Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Religious Bigotry in the South & Open Racism in the North

Once more, we see American culture moving in the direction of a distinctly hostile, secular vantage point where Christian theism is concerned. I don’t know if we have simply lost our minds or if leaders in major US cities are just as wicked and pernicious and they appear to be. Two mayors from prominent American cities have created serious controversies in recent weeks.

Atlanta mayor, Kasim Reed has fired long time firefighter and recent fire chief, Kelvin Cochran because he wrote a book expressing his agreement with historic Christian beliefs concerning sexual morality. Specifically, in one small section in his book, Cochran agreed with the Christian value that asserts that all sexual activity should be between a husband and a wife and that all sexual behavior outside of those parameters is immoral and sinful. Apparently, a militant lesbian complained to the militant LBGT group that imposes its will on weak-minded politicians like Reed, and this led to Cochran losing his job. I hope the good people of Atlanta respond with a firing of their own when the elections come around. These are precisely the kind of spineless and godless leaders that sink a culture into the sewers of immorality.

In the north, the contrast could not be more glaring. The Syracuse mayor has appointed Mark Muhammad to the school board. The only problem with Mr. Muhammad is that he is representative of the Nation of Islam. There is hardly a more biased, hate-filled, racially divisive and polarizing organization in the country than the Nation of Islam. It is impossible to be a rep for the Nation of Islam without at the same time being an overt racist. I hope the good people of the city of Syracuse, NY come to their senses in the next election and choose a better, more sensible, reasonable leader than mayor Stephanie Miner.

In one city in America, we are firing a good man on the ground that someone does not like that he is a Christian and dared to express Christian beliefs in a book he authored, while in another city we are placing a man who is a representative of one of the most racist groups in American culture in a position to influence the education system. Indeed, the standard deviation for good sound judgment among American leaders is exceptionally high.

What is a Christian living in America to do? How should we think about these things? What should we say about these things? First of all, we most certainly should not be anxious about any of the persecution or ungodly judgment we experience and observe in American culture. Our God is King over all the Earth and nothing happens that He has not decreed. Scripture informs us not to fear their intimidation (1 Peter 1:14. We are to prepare ourselves for moments like these so that we may offer up a readied response, providing a reason for the hope that is in us. We must always remember that all humans are cut from the same cloth. We were once enemies of God as well, hardened in our hearts, and filled with lust, deceit, arrogance, and idolatry. But God graciously reconciled us to Himself through the work of Christ at the cross.

Jesus commanded us to rejoice and take great joy and comfort in the fact that we are persecuted unjustly for His name’s sake (Matt. 5:11). He did not instruct us to take over the culture, to fix it or to put together some ingenious strategy to correct it somehow. He did instruct us to faithfully confront the sin of our culture with the gospel of repentance. We are to go along making disciples and proclaiming the gospel. Christ should be shining forth from our lives daily, both in how we live, and in what we say. American culture is clearly becoming more hostile to Christ. But so too is the pseudo-church of American culture. The pseudo-church promotes human autonomy, denies biblical authority, mocks divine revelation, and promotes fleshly values from top to bottom, and adopts and embraces godless American ideologies.

We must take aim at sin and at error wherever it exists and speak the truth boldly, lovingly, sternly, and without compromise. God does not offer Christ to the world as a wonderful choice or as an alternative that will make life richer, fuller, and more meaningful. God demands that His creation repent and submit to His Lordship without question or hesitation. And our God will not be mocked. Truly, it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

How are you interacting with American culture, with your local community, in your local church? Are you diligent in your search for truth? Are you passionate in your defense of truth? Are you unapologetic in your communication of the truth? Or, like so many others, are you lethargic in your relationship with truth? Would you rather wear shorts, flip flops, and a t-shirt, sit back, relax your brain, take in some Christian rock, and have a pastor with more flare than faith tell you how awesome you are every week?

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