(December 4, 2017) Dr Jim McClure, straight shooting theologian, pinpoints some clarity to the whats and whys of what is happening in the world today…
It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World was the title of a 1963 comedy film.
Sadly, while the title can so accurately describe to world today, there is little that is humorous in it.
1. The Condition
Today many are wondering how much more crazy the world can get! The following are some of the things that have had people guessing –
- A man who wears a dress appears on the cover of a magazine as ‘Woman of the Year.’
- A 6 foot 2inches man, who changes his name to ‘Hannah’, seeks to play in a women’s football league.
- A sexually deviant act is now defined as ‘love’, and ‘marriage’ between two men or two women is described as ‘progressive.’
- Gender is no longer defined as male or female according to biological reality, but as a personal choice in defiance of that reality.
- The killing of healthy unborn babies is stated as a woman’s right. Clearly the baby has no rights.
- The assisted killing of humans is deemed to be an act of compassion.
- Children in primary schools are taught how to engage in sexual activity.
Such madness is not only taking place in Australia but in many counties throughout the world. For example, the UK government argues that the term ‘pregnant woman’ should not be used in a UN treaty because it ‘excludes’ transgender people. In Canada a judge in Ontario extended the definition of euthanasia to include non-terminally ill people by redefining the phrase ‘natural death must be reasonably foreseeable’ in his decision. And in the USA Christian owners of businesses and Christian employees are frequently experiencing discrimination, victimisation and prosecution for holding Christian values.
The fact is that, despite the spectacular advance of the so-called enlightened and open-minded leftist/postmodern agenda in recent years …
- There is no pot of gold at the end of the 6-coloured sexual deviation rainbow – only a foul quagmire of corruption and confusion.
- There is nothing enlightened in embracing irregular and perverse practices that violate the laws of nature.
- There is nothing progressive in seeking to normalise acts that all cultures have, for thousands of years, deemed to be an aberration.
- There is no merit in passing legislation to take away a person’s most basic right – the right to life (either at its beginning as in abortion or at the end as in euthanasia).
- There is nothing to praise, but much to fear, when morality is determined by either dictatorship or by democracy and moral values are established by governmental legislation.
- There is nothing but confusion when ethical standards are determined by what each individual determines to be right or wrong.
2. The Cause
a) Rejection of God and his Values
(i) Biblical examples
The book of Judges makes salutary reading, albeit at times very distressing. It is a kind of spiritual barometer that records the spiritual health of a nation that, for about 480 years after the death of Joshua, went on a spiritual roller coaster journey that swung between sound commitment to God and wholesale rejection of him.
The book clearly discloses God’s call to righteous living and the chapters reveal in startling clarity that both the moral and spiritual collapse of a nation are the consequences of turning away from God and his values. As Proverbs 14:34 states, ‘Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.’
About 250 years after the period of the Judges, Ahaz, King of Judah, choose to redirect the worship of the people from the Lord and to embrace the gods, values and life-style of the surrounding nations. We read, ‘He offered sacrifices to the gods of Damascus, who had defeated him; for he thought, “Since the gods of the kings of Aram have helped them, I will sacrifice to them so they will help me.” But they were his downfall and the downfall of all Israel. Ahaz gathered together the furnishings from the temple of God and took them away. He shut the doors of the Lord’s temple and set up altars at every street corner in Jerusalem. In every town in Judah he built high places to burn sacrifices to other gods and provoked the Lord, the God of his fathers, to anger’ (Chronicles 28:23-25).
Ahaz’s purpose was to remove the influence of Almighty God and his revealed values from the nation. The result was disastrous!
Human wants, desires and goals are often in direct clash with godly values which are then dismissed as ‘old fashioned’, ‘extreme’ and ‘repressive.’ The inevitable consequence of scornfully dismissing God’s ‘rules for living’ and following the path of one’s unchecked passions and urges has been shown to be consistent – both spiritual disorientation and social dysfunction leading to national atrophy.
Once we personally sideline God and decide that we are unaccountable for the actions that flow from our rebellion against God and own a worldview in which the Almighty Creator of all things has no place, we become, in effect, a god in our own eyes!
