Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Influencing Our Culture

Last night I read a column on the editorial page of the Star-Telegram, written by a woman from Missouri (I think).  She was basically smearing Rick Warren for his views on homosexual marriage.  The whole tone of the article rankled me.  You would think I would learn (but I haven't) that those who preach the loudest about "tolerance" are the most intolerant of all.

She accused Warren of being barbaric and bigoted in his views.  Here is where a distinct line is drawn between people of faith and those who are not -- and neither side seems to get the other's.  People of faith base what they believe in a standard that is not theirs.  It comes from Scripture, which we believe to be from God Himself.  There are many things in Scripture that I would, in my fleshly nature, prefer to ignore.  But I can't.  My Father has called me to something different.  So, I have not arbitrarily decided what I am going to believe.  It is pretty objective.

People of the world, on the other hand, base their beliefs on a moving target.  Right now, Darwinism pretty much rules the day when it comes to believing why we are here.  This belief has led to our current devaluing of human life.  But that is what people of the world choose to believe.  They also base their beliefs on the moving target of Hollywood "experts on all issues because we can read a script" opinions.  So what is "in" this decade may be "out" next decade.

Finally, they base their beliefs on the media.  Again, a volatile moving target.  For the last 25 years or so, it has been extremely biased to the left -- perhaps as a reaction to the distrust established during Watergate.  There exists today an obvious bias against traditional morals, and Christianity in general.  This has had a profound effect on non-believers' belief systems.

So what are we of faith to do?  I do not think we are going to promote our cause by publicly lambasting folks.  That is what they expect, and they turn a deaf ear.  Plus, it usually is not within the context of love.  So are we to compromise?  Of course not!  But we can speak the truth IN LOVE.  How do we do that?  By offering friendship to the very people who oppose us.  By SHOWING them, though Christlike living, that we really do care (I am assuming that we do).

I know this is getting kind of long, but I want to say one more thing:  How serious is the homosexual marriage issue?  I am waffling right now.  Obviously I oppose it, but it seems inevitable, in today's political environment, that it will eventually happen.  So here is my take right now (I reserve the right to change my opinion).  There are many things that are legal in a free society -- even though they are not morally right.  We as Christians have never been called to be the morality police for a whole earthly society.  What we ARE called to be is different.  Light.  Salt. Leaven.  Working and influencing quietly.  Showing, through the peace in our lives, the way to the Prince of Peace.  Calling them into a DIFFERENT Kingdom.

Early Christians lived in a culture that was MUCH more vile than ours.  People who compare our current society to the Roman Empire (I have been guilty of doing that) need to read more about it.  But Christians didn't change that society by starting The Moral Majority or a voting bloc.  They did it by contacting people with the "aroma of Christ."  Eventually this lead to the conversion of Constantine, who then passed an edict declaring the Roman Empire to be "Christian."  Ever since, the Christian faith has moved away from being what it was originally intended to be.  We have come to think that we should "be in charge" -- even though Jesus said, "Not so with you" (Matthew 20: 25-28).   

Whew!  Here is wishing all of you a wonderful 2009.  HAPPY NEW YEAR!                  


Jeff said...

Your last paragraph says it all to me. I think "Christians" (I'm lumping a lot of folks together) have wanted to government to regulate morality when that is not government's role. When Christians live Christ-like, some will be attracted to it and others will run. Not everyone wants to be in the light but being light is not a legislative responsibility, it is mine. As I imagine where I country is headed, I think Christians will come to know persecution more and more and we will either give up or be strengthened. I see abortion and homosexual marriage and many other areas that are tools of Satan coming to the forefront of our society and it will challenge our Christ-likeness in how we deal with it.

Anonymous said...

Really good post! If you are "waffling" then I guess I am too. It's so cliche, and I like to think I'm a deeper thinker that this - but "love the sinner hate the sin" seems to fit here.

Anonymous said...

**than (not that)