Friday, January 4, 2019

Eating Leftovers from Genesis

As I am sitting here looking at the current abortion statistics for 2018 (23 percent), I can’t help but realize that we (humanity) keep eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. We continue to think that somehow we know better than God of what is right and what is good for us. Just as Eve was convinced by the serpent in the Garden of Eden, we continue to fall into the same trap time and time again. The lies and cunningness of the serpent are just as effective today to society (and even the church) as they were in Genesis.

When we look at the cultural norms of today, it is hard not to see the similarities between our cities and those of the infamous cities of the Old Testament. From the sexual immorality of Sodom and Gomorrah to the pride and arrogance of Babylon we see all these characteristics and more in society today. Long sheltered by the cultural Christianity that our country was founded on, we have begun to see our society become indignant towards the Holy God at exponential rates.

In the past 50 years, we have legalized the murder of the unborn, normalized divorce, legitimized homosexuality & transgenderism, and redefined sexual orientation. Freedom of religion has been perverted from its original ideology and transformed into a weapon to be used against the followers of Jesus Christ. The church has been infiltrated and rebranded as an idol representing the misnomer that humanity knows what is best for themselves rather than the beacon of light that guides the world to a Holy God.

Satan is a master at deception, throughout scripture we see how humanity falls into his traps over and over again. New characters in new settings, however, the story remains the same, humanity is given free will and always chooses self over God. I used to ponder how the people who God walked among could sin so freely, but lately, I am more baffled by our rebellion against God. We not only have the written historical account of past failures to grow from and a manual on how to live righteously, but we have the unimaginable ability to have the Holy Spirit dwelling inside of us! Yet we continue to eat the fruit.

Today as I read headlines in the news it’s as if I am reading headings to stories in scripture. “Atheist in the Pulpit” “Same-sex marriage views threaten to split the church” and “New Yorkers allowed to choose a third gender on birth certificates” all representing humanity choosing once again to follow their own belief of right and wrong rather than yield to the all-knowing God. If we take time to speak with fellow professing believers on these hot topic issues, I don’t think there will be any confusion on why we are in the situation we find ourselves. Lack of discipleship and accountability within the church have left entire generations with a false understanding of who God is.

While talking with professing followers of Christ on these issues, I have found that many of them do not believe the fundamental truth that scripture is inerrant. This revelation makes it obvious why so many professing Christians can so easily justify things such as abortion, same-sex marriage, divorce, and evolution. A recent study shows that the majority of the church does not even know what the Great Commission is!!! How have we become so ignorant of God’s Word in an era that has such availability to it?

We went from a “Fire and brimstone” approach to the “Prosperity Gospel” in under a hundred years with the Holy Bible being the top-selling publication every year in between. So how is it possible for us to have such a wrong understanding of who God is and where our identity is found? I believe this is because Satan is patient and fully understands that to eat an elephant you must do it one bite at a time. It starts with a simple misguidance, “Did God really say, ‘You can’t eat from any tree in the garden’?” that grows into the little lie that is the slippery slope of his deception, “No! You will not die.”

I also believe that many Christians (myself included) have from time to time been deceived by good intentions and false understandings. Something as simple as failing to understand what love truly is for example. Love is honest even in tough situations; when asked about our beliefs many times we bend what we believe in an effort not to run people off. This is not loving. In a knee-jerk reaction to not appear the same as the bigots of such groups as the Westboro Baptists, we become accepting of sin instead of standing up against it. We do this to appear loving when in fact we are simply leading people to hell with clear consciences.

The Gospel message is simple, yet it goes against most ideologies the world teaches us:

God created us, and we are accountable to Him. We are all sinners. God cannot be in the presence of sin. There is nothing that we can do to erase our sin. Out of His love for us, He sent Jesus to pay for our sin. Only by trusting Him as our Lord and Savior can we be in a relationship with God.

If we truly believe that we are accountable to Him, we must stand on His Word and live for Him, not ourselves. We must rely on His understanding and not our own. We must trust Him and not the world. To understand what His will is we must become intimate with His Word. We must know it and trust it. We have to take seriously the responsibility to disciple others and get away from the misunderstandings of the Gospel. We must preach truth even if we must suffer persecution. We must hold each other accountable. And we must stop eating the proverbial fruit!

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