April showers bring May flowers, or at least that’s what we were told as kids. So I guess we’ll be overrun with flowers in a few short weeks. It may be wet, but spring has definitely sprung!
Accordingly, the buds are blooming and new life is springing forth all around, not to mention the pollen! The coming of spring reminds me of a column I read more than a decade ago written by one of my favorite authors, the late Chuck Colson. I was privileged to meet him when he spoke at the dedication of the chapel at Beeson Divinity School at Samford several years back. It was an honor to tell him how much he had inspired my life.
The particular column I was referring to was entitled, “Springtime for Christianity.” Though it was written more than fifteen years ago, it is all the more appropriate in these days that seem like a perpetual winter of hopelessness in our culture, when it appears we are parading toward Hades in the proverbial hand-basket (whatever that is). It’s a wonderful reminder of the real hope that we have to offer our world “for such a time as this.” I wanted to share a portion of it below:
I am increasingly convinced that it can be, as Pope John Paul II says, a ‘springtime for Christianity.’ Many of my friends profess themselves dumbfounded. How can I maintain such hope in the face of polls indicating public indifference to immorality in Washington and growing antagonism to Christianity?
But the reason for my conviction is not that the church is transforming the culture or that our moral crusades have succeeded (they have not). The reason is simply that the postmodern age is imploding, crumbling in on itself. People have finally achieved what was hailed as the Holy Grail of modernity–complete autonomy–and they are discovering that they cannot live with the moral chaos that results.
Today many Americans are soberly assessing the failed social experiments that were embraced over the past decades, and attitudes are beginning to change. Postmodern nihilism has proved incapable of producing a humane society, and people are groping their way back to traditions that are tested and tried.
What all this means is that people are searching for better and more rational ways to order their lives, and there may be a new openness to Christianity. The twentieth century was the age of ideology, of the great “isms”: communism, socialism, Nazism, humanism, scientism. Yet one by one, they have toppled. And as the major ideological constructions crumble, only one compelling claim to transcendent truth remains, one secure hope: Christianity.
This is an unprecedented opportunity, and Christians must seize the moment to make our case. Our secular neighbors are ready to learn why only Christianity offers what they are longing for. If we can show them, if we can make a compelling and loving defense of the hope that is within us, then the new millennium will indeed be a “springtime for Christianity.”
I pray that each of us would be salt and light in our world, and that the Lord would use us to influence our culture for Christ. I look forward to seeing you Sunday.