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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Jesus and Tolerance--The Narrow Gate

Jesus’ teaching on the narrow gate is a part of the Sermon on the Mount as found in Matt. 7:13-14.  The question being raised here is whether or not Jesus was being narrow-minded as he spoke of only one gate, of only one way, that would lead to eternal life.  That is a pertinent question in the time in which we live, a time in which many are questioning Christianity making accusations that it is exclusive and intolerant.  Here is what Jesus said:

“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.  Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (NKJV) 

As human beings, we sometimes believe and act upon wrong premises that can do us much harm.  To use myself as an example I once believed and acted on the premise that if a person exercised faithfully and intensely he could eat anything he wanted and not have to worry about diabetes.  I found out differently when I developed insulin resistance but until the truth hit me squarely in the face that was what I believed and the way I lived my life. 

In America today we have begun to think that the ultimate good is tolerance and we are acting on that premise.  We are so convinced that this is the case that we are closing our minds to other possibilities much like I had closed my own mind to the possibility of a man like me getting diabetes.  Let me ask a question.  Is tolerance of greater value than truth?  Are we better off with a tolerant Jesus or a truthful Jesus?  If we could have only one or the other which would we be better off with? 

A wholly tolerant Jesus would mean the end of justice, of righteousness.  Would one want to live in a society that was totally devoid of justice, could one live peacefully in such a society?  How does one call heaven a place of joy if tolerance allows in the willfully lawless and rebellious, the evildoers and the vile, the unrepentant?  God is indeed longsuffering but he is not tolerant without end nor would justice allow it.   

If we believe Jesus was God’s son, spoke by inspiration, and never sinned then he spoke the truth about the gates between which men must choose.  There are only two and we all must choose one or the other and thus the corresponding path we will take to death’s door and eternity.  One must either accept what Jesus said as truth or else deem him a liar and no saint at all let alone God and Savior.  If Jesus is a liar then you can forget about heaven and eternal life.

Jesus and Christianity are being challenged in America today by postmodernism, secularism, relativism, multiculturalism, feminism, humanism, Darwinism, atheism, nihilism, hedonism, by just about every “ism” you can think of.  Our culture has changed so much in the last fifty years that today Jesus is no longer seen necessarily as good, as was the case in the days of my youth, but rather as one who is somewhat arrogant, self-serving, and intolerant.  How dare he give us only an either/or alternative—his way or the highway.

The very fact he has given us an alternative to the wide gate and broad way that leads to destruction is no longer seen as grace but rather as a threat of violence if we do not choose it.  Instead of being thankful that we have an option not just of escaping from destruction but of partaking in a glorious, joyful eternal life many of us end up murmuring and complaining.  

It reminds me of what Paul said when he wrote to the Galatians.  “Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?” (Gal. 4:16 NKJV)  Has Jesus become our enemy because he told us the truth about the two gates?  A man tells us the truth and we resent it.  Many among us have decided to reject what Jesus has said as truth; we will deny it, refuse to accept it.  We reject the New Testament.

Our problem is we want a third gate, one that is not difficult to enter and upon entering is easy to travel and leads to eternal bliss.  Narrow gates, when posted on roads, lead to narrow roads which are anathema in a society that prides itself on tolerance of everything man’s imagination can devise.   

We want broadmindedness in religion and morality but if we had it would we not think it to be somewhat of an anomaly?  Broadmindedness does not work in math, chemistry, medicine, banking, or any other field of endeavor I can think of.  We all want exactness in those things and if we are to have orderly lives rather than chaos we must have it that way. 

Narrowness is not equivalent to persecution as so many think but is rather a prescription for success, success for the reason that truth itself is narrow.  Deviate from narrowness in obedience to traffic lights as you drive in the city and you endanger not only your own life but the lives of others as well and it will be just a matter of time until disaster strikes.  Tolerance says let a man do it.  Truth says your tolerance will get someone killed.

It has always amazed me that man tries to make himself out to be God and make the rules that govern life when he cannot make one hair white or black (Matt. 5:36) and is totally helpless when death’s door opens.  He thinks he can play God, make the rules, and knows better than what God has said, and then has the audacity to accuse God of arrogance.  Perhaps a mirror would be helpful.

