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Posts Tagged ‘silly myths’

Sometimes it’s easy to think that chaos rules.

But, does it?

Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth,” asks God of Job.  “Tell me if you have such insight.  Who determined its dimensions . . . who stretched a measuring line over it?  On what were its footings sunk?  Who laid its cornerstone when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?  Who shut the sea behind gates . . . and said, ‘You may come this far but no farther.  Here your proud waves will stop” (Job 38:4-11).

God, the creator of the universe, has never and will never relinquish control.  It would be contrary to His very nature.  The God who connects the chains of the constellation Pleiades and unties the ropes of Orion (v. 31); the God who sends lightening flashes so that they may go and say to you “Here we are” (v. 35); and the God who put wisdom in the heart and gave understanding to the mind (v. 36) is the God who provides food for the crow when its young ones cry . . . (v. 41).

Does chaos reign?

Too many times, it would appear so.  But, there is plenty of evidence which tells me that God, not chaos, reigns supreme.  Did you know, for example, that the Quran (Koran) can’t be translated into any other language?  That means that most people being converted to Islam have little understanding of what they are taught to recite.  Contrast that with the fact that God’s Word, the Bible, is published in 95% of the languages of the world.

Did you know that in Europe, religious questions are back in the culture, in part, because of the rise of Islam and its repercussions?  And, have you noticed the growing number of bestsellers by atheists during the past several years?  Atheists and die-hard evolutionists are writing on the subject of God being bad or terrible.  Why would they do that if they truly believed they’d already won the argument and that God doesn’t exist?  Ten or 20 years ago it would have seemed odd for atheists like Richard Dawkins to bother writing about a mythical figure.

Does chaos rule?

The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his anointed One.  “Let us break their chains,” they say, “and throw off their fetters.”  The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them . . . (Psalm 2:1-4).

God reigns over the nations; God is seated on his holy throne (Psalm 4:8).

Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded.  For I am doing a work in  your days that you would not believe if told (Habakkuk 1:5).

It may appear that our culture has lost its moral footing.  Even though we still live at the same address, we may feel as if we’ve been taken captive to Babylon.  We may feel paralyzed and powerless to engage.  But, while God is doing His work, there is something we can do, too.  We can live.  We can live as men and women eager to glorify God.  We glorify God when we mentor with His Word for the sake of others.  God even provides a mentoring model that, when used, transforms the culture one man, woman, child, neighbor, and community at a time.  This model was first given to a young pastor named Titus so that he and his congregation could affect the lives of others seemingly captive to a pagan culture.  Ponder that model in Titus 2:1-8.  It most certainly caught my attention.  (Visit Titus 2 for Life )

Does chaos reign?

It may appear that our world is spinning out of control.  But, we don’t have to be paralyzed.  We can do something.  We can resist “silly myths.”  Just as we can train ourselves to eat healthy food and exercise, we can “train ourselves for godliness.”  We can “toil and strive” because we have a future of hope “set on the living God” (1 Timothy 4:7-10).

In chaos there is darkness.  But, this is the season of Advent.  During Advent, we light candles.  Candles remind us of the Light; the Light that cannot be overwhelmed:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  he was in the beginning with God.  All things were made through Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made.  In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it . . .  And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:1-5; 14).

God, the Creator of the universe, has never and will never relinquish control.  It would be contrary to His very nature.  The God who connects the chains of the constellation Pleiades and unties the ropes of Orion sends darkness to cower in corners.  He is the Word come to earth in the glory of Jesus Christ.

That glorious Word brings order out of chaos.

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This nation is slipping.  Morally.  Ethically.  Spiritually.  Silent Christians have a lot to do with it.  But, so do Christians who are mingling with the world.

Andree Seu, writing in WORLD (11-6-10), paraphrases comments made to her by Virginia Rep. Frank Wolf.  With both hands about shoulder-level, roughly 12-inches apart, Rep Wolf explained to Seu that we have “the church” here and “the other world” here.  He posited that this is always a constant distance of separation.  Seu writes,

“Where the thing gets scary, explained Wolf, is that as the world moves toward greater immorality, the church continues to keep the same distance from it.  That is to say, the church is sliding into debauchery along with the world, just at a slower rate.  What is important to note is that this slippage from God is not so easily detected because the gap between church and world remains the same, and so we seem, to ourselves, to be doing OK.”

