The World According to kcillini77

December 20, 2008

The Sky is Not Falling

Filed under: America,Church — kcillini77 @ 12:17 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Lately I’ve been taking  in all of the news stories and op/ed pages decrying Barack Obama’s selection of Rick Warren to give an invocation at his inauguration.  When I read inane comments from pundits calling Warren a “radical” for not supporting gay marriage, I am tempted to react like a typical culture warrior.  It bothers me that there is obviously a movement underfoot to re-image American values as extremely liberal.  And if we look at recent history in Europe, the writing is probably on the wall that the transformation will eventually be successful.

But I truly believe this is not a battle for Christians to engage in.  The vocal liberals and “new atheists” are doing their best to provoke us into a war of words.  They want us to feel attacked and focus our energies on an emotional battle.  Momentum is on their side to gain the sympathy of the majority and they feel the time is now to break down what we would call “American values” and turn them on their heads.  But it is not time to fight.  It is time to abandon the fight for power and get back to the work that Jesus has called us to.

For so many years American Christians have lived under an illusion that our country is a Christian nation.  That we have some kind of favored status with God because our founding fathers believed in Him and Christianity has been the faith claimed by the majority of Americans.  In basking in this false security, we have become lazy and lost our passion for the Gospel.  We’ve replaced it with passion for self-righteousness and morality.

The Church in America is terrified right now.  It’s worried about losing clout.  It’s worried about kids leaving the church.  It’s worried about declining morality.  And in some circles that fear has led it to give up and wait for some kind of impending rapture so it can enjoy heaven while its neighbors finally see that it was right all along.

For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:15)

There is no reason for us to fear.  What we are really seeing is the reality that our illusion of a “Christian” America has blinded us to for so many years.

Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. (Romans 8: 5-8)

For so long we’ve lived in an environment where everyone went to church on Sunday and kept up external appearances of righteousness.  Meanwhile, all sorts of atrocities have continued to be committed in our country because while we held public behavior in check, America as a whole has always been hostile to God and unable to please him.  Is that a defect of the U.S.A.?  No, it’s the human condition.  It’s the reason we need the Gospel.

And it’s the reason that, rather than a call to arms, the current state of our country is a call back to the Gospel.  Back to our first love.  Back to loving our neighbors as Christ loves them.  Back to being the Church.  Back to rejoicing in all circumstances.  Back to repenting of our lust for power.  Back to making it our ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind our own business and work with our hands so that our daily life may win the respect of others (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12).  Back to Jesus.


September 1, 2008

Let it go.

When I heard that Hallmark was introducing cards geared toward gay marriage and commitment ceremonies, my first question was, “How long before the religious right starts the boycott calls?”  Well, surprisingly I haven’t seen an official boycott call, but the American Family Association has interpreted this as Hallmark “pushing same-sex marriage” and is asking people to call the company to tell them this is a “bad business idea”. They remind us that gay marriage is illegal in 48 states, that this move is obviously driven by greed, and that we should ask them to stop promoting this unhealthy lifestyle.

The American Family Association and well-meaning Christians everywhere think they are sending a loud and clear message that homosexuality is a sin as stated in the Bible and that God will not be mocked.  That message is a true statement.  But that is not the message that is being sent.

The message that is being sent is that homosexuals are subhuman creatures who don’t deserve the dignity of being able to buy or receive a simple greeting card.  That a person with friends who have adopted a homosexual lifestyle is better off to ignore them than to send them a simple note acknowledging their decision and wishing them happiness.

We all know that we need to choose our battles.  Legislation protecting the definition of marriage is worth fighting for.  The decision of a greeting card company to offer cards that acknowledge a friend’s or family member’s decision is not a fight worth engaging.  You won’t win, and you only make yourself out to be a hypocrite to the world – preaching Christ’s love in one breath and declaring someone unworthy of a simple greeting in the next.  Let it go.

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