ABC Radio newsman Paul Harvey was best known for his daily broadcasts that featured his captivating storytelling. He was Twitter before the advent of the tweet. Snappy, succinct and showcasing an ability to write an entire paragraph in a single sentence, he ruled the radio for over 60 years.

Perspective was another intangible quality he brought to the airwaves, including this phrase he said regularly:

“In times like these, it’s important to remember there have always been times like these.”

A devout Christian believer, Harvey was echoing King Solomon, who wrote in Ecclesiastes: “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun” (1:9).

In difficult or challenging times, it can be comforting or even reassuring to recognize history’s long and seemingly repetitive arc. The names change but sin and vices do not. The quest for power, money, sex and fame manifests across all recorded time.

Yet, every day is unique and important, not to be dismissively waved away. It’s true there is nothing new under the sun, but that doesn’t mean new challenges surrounding old issues don’t manifest. Especially for the Christian believer, a “been there, done that” attitude can be a shortsighted and shallow response to the times. A dangerous one, too.

Apathy allows evil to take root, the abnormal to seem normal, and the unacceptable to eventually become acceptable. The Lord is sovereign, but He still uses us in significant and critical ways. When we ignore needs, we’re showing we don’t care. It was Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel who observed, “The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.”

What we’re living through in 2024 is neither ordinary nor anything like our forefathers experienced.

Simply put, these are not ordinary times. It’s not time for business as usual. These are extraordinary times, and they demand an extraordinary response from followers of Jesus Christ.

Fundamental truths are being upended. Elites and radicals are questioning, challenging, and discarding multi-millennia beliefs in such things as the existence of two immutable genders. The exclusivity of one-man, one-woman marriage is considered a hate crime in some circles. The importance of mothers and fathers, including their rightful authority in the home and classroom has also somehow become controversial.

There’s been a debate raging for over a half-century regarding the legality of abortion, but many are counting on their support of the slaughter of innocent babies to get them either elected or reelected. They’re championing death and are proud of the association.

We’re living in a time where words are constantly being corrupted to say things that just aren’t true. “Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind,” warned George Orwell.

No, these are not ordinary times.

It’s not ordinary to kill babies as a means of “empowering women.” It’s not ordinary to sexually exploit children on social media or commodify them thru surrogacy or fertility treatments that create children and then destroy the ones who don’t measure up. It’s not ordinary to brainwash children in the public school with radical propaganda.

These times demand boldness, courage and guts. They call for us to sacrifice our reputation for the sharing of truth – and maybe swallow our pride by loving and serving those who may despise us for our beliefs. I’m reminded of what a pastor friend once told me: “I’m conservative in my theology, but liberal in my fellowship.”

Extraordinary times call for us to take action. Depending on where you are in life, this might mean praying in your home, or working or volunteering outside of it. It for sure means getting our own homes in order. Hypocrites are chronically ineffective.

Conviction is needed to stand up against the attacks from the radicals and the bullies. Patience is needed to withstand the delay of justice as we engage in our time but wait on the Lord.

Embrace the words of Joshua: “Have I not commanded you be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (1:9).


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