CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

But What Can I Do?

Sep 19, 2010

On a regular basis I am asked the question, ‘What can I do?’ This usually comes up after I have spoken or written about some issue in the pro-faith, pro-family and pro-life struggles. People are rightly bothered by what they have just heard or read, but then are left somewhat overwhelmed, wondering how to turn things around.

Thus the question arises as to what can be done. Since I am asked that so often, it might be best to offer a detailed reply here so that I can refer others to it as well, and not have to keep answering over and over again. And the short answer is this: the sky is the limit.

There are probably as many things that can be done as there are people wondering what can be done. There are plenty of things that can be done, and each individual may have his own unique abilities, talents and callings to draw upon. There really are no limits to what might be done.

But let me offer some proposals, starting with the bigger picture of political involvement. Many of the evils and problems I speak and write about are those which are being promoted in the political and legal arenas. Politicians are often pushing lousy agendas, and bad laws are often being passed.

So these are some key areas to get involved in. Start thinking big here. Why not consider running for office yourself? We certainly need more biblical Christians who will stand up and be counted in the political arena. You can run for one of the main parties, for some of the smaller Christian and family parties, or run as an independent.

If becoming a political candidate is not your thing, you can still become a member of a political party, or actively support a party which reflects your values and beliefs. There is so much which can be done simply on a political level. And speaking of the big movers and shakers, what about the other major areas?

The media, academia, the arts, the courts, popular culture, and so on, are just some of the arenas in which so much of the wars against faith, family and life are taking place. We desperately need godly academics, Christian media people, righteous lawyers, spiritual legislators, biblical artists, and sanctified writers, to name but a few.

Maybe you like journalism. If so, get the required qualifications and degrees, and get involved in the mainstream media and be some salt and light there. We also certainly need Christian philosophy professors, sociology lecturers and psychology teachers, among others in academia.

The universities are just one of many key arenas where we need a strong Christian presence found. So whatever your leaning or talent or calling, use it for the glory of God, and to make an impact for Christ. A spiritual calling is not just to be a pastor or a missionary. It is to be in any profession that God has called you to be in.

There are so many areas one can head into. One might work with AIDS patients, or help out cancer victims, or work with the homeless or the disenfranchised. Consider just one important issue: abortion. What can be done about this? Heaps!

Again, one can get involved in the political process to seek to work for pro-life legislation and overturn pro-death laws. One can volunteer at a pregnancy crisis centre. One can protest outside of an abortion mill. One can write letters to the editor of newspapers, or get on talk-back radio.

One can alert others as to pro-life issues in your area. One can do very practical things, such as setting up emergency accommodation at one’s church or parish for scared, young pregnant girls. Indeed, what happens if a pregnant 15-year-old comes to your church, scared out of her wits because she is without support or help?

Her boyfriend may have ditched her, and her parents may have threatened to disown her unless she gets an abortion. What will you do to help her? It is not enough to simply tell her that abortion is wrong. She needs some real live alternatives – and desperately.

Why not help set up a crisis accommodation centre at your church where girls like this can be brought into, looked after, and ministered to? She certainly needs food, clothing and shelter during this period. And when the baby is born options can be discussed, such as adoption, or keeping the child.

There are just so many things one can do in so many areas. There are various groups already fighting the good fight. There are pro-family groups out there, and pro-life groups, and pro-faith organisations. Most are understaffed, underfunded, and keenly in need of any help – volunteer help, financial help, and so on.

Why not get involved in some of these groups? Indeed, simply becoming informed yourself about the issues is the first step. Then letting others know is the next obvious step. Groups like CultureWatch exist to inform you, equip you, mobilise you and activate you to make a difference in our world. There are many other such groups as well.

I usually just tell my students when asked this question: find out what God wants you to do, and then do it with all your heart. Of course finding out exactly what God is calling you to do may not always be easy, but keep praying, keep seeking him, keep being open to be used of him.

Maybe your gifting is in medical care or nursing. We certainly need Christian doctors, or biblically-based bioethicists. Maybe your skills are in writing. We very much need godly writers, journalists and media people. Maybe you have a great mind. Why not get a few more degrees, and use the university and academic world to take on the likes of a Richard Dawkins?

As I say, there really is no shortage of things people can do who are concerned about so many of these issues. But perhaps a few basic things are absolutely crucial. One, we really do need to be informed about what is going on. Ignorance is not bliss here – it is suicide.

Two, we really must care about what is going on. If you read about all these wretched things going on, but it really does not bother you all that much, well, simply tell God that. Ask him to break your heart with what breaks his heart. If the slaughter of 100,000 unborn babies every year in Australia does not break your heart, then ask God to break it for you.

