In this episode:
- Don’t forget to become a Theodio Premier Subscriber. Offer ends when 2020 comes to a close.
- The relevant audiobook segment
- My notes from the blog
- Episode blog post: Three ways faithful Christians fight the true culture war
- ‘Podcast introduction: Yabo Obien
- Logo and marque: Jeff Lyons at Light & Story
- Original music: Makeup and Vanity Set
- Kindle version of Precious Remedies against Satan’s Devices by John Hendryx at Monergism.com
- Text for Precious Remedies provided by GraceGems.org
Welcome back to the Theodio Podcast. I’m your host, Dan Kassis
We’re walking though the book Precious Remedies against Satan’s Devices by Thomas Brooks, one section at a time. Along with a segment of our original audio production of the book, we provide commentary and fresh insight, bringing this work of classic theology to life for you.
In our last episode we talked about loneliness. There’s no better target for Satan’s attacks than an isolated Christian. We hope what you learned helps you realize you’re never truly alone.
Of course, that doesn’t mean we don’t seek out friendship and fellowship, pandemic or no. I’d like to personally urge you to make an effort in this area. Reach out to a friend you haven’t talked to in a while. Check in on family members. Make a point to connect. Personally, I have two friends who each live in a different state from me. We send each other voice messages. We pray for one another. We even have a virtual Bible study each Sunday evening. I can tell you this has been an anchor for my soul during a difficult time.
Us vs. them?
Let’s move on to this episode’s topic: the culture war. We don’t hear that term as often as we used to. But that doesn’t mean we in the church aren’t any less polarized, either within or compared to the world without.
In one way or another the Western church has fought against the cultural tide toward liberalism for decades. Leaders urge us to pray for political revival. They teach us about the dangers of moral corruption, of the dissolving underpinnings of faith and family.
But every year, we see the headlines. The statistics look grim. We wonder what’s going on and how to make sense of it.
The western Church is dying. Europe is basically secular now. Vestiges of Christianity are merely historical and incidental. Atheism, agnosticism, and skepticism have become default worldviews.
America is following suit. The “nones” – persons claiming no religious affiliation – continue to rise. Truly committed Christians, not just culturally or traditionally so, are dwindling. Liberal secularism is mainstream. Holding to historic biblical views is weird.
It’s enough to make a believer think he or she is out of step, on the “wrong side of history,” part of a dying breed.
But ironically, liberal collectivism is really just another religion, with its own moral code, its own rhythms and movements, its own set of gurus and thought leaders. Christianity stands in opposition to this faith trend, pointing to an objective, eternal reality as the truth source.
The tide inside
This tactic of Satan to discourage us from religious devotion is similar to the previous one, to isolate and single us out, to play upon our loneliness. Here, our enemy points to the majority movement of culture away from collective spirituality of any kind.
As Thomas Brooks writes: “By presenting before us the examples of the greatest part of the world — who walk in the ways of their own hearts, and that make light and slight of the ways of the Lord.”
What do we do when we feel the cultural current pulling us downstream? A strong Christian fights – not systems, not institutions, and definitely not our neighbors. We fight the real culture war, the internal battle, the turn of our hearts downstream. We fix our eyes on truth, and we paddle against the current. Hard.
And little by little, we win. Brooks helps us get there with a few bits of timeless advice. Let’s listen now.
At the end, Brooks references the words of Jesus in the gospels: “What does it profit a man to gain the world but lose his soul?”
Christianity is not a solitary pursuit. But sometimes we must be brave enough to stand alone when the cultural currents rush against the doors of the church. Others may be tossed about by every wave of popular trends or doctrinal novelty. But we can remain fixed on Christ with his word as our anchor. Our brothers and sisters need our example.
Next time on the podcast, we’ll explore the discouragement we experience when worldly worries and cares push aside the encouragement of the gospel. We have a lot to worry about in the world these days. I think this episode will bless you, and I hope you’ll return to listen.
Thank you for joining us.