Wednesday, May 6, 2015

“The Wrong Side of History”

With every moral boundary that our wandering society crosses, you can always count on two things. First, faithful Christians will express peaceful dissent. And, second, critics will wildly accuse and judge such Christians of being on “the wrong side of history.” Recent cases of suppressing religious freedom over serving "gay weddings" are probably the best examples of this. Such critics would have us think that what Bible-believing Christians stand for is “wrong” and that the whole of history (past, present and future combined) will prove their view to be “right.” But, what does that mean - "the wrong side of history"? Are God-fearing Christians truly on the wrong side of history? Is it even possible that true Christians can be rightfully judged as being on the wrong side of history by present day men? Or, is this yet another shallow cliché used for the sole purpose of silencing peaceful religious dissent?

Regarding this phrase, let’s point out the easy observations before we dive deep. First, the critics presumptuously believe that they have full knowledge of exactly how history has and ultimately will resolve such matters. They don't just believe their accusation, they declare it as settled fact. They thereby claim an amazing sense of omniscience above all other men. They somehow know that history represents a progressive march from darkness into enlightenment. Further, the enlightenment they assume we are achieving is that which aligns only with how they think. Is this not a form of self-righteous judgement of others? And, to add insult to injury, they impose their “enlightenment” by censoring those who disagree with them. But, doesn't true enlightenment know no threats that require silencing?

These critics also act as if the present is more "right" than the past. But, is that true? Or, is the vast majority simply ignoring the past (otherwise known as history) in exchange for nothing more than wind sniffing - they cast their lot in the direction of undisciplined convenience. Jumping on bandwagons is no way to align with rightful history. This same brand of progressive criticism was used in the past to justify Stalinism, Hitlerism, Marxism, Communism and even Eugenics. But, is the world truly marching in the direction of light or darkness? Look around you and ask whether society is on the right track or the wrong track. While it is not a totally reliable guide, what does your gut truly tell you? At very least the jury is still out.

With the obvious behind, let's now focus on the deeper implications of "the wrong side of history". Isn’t it ironic that this phrase points to the future, renaming it “history?” "History" is known and the future is not. But, pointing to an unknown future as if it is known, is actually an expression of faith in the unknown. And, ironically, they express faith as a means of mocking Christians' expression of faith. However, the faith mocked in Christians is not that different in form than that expressed by the mockers. After all, we both have a faith in an unknown future. Christians have faith that God owns the future. And, their critics have faith that the progressive views of man ultimately will. But, what is man to think so highly of our corruption?

With regards to our unknown future, Christians believe that Biblical prophecy tells us something of the future that will certainly happen. And, our faith in Biblical prophecy is supported in large part by the Biblical prophecies of a future that we call present reality - all coming to pass before our very eyes. Ironically, those prophecies spoke of the opponents of Christianity persecuting Christians as they are doing today. Therefore, our faith is actually being borne out in accordance with a God who, thousands of years ago, foretold through uneducated authors about a future in which Christians would be mocked (like being on the wrong side of history).  It would be one thing if today there was no systematic, global and censorious oppression of Christians. But, that sadly is not the case. Shouldn't it be very easy to avoid oppressing Christians in the name of tolerance? In fact, have you ever wondered why Christians must be persecuted? Does it really make sense to persecute peace-loving Christians? But, the oppression of Christians, even judging their selection of sides of history, is proof that we are in fact not on the wrong side of history, because we are on the side of the God that foretold the future we are observing today. Again, ironic.

This fulfillment of prophecy only further substantiates our faith in the unknown future that we believe in. But, for our critics, their faith in their version of our unknown future is based on … nothing. There is no objective authority that critics can point to for proving their faith in the “right side of history.” And, given the relative nature of their “truth” and the variety of societies today that oppose it wholesale, their declarations of “right” are pretty presumptuous. After all, if truth is relative, and the critics’ “truth” is “right” today, what makes anyone believe that this will not also shift like man’s morality has done in every generation since Adam and Eve? What if the future views of men ultimately hold that all marriage is wrong? It is not unreasonable to speculate this to be the case. What then? Are both sides on the wrong side of history?

What about the phrase’s use of the word “wrong?” “Wrong” based on what system of values? If there is “wrong” and “right,” then there are moral absolutes. If there are moral absolutes, then morality is not relative. If there are moral absolutes, from what objective and immovable authority are they given? If there is no God or some other transcendent morality/deity, what makes something right or wrong? If you deny God, on what basis can you ever declare something as “wrong?” If something like history has a universal “wrong” and a universal “right,” there must be a universal moral law and a universal moral law giver that helps us make this determination. If so, who or what is it and where can we see what it has declared to be right and wrong? Or, maybe we agree that there is a universal moral law, but disagree on the identity of the giver? Christians have identified their Giver - who is theirs?

What if the future becomes dominated by unbridled and radical Islam? The same people who wildly criticize Christianity seem to also be unwilling to similarly bridle Islam. But, Islam is the most intolerant regarding homosexuals. It is Christianity that provides for true tolerance - allowing homosexuals to be who they are. Christians are not stopping people from being homosexual. But, an uncertain future, with no certain morality, will more than likely do just that. If we stamp out Christian morality, whose morality will replace it? Islam's? If we see Christianity as a threat and Islam as not, what exists to prevent a dystopian future from fruition? Who stands in the way of radical Islam and its death penalty for homosexuals?

Regarding history and morality the true God has actually spoken. Acts 17:26-31 says, “And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us…The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” If this God owns the future and thereby all of history, it is He who will judge which side of history is “right” and which is “wrong.” And, the “man” by which this will be judged is Jesus, who has risen from the dead. Christian, you should trust the One who rose from the dead over an ever-shifting faith that has no foundation whatsoever.

In conclusion, Christians believe that God’s side of history is the right side of history. And, as Christians we implore every person to seek God while He may be found. If there is no God, then there is no “right” and “wrong” – then there is no wrong side of anything, much less history. Either way, every God-fearing Christian should, therefore, be at peace. If our God be true and we true to Him, then we are right. If no such God exists, there is no basis for wrong. Christian, in faith there is no logical scenario in which you will ever be on the wrong side of history.

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