The Spiritual State of the Union
I am an optimist at heart, and am not one to constantly discourage others with news that points to the disintegration of our society. Don’t get me wrong. There is plenty of doom and gloom to draw from. It’s just that, in my observation, well-intentioned people often make matters worse by focusing more on problems than solutions. I also tire of spiritual leaders who criticize local churches for not changing the world, even as they exploit resources in the same churches to further their personal agendas.
The Lord’s church is working hard, and while some are unfaithful to the mission, the majority are slugging it out against Satan every day. Therefore, my thoughts here are not intended to call others out for failing to do their job, though certainly there are those who have been negligent in this respect. Instead, I wish to speak to the spiritual condition of our culture, as I believe this is ultimately more important to our success as a people than any government policy.
I have examined the Spiritual State of the Union and have determined:
The Spiritual State of the Union is hopeful. While Satan is alive and well, the Bible tells us the “gates of Hades” will not prevail over the transforming message of salvation through Christ (Matthew 16:18).
The Spiritual State of the Union is dark. Our culture is a mixture of great spiritual light and an ever-increasing darkness. The darkness is not so great that the light of Christ cannot overcome it. Yet, great harm is occurring in people’s lives due to the destructive nature of sin. “For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.” (Ephesians 5:12)
The Spiritual State of the Union is confused. Some claim all spiritual paths lead to God, and no one faith has the corner on truth. However, the various paths people follow contradict this notion in their own teachings. Others say there is no such thing as truth. Yet, if there is no truth, how can anyone say with certainty truth does not exist? We are indeed confused.
The Spiritual State of the Union is bankrupt. We no longer have the collective moral authority to stop evil in its tracks. According to a new law in New York, a baby in the womb is not a person. If someone proposed a law that defined persons as those who survive the first month of infancy, and are deemed “wanted” by their parents, on what basis could the law be struck down? One day we may be tossing live babies in city dumps, and the behavior of the ancient Romans may no longer appear barbaric.
The Spiritual State of the Union is thirsty. This is good news! God made us in His image, and no matter how dark or bankrupt we become, there is always something inside that cries out for its Creator. In some ways, the more spiritually parched our culture becomes, the more open it becomes to the truth.
The Spiritual State of the Union is strong. There you have it. That’s how most Presidents begin their speeches. “The Union is strong and here’s why!” But indeed, it is. The Spiritual State of the Union, that is. We must remember, the church began with a small band of disciples on a hillside outside of Jerusalem. In the future they would face idolatry, paganism, persecution, imprisonment and death. Yet, the church thrived. The world was transformed then, and although there have been plenty of ups and downs in human history, spiritually speaking, the gospel of Jesus has continued to revive dead societies.
Before Jesus left His disciples with the command to make disciples He said, “And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)
I take Jesus at His word, and I am not destroyed by the spiritual state of our culture.
Discouraged? Yes, at times.
Distraught? That too.
But not destroyed. The state we are in only makes the message of the cross more revolutionary.
After the President’s speech and the rebuttal, this much remains…
The unchangeable, irrepressible power of the cross.