Sadly, too many evangelicals are tending to become far too woke, too PC, and too lefty-trendy. Even normally pretty decent evangelical groups are becoming a bit of a worry. Various Christians for example have pointed out concerns they have had over the years with the America-based The Gospel Coalition.
Here I want to speak to just one recent article that appeared on its website. While it still has lots of good material, this particular piece unfortunately was not really one of them. A few days ago the article “After Roe, Choose Compassion Over Culture War” was posted by James Forsyth.
In my view, while the piece had some good things to say, it was far too apologetic, too ‘winsome,’ too ‘nuanced,’ and too woke. A main problem is that it failed to recognise what millions of Christian pro-lifers have been doing for many decades now: being fully loving and compassionate – to mothers as well as babies – as they fight for life.
The author says we should not be celebrating the recent SCOTUS decision, but start loving people more: “Now isn’t the time for the church to beat its chest in celebration of a victory in the culture war. This is a moment for us to step up in love.”
Plenty of Christians have already commented on this, showing how rather foolish that statement really is. The truth of the matter is this: if believers cannot rejoice when a horrific evil like the slaughter of babies is lessened and/or curtailed in various places, then there is nothing worth rejoicing in.
While many have already spoken about the article – and especially that unfortunate sentence – most have omitted one very important element of this. That is, just what does the Bible say about such matters? Many folks have dealt with the culture wars and recent history. Many have rightly said that by this guy’s reasoning we may have been out of place to rejoice in the abolition of slavery.
For example, my social media friend Andrew George rightly said this:
Response to The Gospel Coalition:
1. Were Christians wrong to celebrate the freeing of the slaves in 1863?
2. We ought not downplay the murder of babies as a “culture war.”
3. Love rejoices in truth. Believers have every right to rejoice when righteousness prevails.
4. Churches have already stepped up in love for decades at pregnancy clinics across the country. Let’s praise God for these churches.
5. Even one life saved is a reason to celebrate. In fact, the church can both “celebrate” and “step up in love” at the same time.
Amen to all that. Christian pro-lifers have all along been showing great love and compassion here. Indeed, what can be more loving and compassionate than to stand up for those being led away to the slaughter? That is the very height of love and care.
But as I say, are there not some Scriptures we can appeal to here on this matter? The truth is, there are plenty, and I have written on this topic several times in the past. I urge you to read those pieces. They include this two-part article here and here.
Let me again share some important texts on this issue. Here I present just five key cases where God’s people worshipped, celebrated and thanked God exuberantly as great evil was overcome and various enemies of God and his purposes were defeated.
1. Moses and the Exodus
Anyone familiar with this amazing story knows how it ends: with a great song of praise by Moses celebrating God’s mighty victory over Pharaoh and the Egyptians. Yahweh not only confounded them mightily with the ten plagues, but Pharaoh and his troops were killed in the Red Sea. That was all pretty hardcore stuff.
You can read this amazing song of praise in Exodus 15. Here is just a small portion of it (verses 1 and 19-21):
Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the Lord, saying, I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea….
When Pharaoh’s horses, chariots and horsemen went into the sea, the LORD brought the waters of the sea back over them, but the Israelites walked through the sea on dry ground. Then Miriam the prophet, Aaron’s sister, took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women followed her, with timbrels and dancing. Miriam sang to them: ‘Sing to the LORD, for he is highly exalted. Both horse and driver he has hurled into the sea’.
2. Deborah and Her defeat of a Canaanite King
In Judges 4 we read about how Deborah and Barak defeated Jabin, king of Canaan. We even find recorded there how Sisera, the general of Jabin’s army, ended up being killed by having a peg driven into his head by Jael (verses 17-22). Hmm, pretty gruesome stuff.
Yet in the very next chapter we have the Song of Deborah where she praises God for this tremendous defeat of God’s enemies. Jael was not condemned nor told how unloving and lacking in compassion she was. Instead, she was praised big time. As we read in Judges 5:24-27 and 31:
Most blessed of women be Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, of tent-dwelling women most blessed. He asked for water and she gave him milk; she brought him curds in a noble’s bowl. She sent her hand to the tent peg and her right hand to the workmen’s mallet;
she struck Sisera; she crushed his head; she shattered and pierced his temple. Between her feet he sank, he fell, he lay still; between her feet he sank, he fell; where he sank, there he fell—dead….
