Monday, May 20, 2019

Douglas Frank Photo

Are you safe? In a world of increasing volatility there seem to be fewer places of safety. I find that this world where truth is relative and all thoughts and ways must be accepted as equal has lost its way. Lewis Carroll said, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”  I am thinking of the Mad Hatter of Alice in Wonderland and waking up in some crazy place where there are not truths. You know that our country once had truths, many spoken in the Constitution, The Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. However, now we find more and more Pontius Pilot type folks without truth who clearly have not read Lessons of History by Will Durant. The fear of capitalism has compelled socialism to widen freedom, and the fear of socialism has compelled capitalism to increase equality. East is West and West is East, and soon the twain will meet.” We are progressively moving to a place that is eerily similar to all failed civilizations where God plays no part. George Santana said, “If you ignore the lessons of history, you are bound (doomed) to repeat them.”  We are fast approaching the end zone of our nation’s life. You see the rise and fall of civilizations averages 330 years, which is now approaching for the United States expiration date. 

C.S. Lewis moved from atheist to Christian writing many scholarly books reflecting reality. In Witch in the Wardrobe Mrs. Beaver said of God, “He’s not safe, but He is good.” He is slow to anger and abounding in love, but His wrath does not sit forever. Some folks don’t read the Old Testament because God seems angry and stern, full of rules. He is also the same good, merciful God that chose to save one family from the flood to begin again. Yes, Noah built an ark so God could have a do over He knew was coming. He is actively involved in our lives today too, and His patience lasts until it doesn’t. We can disobey at our own peril or trust in the Lord, our choice. We can live or perish, our choice. I am speaking eternally here as wars and rumors of wars have been killing innocent people for millennia. It seems that we once again have reached a place of intolerance that is volcanic and ready to spew hate on everyone. Why, because we have lost our moral compass. As a student of ethics I have come to understand beneficence and maleficence along with do no harm. But in today’s western society autonomy is the rational that is winning the day. It is the primal desire of our hearts that is winning and that is greed, avarice and pride. 

I have studied conflict resolution and negotiations, but we no longer have a getting to “Yes,” accept one based on anarchy. Down through the ages the church was established to find, know and live the truth as our Creator has established. But now we have thrown out this truth at the highest levels is favor of cultural depravity. I am not a strict Calvinist, but he established several pillars about man worth looking at. 
Total Depravity (also known as Total Inability and Original Sin)
Unconditional Election
Limited Atonement (also known as Particular Atonement)
Irresistible Grace
Perseverance of the Saints (also known as Once Saved Always Saved).

If you go on the streets and ask if “man is good,” you will find a most common response of “yes, but they fail sometimes.” You see that is not how it works. Man is born sinful, Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me”  (Psalm 51:5). Yes, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Take your pick; ALL of mankind from the beginning is broken. God made us this way so that we would chose Him and His way not our own. Free will choses selfishly and without God. Jeremiah the Prophet said, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind”  (Jeremiah 17:9). The Prophet Ezekiel was used to speak of heart transplants, the only solution for humankind. 
“I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees” (Ezekiel 36:25-27). 

There it is, our heart problem. Our hearts are not good in themselves. Our blood is stained by sin not sanctified or made pure. This need for more than surgery comes at a price. We need to ask for a new heart, willing to give up control. This requires sacrifice. God did that for us on the cross of His Son. He knew from the beginning that we are not good and would not choose good but evil, deceitful desires over godly ones. The answer to this is a spiritual revival. This is not a progressive step, but a complete reversal of our direction of “Practical Atheism.” As Pogo said, “I have found the enemy and he is us.”  It is happening amongst “so called Christians” as well. Paul admonished the Galatians about this behavior saying: 

If you bite and devoureach other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are inconflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want” (Galatians 5:15-17). 

This is a frightening but true description of our culture today. We can change it, but only through supernatural intervention from the Most Holy God Almighty. I listened to our Speaker of the House say recently that our president needs an intervention. Even though I can’t stand her policies, I tend to agree with the thought. Speech and words do hurt and escalated ones hurt our society. Most in Washington D.C. are speaking in destructive tones and ways. It has overflowed into our culture and is influencing more than a breakdown of civility in congress, but in all institutions and hearts. I hear it and feel it’s dangerousness. I believe it is leaving us open to destruction by our enemies, especially Satan. Revival is the answer. Search your hearts and pray for American. 

I look to biblical history to find a similar time and it arises out of Judah and Israel in the days of King Jehoshaphat. When faced with seemingly overwhelming odds he prayed to God for help saying, “We don’t know what to do, but our eyes are one you” (2 Chronicles 20:12, 15). And the Lord in return said, ‘”Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.”  The people worshiped and praised God, singing for His intervention in advance. Well, they marched into battle and found that God had caused their enemies to destroy one another.  What do we make of that? Stand, believe, fear not, for the Lord delivers to safety. 

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts.