Difficult Times

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We live in some difficult and confusing times.  It is a cultural era that just when you think it couldn’t get worse or more confusing (as to how people are thinking) it does. Never before – even during the marriage issue of our recent history  – have I seen so many upset people “yelling out” on Facebook about things they do not totally understand.  We have slipped into a narrative type of environment where truth and morality are no longer based on common sense or facts but instead are based on a trumped up emotional narrative that makes people think they are standing for something good when in fact it is really bad and damaging for not only them but the future of our country.

Here are a few things that the culture has done…

  1. “We” have lowered the value of the human individual by making sexuality an identifying civil characteristic.  These aren’t “race” wars we are currently drug into as a nation, it’s “sex” wars.  What type you participate in has become a label that identifies you more than your job, your character, or who you really are as a human being.  There is something majorly different from someone saying “I am an African American, that is  my heritage” and someone saying “I am straight” or another type of sexual reference of “identity.”  Our sexuality should not be what gives us value, when it is allowed to do that it degrades what it means to be human.  We are more than “pieces of meat” for someone else to get enjoyment from.
  2. “We” have devalued the value of physical privacy.  This happened when steps were taken to insure the right of “physical” privacy and some “agenda” driven people made it a “sexual identity” civil rights issue while totally disregarding the safety and dignity of our children.  When people are against a measure that insures that a middle school girl can go to the bathroom at her school without a man or middle school boy watching her, they have elevated the safety of their political agenda above the safety of that young girl and have slapped the face of all who believe in women’s rights.  In fact, if they wind up winning this fight they will deal a major blow to every woman and girl’s dignity in this country.  (There is a good reason why men are not scared of women using their restrooms.) It will send a message that their privacy is not as important as the “sexual agenda” that is being pushed.
  3. “We” have devalued our right to choose and it has resulted in creating a culture of fear. This is in part because of the rise of corporate and political bullying.  Not only do corporations threaten groups of people to try to force them to do what they want, the federal government threatens loss of funds if things do not change to the way they think things should be.  This is nothing short of holding fellow Americans hostage until they bow to a certain belief system. A certain “doctrine” of right and wrong. Some of the media participates in this by smearing the facts by overlaying them with a narrative that doesn’t fit what is going on.  They do not allow others who disagree with them this “right of refusal” that they so willingly take on themselves.  You can no longer choose in America, you are only allowed to conform.
  4. “We” have devalued the value of listening and discussing ideas.  This has been traded with shouting ideologies instead. Reason is no longer a commodity, it has been replaced with name calling, threats and unfounded attacks on character. With usages of “you people”, “your religion”, “bigots” etc… these words are used to try to silence opposition. This false labeling of people has caused many to be silent.  It is a tactic that is working and flourishing.  This is unfortunate.
  5. Making things better is no longer possible because common sense has been replaced with “advocacy” at any cost. This makes trust a hard value to find.

Yes, these are difficult and confusing times.  We are more broken as a culture now than we were 10 years ago.

But there is hope…

iStock_000020139656_Large-760x506.jpgFor those who believe in Jesus Christ this is exactly the type of world He came to save and fix.  It is the type of world the gospel finds additional value in as its power changes lives willing to accept it.  The power of the gospel is never devalued nor weakened by the state of a particular culture or secular/political ideology.  It is what we should be talking about and holding on to. It is the answer for a lost and broken world.  It brings healing to a world of pain, strength to endure dark difficult days and shines a light on confusion making things clear. It gives value and a solid identity to all people, who would otherwise depend on lesser forms, to find self worth.

If there was ever a time to proclaim the gospel…

the time is now.

Let’s rally around that.

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