Thursday, 10 April 2014
Lent: The changing nature of the World
In October 2011 I wrote about Change and the transient nature of opinion.
In the two and a half years since I wrote the piece the "Progressive" movement has risen up, basing itself on claiming to meet people "where they are".
This isn't about trying to take on that particular group as I've touched on them previously. Rather it's an examination of some of the changes that have taken place in society over the last few decades.
In the 1950's it was humiliating to admit you were divorced, and an unmarried mother was something to be ashamed of. Older people were respected and taken care of in their twilight years by their children. The wisdom they had learned in the decades they had lived was valued not for their technological expertise, but for their experience of life.
By 2000 teenage mothers were commonplace, so much so that the church didn't think twice about it. Behaviours that would have been incomprehensible fifty years before were common. Not only is divorce not something to be ashamed of as a symbol of inability to communicate and compromise, it's become something planned for before the marriage vows are taken. For business purposes to protect assets in the event of financial collapse an agreement that each partner retains what they have when they enter the marriage as separate is wisdom. Even contracting that any earnings by an individual partner within the marriage could be argued as making sense to protect the family in the longer term. But any contract that begins with the phrase "In the event of separation or divorce" is planning for failure.
How things have changed.
But the more worrying aspect is that the church seems to be looking at changing with it. It seems to be accepting the concept of "acceptable" sins.
What is an "acceptable" sin?
These days anything that rocks the boat is hushed up by too many people claiming Christ as their own. We have groups setting up and proclaiming that parts of the Bible are obsolete because they were written before we "understood" what we know now.
But God's wisdom is foolishness to men. And Man's wisdom makes God laugh.
God is a Holy God. He never changes. He is still the same as He was 2000 years ago when Jesus embodied Him. He's the same as he was when Moses raised his staff over the people and walked into the Red Sea. H hasn't changed since Abram became Abraham, and He's the same as He was when He closed the Ark for Noah.
But society has changed. Babel, Jericho, King David, Jabez, Jeremiah, Isaiah and the Apostles all saw different manifestations of humanity. In the last century and a half we've moved in Western society from God-fearing to agnosticism and panantheism masquerading as Christianity and being endorsed by bishops and church leaders who should know better.
We need a Martin Luther for our generation. Someone who will stand up to the heresy of these pseudo-Christian beliefs that are so prevalent and unite the Church behind them. We need the wisdom of CS Lewis and Charles Spurgeon mixed with the Wesleys and Wilberforce for social good in a truly Christlike manner.
God didn't change.
The World did.
And we bought into it. We bought consumerism as a concept to replace "greed" and declared it to be acceptable. But it's still greed, and greed comes from coveting what you don't have. We bought "hero-worship" in place of "idolatry", but an idol is an idol no matter what you rephrase it as.
God is not deceived by these renamings, we should be aware of them.
"Free Love" replaced "sexual immorality" and a genocide of abortions was created along with a higher instance of sexually transmitted illness per capita than at any time in history.
Men and women forfeiting the natural order of God's creation and renaming it, declaring it to be acceptable and ignoring the stagnant waters they are using for baptising their believers.
Stagnant water breeds death. The water of the World is rank and rotten, yet the church claiming to represent Jesus bathes in it and invites others to do so. They accept the invitation because they don't need to change. There's no challenge to their lifestyle. Nothing to give up in order to follow Christ makes it easy. There's no chance of persecution because they're moving in the same direction as the enemy - they just don't realise it.
The best, most believable lie has a percentage of the truth in it. When Satan tested Adam and Eve, his lies were masked in mostly truth and by the time the big lie came they were sunk. He tried the same with Jesus in the wilderness, even quoting scripture in an effort to deceive Him. Of course, Jesus saw straight through it and rejected the temptation. We tend to lean towards believing the lie though. It's easier. Our life doesn't have to be complicated with the petty morality stuff of two hundred years ago. We're wiser now.
Mankind has bought the lie and is throwing away the future for an easy life now.
The world has changed. It's harder and colder. But it's wrapped in a pseudo-soft blanket that makes us forget how it's actually sucking the life out of us and leaving us hollow shells instead of vessels filled with the Holy Spirit. Many are walking the broad path to death simply because they genuinely believe they are actually on the other road - because nobody's shown them what Spurgeon pointed out - that if we want to glorify God we "...can count on many trials. No one can truly shine for Christ without enduring many conflicts." (Morning by Morning)
But the "fuzzy blanket" christianity doesn't recognise this.
Christianity isn't a soft option. It's a daily battle in a vicious war against an enemy who seeks to steal, kill and destroy everything we stand for. And he doesn't take prisoners.
God never changed. But the world tries to convince us He did.
Beware, Christians. The world will suck us down and kill us if we let it, simply because the nature of the attack changed. Be wise and keep Godly counsel. Remember there's a difference between "Fellowship" and "church". The terms are not synonymous. Going to a church won't make you a Christian any more than sitting in a garage will make you a car. Even small groups can be nothing more than a religious experience. We need true Fellowship - living life Spiritually accountable to other believers, adjusting our behaviours and growing in understanding and wisdom as a result of growing strong together.
Don't be fooled by the changing nature of the world. Remember the "facts" the world speaks are temporal. God's Truth is Eternal, unending and unchanging. He laid it down before He created time, and it will be there after time has been forgotten.