September 20, 2013
By Richard Land, Executive Editor
Are Christians in America entering a new dark age? To many, it may seem so. Certainly the forces of secularism seem to be flexing their muscles in contemporary American culture. It often feels as if traditional Christian morality is retreating in disarray on an ever increasing number of fronts.
However, it should always be remembered that a moment in a culture's history does not necessarily mean the birth of a new era, secular or otherwise. One must always place the present in perspective. For Christians, perspective does not just encompass a nation's history, or even all of human history. Christians are called to a spiritual perspective that transcends the time-space continuum and stretches into what for lack of better terminology we label inadequately "eternity past" (all the time before time) and "eternity future" (all the time after time).
Such an eternal perspective should provide Christians with a perspective and balance that would preclude panic, euphoria, or despair. In fact, the late, great Chuck Colson declared that "despair is a sin," and for Bible-believing Christians it certainly is.
So how are Christians to conduct themselves in such a circumstance? I believe we must cultivate an Augustinian "already, but not yet" perspective, understanding that the temporal City of Man will never fully coincide with the divine City of God until God Himself culminates human history with the triumphant return of the Lord Jesus at a time and place of His choosing. And, contrary to the claims of some, no one knows when it will be. After all, Jesus Himself instructed us, "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only" (Matt. 24:26, 42, 44).
As Colson observed in "The Enduring Revolution," his acceptance speech upon receiving the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion in 1993:
The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob reigns. His plan and purpose rob the future of its fears. By the cross He offers hope, by the resurrection He assures His triumph.