As we begin 2022 we want to look forward with hope, but the truth is we are probably in for a bumpy ride. Politically, Joe Biden is barely 25% into his presidency, and it’s amazing how many things have gone in the wrong direction. As I predicted in my book God and Cancel Culture, the church is being canceled as never before—almost at warp speed. For example, Facebook says it will no longer allow advertising for anything “religious.” Even Walmart, which had good sales with all my other books, decided they didn’t want to carry books of this sort, so in a way, my own book about cancel culture was canceled.
There has been too much teaching in charismatic circles, and even non-charismatic evangelical circles, that the sign of God’s blessing is a smooth life with good health, good income and perfect marriages and families. That was not the prophet Jeremiah’s experience—or that of the disciples or any other believers in history. We were born into a battle.
Today, that battle is against things like cancel culture and communism, among many other manifestations of darkness. We can’t ignore these things; I am convinced that we must confront them lovingly but without backing down or watering down the truth.
My question—and the one suggested by the title of my book—is, where is God in all this? I believe in an omniscient, omnipotent God. None of this caught Him by surprise. He has plans and purposes greater than anything we can understand. He knows the beginning from the end. Scripture lets us know there will be hard times before the end of the age. There will be the rise of a strong leader who promises to bring peace. The Book of 1 John calls him the Antichrist.
There will be terrible wars culminating in the Battle of Armageddon. But ultimately Jesus triumphs and ushers in a millennium of peace, during which every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord. I remember Bob Mumford saying in the ’70s, “I’ve read the back of the book, and we win.”
Is this simplistic thinking? Nonbelievers may say it is. Many don’t believe it and would rather mock what the Bible says. But we know God’s Word is true—all of it, no matter what the haters and would-be cancelers of Christianity say. As I and others in these pages have pointed out, there have been many attempts to stamp out Christianity, and these attempts have always failed. They will fail this time, too.
One Scripture that comforts me is, “All things work together for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His purposes” (Rom. 8:28). Despite what we are seeing, these words are still true.
My main concern continues to be that Christians will retreat, become silent and self-censor, going along with the tide of events. If we’re despondent and fatalistic and do nothing, then those wanting to cancel our godly heritage and outlaw biblical values win. Remember what Edmund Burke is credited with saying: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men [and women] to do nothing.” The words remain true today. As various leaders have said: There are more of us than there are of them.
Is it possible that good will come of the cancel culture trend? Of course. Many Christians who were previously complacent are more passionate for God than ever. We see the glimmers of a great revival. Would that happen if everything were just peace and prosperity? I don’t think so. Americans are waking up and speaking up—and the cultural bullies and government overlords are beginning to notice.
While we can’t change the past, each of us has a role in changing the future. It starts with changing ourselves—confessing our own sin of passivity. Training our children in the right way to live. Influencing our congregations and communities. Getting involved in government, media, academia and the other mountains of influence in our society. And praying and believing God to work a miracle to send revival and save America, not judge it.
Whether or not things change overnight—or change differently than we expect—we can rest assured as we enter 2022 that God has a plan and that indeed “all things work together for good.”