If I were going to characterize our era—which may be foolish to do since my nose is up so close against it—I’d say that it is the Age of Uncertainty.
Every age is uncertain in many respects, but there have been times when things were nailed down much more tightly. The financial situation is precarious. The political area is quite iffy. And, what seems to be true of the church is that everything is up for grabs.
The political and economic arenas are important, but nowhere near as important as the religious.
Now, many Christians would say that what happens in the world out there (notice my wording) is of vital importance to the church. Of course, it is important, but I am sure in God’s eyes what happens in and to His people is far more so. And, indeed, what occurs within the church has far more impact on the culture than anyone realizes.
The culture largely reveals the state of the church. That is, because even when the church fails to realize it, the culture is an accurate barometer that indicates the extent of the church’s ability to affect it.
A church as unstable as the one that we see around us is quite clearly mirrored in the culture’s increasing growth toward anarchy. When the home goes, society follows the lead. There is extreme instability there—even in believing circles. When the church fails, the home fails; when the home fails, the church suffers. The effect, once underway, is cyclical.
To put it simply, things are in a mess, and there are few signs that their downward trend will be reversed.
God can do wonders—even with a society like ours. Of course. But we have no reason to think that He will when the church goes on blithely ignoring its culpable frailty and sinful ineffectiveness. It is time for us to awaken, to call for God’s mercy and help, to stop living like the world, and to start living like we know we should.