I suppose some of you heard about the ruckus over NBC's choice to censor Veggie Tales. Yes, they have decided children will be harmed by hearing positive references to God. Now those same kids can hear negative references to God in many of that historical network's regular programs. In fact, if you watch their shows long enough, you will probably see children themselves taking that holy name and profaning it. But forbid it that children would be exposed to something positive about God! After all, that might make them choose to be one of those pesky little Christians running around out there, making life miserable for the rest of the world! Only radical Muslims are worse! Right? Well, okay, maybe we could throw in a radical Hindu, or two, just to be fair.
What surprised me most about that article about NBC's actions (which I am sorry to say I cannot hyperlink you, the reader, to) was that the Christian writer was surprised by such a thing. Why, pray tell, would we ever be surprised by such as that? Have we forgotten what John said? Please let me remind you: "And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil." - John 3:19
It gets better in John 3:20: "For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed."
There are two phrases there that I want to reiterate: "men loved darkness," and "everyone practicing evil hates the light." Darkness refers to cover for evil deeds. Men love darkness. Since The Fall, men, as well as women, always have loved darkness. Darkness has a way of hiding evil. Just as cobwebs are not easily seen in a dimly-lit room, evil deeds are more difficult to spot in a dimly-lit society.
Down here in South America, in the part where we live, that darkness is far more pronounced than other places where Christianity once prevailed. There is less light. So there is more evidence of evil deeds. As the light grows dim in North America, more evil deeds are becoming evident there, too. Wicked men are bolder in their wickedness. Few are in the closet anymore. Most have come out, proudly parading their contempt for God and for righteousness.
So what are we to do? We are to do what we are called to do: be light. Jesus told us in Matthew that we are the light of the world. If we Christians are the light, all we have to do is ensure that we are in a place where we can shine and be seen by others. Some will flee. They hate light. Others, however, will be drawn to the light that shines through us; they will want Jesus as Lord.
Instead of being surprised, we should take NBC's sad choice as a warning that American Christians no longer shine with the brightness they once emanated. The evil deeds of men are becoming more and more rampant. Darkness is more prevalent; so much so, darkness feels comfortable telling the light that it can no longer shine.
It's time to get back on the hillside and shine out over America's cities.