At this time of year, we Christians celebrate Christ's Advent. We know from the Bible that Christ's chief reason for coming to earth was to redeem a sinful race. In Luke 19:10 we read, u201CFor the Son of man [Jesus Christ] is come to seek and to save that which was lost.u201D If we miss this point, we have missed the reason for celebrating Christmas.
But this is not the only reason Jesus came to earth. We read in John 18:37:
Pilate therefore said unto him [Jesus Christ], Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.
Christ came to declare the truth, and we must never tone down this fact. Jesus told His disciples in John 14:6, u201CI am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.u201D Christianity is a religion of exclusivity. You do it Christ's way or not at all. Christ alone (and the Word he inspired) is the truth.
The sinful world is filled with lies — damnable lies. It was filled with lies at His first Advent, and it is filled with lies today: u201CYou can create your own salvationu201D; u201CAbortion is a woman's choiceu201D; u201CAll roads lead to heavenu201D; u201CHomosexuality is an u2018alternative lifestyle'u201D; u201CThis life is all there is — live for the presentu201D; u201CMorality and politics don't mixu201D; u201CMan evolved from lower life formsu201D; u201CThe state is man's real hopeu201D; u201CLive only for yourselfu201D; u201CThe Bible has nothing to say about economic systemsu201D; u201CMorality is a matter of personal preferenceu201D; u201CThere is no absolute bright and wrongu201D; u201CYou shouldn't force your children to follow your own religion.u201D And on and on. Ad nauseam.
Lies, all. Damnable lies. Christ came to expose depraved man's lies and to declare the truth. Men cannot be saved by lies. They can be saved only by the truth.
Our Lord was no political philosopher after the order of Plato, Hobbes, or Locke. He was God of very God, Man of very man. He work was incomparably more profound than anything political. It was a spiritual, redemptive work, saving men from their sins. Yet His work and teaching have drastic implications for all of life. For instance, because Christ alone is God, no human or human institution may be divinized. Our hope can never be in man or his dreams or the state, but in the Triune God, by means Christ our Lord. Further, Christ taught us to love our neighbors as ourselves (as the Old Testament law had taught): this means that we cannot use state coercion to steal his property; nor may a nation use wars of aggression to impose its will on another populace. Moreover, Christ taught us that His Word, the Bible, is authoritative. This means that there is an absolute moral standard. The postmodern dictum, u201CAll truth is relativeu201D — the New Absolute! — is an evil philosophy that opens the door to oppression, corruption, and degradation.
We live today in an illusory, artificial world — a world of lies. The created world is good, but the world system that surrounds us is false, artificial. Never presume that the world system as we see it is normative, good, the only real world there is. As Phillip Lee has declared in his Against the Protestant Gnostics:
It is … the unreal world that is being opposed by the Church. It is not that the Church has a quarrel with the Creation, the earth and sky, the creatures; certainly not with fellow human creatures. The Church has a quarrel with the established unreal view of created life: with the unreal view that self is the center of life; with the unreal view that personal happiness is the purpose of life; with the unreal view that putting down others leads to fulfillment; with the unreal view that spiritual prowess [ability] reaps salvation.
Our quarrel is with the false world of sin. In R. J. Rushdoony's language, the u201Creal world has not existed since Genesis 3.u201D The u201Creal worldu201D is the world of righteousness and holiness, redeemed by Christ's earthly work. This is the world of truth. The present Satanic world system is a world of lies. We must understand that the world constantly being pressed on us by TV, movies, magazines, public education, the mainstream press, Hollywood, and so on is an artificial world. The real world exists in godly Christian families, churches, schools and businesses. This is where there is a real Christian culture. Our goal must be progressively to replace the unreal, illusory world of Satan's lies with the world of Jesus Christ's truth. This is how the early church triumphed over the Roman Empire. Ethelbert Stauffer (in Christ and the Caesars) says, u201C… Christianity triumphed because the witness of the New Testament was the witness of truth in the midst of a world full of confusion and semblances and self-deceit.u201D This is how they won, and this is how we must win again.
We stand for Christ, and Christ is the Truth. This is one reason that He came to Bethlehem 2000 years ago — to bear witness to the truth.
This truth alone sets men free.
December 22, 2000
P. Andrew Sandlin is Executive Vice President of the Chalcedon Foundation which since 1965 has been dedicated to applying historic, Biblical Christianity in today's world. He is the author of Christianity: Bulwark of Liberty and several other works.