The Kingdom Notes: Be Reasonable
by RC Sproul Jr.
In the great war launched in Genesis 3 between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent there are two other great battles. On one side of the battlefield stands the enemy. The seed of the serpent hate God, would kill Him if they could. They hate His people, and all that they stand for. But they have a battle waging inside themselves because, for all their sin, all their fallenness and depravity they still bear the remains of the image of God. Their great dilemma is that because they are made in God’s image they want to live in a world that makes sense, that is understandable, and coherent. Because, however, the objective reality is that they are under God’s wrath, they must construct a world with no God, or at least, no judgment. It is impossible, irrational.
The other great battle is the mirror of this one. We are the seed of the woman, reborn, remade, reflecting the image of the Son, the express image of His glory. But we still sin. We have an old man with which to do battle. We want to serve God, to manifest His reign, to become like Jesus. But, we also want to be loved, to be respected, and, perhaps most dangerous of all, to be normal. Which weakness the devil is rather adept at exploiting.
Consider, as an example, politics. Because Jesus is our King, because He has set us free, we don’t, generally speaking, want bloated government. Because we aspire to honesty, we want a government of law, that will stay within its Constitutional bounds. Because we honor our fathers in the faith who labored through such issues with great care, we understand that just war is defensive war. Trouble is, the broader culture has veered so far from these basic ideals that to espouse them is not to be considered wrong, but to be considered unsophisticated, ignorant, crazy, unreasonable.
And so we retreat. We back down. We begin to scout out a new line of defense. We move leftward. Oh we’re careful to steer clear of the convictions of the seed of the serpent. We don’t go over to the dark side. We just get close enough that they won’t laugh at us. We do all that we can to maintain loyalty to Christ, while looking sane to the world. And we fail.
Entitlement programs, all of them, even the ones we like, are unconstitutional, unbiblical and indefensible. We cannot defend stealing from our neighbors and burdening our children with crushing debt for these programs, while politely arguing that we shouldn’t for those programs. Preventative assassinations, bombings and wars are also unconstitutional, unbiblical and indefensible. We cannot defend spending billions of dollars and thousands of lives for this strategic objective, but object to doing the same for that strategic objective. Abortions, all of them, even the ones that hide our shame, keep the numbers down among the underprivileged, or take down the human result of rape or incest are unconstitutional, unbiblical and indefensible. We cannot support candidates or legislation that seek to slow, limit, regulate murder.
My point, ultimately, isn’t about politics, but about our unbelief, our fear. We are willing to confess Christ before men, as long as the Christ we confess is palatable, normal, reasonable. We are willing to be Abraham’s kin, as long as we can pitch our tents close to Sodom. I fear, however, that while we think we are Lots, the truth is we are Lost.
We live in a post-Christian west. It will become Christian again not when we can gently reason the world back home, but when we are again willing to be fed to the beasts in their stadia. Our faith is eminently rational. It is not in the least reasonable.