A Society in Chaos
The most important question facing Western society today may just be the question of authority. At the heart of our society is an authority vacuum: when no one has the right to tell us what is and is not, what is right or wrong, the job falls to us.
Without God declaring the value of all human life, it is our decision whether the disabled or unborn are deserving of life. It is up to us to determine if men and women have the right to end their life because of pressing emotional or physical stress.
Without a created distinction in sex, it is up to us to determine what is and is not an appropriate self-expression. Without God defining what a human is, some have even taken it as their right to determine what species they belong to.
Without an infallible constitution and perfect judge, it is easy to blur the lines between what is sin and what is not, and to get away with what we know is wrong.
Not only morality is up for grabs but knowledge itself. Without an authority to rely on for discerning truth from falsehood, it is a genuine question whether there is even right or wrong. If I can only rely on my discernment to determine what is true or false and someone else disagrees, who is there to mediate the discrepancy?
In sum, without God in this world, we are left with chaos. We are left to be tossed about by every tide of false doctrine that sweeps by. This is the logical and practical end of contemporary academic and popular thought, and it is brutally evident everywhere we look. However, Christians need not be subject to the same chaos as the world.
The Christian Hope
In the chaos of this present age, Christians offer something that no one else can. In the Bible, God Himself has spoken, revealing in His word all that is necessary for Christians to hold fast amidst the tumultuous waters of our time. With the Scriptures, He has given us an anchor. It is imperative that we who confess Christ as our Lord properly identify and hold fast to our authority, lest we get caught up in the spirit of our time and loss the effectiveness of our witness.
Indeed, if we hold fast the Word of God as a lifeline, we may not only stand secure as everything else washes away, we may just proffer something to the witnessing world that they desperately need. Not all in our culture are blind to its bankruptcy, to the chaos that threatens to consume them. They need an answer to the problem of our age and are looking everywhere but to God revealed in Scripture. By the mercy of God through His Holy Spirit, the proclamation of Scripture as a firm anchor for knowing right and wrong, true and false, we may just meet the need some in our world know they have and the rest are waiting to discover.
In the Bible, God himself has spoken and made known His truth. Only by holding fast to God through His Word will we be kept from being swept away by the changing tides of our culture. Indeed, by holding fast we may just radiate as a light shining forth in our ever-darkening culture.
I unpack this further in my new book The Gift of Knowing. In it I argue that submission to God is the answer to the crisis of our age and I outline what it looks like to submit to God with our minds.
Photo:J. M. W. Turner [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons