A man yelling "Freedom!" crashed his vehicle into Arkansas' new Ten Commandments monument yesterday morning. The privately funded monument had been in place outside the State Capitol in Little Rock for less than twenty-four hours before it was smashed into pieces.
Michael Tate Reed was charged with defacing objects of public interest, criminal trespass, and first-degree criminal mischief. He was likewise arrested nearly three years ago in the destruction of Oklahoma's Ten Commandments monument at its State Capitol. The group that raised money for the Arkansas monument has already ordered a replacement.
Since the serpent rejected God's word in the Garden of Eden, God's enemies have been trying to abolish his truth (Genesis 3:1–4). But, as Charles Spurgeon noted, "The word of God is the anvil upon which the opinions of men are smashed."
Consider one such opinion gaining great popularity these days.
Neil deGrasse Tyson is one of the best-known astrophysicists in the world. He recently claimed that there is no evidence in our dangerous universe for a benevolent God. However, in his best-selling Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, he makes an admission that struck me. When asked "what happened before the beginning" of the cosmos, he answers: "Astrophysicists have no idea. Or, rather, our most creative ideas have little or no grounding in experimental science."
So Dr. Tyson has no evidence by which to determine what happened before the cosmos began, but somehow he knows that a benevolent God cannot be an option. What about a good God who made a universe that was "very good" (Genesis 1:31) but created humans with free will they misused to corrupt his creation (Romans 8:20–22)?
Scripture will endure long after human opinions are forgotten: "The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever" (Isaiah 40:8). Whether the subject is gay marriage or "death with dignity" or any other moral question of the day, what matters most is what God says. It is therefore vital that we base our beliefs on his timeless truth.
And it is vital that we live that truth in ways our culture cannot deny. I sometimes wonder if skeptics would be less skeptical if they saw more Christians living fully for Christ.
Jim Elliot, the martyred missionary, noted more than six decades ago: "We are so utterly ordinary, so commonplace, while we profess to know a Power the Twentieth Century does not reckon with. But we are 'harmless,' and therefore unharmed. We are spiritual pacifists, non-militants, conscientious objectors in this battle-to-the-death with principalities and powers in high places. . . . The world cannot hate us, we are too much like its own. Oh that God would make us dangerous!"