Jesus, Our Only True Hope

     If you follow politics, you know that the incumbents are running scared this year. Long time politicos like Pennsylvania's Senator Arlen Specter are getting bounced in the primaries. Mobs are storming the Bastille, demanding a far different type of change than they've been delivered.

     The oil spill in the Gulf and the ensuing environmental nightmare is simply fueling the furnace of discontent. People are fed up with the colossal man-made disasters of our time. From the real estate melt down, to the Wall Street bail out, to exacerbated health care costs, to a national debt that is beyond rational comprehension, recklessness at every level of leadership is no longer acceptable. The electorate is demanding reasonable stability from competent responsibility.

     But I think the public outrage is merely a symptom of a far deeper malady. There is a national foreboding that extends beyond surface politics. There is a sense that our current national course is unsustainable and that we are headed toward an inexorable collapse. We are treading on an unfamiliar path in a dark and strange forest. We've never been here before and there's no map to lead us out. That's why the recent revelation of Greece's imprudent spending habits has shaken our, as well as the world's, financial markets. Literally trillions of dollars in market value evaporated in less than two weeks, and currency traders dumped euros faster than sponsors abandoned Tiger Woods. The horizon looks dark, and at least from here, there is no proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. As national and global problems continue to escalate, financial margins of every kind steadily evaporate.

     So what's unfolding before us? Is this just another blip on the world's radar screen of ever-undulating economies and periodic disasters? Are we seeing a minor glitch that prudent policies will remedy in the near term, or perhaps long term? No. Actually, this is much bigger. I'm not saying the country's or world's markets and political systems won't temporarily recover or even thrive for a time, but we are witnessing, in living technicolor, the protracted death of western culture and western Christian foundations. Every aspect of theology and philosophy inherent to the historical institutions of the United States and Europe have been replaced by liberal secular humanism. Our collective hope, from Prague to Paris to Portland, is no longer in God or what He reveals in His word, but fully in ourselves, the wisdom of man. Our retreat from theism has predictably created a vacuum of meaning and morality, and we don't know how to fill it with authoritative answers.

     Nature abhors a vacuum. And Islam is pouring into Europe and even the United States at a staggering rate, filling in the answers and the void, and aggressively populating our collapsing cultures. White Europeans and Americans are no longer replacing themselves, as their birth rates have tumbled far below the necessary 2.2 children per woman for sustained population. And western nations are heaping up unimaginable levels of debt to try and spend their way out of one crisis after another. Money is always the ultimate panacea, but no one seems to have answered the question, "what happens when the credit lines runs dry?"

     Liberal human secularism, the worship of man and faith in his own unaided wisdom, has brought us to the brink of catastrophe. Social security, welfare, medicare, medicaid, nationalized health care, and phenomenal spending on education have been man's most nobel, humanistic efforts to eradicate poverty and guarantee success. Yet the underclass has only become poorer and more dissolute, the family has disintegrated, and the educated classes simply call for more government spending to stave off disaster. If it weren't so pathetically apocalyptic, it would be funny.

     We convinced ourselves that we knew more than God. We kicked Him out of government, business, school, public life, and many denominations even dismissed Him from church. The notion of sin became anachronistic as every human ill became a social problem and modern psychology its redemption. Man could solve his own problems; he didn't need the divine. So here we are, the masters of our own destiny overlooking the chasm of our own making. Every single western society is teetering on financial and moral bankruptcy.

     Is there hope? Not outside of Jesus Christ. History shows us that man will only destroy his culture and himself given enough time. Material success only seems to hasten the suicide. Only Jesus and the hope that He offers can rescue this world from itself. As westerners, we need to return to the Lord God and embrace His word as Truth as The Reformation fathers so aptly demonstrated. We can no longer afford to ignore the proven precepts of scripture. Only God can help us now.

     As Americans and Europeans are looking desperately for answers that will initiate some kind of beneficial change in our moment of crisis, we as Christians need to stand up and exemplify the solutions they are seeking. We are the body of Christ, the instruments of God's grace and glory in this world. This dark hour is our moment to shine, to show the gleaming hope of God's salvation and sanctification to a world that needs answers now. Let's cast off any ulterior motives, and be the shining light upon a hill that proclaims the love and hope and stability found in Jesus Christ, and Him alone. We offer the genuine and lasting change that secular humanism can never effect.