I don’t think it would be an overstatement to say that we are experiencing one of the greatest cultural shifts in history. Over the past five years alone we have watched as the Democratic Party fought to officially remove “God” from it’s platform and proudly celebrated government-funded abortion and contraception. These shifts have also manifested themselves at the state level with Missouri, Kansas, and Wyoming recently joining twenty-nine other states that have legalized gay marriage. Most recently–and perhaps most startling–the city of Houston recently subpoenaed sermons, setting a dangerous precedent for the future of religious freedom.

Both the pace and complexity of these cultural changes are alarming and ought to serve as a reminder that the moral compass of America is rapidly changing.

As America continues to abandon biblical principles, Christians will be under increasing pressure to winsomely defend the inerrancy of scripture, the biblical definition of marriage, the sanctity of life and a host of other complex issues. Likewise, pastors who dare to preach the whole counsel of God will face even greater scrutiny as cultural norms shift below their feet.

In times like these I rejoice that Midwestern Seminary and College is training students that are unquestionably committed to the gospel and are prepared to respond to these challenges. On our campus you will find students that pulsate with gospel courage, who are preparing for ministry in what may be prove to be contexts of persecution and peril. Many of these students are training under personal and financial hardships only to be deployed into contexts of even greater hardship. These students have reached far beyond selfish ambitions and vain pursuits to proclaim with Martin Luther: “let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also, the body they may kill, God’s Truth abideth still”.

Indeed, God has entrusted Midwestern Seminary with a sacred stewardship. This stewardship now extends to more than 1,500 students who will serve the church and penetrate mission fields for generations to come. We look to the future with anticipation that the Lord will continue to call out various ministers to bring the gospel to bear on the shifting world around us.

Will you join me in praying for our churches and their pastors as they share the foolishness of the cross with an increasingly hostile culture? But let’s not forget our future pastors–many of them studying at Midwestern Seminary–as they prepare for the glorious challenge that awaits them. The pace of these cultural shifts may be new, but the Great Commission is not.

For more information about Midwestern Seminary and College, visit mbts.edu