So we now mark the 2000th. No, I am not referring to the number of books I have bought in the past few years (although the figure would not be far off). No I am not referring to all the hate mail I have received in the past few years (although the figure would not be far off).
I refer to this article being the 2000th to appear on this website. CultureWatch began in early April 2006, but I have backdated some earlier articles as well, so not all the 2000 articles have been written since 2006. But as an indication of progress, on February 2, 2009 I posted my 1000th article on my website.
So a thousand articles have been penned in just over three years – or around 330 a year. If each article averages around 1300 words (just a guesstimate), then we have 2.6 million words on my website. And that is just the articles. With just about 30,000 comments, which may average 100 words each, that’s another 3 million words!
Thus we are talking nearly 6 million words just on one website. That is a lot of words! But I am not just involved in writing. I do plenty of speaking, teaching and preaching, and have done plenty of interviews with the media. For example, since around 1992 I have done over 600 radio interviews.
Also in the same period I have done some 125 television interviews; had nearly 700 comments printed in the press; had around 900 articles published in various magazines and periodicals; had around 250 letters to the editor in newspapers published; and done around 450 speaking engagements. And those are just the ones I know about!
That is well over 3000 media hits in the past two decades, or around 150 a year. So every second day the media at large is getting some commentary or information from me. And most of it is unsolicited. For example the over 700 radio and TV interviews were almost all initiated by the media, not me.
Oh, and a few books have been written over these years as well, along with a number of chapters in other people’s books. So I have been a bit busy, and have managed to keep myself off the streets. Of course hardly any of this earns me any money, but it does result in the inevitable avalanche of hate mail and the occasional death threat.
So why spend so much time writing so many articles and doing so much related activity when the main thing it earns is lots of opposition, hatred and abuse? Why bother with such an unrewarding (at least financially speaking) ministry? Why spend all this time and effort on something that many consider to be a waste of time, or not something Christians should even be engaged in?
Well, I suppose one could ask similar sorts of questions of an Isaiah, or a Jeremiah, or an Ezekiel. Or a Wilberforce, or a Bonhoeffer. Or a Tozer, or a Schaeffer. Not that I believe I am in any way even near their league, but all these men and many others like them were engaged in similar sorts of prophetic ministries and watchmen on the wall type activities. People could have asked them the same sort of question: Why bother?
For most of them it also was a very thankless task, one which only got them a lot of disapprobation, contempt and opposition. Many of them were hounded, persecuted and savagely rebuked for their efforts. Some in fact had to pay with their life.
Consider just one example: the prophet Jeremiah. What an incredible assignment he was given. Yahweh told him from day one that he would be preaching an unpopular message to a stiff-necked people for a considerable amount of time. Indeed, he gave the same message of impending judgment for some 40 years.
Now all that is bad enough, but Yahweh even told him ahead of time that his people would not listen to him, would reject his message, and would in fact turn against him. Can you imagine that? Imagine being told to go preach a message from God to a people who you know will not receive it, and will instead make your life real miserable.
And miserable he was, with plenty of persecution and stints in the local slammer. Yet he kept faithfully proclaiming the word God had given him. We need many more people like that today: those who will fearlessly and faithfully proclaim the word of God to both church and nation.
But I am aware of why so few people actually do it. It is a very costly calling. It is not the sort of life one takes up if one simply wants to get along, have lots of friends, not rock the boat, and be liked by all men. It is a lonely and often discouraging task. No wonder Jeremiah is known as the weeping prophet.
But it is a task which must be done. And thankfully there are many Christians around the world who are getting on with the job. There are countless pastors, church leaders, missionaries, and Christian workers who are fighting the good fight, taking all the flak, and seeking to present Christ and his Kingdom to a very needy world.
As I keep saying, it is vital that we get truth out into the public arena. If the mainstream media were doing its job here, much of my work would not be needed. And if much more of the church was doing its job, my work also would be much less needed.
But the MSM in the West is largely pushing a secular left agenda, while many of our Western churches are promoting a watered-down, man-pleasing gospel. As long as that is occurring, we will always need those who will not go with the flow, but will take a stand, go against the grain, and seek to make a difference.
That will always be a difficult calling of course. The truth is, any dead fish can simply float downstream. But it takes a strong, living fish to swim upstream, facing all the obstacles and hardships along the way. Such folks will never be popular, will never receive the praise of men, will often be kicked out of churches, and will often lead difficult lives.
But thank God for them. Thank God for Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Wilberforce, Bonhoeffer, Tozer, Schaeffer, and so many more like them. We sure need them. They are the sorts of men we so very desperately need in these dark times. Indeed, as I so often tell my students, my prayer is really that of Moses as found in Numbers 11:29:
“But Moses replied, ‘Are you jealous for my sake? I wish that all the LORD’S people were prophets and that the LORD would put his Spirit on them!’”
So hopefully that may explain a bit about what I do and why I do it. It explains a bit about what drives me. It explains in part why I get up each morning and keep going to this ministry. At the end of the day it really is about just one thing: Jesus gave his all for me 2000 years ago, so how can I do anything less in response?
Christ rescued me from the miry pit when I was a completely lost, screwed-up, no-hope hippy at the age of 18. He turned my life around and set me free. He has accepted me in the beloved, adopted me as his own son, cleansed me and forgiven my sins, given me his Holy Spirit, and called me to live with him forever. That is mind-boggling stuff.
He gave his all for us. How can we not give our all in return?
To conclude, can I simply say a million thanks to all of you who have stood by me and this ministry over the years. Your assistance, encouragement, words of comfort and advice, financial support, and most especially your prayers, all make it possible for me to continue doing this work. Thank you all so very much. May God bless you heaps.