Publication: Pastoral Letter, July 1999
Dear Friend in Christ:
I pray this letter finds you and yours doing well. This month, I want to share from my heart concerning the United States. I trust our readers in other nations will bear with me and remember the U. S. in their prayers during these critical days.
The United States was born July 4, 1776, when it declared its independence from England and began the Revolutionary War; that war was won, but another war rages on for the soul of our country.
I well remember learning “The Pledge of Allegiance” in the early 1940s. We said it in Vacation Bible School and public schools, as we put our hands over our hearts and said, “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.”
Men were dying for the flag, even as we made our pledge to the nation, “under God.
One nation under God” and “In God we trust” have become slogans that belong to a bygone era. The climate of faith in our nation has dramatically changed. In the early 60s, just 20 years after I learned the Pledge of Alliance, polarization began in earnest. It was not just over Vietnam, as many would have us believe. It was over school prayer, abortion, drugs, sexuality, and a host of other issues. America began to reap the harvest of liberalism, secular philosophy, psychology, socialism, greed, and other seeds sown into our sacred soil. Our soil was hallowed by the blood of its protectors, but the awful fruit of life without God grew up and continues to grow up in our “Land of the Free.”
The “isms” now flourish here like weeds, among the “amber waves of grain.” Modernism (“new is better”); Nihilism (“nothing really matters”); Hedonism (“it’s all about pleasure”); Secularism (“God is irrelevant”); and now Post-Modernism and Pluralism (“one value system is as good as another”). In one generation, the “elitists” in media, education, judiciary, entertainment, and bureaucracy have led us in a u-turn away from God. One nation? That’s a serious question. But one nation under God? Hardly!
I have recently read Rabbi Daniel Lapins’ book, America’s Real War. The Rabbi is an Orthodox Jew, who finds himself defending biblical Christianity. He goes even further to advocate a Christian America, while holding to his own beloved Judaism. His premise is that America is better served by Christian values than its current course and he decries the attack on biblical Christians.
He discusses in his book some of the paradoxes and contradictions of “Left-wing” policies. He characterizes them as anti-God. While many on the Left confess faith, they reject the Bible’s view of a Sovereign God Who is relevant to our nation’s values, policies, and decisions. Ironically, he finds himself on the side of conservative Christians.
I personally do not find this position surprising, since Orthodox Jews believe in moral absolutes. What I do find surprising is that both of the terms, “Jew” and “Christian,” have been allowed to stretch so far as to become almost meaningless. Both terms hide large groups of people whose real views are anti-biblical and anti-God. Are secular “Jews” and “Christians” really who they claim to be?
For instance, the Bible endorses capital punishment for murder. The Left rejects that, but endorses abortion and euthanasia. The Bible condemns homosexual practices; the Left rejects that, but is stridently protective of homosexual rights. The Left is protective of rampant sexual promiscuity (which has led to disastrous and deadly consequences), but is stridently opposed to tobacco. The Left is opposed to biblical discipline for children, but creates literally thousands of laws about guns. The Left goes into a fervor when Baptists suggested, as Ephesians 5 and other passages state, that wives should submit to husbands. Yet, they advocate an overwhelming federal bureaucracy to which we must all submit. But the greatest contradiction is, “One nation under God.”
It seems to me the “Liberal Left” has a knee-jerk reaction to God. They are comfortable with activities that cause venereal disease, they are permissive about drugs, illegitimacy, gambling, and a host of other problems, but God makes them nervous. If God is for it, they seem against it. They will go any distance to suggest almost any answer, except God. If someone quotes Scripture, or suggests that mankind (a “sexist term”) needs a Savior, that person is regarded as either ignorant, a religious fanatic, or both.
All the while, for these last decades, many sincere Christians sit silent while history is being rewritten, values devalued, education “dumbed down,” truth subjectivized, and our young are “ripped off” by manufacturers of death and destruction. Those who have denied the existence of Hell have brought it into our homes and daily lives. Those who don’t fear God have brought fear to America. Classic art, music, poetry, and literature often have been replaced by sewage. Sure, there are many lights in the night, but why does it have to be night time in America?
Where is the conflict? It’s everywhere, even in church. Christian leaders find feminism, homosexuality, moral relativism, and theological liberalism right at the altar – and often behind the pulpit. It is no wonder that the battle is virtually lost in the theater, in the school, in the court, and other institutions. When school prayer was banned, I was shocked. When the courts removed The Ten Commandments, I was shocked. When Disney embraced homosexuality, I was shocked. When Satan-inspired students randomly shot innocent ones, I was shocked. I was shocked that Satan got no blame, though evidence points to him.
