What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.
Yesterday I finished reading C.S. Lewis’ little book, Letters to Malcolm, Primarily on Prayer. In the final chapter, Lewis comments on an article that had criticized his approach to faith. His attackers, which he identifies as “liberal Christians”, took issue with his insistence on the supernatural.
“They themselves find it impossible to accept most of the articles of the “faith once given to the saints.” They are nevertheless extremely anxious that some vestigial religion which they (not we) can describe as “Christianity” should continue to exist and make numerous converts. They think these converts will come in only if this religion is sufficiently “demythologized.” The ship must be lightened if she is to keep afloat.”
“By the way, did you ever meet, or hear of, anyone who was converted from skepticism to a “liberal” or “demythologized” Christianity?” (Letters to Malcolm, page 118-119)
Those words were written over 50 years ago, and yet they are still relevant today. There still are those within “the Church” who seek to ignore, explain away or discredit any mention of the supernatural. They do this at a time when interest is spirituality and the supernatural is on the rise. People are looking for a spiritual experience without God, and especially without Christ.
The words of Judges 21:25 ring as true today as they did when they were first written. In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit. We live in the days of total personal freedom; I have the right to believe and do whatever I want. There is no absolute authority. I am my own authority.
Paul warned us that these days were coming when he wrote to the church at Rome.
For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Amen. Romans 1:21-25
This is the world in which we find ourselves. People love animals more than they love people. They are fascinated with angels, while denying the existence of God, who created angels. They worship the work of their own hands, instead of the Creator who placed everything into their hands. In essence, God has been taken off of the throne and humanity has climbed on.
This rejection of the truth, as Lewis pointed out, has infiltrated the church. We might understand this, if it were confined to spiritually illiterate people. But this infection is rooted in some of the highest, most intellectual and respected levels of the Church. Those who should be leading the way are often leading in the wrong direction. They use their high position to call into question and degrade anyone who holds to “traditional” biblical beliefs; like the deity of Christ, the resurrection and salvation through faith in Christ alone. As Paul tells us, they have created their own “faith structure” and have enticed many to follow them. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 2 Timothy 4:3
One of the things that I really appreciate about C.S. Lewis is that he refused to get flustered by the attacks of liberals and secularists alike. Instead, he calmly, faithfully and boldly stood his ground. He articulated the faith in terms that most people could understand, and then allowed the Holy Spirit to do His work. His commitment to stay true to the Bible has profoundly influenced many to follow Christ.
Even in the days of the Judges, when there was spiritual anarchy, there were those who remained faithful to the truth of God. They calmly stood firm and God used them to bring revival and renewal to the land. God is calling us to stand firm on the solid foundation of our faith in Jesus Christ. The stormy waves will continue to break against that foundation, but they cannot prevail. If we will stand firm, God will use us to bring revival and renewal to our land.
Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
1 Corinthians 15:58