July 13, 2007

The World is Violent and Chasms are Widening

For many years I have been following the writings and travels of Ravi Zacharias, a Christian apologist after attending a dinner in Rome six years ago where he spoke to business people and lawmakers. We also traveled to Connecticut following the visit to Italy to hear him speak. I have great respect and am encouraged by his commitment to preaching the true Gospel around the world. More about his ministry can be found by clicking here.

Here's what he has to say in his most recent newsletter (I have added paragraphing to make it easier to read):

"As one who is constantly privileged to see the world i its struggles and longings, I find myself hard pressed to fully explain the reality 'out there.' I hear so much and see so much and, yes, speak so much that my greatest prayer is to be wise and responsible without being careless in effort and vision. Frankly, at this stage of my life (he's in his late 60s or early 70s) I had expected to 'retreat' a little and be able to spend more time writing than traveling. But history has its moments and its suddenness. Such is the time in which we live. I am glad that the Lord has called us to an 'eternal rest.' But until then I doubt that we can fully stretch back and laze about. God is at work and we are His workmanship, called to be His voice and His laborers.

I am convinced that the next few years will shape the entire century and what's left of human history to be lived out. The power to destroy is growing exponentially. The chasms of cultural misunderstandings are widening. So much of what is reported in the news is distorted and deadly. Hate is not just the mood of religious fanatics. It is also the the mood fomented by by the new band of atheists like Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins and, and their followers of cultic similitude. They simply mock and ridicule all religious belief as if all belief in God is based on the same misgivings. The vitriol and bullying that comes from them toward those whose lives are shaped by their belief in a Creator is now at an unprecedented pitch and calls their bluff of their own demand for tolerance. We all mourn the physical deaths of the tragedy at Virginia Tech. But the lives that are spiritually slaughtered in the intellectual arena make that statistic look paltry by comparison.

Those of us who call ourselves Christians had better wake up and realize what it is going to take to to respond to the hate of Islam and the hate of atheism at the same time. I realize such language is strong. But when you are in the front lines making contact with those who would seek to exterminate us, you would be naive and blameworthy if you did not take their threats seriously. With that said, let me reassure you that there are those who are willing to take the challenge to those who wield such hostility, and to win the battle with the marvel and love of the Gospel."

Ravi is wise and we Christians had best heed his counsel.
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