Paul told us plainly that these times would come. “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”
Now days with character like that, you could win a nobel prize. In fact that sounds more like campaign promises than New Testament prophecies. Our cultual boat is clearly upside down and the one thing that you can count on when that happens is that you are going to sink. We are certainly dealing with the world, the flesh, and the devil these days on nearly all fronts. From attempted Muslim takeover of America’s affection and mindset, to the government formally attempting to commit sovereign suicide on the altar of globalization, to Christians crucifying other Christians on the internet, we are certainly all stirred up with nothing to do, except come apart.
I am amazed at the fact that many of us are amazed.
We are certainly told of the troubles of our times before our times. The fact is that the world has had these kinds of troubles ever since Eve ate Adam out of house and home. As long as there are people there are these kinds of problems. In every age, culture, and country that people have had anything to do with, it has been relatively a royal mess. That’s what makes the beauty of the gospel so brilliant. Christ Jesus can bring sense to situation, and control in the midst of chaos, and He does it in such a way that He alone will receive the glory.
One of the fundamental contributors to the chaos in our time without doubt has been the proliferation of the Internet. It has essentially done two things for/to our culture that has peeled back the veil and allowed us to see the “man behind the curtain.” 1.) It has given everyone a voice, that’s good. It is called the freedomof speech 2.) It has let us see what everyone is thinking, that’s not been so good. Finding out what is really on the mind of people has not only been disappointing to our culture, but also disturbing.
We have found out just how liberal liberals are. We have found out just how liberal moderates are.
I am reminded of the episode of Gilligan’s Island when Gilligan finds the magic sunflower seeds that allow him to read the minds of others. If you’ll remember the show, what started out in glorious discovery ended up in a complete “island breakdown.” Every one could now know what everyone else was really thinking, and they found out that people did not think, like we thought they thought. Friends sometimes weren’t so friendly. Compliments sometimes weren’t really meant. Words and thoughts often went in different directions. Loyalties were stretched, and sometimes broken.
We don’t really have any magic sunflower seeds, but the effect has been essentially the same up to this point, and will continue. The “Blogopshere” has changed the landscapes of journalism, and politics forever. Facebook, MySpace, Social Networking, and “cyberbullying” has certainly done it’s fair share of rearranging friendships and loyalties. Within the Christian world, we are finding out that not all professing Christians, are possessing Christian values. (I’m not sure at all anymore if the terms Moderate/ and Liberal/ can be used to “modify” or describe a rock solid Christian. I say that after finding out what some “Moderates” and “Liberals” really do think.)
We used to point out and shine a light on misleading preachers as should be done after all the information was gathered and agreed upon as authentic. Now we shine the light, hog tie, beat down, bloody up, spit on, and noodle whip them, name call, and then we really tear in to them.
It is one thing to call out a minister who we believe to be misleading people and expose untruths. It is another thing altogether to obsess ourselves with conquering them and forcing them into a cowering submission. I firmly believe Joel Osteen, Al Sharpton, Kenneth Copeland, Benny Hinn, and Jesse Jackson, are all charleton hirelings making mockery of the gospel and have no business masquerading as “Reverend” or “Minister” or “Pastor.” But I will not dedicate my blog to their destruction. When dealing with the people that I pastor, I will warn them of wolves in sheeps clothing, but I will spend most of my energies raising sheep rather than wolf hunting.
We have found out that some people who profess to be Christian vote very liberally. I have explained to the people that I pastor, and always will explain that if it is on the ballot it is in the Bible. Whatever the issues are the Bible tells us what to think about them, and through the magic sunflower internet, we are finding that “christians” are not always thinking the way the Bible says for them to think.
All of that being said, what does it say for tomorrow? It says that the more we find out how people really feel, and what people really think, animosity just builds, friendships get tested, and loyalties get stretched.
Now we all need to understand this. I could not handle knowing everyone’s thoughts. Most likely I could not like very many people, and I doubt very seriously if very many people could like me if they could read mine. But I am grateful that I do have a friend that sticketh closer than a brother, who knew my thoughts before I thought them, and He still loves me.
While the chaos of finding out what is on the minds of people continues to tear at the fabric of our culture, I will do my best to continue to learn of the One who already knows the minds of men, and loves them anyway. That is a Wonderful Change Worth Making