Paul has unapologetically written about the inevitable consequence for those who dismiss God’s ways and follow their own: ‘Since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them’ (Romans 1:28-32).
We see this being worked out in Australia (and in other countries) today. Regrettably the destructive worldview of postmodernism (that is, a worldview that wholly rejects the opinion that there is any single determining source for truth and reality) has been working in Western countries for some decades, drip-feeding its rancid views on society while couching them in nouns and adjectives that appear to be noble.
(ii) The corrosive influence of Postmodernism
Postmodernism places particular importance on the concepts of –
- Pluralism – which asserts that there is no absolute truth therefore it is wrong for any particular principles, values or religious beliefs to viewed as inherently superior to another,
- Freedom – by which is meant, freedom from ‘corrupt Western values’, from traditional expressions of authority and from religious-based moral values,
- Equality – which has been defined to mean that all people have equal rights in all things – racial, ethnic, social, gender, gay, and such. The reality is that equality is difficult to define and it often is not always compatible with justice. In the real world, enforcing the ‘equal rights’ of some means freezing the ‘equal rights’ of others,
- Progress – this is viewed as shucking off the values of western society and embracing postmodern world views.
These pronouncements have been forcefully and violently argued by their advocates who brook no difference of opinion! This in itself demonstrates the fallacy of postmodernism – those who peddle it attempt to oppose uniformity by imposing uniformity on others; they deny the reality of the principle of ‘right and wrong’ while vehemently declaring the rightness of their convictions and the wrongness of those who challenge them; they declare their belief in equality and diversity while they marginalise and stridently try to suppress the rights, opinions and beliefs of those who disagree with them, denouncing them as ‘bigoted’ and ‘intolerant.’
The ‘brave new atheistic world’ of postmodernism is seen to be antagonistic, intolerant, vulnerable and unstable!
In his book, The Illusion of Freedom and Equality, Richard Stivers comments, ‘Postmodernism is an attack upon language and truth.’ Indeed one could say that Postmodernism is an attack on civilisation!
The 19th century German philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche coined the phrase ‘God is dead.’ Christians sometimes misunderstand that statement. By it he meant that the values of an eternal God no longer mattered in modern culture and the consequence was that God was effectively dead to us. While there is so much in Nietzsche’s writings with which I strongly disagree, I am impressed by something he wrote over 100 years ago which he expressed with almost ‘prophetic insight.’ (Note: His use of the word ‘tarantula’ refers to those who virulently declare a dogma of equality).
‘We shall wreak vengeance and abuse on all whose equals we are not’ – thus do the tarantula heart’s vow. ‘And “will to equality” shall henceforth be the name for virtue; and against all that has power we want to raise our clamour!
‘You preachers of equality, the tyrannomania of impotence clamours thus out of you for equality: your most secret ambitions to be tyrants thus shroud themselves in words of virtue.’
We see precisely this happening today! Atheistic left-wing philosophies use words like love, freedom, tolerance – but only their distorted definitions of these words are valid! With an ever increasing fanaticism they seek to silence any alternative opinions – particularly Christian ones!
With tyrannical fervour they pursue and persecute any who dare to disagree with them. Despite the radical left-wing’s use of words of virtue, their practice of virtue is not extended to those with whom they disagree and, especially, they do not extend a practice of the virtuous words to Christians or anything with a Judeo/Christian emphasis. Unbelievably, in some Western countries which were once identified as ‘Christian’, this hostility has led to the prosecution of Christians who have sought to practise their Christian values.
(b) Failure of the church
It would be easy to pile all the blame for the current moral and social chaos on postmodernism and its secularist and atheistic advocates. Sadly, it must also be acknowledged that the church has contributed significantly to society’s moral and social collapse in recent years.
As a Christian it is hard to make this admission, however the evidence of the church’s role in society’s deterioration is glaringly evident. The church has failed in its witness. This is apparent in at least the following areas:
(i) Its integrity and moral testimony
In recent years the reports of deplorable incidents sexual abuse in the church has come under the condemnation of many people – and it has rightly so. Such forfeiture of respect and trust is inexcusable. The words of Christ make clear the role of His followers in the world:
‘You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house’ (Matthew 5:13-15).
