Thursday, December 17, 2009


I came across this quote by Alexander Solzhenitsyn in my reading today. It was from a speech he gave over 30 years ago at Harvard:

"This tilt of freedom toward evil has come about gradually, but it evidently stems from a humanistic and benevolent concept according to which man--the master of the world--does not bear any evil within himself, and all the defects of life are caused by misguided social systems, which must therefore be corrected."

How prescient of him! Is this not the thinking of our day?...Misguided social systems must be transformed that the defects of society can be corrected. All this based on the false assumption that man is basically good, and that the source of wrong-doing comes from external forces working against him--the government, the schools, our parents--whomever else we can "throw under the bus" in an ongoing effort to blame others for our ills.

The Christian worldview has it right. Man is not basically good--we are born sinners. Rom. 3:23, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Jeremiah 17:9, "The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?"

The Apostle Paul spoke of the nature of these last days. 2 Timothy 3:1-5, "But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power."

Its as if Paul gleaned his description from our daily news! We did not become this way because of an oppressive or misguided government, and no amount of social engineering will undo the chaos that has ushered forth from sin-filled hearts. Matthew 15:19, "For out of the heart comes evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slander."

What is needful is not a better or transformed government, what is needful is transformed hearts. 1 Timothy 1:15, "CHRIST JESUS CAME INTO THE WORLD TO SAVE SINNERS." He came to die for their sins so that they could be saved through faith in Him. Acts 16:31, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved."

He saves to the uttermost. The salvation which He alone can provide brings not just forgiveness, but heart transformation. He brings change. Sinful and destructive passions are replaced with loving attitudes and actions. God's love is shed abroad in the hearts of those who believe (Romans 5:5). Believers thus become channels of blessing through which God's love is directed towards others.

The government has no capacity to transform lost sinners. All it can do is manipulate and control. It has no power to save. No power to impart love or foster love. It is but a "minister of God," (Romans 13:4), which exists under His authority (Romans 13:1), for the punishment of evil doers (Romans 13:4). We overestimate the importance and role of government to our own peril.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn had it right. There is such a thing as sin and evil. Our social systems are neither the cause or the cure. The cause is sin. The cure is Jesus. Everything else is but political hot air--perhaps that's the real cause of global warming!

Pastor Jerry

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