This week, while many Americans commemorate equal rights champion Martin Luther King, Jr., I took the time to read my old copy of Letter From a Birmingham Jail. I have always been so impressed by his writing prowess, and like my hero, the Apostle Paul, he did this from a primitive jail cell in Alabama.
He emphasizes the Declaration of Independence and demands for more Christlike action from the professing Christian Church with statements such as:
“There was a time when the church was very powerful…In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society.”
“By their effort and example, they brought an end to such ancient evils as infanticide and gladiatorial contests. Things are different now… Far from being disturbed by the presence of the church, the power structure of the average community is consoled by the church's silent — and often even vocal — sanction of things as they are.”
Former President Barack Obama, who is one such leader of this power structure and fearless of Christian morality, was speaking with former late-night talk show host David Letterman on Letterman’s new Netflix show, “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction.”
During the interview, Obama stated, “One of the biggest challenges we have to our democracy is the degree to which we don’t share a common baseline of facts.”
Obama went on later to pronounce, “If you watch Fox News, you are living on a different planet than you are if you, you know, listen to NPR.”
Aside from his democracy blunder, I believe the former president was right; America has become “delusional.”
This got me to thinking about the implications and consequences of our “delusional” behavior.
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines delusional as “a misleading of the mind…an error or mistake proceeding from false views.”
While most in America enjoy pointing the finger at politicians for the woes of America, we might want to consider that the American Church, and Americans in general, just might be the most delusional people in the world.
And our delusions are dangerous. For example:
- Delusion #1: We could form our government acknowledging that God is the Source of our rights and our law, then steadily ignore Him for generations and expect to prosper.
- Delusion #2: For the sake of our own convenience, we could murder sixty-million of our pre-born children and call it “legal.”
- Delusion #3: We could attempt to redefine marriage (or gender) – which God has already defined in His Word – and not suffer the deadly consequences of disobedience.
In all of my travels speaking to youth all over America, I have doubtlessly found King’s conclusion to be the case: “Every day I meet young people whose disappointment with the church has turned into outright disgust.”
Like King, we believe, “If today's church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century.”
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