Salt and light! Jesus used these metaphors to help us understand what the role of the Christian really should be as followers of Jesus Christ. They refer to the required protective and corrective influence of Christians in a fallen world and also to their representing the illuminating light of hope, joy and deliverance in a world in which men and women often struggle under despair and desolation.
Jesus claimed to be the source of that light – ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life’ (John 8:12). But that light needs be seen by others. Jesus said, ‘Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven’ (Matthew 5:16).
Regrettably Christians have so often failed to fulfil that commission and the church’s moral testimony today largely lies in shreds! While the Christian life should always witness to a God-influenced life and our good works must be evident for all to see, our failure to grasp the profound significance of the salt and light, and to express it through a surrendered life has seriously impeded Christian integrity. And even worse the vile ungodliness of sexually abusive clergy has corroded respect for the church and its message.
A W Tozer has uncompromisingly written, ‘We must continue to pray that she [the church] should cease her disgraceful fornication with the world and return to her first love and her true Lord. Her living has degenerated, her tastes have declined, her standards have sunk to the bottom. Nothing short of a radical reformation can save her. Only those with anointed eyes are able to see her plight and only those with Spirit-filled hearts can intercede for her effectively’ (Touching Heaven in Prayer pp. 63-72).
(ii) Its message
The Christian message that is solidly grounded on the scripture has been tampered with in a variety of ways:
- By redaction:
I am referring to the removing or obscuring biblical teaching by some ‘Christian’ leaders who find that it is not compatible with their understanding of ‘political correctness’. Increasingly we have seen the church failing to hold fast to its historic truths as it tries to seek a compromise with the standards of the world.
For example the Anglican Dean of Perth, Richard Pengelley, has stated that he believes the church needed to evolve with society. He said, ‘I think we’ve been very good and very strong in other areas – social justice, help for the homeless, refugees. … But human sexuality, in particular, we’ve seemed to have got very … caught up on our sacred text that comes from a long time ago, and I think our understandings have changed.’
Also, The Sunday Times (UK) reported in 17th November 2017 that Lorna Ashworth, ‘A highly-regarded adviser to the Archbishop of Canterbury has quit the inner counsels of the Church of England in protest against an “agenda of revisionism” that she says is promoting “an ongoing and rapid erosion of faithfulness”. Ashworth’s protest, however, is a far deeper one about the church’s general embrace of secularism. The true message of Christianity, she says, risks being drowned out by people who prefer to discuss social justice because “if we talk about sin, then we have to talk about bad behaviour and people don’t want to be judgmental. … As a result, the church wants to replace sin, judgment and repentance by “good disagreement.” Thus it would give good and bad equal status. In other words, it would vitiate its role as moral arbiter altogether.”’
These two examples are not designed to single out Anglicanism as the chief culprit in the march to dilute Christian doctrine, cherry-pick the Scriptures and modify the message. This is a sickness that has been afflicting many denominations and local churches in these days. Indeed this is not a new phenomenon – in the early days of the church, Jude had to write, ‘Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints’ (Jude 1:3).
- By omission:
Biblical teaching sometimes (often) clashes with society’s practices and biblical values often stand in stark contrast to those that are currently accepted or being promoted. What then must the preacher, who believes biblical teaching, do when he does not want to be controversial or to offend anyone? The answer appears to be simple – he ignores all texts that are likely to provoke a negative response and avoids preaching on any biblical truths that may cause irritation or challenge to those who are listening.
However such handling of the word of God, which effectively silences the biblical witness, is cowardly and unworthy of a person who claims to believe in the authority of the Bible and the indispensable nature of its testimony and has been commissioned to proclaim it.
