What We Don’t See With Cultural Morality
I used to talk a lot of junk and carry a pretty big Bible. It was a parallel Bible incorporating the KJV, Amplified, NAS, and NIV into one thick 3,000 plus page Bible. I stopped using mine because the print was so small, or I was getting so old I couldn’t see the print (toe-may-toe, toe-mah-toe); that plus I had used it so much the pages were falling out. After getting reading glasses I began using my wife’s parallel Bible for my morning study time. As I was reading through 2 Corinthians chapter 5 I can came across some notes she had written in her Bible. They were likely 7 to 10 years old but they speak volumes about what we are seeing in the world today. I have reprinted them here, with my insights after each one. However, they are likely from a Bible study or a sermon she heard preached somewhere so I cannot take credit for them. The title she had over the notes: Dangers of Cultural Morality…
1. Not our commission-we have not been mandated by God. The we being Christ followers and although true some Christ followers have embraced cultural morality more than the Gospel.
2. Wastes precious mounts of resources – is a distraction by the enemy, Eph 5:16. If we are Christ followers then we should devote all resources (time, talent, & treasures) to doing what Christ has called us to do: share & show the love of Christ, invite people to be recipients of Christ’s love.
3. If you don’t change the heart you will redirect the sin. Only God can change a person’s heart. Anything else is merely a bandaid on an eternal wound: sin.
4. Fails to understand the kingdom of God, John 18:36. Just as Jesus explained to Nicodemus in John chapter 3, without the Spirit of God one cannot understand the things of God. Cultural morality moves people away from understanding God’s overwhelming love for humanity.
Archive for Real Talk
What We Don’t See With Cultural Morality
Many theologians and atheists and people in general argue over which animals God is referencing in Job chapter 40 (the answer to which I’ll provide shortly #imho). By focusing on the animals we miss the greater point that God is making. God highlights the characteristics of a land and then a sea animal. His point to Job is if you cannot understand or grasp the concept of why these creatures were created, if you cannot meet their varying needs, if you cannot see their role in the universe then how can you begin to question God and His purpose? If Job cannot grasp what God is doing with and for these animals how could Job get and grasp what God is doing with and for humanity.
We know God has just demonstrated what faith in God can do; not just to Job but also to satan (and by extension to us). That same faith is what saved the Old Testament saints as they looked forward to the Cross and the New Testament saints and us as we look back to it. As to the animals God is referencing? They could easily be ones no longer in existence in our day. But the main point is they are identified as ones God created; ones He knows and created for His purpose. The same is true of you and me. God created us to know Him and more so than the animals to be recipients of His amazing love. Like Job, we just need to put our faith and trust in God even in the midst of the trials and tribulations of this world.
Although I do not participate in Ash Wednesday, as many did this past week, I do acknowledge the purpose of Lent. In the 4th century the early Church believers wanted to dedicate a time leading up to Resurrection Sunday to focusing on what Jesus Christ did for us by giving His life so that we might have life. They decided to start that time of focus 40 days before Resurrection Sunday since Jesus Christ fasted for 40 days before jump starting His ministry.
I get the people that give up things for Lent as a way of fasting and focusing on God’s love, goodness, and grace. What I don’t get are people who just go through the motions. I have talked to people who gave up meat for Lent and when I ask them why they literally just say “Because we are supposed to…aren’t we?” Why would you engage in a 40 day long practice without knowing what you are doing or why you are doing it? I’m not trying to judge, ridicule, or criticize anyone but here are a few suggestions, #IMHO, to get the most out of Lent.
- DON’T give up anything for Lent if you don’t know why you are doing it. That isn’t called fasting, it’s foolishness.
- DON’T give up anything for Lent without spending time that would normally be used engaging in what you are fasting from drawing closer to Christ by reflecting on what He gave up for you.
- DON’T spend the 40 days of Lent griping and moaning about what you gave up. That just shows you don’t really understand what’s going on.
- DO celebrate and rejoice in the fact that whatever you gave up pales in comparison to what Jesus Christ gave up for you and that He loves you with a never ending love. Rejoice in that for eternity.
At the beginning of every year people are always trying to list out new things to try and do for the coming year. I don’t do resolutions but I do try to implement things into my life that will make it better and make me a better person. This year I saw a post regarding a jar of blessings. It may have been around for a while but this is the 1st year I took notice of it.
The idea is to take a jar and fill it with little notes about blessings that take place in your life; little things that happen throughout the day and big things that occur on certain days. Well, since one of my wife’s motto’s is “Let’s not put things on display, they add to clutter.” I decided that instead of a jar of blessings I would keep an online notebook. This way I have access to it no matter where I am and no matter which device is nearby. I can also look at the blessings that occurred within a given week, month, or other specified time frame.
To date, I’ve filled it with some funny stuff, some light hearted stuff, tiny things about people I’ve met and other things God has blessed me with; some pretty huge.
If there was an app that would let me tweet these things out that would be even better; if anyone knows of one let me know. Until then I will just have to keep blowing up my notebook because God is blessing my pants off.
How about you? Anything special God is doing in your life? And when He does do something do you share it with others?
I’m not a talker. I don’t like talking in front of people I don’t know (I know…kind of clashes with what I’m doing with my life), and although I know Him, I do find it difficult talking to God. Some people are outgoing and social and can talk to everyone including God as easy as walking. Others like me find it difficult holding a conversation especially with the Creator of the universe. How do you start a conversation with the one who designed communication? Somehow “S’up God” doesn’t seem to cut it.
But believe it or not it does. God looks forward to, and tells us in His word, that He longs to hear from us. And like a parent who receives just the one word text on occasion, or who only hears from a child when tagged in their funny picture or post, God cherishes that and every moment we take to communicate with Him. So if it has been days, weeks, years, or even if you just spoke with Him yesterday, take a moment and talk with God today. – “Prayer will make a man cease from sin, or sin will entice a man to cease from prayer.” – John Bunyan.
As a culture we are accustomed to acknowledging great deeds and achievements. Whether they be in sports, movies, science, or the arts we give attention to those who do, what we would believe, are great things. And then there’s God; who created all things and in whom all things are held together; who not only deserves our attention but our worship as well. And He gives us His attention because He, wants to hear, from us. “Each time, before you intercede, be quiet first and worship God in His glory. Think of what He can do and how He delights to hear the prayers of His redeemed people. Think of your place and privilege in Christ, and expect great things!” – Andrew Murray
Just because the elections are over doesn’t mean our prayers should stop. No matter who is in office, whether we voted for them or not, that elected official, from the local magistrate to the congressman or senator, will need the prayers of the people in order to govern justly. Please pray that the Church, the body of Christ, will deepen its commitment to prayer and never cease to call upon God to guide this nation and its leaders. #amen!