I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1-2
You know, when I speak to Christian congregations, I see a bunch of very nice people. From a pulpit you seem to be decent, law-abiding, spiritually concerned individuals. Oh, sure, I've met curmudgeons, but the vast majority of believers are just plain fine folk.
Truly, that's what I see, but apparently I am seeing you wrongly.
That's what Catherine Wallace, a cultural historian at Northwestern University in Illinois, has said. In fact, she has taken her assessment one step further. She has said that Christian fundamentalism is far more dangerous to the United States than all the radical terrorists of Islam.
She said that because she believes that Bible-believing Christians might someday, in some way, get their hands on some nuclear launch codes. Wallace fears that when we Christians are suitably armed, we would not hesitate to begin a nuclear world war.
Now personally I have a tough time seeing the president of my congregation's LWML launching a nuclear strike. I can't see it, but Wallace is pretty sure that kind of thing could happen. Anticipating my next question, Wallace says we're dangerous because ... are you ready for this? ... because we believe the Bible.
That's right. Believers can do all kinds of terrible things because we believe in a literal interpretation of Scripture. According to the professor, "Nobody in the ancient world would have read the Bible literally." She suggests it would be far better if we viewed "the holy book as just a collection of Jewish storytelling."
If we did that, Wallace concludes, Christians would soon be able to embrace society's progressive policies, including the sexual revolution and, to her, that would be a good thing.
At this point, it might be proper to say that Jesus, James and Paul disagree with the prof.
In His High Priestly prayer (see John 17), the Savior said even though His followers were in the world, they no longer were part of the world. James 4:4 says to be friends with the world is to make God our enemy. Then, of course, we have Paul whose passage above says our attitudes should be shaped by the Lord and not by the world.
So the question remains: are you Bible-believing Christians dangerous?
The answer is a qualified yes. We are not to be feared because we might blow up the world. That is not our style. But the world needs to remember the message "Christ crucified and risen" is God's plan of salvation (see 1 Corinthians 15), which has turned the world upside down in the past, and it will continue to do so as long as this world stands.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, may the risen Redeemer be respected, as His message of salvation -- through His blood -- is preached to the world. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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