Witnessing to the culture

Witnessing to the culture

Two items in the news today, only seemingly unrelated. First, the story of a mighty woman of God, Cindy Winters, whose pastor husband was gunned gown as he preached a year ago today. Her story is one of being cast into a pit of deep darkness immediately upon learning that her husband had died, only to find the Lord there with her. The Lord told her that it was pure evil on the part of satan that had taken her husband, and Cindy’s reaction was, “Then Satan will not win. He will not win”.

The guy who killed Fred Winters is schizophrenic, couldn’t know what he was doing, blah, blah, blah, and our criminal “justice” system will process him as it is wont. But testimonies like Cindy’s, where a person is thrown into severe trial but continues to attest to the goodness and faithfulness of God, are the real story here. It’s easy to flip out and pull a coward’s trigger. It’s takes real quality of soul to stand up for God when you’ve lost something dear.

On the other side, Oklahoma is evidently near to offering elective courses on the Bible. They will be culturally framed, under the rubric that one cannot understand our culture and history without understanding the book that so deeply shaped it.

(Way) back in college, I had a sociology professor who said the same thing. But he did so with flushed face and with a conviction that approached rage. In my stupidity back then, it took me a long time to conclude that this guy was not supportive of the Bible, a book I was entirely unfamiliar with at the time, but I did instantly discern that there had to be much power in the book for it to elicit such a response. And that always stuck with me, and would prove to save my life when the need finally arose a few years later.

Bible courses in the public schools are good things. The sociological angle is very valid, and the coming generation would be greatly enriched by a deeper understanding of our history and culture. And quite frankly, I’d be glad for any exposure to quaint notions such as, say, the sanctity of the marriage bed.

But we shouldn’t delude ourselves into thinking that political changes alone are going to turn the tide in our nation. It’s only a matter of time before liberal groups demand comparative religion courses which depict the Bible as one option among many – and not the best one either. And under humanistic relativism, what’s to prevent religions such as satanism from requesting facilities for their after-school activities, just as our kids have Bible clubs?

Sanctified political action is a good and even necessary thing which should be pursued. But if we don’t change the hearts of the people we are going to lose the culture, and then the nation itself, and no law or politics will be able to stem that tide. The church can function without government support. It’s terribly undesirable, inconvenient and painful, as we abundantly see in persecuted nations, but it can be done. But the church cannot function with the personal testimonies of the saints.

And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. – Rev 12:11

That is why the real heart of Kingdom advancement lies in the costly personal testimonies of the Cindy Winters. We don’t all have to lose a loved one in order to have a powerful testimony. If we’ve been Saved we by definition have a powerful testimony. Jesus has saved us from hell and sin and condemnation and death. He has given us power to live a victorious life now, and remains with us even in this darkened world’s deepest pits. And we await the glorious New Jerusalem, coming down from heaven.

We don’t need to lose a love one to have a powerful testimony, we only have to lose ourselves in Him. In doing so, we may even save the culture in the bargain.


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