“You’ve got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
But don’t mess with mister in-between.” (Johnny Mercer)
Christians love mercy and blessing, but they cower when they hear ‘cursing’ and ‘judgment.’ Christians love to ‘light a candle’ too, but they ridicule those who curse the darkness. This flight from reality doesn’t solve any problems. A world of mercy, blessing, and light – without judgment, cursing, and darkness – is not heaven on earth. It’s a fantasy created by the insane.
Newton’s law says that “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” The presence of sin in this fallen world, ruled by Satan, means that for every good deed there is an evil one. Mercy and judgment, blessing and cursing, and light and darkness co-exist. We ignore the latter to our peril. Only in heaven will mercy, blessing, and light reign supreme. We’re not there yet.
Christians love mercy, but it’s the fruit of judgment. Jesus judged the world through his death on the cross, so people can no longer excuse their sin. God commands repentance; he has appointed his Son to “judge the world in righteousness” on the last day (Acts 17:31). Yes, there is no condemnation for Christian believers, who walk in the Spirit rather than the flesh (Romans 8:1). However, those who walk in the flesh are condemned by their own evil works (8:5-8). Jesus said that those who don’t believe in him are already condemned (John 3:18). His words will judge them on the last day and they will die in their sins (8:24, 12:48). God’s just judgment on sin, the punishment of eternity in hell, is crucial to the gospel (Romans 6:23). Our silence on this issue places the world in peril.
Christians love blessing and hate cursing too. However, only those who obey the gospel of Christ are blessed. “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree” (Joshua 10:26-27, Galatians 3:13). If we refuse Jesus’ payment for our sin on the cross, then God’s curse rests on us. He has set before us “life and death, blessing and cursing” (Deuteronomy 30:19). If we obey and choose spiritual life, we will be blessed (28:1-2). If we disobey and choose death, we will be cursed (28:15).
Everyone wants to ‘light a candle.’ No one wants to curse the darkness. Yet people are born in spiritual darkness. They love it, hating and shunning the light, because of their evil deeds (John 3:19-20). Only those who believe in Jesus “the light of the world” will have light (8:12). Those who love and walk in darkness, through their sinful practices, are condemned. We must shine the light and life of Christ (Matthew 5:14-16). We must also curse the darkness of sin and death.
Jesus Christ cursed the darkness on this earth with every “woe,” prophesying men’s destruction (Matthew 11:21, 18:7, 23:13-29). He called the Pharisees “fools,” “blind guides,” a “brood of vipers” “serpents,” and “hypocrites” (6:2, 5, 16; 12:34, 15:7, 16:3, 22:18, 23:13-29, 33). Even John the Baptist called them a “brood of vipers” (3:7). Jesus also told Peter, “Get behind me, Satan” (16:23). He cleansed the temple of money-changers, saying they had made it a “den of thieves” (21:12-13). Then he labeled his generation “evil,” “adulterous,” “wicked,” “faithless,” and “perverse” (12:39, 45, 16:4, 17:17). Finally, Jesus warned that cities which refused the gospel would be judged more harshly than Sodom and Gomorrah (10:15, 11:21-24).
Ruth Bell Graham (1920-2007) once said that if God didn’t judge America for her sins, then he would have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah. America is a postmodern Sodom today, yet Christians refuse to be like Jesus and curse the darkness. Maybe this refusal is the reason. One has to acknowledge spiritual darkness first in order to be salt and light.
Christians have been given a platform for the gospel through film, television, music, and writing. They’ve been given cultural influence. Some use it for the glory of God. Many others don’t. Instead, they treat their God-given platform like a secular business and remain silent about moral issues – abortion, homosexuality, euthanasia, atheism, evolution, etc. I guess they don’t want to lose customers and fans, or be sued.
Singing Christian songs, writing Christian books, and making Christian movies are good ways to shine the light of Christ. But we must also curse the darkness. America is too far gone for us to “accentuate the positive.” Those who don’t heed the call of Christ and warn this generation of the righteous judgment to come may find their light and platform removed (Revelation 2:5). God’s kingdom will be taken from them and given to people who bear fruit (Matthew 21:43).