- By a social interpretation:
Such misunderstanding of the nature of Christian witnessing is seen, for example, in the comment made by the Dean of Perth whose expressed the opinion of the gospel as being about ‘social justice, help for the homeless, refugees.’ Certainly there is a social dimension to discipleship but there is significantly more to witnessing to the good news than social action. The social emphasis of the scriptures must not be viewed as a replacement to the gospel of salvation that Jesus proclaimed. His was a gospel that promised relationship with God through repentance, reconciliation, redemption and rebirth and it was to this gospel that the Christians in the early church effectively witnessed.
The flame of the gospel did not spread throughout the world in the first couple of centuries, and the church did not grow phenomenally in those days, because Christians were promoting a social agenda. No, their unapologetic message was about ‘Jesus Christ and him crucified’ (1 Corinthians 2:2).
- By a motivational application:
What is often called a ‘sermon’ today is nothing more than a motivational talk! Without doubt in these distressful days there is a need for us to be motivated and some motivational ‘preachers’ clearly help many people by their encouraging words; but a motivational talk, even one sprinkled with biblical texts, is a far cry from preaching the word of God boldly and without fear or favour.
The fundamental difference between a motivational message and a proclamation of the gospel is that the objective of the motivational message is to give good advice, to make people feel better and to help them to succeed in life, while the objective of preaching the message of the gospel is to seek Christian conversion, affirm Christian convictions, develop Christian character and encourage Christian conduct – even if some people disagree with that objective.
Not everyone gladly welcomed what Jesus preached and some were deeply offended by his words (Matthew 13:57). Paul referred to ‘the offence of the cross’ (Galatians 5:11) and in 1 Corinthians 1:23 he described the preaching of Christ crucified as a stumbling block to some and foolishness to others. And Peter wrote of those who reject Jesus who thus becomes ‘a stone that will make men stumble, a rock that will make them fall’ (1 Peter 2:8).
While the intention of motivational ‘preachers’ may be praiseworthy, nevertheless their talks are a far cry from the authentic Christian message and as such wholly misrepresent it. Consider this quote by the late Norman Vincent Peale who wrote the book, The Power of Positive Thinking: ‘Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.’ Or the following by Joel Osteen:
- ‘There is a winner in you. You were created to be successful, to accomplish your goals, to leave your mark on this generation. You have greatness in you. The key is to get it out.’
- ‘You’re going to go through tough times – that’s life. But I say, “Nothing happens to you, it happens for you.” See the positive in negative events.’
- ‘Start believing today that things are going to change for the better. Your best days are still out in front of you.’
- ‘Do all you can to make your dreams come true.’
Words of encouragement may initially appear to be what is needed to help people to become more ‘positive’, to feel better about themselves and to expect success, but there is both shallowness and falsity to be found in such advice. Such affirming words may for a time serve to boost our morale, but they fail miserably as an alternative to the Christian message.
- By an entertainment focus:
I must say that I have no problem with the notion that the act of worship can be greatly enjoyed or that the word of God faithfully preached can be electrifying and profoundly moving. Contemporary expressions of corporate worship and different methods used to communicate the message are all highly appropriate. And I would admit that I would much prefer to be in a service of worship which has a joyful and lively character than to be ‘bored to death’ in a gloom laden ‘mausoleum’ in which the congregation appears to be stoically enduring the proceedings as if it were a religious requirement.
However, in some churches (and on Christian TV) the ‘preachers’ are performers, the congregations are audiences, the measure used to rate the enjoyment level of the production is mistaken for the depth of the encounter with God, and the address is assessed according to its capacity to entertain.
In such an environment, however enjoyable, popular and successful it may be, the core Christian message may be completely lost as the entertainment gimmick distracts from it, misrepresents it and wrongly places the focus on the ‘entertainers on the stage’, rather than on the Lord Jesus Christ and the kingdom message he proclaimed.
- By a gnostic-type revelation:
Gnosticism is a name given to heresy that threatened the faith of the early church. Paul addressed some of those heretical beliefs in his letter to the Colossians. While different Gnostic groups embraced a diversity of views, they held in common the belief that they possessed a ‘secret religious knowledge’ that went beyond what ordinary Christians believed. Gnosticism taught that a true and fuller knowledge of spiritual certainty was based on a source that was intuitive, subjective and emotional and with a large dash of the mysticism.
