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Archive for November, 2012

“How Culture Changes” (YouTube – Mark Driscoll)

November 27, 2012 1 comment

An interesting short clip about the direction of our culture and why it goes the way it does.

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Ah, the heights of human arrogance

November 19, 2012 5 comments

Human arrogance and pride is everywhere, and it’s not just the “hatetheists” who are guilty of this (again, described in this link: http://blogs.christianpost.com/confident-christian/profile-of-a-hatetheist-10298/). It resides in all of us, even those who call themselves Christians. Smart, educated people are especially prone to this pitfall precisely because they believe themselves to be smart.

While we may try to remove the more obvious signs of pride from our lives daily (particularly the socially unacceptable forms), I think a more hidden and dangerous kind threatens to destroy the possibility of salvation in many around us…even churchgoers who fully believe themselves to be saved.

This latent pride not only keeps someone from fully engaging with Almighty God in a genuine way, but it also gives people the false sense of security that they have nothing to worry about…that they are already right with God and the rest is just icing on the cake.

OK so what am I talking about? In a nutshell, it is this attitude: “I know better than God.”

Now, I know what you’re thinking…no one who calls themselves Christians would actually think or say this! Maybe not explicitly, but like love, feelings and words are not the best way to gauge whether we have the proper attitude. The best evidence is shown through actions and in the way we think.

Chronological Snobbery

This mindset presupposes that newer or more modern is always better. What we believe today is better than what “old-fashioned” people or societies in the past believed. “Traditional” has become a dirty word.

Why do people think this way? Because we have some evidence supporting this predisposition. Newer technology is generally faster and better. We can look into the historical past with 20/20 hindsight and see all the egregious mistakes that we have made. Since we appear to have progressed in some of these areas (e.g., slavery, racism, sexism), we conclude that we are always moving forward.

But this is a gross oversimplification, particularly when it comes to morality. Just as modern electric guitars do not beat a ’59 Gibson Les Paul, modern morality is not necessarily superior to the past overall. You cannot make blanket statements or judgments, but rather need to consider things piece by piece. As always, people love to think in ways that are convenient and neatly packaged, rather than nuanced.

For instance, yes, we can be jubilant in the abolition of slavery and that we have come to our senses that racism is wrong. We can be happy about getting closer to gender equality and laws protecting women from domestic abuse.

But as Bible-believing Christians, we should mourn the erosion of biblical and traditional marriage. We should feel immense sadness at the killing of unborn babies every day, while coming to grips with the ridiculous hypocrisy of judging China for throwing away unwanted daughters into dumpsters. “Choice” has become the ultimate good rather than right and wrong or the sanctity of life. Tolerance for all ideas has taken the place of pursuing and discerning actual truth.

We need to analyze things point by point. Not all modern things are better. If you believe Satan exists and is out to deceive the world, do you really think he’d make his acts of moral sabotage so obvious? Remember, he knows what he is doing and is smarter than the limits of our human intelligence. The only chance we have to withstand his barrage of deceptions is to be saturated in God’s Word.

Using Our Own Moral Compasses

There is supposed to be only one overriding moral compass in this world, and that is the Bible. The Holy Spirit also leads true believers, yes, but He never goes against God’s Word. There is never any contradiction, or else you are being misled by some other false spirit.

But nowadays, people regard their own feelings about moral issues as the ultimate guide for right and wrong. Nevermind what God said…this is what I feel. This is what I believe in my bones.

Again, there is just enough false evidence to lead us to conclude this is the way to go. That candy bar you stole when you were little? You sure felt that it was wrong, but you did it anyway. If only you had gone along with your trusty ol’ moral compass, surely you would have avoided breaking the law. Any time you lied to someone you care about, you felt a pang of guilty feelings. Sometimes, you have been led to do the right thing based on your conscience. All of this cumulative evidence leads you to believe that if only you are disciplined enough to follow your gut, you would do the right thing all the time.