I have often asked myself the question why men do not believe or make an effort to live faithful lives.  What is the answer?  Is it unbelief based on the intellect, on the study of the evidence about Christ where the New Testament is found to be wanting and based on myth, fairy tales, and fantasy?  Well, the apostles knew whether or not Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to them after the resurrection and if he did not what was to be gained by becoming martyrs?  None of them became rich televangelists.  There was nothing to be gained if it was all a lie, based on falsehood.

People do not reject Christianity based on evidence.  It is rejected, and no attempt is made to live the life, because the human will finds the broadway more appealing.  The gate to that road is broad and easy to enter, the road is wide and easy to travel, everyone is accepted, there are no restrictions, no speed limits, no policing of it so that any lifestyle is accepted, sin does not exist on it for sin is not in the vocabulary of those who travel it, at least not in their own lives.  The Bible defines sin as “the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4 KJV), the law of God.  Take God out of the picture and there is no sin.  Men may come up with moral standards but if history teaches anything it is that there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to man making moral law.

It is a world without God, without foundation, without any hope other than that God may accept you in the afterlife despite the fact you rejected him your entire earthly life and did so of your own free will.  He told us about this other gate and other way but we said we would have none of it and now at the end of the way we do not like where the road ends.  All roads do eventually end; the road reaches its destination.

“The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule by their own power; and my people love to have it so, but what will you do in the end?” (Jer. 5:31 NKJV)

What happens, in the end, is easy enough to explain.  “God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.  For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.” (Gal. 6:7-8 NKJV)

Two gates, two ways of life, two destinations, life’s choices.  Was Jesus being narrow?  Jesus was being truthful; Jesus was giving grace.  Jesus was as tolerant as truth would allow and showed truth to be the greater value.  Grace, which one could argue is a godly form of tolerance, was shown in giving us the knowledge of the facts and in providing the way of salvation.  All that remains is human choice, man’s free will to choose.  The human heart is revealed in the choice that is made.

One final word, there is no such thing as not choosing a gate.  An “I will decide later” approach is in reality a failure to choose the narrow gate and the difficult way that leads to life and thus puts you in the wide gate and broad way that the many are traveling.  It is not hard to enter a wide gate thus no real effort is required.  A narrow gate is another matter.  You only get in that gate if you want in and make an effort.  The choice is ours but Jesus has already told us which road the many will choose.  We can go with the crowd or take the road less traveled.

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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Is Today Yesterday—America and Corinth

Solomon said, “There is nothing new under the sun.” (Eccl. 1:9 NKJV)  When it comes to human behavior it is hard to argue that anything has changed since Solomon’s day well over 2,000 years ago.  Human pride and arrogance just seem to roll on from one generation to the next endlessly.  I was reminded of that today (4/6/2015) when I was reading from 1 Cor. 5, Paul’s letter to the church at Corinth.

“It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles—that a man has his father’s wife!  And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you.”  (1 Cor. 5:1-2 NKJV)

While America is certainly not a church it seems it has much the same attitude toward sin that the church at Corinth was displaying.  There is no mourning in America today over adultery, homosexuality, fornication, lying, deception, malice, drunkenness, you name it.  In fact, for some politicians their sins make them more popular with the public.  Bill Clinton was one notorious example of that.  Bill Bennett’s book, The Death of Outrage, was written as a direct response to the public’s reaction to that sordid episode.

Being caught in a lie no longer disqualifies one from holding even the highest office in the land.  We have lied so much and for so long people no longer think much about it and it no longer seems to taint your character in the eyes of the public at large with but few exceptions.  Harry Reid, the senator from Nevada, just admitted lying about Mitt Romney not paying any taxes for 10 years but where is the public outrage?  There is very little of it.

There is little difference with other sins.  The quickest way for an actress to gain fame and fortune seems to be to take her clothes off and display herself publicly, maybe even get into pornography, and as for drunkenness why everyone does it do they not?  There is no shame in America anymore.  If you are on your fifth live-in arrangement so what?  Who really cares? We will tolerate anything in America.  Sounds like Corinth to me.  We will in the name of toleration tolerate the very things that will lead to our personal and national destruction. 

