Truth, culture and Christianity

By Gerald V. Paul

Eyesers, kindly allow the Eyes Guy to put his theological hat on in light of the Trumpeting, as in “when the Trumpet of the Lord shall sound” – or that Donald de duck dude – and the church, guns and Bible prosperity theology  mentality in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean.

We need to have the perspective of all of us being God’s creation with human rights and, of course, as instruments of God, be His hands extended with Agape Love! Amen?

Now let’s turn to international best-selling author and pastor Rick Warren, whose works include, The Purpose Driven Life and The Purpose Driven Church.

Spiritual food for thought. One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid, keep on speaking, do not be silent.” (NIV).

You see, Eyesers, according to Warren, in our current cultural climate, it’s more intimidating than ever to stand up for biblical truths that are seen as politically incorrect. And in order to do so, courageously, believers need a thorough understanding of the world that is framed by Scripture.

“Everyone thinks about the world through a particular lens, or filter. We refer to this filter as someone’s ‘worldview’.”

And in our post-Christian culture, most Christians have a non-Christian worldview. So as preachers we have to help our listeners to see the world through the lens of a biblical worldview.

He posited that our task is not necessarily to shape the specific opinions people should have on a particular topic, unless the Bible directly and clearly addresses it. “Instead our job is to present a biblical worldview that will collide with and correct every other, contradictory worldview held by people who are attempting to follow Jesus.”

And then he went on to list some examples of the kinds of worldview held by people in the church community, such as:

  • Materialism – the worldview that all that matters is the physical, material world. Therefore, what matters most is money and the acquiring of possessions. When believers fall into the trap of materialism, economics trumps (oops, there’s that word again) everything else. It determines how they vote, act and think. But Jesus said, in Luke 12:15, “A man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” In other words, your valuables don’t determine your value. Amen?
  • Hedonism – the philosophy that whatever feels good must be good. In materialism, money is God. In hedonism, pleasure is God (even praying Christians are falling prey to the pleasure thing as Christian Palin’s daughter in the back seat of a car having sex). With hedonism, the whole goal of life is to be happy, to have fun and be comfortable. But God didn’t create you to live for you (right, prosperity preachers / members?).

Dearly Beloved, you were made for something far, far bigger than yourself.

Individualism destroys marriages and relationships and Christians know that more than 50% of marriages end up on the rocks.

It causes us to make selfish, destructive decisions. Phil 2: 4-5 says, “Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.”

Indeed, very few people in our culture are speaking truth to power and calling people to self-denial but it’s part of courageously proclaiming the truth to people as we minister the Word.

Warren said there are many issues in life where people of good will can disagree. There is no healthcare plan in the Bible, so Christians can disagree on that. There is no defense plan in the Bible, so Christians can disagree on that. There is no economic recovery plan in the Bible, etc. but as for the old landmark? Sanctity of marriage, sex, and life? Non-negotiable.

Yes, especially innocent children and elderly caught up in the search for WMD’s. And Christian capitalists knowing the best for a country, so they remove socialists and give those countries – wait for it- dictatorship!

Lord, have mercy.

“The rewards of standing courageously for the truth will last forever,” Hebrews 10:35 says. “Do not lose your courage, then, because it brings with it a great reward.” That reward is greater than any disapproval you might have to put up with.