Go to: => TOP Page; ROAD MAP; Search Page; What's New? Page; Emmaus Ministries Page
The seemingly endless pathological ignorance of Americans regarding the spiritual warfare facing us tends to wear us down. If I did not know that God had brought me this far both intellectually and in my personal life, I would have given up long ago.
Many like her have struggled to bring the disaster to the attention of the American public. I have been one of those regarding the homosexual disaster in the Episcopal Church. As with Eakman (see below), it has, so far, been to no avail. The pseudo-liberals (who have no intention of liberating with truth) and the pseudo-conservatives (who are incapable intellectually or spiritually of conserving anything important) are simply not interested in the truth of the matter, or in doing something that would actually turn the homosexual juggernaut around.
It can be done, but they will not do what it takes. Despite the fact that the homosexual issue is a very winnable war, so far as the public arena goes, I have nothing but a string of failures. What must those monks during the Dark Ages have thought about God and His effective presence? Or, the many Christians who have given their lives? Many spiritual leaders are, I think, more in love with the Church than with the Lord of the Church, and desperately trying to preserve their turf, not meet the real challenge head on.
Beverly Eakman writes a two-part article at the following two web addresses describing her "release" from further futile toil in the endless frustration.
In the midst of cleaning up her office of the accumulated articles, resources, etc., etc., she had an epiphany. She describes the light-bulb turning point:
That was when an unexpected thought occurred: You know, you really don’t have to do this anymore.
“Huh?” I said aloud.
You’ve written scores of articles and three books, two of which were best-sellers. Together with other writers, you provided a thorough accounting of government-sponsored education’s legacy on privacy, the family, criminal justice, and the culture. There’s really nothing more left to say on these topics that has not been written by someone, somewhere.
That was when reality set in. “So, we lost,” I mumbled, suddenly stung by the realization. “We really lost.” I reflected, more in sadness than anger.
There weren’t enough of us who stood up, who insisted, who drew the line, who refused -- or who took the time to examine the wildly disparate versions of major news stories.
Which is why I had cuttings from some five newspapers and 14 periodicals staring at me from the floor. Well, that was about to change.
My attention now on more practical matters, I decided the more efficient course would be to bring in the large trash cans from the driveway, rather than dragging scores of giant plastic bags out.
Where are all those (no doubt, mostly conservative) readers of her best sellers? Why are they not forming a Gideon army to take back education for truth? Eakman has been one of the best, most careful, accurate, and on-target writers in the field, with a focus on the nature of government control of our lives, largely through "public education" -- which is neither public nor education. It is mind-control. (See ABC's 20/20 -- "Stupid in America" or various other articles in the Education library.)
The truth is, of course, that, at least at this point, we are losing. There is little sign in the political, educational, or religious centers that anyone is listening.
But what would, in our reasoning, count as "winning"? How would we know when we had won? Part of the answer is that we will not "win" until Jesus returns. We will continue to live in a fallen world until then. But when He returns, when the Last Judgement happens, all those who do not want what God is offering will get what they want, a life without God and without what He is offering. But they will also get a life without those who do want what God is offering. There will be an eternal separation (for the best take on this, read C. S. Lewis's The Great Divorce).
But in the meantime, God has given us the equipment to establish His kingdom here on earth in significant measure. Crucified or not, we are not put here to be losers.
Jesus told His disciples that "the Kingdom of God is among you", it is at hand. I have witnessed events which could have happened only by the hand of God -- weather changes and healings. I know that the power of God to do what He wants is not abated. The problem is ourselves, not God. The big problem for God has always been His own disobedient people, not pagan or secular folks. When the people of God are obedient, things change.
In the West, we are too ignorant, too apathetic, too self-centered to be obedient. God gives the ascendancy to whom He will. God is giving the ascendancy to homosexualists because the people of God (for the most part) have so little love for them that they will neither speak the hard truth to them nor will they minister to them in love. The same is true in every other facet of our public life -- politics, education, welfare, etc. Even the well known "successful" conservative churches, for the most part, do not know how to fight the battle in the public arena, and are producing hot-house Christians who cannot stand for Christ outside of their church walls. They make converts, but only to their own hot-house spirituality. They cannot say out loud in public, "Jesus is Lord." They are afraid because they do not know how to defend such a statement reasonably and gracefully.
Christians in China and Africa are winning. They are changing their cultures. We are not. Whose fault is that?
The following is a quote from my book, Biblical Inner Healing, which is about to be published. Michael Novak (in red) is commenting on the capacity of the human spirit to survive, even flourish, in the most hideous of circumstances:
"Paradoxically, however, the Communist system of imprisonment, torture, and public confession constituted, despite itself, a via negativa that led to a great many of its victims to God, and to a fresh sense of being an individual who possesses dignity. For under torture they discovered evidence for the presence of God at the core of their own being. The prison literature of our time is full of such instances."
The tormentor would try to convince the victim to "give up", to stop trying to resist, since the end result was inevitable anyhow.
"...the light would go on in the victim’s head: my torturer is telling me that he has all the power. But he is actually confessing something else. There is something he wants from me that he does not have. So he does not have all the power. What he needs is this: that I should conform. He needs my will. He needs my denial that there is any such thing as truth. Only then will his philosophy be confirmed.
