A PROPHETIC WORD FOR OUR TIME PENNED IN 1984

Francis Schaeffer wrote these words in The Great Evangelical Disaster (Crossway Books, 1984)

The Scriptures make clear that we as Bible-believing Christians are locked in a battle of cosmic proportions. It is a life and death struggle over the minds and souls of men for all eternity, but it is equally a life and death struggle over life on this earth… Do we really believe that we are engaged in this cosmic battle?… Why has the Christian ethos in our culture been squandered? Why do we have so little impact upon the world today? Is it not because we have failed to take the primary battle seriously? And if we have failed to take the battle seriously, we have certainly failed to use the weapons our Lord has provided….

The primary battle is a spiritual battle in the heavenlies. But this does not mean, therefore, that the battle we are in is otherworldly or outside of human history. It is a real spiritual battle, but it is equally a battle here on earth in our own country, our own communities, our places of work and our schools, and even our own homes. The spiritual battle has its counterpart in the visible world, in the minds of men and women, and in every area of human culture. In the realm of space and time the heavenly battle is fought on the stage of human history.

We must ask where we as evangelicals have been in the battle for truth and morality in our culture. Have we as evangelicals been on the front lines contending for the faith and confronting the moral breakdown over the last forty to sixty years? Have we been aware that there is a battle going on – not just a heavenly battle, but a life-and-death struggle over what will happen to men and women and children in both this life and the next? . . Truth demands confrontation. It must be loving confrontation, but there must be confrontation nonetheless. Sadly we must say that this has seldom happened. Most of the evangelical world has not been active in the battle, or even been able to see that we are in a battle. And when it comes to the issues of the day the evangelical world most often has said nothing; or worse has said nothing different from what the world would say. Here is the great evangelical disaster – the failure of the evangelical world to stand for truth as truth. There is only one word for this – namely accommodation: the evangelical church has accommodated to the world spirit of the age…

Indeed, we have accommodated to the world spirit of the age, exactly as God’s Word said it would in the last days before he returns, to rapture the saints, and pour out His wrath on an unbelieving/unrepentant world.

The Great Evangelical Disaster - Francis A. Schaeffer

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