The Supreme Court’s decision to allow same-sex marriage did not come as a surprise to those who understand the times. Perhaps you have also seen the videos of Planned Parenthood’s leaders negotiating the sale of aborted baby’s organs. I’m appalled at the brazen callousness of these “leaders.” I’m guessing you are too.
Sometimes I despair and need a bracing reminder that America is still worth fighting for. From my desk at Summit, I sense both a growing urgency and a growing commitment from believers. Those who have wormed their way into power may be wicked, but we must never give up on the idea of America. More importantly, no matter what, we must never give in to evil.
Having just trained 1,700 young leaders this summer, and watching them join the ranks of hundreds of thousands who have not yet bowed the knee, I can see five reasons why evil won’t win the day:
Reason #1: The best minds of our generation are fully committed to training up godly leaders. When students come to Summit, they are mentored by some of the bravest people I’ve ever met. Our scholar in residence, Mike Adams, spends every day with students and staff. When August rolls around, Dr. Adams packs his belongings and heads back to the lion’s den at the university where he is a professor, the University of North Carolina Wilmington. They hate him there. They’ve sued him. They’ve tried to fire him. None of this fazes Mike. He’s committed to raising a generation to stand for truth.
Our other instructors are just as extraordinary. Josh McDowell speaks all over the world but loves spending time with our students, letting them pore over his valuable biblical scrolls and artifacts. Brett Kunkle is a missionary who leads groups of young adults to share their faith at Berkeley and Boulder and shares his tactics with our students. J. Warner Wallace, the famous cold-case detective, comes every session to share compelling stories about why we should trust the Bible’s truth. Frank Turek, who has debated nearly every leading atheist, reveals the evidence behind his claim that he doesn’t have enough faith to be an atheist. Every speaker at Summit is a home-run hitter. You can’t spend two weeks with these folks and not be changed.
Plus, students learn from John Stonestreet, a protégé of Chuck Colson whose daily and weekly radio shows inspire millions. John is a hero to our students. He believes in them, and they know it. When he speaks the hard truth, they listen and change. Altogether, we have around 75 dedicated instructors who are giants of the faith.
Reason #2: Deeply committed young adults are intentionally discipling their peers. I’ve watched our tireless and fun staff love students and create a safe place for them to overcome the barriers to living lives fully committed to Jesus. From Jen Honken and Allison Smith, our program directors, to staffers like Nate who take a break from college to joyfully wash dishes, these young men and women rise to the challenge every day. I wish I had half their energy.
I’m blessed to hear from the alumni of our summer, Semester, and adult programs. They’re living changed lives in business, the military, the pastorate, the mission field, medicine, education, and so much more. They all have one thing in common: They are daily standing for truth and fighting against evil.
Reason #3: This generation of Christian parents refuses to give up. Every two weeks I have the great honor to talk with parents who have sacrificed financially to send their children to Summit. I see parents like the Smiths in Phoenix, who have quietly raised a family of faithful men and women who love the Lord with all their hearts. I see the light bursting from parents who’ve chosen intentional, relational parenting that rests on God’s promises.
Reason #4: Committed believers are putting their time and resources to good use. Hands down, Christian believers are the most generous, self-sacrificing people on earth. It’s humbling to know so many Summit friends who have generously invested in this ministry. They tell us, “Don’t give up!” and they know we never will. I hate to confess it, but I’m often in tears as I see the major investments our friends are making so that we can continue to pursue this noble calling. Without them, Summit would not be possible.
Reason #5: We have not yet seen the end of the story. The last reason I know evil will not prevail is because I know the rest of the story. Spoiler alert: God wins. He has promised through Christ to give us everything we need to live godly lives (2 Peter 1:3). We may be stricken, but we are not destroyed (2 Corinthians 4:9). God is coming to be with us and will wipe away every tear (Revelation 21:3-4).
So What Should We Do Now?
Let’s not try to escape. Let’s engage. Here are three ways to get started:
1. Cry out to God. When Nehemiah heard of Jerusalem’s destruction, he “sat down and wept” and “mourned and fasted and prayed.” His prayer is a great template: “I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s house, have committed against you. We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed.” Nehemiah began his quest to rebuild Jerusalem with humble reliance on God’s sovereignty.
2. Live worthy of persecution. In this season, Christians who will stand for their convictions need to ask themselves, “What will I do when my time comes?” Will you and your family cave under the pressure or will you prayerfully trust the Lord like Daniel did as he knelt three times each day to pray for God’s help in the face of King Darius’ decree?
3. Be an ambassador of redemption. The ideas spewing into our communities have devastating consequences. The sexual revolution is reaping horrible consequences. Much of the culture is in the sewer. Young adults shuffle down our streets like zombies with no purpose. Christianity has the answer: Embrace purity. Create and support uplifting culture. Mentor. Show sin’s captives how to be set free through Christ. Don’t throw away people who are broken. Help restore them (Galatians 6:1).
None of these steps is easy. We may, like the Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran who was fired because of his support for man/woman marriage, have to risk our livelihoods and freedoms. I pray as the church in Acts 5:29 prayed: “Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.” Amen.