Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Stop Arguing

I am reading through the Bible again this year, probably for the 9th or 10th time. (I’m not saying this to brag, I’m saying it so you know that I have a pretty good knowledge of what’s in it.) Yet, every time I read it, something new sticks out to me.

I find something that, although I’m sure I’ve read multiple times, seems as though I’m reading it for the first time. I come across it and think “Surely this wasn’t here before!” This time it was Romans 1:18-32 which reads:

“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.”

When I read those verses, I couldn’t help but think about our society here in America.

God has made Himself known in our country. We are all fully aware of Christianity. But instead of worshiping God, we are trading Him for idols. Our idols may not be made of wood or gold, but they are still just as worthless compared to God.

But that’s not the part that really struck me. What caught my attention was that God is allowing us to do this. He is allowing us to give in to our shameful lusts. He gave us what we asked for.

And look where it’s gotten us. We are a society that is depraved. We have become God-haters and took God out of our schools. In return, school shootings have increased. We have become murderers, allowing abortions to be legal and defended. Homosexuality is normal and protected. We are arrogant and boastful, thinking we are the most powerful country around. There is no respect for our elders, and children disrespect their parents. People rejoice that an actor thanked God for his success in a role where he contracted AIDS from having sex with a prostitute.

We not only continue to do the things that we know are wrong, but we approve of those who practice them.

We shouldn’t be surprised at the state of America, we were told it would happen 2000 years ago. God doesn’t force us to follow Him. But there are consequences when we don’t.

Instead of arguing for our rights, and against the rights of others, we should focus on sharing the Gospel. If people are going to choose not to follow Christ, they will reap the consequences. Christians need to stop forcing their “dos and don’ts” lists on those who don’t know God. They need to focus more on sharing Christ’s love with them.

How can we expect someone that does not have the power of the Holy Spirit to understand God’s truths? Instead of trying to make them see things our way, we should show them grace and love.

There is a place for speaking the truth. I wrote an entire blog about that "Speak the Truth", but the truth is for those who are already in Christ. If they aren’t in Christ, they won’t understand the truth.

So let’s stop arguing with unbelievers and start showing them love.

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