In the fascinating new book by OS Guinness, Impossible People: Christian Courage And The Struggle For The Soul Of The Civilization, Guinness coins a term he uses to describe our current culture. He refers to us as the “Cut Flower” civilization. Because of our nation’s spiritual drift and growing lack of connection to our spiritual roots, we are like a cut flower, beautify showcased in a vase, but having no roots and therefore soon to wither and die.
The root of the West (not just North America but western European nations as well) has been a thriving church, able to give society a moral footing which all of civilization saw as vital – even if they didn’t necessarily claim to be part of the established church.
Now he states, our society has been cut off from its root and while it may look pretty, it is soon to experience serious decay and eventually death. While he plainly states the West isn’t fully non-Christian, its current post-Christian phase may soon reach the point of no return.
My intention is not to write a review of his book. But his bottom-line is one I am in complete agreement. The modern church has drifted due to a lack of the church teaching, believing and applying the Scriptures. Because the Bible has been placed in a lower position and is no longer considered inerrant and trustworthy by so many, there has been a slow erosion of what was once considered truth. As a society, we’ve lost our roots and are like a cut flower.
Many of us who hold the view the Bible is the authority with which we make our life choices, are facing a growing tide of opposition. When it is coming from those outside the church it is expected. But sadly, much of the disdain for Biblical truth originates from those who claim to be Christ-followers. Commands and doctrines that once were widely accepted as orthodox views, such as the Virgin Birth, the Sanctity of Marriage, and the manner of salvation only being through the person of Jesus, have been debated and even discouraged within our churches.
The authority of the Scriptures has been nearly irradiated and therefore many in the church (and even those in leadership of churches) no longer believe in the truth of the Scripture. In many ways, modern Evangelicalism is described as the Church of Laodicea of Revelation 3:14-19. We are lukewarm and have lost our first love, drifting from the truth and therefore, drifting from Jesus. As Guinness says, …”the truth is that Evangelicals as a whole are no longer distinguished for their deep and faithful knowledge of the Scriptures.”
But the Bible is the final authority, the measuring stick by which everything else is held against to determine what is truth and defines morality. Our attitude about the Bible indicates our understanding about its authority. Notice what the psalmist says,
Therefore I love Your commandments more than gold, yes, than fine gold!
Therefore all Your precepts concerning all things I consider to be right;
I hate every false way. – Psalm 119:127-128
Is that how you look at Scripture? Do you see the Bible as being more worthy of your love than gold (verse 127) and completely truthful in all things (verse 128)? Or is it just a nice collection of stories that teach a pro-social message of being nice to each other?
The Bible is our authority. It is our basis of determining truth and it is the way God speaks to His people. My challenge is to all people who claim the name of Christ, it is time to get back to our roots. It is time to start reading, studying, applying the Bible. It is time to once again look upon those 66 books as God’s Word for us and to follow the precepts therein.
It is time for the church to arise and that can only be done by being people of His Word. I encourage you to get into the Scriptures. Read, believe and apply His Word.
Blessings my friend