This week, my calendar and schedule required me to travel to the East Coast. The once pristine cityscapes have given way to a dirge of hopelessness unlike anything I’ve ever seen. By most standards, I am considered well-traveled.

What I witnessed this week is an urban condition not too strangely different from a third world country. I looked into the faces of Kensingtonpeople who are precious victims of Progressivisms social engineering experiments; experimentation’s that have gone terribly wrong.

The collapse, evident. Anarchy, stewing. Loss of order, absolute. Absence of God, startling. The eyes of men and women who stared back at me were hollow. The fire had gone long ago. Hope, nothing more than a long-ago dream never realized. In fact, I’ve met prisoners in the Texas Department of Corrections who seemed to possess far more hope than these prisoners of trains, gangs, concrete and shame; prisoner’s bound in the chains of a godless culture. People of No Hope. It sounds like a distant land, but it’s not; it’s people in America’s inner cities begging to make it one more day.

What do they live for? They don’t know.

And yet, my faith is on fire. I know that this is the perfect background for an illustration of Truth. The True Light shines brightest against this backdrop of utter darkness. You see, the focus on the Gospel is tied up with the collapse of a Bible believing America. Russell Moore said it this way, “As American culture secularizes, the most basic Christian tenets seem ever more detached from mainstream American culture. There is, for those who came and will come of age in recent years, no social utility in embracing them. Those who identify with Christianity, and who gather with the people of God, have already decided to walk out of step with the culture.” The great news is that these people who are desperate for a new birth, have already committed to embracing “being different from culture” by embracing the strangeness that comes by spending Sunday morning at church rather than at brunch.

American Church is in full shift. The American worshiper who has been satisfied with a nominal Christianity will continue to assemble for an hour of entertainment and then, be quickly vanquished from their lukewarm pews by the fast-running tide of our godless culture. Those who want an almost-gospel have found that they don’t need it to thrive in American culture today. Who then is left behind? It will be those defined not by a Christian America but by a Christ-centered Gospel.

The Gospel of Jesus demands radical obedience. It demands a level of submission that nominal Christianity finds  worship4outrageously distasteful. The Gospel of Jesus demands allegiance first. As the tectonic plates of American culture shifts, the scandal of being a “Christian” will push the Church to the fore, where it was in Acts 2. In America, the Gospel is once again getting down to the simplicities of obedience, loyalty, submission, and life. Christianity is no longer about wearing a label, it’s about living out the design of Jesus Christ for our lives.

Today, my prayer is that the Gospel of Jesus Christ will shake American Culture as much as the 120 praying disciples shook Jerusalem on Pentecost morning!

― Wendell Hutchins


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