Loss of perspective?

If you are anywhere close to where I am you'll be saddened (to say the least) about some of the recent events that have happened in the U.K. The Woolwich killing, the bill on same-sex marriage, multiple stories of rape, abduction and murder. We know that God hates these sins and we do too (more and more as our minds are shaped by what God's words says). The gospel seems not to be going forward and many people, if they don't openly ridicule the Lord Jesus of the Bible and His followers, just ignore Him. In the light of these things it is very easy to feel discouraged and fall foul of some kind of defeatism. Can the Lord Jesus really change this world? Or is it that he can but he chooses not to? What happened to His promise that He would build His church and that the gates of Hell would not prevail against it? I was recently reminded of an article by David Field that I wanted to share- a part of which is entitled "Evangelical defeatism and public theology."

"Islam is definitely a loser and humanism is definitely a loser. But, sadly, when it comes to matters of public theology, most evangelicals are defeatists. And “even a loser can win when he's up against a defeatist.”

It is remarkable, really, that evangelicals should be defeatists, a dreadful failure of perspective which comes from a refusal to look up. Our discussions are sometimes like a debate between the two men in Slough which has been going on for the last 120 years. One of them insists that humans cannot fly, that if God had intended us to fly he would have given us wings – we know the arguments. The other has produced detailed documents showing how, if pedal speed can be maintained to power the mechanical wings, then it is scientifically possible for humans to fly almost a mile. Meantime, a huge passenger jet containing between 300 and 600 people passes overhead every two
minutes.

Evangelical defeatism is a failure of Biblical perspective. After all, the risen Lord Jesus has been given all authority in heaven and on earth and has been made head over all things for the Church [Ephesians 1:22]; he is the ruler of the kings of the earth and he is currently putting his enemies beneath his feet; he has presumably asked the Father for the nations as his inheritance and the ends of the earth as his possession - and so he will receive them [Psalm 2]. All nations will bow to Jesus and all kings will serve him and his kingdom will grow to become the largest plant in the garden with the nation-birds finding rest in its branches [Mark 4:31-32]. His kingdom is the stone which crushed the kingdoms of men in Daniel 2 and which is growing to become a mountain-empire which fills the whole earth. He is the firstborn from among the dead and therefore it is right that in all things he has the first place. He has been highly exalted and not only will every knee bow to him but every knee should bow to him.

Evangelical defeatism is a failure of historical perspective. After all, the statistics are out there. It took 1400 years for 1% of the world's population to become Christians and then another 360 years for that to double to 2%. Another 170 years saw that grow from 2% to 4% and then, between 1960 and 1990 the proportion of the world's population made up of Bible-believing Christians rose from 4% to 8%. Now, in 2007, one third of the world's population confesses that Jesus is Lord and 11% of the world's population are "evangelical" Christians. The evangelical church is growing twice as fast as Islam and three times as fast as the world's population. South America is turning Protestant faster than Continental Europe did in the sixteenth century. South Koreans reckon that they can evangelize the whole of North Korea within five years once that country opens up. And then there's the Chinese church consisting of tens of millions of Christians who
have learned to pray, who have confidence in Scripture, who know about spiritual warfare, have been schooled in suffering and are qualified to rule. One day in the next century that Church - tens of millions of Christians trained to die - will be released into
global mission and our prayers for the fall of Islam will be answered.

Evangelical defeatism in matters of public theology is a failure of biblical and historical perspective. Lacking that perspective, British evangelical defeatists are riddled with white guilt and Christian guilt and are marked by parochial and pessimistic self-loathing and suspicion. They offer their hands to the humanists’ handcuffs and their children to their indoctrination centres, making loud assurances that the last thing they would want to do would be to ‘impose their morality’ on others. In public policy debates they speak in the name of the ‘whole person’ and ‘faith perspectives’ rather than in the name of King Jesus. In their Bible studies they have hermeneutical fits if someone suggests that the Old Testament might be relevant for our discussions of public theology, insisting rather that Christians are the wilderness community who live under the cross, are marked by suffering and are destined for political and cultural impotence. Evangelical defeatists begin to twitch if someone mentions too loudly in public that the Bible is God’s infallible and sufficient Word, that Blair and Brown and Cameron and the rest of them are idolatrous high priests of the greatest false god of modern times, the State, who will one day be on their knees before King Jesus, and that the task the Lord Jesus Christ has given the church is to subdue the earth and fill it, that is to disciple the nations."

Part of an article by David Field: Samuel Rutherford and the Confessionally Christian State which can be found here: http://davidpfield.com/other/RutherfordCCS.pdf

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