So may all your enemies perish, O Lord! But your friends be like the sun as he rises in his might.
3. Esther and Mordecai’s Triumph Over the Evil Haman
The book of Esther gives us an amazing account of how the Jews were almost wiped out, but how God turned things around remarkably, and the enemies of God were roundly defeated. The evil Haman ended up being hanged on his own gallows, and many of those seeking to kill the Jews were themselves killed. And what do we find once again? Yep, plenty of rejoicing, celebrating and praising God.
As we read in Esther 9:17-18:
This was on the thirteenth day of the month of Adar, and on the fourteenth day they rested and made that a day of feasting and gladness. But the Jews who were in Susa gathered on the thirteenth day and on the fourteenth, and rested on the fifteenth day, making that a day of feasting and gladness. Therefore the Jews of the villages, who live in the rural towns, hold the fourteenth day of the month of Adar as a day for gladness and feasting, as a holiday, and as a day on which they send gifts of food to one another.
And the great Jewish feast of Purim comes directly out of all this, as we read about in the rest of the chapter. This is yet another clear case of ‘beating one’s chest in celebration of a victory’ and the defeat of evil!
4. David’s Victory Over the Philistines
In 2 Samuel 21, we read about how David warred against the Philistines – and won. And in ch. 22 we find David’s song of deliverance as he praises God for the defeat of his enemies. All 51 verses speak of David’s rejoicing and praising God. The last five verses clearly indicate all this:
The Lord lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be my God, the rock of my salvation, the God who gave me vengeance and brought down peoples under me, who brought me out from my enemies; you exalted me above those who rose against me; you delivered me from men of violence.
For this I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations, and sing praises to your name. Great salvation he brings to his king, and shows steadfast love to his anointed, to David and his offspring forever.
And of course many times in the Psalms we find David and others celebrating and praising the Lord when evil is overcome and enemies are defeated. As but one example, consider Psalm 9:1-9:
I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.
My enemies turn back; they stumble and perish before you. For you have upheld my right and my cause, sitting enthroned as the righteous judge. You have rebuked the nations and destroyed the wicked; you have blotted out their name for ever and ever. Endless ruin has overtaken my enemies, you have uprooted their cities; even the memory of them has perished.
The Lord reigns forever; he has established his throne for judgment. He rules the world in righteousness and judges the peoples with equity. The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
5. Christ’s Defeat of Babylon
Entire chapters found in the book of Revelation are all about celebrating God’s defeat of evil and diabolical forces and powers, including Babylon. After reading chapter after chapter describing the wrath of God being poured out on unrepentant inhabitants of the earth, we have chapters such as Rev. 18 and 19 describing the incredible praise and worship sessions occurring in the heavenlies. Consider just a small portion of this (Rev. 19:1-5):
After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, crying out,
“Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for his judgments are true and just; for he has judged the great prostitute who corrupted the earth with her immorality, and has avenged on her the blood of his servants.”
Once more they cried out, “Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up forever and ever.”
And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who was seated on the throne, saying, “Amen. Hallelujah!” And from the throne came a voice saying,
“Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, small and great.”
There are plenty more such biblical cases that could have been offered here. In each of the five that I did present we have God’s people, and/or God himself, celebrating and rejoicing in the defeat of evil and evildoers. They were NOT squeamish about doing this. They were not ashamed to celebrate the triumph of good over evil, of right over wrong.
It was fully fitting and proper to worship God and sing his praises when evil is overcome and the enemies of God are dealt with, one way or another. So unlike some of the rather wimpy folks at TGA, I will indeed celebrate with all my being this wonderful win at SCOTUS. Sure, as I wrote before, this is by no means the end of abortion. But it was a mighty blow indeed to the forces of darkness and evil, and a mighty win for life.
And that is always a good thing to celebrate.