"As long as I remain faithful to my own intellect and will, as long as I refuse to be complicit in his lie, then my existence unsettles him. I will not tell a lie. As long as I can hold out for that principle, then my existence shows him that his philosophy is false.
"...the real power in this relationship is mine. He cannot get what he wants unless I freely give it to him. It is not enough for him to force me, to destroy me... I am totally in his power -- except for the sanctuary of my consciousness, my fidelity to the light."
"...my fidelity to the light." Again, our Five Decisions: (1) I will be a truth-seeker. (2) I will put the weight of my dependency on that which is in fact reliable. (3) I will be a truth-speaker. (4) I will obey the true authority of the cosmos. (5) I will love my neighbor as Jesus has loved me.
There will always be those people who find the bed rock of existence, the Hand of God, upon which to stand, which no circumstances can touch, no matter how terrible. And those will be the people who will restore Godly sanity to our culture. It is happening in cultures where people are paying a severe price for their truth-seeking and truth-speaking. The first step of any successful spiritual life is a commitment to truth at any cost to oneself. Americans, typically, do not want to pay that price. And so, we are continuing to sink.
There are two ways things turn around. (1) People finally see the disaster and get so fed up at the nonsense which we produce that we realize we have gone down a wrong path; and (2) we begin to think ahead, use our intellects, our long range vision, to see that if we do A, we get B as a result. So we stop doing A, find something better to do, and get a different result. That is the reasonable way.
God calls, "Come, let us reasons together..." and that was ca. 900 BC, centuries before any philosophers has appeared in Greece and reasoning became part of our human identity. But Americans have been taught, by a corrupt education system, not to think. We no longer know how. So we are taking #1, the hard way, having to go through a crash to see that we have taken a wrong turn. How many more people will have to die of AIDS before the public really wakes up?
On the other hand, there are signs of little green shoots coming up. The Intelligent Design people will win their case against Darwinian evolution. The other side is in a panic, and for good reason. Christians are actually beginning to recover their intellectual credibility. ID will redefine the whole public debate because it will deprive secularists and pagans of their only possible worldview upon which to base their beliefs.
The question is, How long will it take Christians to see the point? There is little sign that pastors are even aware of what is going on. Also, see Roe babies and Reagan babies. America is drifting back toward a pro-life position, unfortunately not because we are learning to use our minds to look ahead, but because we are disgusted with what we are getting into. We do not like what we "feel". But that is better than nothing.
I believe that the last several generations are, for the most part, lost so far as being warriors. (I mean the pseudo-conservatives.) They they are locked into their boxes and will not be a part of the Lord's new Gideon army. They do not know how to unite reason with revelation, or truth with love. They have for over two centuries alienated science and politics, and thus have been chased from the public arena. They do not know how to get back in.
So, we must look to the younger generation, some of whom are still asking honest questions, which is why I am teaching at Biola University. There are young folks who are fed up with the nonsense my generation has given them, and are looking for something better.
There is nothing better, by any reasonable standard, than the Judeo-Christian worldview, upon which the Gospel of Jesus Christ is built. God owns the intellectual, moral, and spiritual high ground, and is inviting His people to stand there with Him. But Christians are frightened of honest intellectual engagement -- "What if we find we are wrong?!?" Christians have thus failed to develop their worldview, let along market it. And so, most Christians are frightened of trusting God to show up and prove His own case. Most Western Christians, once they step outside the church doors, are practicing atheists.
But things are changing. God is showing up. And it will happen.
The deep issues are not educational, political, economic, or military. They are spiritual. We are not in merely a culture war, we are in the deepest kind of spiritual warfare. The stakes are -- everything.
The deep questions are: 1. On what or whom are we ultimately dependent? and 2. Is there any ultimate authority in the universe to whom we are obligated? And there are, at the end of the day, only two answers to those questions: 1. the Biblical answers, and 2. the secular/pagan answers. The Intelligent Design folks are clarifying and sharpening the issues for us.
Those two worldviews draw the lines of the spiritual warfare in which Western Civ. is engaged. All other warfare is a subset of that war which will go on until Jesus returns. And the only offensive weapon Christians are given in this spiritual war is the two-edged Sword of the Spirit -- the word of truth spoken in love. The two edges are reason and revelation welded back to back. That is all we need, for -- it is an invincible weapon.
Beverly Eakman is an Episcopal Christian. My suspicion is that God is saying, "Well done. I have another task for you...." What that might be is between God and Beverly. Our commitment to truth-seeking and truth-speaking gives us a stability which no one can diminish so long as we stay faithful -- at any cost to ourselves.
So I await to see what God is up to in her case. And continue step by step speaking the truth with as much love as I can muster in my own case. The turning of the Roman Empire and the rise of Western Civ. began with one man dying on a cross, and twelve others following Him. And culturally, they were much further behind the 8-ball than we are. This is a winnable war, but only as we put ourselves under the law and grace of God.
UPDATE: Apparently Eakman is busy again in the spiritual warfare of our time. Go to the Beverly Eakman Page.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *