The Other World War III
I was born too late to experience the horrors and deprivations of the first two World Wars (1914-18 and 1941-45).
But I’ve read enough history to realize that any talk about World War III must be serious–especially with nuclear weapons.
Since the recent killing of Qassem Soleimani, the terrorist head of the Iran’s elite Quds Force, some commentators have stated that Donald Trump brought us to the brink of World War III.
That would be ugly.
But I know of another World War III that could be far more devastating than atomic bombs…
The Other World War III
The longest running war in American history is not being fought with bombs and bullets. It remains a war between completing ideas, morals and social values.
Essentially, it’s a battle between competing faiths.
Most of us realize the Western World was built on numerous Greek/Roman and biblical principles that found their foremost expression in the Reformation and helped create the freedoms we enjoy.
Faith in God’s Word gave rise to strong families, the Protestant work ethic, civil rights and polities, educational excellence. free enterprise capitalism, growing middle class prosperity, alleviation of poverty, better stewardship of the planet, missionary zeal and a host of other blessings.
The United States –the free-est and most faith-based nation of all–rose from a primitive wilderness to become the world’s most admired superpower in the 20th century–despite our sins and weaknesses.
“America, America, God shed his grace on Thee.”
But after World War II, another faith–one promoting self-absorbed atheism which trusts government more than God–began to chip away at Europe’s Judeo-Christian foundations and gain traction in the USA.
We are now sixty years into that worldview war between faith and unbelief which dangerously divides the American nation.
I am far more concerned about the World War III cultural struggle than any battle we fight with Iran or any other nation. Culture wars can bring changes that last for hundreds of years.
Worldviews have immense consequences.
Tim Keller in his excellent book, Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Word to God’s Work, tells us that a worldview is really a story/narrative that tries to answer the questions:
- How are things supposed to be?
- What is the main problem with things as they are? And
- What is the solution and how can it be realized?
“While many stories are often no more than entertainment, narratives are actually so foundational to how we think that they determine how we understand and live life itself.”
“The term ‘worldview’ from the word Weltanschauung means the comprehensive perspective from which we interpret all reality. But a worldview is not merely a set of bullet points. It is essentially a master narrative that explains things.”
For over two hundred years, America lived by the narrative of “In God We Trust” and its related truths. But following the lead of Europe in the 1960’s we began to replace our godly compass with selfie living and increasing government dependence.
We lost our godly “vision” while a man-centered one crept into the hearts of many Americans.
I was talking with one of my students yesterday about the difference between vision and mission in life. Many people confuse the two (as I did for years).
Vision is what you see–how things ought to be, the problems, and the opportunities for change. Vision sees WHY you are doing what you’re doing.
Correspondingly, mission entails WHAT you are going to do about it.
I’ve been concerned for years that complaints of what is happening in Western culture and the United States–our cultural World War III–are being poorly explained. We lament the problems we’re experiencing, but not through the worldview narrative that Keller talked about–the bigger story narrative.
- Some equate our current problems as a duel between “Left” and “Right,” which are points on a compass and morally meaningless.
- Others talk about a “partisan” divide as if fighting sides came out of nowhere based on either bad manners or hate.
- Still others say that America is divided because of a man–Donald Trump–as if he alone created the cultural tug of war we currently possess.
All these perspectives are too low, incomplete and non-visionary. They fail to see why we are in trouble as a civilization.
To hijack a Clinton metaphor:
It’s the worldview, stupid!
Let’s first look through worldview/story narrative/visionary eyes at various negative things that have happened in America in the past two generations through the critical question of why.
- Why did Hollywood celebrities begin sleeping around, cheapening marriage, and making fornication and adultery more acceptable to the masses?
- Why did Madalyn Murray O’Hair lead the battle to remove Bibles from the public schools?
- Why are we trying to legalize pot and other intoxicating drugs in all fifty states?
- Why did the U.S. Supreme Court invent rights to kill babies in the womb and alter the 5000-year definition of marriage–with the stroke of a pen?
- Why is a pro-LGBT curriculum being currently pushed down the throats of parents in New Jersey?
- Why is the governor of Virginia threatening to take away guns in Richmond–while the people protest?
I could list hundreds of other examples of the imposition of secular values in America.
Why is this happening?
We are fighting a culture war to the death.
Just this week Bill O’Reilly wrote an article called A Sharp Left Turn that chronicles how the Democratic Party now fully embraces the atheistic/secular view of life. That includes abortion on demand/killing born-alive babies, same sex marriage, gender confusion, open borders, socialism, no-bail requirements for criminals and many felonies not being prosecuted.
He opines, “Just a few years ago, supporting those radical policies would have eliminated a political candidate from serious consideration for office. Now, many in the Democratic Party embrace them.”
Bill is an Independent and wrote one of the first books on the culture war. Sometimes even his vision falls too low (left–right, Deep State, Trump-haters etc.).
It’s easy to forget what we’re fighting against.
But many do see the real battle against evil and have acted.
- Why have there been numerous calls to national repentance and prayer gatherings like Washington for Jesus, Promise-keepers, the Call and many others?
- Why is the Family Research Council and others fighting the moral and social battles every day in D.C.?
- Why is there a National Day of Prayer the first Thursday in May?
- Why will Awaken 2020 bring over 30,000 young people to Sun Devil Stadium in Phoenix, Arizona this Friday, January 18, to pray for a great awakening? Why will new convert Kanye West be there with his Sunday Service Choir to call young people back to God?
- Why will 50,000-100,000 people March for Life in our nation’s capital on January 24?
- Why are our troops still fighting for freedom around the world?
- Why was Donald Trump–despite all his flaws–elected president in 2016?
- Why should you and I vote on November 3, 2020?
Much of the free world could collapse into chaos if we do not re-evangelize the West and re-establish godly foundations.
Tim Keller reminds us:
“Only the Christian world view locates the problem with the world not in any part of the world but in sin itself. And it locates the solution in God’s grace.”
“The whole world is going to be redeemed. Jesus is going to redeem spirit and body, reason and emotion, people and nature. There is no part of reality for which there is no hope.”
Consider yourself “drafted for duty” in the other World War III.
Thank You Ron, I read your writings every time. I so appreciate them and pass them on much of the time and encourage family and friends to sign up to receive them. So glad i was born in 1940, when a majority, even if they didn’t attend church every Sunday, believed in God and His commandments. My Dad was the oldest of 4 other brothers , we were a tight knit supportive family, you know, none of them divorced !! what a blessing. Thank you Ron for your close walk with our Lord and your teachings !! Lee
Thanks, Steve. I will ponder the suggestion. In my book River of God I point out that the four false religions (polytheism, pantheism, atheism and Islam) all operate by different aspects of fear. Only true religion–biblical faith–operates by faith empowered by grace.
The perfect Scripture here? “Perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18).
We need to bring the young generations into the ocean of God’s love!
Appreciate all the thoughts. Let’s turn them into big prayers (starting tomorrow at Awaken 2020 in Phoenix). Many more are coming down the pike toward the goal of spiritual awakening.
Thank you for this focus-shifting perspective on current events. I appreciate your thoughtfulness and non-superficial treatment of big and scary topics. One consistent commonality I observe in those functioning in an atheistic worldview is the propensity towards needing a visible, preferably human, scapegoat for their angst. The problems are real, the injustice is painful, the human mistakes are prevalent, the character flaws are manifold, the prognosis is not good for the world. Put these ingredients in the petri dish of non-Grace-moderated emotion and you will get an over-growth of fear, anger and despair. Perhaps if Trump were actually removed from office, it would quickly become evident that he was not the problem, nor the solution!
Would you consider doing a piece or series on the place, power and over-reach of Fear in our modern lives? In my frequent interaction with millennials, I see and hear a lot of fear in their words, thoughts and stymied decisions. We are seeing an epidemic of anxiety. What is the effective antidote?
you have stated the case for sin and it’s results in the world today.
In addition to what you stated about Vision I would ad that true Vision comes from the Lord, it is the preferred future, it’s what HE is wanting to reveal to us, it is where and why HE wants us to hear HIS voice for where we need to be in 5, 10 and many years in the Future.
Mission is how we proceed to that Vision, what we will do to get there, strategic action steps needed to see God’s Vision accomplished.
One of the best Biblical models in found in Genesis 41. Gods vision to Pharaoh is found in versus 1-32. Mission is found in verses 33-49.
There are other examples but this one is my favorite.
God bless you brother
Well Spoken Ron ! ! I keep hoping some clear voices come forward . . . bringing clarity to the root issues of truth and lies, World Views, and the reality of 2 spiritual kingdoms. How do we bring a clear call to our nation, the Christian Church, right down to our families and children. We have not done well talking to and teaching our children . . . Indeed…How are we to live and speak with great spiritual power ?
Good thoughts, my friend.