What outrage we do see today is against Christianity, not against sin and evil doing.  We are experiencing the evolution of morals in America where we now call evil good and good evil.  It is a destructive evolution for God has said, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness.” (Isa. 5:20 NKJV)

But why have we become this way?  I think the following remark from Bill Bennett’s book, The Death of Outrage, is on the mark:

Why have we been drawn toward a culture of permissiveness?  My former philosophy professor John Silber was correct when he spoke of an ‘invitation to mutual corruption.’  We are hesitant to impose upon ourselves a common moral code because we want our own exemptions.” (Page 120)

We in America like to blame our leaders for our problems as a nation but the problem lies within us, each of us.  We have become proud, puffed up much like the Corinthians.  Add to that we enjoy our own personal sins and do not want to give them up.  Living righteously no longer matters to us and we no longer demand it of our elected officials, the invitation to mutual corruption, and then we wonder what has happened to our country.

The answer to our problems lies within each of us.  While it is true “there is none righteous” (Rom. 3:10 NKJV), we are not righteous on our own, don’t you think we might all be better off and our nation be better off if we made an attempt to live righteously?  The desire to do so has been lost but God has given us free will.  We can change if we will just will to do so.  With God’s help, it is not impossible for men and women to live godly righteous lives.  If there is not a change, a sort of national repentance, we are doomed and on a personal level Jesus put it bluntly, “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3 NKJV)    

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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Real Motive Behind the Indiana RFRA Protests

The state of Indiana has been in the national news spotlight in recent days over the protests of Indiana’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act.   The protest began in earnest this past Saturday, March 28, 2015, with a march in Indianapolis and has since spread nationwide with businesses threatening to pull out of Indiana and/or boycott the state.

The law attempts to provide some degree of protection to Christians, in particular Christians who run businesses, who due to religious beliefs do not want to be forced by law into taking part in things that would violate their conscience, things like gay marriage.  The protestors claim the law gives a license to discriminate against gays by refusing them services that a business would provide to others.

The truth is no Christian who reads the New Testament and actually believes what it says (there is some who no longer believe) is going to be willing to aid and assist anyone determined to commit sin when he realizes that is what is happening.  The sin does not matter.  It could be homosexuality, adultery, theft, deception, whatever the sin might be.

If the homosexual is discriminated against because the Christian will not help him sin, if that is your definition of discrimination, then by the same standard of reasoning the adulterer, the thief, the deceiver, and all others are likewise discriminated against by the Christian who lives his faith.  The Christian faith does not allow facilitating sin.

A Christian who aids and abets one determined to sin is little better than Balaam who Jesus said, “Taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality.” (Rev. 2:14 NKJV)  Balaam was going to help Israel commit sin via Balak. 

The agenda, the real motive behind the protests, is to drive Christian faith into silence and out of the public sphere, to marginalize it and make it as insignificant a part of American life as possible.  There have already been a few instances nationwide where small Christian businesses have been sued successfully for their failure to provide services for those gay couples planning weddings.  When court costs, fines, etc. are figured into the equation such suits essentially destroy the tiny family-owned business and threaten even the financial survival of the family that owns it.  

This is really a matter of vengeance against those of faith.  How hard is it to get a wedding cake made or a photographer in to have pictures taken?  Would not the loving thing be to just take the wrong and go on?  It would if they were Christians which they are obviously not.  “Now therefore, it is already an utter failure for you that you go to law against one another. Why do you not rather accept wrong?” (1 Cor. 6:7 NKJV)  Of course, this is not to say the one who refuses to bake the cake for a gay wedding ceremony is in the wrong but only that the Christian thing to do is to refrain from suing.  But, there is no Christianity in gay marriage. 

Those who oppose this Indiana law on the basis that they think it discriminates against gays feel that such discrimination would be wrong—in their eyes sinful, evil.  That is strange, almost inexplicable, coming as it does from those who have rejected God’s word on the subject of sin.  How do they define sin if they are not going to use the Bible to do it?  How do I know what is sinful and what is not apart from God’s word?

If it had not been for the Bible the word sin would never have been in man’s vocabulary.  The word “sin” is first used in Gen. 4:7 where God is speaking to Cain although sin itself was first committed by Adam and Eve.  John the apostle defined sin as “the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4 KJV), the law being the law of God.    