So when your gut goes against what the Bible teaches you, without even knowing it, you trust your gut instead. Perhaps the problem is, subconsciously, you still need God and the Bible to prove themselves to you. Perhaps it’s not really your gut at all, but rather years of cultural brainwashing that have reformed your beliefs. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you’re immune to more advanced forms of peer pressure just because you’re out of high school now.

God may tell you that homosexuality is wrong, but then you look around and see happy gay couples…you see them on TV and they are fun and pleasant. Maybe your favorite uncle or a friend is gay and you feel ashamed that your Bible condemns their behavior when you want to be supportive.

Your gut starts to tell you that maybe the Bible is wrong on this issue or it didn’t consider things as comprehensively as you have.

At this point, maybe you should consider giving God a few pointers and bringing Him up to speed on the things you know. After all, His omniscience and timeless knowledge no longer carry as much weight as your own feelings on matters.

Again, we see Satan’s cleverness at work here. While he is able to convince some extreme people that blatantly wrong things like stealing or murder are OK, for the most part, he knows these things are an impossible battle. So what does he do? Probably what we would do in the same shoes. Go after the so-called “gray areas” where you can put up a more convincing argument to go against God (note: many of these perceived gray areas are actually quite black and white if we are properly informed). Prey on the extreme powers of human rationalization and rack up some victories there.

Don’t be fooled guys. We can’t trust our gut completely, nor can we trust societal norms. Heck, people seem more likely to trust GQCosmo, or the liberal media these days rather than God.

If God actually exists, though, there is an ultimate authority on right and wrong and we are not it. Considering that people are wholly convinced about certain things—and these things differ based on time and culture—the ONLY reliable source of moral authority is the Bible.

If you go to different parts of the world, there will be countless people who are 100% convinced of opposite positions from you. Now we get into an issue of whose culture is better. You will inevitably think, “Ah, but they are a backwards culture. You can’t trust what they think.”

Do you really want to take on this kind of snobbery as well? What makes you so sure your culture is superior in every way? My opinion is that each culture has a few things right, a few things wrong. No one has it all figured out (and no one ever will).

If you don’t believe the Bible is the actual Word of God, then fine, that’s a different argument. But my point is that if you call yourself a Bible-believing Christian, you need to act like it. Don’t be a poser.

Imagine This Scenario

Imagine this. A guy sees a picture of a pretty girl on someone else’s Facebook. He decides from seeing this picture that he is meant to marry this girl. From the picture, he has constructed what he believes to be her personality. “I bet she likes taking nature walks and is reserved, but not overly shy.”

“I love her!”

He imagines what their dates would be like and the kind of parents they would be to their children. He would be the firm one to counter her nurturing hand and voice. He predicts the kinds of conversations they would have and the responses she would give to his questions.

Kind of creepy, right?

Well, now let’s say that he one day runs into her at a mutual friend’s party. He walks up and introduces himself to her, and he fully believes he accurately knows the kind of person she is.

Could he realistically expect her to fall for him immediately and agree to marry him?

Of course not! He’s more likely to get the following response than a yes to marriage: “I don’t know you, get away!”

Why is that? Because they never actually knew each other. He never met with her or developed a real relationship. Everything was according to his own imagination and was not grounded in reality.

The same goes for most “Christians” who have constructed their own image of God in their minds. They don’t read the Bible and get to know who He really is. When they do read, they change the obvious meaning to better suit their beliefs. They don’t wrestle with difficult truths and submit to His authority over their own. They don’t come to see who He really is.

Rather, they form an agreeable, politically correct, culturally relevant version of “God” in their minds. Maybe He’s a teddy bear. Forget the wrath stuff or divine judgment. “Forget what the Bible says, I’m sure God understands how things are now in America…”

But sure enough, these people are in real danger. They don’t know the true God, nor do they rely on Him as their authority. What do they think “LORD and savior” really means? It’s not “buddy and savior.”

Sadly, when these people reach the gates of heaven, they will likely be shocked to hear: “I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!” (Matthew 7:23)

But it really shouldn’t be shocking at all.