Is Secularism Setting the Stage for the Lawless One?
This week the Huffington Post reported that Karen Pence, wife of Vice President Mike Pence, will teach art at a private Christian school in northern Virginia. For most of us, the response to such news would be a shrug of the shoulders or a carefree “Good for her!” Not so with the tolerant left. As is their normal reaction to most anything the Pences do, progressives lost their collective minds – here’s why. It would seem that Immanuel Christian School has strict moral standards when it comes to the faculty and the student body. The problem, as secularists see it, is the school’s refusal to allow anyone practicing homosexuality or who identifies as transgender to attend or to teach at their school. Imagine that: a Christian school which actually strives to uphold biblical standards.
Learning of Mrs. Pence’s intention to teach there, the good people at the Huffington Post investigated the school’s “discriminatory admissions policies” which prohibited “heterosexual activity outside of marriage, homosexual or lesbian sexual activity, polygamy, transgender identity, any other violation of the unique roles of male and female, sexual harassment, use or viewing of pornographic material or websites.” In other words, the secular world regards standards ordained by Scripture as “discriminatory” towards those who wish to engage in unscriptural behavior.
In some ways, this kind of reaction to biblical values is old news, but it seems to me that, with every passing day, the outrage exhibited by the Godless becomes more antagonistic toward believers. The Bible indicates that their antagonism will grow more intense in the days ahead. In Psalm 2, the Bible says:
Why do the nations rage and the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves and the rulers take counsel together against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, “Let us break their bonds in pieces and cast away their cords from us.” (Psalm 2:1-3)
To put it simply, the nations are waging war against God, the Messiah and, by extension, the Body of Messiah. Their objective is to break free from anything they regard as pertaining to God and His Word. Biblical standards are the “bonds” and “cords” they wish to break into pieces and cast away, because these standards frustrate their inclination for wickedness. They must stamp out the notion that their immorality is outside the bounds of acceptable behavior. To the contrary, they attempt to label Godly standards as immoral and “discriminatory.” Moreover, in their war against such, they have found it necessary to shame, belittle and, when possible, destroy any holdouts to these perceived antiquated values, whether it be a Christian school or practicing Christian.
I believe this rebellious mindset and the lifestyle it renders is what the Messiah and Paul referred to as “iniquity” or “lawlessness” [e.g. Matt. 24:12, 2 Thess. 2:7]. The Greek phrase translated as “lawlessness” is anomia, comprised of the prefix a (“without”) and nomia (“law”). Nomia is equivalent to the Hebrew word torah (“instruction”), so we could say that lawlessness is actually torahlessness. My point is this: God’s Torah is His instructions to mankind on how to live our lives, determining what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior. Essentially, the Word of God acts as the boundaries that define the one and only way that leads to life [Matt. 7:14]. To ignore those boundaries would equate to rejecting His standards and replacing them with our own thus putting us on the path that leads to destruction.
In his letter to the congregation of Thessaloniki, Paul spoke of a time when lawlessness would be pervasive in the earth, thus paving the way for the “man of sin, the son of perdition” [2 Thess. 2:3]. Paul also referred to this person as the “lawless one” [2 Thess. 2:8] who opposes God and considers himself above the law of God. It becomes clear in Paul’s warning that the lawless one doesn’t create a lawless environment; a lawless environment gives birth to him. Let me put it this way: those who are currently attacking believers for upholding Biblical standards in deference to political correctness and tolerance are setting the stage for the man of sin.
I, for one, refuse to give in to the pressure of progressivism, secularism, and the Godless. I pray that Mrs. Pence, the Vice President, and other hi-profile believers will not be swayed by the views of the press or the LGBTQ community in spite of their continued accusations of bigotry and intolerance. I have no doubt that, in the days ahead, it will be difficult to continue standing for righteousness in the face of unrelenting attacks from the lawless of this world. Still we must determine “to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” (Eph. 6:13). We must purpose in our hearts not to be defiled with the ways of this world but must hold fast to those things that are true and eternal.
I believe that soon all of us may be faced with the same choice that was given to Shadrach, Meshech, and Abednego. These men had to decide who they were going to revere and obey – the God of Israel or the gods of this world. Secular laws promised certain death to those who refused to bow to the whims of powerful men and their minions, yet they were determined not to capitulate to laws and philosophies that required them to break a higher law – we must do likewise.
According to the Scripture, God honored and, dare I say, rewarded their faithfulness. Three men went into the fire, bound; the king who committed them to the flames saw four men, loose. In the end, those who were enraged by their refusal to bow to worthless gods were forced to concede that their God was God. If we, too, will stand for righteousness and uphold the truth, the Almighty will be sanctified in us and through us. It may not be today, but one day, all will see that our God is GOD!