The gay lobbyists have rejected Rom. 1:24-27, 1 Cor. 6:9-10, 1 Tim. 1:9-10, and Jude 6-7 so I am sure they are not willing to take the Bible’s word for what constitutes sin nor are they willing to let God define love.  “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments.” (1 John 5:3 NKJV)  If they do not like what a passage teaches they just put it into a category like foot washing, confine it to the first century, or make it figurative.  They cannot endure a literal interpretation of the word.

It is not that hard to reject God’s word, if you are so inclined, and still claim Christianity which is the very thing many of the non-atheists among them do.  Of course, many among them are outright atheists and none will accept the word of God as is.  You will hear much about love from them but be aware and be certain they will get to define it, not God.

It is a smorgasbord man-made religion that supports these protests but the kind of religion a secular world desires if they must endure religion at all.  If this group believed God meant what he said and believed it was applicable today they would have no part of Christianity, declare God the sinner, and become God-haters.  Their Bible has been made flexible so it’s meaning changes with the changing cultural seasons of society.  They alone will decide what is sin?

So what is the standard that man uses to determine right from wrong, righteousness from unrighteousness, when one has rejected literal New Testament texts on sin?  If the word of Christ is not reliable, where is the text that is reliable, that provides a standard for judging right from wrong?  Without a standard who dares make himself God and declare for all men what is righteous?  The answer is the gay lobbyists, at least on this and related subjects.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Circumcision and Baptism

Many believers in Christ teach that baptism is just a sign of salvation that has already been received and thus whether or not one is baptized is of no great consequence as pertains to the soul’s salvation.  Many see baptism in the same light they see circumcision in the Old Testament, as just a sign.  Is baptism just a sign of salvation by faith that is already in one’s possession? 

In the Old Testament long before the Law of Moses it was said of Abraham, “He believed in the Lord, and he accounted it to him for righteousness.” (Gen. 15:6 NKJV)  Certainly, no Bible believer would doubt Abraham’s salvation at that point in time.

Many years later the Lord appeared to Abraham and commanded him and all the males in his household to be circumcised (Gen. 17:10-14).  The Lord declared it to be “a sign of the covenant between me and you.” (Gen. 17:11 NKJV)

Even though circumcision was just a sign it was not unimportant.  The male child that was not circumcised “shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.” (Gen. 17:14 NKJV)  How seriously did Abraham take this command that was but a sign?  Abraham obeyed it immediately, “that very same day.” (Gen. 17:23-27, see Gen. 17:23 specifically)

In Romans 4 Paul talks about this event and again reiterates that circumcision was a sign (Rom. 4:11) and makes the declaration that Abraham was saved, prior to circumcision, by his faith (Rom. 4:3-12, specifically v. 9-10, NKJV).

In thinking about this specific command of God to Abraham, his household, and his descendants one must keep in mind the relationship of faith to obedience.  Without faith, believing God, Abraham would never have obeyed.  Faith had already obtained a righteous standing before God but it was a living active faith that willingly obeyed God that kept Abraham’s standing firm before God.  No one ever seems to ask the question, “what if Abraham had not obeyed?”

Faith is primary in the lives of God’s people whether in the Old Testament or the New Testament.  Faith always has primacy for without it nothing else follows.  Men do not obey nor follow after one, unless coerced to do so, without belief in the one they follow.  Atheists do not seek to follow God and looking at it from their point of view we readily understand why.  Why would they?  Abraham obeyed because Abraham believed.

Well, how about baptism?  Is baptism just the New Testament’s version of circumcision?  There is no doubt about there being some similarities but just because two things are similar does not mean they are equivalent serving the same purpose.  Horses and mules share similarities but it is error to not distinguish between them for there are some real differences.  Mules do not race at Churchill Downs for a reason.

Circumcision and baptism share the necessity of faith for either act to have spiritual meaning.  Circumcision itself had no spiritual significance for man until God gave the command at which time man (Abraham) had the option to either trust and obey or disobey.  Would Abraham honor God by obedience or would he rebel?   In that sense, baptism shares a similarity with circumcision.  As a man of faith Abraham obeyed.  Because of faith, his descendants had their sons circumcised on the eighth day after birth. 

