A historian described the city of Athens in the first century A.D., specifically in the days of St. Paul: “Athens taught the world the concept of democracy, the rule of the people. It had been the great center of philosophy, the love of wisdom…but its glories had dimmed, and it was no longer the chief city of Greece.” Luke recorded in Acts 17:16ff that St. Paul had visited the city and while waiting for fellow believers in Christ, Silas and Timothy to join him Paul found himself in the busy marketplace and saw an opportunity to witness of the Christ and His resurrection as the Savior who had been long promised by prophets chosen by God now fulfilled in Jesus. Paul became distressed as he observed “that the city was full of idols”. It was a custom of Paul to visit the city’s synagogue, which he did, to talk to the religious Jews. But they took him to the Areopagus, also known as Mars Hill, to meet with what some would call intellectuals. Paul remarked that he had found them to be “religious men” because of the sign he saw dedicated “to an unknown god”. Paul was there to identify to them who God is but to them unknown, blinded by their own self-delusions of wisdom.
Paul, Peter, John and other of God’s disciples and apostles did what we, the Church of Jesus the Christ, are called to do: testify to the sovereignty of God who became Flesh, not to “identify” with us or be our cheerleader as we ignore the words of God’s chosen prophets, disciples, and apostles as is so common today. He came to save us from eternal death in a Lake of Fire that will never extinguish but burn real human flesh in an agony that will never end. A church which is near my home has an electronic sign which will boldly declare our need for repentance and faith in Christ alone, but those church bodies seem to be rarer these days. So many, like the church brand of my youth, have capitulated to the world, endorsing homosexuality as good (please read at least Romans 1) and waving the bogus banner of “social justice” promoting coveting and stealing by taking from some and giving to others, presenting a false christ as Karl Marx or Robin Hood. I am no prophet, as we need none today, as the Bible is sufficient, the canon closed. But the imagery of the whore riding the beast in Revelation 17 comes to my mind.
It is no wonder we see so many fearful eyes peering from above masks in the stores, as if the meaning of life is nothing more than desperately surviving this world while we await an unknowable god, who will reward us for what, for not being as bad as Adolf Hitler? Yes, we individual Christians need daily repentance but so do we who stand in pulpits or on the “stage” need to daily repent and believe in Christ as He is revealed in the Holy Bible, and not in any self-serving, self-deluding “open minds” which need to close on the Scriptures. It is God who decided to become what He created to save unworthy us. (John Chapter 1) Yes, it gets very personal.
Gloria Deo—Glory to God