What has happened to us? We live in an age where ego and emotion are more important than virtue and values. An age where personal preference outweighs personal worth and “I want it now” trumps integrity. We live in an age where absolutes aren’t (unless we decide they fit into our personal plan) and standards are only something to customize and remodel to our personal satisfaction. Ours is an age where the ancient principles of sin and objective morality are being relegated to the trash heap of history. So, what are we supposed to do? Should we go along with the flow of thoughts and emotions that are reshaping our social structure? Should we abandon what is considered to be the old and worn out moral thinking of the past and embrace the new and vibrant personally-based principles of the present?
So often when people think about the Bible, they think of an ancient book full of rules given by a God who was jealous and angry in the Old Testament, and they think about Jesus as a representation of love and kindness in the New Testament. Our present social culture has decided that any necessary rules and guidelines can simply come from within each of us and that we don’t need any ancient book telling us here in this age of knowledge and reason what to do! Well, is the ancient wisdom right or are we?
Atheism – for many of us who profess Christianity, even hearing the word conjures up a need to defend oneself and one’s faith. Sometimes we envision an Atheist as one whose objective in life is to ridicule not only us but the mechanism of our faith. And not just the mechanism of our faith, but the very object of our faith – God Almighty. So what do we have? We have envisioned Atheism as an enemy – as an object of our disdain…but wait a minute – Jesus clearly taught us to love our enemies, so what does that mean? Did Jesus himself love those who profess Atheism – did Jesus die for Atheists? If so, then how should we show them the love of Christ?
Morality. Here in the 21st century, morality has become a moving target. In any given circumstance, its interpretation can be diverted, diminished or even dissolved, depending on what one may feel is right at the time. Is this the way life is supposed to work? Are we all supposed to only follow our own internal barometer or are we designed to follow an external constant? Is human nature a self-directing mechanism that will bring us to higher and higher levels, or is human nature in its present state a sin-directed mechanism that brings us to idolatry? Do we know better, or is there something that we better know?
Oftentimes as we look around us we can really get discouraged, for we live in a world that embraces darkness and persecutes light. We are surrounded by political corruption, we are developed in a “me first” environment. We are shown that winning at all costs is acceptable. And instead of a “turn the other cheek” mentality, we are bombarded with a “smack him before he smacks you” approach. It is like living as a lamb among lions – and we all know how that works out. So, can we as Christians “thrive” in a world like this? Stay with us!
About two months ago, we received an email from a listener - a college student - who was troubled. He is a Christian and had watched a YouTube video entitled, "Why I am no longer a Christian," a 1 1/2-hour, step-by-step presentation of how another young man went from devoted Christian to atheist. It was a well-done, non-inflammatory treatise on why the author now believed Christianity to be just a story. The young man who emailed asked us if we could answer, to which we responded, yes, just give us time. Stay with us for Part I as we go through this very detailed reasoning!
Is right always right? It may seem like a simple question, but it really isn’t. The good news is, we live in a society of great freedom. The bad news is that this society of great freedom does not put nearly as high a value on great responsibility. Responsibility means doing the right thing – but what is the right thing? Does my definition of "right" spill over onto and affect your actions? Who or what determines “the right thing?” Is “the right thing” a moving target, or is it a stable and firm destination? Stay with us as we discuss right, wrong and moral standards.
Our world can be a confusing place. When it comes to defining right and wrong, there are inevitable interpretations, applications and disagreements. When it comes to making a decision which includes some level of moral judgment, there are a myriad of possibilities, factors and extenuating circumstances which cloud the issue. When it comes to doing what we consider right for ourselves, there are always the mitigating factors and details that need to be sorted through...wait a minute! Does it have to be so confusing? Is what we know to be right that hard to find? Do moral judgments have to be painful and tentative? Is doing what’s right for us THAT important? Stay with us as we look into the world of standards, morality, conscience and social acceptance.