One Hollywood actor can baptize another on film but it amounts to nothing before God.  One can be baptized to please mom or dad, husband or wife, or even the church community but it amounts to nothing other than getting wet until such a time as the person does the act out of faith in God in obedience to God’s command.

Those who talk about people believing in water salvation are generally in error in doing so.  I never knew a person who believed just going down into the water and coming up out of it saved the person who lacked faith in the command giver, faith in the God who commanded it.  Without faith nothing can save a man.  “Without faith it is impossible to please him, for he who comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him.” (Heb. 11:6 NKJV)

Faith leads to things that accompanying faith make faith alive and active versus the dead faith that James says cannot save (James 2:14, 17, 20, 26).  Faith leads to repentance and where is the man who would deny that repentance is required for salvation?  There is no motive for repentance toward God outside of faith.  Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because he has appointed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness…” (Acts 17:30-31 NKJV).  “Unless you repent you will all likewise perish!” (Luke 13:3, 5 NKJV)  

Peter, in the first gospel sermon ever preached, in Acts 2 tied repentance with baptism, “Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’” (Acts 2:38 NKJV)  He repeated himself years later in regards to baptism when he wrote 1 Peter saying, “There is also an antitype which now saves us, namely baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 3:21 NKJV) 

Peter certainly did not mean to say water will save you without faith and repentance, water salvation, but was merely making the point he desired to make regarding baptism.  Baptism is a part of God’s plan for mankind in the age of Christianity as much as circumcision was a part of God’s plan for his people in Old Testament days.   The failure to be circumcised in Abraham’s day and afterwards would cut a man off from God’s covenant.  In the Christian era baptism is the initiatory rite by which man comes into covenant relationship with Christ for man is “baptized into Christ Jesus.” (Rom. 6:3 NKJV, see also Gal. 3:27, 1 Cor. 12:13)  

While the Bible speaks of circumcision as a sign it nowhere speaks of baptism as being a sign.  I searched the concordances for the word sign in seven major Bible translations in a context where baptism was also mentioned.  Not one translation yielded a result.  Man may call baptism a sign but that is man, the Bible does not do so.  

The one passage in the New Testament that relates circumcision to baptism is found in Col. 2:11-13:  “In him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with him in baptism, in which you also were raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.  And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, he has made alive together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses.” (NKJV) 

Paul wrote this Colossian passage and provides the best commentary on it in something else he wrote back in Rom. 6:2-4:  “How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?  Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?  Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” (NKJV) 

Paul makes it clear that there is a “circumcision made without hands.”  It is Christ’s circumcision.  This is a circumcision that is performed on a person spiritually dead in sins, one whose sins have not yet been forgiven.  That spiritually dead person is buried in baptism into death to sin but arises from his burial with Christ a new creation (Gal. 3:27, 2 Cor. 5:17), “raised with Him through faith” (Col. 2:12) to “walk in newness of life.” (Rom. 6:4)  The circumcision of Christ is the cutting off of the person’s sins which is done in baptism when preceded by faith and repentance.  Only Christ (God) can forgive sins thus it is the circumcision of Christ. 

Peter says in the passage quoted earlier, the passage talking about baptism, that he now has, “the answer of a good conscience toward God.” (1 Peter 3:21 NKJV)  He is a new creation, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Cor. 5:17 NKJV)  He was “baptized into Christ Jesus.” (Rom. 6:3 NKJV) 

It is only through faith that one arises from baptism with an answer of a good conscience.  Only through faith can such a person believe that old things have passed away and all is new in his life.  Only through faith can he believe he has been forgiven of all trespasses. 

When a person submits through faith to be baptized into Christ he is submitting himself to accept in that act of faith Christ’s circumcision.  It is not a sign; it is the reality itself. 

As a final note one should not confuse the “circumcision…of the heart” in Rom. 2:28-29 with the “circumcision of Christ” in Col. 2:11-13.  In Romans, Paul is making the point that physical circumcision alone without obedient faith accompanying it was of no avail to the Jew.  God cares about a man’s heart toward God.  “He is a Jew who is one inwardly.” (Rom. 2:29 NKJV)  In Romans it is man who circumcises his own heart, it is man’s circumcision, that which he is responsible for.  In Colossians it is Christ’s circumcision, what Christ does for man when man complies with God’s will by faith.  Man can circumcise his heart as he possesses free will; man cannot forgive his sins.  That is God’s dominion, Christ’s circumcision.

