What happened? Was I out for 5 minutes when everything changed? Didn't up used to be up and down .. down.. not the other way around? And I am pretty sure WRONG is now the new RIGHT.
Let's start with a few easy ones from where I sit. Crass is the new clever/cultured, Profane is the new profound, Gender is now a fluid state of being, Same Sex Marriage is the new traditional marriage, .. and Abortion (the ending of a beating heart) is a woman's CHOICE. Choice?, Such a gentle word for such a horrific violent end of the unborn child.
We are numbed and dumbed down to vulgar language and violence in movies, TV, and pop/hip hop/rap music. Sex before marriage, and teen sexuality is assumed not discouraged. Everyone claims to be a victim, everyone claims to be bullied which muddies truth of those who truly are victims and/or bullied. AND everyone who voices a contrary view is expressing HATE SPEECH. We are a culture who on one hand fills it's minds with horror movies, and fascinated/entertained by the story of serial killer, but.. thinks that our 2nd ammendment rights are the root of all evil. Wrong is .. new Right.
Even in the church simple choices of right and wrong are more carefully handled than a suicide vest by a bomb squad whose only training was using the ol 'Operation board game' as it's guide. And if the church does say something is wrong that disagrees with our progressive society it gets messy.
My concern/observation is The church (as a whole) is 1/2 afraid to speak truth in love afraid of the mess it may cause, and the other 1/2 appears to be like the frog in the boiling pan of water slowly cooking in our new boiling baptismal jacuzzi until we are no longer salt and light as commanded in Mt 5:13-16. The church excuses this compromise with the broad brushed statement.. We are about love, Jesus is love.
I do agree Jesus is love, but Jesus was love sometimes in very direct truth. In fact I believe Jesus referenced Hell 46 timesI He spoke directly BUT IN LOVE about sin, and judgement. He may have called the religous leaders a brood of vipers, but he also lovingly spoke to the woman at the well. How would Jesus have been loving if he did not speak the whole truth?
Same with Paul, he was loving but so very direct about sin not because it was on the TO NOT DO list but because sin is harmful to the body and harmful to the soul. But if a church has a sermon lovingly on the sin of homosexuality it is demonized as homophobic hate. You see, WRONG is the new right even at church.
Let's even be more basic about TRUTH. We as Christians believe there is one way to Heaven and that is Jesus. To share this truth should be the most important truth we can share. BUT agnostics, atheists, Muslims, Buddhists, etc would disagree. So do we quit sharing this truth because it might offend?
Do we just gently say, well we all believe generally in the same thing 'higher power' so.. peace be still... even though we as Christians believe there is ONE WAY to Heaven.
MY OWN MESS - Let me be very clear, I am such a sinner.. aka made lotsa mistakes. I have trouble with my temper, watched movies and laughed at jokes I should not have. I have made compromises, told lies and all the other goodies that many of us do.
I am also a man who compromised too many years with alcohol (aka alcoholic), and it was ruining my life. I share the cartoon on the left that is typically received with collective cringes as it is NOT FUNNY, but it is was becoming my story.
So in response to my drinking my wife expressed to me in love and sometimes the appropriate amount of anger YOU NEED TO QUIT DRINKING. This is not good for you, it is not good for your family. So my question is.. was my wife intolerant and judgmental of me as a person, or was she directly and loving me tell me my alcohol use was hurting me and my family? Well, I believe I would be dead now if I continued drinking. To be honest I did not always welcome her words and would soften them by saying I would do better next time, but bottom-line my wife's lovingadmonishment CHANGED MY LIFE. I thank God for my wife and my three adult kids who lovingly told me truth.
So in this world where WRONG is the new RIGHT how shall we participate? Should we tell someone in need of food and shelter.. God loves you, hope things work out for you, turn that frown upside down, or do something positive for this friend or stranger in need. In a society filled with greed, racism, hatred, gender fluidity, same sex marriage, vulgarity, misogyny, etc do we just say God loves you go in peace to each their own, or do quit apologizing and watering down God's unchanging truth? And will we speak God's truth.. in love? God loves us and HE teaches us a better way for body and soul.
May God bless each of you to boldly go each day into a world that may hate you for saying RIGHT is still right, and WRONG is still wrong.
Thank you for endulging me sharing this topic of societal angst that is on my heart.
note: pray for me as many 'lovingly' advise me that I share God's Truth in love with a 2 by 4.. Which is a painful oxymoron that I need prayer. :)
The mutterings on life and faith by cartoonist Jeff Larson