Editorial: Descent Into Darkness

Coming to a city near you! Pagan Pride day! I listened in disbelief as the radio announcer, in a very matter-of-fact manner, as though reporting a common event, mentioned that the day was called Pagan Pride day. It involved the gathering of witches, priestesses, and a host of other pagan worshipers. This was not in some dark corner of the earth, some remote hangout for druids, or some hidden grotto. This was in a large American city, in the center of that city, and with the apparent blessing of the authorities of that city. One woman was a priestess to the ancient Egyptian deity, Ma’at. I recognized that I had become a bit disconnected from current events when it was announced that this was the 3rd annual Pagan Pride day. It had been going on now for three years! A bit of research showed that this is something occurring in many of our cities. Few people mention that many pagan rituals involved human sacrifice, temple prostitution, fear, and superstition. All is coated with an appearance of enlightenment, joy, a balanced life, and living honestly and honorably. History records that these were not big ticket items among pagans.

Paul warned Timothy that the last days would be “perilous times” or difficult days (2Tim 3:1) Darkness parades as light and light is accused of shedding darkness. Missionaries spreading the gospel are accused of robbing civilizations of their “culture,” while disciples of paganism are trumpeted as those who are “in touch” and are spiritual.

There are countries in which Satan’s opposition to God takes the form of outright persecution. In western lands, his tactics are different. Subtle persecution still occurs, but the opposition consists mainly of spurring the descent of our culture into the darkness of heathenism. Toleration attempts to negate gospel testimony; materialism crowds out any thought of spiritual need; the pace of life hinders men from thinking of eternity. As Paul prophesied, we live in “difficult days.”

But Paul was not a pessimist or a fatalist. Amid the background of barbarism, we have a Book. This Book is still able to make men “wise unto salvation” and to enable every believer to be “perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2Tim 3:16, 17). We have a resource for our day. God Who in the past, knew the future, has provided for us in the present. Whatever we need to live and serve in our day is provided within the covers of the Book He has given to us. Our great failure is in knowing the Book.

In his declaration concerning the inspiration of the Scriptures, Paul points us to its authority, adequacy, ability, and availability. God has graciously provided a Book to fix us (v16) and to furnish us (v17).

As society descends farther into the darkness of paganism, we have a light that shines in a very murky world (2Peter 1:19), a light which darkness cannot extinguish. We do well to “take heed” to it (v19) until the “day dawn.” May God raise up a generation of young men and women who know the Book far better than we, and who are able to serve and maintain testimony for Him in “difficult days.”