This is a teaching that was found in scripture long before Paul’s time or writings.  Moses spoke of the need for the Jews to circumcise their hearts in Deut. 10:16 and the Lord spoke of the same need in Jer. 4:4.  This did not mean physical circumcision was unnecessary but that more was needed than just the physical act.

There is much more that could be said on this subject and perhaps I will tackle that at a later date. 

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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Pilate’s Question and Postmodernism

Pilate’s response to Jesus’ statement that he had come to bear witness to the truth, John 18:37-38, is well known.  Pilate’s reply “What is truth?” is a question that has been asked down through the ages.  Up until recent times, the idea of truth as a thing man could find, grasp, and hold onto was not in doubt.  Truth was out there, all you had to do was find it.  Today that is being called into question, enter the age of postmodernism.  Postmodernists do not believe objective truth exists in matters of values, morals, and religion.

The postmodernist immediately comes into conflict with Jesus for how can Jesus say he came to bear witness to the truth if the truth does not exist?  Again, Jesus said in John 8:45 “I tell the truth” (NKJV) but he does not tell the truth if the postmodernist is right for truth cannot be told if it does not exist.  The word “truth” is found in 100 verses in the New Testament of the New King James Version of the Bible but to the postmodernist mindset talk about truth is meaningless.  Postmodernism is anti-Christian.

Postmodernists contradict themselves and thus prove the fallacy of their philosophy when they say objective truth does not exist while declaring it to be objective truth that “objective truth does not exist?”  One might add that any talk about “subjective truth” is an oxymoron.  If truth exists at all it is objective truth. 

Truth either exists or does not.  Truth cannot exist sometimes but not at other times.  No one would deny that there are times when we are unable to discern truth from error but the truth always exists whether we discern it or not.  My ignorance of truth does not destroy truth.

It is easy to see the attractiveness of postmodernism in our society.  If truth does not exist in an absolute sense then you can have your own personal truth and I can have mine.  I will call it “my life.”  No one will be able to judge me or condemn me justly and I will take God and thus accountability out of the picture altogether.  It allows me to live my own life the way I want to live it.  Of course, that is the very thing Jesus came to save us from—save us from ourselves.

We have a desire to live our own lives without being judged or held accountable for our actions.  We desire respect and honor even when we do the dishonorable, no one and no authority dare shame us.  If objective truth does not exist who can hold us to any moral accountability?  Not even God himself can for we took him out of the picture, so we think. 

If we try and rationalize our life and behavior by saying this is what is true for me that does not get us off the hook.  It is not about the way I see things, not if God exists and there is a higher power.  "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways," says the Lord.  "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isa. 55:8-9 NKJV)  “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” (Prov. 14:12 NKJV)  “It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.” (Jer. 10:23b NKJV) 

If we say no one believes postmodernism, no one believes truth does not exist, then how does one explain the change in moral values that has come about in America in the past 50 to 60 years?  It is hard to say our culture has not been affected by postmodern thought.  According to the Pew Research Center, only 5% of our children were born outside marriage in 1960.  Today that number is 41%.  Have our values changed?  We have adopted the idea in our society that anything in moral (should one say “immoral”) conduct should be allowed to stand and no one should say a thing against it or criticize it in any way. 

As for the New Testament, it is not to be allowed in making moral judgments; in that sense, it is to be banned from having any influence on our thinking or way of life as a society.  Who among us would deny the effort to secularize America and to take Christianity entirely out of the life of our nation on every level except, at least so far, inside the four walls of places of public worship?  

When I was growing up I remember the Billy Graham crusades would be nationally televised from time to time by one or more of the major TV networks.  Can anyone, and I do mean anyone, imagine such a thing happening in the America of today?  I add I am not a Baptist but I am just making the point of the change that has come over American society just during my lifetime.     

When one takes away the foundations upon which to build a life, some solid rock, some absolute standards of right and wrong, which is the very thing postmodernism does, how does one ever judge what one ought to do?  Under postmodern thought you may never be wrong for there is no judgment but can you ever be right for there are no standards?  Life becomes an element of chance, just a guess as to what is the best course of action.

