What kind of world would unfold if smart, determined people lived as if Jesus really was the source of truth? That question shapes a new book by my friend Dr. Jeff Myers, president of Summit Ministries. Truth Changes Everything: How People of Faith Can Transform the World in Times of Crisis is a book badly needed right now.
If Jesus is our Lord, we are included in the “saints.” The question is: Will we be who we are? Will we live in ways that show the world the transforming, sanctifying difference Jesus has made in our lives? I am convinced of this assertion: The world will be drawn to Christ to the degree that Christians live like him. If churches are divided against each other, why would lost people want to join us? If Christians are angry, rancorous, and judgmental, why would non-Christians want what we have?
My advice for candidates preparing to head into political debates would be, to criticize their opponent's position where it is necessary but spend more time articulating what you would do to move our country forward. Convince voters based on your qualifications and policies rather than hammering on the one or two perceived weaknesses of your opponent. And when you attack, pick your spot, make it count, and move on. It would be much more effective.
Events and decisions in our lives fall into three categories—biblical, nonbiblical, and unbiblical.
Halloween is nonbiblical: God’s word does not command it, which would make it biblical, or forbid it, which would make it unbiblical. However, Scripture does teach us what would be biblical to do today, such as using the day for church outreach events, getting to know your neighbors so you can build relationships for the gospel, and spending fun time together as a family. And it teaches us what would be unbiblical to do today, such as engaging in occult practices or anything that would glorify Satan.
Some people are universalists, believing that because God loves all of us, all of us will go to heaven. Others are “Christian universalists,” believing that Jesus died for everyone, so everyone will go to heaven whether they believe in him or not. You don’t need to know about Jonas Salk to benefit from his vaccine; you don’t need to have a personal faith in Jesus to benefit from his sacrifice, or so some say. However, God’s word regarding the necessity of personal faith in Christ is clear.
Pain is never the point of God’s plans, any more than it is the purpose of physical exercise. Never pushing ourselves to the point that it hurts means never improving our health. In and of itself, pain is not good, but it is meaningful. Pain indicates that something is wrong and needs to be addressed. Without pain, we’d never know. In the same way, breaking bad habits of the past requires pushing beyond our comfort levels, through the pain, and onward on the path to full restoration.
Therapists remind us that we cannot change the minds of others merely through the explanation of facts. If people do not want to change, they are unlikely to change. However, we can demonstrate the transforming personal relevance of biblical truth so fully and powerfully that others may want what we have. As we have noted this week, living boldly and courageously for our Lord is vital to our souls and to our culture.
The thing to notice in this story is not merely the eerie religiosity, but also the way students are being encouraged to subject science to progressive moral goals, honoring oppressed cultures and embracing their ideas about healing. This is a far cry from the detached skepticism of yesteryear.