Friday, May 23, 2014

A Schizophrenic America

Recently, Mark Cuban set off a firestorm of controversy with his comments about racial prejudice. The networks and social media were apparently exploding like a nuclear weapon had gone off. In a country where judging has been condemned now for decades and where truth is no longer objective and morals are relative, we sure don’t act like we really believe what we say we believe. What I would like to do is be able to make it one day without someone praising the sexual perversion of homosexuality or talking about the deplorable state of racist attitudes. America has become the single greatest symbol of hypocrisy in the history of nations at this point. What’s more, the American Church has been all too eager to follow the lead of the culture. America has become a self-righteous country filled with self-righteous people that have no hesitation about affirming their own self as the source of their own righteousness.

What are the facts concerning prejudice and homosexuality? In a recent poll, 31% of blacks said that their own demographic was more likely to be racist than not. But you never heard anything about this poll on mainstream media. Full disclosure about homosexuality is just as hypocritical in America. The list of diseases found with extraordinary frequency among male homosexual practitioners as a result of anal intercourse is alarming:

Anal Cancer 
Chlamydia trachomatis 
Giardia lamblia 
Herpes simplex virus 
Human immunodeficiency virus 
Human papilloma virus 
Isospora belli 
Viral hepatitis types B & C 

Sexual transmission of some of these diseases is so rare in the exclusively heterosexual population as to be virtually unknown. The point is that America is no longer interested in the facts. She has no interest in anything other than establishing her own self as god of the globe. She murders her own unborn children as if she were removing a hangnail. In fact, she not only defends such behavior, she brags about it. I have been saying for some time now that the networks are about to explode with same-sex displays of affection. Last night, while trying to watch a movie for a few minutes (I can only sit there for maybe 15 minutes or so), the commercials contained two different clips of men kissing. So we have arrived. I have some hope that real men will begin to react like any real man should react. However, my experience is that the modern domineering woman will demand that her husband get on board with the rest of this godless culture and show more tolerance for such behavior. The sad fact is that we stopped raising real men for the most part a few decades ago.

The true Church in America has come to the place where she is now going to be forced to look at the situation differently. It is no longer a country that tolerates Christianity. Sure, it will tolerate the hypocrites and the liars that claim to be Christian but are not. However, the minute you start talking about what the Bible teaches or what God says, you can plan on being dismissed immediately or worse. Christians in America are entering the conditions that most Christians throughout most of the history of Christianity have had to live in. There have been exceptions here and there, but for the most part, most Christians have lived in cultures that were moderately to extremely hostile to Christian principles. This was certainly the case for those Christians living in the first-century Church and who had the privilege of being recipients of the letters and writings of the NT at its inception. Hence, Christians in those cultures had to think differently about their respective cultures. And so too must we. In fact, sound thinking has move to the forefront of Christian behavior in short order. No longer can the Church afford “check-the-box” behavior for her weekly programs, be it Sunday school, Bible study groups, and especially during Sunday morning worship. Our weekly gathering must be with the intention of equipping for both godly living and godly thinking. Moreover, that we are called to contradict the lies of Satan wherever they appear cannot be over-emphasized. Confrontation, refutation, and correction with the hope of conversion are inherent in the Christian message. Examine the ministry of Christ, of Paul, of Peter, and of John. Only a blind person can miss the constant battle for truth and for sanctification that these men were engage in. Some of us think that we should only concern ourselves with sanctification, with serving one another, with pure living. Others think we should only concern ourselves with evangelism and apologetics. Both groups are wrong. We have to be passionately concerned about both.

Part of our problem in the Church has been a terrible imbalance in training and equipping our people. Attending a Sunday school program where a teacher spends 20 minutes talking while 70% of the class is frankly unengaged is NOT equipping your people. Donuts and coffee and 30 minutes of small talk about nothing mixed in with 10 minutes of how Jesus healed my cat and 10 minutes of Bible study is an embarrassing joke for the Church. Yet we convince ourselves we are doing something when we do these things. We are not doing anything that matters, anything eternal, anything that will last. We are crossing an item off our to-do list, or better yet, our bragging list.

It is time for Churches to put serious rigor into their structure or their people are sure to find themselves in conversations without a clue as to what to say. The sad fact is that most Christians don’t even want to bring up the gospel. They are afraid to do so. Why? Many are ashamed and don’t want to be marginalized. Most of us are simply incompetent. Gospel sharing bottomed-out many years ago and many conservative churches have not bothered with evangelism and apologetics since. Couple that with the fact that there are more objections to the Christian message today than there ever has been in America and Christians don’t talk about it because they don’t want to be embarrassed. In addition, many Christians are just too lazy to bother with such work. They don’t see a need. These people think the gospel amounts to Jesus being able to fix your problems and give your life meaning and purpose. For them, that is the gospel. What it is, is a humanistic, deistic, moralistic version of the gospel and Christianity that is as idolatrous as the ancient god Dagan. Somehow we think that because we tattoo Jesus, Christianity, and love on it that this makes it okay. Moreover, even genuine believers may give it a past under the false thinking that it is not real idolatry because it sort of mimics Christianity.

Another sad attitude on the part of leaders is that they think, for some strange reason, that people can think hard about work, performing their jobs well, spending energy thinking things over, but when it comes to Christian truth, we must remain in a constant state of the simple, and at all cost, avoid the complex. We make almost no effort to challenge our own people with the truths they claim to believe. That is a costly mistake. You can be sure that outsiders are going to be challenging the faith more and more. Why shouldn’t we put as much effort into rightly dividing God’s word and into refuting error as we put into our jobs? Such an attitude is not only confusing, it is spiritually detrimental to the believer.

So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding. (Eph. 4:17-18a) Christians are commanded not to think like the godless culture around them. We are not to reason like they do, nor to follow their pattern of living. Gentiles think autonomously. They begin with their own self as the starting point, as the reference point for what is right. America has completely redefined marriage because she thinks she is god. America has called murder abortion and made it a woman’s health issue rather than a solution to unwanted consequences resulting from promiscuous behavior. Do not believe the polls. If you did, you would think that the average woman has had 4 sex partners during her life. College women alone are reporting numbers ranging from 10-12 to around 30 during college alone. No one can watch reality TV, read anything about sexual behavior in college and young people and think that a survey that suggests such a low number has any credibility. We understate sexual activity in heterosexual and homosexual men and women and overstate the number of homosexuals and “committed” homosexual relationships. Why? America is a nation of hypocrisy. It is that simple. She is a God hating idolater. She is a country that has been moving to replace God with herself for decades now.

We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. (2 Cor. 10:5) This is a war of the mind, of knowledge, of thought. Its time Christians take it seriously.

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