Why Now?

Why now? This question has come to my mind many times in recent years. I have looked back over the life of my Christian parents and the times in which they lived, and the question comes back again and again, "why now?" After all, they lived though two world wars, the great depression, and raised a family of five boys during the forties, fifties and sixties. My father's father died when he was still a teenager and he was forced to leave school and seek employment, which he found in Bethlehem Steel after waiting in line a number of times. (He was employed there a few months short of fifty years.)

I can remember my father working six days a week in the office, and the change to the five-day work week. I can remember buying the margarine packet with the colored dot in the middle that had to be broken and worked into the margarine to make it yellow. I can remember those little red tokens that you needed to buy meat during the war years. They were not easy days to raise a family, and children were just as much children then as today. My parents' sons were not perfect-the writer being one of their great concerns. There were many problems to straighten out and discipline to be administered.

Now despite the wars, the great depression, and the pressures of raising a family, I do not remember anything about "psychology." Certainly psychology was in the world, as Freud and others like him had set forth their ideas on what makes man act the way he does - with no thought of "sin" of course!

The assembly was simpler then. Godly brothers and sisters came together frequently for worship, prayer, ministry of the Word of God, and Bible study. There were no little league baseball teams then. No soccer teams or gymnastics lessons being taken by children. We had our activities, but very few interfered with the assembly schedule. Friday night Bible studies were held for young people in homes and then they went out for a bite to eat after the study. Now despite this simplicity, the human heart was no different then than now, and there were problems. However, I cannot remember the saints turning outside the Word of God for their guidance. This, of course, raises the question, "why now?"

We live in an advanced age. Technology has blossomed. Almost everyone drives an air-conditioned car with an AM/FM radio and a tape or CD player. Computers with more power than corporations had several decades ago are in many homes. Many are connected to the Internet and E-mail. Microwave ovens give us instant food, cars travel at sixty-five miles per hour on interstate highways that span the country, and satellites enable us to see events as they happen around the world.

The world has its advancements in the spiritual realm as well-the New Age movement. A step beyond secular humanism, this movement sees man's next advancement being of a spiritual nature - that of realizing his own deity. And when man comes to this higher level of consciousness the New Age will be introduced on earth. It is, of course, no more than Satan's counterfeit millennium.

Of course Christendom is not without its advancements as well. It too has advanced in recent decays. Such things as miracles, healing, and tongues have taken the spiritual experience to a higher level. Mega-churches have arisen with their professional orators, and computerized lighting and audio/visual systems. And then there is the advancement of psychology. The combining of the best of men's thinking with the Word of God to create the ideal solution for the many problems this advanced age is experiencing.

Should all this surprise us? Not really. The Word of God has very accurately described it for us when Paul wrote to Timothy concerning the conditions in the last days. "Preach the word:....for the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." (2 Tim. 4:2-4)

Man's psychology is so entrenched that many Christians have become blind to its origin, and even think of it as Biblical. To even question its validity causes their teeth to grind and their pulse to increase. Sadly, the loyalty of some to the Christian psychologist may exceed their loyalty to the Word of God, as evident by the fact that they will spend far more time reading his latest book than they will reading their Bible. They may even defend his thinking more than they would defend Biblical doctrines.

Why now? Because the church, in what it sees as an advancement, has gotten away from the simplicity that marked the early church, and away from the Word of God as its sole guide for living. It has been persuaded, often by well-meaning and educated men, that this advanced day requires advanced thinking. Can we advance beyond the Word of God? "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." (Ps. 119:105)

Why now? Perhaps because the Lord's return is near! (Rev. 3:17). Why now? Perhaps because we have lost confidence in the Word of God. (2 Tim. 3:16-17) why now? Perhaps because we are more impressed by man's psychology than we are by the preaching of the Word (2 Tim. 2:2-4) Why now? Perhaps because we prefer to be entertained than convicted (1 Cor. 2:1-5) Regardless of the reason, there must be a renewed emphasis placed upon the preaching of the Word in our local churches today.