate.
Not surprisingly, the overwhelmingly left-wing cancel culture has aimed its most vicious verbal darts squarely at Christians who hold a Biblical worldview founded on the authority of God’s uncompromising Word.
His article goes on to identify four situations that represent three of the most critical issues that face evangelical Christians. A situation concerning Chick-fil-A’s corporate policy affirming the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman and a U.K. doctor who believes that gender is determined at birth demonstrated the power of the LGBTQ movement to cancel. The situation pertaining to the “Truths that Transform” program by D. James Kennedy is an example of the power of the abortion industry to cancel. The circumstances surrounding the cancellation of the BGEA crusades in the U.K. showed the power of the forces who oppose the substance of the saving gospel of Jesus Christ.
These issues include matters that pertain to the LGBTQ movement, abortion, the biblical truth of the gospel message that salvation is only through repentance and trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ, and the biblical command to assemble and worship God.
The fact of the matter is the tsunami is here and 21st Century Christ-followers are going to need courage to speak out. Every Christ-follower ought to follow the advice given by Michael Brown in his article entitled “The Radical Left Wants to Eliminate Competing Ideas” in the March 2021 issue of Decision Magazine (link: Michael Brown: The Radical Left Wants to Eliminate Competing Ideas (decisionmagazine.com)) which reads:
I encourage every reader, yet again, to keep speaking up and standing up for what is true and right, using every platform at your disposal and carefully guarding the freedoms we still have.
In Acts 26:26, the authorities had sought to silence the Apostle Paul, with Festus even accusing him of being out of his mind. Yet Paul vowed to speak the truth respectfully but clearly: “For the king knows about these things, and to him I speak boldly. For I am persuaded that none of these things has escaped his notice, for this has not been done in a corner” (ESV).
Likewise, cancel culture is not being carried out under wraps but in the open. So when the sanctity of human life is raised as an issue, speak God’s truth boldly. When human sexuality or racism is being debated, speak God’s truth boldly. When the Word of God is suppressed, speak God’s truth boldly and faithfully.
It really is a matter of use it or lose it
In the next article, I will expand on the first and second steps to prepare for battle. The first step is to examine yourself to make certain that you are saved. The second step is to pray to God for courage and boldness to biblically engage in the battle,
If you are reading this post and are not a Christian, unless God intervenes, your eternal destination is hell. But, your destiny can change.
Today can be the day of your salvation. Please see my blog (https://stevebelsheim.com/2020/04/20/for-god-so-loves-you-2/) for a description of how you can be saved and a more concise description at my (https://stevebelsheim.com/2020/10/20/there-is-hope-even-when-there-seems-to-be-no-hope-2/ ).
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