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Sunday, June 1, 2014

How Faith Overcomes – Part I

Edward F. Lundwall Jr.

“. . this is the victory that has overcome the world — our faith.” (1 John 5:4b)

Apart from Satan himself, the culture can be called the chief enemy of mankind. The “World” as the Bible describes culture is like the promiscuous woman described in the Proverbs who appeals to the naive young man with every irresponsible pleasure to be followed, but only brings corruption and death on multiple levels of human life. The intended influence of the world is to stimulate desire beyond out of control. Second Peter 1:4 describes it as “…corruption…by lust.” First John 2:16 defines it this way: “… all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” Present appeals to conformity with the “world” value are embodied in the following phrase: “political correctness,” “everyone's doing it,” “fashion trends,” “the latest thing,” and “the wave of the future.”

When a culture or nation's social and spiritual life is seduced by these appeals, corruption and decline begin. When Israel began to see the licentious idol worship of the heathen groups among them, they fell into similar practices which eventually led them into Babylonian captivity. When the Roman Empire legalized Christianity under Constantine, after year of persecution, it brought into the church, the cultural practices that led to the superstition of the Dark Ages, the violence of the Crusades, immorality, greed for wealth and power within its clergy, and the cruel judgments the Inquisition. The loosening of morals of the “Roaring '20s” in America along with the rejection of biblical teachings by liberal theologians, and the prevalent “If it feels good, do it!” attitudes has now established personal desires (what the Bible defines as worldly lusts) as personal rights or entitlements.

Presently, politically correct cultural morays have become the “enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things.” (Philippians 3:18, 19) Organized apostate atheists (authors, proponents, and followers of the Humanist Manifestos I and II) say to the effect: “Let us tear their fetters apart and cast away their cords from us!" (Psalm 2:3). They basically advocate and support cultural policies and practices that Isaiah 59:2 describes as “…iniquities (that) have made a separation between you and your God…”

How has all this affected American culture? About 50 million babies have been aborted “in the name of Constitutional rights. Drug abuse is out of control and instead of dealing with what destroys people’s lives daily, it is now being made legal. The United States prison population of millions fills many prisons beyond capacity. Public identification with the Holy Bible reading and prayer to the Christian God has become an offense, declared a violation of other’s right and therefore, the United State Constitution. This in spite of President Thomas Jefferson’s requirements to the study the Bible in the Washington, DC schools and who wrote the letter which liberal have twisted to prohibit any public endorsement of Christianity. His correspondence said that the “wall of separation” between church and state was for the protection of the community of faith (church) from government interference, not prohibition by the government. This is culture (the world) pit against the people of God.

Yet faith remains the key for spiritual victory over the worldly sins that create the barrier that separates human beings from God. How faith overcomes is the topic to be addressed in these new series of posts.

Related reading: The Obedience of Faith

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