Third, we must be willing to get involved. As mentioned, there are millions of different ways to get involved and make a difference. But you first must be willing to stand up and be counted. You must be willing to act, even if you have to pay a price for it.

And believe me, in these culture wars, you will certainly pay a price if you dare to stand up and speak for truth, for life, for righteousness, and for your Lord. But that is the price we must pay if we are really serious about turning things around and making a difference.

Do you want to turn things around or not? That is the real question. What you can do to turn things around is really just a secondary question really. What matters most is that you care and you want to get involved. Once you have that attitude, the rest will eventually take care of itself.

“But the people who know their God will display strength and take action” (Daniel 11:32).

So off to battle!

[1276 words]

22 Responses to But What Can I Do?

  • Perhaps I had better be the first to comment, given that it may seem I have a glaring oversight in the above article. The proposals I offered are of course ‘hands on’ sorts of things. I did not mention the obvious spiritual necessities, but of course I do not mean to suggest they can or should be overlooked: we must pray, fast, do spiritual warfare, and so on. That all goes without saying. In addition to these obvious spiritual exercises, the above things can be done as well.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • One thing for certain Bill, is that the marks of a Christian, may not be the stigmata, but they will certainly be the marks of persecution. I have so-called Christian friends who keep telling me that I should keep my faith balanced. They say that at my time life I should be taking things easy and not to get involved in things that are none of my business. Perhaps Gary Mcfarlane should have heeded their worldly wisdom.

    http://www.lifebite.co.uk/index.php/home/detail/sacked_counsellor_goes_it_alone/

    David Skinner, UK

  • Rousing speech, Bill! Thanks for that.

    I will have to bookmark and return occasionally to keep myself inspired!

    😉

    Grahame Gould, WA, Australia

  • Grahame, though not wishing to deny what you say is true, I am sure that you would not disagree with the notion that what can be said of the creation of a work of art – that it is the result of 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration – can also be said of the Christian walk. Emotion and inspiration may be the necessary combustion, but this must translate into a plan of action and finally action itself. The question is: “What are we going to do, apart from opt for the quiet life?”

    http://www.christian.org.uk/news/thought-crimes-time-for-a-re-think/
    David Skinner, UK

  • When people ask you what they can do to help, it is because they usually feel over whelmed with what you have just told them. It is good to see that you have given them some wholesome ways to help. Maybe some useful links that people can start to research like ACL, CDP or Salt Shakers may help.
    Doug Matthews

  • Good afternoon Bill. We are blessed to have local Members of Parliament in both the State Government and Federal that are hopefully waiting to hear from their constituents, so some of us should be willing to write, telephone and email our Representatives about these issues as they come up. It worked for the Liberals against the climate change situation and changed things dramatically, which put the cat amongst the pigeons. So more of us should be in touch while we are still able to safely. Always prayerfully and with respect of course.
    Jillian Lister

  • Thanks Doug

    Some years ago I wrote a ‘How To Lobby’ guide. I may need to resurrect that and post it here.

    And here are some key pro-faith and pro-family lobby groups in Australia:

    Australian Christian Lobby http://australianchristianlobby.org.au/
    Australian Family Association http://www.family.org.au/
    Australian Federation for the Family http://www.ausfamily.org/
    Endeavour Forum http://www.endeavourforum.org.au/
    Fatherhood Foundation http://www.fathersonline.org/
    FamilyVoice http://www.fava.org.au/
    Focus on the Family Australia http://www.families.org.au/Default.aspx?cat=0
    Life Ministries http://lifeministries.org.au/
    Salt Shakers http://www.saltshakers.org.au/

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • A comment I frequently hear from Christian friends is that all our efforts are in vain, that even if we were able to effect change, the way things are going; the world is inevitably going to hell in a handcart. So pull up the drawbridge and dwell only on those things that are pure and of good report.
    But not denying that Christ’s kingdom is not of this world which is condemned to futility, but of another – still being prepared – we have to remember that our great Christian evangelists Wesley, Shaftesbury, Wilberforce, Josephine Butler and Booth etc were also great social reformers, helping to build the pillars of that world yet to come. To atheists, secularists and Marxists, this is pie in the sky, but their attempt to create Utopia, that world yet to come, is creating – here and now – a hell on earth and this is no fantasy.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/8010836/Anti-abortion-activists-arrested-over-graphic-banner.html

    David Skinner, UK

  • David, thanks for the reminder, but that was my point by saying “occasionally”. I was coming from the point of view that occasionally it is difficult to keep going and I need the reminder to stay inspired.

    And due to its “rousing” nature, this page is likely to encourage (and convict) me to keep up the “perspiration”.