In the first session of my Titus 2 Retreat, “We Are Vulnerable,” I ask the group to give examples of “silly myths” that lead to “social experiments.”  Believing “silly myths” (i.e. abortion is a woman’s right or two women who love each other should be able to marry) inevitably leads to social experimentation.  Such experimentation is actually tampering with God’s design.  This is never good for a people who want to imagine beyond themselves to new generations.  God’s design brings order and new life.  Experimenting with His design brings chaos and death.

We are vulnerable, I explain during a Titus 2 Retreat, when we profess Jesus Christ as our Lord but wrap Him around silly myths and social experiments.   There is a saying: “We become like the company we keep.”  We become like the world — even though we think we’re keeping a distance — when we begin to mingle (just a little here or a little there).  When we let worldly ideas of spirituality, worship, the roles of men and women, marriage, family, and children weave into Christianity, we’re in trouble.  Truth does not embrace or wrap around worldly ideas.  Truth and the world are opposites.  A lesson from history gives some clarity.

In the Old Testament book of Ezra, we learn that the king of Persia was going to allow the Jewish people to return to Jerusalem.  They had been exiles and captives for a long time.  It’s important to note that only a small number of Jewish exiles wanted to return to their homeland.  Most were unwilling to give up their Babylonian property or lifestyle to go back to their old ways.  So, because there was such a small group of workers, the rebuilding of Jerusalem became more difficult.  There were people in the area who offered their help.  Those people didn’t believe in God and held to a blend of mixed religious beliefs.  It goes without saying that they had motives of their own.  The Jewish people refused the offer of help with their building project.  Why?  1) The task was given exclusively to God’s people; 2) accepting help from non-believers would obligate God’s people to pagan ways; and 3) the potential for corruption in worship was too great if God’s people became aligned with non-believers.  (Ezra 4:3)

A Christian, wanting to be progressive, might think: If I embrace the best parts of a worldly idea, I will be able to move forward the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a modern way.  But, too often, moral-influence flows the opposite direction.  God knows that.  Therefore, He says: Don’t mingle; dig in.  Dig in to the One Who is not of this world (John 18:36).  Jesus says, “I am the Light.” The world is dark (John 1:4-5).  “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).  The world is deceptive and leads to death (John 10:10).  “My peace I give you.” The world offers no such peace.  (John 14:27)  For this reason, St. Paul was inspired to write in Romans 12:2:

Do not be conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Don’t mingle.  Dig in.

To mingle with the world is to walk on shifting sand.  For awhile, public opinion might lean one way; then, depending upon anything from the economy to a national crisis, public opinion can suddenly shift the opposite direction.  Andree Seu explains that there is “a little thing called the ‘Overton Window.’  It is the term for an insight by a Joseph P. Overton that at any given point in the stream of a population’s public life there is a ‘window’ that contains or frames a range of opinion that is currently acceptable.  Outside that window lie the ideas considered wacko.  The intriguing thing is that what is ‘acceptable’ and what is ‘wacko’ can (and does) shift.  The window itself moves — and clever and diabolical forces have an interest in moving it.”

What was “radical” yesterday is “acceptable” today.  The unthinkable, notes Andree Seu, can go from “popular” to “policy.”  Remember.  Ideas like abortion, homosexual “marriage,” and euthanasia used to lurk in the shadows of the American landscape.  Not anymore.

I’m an ezer woman who lives in a culture where “evil” is called “good.”  For this reason, I’m compelled to dig heels into the foundation of God’s Word but, at the same time, push forward with weapons of truth.  As ideas and behaviors spiral downward, the one who follows Jesus is called to be intentionally polite.  Kind.  Pure.  This will irritate some and be seen as naive by others.  But, for a neighbor caught momentarily in darkness, the light may shine more brightly.  The Word of Truth, kindly spoken, pulls from shifting sand to solid ground.

There is a model for those who no longer want to mingle but, instead, dig in.  Curious?  I invite you to explore Titus 2 for Life.

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