How to Survive in a Fallen World
We are attentive, humble, and obedient to God because his power is complete and his good purposes are to preserve us through trials, to give us everlasting righteousness, and to purify us through Jesus Christ.
Americans are threatened in a way today that I think is unusual in our history. Just this week I read parts of three publications freely available on the Web. One instructs Muslims about the correctness of killing Christians in Saudi Arabia. He argues that is a good and a right and a pleasing thing to God that this be done. The second author encourages Muslims to fight their own personal Jihad with physical violence toward Christians, including committing murder. And a third publication worked to expose what they see as an evil cabal controlling the American government. These books are all freely available on the Web for anyone in the world who wants to read them.
We can't be surprised if Western Christians feel a little less secure and untroubled than we did 40 years ago. One investigative project from two years ago found terrorist networks even here in the Washington DC area. Among others they found cells of Hamas in Alexandria and Springfield. Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Al Qaeda in Herndon, Al Qaeda in Laurel, Maryland, Hezbollah in Potomac, and Hamas and Hezbollah right here in Washington DC.
At the same time, there seems to be more typically indigenous threats growing up to our liberty, to practice the Christian faith here at home. There is the entrenched secularism of our elites that dismisses the validity of Christianity and eats away at the residual cultural empathy that there was for our faith. There is too the innervating and exhausting reality of our unchallenged addiction to comfort amidst perilously growing material affluence. So with our ideas marginalized and our eyelids growing heavy through the warm embrace of worldly ease, we find ourselves particularly ill-prepared to combat the fairly new phenomenon ...
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Mark Dever is pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., and executive director of 9Marks Ministries.