Dr. Erwin W. Lutzer in his book, “We Will Not Be Silenced,” wanted to “reclaim the church” and encourage Christians. He wanted us to not compromise our beliefs and instead continue to reach unbelievers despite the cultural pressure here in the United States. He answered questions I had about how and why deceptive ideologies, like Marxism, socialism, and communism, have been able to take root here. Many of our news sources are to blame for a lot of disinformation and propaganda. Erwin said that “the media not only reflects the culture but directs the culture.”
He started the journey with an overview of what we have seen in the U.S. for the last 20 years. He presented a primer on Karl Marx and his vision. Pillars must be torn down, he said, to rebuild a culture’s economic, racial, and moral structure” (21). Marx started with the family. No one would inherit money, so the rich would not continue to get richer, the poor poorer, in his thinking. The state would own everything and equally distribute wealth.
I am sure it is good on paper, but Marx did not acknowledge that we are sinful people. People seek their own agenda. They will meet their own needs often over the needs of other people.
Radical secularists want to revise history, Erwin said, because, as George Orwell wrote, “he who controls the past controls the future.” Orwell was describing the totalitarian state during the rise of Communism. Capitalism is thought of as the root of all evil. Western culture must be destroyed, and the family is the starting point. Just look at some of the headlines and you will see parents fighting to have a say in the curriculum taught in schools. Some would rather have the government raising children without the influence of their parents.
Our culture further uses diversity to divide us. They want to stir up strife and have unending conflict between groups. Victimhood is prevalent in this culture. Everyone sees oppression everywhere. Some look to pigeonhole people into groups and not allow for individual differences.
“Though Communism has failed in every country in which it has been instituted, the Marxist vision of a society in which all men and women are, by law, forced to be ‘equal’ has not died,” Erwin said. “In America, this has been rebranded as social justice and political correctness. We can even add the words diversity and equality. These terms have been pressed into service to ensure that conflict between the races will continue without any hope of meaningful reconciliation.”
Some say they are tolerant, but they are only tolerant when the other person agrees with their point of view. Some people are allowed freedom of speech, while others are not. People no longer discuss differences. They do not debate and allow for a difference in opinion. People “have discovered that vilifying those who disagree with them gets more results than reason and civility,” Erwin said.
People want to destroy the Judeo-Christian foundations of the U.S. They don’t believe in original sin. They apparently don’t see we have a flawed human nature. Now some religious beliefs are tolerated. Some on the left have allowed for religious freedom for those who give in to culture and affirm things that are contrary to God’s word, such as progressive Christianity. They have no problems with Muslims, the majority of whom love the U.S. and its freedoms. But they are linking arms with radical Islamists unawares who want to change laws in our country and to replace our laws with Shariah law. They would make the foundation of our country a theocracy.
They already had an issue with a Judeo-Christian foundation, so I do not understand why they would link arms. Erwin said they go by the adage “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” They believe they need to tear everything down and rebuild a utopia where everything is shared, where we have no racism, sexism, or white supremacy.
The problem is the human heart has not changed. People sin and fall short. Just today I heard a celebrity say we all have God within us. No, actually we don’t. We are made in God’s image. A person needs to repent and ask Jesus Christ to come live in their hearts first. Without Jesus, people do not have the power of the Holy Spirit living within them. People do not believe they have sinned though. They do not understand they need Jesus Christ. They need to hear the Gospel message; otherwise, they stay enslaved to sin and have no hope of eternal life.
That is why Christians need to share their testimony – and I am talking about me here. And Christian need to fear God, Erwin said, more than fear what will happen to their reputations or their lives. Yes. It is a tough read. It’s very timely. Erwin wrote this book during the Covid-19 pandemic. It was also a time of unrest because of the brutal murder of George Floyd. Dr. David Jeremiah said he wished he could put a copy of this book in every Christian’s hands.
As I read, I felt like a student in a graduate class at Moody Bible Institute. I also felt like a military member about to be deployed in enemy territory. Erwin does not use 50-cent words or complicated jargon. He is easy understand, even though the topics are not easy to read and digest. The most difficult chapter, for example, had the title: “Sexualize the children.” In that chapter, Erwin talked about how educators today want to teach sex and gender education to children starting in kindergarten. Kindergarten is often the first experience kids have with school. Why on earth are we so focused on sex and gender education over academic subjects? Why are we not protecting our youth’s childhood? Read the book for more information. You can also read this transcript from an interview with Erwin about these topics.
After presenting what the storm brought into the U.S. though, Erwin ended each chapter with the Christian response and battle plan as well as a beautiful, well-written prayer. The church began long before we had the U.S. Constitution, he said, and the church thrived in a culture where Christians were hated. They were often killed for their belief in Jesus Christ. Christians do not need to fear the future. Erwin does not want us to hide behind church walls. We cannot affirm things that go against God’s word for us.
The Bible needs to inform our thinking and not culture. “We don’t need to accept or acquiesce to culture to redeem it,” he said. Christians need to study God’s word and pray. Don’t hide your light under a bushel and don’t bury your talent, like the foolish servant. We are in a spiritual battle.
In our culture, people have been deceived by various means over time. They have become blind to what is right under their noses. If they knew what we as a nation were walking toward, they would turn and run the other way. I couldn’t understand why so many like socialism and think it will work here in the U.S. after reading about what happened in Venezuela. Why are people not seeing the deception?
But we have people who want to destroy the very foundations that make us a great nation. They want to erase history and rewrite it. They do not want to read history as it is, learn from it, and let it unite us. Don’t we know that we tend to repeat past mistakes when we do not learn the first time?
People are not the enemy though. The father of lies is at work in our culture. Erwin wants Christians to listen and not judge, have compassion and humility, but don’t assimilate. Don’t adopt. Don’t be led astray. Many unbelievers are like the prodigal son and the lost sheep Jesus spoke about in Gospels. We need to be salt and light in this world. We need to reach people with the plan of salvation and tell them our testimony. Tell them how much the one true God loves and values them. We need to give a defense for the hope we have because of Jesus’ finished work on the cross. He died so we could live. We need to love people as Christ loved them and to see them with His eyes. We also must stand firm in the faith and be like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego before they faced the fiery furnace.
“I want to inspire us to have the courage to walk toward the fire and not run away from the flames,” Erwin said. “God has brought us to this cultural moment, and our future cannot be taken for granted. It has been said in a time of universal deception, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”