Are We Really Discerning Our Times?

Recently, a friend sent me an article about Wheaton College taking down a plaque that was posted at the college for 72 years because it contains ‘offensive language.’

Wheaton College is removing a plaque that’s been standing for 72 years which commemorates the deaths of a group of martyrs, including James Elliot and Ed McCully, two missionaries who were part of a group working to spread the Gospel to indigenous peoples in Ecuador. Students, faculty, and staff have expressed concern about language on the plaque that is now recognized as offensive. Specifically, the word ‘savage’ is regarded as pejorative and has been used historically to dehumanize and mistreat indigenous peoples around the world.

Many words and events that happened in history are now under attack, especially if they don’t measure up to our modern definitions of offensive. Language has changed over the years, and it is disingenuous to try to impose our language and cultural correctness on what words and culture meant at a specific time in the past.

History is a continuum of human mistakes and shortcomings and identifies what was happening in that period of time. We may not like the language or the events that dishonored people, but that is human history and no one has a right to change it by erasing it. I won’t be surprised when one day we find ourselves eliminating the passages of Scripture where God tells Israel to kill all the inhabitants of the land where they were entering. This is totally unfair to all these people groups who were living in peace before Israel showed up. So, it makes perfect sense that we eliminate any of that story because it is offensive to these poor unsuspecting people. There are so many stories in the Bible that should be edited out based upon the rationale of Wheat College, and most people could care less what they take down or leave up.

Discernment helps us to eliminate the threat of being deceived. The Evangelical world seems to be compromising its values at every turn, and it is as if we have been tested and have failed miserably. God says that we will be tested by what is false to see how faithful we will be to Him:

Deuteronomy 13 1Suppose there are prophets among you or those who dream dreams about the future, and they promise you signs or miracles, 2and the predicted signs or miracles occur. If they then say, ‘Come, let us worship other gods’—gods you have not known before— 3do not listen to them. The Lord your God is testing you to see if you truly love him with all your heart and soul. 4Serve only the Lord your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him.

We are failing the test put forth by this false age, and the pressures to comply with the norms of our culture have been making an impact on the church. I remember the late David Wilkerson who taught about the false church, the compromising church that will arise in the last days. We are living in those days today. I believe that most of us in the church do not realize the dangerous ideas that are slowly influencing the church to comply with the insanity of the left. The Wheaton College incident is just one subtle example of how we have failed to stand against the evil of our day. Once we begin to compromise, even in the slightest way, we will eventually call evil good and good evil.

Satan’s ultimate goal is to keep the church off balance and confused in what we believe. He knows the church is the last hurdle he has to clear in order to completely deceive the world into believing his lie that God is no longer relevant to anyone:

2 Thessalonians 2 9This man will come to do the work of Satan with counterfeit power and signs and miracles. 10He will use every kind of evil deception to fool those on their way to destruction, because they refuse to love and accept the truth that would save them. 11So God will cause them to be greatly deceived, and they will believe these lies.

Again, here we see God allowing the test of Satan’s delusion to mislead the world, and we who do not discern the age in which we live could be swept away by this seductive era. I use the term ‘seductive era’ because that is what the last days will be like before Jesus returns. Jesus told us that the time of His return will be like the days of Noah … days of deception, ignorance, and oblivious to the day they lived in.

Wheaton College is a wake-up call to the church. We are all becoming subject to this age of delusion when truth is ignored and discernment cannot be found. However, our hope is not just in our ability to discern the times, it comes from surrendering to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in our lives. We defeat the spirit of our age by resisting the temptation to compromise and to grow in the pursuit of knowing Him.

Don’t retreat, don’t stand still. Push forward with the truth in your mind and in your heart. Never give in.

Challenging the Culture with Truth … Larry Kutzler

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