Friday, December 4, 2015

It's Time to be Horrified

            As our society seems to be going to “hell in a hand-basket,” do you ever wonder where God is in all of this? 
            The economy sucks. 
            Our religious rights are being trimmed away. 
            Schools are focusing less on academics and more on creating an anti-God worldview and the “morality” and social characteristics that they want. 
            Laws are being made which are having detrimental impacts on people, families, businesses, and economics. 
            Morality and modesty are “old-fashioned” concepts.  Flagrant sexuality is rampant, and society encourages it as being “open-minded, progressive, and free from oppressive restraints.” 
            You can’t say “Merry Christmas” or “God bless you” anymore without someone crying foul.  (Oh yeah, well, I’m going to say it . . . “Merry Christmas . . . Merry Christmas . . . Merry Christmas . . . God bless you . . . God bless you . . . God bless you.”) 
            Lobbyists have done a great job making sure that they protect their interests and the interests of big business and government, at the expense of the people. 
            Lawsuits are shaping our country for the worse because no one can bear to be offended or have someone raise their eyebrows at them. 

            [We need to stop whining, America!  People are losing their heads in other countries, and yet we have the audacity to go crying to the judge every time someone says “God” or “Sorry, but my religious beliefs won’t let me do that.”  Instead of just tolerating it and moving on, people are being taken to court simply because someone else was “offended.” 
            Political correctness is going to destroy us from the inside out, turning us into a tightly-controlled country where the “thought police” control every move we make, taking away all of our rights to peacefully live out beliefs that may be different from the mainstream.  Funny how those who cry “You’re intolerant” seem to be the most intolerant because they are taking it to the courts and demanding their way instead of just tolerating someone else’s views and their rights to peacefully live out their faith.  When children are told they cannot mention “Jesus” in a school paper and when athletes are reprimanded for bowing a knee in the end zone and when someone sues someone else simply for saying “God bless you” when they sneezed, we have reached a new level of ridiculousness and pathetic-ness. 
            Should the Christians start taking people to court for using God’s name in vain, for saying “Happy Holidays,” for wearing something too skimpy, or for snickering when we say that we believe in God and in biblical views of “right” and “wrong”?  Because someone offends us?  Should we find an LGBT cake maker and ask them to make a cake decorated with Romans 1:26-27, and then sue them if they refuse to do it because of their beliefs? 
            (I would not condone actually doing this, but instead I would recommend that people just go find another cake maker.  I don’t know where the line is between one person’s right to not support something they don’t believe in and another person’s right to be treated the same as the next person.  But I do believe we should not be forced to participate in and support something we don’t agree with.  Yet I also believe that simply providing a cake for someone doesn’t mean you are necessarily condoning their lifestyle.  Maybe we don’t need to know the reason they want a cake.  But a private business is not a government institution, and we need to be allowed to run them according to our personal convictions.  I don’t know.  I just know that I don’t like the way all this is turning out and I wouldn’t have a clue on the best way to fix it.) 
            But my point is, do Christians have to speak the only language that our country seems to understand: lawsuits?  Let’s stop the insanity and learn to be a little offended!  There will always be someone that doesn’t like our views, someone that doesn’t treat us fairly, and someone who says something we don’t agree with.  And many of us need to learn to tolerate that a little better.  It’s a part of maturity and of learning to live in a society with people who are different from us. 
            (I’m a little frustrated here, can you tell?  But it’s no wonder, with the way that Christians are being targeted left and right by the government and left-wing groups.  We are being dragged into court, bullied and mocked in the media, forced to comply with things we don’t agree with, losing our private businesses because we refuse to do something, forced to hide our faith for fear of offending someone, shamed into not breathing a word about Jesus, not even in the words “Merry Christmas,” finding out that the government now wants to monitor and control what is preached at church, and learning that the “separation of church and state” only protects the state from church interference but it doesn’t do what it was originally intended to do: protect the church from the state.  What has happened to the principles our country was founded on?  If the tables were turned, wouldn’t you be frustrated?)]

            There is Planned Parenthood, ACLU, mayors who subpoena the sermons of pastors because they obviously don’t like what they are preaching (Where is the separation of church and state now?  It goes both ways, people!), a fear of Ebola, and the fear of Isis attacks. 
            So where is God in all of this?

            “But my children rebelled against me: They did not follow my decrees, they were not careful to keep my laws – although the man who obeys them will live by them – and they desecrated my Sabbaths.  So I said I would pour out my wrath on them and spend my anger against them in the desert . . . I also gave them over to statutes that were not good and laws they could not live by; I let them become defiled through their gifts – the sacrifice of every firstborn – that I might fill them with horror so they would know that I am the Lord.”  (Ezekiel 20:21, 25)

            In those verses, God is talking about the Israelites and how they had rebelled against God and gone their own way, pursuing idols and even sacrificing their firstborns to the gods.  And in response, God allowed them to be placed under rules and laws that they could not abide by.  He gave them over to over-bearing, harsh laws.  And He let them become depraved through their self-gratification, idol-worship, and child-sacrifice.  I’m sure any righteous person would have been disgusted, disheartened, and felt helpless.  But God allowed the people to fall so far and He allowed bad laws to govern them so that their eyes could be opened to how bad they and society had become . . . and so that they would be horrified by it. 
            It is only when our eyes are opened to our depraved condition that we can see ourselves for who we are . . . and how holy God is by comparison.  It is only when we see how far society falls when left to itself that we begin to realize that we want and need God.  We want the guidance He gives and the truth He alone has.  We want His Lordship in our lives because it is far superior to any “god” man creates.  We want to know that He will help us through this life.  We want the hope that this life is not all that there is, and that the best it yet to come.  It is only when we find ourselves oppressed by harsh laws and unbearable conditions that we realize we cannot do it on our own.  That we are pathetic human beings with no hope in ourselves.  That we cry out to God because we need Him. 
            So where is God in all of this?  In our depraved society and terrible laws?
            It might just be that God is handing us over to ourselves in order that we might be horrified by what we are capable of . . . and we might again discover a desire for Him.  It may just be that He is allowing all of this so that we become disgusted with ourselves and so that we realize that we want God, so that we climb down off His throne and fall down at His feet in humility and a desperate need for Him.
            I think it’s time for us to be horrified.  We are sacrificing basic decency and self-respect to the god of Pleasure, on the altar of immediate self-gratification.  We are sacrificing values, morals, and modesty to the god of Moral Relativism, on the altar of “I can do whatever I want because there is no right or wrong.”  We are sacrificing freedom of thought and religion to the god of Political Correctness, on the altar of tolerance (a fake kind of tolerance that says you have to condone everything, not just tolerate it).  We are sacrificing the stability of our marriages and families to the god of Narcissism, on the altar of “It’s all about me and my happiness.”  We are sacrificing the hearts and minds of our children to the god of Mindless Immoral Entertainment, on the altar of “I can’t say ‘no,’ because I want to be their friend, plus it’s just easier to have them out of my hair.”  We are sacrificing unborn babies to the god of Self, on the altar of convenience and “reproductive rights.”  It’s time to be horrified.  And to turn back to God.

            2 Chronicles 7:14-15:  “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.  Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.”