“To have one foot on the land of truth, and another on the sea of falsehood, will involve a terrible fall and a total ruin.” — Charles H. Spurgeon
Have you noticed that the citizenry of this world, with all our global connectivity and technological advancements, seem to be shifting more and more into a trajectory of chaos and uncertainty? Why is this? Surely in an age of scientific precision and meticulous social engineering, we should be achieving a high level of stability. Yet, obviously from our current state of cultural upheaval and political warfare, we seem completely unable to reign in the darker elements of our nature. A gathering swell of violent rage, fear, depression, and a growing lust for drugs, alcohol, and pornography are tearing at the moral fabric of our society. But why?
Perhaps we should seriously considered the distinct possibility that all the guiding philosophies of this world have unionized to cobble together a central message that drives us into the moral chaos in which we find ourselves. Like a fat-cat global conglomerate, the world and its board of directors have fine-tuned their mission statement and built a business model around it to achieve its vision of complete domination in the marketplace of souls. And like a scheming conglomerate, it has engaged in a massive PR campaign to transmit their corporate message into every mind and heart on the planet.
The problem with this international cartel, however, is that the world, by its very fallen nature, does not peddle in truth. It profits only in duplicity, deceit, and lies. To hide that inconvenient fact, the world has to engage in propaganda to fool the masses and bend them to its will through subtle indoctrination. Sadly, the world has succeeded in many ways to grow its market share through the compost of social media, Hollywood entertainment, amusements, consumerism, safe spaces, and other distracting toys which placate the people with a false sense of happiness and well-being.
And yet, deep down, the people are still by and large unsettled. Why? Because the world wants you to shelve the perfection of God and His truth and replace it with its own flawed products of narcissism, hedonism, and self-actualization. Indeed, the world’s company motto comes in various forms, but advertises the same point: Self Above All; Do As Thou Wilt; To Thine Own Self Be True! The end result of this marketing campaign is inevitable: the rise of paganism, fantasy, and the idols of individual beliefs; the blurring of gender lines; the obliteration of all sexual boundaries; the tossing aside of human life for one’s convenience; and the denigration of Jesus Christ and vilification of His devoted followers.
Of course, disharmony always reigns in individuals when their quest for self-satisfaction displaces God and His truth. This is why people still live in turmoil, hopelessness, and fear despite the world’s best efforts to sedate them with their pharmacopoeia of comforting lies. The world might offer them a safe haven to practice their selfish pursuits, but at what cost? Tyranny, it can be shown, always grows strongest on the backs of underlings who are willing to trade in their God-given moral compass for the benefits of consequence-free living and doses of fleeting pleasure. Without God and His truth, however, the people are trapped in a totalitarian state of satanic deceit. They are slaves to their sins. And in their innermost being, they know it.
No More Business With The World
As Christians in the midst of this godless tyranny, we need to directly address the rising influence of the world and the sad reality of mankind’s enslavement to it. We need to understand that we can no longer do business with this devious world syndicate and still expect to persuade its loyal customers to return to God and His truth. Seeking the admiration of men through compromise with the world will never work, even if done out of sincere love for the lost. Why? Because our godly love for the lost has no power if we fail to please God, first and foremost, with an unwavering devotion to His truth.
The apostle Paul reminds us of this point when he rhetorically asked, “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men?” Obviously, there are no two ways about it. If we are pleasing men, Paul rightly concluded, then we are no longer servants of God (Galatians 1:10).
Similarly, A. W. Tozer put the issue like this: “All conformity to the world is a negation of our Christian character and a surrender of our heavenly position… One compromise here, another there, and soon enough the so-called Christian and the man in the world look the same… When the Church joins up with the world, it is the true Church no longer but only a pitiful hybrid thing, an object of smiling contempt to the world, and an abomination to the Lord!”
London’s Archibald G. Brown, a co-laborer with Charles Spurgeon, certainly witnessed the beginnings of this modern-day Christian compromise when he noted in 1889 that “the devil has seldom done a cleverer thing than hinting to the church that part of their mission is to provide entertainment for the people, with a view to winning them.” For speaking the truth, Brown was soon falsely accused of being a “sour bigot” and a “kill-joy.”
These days, of course, the hip new strain of namby-pamby evangelism is grounded in the “Best Life Now” philosophy that turns preachers into nothing more than stand-up comedians, tonic salesmen, and self-help gurus. By whispering sweet-nothings into itching ears, these compromising shepherds have abandoned the potency of God’s pure truth and replaced it with a watered-down concoction that will never quench one’s thirst for righteousness. One might sadly ask, how many lost souls have been unmoved by such a weak cocktail and remained in their self-serving folly, even unto death?
Militant For The Truth
In stark contrast to these worldly appeasers, Jesus’ true disciples are called to be militant saints—a striking expression once coined by Spurgeon. No, not militant as in being physically combative against flesh and blood, but spiritually so against the cosmic powers of this dark world and the forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 6:12). We must therefore gird our loins with God’s truth and renounce the hidden things of shame from which this dark world profits. In open protest, we must walk in the picket line of righteousness, without partaking in the world’s craftiness or deceit, but commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God as children of the Light, the fruit of which consists of all goodness, righteousness, and truth (II Corinthians 4:2; Ephesians 5:7-9).
We must not overthink how to do this or burden ourselves with an elaborate strategy. Our duty as Christians is really quite simple when we stand upon God’s holy word. We are called to be truth-bearers for Christ, and not secret shareholders in the business of this world. Once and for all, we must fully grasp this biblical precept: the only commodity that can bankrupt this dark world and release its corporate dominance over wayward souls is TRUTH, as revealed in His creation and in His holy word; and specifically, the truth of Jesus Christ, “as the truth is in Jesus” (Ephesians 4:21).
As Jesus boldly testified to Pilate before His crucifixion: “For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice” (John 18:37).
This declaration of truth by the Savior is the active principle that separates Christians from the world and provides the only true remedy for the desperate state of mankind—and even more so in the 21st century. This truth is the essential weapon forged by God against the world’s satanic forces, and is divinely sharpened to cut to the quick and lay us bare before our Creator (Hebrews 4:12-13). As such, we must wield this holy instrument at all times or fail in our service to God. Without apology, we need to jam the sword of truth into the perverse machinery of this world and grind its gears to a halt with the power of the pure, undiluted Gospel, which brings salvation to those who believe (Romans 1:16).
After all, as Harriet Beecher Stowe once concluded with such eloquent simplicity, “The truth is the kindest thing we can give folks in the end.”
Part two on this matter: Where Would We Be Without Truth?