Not By Bread AloneThe title of this article is important for we are experiencing one of the most decisive moments in history. Gloomy are the forecasts made by political leaders, and humanly speaking, with just cause. History we cannot escape, because we are harvesting the chaos created by the past. The breakup of society is apparent. The west tries to combat militancy with a world of shaken beliefs. The international chaos of today is founded upon despair. Fear, confusion, corruption, nuclear warfare with all its implications seem to hang over us as the sword of Democles.
Mankind is like a tightrope dancer trying to maintain careful balance so as not to tumble down into the valley of disaster. Because of this, many Christians say "Garb yourselves in mourning clothes, prepare your coffin and bury your hopes for a better world." Many Christians have become pessimistic. They have consequently withdrawn from life. You can see the evidence of this in our society. The voice of the Christian is now seldom heard in the din of conflicting ideologies. The church has lost its influence. The spirit of secularism has taken over a very large segment of our nation.
As an evangelical Christian who believes that evangelicalism is at the cross-roads of its history, there cannot be a standstill. Evangelicals have two choices before them. They either withdraw themselves into a ghetto or advance with the clear sounding Word of God. I do not believe that we need to be downhearted. The opposite is true! Never was life so challenging as now, and never more adventures for the taking. This is the challenge to bring all of life, labour, the field of learning, church, industrial relationships and farming under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. All of life must be claimed for Christ and not just a small section of it. A Biblical approach is needed.
There is no room for despair, hopelessness, pessimism, rather optimism should be the watchword. Christianity is not weak, but strong. The most powerful implement in this atomic age is the Bible, always up to date. Now is the time to use it!
Evangelical Christians who use the Word of God are not rebelling against society, neither are they refusing to permit progress, they are reformers rallying around the banner of Christ. Christians cannot be spectators in the arena of life, watching the struggle between "good" and "evil", truth and error, love and hatred; but wanting truth, holiness and freedom. Injustice in many shapes and forms prevails in our society, thus we must battle against it.
I challenge evangelical Christians not to look for easy paths, neither for the praise of men, which Christ never promised them, but to be the resounding conscience of the community. The challenge may be great, but in the work of the kingdom, we are not alone.
We can live with the deep and joyous realization that the triumph of grace, the final victory of the battle for justice and truth will be ours. Thus we can go with confidence on the yet untrodden paths, because the Lord is on the throne and the battle is the Lord's.
Keep always in your memory the symbol of the holy cross on which Christ died. Let His suffering be a challenge to you and His resurrection your power. Fight the good fight of faith in your community. Walk with God, for there is no fear when He is your Guide. Jesus said "Not on bread alone can man live, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God."
Johan D, Tangelder