The Big Picture: God’s Viewpoint. (Ps 115:2 & 3)
Frances Schaeffer stated: “the basic problem of Christians in this country in the last 80 years or so, in regard to society and in regard to government, is that they have seen things in bits and pieces instead of in totals. They have gradually become disturbed over permissiveness, pornography; the public schools the breakdown of family, and finally abortion. But they have not seen this as a totality- each thing being a part, a symptom of a much larger problem. They have failed to see that all of this has come about due to a shift in the world view- that is; through a fundamental change in the overall way people think and view the world and life as a whole. The shift has been away from a world view that was at least vaguely Christian in people’s memory (even if they were not individually Christian) toward something completely different…” Schaeffer is saying we have not seen the big picture.
As your teacher, I want to make sure you are equipped with the truth. In order to do this, I want to bring to you a special message – something I am calling The Big Picture. So we can look beneath the headlines and the daily happenings to see the unseen. When I say see the Big Picture, what I mean is to see from God’s viewpoint what is the Big Picture that is what is important and critical. For it is important that we speak up with one voice with a view that is represented by the Word of God. We must become engaged in the public arena, in our culture and society to express our views with clarity and speak the truth in love.
It is said, “Politics are a lagging indicator.” Politicians keep pollsters employed. They are trying to find out what direction people are moving in- the latest trends, concerns and issues which indicate the direction of the population. If you want to know where we are – look at what are the political hot buttons. Elections are the results of what has been happening and where we are- so they are the lagging indicators they are the reaction. Politicians respond to public opinion not their personal beliefs. They are for what pollsters tell them are acceptable positions which will get them votes. Thus the term –‘flip-flop’ because they change their positions to adapt to social whims which become popular.* Now there is a major difference between a ‘politician’ and a leader. We are fortunate in Jackson to have a committed Christian, a servant-leader in Mayor Jerry Gist. In fact in local leadership we see this is often the case. And even nationally not all elected officials are this politicians, men-pleasers; – but unfortunately many are.
It is interesting the success of Bernie Sanders’ and Donald Trump‘s populist movement had a common ground- their followers were frustrated with the Ruling Class. What does the Bible say about the Ruling Class: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” John tells us in I John 5, the whole world lies under the control of the evil one.
So where do we find ourselves in the 21st century as Christians? Marginalized. Threatened. Told to keep our views to ourselves, in our homes or churches, but not in the public arena: the schools, the workplace and politics. I heard Ravi Zacharias speak in Memphis not long ago and was able to speak with him personally. I asked him what he saw which startled him. He said we have come to the place in our society where the born-again Christian who believes the Bible is the Word of God appears to be a dangerous radical. And he spoke of an article in the paper of a local Baptist preacher who had spoken out against same sex marriage and was then labeled a hate-monger in the opinion page of the local paper.
We realize we have not been the salt and light and engaged the culture in the public school systems, the workplace and politics. We see the results and we should also pray for Christian school teachers and leaders who have remained in the public school to do what they can as they pray for those children and love them with the love of Christ! When we cannot present the Gospel, we must live the Gospel.
Wisdom reveals itself in what it produces. Looking at the Big Picture of our society and what it has produced and we see an utter lack of godly wisdom- not to mention at time a complete lack of common sense.
Paul had seen this in his day. Paul said “ We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. “ We are in a battle, make no mistake about it. Things are not what they seem. Some have said it is a battle for the mind. True. But more completely it is a battle for the heart, for the heart, scripturally, is the mind, the will and the emotions.
This is why we must see with the eyes of our heart. For unless we see with the eyes of the heart, we will not see the Big Picture. For the heart is where faith lives, dwells and is rooted.
We are at war. There was a war before the creation in heaven. Lucifer led a rebellion to overthrow God so he could be worshipped. We see religion was the cause of the first war. It did not take long for the war to spill out onto the new creation, earth, on the first family. And by Genesis 3- the war had come to earth and the battle between the seed of the woman and the serpent began and continues to this day. The birth of Christ was an act of war, an invasion. The enemy via King Herod sent his army to destroy all male children under two years of age in Bethlehem. And we are as believers part of the Christian Army marching as to war. We must arm ourselves and fight for our lives and the lives of our families. The whole backdrop of the Bible is war. It was a battle to get out Egypt and it was a battle to get into the Promised Land and it was a battle to occupy the Promised Land.
So it is today. For as Solomon said, there is nothing new under the sun. Here is the Big Picture:
*THINGS ARE NOT WHAT THEY SEEM. There are two worlds we live in- one is seen and one is not seen. The things seen are temporary and the things unseen are eternal. Put your eyes on things above. The eyes of your heart. There is more going on than meets the eye.
*THIS IS A WORLD WAR- TWO KINGDOMS (the Kingdom of Darkness vs. the Kingdom of Light) IN A BATTLE WHICH HAS SPILLED OUT ON OUR WORLD
*WE EACH HAVE A CRUCIAL ROLE TO PLAY IN THIS BATTLE.
The Heart of the Matter is the Matter of the Heart.
The enemy wants you to lose heart. Because the heart is central. Above all else guard your heart for out of it come the issues of life. WE must not lose heart. Love the Lord with all your heart. Where your treasure is, your heart will be also. Trust the Lord with all your heart. There are so many verses regarding the heart- for as a man thinketh in his heart so is he. We have to see the Big Picture. We have to see what God wants us to see and has clearly revealed to us in His Word.
Now all military leaders will tell you the conventional wisdom in battle is the one who controls the higher ground has the advantage. The goal is simple- to be: King of the Mountain.
So I want to give you the Big Picture of what are the 7 Mountains upon which our culture and society rest. I want you to begin to see the Big Picture of how the battles are taking place to control those mountains.
- Religion- tolerance is the word of the day
- Family – redefined
- Education- revised our history, our Christian heritage; – changing minds and ways of thinking
- Government – the ruling class who have recruited and empowered education, media and entertainment to conform society’s thinking.
- Media/news – the masters of the 30 second defining moments who suppress the truth
- Entertainment – anything goes- a powerful influence
- Economy/business –designed for wealth for the ruling class, hence the ‘ rich get richer’
We will look at each of these and mountains and in order to see what is really happening.
But one thing is sure- to change the minds of politicians, we must change public opinion. To change public opinion we must engage the public-for the heart of the matter is the matter of the heart. We must know what to say and how to say it. And we must not- I repeat must not- be silent! Wake up and be on alert for the enemy has sown wheat among the tares while we were sleeping.
You may think I am overreacting- or even paranoid, one who sees conspiracies everywhere. Noah was not paranoid. He saw the storm clouds gathering; He listened to God and obeyed Him. He was not paranoid- he was perceptive. And because Noah was perceptive, he was prepared. “By faith when Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear and prepared an ark for the saving of his household…