Gnosticism still exists today – and is still in the church today often lurking under the pretext of ‘personal revelation.’ Increasingly we see the publication of ‘Christian’ books, producing of videos and planning of conferences that major on supernatural themes that claim to give new knowledge about hidden mysteries in the Bible. These titillating and exciting themes appeal to unsuspecting and gullible Christians who often are willing to part with their money to be acquainted with eccentric ideas that are often not only unconventional but also emphatically bizarre. Usually the newly discovered ‘truths’ are revealed by people who claim God uniquely gave it to them.
Examples include – how to make angels do our bidding, relating astronomical events to biblical texts to contemporary events (in a way that smacks of astrology), the significance of the tetrad (red moon eclipses), the mystery of the Shemitah, finding and fixing the assured date of the return of Christ and so on. The integrity of this exclusive revelatory knowledge, it is claimed, is trustworthy because it was directly and unambiguously given to those individuals by God!
The ‘secret knowledge’ of the present day ‘Christian-gnostic’ is so eccentric that it brings discredit to the solid core of Christian truth and as a consequence distracts from the Christian message and disparages the Christian faith.
(iii) Its mission
In commenting on the conversion of Zacchaeus Jesus summarised his mission in these words, ‘The Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost’ (Luke 19:10). Before his ascension he met with his disciples and gave them this commission, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age’ (Matthew 28:18-20).
Lorna Ashworth (referred to earlier) incisively and insightfully commented, ‘We have a liberal agenda because the church is not anchored in the gospel. There is no more conversation about Heaven, Hell, sin, forgiveness, judgment.’ Her comment about the church’s embrace of secularism is directly on target: ‘The true message of Christianity risks being drowned out by people who prefer to discuss social justice because if we talk about sin, then we have to talk about bad behaviour and people don’t want to be judgmental.’
The mission of the church is not primarily to promote a social agenda, to improve living conditions, to make people feel better about themselves or to major on ‘social justice, help for the homeless, refugees’ which Dean Pengelley apparently considers to be the church’s assignment.
According to the Bible the principle focus of the church’s mission is to seek the advance God’s kingdom by declaring and demonstrating God’s saving love and forgiveness to the spiritually lost and broken people among whom we live. While this certainly includes our practical involvement in caring for the needy, the marginalised and the outcast, it principally focuses on introducing people to Jesus Christ who alone can save us from our sins.
We need to stop thinking of the church as a ‘club house’ for religious people. Such thinking debilitates the church and destroys its commitment to mission. The church’s failure in this area is generally related to its self-centric views; consequently its loss of vision and understanding about its God-given mission makes people inevitably judge it as irrelevant – and rightly so!
In an increasingly God-rejecting secular world the time has never been more ready for the church in general, and individual Christians in particular, to become credible again by honestly acknowledging our failures, confessing them to God and embracing again the reality that we are ‘the chosen race, the King’s priests, the holy nation, God’s own people, chosen to proclaim the wonderful acts of God, who called you out of darkness into his own marvellous light’ (1 Peter 2:9).
3. The Cure
We recognise that the world is in a very unstable and threatened condition today and that the church’s failures combined with its loss of credibility has created a scenario that suggests a bleak outlook. In fact the church is constantly in the cross-hairs of a world that is increasingly growing hostile to anything that is Christian. Confronted by strident secularism, rampant atheism, militant sexism, radical gender dysphoria confusion, aggressive feminism, hostile left-wing agitation and attack, and so on, it is tempting to conclude that while the future of the world is bleak and particularly, the future of the church is doomed!
In these days it appears that Satan is having a heyday stalking around the world killing Christians daily in terror attacks, closing churches, making Christians everywhere objects of ridicule. How can the present aggression against the church and all things Christian be resisted?
An ancient church symbol, which represented the church as a boat, provides a helpful illustration for us today. Whoever came up with that concept was very perceptive. The church was likened to a mere wooden boat with a mast and a sail to catch the winds that would provide the power to propel it on its journey.
