Last week, in a stunning departure from the rule of law, the Supreme Court decided that it has the right to speak for God. Five judges voted to defy God and ignore the will of millions of Americans as they declared that marriage is not what God, the Creator of marriage, says it is. Yes, the Supreme Court has made it official: the United States of America has declared that it doesn’t give a hoot about it’s Judeo-Christian foundations. We have gone from teaching our people about the dangers of what God calls sin to celebrating it. God have mercy.
A couple of days ago in Oklahoma, the Supreme Court ruled that the Ten Commandments should no longer be displayed on government property. You know, because God’s words “Thou Shall Not Kill” seem pretty judgmental. We can’t have that. The culture cries, “Don’t judge!” After all, we kill our unborn every day without so much as a second thought. We don’t have a leg to stand on where murder is concerned. Adultery? Who cares? We love that stuff in the good ol’ USA. It’s the theme of most of our favorite TV shows! Coveting? No big deal. We deserve what that other guy has, right?
Yeah. Take them down. Those dated, old-fashioned Ten Commandments need to go, right along with prayer in school and this notion that marriage is a sacred institution given to us by our Creator. To quote former pastor Rob Bell, we Christians wised up and stopped using “letters from two-thousand years ago as our best defense.”
Looking around, it’s clear that many Christians have unbuckled the belt of truth under enormous pressure from the culture. Many pastors have begun exchanging the truth of God’s Word for the easy “truth” of the world in an effort to be “loving,” except that denying the truth of God is never loving. I have to wonder if those pastors who will not stand on the authority of Scripture care more about winning a popularity contest than they do about speaking the truth.
And so, we find ourselves in a full-blown spiritual crisis. So where do we go from here? What do we do?
Christians need to do two things as we find ourselves at this crossroad:
Not a popular word, I know. Sort of a crowd-shrinker, really. But we cannot expect God to hear our prayers if they are being hindered by our sin. We need to do business with God.I’m including myself here. I watch things that I know in my heart grieve my Lord. I’ve committed to living more completely for Him than I have been. I have asked God for forgiveness in my own life more in the past year than I have ever—because I realize that I need to do a better job of living the way God says I need to.Our healing must starts with personal repentance. So let me ask you: What are you allowing yourself to watch? To listen to? Are you saying one thing and living another? If so, the Bible says your prayers are being hindered!We must not be hypocrites. It’s time to clean house. Repentance needs to happen within the Church.”Let him who means to love life and see good days refrain his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking guile. And let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears attend to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” 1 Peter 3:10
- Cry out for wisdom. The Bible teaches that the Lord grants wisdom. Not the culture, not judges, not the courts. We cannot possibly navigate the complex issues of our generation correctly unless we ask the Lord to give us wisdom.3Cry out for insight,
and ask for understanding.
4 Search for them as you would for silver;
seek them like hidden treasures.
5 Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord,
and you will gain knowledge of God.
- Be resolutely committed to reading and “rightly dividing” the Word of Truth.This means that each of us needs to take responsibility for our own walk with God. Your pastor should not, and in fact, cannot replace your personal time with the Lord.We are living in a biblically illiterate generation of Christians who do not know the Word of God and therefore cannot stand upon it. This is a terrible weakness. Christians who do not know the God they claim to serve are sacrificing truth on the altar of compassion. If we are not in the Bible, we will operate on our own thoughts and motives. We must be in the Word!
I have been thinking a lot about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and their decision not to bow to the gold statue that their king ordered them to bow to. Despite threat of death, they honored God. We are at a “gold statue” moment in the United States. This is our time to choose whom we will serve.
16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered, “Your Majesty, we will not try to defend ourselves. 17 If the God whom we serve is able to save us from the blazing furnace and from your power, then he will. 18 But even if he doesn’t, Your Majesty may be sure that we will not worship your god, and we will not bow down to the gold statue that you have set up.” Daniel 3:16-18
Today, we are being given an opportunity to be exactly who God says we are: SET APART. Be set apart, Christian! Be different!
Will you be persecuted? Yes. Criticized? Absolutely. But I’ve decided to follow Jesus. If Jesus was willing to bear the cross for me, then I am willing to bear the criticism of this world.
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.