Postmodernism takes away hope, guidance, and direction.  It takes away a purpose for living.  It is ungodly.  There is no hope for heaven.  God becomes a myth.  Here and now is all you have and since there are no standards do as you well please as long as you can stay out of prison.  

Postmodernism is intolerant.  It is not to be questioned.  It is to be accepted no questions asked.  To question it would be to pass judgment, a thing postmodernism will not allow.  If truth does not exist, a tenet of postmodernism, then judgments cannot be passed for if there is no truth there is no standard by which to judge.  But the postmodernists contradict themselves again for they do not hesitate to judge Christianity.  While they claim tolerance they prove themselves to be very intolerant to any who would oppose them.

Postmodernism makes it impossible to judge evil from good and thus comes into conflict with the Bible for judging evil from good is a thing one finds on almost every page of the Bible.  Evil, from the postmodernist’s point of view, is not to be fought for who can define evil?  Who can pass judgment?   

If one cannot judge evil then one wonders what action a true postmodernist might take if someone was to break into his home to rape, pillage, and kill?  If objective truth does not exist how can one declare the intruder’s actions to be evil and therefore justifiably resist them? 

When as the old saying goes the rubber meets the road this is a most dangerous philosophy for it presumes real evil does not exist in this world.  Evil is just a judgment call.  Postmodernism cannot declare Hitler or Isis evil.  If there is no evil you cannot confront it.  When evil is not confronted where does that leave the individual or the nation?

The postmodernist’s mindset undermines the foundation of many of what man has considered to be virtues down through the ages--things like love, kindness, goodness--for without absolute truth existing how do you define any of these things?  If you cannot define virtues how do you express them?  Was Hitler’s definition of love as good as anyone else’s?  A postmodernist cannot be consistent and say no but a Christian can.

More and more people are coming down on Christianity declaring it to be intolerant and judgmental, an evil in the world.  Why?  The answer is because very subtly postmodernist thought has crept into the very pores of our society.  One can almost say of our society today that if the Bible is for it we are against it and if the Bible is against it we are for it.

Adultery is commonplace today, fornication and living together outside of marriage are things people think little about, and now the desire seems to be to make homosexual relationships an honorable thing on par with the marriage God ordained in the beginning (Matt. 19:4-6) between a man and a woman.

Add to those things abortion which runs rampant.  Planned Parenthood reported 327,653 abortions in 2014 which averages out to 37 an hour and the president of the organization says they are proud to provide the procedure so we kill babies and are proud of the opportunity to help people do it.

In our quest to live our own lives the way we want we end up discarding the New Testament of Christ as having any real impact on our lives and our society.  We will do as we please.  We have become a secular non-God fearing society where nearly anything goes.     

The problem every man has with the Bible is that it acts as a mirror.  We read it and begin thinking thoughts that trouble us for we see ourselves as we truly are—sinners.  The word of God judges us (John 12:48) and we know that judgment condemns us.  It is more pleasing to reject the word of God and its values than to accept it.

God offers grace and salvation to sinners but that would require giving up the life we desire to live and submitting our will to God’s will.  After all, we have some sins we kind of enjoy and who wants to give those up.  “Everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.” (John 3:20 NKJV)  “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light…” (John 3:19 NKJV)

How does one create within a man or woman love for God, a longing, and a desire for God?  How does one create within a man a felt need for God?  Right now those feelings are in short supply and a national longing for God does not exist.  According to the statistics I have seen only around 17 percent of Americans will be in any kind of Christian worship service on an average Sunday (see The American Church in Crisis by David Olson, 2009).  As long as America is at war with God truth will elude it.

If America and the modern-day American cannot find objective truth that does not mean God has lost it.  God knows good from evil; he is willing to judge it.   

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”  (2 Cor. 5:10 NKJV)

Where does that leave the postmodernist in the Day of Judgment?  They can only hope Christianity is just a fairy tale but if it is then man is just another animal whose life ultimately amounts to nothing.  That is the joy found in postmodern thought.  Hope is destroyed and man is doomed to an eternal grave.

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