Europe, San Francisco show us where America is headed — Hungary PM says Christianity is ‘last hope’
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HUNGARY PRIME MINISTER TOUTS CHRISTIANITY AS LAST HOPE FOR EU
TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, there are three different stories I’d like to cover with you today. The first deals with Victor Orban. Now, a lot of our listeners probably don’t recognize that name — he’s the prime minister of Hungary. His hope for Europe is not in more secularism or a hope for open borders, but a hope for resurgence in Christianity. According to LifeSite News, Orban gave an address to his nation warning that the EU and its open borders policy with Islamic nations has opened the way to the decline of Christian culture and the advance of Islam.
DR. REEDER: Tom, basically, what he ended up with was this statement that, “Christianity is Europe’s last hope.” Thank you for the open door, but Christianity is not Europe’s last hope — Christianity is Europe’s only hope.”
And that’s what’s happening in a secularized culture, which is about 20 years down the road from the United States if the continued success of the sexual revolution and the secular elite that promote the sovereignty of man over the sovereignty of God — that man is the measure of all things and what he desires and what he wants — that unrestrained death spiral of a culture.
SENTIMENT IS STRONG, BUT JESUS IS NOT A LAST RESORT OR TRIBAL DIVISION
Now, I don’t know what’s happening in the prime minister’s personal life, but it doesn’t seem to be coming out of a personal spiritual awakening, but just an assessment that the current immigration policies are bringing in waves of Islamic immigrants. It’s not that many Europeans are being converted to Islam, but that they’re being overwhelmed by the immigrants that are coming in. That means the leftover remnants of the effects of Christianity and the culture of Europe, in general, and Hungary, in particular, where he is the prime minister, is such that he sees utter destruction of what is happening in the social fabric of the nation.
I would just say to the prime minister that Jesus does not exist and the Gospel does not exist as a tribal God for any nation or the European Union. Jesus is Lord of all and Jesus is King of Kings and He has proclaimed not as the answer to a nation’s problems so that the nation continues to stand supreme. When the Gospel is proclaimed, it certainly benefits a nation and it certainly benefits a culture, but that’s not its purpose. The purpose of the Gospel is for men and women to be right with God.
Now, by the way, when you get right with God, then God gets right within you. And when God gets right within you with His Word and the Holy Spirit and He begins to change you — and that changes your family and that changes your neighborhood and that changes your city — but that’s the consequence. The purpose of Christianity is not for Christianity to be the handmaiden of a nation to make it a great nation — the purpose of Christianity is for people to worship the great God of glory and grace. When that happens, that brings greatness all around it and that certainly brings the blessings of the Lord’s presence, but that’s not the purpose of it.
Therefore, it’s not simply that Jesus is the answer to a failed immigration policy; it’s Jesus is the answer to sinners and, when sinners are saved, then their lives are changed from the inside out and that changes everything around them.
ON THE FLIP SIDE, SAN FRANCISCO BECOMING CITY OVERTAKEN BY FILTH AND DESPAIR
TOM LAMPRECHT: Well, Harry, the opposite is also true. Fox News is reporting San Francisco, which has a reputation as one of the prettiest cities in the world, in a recent survey of more than 150 downtown blocks in San Francisco has revealed some staggering statistics and some unfortunate findings, including streets covered with garbage, human excrement and hypodermic needles spread across the city.
DR. REEDER: Tom, it’s very interesting. I will not name the three cities, but there are three cities that, as I have to travel various places to fulfill my calling, there are three cities that I utterly feel the oppressiveness of darkness — just moral darkness — when I step into those cities. I will tell you San Francisco’s one of them, which breaks my heart for the city. I want the city to be won to Christ.
I’ve been very disappointed that two church-planting initiatives in San Francisco have actually been absorbed by the culture instead of standing firm for Christ and I see the powerful movement of the secular elite and what they’ve done, but I also see what always happens whenever you elevate rebellion against God, rebellion against God’s Word, rebellion against the sovereign claims of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There will always be the death spiral of that culture and its dissipation and its degradation.