But I don’t know if I can be shocked anymore. Now I believe I am just angry. But, it is important to know why we are angry, if we are, and how to direct that anger. Misdirected anger is a bomb dropped in the wrong place. Ephesians 6:12 says that the war is against the rulers of darkness in heavenly places. It is against spiritual forces – not flesh and blood. The deceived are in fact captive, blinded by the enemy. Conservatives are most often merely fighting symptoms, while the evil cancer (yes, evil) of secularism invades every part of the body. Darwinism, Nihilism, Marxism, Hedonism, and Post-Modernism are all fed by, and have their roots in, spiritual forces.
The Apostle Paul, who wrote that message in Ephesians 6:12 nearly 2000 years ago, was inspired by the Holy Spirit to see that the ultimate issues are spiritual, and battle must be done in the Spirit, not merely at the ballot box or through public opinion. Paul and his disciples tore down the strongholds of Athena, Artimus, Isis, Aphrodite, Sophia, and the rest of Satan’s female deities. They accomplished this by the Gospel of Jesus Christ, His Kingdom, and the power of the Holy Spirit. It was a masculine, forceful Gospel that liberated the Mediterranean and Europe. Paul’s writings go well beyond theory and ideology. He released the captives, but those very deities, and others, are back with a vengeance, still taking captives.
Yet many of us are like Samson, blindly grinding away at the mill of routine, for the benefit of our enemy. Others of us are busy attacking symptoms, while the insidious evil spreads.
What should our commitment be in these times? How do we attack evil, if in fact we want to? If we are committed to Christ, we cannot remain silent, nor turn back. Paul said, while in prison, “Pray that I will have boldness.” One could have asked, “Paul, are you not in enough trouble because of boldness?” But Paul understood that fear is ungodly. Christ Himself is the personification of God and courage.
The commitment of every Christian:
1. We must be committed to the truth that the battle is in the heavens. If we “shoot low,” we lose. We must pull down “lofty thoughts” that exalt themselves against the knowledge of God (see 2 Corinthians 10:5).
2. We must be committed to obedience so that He can punish disobedience (see 2 Corinthians 10:6).
3. We must be committed to the truth and we must tell it.
4. We must receive and walk in His righteousness; it protects us.
5. We must hold up faith; it quenches Satanic influence on our minds.
6. We must be committed to the biblical knowledge of God and not be ignorant.
7. We must allow the Spirit to wield the Sword of the Spirit – the Word of God – through us.
8. We must pray in the Holy Spirit for one another and for God’s will.
9. We must be alert. Vigilance is the price of victory.
These are the weapons Paul used and recommended. He defeated the enemies we now face. He beat them at Antioch, Ephesus, Corinth, Rome, and numerous other cities, wherever he met them. We can defeat them here, if only we will listen to His counsel.
As I look at the Church, I believe that its worst enemy is not the “isms,” it is complacency. If we fight, we can win. But unless we can shake ourselves, we will lose. An anesthetized church will be embarrassed and naked in defeat. One nation under God? Think about it. One Church under God? If anyone ever gets under God, they are headed for victory and blessing.
To this generation, the scriptures say, “Awake, awake, clothe yourself in strength O Zion…shake yourself from the dust, rise up O captive Jerusalem, loose yourself from the chains around your neck, O captive daughter of Zion” (Isaiah 52:1-2).
“And this do, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep, for now is salvation nearer to us than when we first believed” (Romans 13:11).
Please pray that I, too, will be bold, that the Church will be bold, and that God will bless America with salvation.
Other nations face similar battles, some more intensely. Right now, Christians are being severely persecuted for their faith. We must pray for them as well.
Please remember CSM in your prayers and in your budget. We are committed to “getting the Word out” throughout America and around the world in more than 70 nations. We had a very lean Spring financially, even as significant and costly projects must move forward. We are doing what we can to be faithful stewards, but our income and outreach must grow. Would you consider a special Summer gift to equip us to move ahead?
Thank you for your friendship. If you have a friend who could benefit from these letters or our One-To-One Magazine, please let us know. May God bless you this Summer, and always.
Charles V. Simpson
Scripture References: Ephesians 6:12; 2 Corinthians 10:5-6; Isaiah 52:1-2; Romans 13:11
Charles Simpson is an internationally-known author, Bible teacher, and pastor, serving in ministry since 1955. He is also Editor-in-Chief of One-to-One Magazine and ministers extensively throughout the United States and the nations.