Whose Side Are You On?
Our society is changing all around us. Some days I feel like my head will spin right off my shoulders when I listen to the latest news of the latest scandal or the latest disaster. Each one triggering another round of caustic social comment and chaos.
I’ll be transparent and say I am worried about the future of America these days. Yes, yes, I know God is still God, but never underestimate the ability of mankind to make a mess of the world God gave us.
I still remember the bomb raid drills at school when I was a kid. I remember lying awake at night wondering if everything and everyone I loved was going to disappear in one awful moment.
It feels a little something like that to me again, these days.
I bet you think I’m talking about North Korea aiming its nuclear missiles at the West Coast. I’m not. I’m far less worried about Kim Jong-Un and his potential destruction of America than I am of the destruction of America that’s happening from within.
[pullquote class=”left”] Do people actually believe that we are so much smarter and wiser today that we no longer need the wisdom of the ages to guide us?[/pullquote]
Yesterday I heard a public figure from Great Britain say how strange it is that “America still clings so strongly to a set of documents written more than 200 years ago”. His contention is that in 2018 we should feel free to write a new declaration of values and principles for our society.
I can only imagine his view of people who still cling to a set of documents that were written more than 2,000 years ago!
Do people actually believe that we are so much smarter and wiser today that we no longer need the wisdom of the ages to guide us? Do people actually believe it’s time to toss out the writings of the framers of the greatest nation on earth simply because it’s nearly 250 years later? Do people really believe it’s time to discard the wisdom of the Bible?
Do we think a man or woman born in the 21st Century is somehow endowed with greater intelligence, morality, or wisdom than a man or woman born any generation before? Such arrogance!
There was no such thing as Google in Abraham Lincoln’s lifetime, but there is no greater wealth of wisdom today than there was then.
Without question, some of the greatest thinkers in history lived and died before anyone reading this post was born.
Each and every one of us is born completely ignorant no matter what year we arrived in this world. Any claim we lay to a new or greater wisdom is wholly dependent on the successes and failures of those who came before us. EVERY generation must rely on the experience and wisdom of those that preceded it… or risk recreating the failures and disasters that already scar the history of humanity.
Jesus, who knew everything, taught us to revere the wisdom handed down from the prophets. Wisdom recorded centuries before His birth.
That’s because Jesus knew something we are in danger of forgetting:
“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:9
To be sure, we have gained new wisdom through generations of Americans. But, by no means has every generation been a forward step in anything we can all be proud of. Believe me, I came of age in the 1970’s. My generation gave you Disco, legal abortion and the sexual revolution. Were it not for Atari, Wozniak, and Jobs we’d have nothing good to show for ourselves but bell bottoms, line dancing and a few epic PG-13 disaster movies.
Every social boundary we’ve set, (the sexual revolution notwithstanding), was made based on the ethos formulated and carried forward through the ages in a collection of books we know as the Bible. Yes, even those penned in our Declaration of Independence and every subsequent amendment was rooted in what the Bible teaches.
So, it is no surprise the enemy would strive to make the Bible and all who revere it into a whipping post for those who think “It’s Time” to tear it all down.
Our culture isn’t just becoming “less Christian” people are increasingly seeing Christians as the ones whose values should be formally disregarded and rejected. Our prayers are mocked as silly and useless. Our brand of morality is ridiculed. We are considered enemies and obstacles to social equality and freedom.
[pullquote class=”left”]This battle belongs to the Lord. The least we can do is not be foot soldiers for the enemy.[/pullquote]
The divisions among us are growing. But they aren’t growing because of new and greater wisdom. The divisions are growing because satan knows:
“Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.” Matthew 12:25
And this, my friends, is why it’s all happening. This hostile environment of competing values is exactly what satan wants.
[pullquote]Is your head spinning trying to understand how Christians have become the unwanted step-child in this country?[/pullquote]
Understandably, Christians are jumping into the fray to defend our faith and values from the barrage of attacks on social media. This isn’t a bad thing in and of itself. If we don’t speak up we risk having our voices and our values summarily stamped out of the American discourse. I’m glad we have so many people who are willing to defend the Gospel. The problem is when we try fighting “fire with fire” …because that is not The Way.
If we set the Way of Jesus aside while we slug it out with the jerk on social media we’ve set aside the very thing that makes us different.
I believe this is what Jesus meant when he said,
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:13
Getting us to act out in ways that cause more harm than good is exactly how satan rolls. Divide and conquer! He gets tempers to blow and the finger of blame pointing in every direction. Then all he has to do is sit back and watch us devour one another!
satan is running around starting fires, burning down relationships, shattering institutions, disfiguring morality, and using outraged Christians to destroy the reputation of Christianity! Why? Because when we say we represent Christ but act in ways that don’t, we send the message that Christianity is utterly self-serving and useless.
Worse, when we act ugly; When we act judgmentally; When we act superior; we unwittingly become the instruments of satan not the messengers of God we set out to be.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:43-48
Let me go one step further and say that getting into arguments about what is moral or wise is no help at all. Whether online or in person, understand that people are judging Christ and the wisdom of our faith by how YOU handle yourself.
[pullquote]“But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere.” 2 Corinthians 2:14[/pullquote]
Brothers and sisters, we are the fragrance of Christ in this world! Let that be more powerful than any argument.
Dear ones, we must live as we are called to live. Show respect and Love to others even in the midst of disagreeing with them. Your goal should not be winning the debate or grossly displaying how many scriptures you know to bring another low.
Your goal should be to honor God by displaying Christ in every encounter you have with another human being…whether they share your view of scripture or not.
“If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.” Galatians 5:15
Our very mission is to draw others to Christ. Isn’t it obvious that anything we do that drives people away defeats us?
If you can’t express your point of view without violating the tenets of Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control you forfeit any claim that you represent Christ or the wisdom of God’s Word.
You’re either part of the problem or part of the solution.
“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight!” Isaiah 5:21
God has His own way of dealing with His enemies.
He doesn’t need you making things worse.
This battle belongs to the Lord. The least we can do is not be foot soldiers for the enemy.
In His love and service,