    Grahame Gould, WA, Australia

  • You refer, Bill, to writing/journalism, but my experience is that people won’t publish/distribute/publicise anything which doesn’t fit the established world-view/value system. Christian writers (I am one) keep getting told they mustn’t let their light be hidden – but generally, we have no choice, and would certainly give our gospel-centred work full exposure if we possibly could; the extent to which the Culture of Death controls things can hardly be exaggerated (things may be a bit better in Australia – but seemingly not, from reading your (excellent) articles).
    John Thomas, UK

  • Thanks John

    Yes, getting anything into the mainstream media is quite difficult, but we must keep at it. And sometimes we can get in. Over the years I have got hundreds of letters and dozens of articles published in the MSM. So we need to keep plugging away.

    And we must also use the alternative media if that is the only way we can make a breakthrough. This website is just one of many thousands of alternative voices, reaching people where they can’t or won’t be reached by the MSM.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • I think it’s important for those considering getting involved directly in politics that they educate themselves in the Christian worldview first otherwise they may become part of the problem rather than part of the solution. Of the Christians already involved in politics, too many of them are pushing socialist and big government type economic policies.

    With a State election in Victoria this November, the Christian Democratic Party is in need of candidates. Email: [email protected]

    Christians concerned about abortion (and that should be all of us) could at the very least join a pro-life organisation. There are many pro-life groups but I prefer Right to Life Australia for its no compromise opposition to abortion.

    Ewan McDonald, Victoria

  • And there’s always scripture teaching (SRE in NSW) – well, maybe not always…
    Tim Lovett

  • … and sciences in general. Everywhere you find the priests of evolution in power.
    How about some testimonies here Bill? I know guys who kept their beliefs secret until they got their Phd’s, and then launched their attack. Ha! I love it! This is the sort of fun boys are made for. Pow, bam, bam…Others did the whole thing in the open! All very inspirational. Heaps cool crazy stories or faith. Fun!
    When Christians stand up to their enemies they actually get somewhere. How was it any different for the kids of the Israeli slaves in the desert who suddenly had to face up to the Canaanites. Exactly the same as Chrsitians today facing up to secular humanists and their evolutionary hocus pocus.
    Saying “Oh, I’m not a scientist” is equivalent to the desert nomads under Joshua’s army saying “Oh, I’m not a soldier”. I think facing evolution is easier than facing Canaanites. Let’s do it!
    Tim Lovett

  • A stirring call to arms. As a member of a couple of the organisations you mentioned, I expect the phones to be running hot tomorrow.
    Dunstan Hartley

  • Bill, you have given a wide variety of options. Well done.
    The field is vast, open and wide. For some, it is ‘open your eyes’ to the need, look for it and you will find. It could be local or far. If your letters to the Editor are not printed in the major papers, try your local papers, I know that this works!
    Judith Bond

  • A small start could be for anyone on Facebook (or similar) to post the link David Skinner posted earlier on their page and alert their friends of the injustice happening to those who stand up for the unborn.
    Mario Del Giudice

  • Excellent encouragement – but if the heart is shy the words will never come out. Fear of being put in the limelight so to speak, fear of being heard is still satan’s most successful plan to silence the mouths of believers. Join your nearest toastmasters group or simply start a speaking group. having taught public speaking for over 30 years and being the shyest person on earth I always say, its like swimming, you have to get into the water. Start a group, no more then 10 to 14, encourage intros, chats about holidays, testimonies and build on the personal stories of those there. Practise standing and talking, practise with a mike, we use ice cream cones as pretend mikes to start with; Do this over a period of months and you will find all fear of giving an opinion will go. Start a writers group which I have here at home, we meet once a month and just share what we have written spiritual, political or otherwise. Three in the group write childrens stories and they are not Christians but are fascinated to read what I write. As Bill said do what comes naturally for you all be it share recipes. Weight watchers started because a lady got a photocopied diet from her council and rang a friend.
    Ilona Sturla

  • Bill your article is like a clarion call to Christian engagement. Excellente! Your point about Christian philosophers particularly caught my attention. At current I really would like to study philosophy next year (I’m finishing my B.A in Science this year) and am trying to find out where might be a good place to do this. Do you know the academia landscape at all and/or have any recommendations? Thanks,
    Keith Jarrett

  • My prayer is for more young Christian people (in years) to go into the biological sciences and stand up for the unpopular truth that evolution is theory and a faith system. The perniciousness of not allowing creation to be taught in schools has led to many Christians capable of deep study in the sciences fleeing to more comfortable subjects. Glad to see that Kevin is finishing a B.A. in science – maybe he is needed more there than as a philosopher – unless he can combine the two.
    Katharine Hornsby

  • Thanks Bill. That was really encouraging.

Leave a Reply