Tuesday, November 13, 2007

What's The Difference Any More?

An old and long deceased Church of God preacher quoted this verse one day in a sermon I listened to .. and while the content of his sermon didn't stick with me, the verse to this day cuts into me when I hear it and think of the darkness of the present day. Cuts deep.

If living life by Biblically mandated moral absolutes isn't your bag, I can see why this post - or this blog - might not mean anything to you, except a worldly-wise snicker over how uptight I seem. Your amusement doesn't faze me .. you'll give account to the God you thought was a myth in the end, despite your rejection of what you've been told to the contrary in attempts to get you to, ahem, "see the light."
It's what it means to those claiming to live by the Bible that rattles my cage.

He read the classic indictment of the prophet Ezekiel in Ezekiel 22:26

" .. they have put no difference between the holy and the profane .. "
The very difference between right and wrong is being relentlessly confused and obscured in the last days! In fact the distinctions aren't far from being irrelevant to far too many. Oh, Law and Order will prevail to some extent. There is still enough of the social contract of Western civilization keeping things moving. But for those who mutter coyly "Oh, man, now that was just so wrong .. that ain't right, I'm tellin' ye .." as if to protest over how "wrong" some slight or gaffe was, the question should be asked .. "so? What's the problem? Don't saddle me with your truth when I got mine!"
Here's a bit of Biblical absolutism you might not stomach, but we're not responsible for your spiritual digestive tract. James 3:15 states that confusion is one of many evil works while Jesus in John 8:44 made it abundantly clear that all deception we see manifest among us ultimately is of Satanic inspiration. The world and the flesh are still subject to the devil to some degree (we can argue to what that degree might be with great implications riding on what we think), but it was Satan who loosed the vanity of deception into this world in Eden, so it's entirely defensible to assert that Satan is behind the trail of human error to no little degree. If this gives you heartburn, guess what .. there's no Mylanta this side of the Judgment that will cool it, except the covering blood of Jesus Christ who died and now lives again to free you from the sin you've plunged into.

Even it can be equally argued that it is the fallen nature of imperfect and egocentric humanity behind our moral shortcomings that impact our world, the truth still remains. The difference between the true and the false, the good and the evil, the way to life and the slouch to death still is being actively stirrred up. The Real Midnight Cry should bear witness to that recent Barna Research Group report from a few years ago that said:

Only 22 percent of adults believed in moral absolutes
64 percent think truth is always relative to the person & situation.
Of “born again” adults, only 32 percent believed in moral absolutes.
Oh wait, it gets worse ..

83 percent of all teens thought moral truth depended on the circumstances, with just 6 percent believing in absolute truth.
Only 9 percent of “born again” teens accept ideas of absolute truth (compared with 4 percent of other teens.)

At one time it was scandalous to even suggest that divorce might be an option for professing Christians. Those who flapped long tongues of gossip were rightly identified as such and avoided. The doctrine of the Trinity was a non-negotiable definition of how God revealed Himself. Sexual sin was, well .. sexual SIN. Being civil and longsuffering to others in the street and on the job - as well as at home and behind closed doors was an ideal to actually aspire to. We see clear evidence that the church isn't any different then the world it's supposed to NOT be a part of.

And we're supposed to be looking for yet another "new thing" by God to save our hides?

What does this survey say about our belief that some great worldwide revival is going on right now? If Barna’s research is correct, then there seems to be more evidence for a falling away of absolutely catastrophic proportions sweeping the Christian Church, a descent into moral catastrophe. The truth is that it is happening. Now.
And the Church doesn’t really see it because we are living in such a way where we can’t or won’t see it. No wonder the cults smell the opportunity they do and make their claims here and there about how "Babylonian" and apostate it is. And no wonder that people disillusioned with a "pillar of truth" called the "church" that is little more than debris adrift in a tossing sea of wind-driven amorality reach out in desperation for what seems "true." We cannot blame those seeking moral compasses in such times - but we cannot stay silent and leave those clinging to their new revelations as "the true Church" in the deeper ignorance they labor under.

Moral of the Story: What are you doing to turn the tide? How real are you and how authentic do you live when professing Biblical standards for your lifestyle?

That's where the rubber meets the road.