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June 22, 2011

Tuesday, June 21 (Session 3, Day 10)

Tuesday, June 21 (Session 3, Day 10)

Over six million dead, a “civilized” country decimated, the entire planet torn asunder by bitter conflict. A gun shot had not started it; not even a fist fight had lit the spark that would become a raging forest fire. No, World War II was birthed in the mind of a man, and was conceived as an ideology.

My time at the Summit has solidified in my heart the truth that “ideas have consequences” and “bad ideas have bad consequences” (as Dr. Noebel would say). Were the ideas that resulted in World War II bad ideas? Judge for yourself. Though today we may not be in the midst of a full-scale world war, there are still ideologies ruling our world, ideologies that have grave consequences.

As believers in Jesus Christ and His Salvation, we have a choice to make, a choice that has the potential to change the world. We can either retreat into our comfortable church buildings and cozy Christian homes where our convictions will be safe from vicious attacks, or we can charge into the world with the authority of Christ and the capital ‘T’ Truth that can redeem our world. Too often we make a dangerous assumption that Christianity simply consists of regular church attendance and involvement, and maybe some occasional prayer and Bible reading. Yet Francis Schaeffer, the great Christian philosopher, contends that living as a follower of Christ means actually living as a follower of Christ, and allowing God’s Word to define our view of reality. All of the speakers we have had the pleasure of hearing today have served to solidify this capital ‘T’ Truth, but now that we are being equipped with this knowledge we are being challenged to actually employ it in impacting our world for the ultimate glory of God.

Nazism began as an ideology. Nazism was a bad idea with bad consequences. Nevertheless, there were Christians in Germany who realized this and determined to do something about it. Siblings Hans and Sophie Scholl, young German students, risked their lives by distributing pamphlets that exposed Nazi ideology for what it really was. They were caught, tried, and executed on the same day. Before he was killed, Hans wrote the following. “Isn’t seclusion a form of treachery, -- of desertion? I’m weak and puny, but I want to do what is right.”

Hans understood something we all too often forget, or ignore. We cannot change a culture from the outside. Instead we must engage the culture; asking the hard questions, working together to seek out the right answers, and holding each other accountable to “do what is right.” To be “in the world and not of it” has become a common cliché in Christian culture. When was the last time we contemplated the meaning of that phrase? Are we living it out? Are we engaging the culture in conversations concerning life’s most vital questions, while continuing to keep ourselves “unspotted by the world”?

At Summit we are gaining the confidence to live out our convictions in every aspect of our lives, and to measure everything we see and hear by the flawless yardstick of God’s holy Word. It has been said that if we do not study history, then we will be doomed to repeat it. I contend that if we do not study the ideologies that conceived the events of history, then is the time we will be condemned to repeat it. Are we eager to repeat the bloodiest century in human history? I am not, and so, as the body of Christ, we must make a collective commitment to love God with all of our minds, and then determine not to desert our world. May God be glorified through our efforts.

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