It’s a telling thing to observe the unintended consequences of the splenetic throwing off of carefully-thought-out moral, social and spiritual boundaries. Equally so the usurpation of powers and authority by men and women who know better, yet have adopted the attitude, “I’m going to do what I want unless enough of you stop me.”
That’s not governance.
It’s arrogance, impudence. Tyranny.
During the dark, frowning brutality of America’s Civil War, someone asked President Lincoln if he wasn’t pleased that God was on the side of the North. His answer:
We have an extant record which relates the outcome of rejecting God and His law. One only need read Judges 2 from any Bible to see what happens when humans decide to sneer in God’s face. Later in that book, this statement appears twice: “People did whatever they felt like doing” (17:6; 21:25).
However, simply intoning, “Because the Bible says so” is just as feckless as declaring it hopelessly outdated, useless and calling all who live by it morons. Should you decide the Bible isn’t actually God’s Word, then at least recognize it’s historical accuracy. Secular historians such as Flavius Josephus and Cornelius Tacitus make it clear: the Bible holds amazing, accurate accounts of the early history of Abraham’s progeny.
Christian beliefs are not invalid merely because you disagree with them and they cramp your perceived freedom. They’ve been in place for millennia. This is not the first time they or their Author have been attacked.
Two equal and egregious mistakes are being made right now. First, there are true and sworn enemies of God and His Christ – ideological enemies – who are wooing the giddy, irritated, newly-emancipated LGBT community – ideological opponents – to join forces with them, the end desire being the obliteration of God, Christ, the Church and their collective, cloying influences. Part of Abraham’s vicious progeny are willing to use the LGBT community and its supporters – even within the Church – to speed American Christianity’s demise. It’s not just social or political with them. It’s ideological: they mean it. Think about it before you toss it. Look around the world.
Next, a bewildered, self-indulgent Church is still largely clueless as to the moral, spiritual sepsis that has been systematically eating away at its vitals. There are a few voices speaking strength and reassurance to God’s people – the Christ followers of our culture – to be strong and of good courage. Yet most seem indignant but ineffectual. Demanding that God immediately lower His judgmental boom on all the sinners is not sound strategy and I’m glad He pays no attention to such self-righteous folly. Wouldn’t be many of us left.
Sin, you’ll recall, is the sum of those things I myself never commit. With you, it’s a fault. With me, it’s a character trait. Is it any wonder that nonChristian friends see little that compels them to want to get involved with much of The Church?
“So what are you saying, Dan?”
I’m not. I’m passing along what they’re saying – the watchers, the observers. The listeners.
Time Magazine, June 26, 2015: “It has been widely and correctly observed that heterosexuals began to devalue marriage long before same-sex marriage became an issue.”
Think about it. It’s easy to cast blame, to point accusing fingers at one another. Name-calling and promoting false fear in either direction are a lot easier and faster than sitting down and listening to one another.
Christian, Jesus flat said it: you’re gonna have trouble in this world – or, as a USAF bud of mine used to call them, “troublems”. Troublems are a given. But refuse to be cowed by them, because He also said to relax, because He’s overcome the world. How that plays out today and tomorrow, I don’t know. But given God’s track record of things strangely turning out exactly as the Bible says they will, I’m a lot more inclined to hang with Him than run scared at the first sign of troublems.
Do you need a copy of the Ten Commandments hanging on a chain around your neck to identify you as a Christian? The fish stuck on your car’s trunk lid? A cross on your lapel? Or can your neighbors, coworkers and the people at your local market and gas station sense your walk of faith because you get up every day intent to LIVE by those principles?
The Church needs no more saints of convenience who are quick to unlimber the chaise lounges, beach umbrellas and don shades for The Show, but who can sure pack up and disappear in a hurry when the balloon goes up.
Listen up. This is the time for which God’s been prepping us. He doesn’t need ten more spies quaking in their boots, whining about how imposing the challenge seems. Let ’em go. I don’t care who they are, or who they’ve been to you. Love ’em, but let ’em go.
This is the time for some rugged, powerful faith that prays God into any and every situation – even if alone. Having God’s unconditional love does not mean you have His unconditional approval. This is the Sovereign God we’re dealing with, not our Big Buddy in The Sky. We don’t call the shots; God does. It’s always been that way and it always will.
We do not break God’s laws. We break ourselves on them. Every time.
Our nation thinks it’s in the midst of political crisis. It’s not. It’s moral and spiritual in nature and the war is for the hearts and souls of everyone involved. Politics of itself has no moral compass. That is only derived from good, moral men and women bringing their decent core values to the bargaining table.
When immoral and amoral persons trick their way into control, the bargaining takes on a sinister, cynical cast – and God and His people are considered mere chattel and bargaining chips. Make no mistake: coexistence is a pleasant thought and makes a nice bumper sticker; but it’s not on the table. They want God and Christians gone.
You and I, fellow believer, are going to need to step up and disabuse them of the notion that will ever work.
Neither Republicans nor Democrats want us of the Christian conservative right around any longer than it takes to lie us out of our votes. Our moral and ethical standards gall them. We are our culture’s merthiolate!
By virtue of clean living, an appreciation for righteousness and our assessment of God as Sovereign Creator and this life’s Ultimate Arbiter, we sting the minute we’re applied. We don’t mean to, for like merthiolate, the intent is to stop sepsis and promote healing. The sting is nevertheless the net effect.
“Oooh, they’re not gonna like that!” So? They never have! No big shock there, right? Since when do we do God’s good work in our world by popular acclaim?
It’s a lot to think about, I know. Hopefully, I’ve given you a little food for thought.
I’m closing these two volumes with a few quotations from Edmund Burke.
And one more for you and I, Christian: “Nothing is so fatal to religion as indifference.”
Yep; Dad was right. The day’s coming that’s going to separate the men from the boys.
I love you and I believe in you.
© D. Dean Boone, June 2015