It was compared not to a cruise ship, nor a war ship, nor a luxury yacht, but to a lowly wooden boat that would be tossed about on the waves as it journeyed on its pre-set course. In those days the sea appeared to be no match for such an apparently frail craft as it sailed on a turbulent and, at times, terrifying, ocean. But when the course was set, faithfulness and commitment were required from those on board.
On such a boat there were no passengers, only crew. Everyone had a job to do – to stay on course to their destination and constantly to be on the lookout to rescue anyone floundering in the sea.
The symbolism is clear – the boat represents the church which at times appears to be fragile and capable of being overwhelmed and breaking into pieces; the sea represents the world – a dangerous and often threatening place, but is nevertheless where the boat is required to be on its journey.
Yet, however threatening the sea, however high the waves, however bad and foreboding the weather, those on board know that their little boat would never be overwhelmed for Jesus had promised them a safe arrival – if not a trouble free journey! In John 16:33 Jesus gave his disciples a warning and a word of encouragement: ‘In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.’
Other generations of Christians before us have questioned their survival in a world that has hated them, persecuted them and derided them. But the little boat of the church has survived for 2000 against overwhelming odds.
Nevertheless the current ‘storm’ must cause us humbly to acknowledge and repent of our failures in a broken world. We have gone ‘off course’ in our journey. We have, at times, been arrogant in our manner. We have not been true to our witness. We have embraced the world’s values and practised the world’s life-style. We have deservedly elicited the scorn and disenchantment of the world by our moral failures. And we have projected the image that we are an anachronism and therefore irrelevant to a modern world which desperately needs to hear and respond to the Good news of Jesus Christ.
In these days, as the church is buffeted on all sides by hostile worldviews, it needs to rediscover its message and mission.
It has done so in the past. This year we are commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation when Martin Luther challenged the corruption of the church in his day – a church that had departed from biblical truths and was more concerned with its own prestigious position than with the brokenness of the world in which it lived. Luther lit a flame that spread throughout Europe and the world and resulted in a renewed passion for the proclamation of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.
Likewise, in England in the 18th century, God raised up the Wesley brothers and George Whitefield to declare God’s saving grace to a society that was degenerate and on the edge of revolution. Many more examples could be given of the resetting of the church’s compass over the past 2000 years. By reformation and revival God has often recalled Christians to faithful discipleship and redirected the church to fulfil its purpose.
Instead of embracing the world’s values, compromising Christian beliefs and trying to assert that we are just like everyone else, we need to take to heart what Jesus prayed to the Father about his disciples shortly before he was crucified. He prayed, ‘I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it’ (John 17:14-16).
Jesus – the only hope for this fallen world!
So where can the cure for the world’s present malaise be found? The answer today is the same as it has always been – in Jesus Christ, the light of the world, the Lord over all. Forty days after his birth, when Mary and Joseph brought him to the temple, two people, Simeon and Anna, recognised him. Simeon declared him to be, ‘… a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.’
The real Christmas message is one of hope for this failed and fragmented world. With his birth Jesus brought the light of hope into a despairing world and it is a light that that can never be extinguished despite the efforts of those over the centuries to do just that! ‘The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never put it out’ (John 1:5).
How much we need to take to heart the real Christmas message of assured hope that is centred on Jesus Christ. It is not just about a ‘baby in a manger’ but about God himself in Jesus Christ coming into our world to draw broken men and women to himself. ‘In his name the nations will put their hope’ (Matthew 12:21). In Christ alone is hope to be found.
‘By him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross’ (Colossians 1:16-20).
What an undeserved privilege to know Christ as Saviour and what an inestimable honour to serve him in the world that he keeps on loving (John 3:16) despite its hostility to him!
Dr Jim McClure, author of several books and Bible study series, welcomes questions from Christians seeking enlightenment on biblical perspectives.
Recommended is his enlightening Looking for Answers in a Confusing World, available in electronic version in EPUB, Kindle and PDF formats with hyperlinks and offered free. Link for orders and questions: firstname.lastname@example.org