Every day, it seems American society is falling further away from Christian values and common decency and Christians are left unsure of how to respond. In his latest book, We Will Not Be Silenced: Responding Courageously to Our Culture's Assault on Christianity (Harvest House Publishers), Dr. Erwin W. Lutzer equips readers with the truth of Scripture to help live out their convictions against a growing tide of hostility.
We Will Not Be Silenced arms believers with a deeper understanding of the hurts and concerns of nonbelievers with regard to social issues so the church is able to respond in a compassionate and gentle manner without affirming their secular beliefs. Lutzer longs to see Christians unashamedly uphold biblical values and the core principles of liberty in a way that responds effectively to a culture lost in spiritual darkness.
In a time where the truth of the Bible is under siege, Lutzer is providing a valuable resource to restore the church to its rightful place in the world.
Q: Dr. Lutzer, thank you so much for doing this interview with us. How has life been since your retirement from Moody Church as the senior pastor?
A: I continue to be busy! Our media ministry has actually grown since I transitioned to become pastor emeritus; Our flagship radio program, Running To Win is now heard in 20 countries. Also, I am writing books and articles.
The pandemic has slowed our travel plans but even so I just returned from speaking at the Billy Graham Cove in Ashville and a few days later I spoke several times at a pastor's conference in Raleigh. We are now home in the Chicago area for the next several weeks. But ministry continues!
Q: Have you been back to Moody Church to preach since your retirement?
A: I have spoken at Moody Church only a few times since stepping down, but Moody Church now has a new pastor as of this summer. His name is Philip Miller, an excellent expositor and leader. I am hopeful for the future despite the pandemic and all the challenges it has created.
Q: Congratulations on the release of your new book. Briefly, what is this new book about?
A: The purpose of the book is to explain how Cultural Marxism actually is underlying much of what we see happening in America: social justice issues, racism, Immigration, the push toward socialism, the curtailing of free speech and the like. Of course my larger and more pressing concern is how the church should respond to these challenges. We are on a path we have never traveled before.
Q: Why did you decide to write a book that addresses some of the most pressing issues facing us today?
A: My concern is that the church has been largely silent about these issues, often because of fear. We don't like to be called bigots, prejudiced or worse. We want to be known as being gracefilled and compassionate, and this often overrides our better judgment. We need balance but we cannot simply surrender ground to the radical secularists. Hopefully, my book will help many believers think through what our response should be to the challenges of our time.
I did not write this book to reclaim the culture, but to reclaim the church. The last chapter of the book is titled: "Strengthen What Remains," the words of Jesus to the church in Sardis. I believe that might well be what He would say to us today.
Q: Many of these issues you have dealt with are very touchy and sensitive topics. Why should Christians not avoid them?
A: A great question. Yes, there is risk involved as we speak to these challenges, but we can be both filled with grace and truth. We should not avoid them because they impinge on the very mission of the church. I do expose what I believe to be error, and if others disagree I am willing to accept these challenges. I know that my book might stimulate controversy, but as Crawford Loritts wrote in his endorsement, "You will find We Will Not Be Silenced thought-provoking and helpful. At times you may even wrestle with few of his insights and conclusions. That's a good thing."
Q: When you deal with sensitive issues, such as the gender issue or racial issue for instance, with others, how can you do it in a loving and compassionate way?
A: As a pastor I have tried to always take the needs of people into account as I write and speak. I also try to put myself in the shoes of others, such as my black-American brothers and sisters. So I strive for balance. For example, when discussing social justice, I point out that there is a right way to speak about this, but also a very wrong way.
At the end of each chapter I give what I believe should be our Scriptural response to the issues I discuss. After all, our goal is to represent Christ well in a nation that is in conflict over race, politics, gender issues and a host of other pressures from the culture.
Q: How do you speak to another individual who has been hurt before in terms of some of these issues?
A: I try to be a good listener. I don't want to be known as someone who pre-judges, or as someone who will not hear the pain of those who have been hurt by the church or self-righteous Christians. If we do not listen to people's pain and experiences we will never convince them of anything.....as human beings issues of the heart are often more present to us than the reasoning of our minds. So we must speak to these issues with a listening ear and a sensitive heart.
Q: How can your new book help us to understand and speak about these issues?
A: I want to give people the information and the courage to speak and not be shamed into silence about what the Bible teaches. So many Christians are not talked out of their faith but mocked out of their faith. We also must remember it is better to speak the truth and be thought unloving than to speak falsehoods in compassionate tones. We are being more influenced by our culture than we realize.
Zwingli the reformer is quoted as saying, "For God's sake do something courageous!" God help us to deeply repent, take up the challenges before us and say with Luther, "Here I stand I cannot do otherwise!"