WALKING AWAY FROM CHRIST LEADS TO EMPTINESS, ON PERSONAL AND COMMUNITY LEVEL
Tom, I know that because it happened in my own life. As I walked away from all that my parents had brought to me in Christ, I saw the dissipation and the despair and the emptiness of my life and God graciously rescued me and brought me to a saving relationship with Christ and then my life goes in the other direction.
Well, what’s true in an individual is also true in a city and in a culture. What you see in the streets of San Francisco is heartbreaking when you see the broken bodies, broken lives, broken lifestyle, the degradation that is all around and the dissipation that is there.
And so, what is needed is a clarion call of the Gospel. We need evangelical churches that are alive for Christ — that aren’t playing secular games, but bringing the testimony of Christ and the glorious message of the Gospel to impact that city. That city’s problems are not going to be resolved by renouncing being a sanctuary city. What we need to see is the movement of the Gospel that enables men and women to renounce sin, and turn from it and trust in Christ the Savior, and live for Christ and then see what will happen in that city by God’s grace.
If I could just draw a parallel, the prime minister of Hungary is turning to Christianity because of the effects of the open borders of immigration policies, but in San Francisco what you see is the attempt to say, “Our lives and our city are going to be open borders to do anything we want. Christianity will confine me.”
Oh, no, no, no. When you come to Jesus and repent of your sins and put your trust in Him, you get the free gift of eternal life and then he sets you free. Here’s what Jesus says in John, Chapter 10: “I am the door. If any man come in by me, he will go in and out and find pasture.”
In other words, “I will not only set you free from sin’s guilt and shame, I’ll set you free from sin,” and there is true liberty that you find in Christ. Apart from Him is desolation — in Him, is glorious liberation, not only from the penalty, but the power and practice of sin.
MEANWHILE, CHURCHES THAT SEEK TO SPEAK TRUTH ARE SILENCED AND THREATENED
TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, we do know, when churches do stand up for what is right, for example as reported in Breitbart News last week, the Metro City Church, which has campuses in Riverview and Taylor, Michigan, they were putting together a workshop on Biblical sexuality, the pastor there said that the response from the community has been unbridled hate and vitriol.
DR. REEDER: Right. Death threats, threats of lawsuits, assault. This church, I don’t know all of the dynamics of what they’re doing in these seminars that they were offering but, if you attempt to invade the cultural commitment to the sexual revolution and self-gratification and its abuse of sexuality from a gift within marriage to an unbridled commitment to self-gratification, once you do that, you are going to get the ire, anger and focused power not only of the culture, but the fascist power of the state is going to be brought to bear against you.
STAY STRONG, CHRISTIANS, AND PROCLAIM TO THE WORLD
The Reformers faced the threats of the state and the government and monarchies — so can we — but just remain faithful to Christ. If you’re going to be a Christian in the present sexual revolution that is driving our culture at the moment, if you attempt to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ, who saves sinners and the love of Christ to them to call them to repentance and to receive the gift of eternal life, unless the Lord goes before you and gives eyes to see and ears to hear, you’re not going to be met with open arms.
There’s nobody going to throw a parade for you. What you need to do is remain faithful, even upon the threats that come against you. And, believe me, you will not be able to hide. If you’re going to be a committed Christian and if you’re going to commit yourself to Jesus Christ and the Great Commission and the Great Commandment, you will be tested to see if you will be faithful. This culture will not tolerate the Gospel of Christ, but that does not stop us — we aren’t asking for toleration. We will simply, even if it costs us our lives, engage in the proclamation to the world, and to our cities and to those who are broken by the sexual anarchy of the sexual revolution.
No matter what is brought against us, we will bring Him to you and, when He is lifted up, He will draw sinners to Himself.
Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.
This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin, editorial assistant for Yellowhammer News. Jessica has transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and her work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller.