Saturday, May 28, 2016

Culture is a cancer.

We sit stunned before our TVs as the news breaks announcing the evils between which we must choose in November.

“How did this happen?” we ask our dumbstruck selves over and over.

“Please!” we (many of whom check off the Christian box when asked to name our religion) implore any who will listen, “Explain to me how this happened? How did we, the ‘merican people, let this happen?”

Writing on about how messed up sexuality has become, Halee Gray Scott states,
“Culture is something one can’t escape, for it seeps into us unseen, like the oxygen we breathe, affecting the way we perceive the world, the way we think about ourselves, and the way we relate to one another.”
Well, Ms. Scott, sexuality isn’t all that’s messed up in our culture. Everything about the milieu in which we live and move and have our being is askew.

Years ago as a fledgling journalist, I had an opportunity to interview Francis and Edith Schaeffer.  He, a noted theologian, was battling cancer.

I asked him, on behalf of many who wanted to know, how he was dealing with it. He said,
“Well, actually, I have to think of this very practically. What you are asking me is not a question that I haven’t thought through. And I always begin the same place. It’s the place that has made it possible for our whole family to live with this. That is emphasizing the reality of the Fall in an abnormal world. Not just as a theological position, but really living in the light of the fact that we live in an abnormal world.”
This is something we, as true Believers, often forget: Since the Fall, the world in which we live is abnormal. Off kilter. Not exactly as it should be and will be eventually.

The Fall affects all, and not for the good.

The only way to counter the Fall’s bad influence is to yield our lives to Jesus, open our hearts to the Holy Spirit, and steep our minds in God’s Word. The discipline involved in doing this doesn’t come naturally and is not something culture supports.

Without the counterbalance of faith in God, culture embraces evil and leads those mindlessly immersed in it far astray. Wrong becomes right. Patriotism overshadows faith. The pursuit of happiness tramples on the life of holiness. Greed and selfishness become virtues. Even though our battle is not against flesh and blood, packing a gun is more important than clinging to the cross.

In other words, we reap what we sow. And that’s how “this” happened.

The remedy? Well, for now we’re kind of stuck with the consequences we’ve brought on ourselves. But going forward? The Apostle Peter offers a clue:
“And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled. Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago” (Acts 3:17-21, ESV).
Repent! Turn from the world and lean in to God, our Rock in the midst of so much sickening roll. Francis Schaeffer, in the context of his cancer, put it like this:
“[W]e live in an abnormal world. I have cancer, but nevertheless God is so great – He is infinite – that He can reach down in the midst of the abnormal mess and bring something good out of it. Once you look at it this way, the whole thing changes. The whole perspective changes.”
The classic old favorite hymn instructs “turn your eyes upon Jesus.” Actually, that’s just the first step. We must turn and bend our whole lives to His will and away from the influence of an abnormal, soul-cancerous culture.

Anything less leads to death. And to “this.”

What are the struggles you are having with our current Presidential election season? Are you happy with the choices? Will you abstain from voting, vote for the “lesser” of two evils, vote for a third party, or write in a candidate? How did you come to your course of action? Do you feel you can support it biblically? Please sound off in the comments? 

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