Guest post from Dr. Bud Steadman
Cal Thomas recently published an interesting article online relating to political compromise. As I read his challenge to the Republican party in this presidential election year, I was reminded of our responsibility to stay true to the Word of God and the Gospel mission that our Lord has given us.
Citing a new book by the granddaughter of Dwight D. Eisenhower, Thomas wrote: “Susan Eisenhower writes admiringly about Ike’s pursuit of what she calls ‘the middle way.’ In a decision that still infects elements of the Republican Party today, Susan Eisenhower says Ike’s pursuit of compromise and centrism led to his decision to nominate Democrats as well as Republicans to the Supreme Court. She quotes Ike’s attorney general, Herbert Brownell: ‘The President believed and acted upon the belief that the Supreme Court’s membership should represent divergent ideological points of view.’ She says he believed this approach would ‘foster public confidence in the court…’ Our 34th president gave the Supreme Court two of its most liberal members, Justices William Brennan and Earl Warren. Ike would later come to lament those appointments, saying, ‘I made two mistakes and both of them are sitting on the Supreme Court.’”
Compromising on political issues of relative unimportance may legitimately be part of what our current president calls “The Art of the Deal.” Yes, there is a place for working with people of opposing viewpoints – but only when truth is not at stake.
Truth relating to politics is very important and unfortunately is in short supply with the media and most candidates today. Truth relating to the Word of God and the Gospel is eternally important. As we travel and observe the spiritual climate of churches, we are convinced of the need of revival among most Christians in our land. Too often it appears that the truth of the Gospel is in short supply because so many believers are simply not sharing it.
Why is there so little Gospel outreach being done and what it the impact of that neglect? Cal Thomas closed his article by quoting the title of Texas politician Jim Hightower’s book on the results of unprincipled political compromise, “There’s Nothing in the Middle of the Road but Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos.”
When a Christian tries to live for the world and for Jesus Christ at the same time, he is living in the middle of the road. Such believers compromise with sin and self, resulting in a lack of power and motivation to give the Gospel to the lost around them. It makes sense that they would likewise fail to be obedient in the matter of sending out missionaries. Where such compromise takes place, the yellow stripe of fear is manifesting itself. Such Christians fear taking a stand, fear being different from the world, fear what people think, and thus shrink from declaring the Good News – truth that is needed today more than ever.
Unfortunately, the result of such failure to share Christ leaves a “dead armadillo” in the middle of the road. When sinners do not hear and thus are not saved, their lives are not changed, but are brought to destruction. How we need the challenge of Romans 10:14-17, “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!…So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
In this time of worldwide crisis, may God’s people rise to the challenges of standing uncompromisingly on the Word of God, of leading separated lives of godliness, and of experiencing the power of His Spirit to be bold in the Gospel! Only then will our churches be revived and sinners converted.
Thank you for letting me share the burden of my heart with you. May I also give you a good report of some wonderful things the Lord is doing relating to Baptist World and your fellow missionaries.
Despite the opposition of governments and the fear of the masses during the pandemic, people are being saved, disciples are being made and churches on the foreign field are growing. Consider as an example the impact of Buddy and Loren Fitzgerald in Peru – they have had tremendous opportunity to share the Gospel with the hungry souls impoverished by the economic downturn in the Amazon jungle. The Lord has provided for them to have a significant food distribution ministry in their city, preaching the Gospel daily to hundreds. Only time will tell the impact of this outreach.
Likewise many of you have reported new contacts and expanded interest among those who have been watching your services online. While the goal is to very soon have everyone back to church physically, God has been working in the midst of lockdown and giving fruit. Yes, the Gospel still has power today!
Travel continues to be a major issue for several of our BWM families, especially those who are on furlough and deputation. Will you pray that we will see a return of normalcy in this area so that these missionaries can literally be “going” with the Good News?
The work of the home office continues, though masks (by law) have become a part of our office attire when we interact with the tenants in our building. It has been a joy for our staff and administrators to keep up with you through email, phone calls, social media, etc. We daily pray for each of you on a rotating basis, especially as you answer the office email asking you to send in your requests.
Most of our missionary families continue to have stable income from their supporters. Our burden is that this continues and that the churches thrive spiritually and financially so that they can fulfill their role in funding missions around the world.
Ruth and I are enjoying serving the Lord in our role with BWM. Recently we had the opportunity to spend some vacation time with all of our children and grandchildren on a trip out West – and it was wonderful being Gramma and Papa. Our God is so good!
As we pray for you, may I thank you for your intercession for us around the Throne of God, and please keep it up!
For the Sake of His Name,