Christians don’t live in a vacuum. What the world says (or assumes) about God bombards you and your families. Even when you attempt to screen out the flood of unbiblical propaganda, it is still there, filtering in from every direction. If it does not come in through the front door, it comes in through the back door or side door, or the open window. If you are careful about which shows your kids watch, it is practically impossible to filter out the commercials with subtle, negative content. If you watch the news, either the network or cable variety, your family will hear a constant stream of false rationale for why things happen the way they do. For example, if you watch the prime-time news shows where historical considerations are constantly mentioned, how often do you compare the conclusions you hear on TV with the teaching of Scripture? How often do you ask (in all seriousness, not in scorn or disbelief), “Why do the news folks think things happened the way they do? And finally, what does the Bible have to say about what happened?
Am I being too theoretical? Are you asking yourself, “What exactly does he mean, and how do I make this practical?” Here is an example of what I mean. We are told that all religions are the same—or essentially the same. All these religions have a sort of formula or pathway that leads to God. Since this idea has been widely accepted as a given, or a valid assumption, it is never really challenged in the media. So, the idea that Christianity, or specifically, the God of Christianity, has any real impact on human history is seen as a myth, a fanciful notion. Thus, this conventional wisdom is rarely challenged, and you consider facts in the same way that the news commentators do (either consciously or unconsciously). You are lulled into assuming that God was like us, just a spectator to the unfolding of human events. However, it is this flawed assumption that is the real myth. Acts 17:24-27 teaches that God is deeply involved in the events of all of human history:
24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. 27 God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.
God, the God of the Bible, the God of Christianity, determined the exact places where all men would live. He did this so that men would seek him. Sounds like involvement to me! So, if you ignore the power and plan of God when you talk about history, your discussion lacks key facts. It is impossible to consider history without acknowledging the role that God has played and is playing. It is true we do not often know the particular reasons why God has chosen to make history unfold as it has. This reality must be clearly stressed in our discussions. But we do know this: God is sovereignly active in all of human history.
The fact of God’s sovereign control must be at the forefront of our thinking. Wars, earthquakes, and cultural upheavals (to mention a few possible threats) are not a series of unrelated events. They are all part of the specific and loving plan of the Lord of Creation— his eternal plan to bring glory and honor to himself.
Remind your children of these realities when the pundits and commentators tell you what has happened and why. If they don’t acknowledge God’s control, then they are not acknowledging the truth.