We all know instinctively that something is not right. Even our very best moments here are not quite perfect. There is something broken in our world we cannot repair. There is something corrupted in our nation that longs for restoration. There is something broken in our hearts that aches for purity and redemption. The good news, no the great news, is that there is an answer (the answer) which is truly big enough to adequately address and restore all that is broken.
Among meta-narratives, the Christian worldview is the only system big enough to fully explain what is broken and how it both is and will be repaired and restored. Even though many of us spend much of our lives looking for love and truth in all the wrong places, both the history of the universe and our part in this grand and sweeping story are fully explained in God’s revealed truth. In a nutshell, the grand story of which we are all a part is embodied in four simple words, pregnant with wonderful meaning and authentic hope for humanity: Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Restoration.
By the power of mere words, our transcendent Creator spoke and instantly formed the astounding heavens and the earth. The pinnacle of creation is man and woman, created in His image. But Adam and Eve rebelled and fell into sin, turning away from God’s good and perfect plan, resulting in the corruption of not just themselves, but all of creation. Nothing has been quite right ever since. Because of the far-reaching damage of the fall, the world and humans are not as we should be.
But the good Creator had a great rescue plan. He sent His own son, Jesus, to be a once-and-for-all sacrifice for our sins. Yet the redemption and restoration of the human heart that expresses faith is only a foretaste of what God will eventually do. Paradise lost in the garden will finally be restored in the form of a spectacularly beautiful new heavens and new earth, and in praising people fully transformed and renewed in the image of God. “Is everything sad going to come untrue?,” Sam Gamgee asked Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings, Yes, it will! That, is our hope!
But we are not there yet. And because we still remain on this side of heaven, often journeying through very dark, demon-possessed valleys, the act of meditating on goodness, truth, and beauty are probably more important now, than perhaps ever. The bad, the false, and the ugly tend to distract and confuse us as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death awaiting the promised cosmic transformation.
Perhaps that is why Paul admonishes us in Philippians 4:8 (KJV):
“[W]hatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
Even now, as we are still surrounded by so much darkness in the form of deceit, deception, injustice, impurity, ugliness, bad reports, vice, and things that ought to be condemned, we must resolve to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and perfecter of all that is authentically good, true and beautiful. We are not “pie in the sky” Pollyannas, but we are, rather, committed spiritual realists. We understand that trials, tribulations, temptations are a normal part of the journey. That is because we strive to align ourselves with the truth—that which actually conforms to reality. We believe in objective truth—that is the truth that is rooted in the Creator of all reality. The very sin of our first parents, our bad habit of ignoring the Creator, who is objective to us, and subjectively “looking within” for ultimate answers is precisely how we got ourselves into this mess and continue to do so.
Our meta-narrative of redemption and hope for humanity is too good to keep to ourselves. In this present darkness, Biblical Christians, especially those who have a comprehensive biblical worldview, uniquely understand what is objectively good, true, and beautiful. We have the best true story on the market; that which most comprehensively explains everything. But how will our friends and neighbors know what is good, true, and beautiful if we do not share it?
As modeled by Daniel and his faithful friends, we must resist the ever-present temptation to compromise, capitulate and assimilate into our current Babylon. This is not an easy task. We must be ready to stand up to ungodly pressure from “friends,” a hostile culture, and an increasingly coercive government as we face our fiery furnaces, imprisonments and lions’ dens. Sadly, even many evangelicals who still believe in objective truth are succumbing to the crushing pressure of the spiral of silence. Darkness advances as the light retreats.
Tragically, there are consequences to our disobedience and faithlessness. As a result, there is collectively less goodness in the world, less truth, and less beauty. Ironically, it is precisely the withholding of truth (and goodness and beauty) from those whom we claim to love, which is actually unloving. This especially includes the truths which directly confront popular cultural narratives, such as the fact that God is holy and we are accountable to Him; that we are created male and female in God’s image; that human life begins at conception; that all need to repent of our sins and turn only to Jesus for salvation; that paradise will be restored by the rule and reign of our sovereign God, not failed coercive Marxist utopian social engineering, and so much more.
But rather than only cursing the darkness, let’s light a candle. As Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer stated, “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” How then shall we now live? Let us remain steadfastly faithful to our great God and good father, who is the source of all truth, goodness and beauty. Filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, let us find our lost courage and boldness. Let us find our voice and, once again, resolve to speak the truth in love. And let us commit random acts of righteousness. As we do, may we shine as bright lights in this present darkness for His Kingdom and for His glory.
“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” Rev. 12:11 (KJV)
Dean Broyles is the President of the National Center for Law and Policy (formerly Western Center for Law & Policy). He earned a Juris Doctor degree from Regent University School of Law, in Virginia Beach, Virginia and a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California. He was mentored in law school in constitutional litigation by Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), one of our nation’s preeminent constitutional attorneys.