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Who Said it?

Who Said it?
Commentary by Alan Cross

I ran across an interesting quote today from a respected Christian leader. Let me know what you think:

I fear for the future of authentic faith in our country. We live in a time when the common man in our country is thoroughly influenced by the current climate in which the cultural and educational elite propagates an anti-Christian message. We should take a look at what has happened in France and learn a lesson from it. In that country, Christianity has been successfully attacked and marginalized by these same groups because those who professed belief were unable to defend the faith from attack, even though its attackers' arguments were deeply flawed. We should be alarmed that instruction in authentic faith has been neglected, if not altogether eliminated, in our schools and universities.

Is it any wonder then that the spiritual condition of our country is of little concern to those who don't even educate their own children about true Christianity? Their conduct reflects their absence of concern, not only for the state of Christianity in their own country, but also for the need to communicate the message of Christ to those in other parts of the world who have not heard this truth.

Some might say that one's faith is a private matter and should not be spoken of so publicly. They might assert this in public, but what do they really think in their hearts? The fact is, those who say such things usually don't even have a concern for faith in the privacy of their interior lives. If you could see their hearts, you would find no trace of authentic faith. God has no place among the sources of hopes, fears, joys or sorrows in their lives. They might be thankful for their health, success, wealth and possessions, but they give no thought to the possibility that these are all signs of God's provision. If they do give credit to God, it is usually done in some perfunctory way that reveals that their words have no sincerity.

When their conversations get really serious, you will see how little of their Christianity has anything to do with the faith taught by Jesus. Everything becomes subjective. Their conduct is not measured against the standard set by the gospel. They have developed their own philosophies, which they attempt to pawn off as Christianity.

Who do you think said this? James Dobson? Jerry Falwell? Pat Roberston? John MacArthur? Josh McDowell? Any of the SBC culture warriors like Richard Land and other leaders?

No. It was written by William Wilberforce in 1797 in his book, Real Christianity, (revised and updated by Bob Beltz, 2006). He wrote it about his native England, and he was right. His stand against slavery and other social ills through his work in parliament, along with the gospel preaching of the Wesley brothers and Whitefield, helped to save England and put her on a course to greatness in the 19 th century.