“With such values, will men stand for their liberties? Will they not give up their liberties step by step, inch by inch as long as their own personal peace and prosperity is sustained and not challenged, and as long as the goods are delivered? The life-styles of the young and the old generations are different. There are tensions between long hair and short, drugs and non-drugs, whatever are the outward distinctions of the moment. But they support teach other sociologically, for both embrace the values of personal peace and affluence. Much of the church is no help here either, because for so long a large section of the church has only been teaching a relativistic humanism using religious terminology.
I believe the majority of the silent majority, young and old will sustain the loss of liberties without raising their voices as long as their own life-styles are not threatened. And since personal peace and affluence are so often the only values that count with the majority, politicians know that to be elected they must promise these things. Politics has largely become not a matter of ideals–increasingly men and women are not stirred by the values of liberty and truth–but of supplying a constituency with a frosting of personal peace and affluence. They know that voices will not be raised as long as people have these things, or at least an illusion of them.” – Francis Schaeffer, How Should We Then Live?, 227
Schaeffer was on to something 40 years ago it still rings true today. When the church melds with the world the church loses its distinctive voice (which is an essential voice in a society that rejects absolutes). The church has everything to lose in this game and nothing to gain. The reason we have been so easily drawn in is partly because the church lost its view of itself as distinctive from the world. Being part of a pseudo-Christian nation we didn’t think twice about adopting worldly values because we took it for granted that American values overlapped with Judeo-Christian values and so what harm could really be done in not maintaining our distinctiveness from society?
The answer is a lot…maybe even everything.
How sad it is when values are exchanged for goods and services and when ideals are traded for peace and affluence. How much will we give up in order to maintain our quality of life? How much of our faith will we be willing to compromise? How many of our values will we willingly flush down the toilet in the name of maintaining our stuff, our position, our power? Who do we and those who come after us become as a result of this sort of thinking and behaving?
These are sobering thoughts and we see the effects of this kind of thinking playing out all around us today. May we be the generation that stands up for what is right and holy and just. Let us be willing to check our comfort, our peace, even our affluence at the door if it means God is glorified, wrongs are righed and godly principles and values are upheld.