February 14, 2020

Mandating Morality
I know it is Valentine's Day. I hope you enjoy your cards and chocolate. But I wish to address a cultural topic that is in total juxtaposition. This week voters in Switzerland approved a measure and a mandate that makes it illegal to publicly discriminate, denigrate, or stir up hate against people because of their sexual orientation. This is an expansion of Switzerland's existing parliament decision of 2018.
Hatred of people is not an option for Christians. However, think of the implications for your church and your pastor of this new mandate. Significant portions of the Old Testament and New Testament would not be allowed to be taught. Preaching and proclaiming the truth of God's word regarding aspects of relationships, marriage and friendship would be outlawed. The option of Church discipline would be eliminated for such issues. I assume that it would not be long before adultery and other sexual and personal issues would be beyond the scope of the biblical mandate.
The proclamation of the gospel is not dependent on its environment. The "cultural host" may hinder and at times challenge Christian holiness but greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.
"You say the times are evil. Live nobly and you will change the times."
Saint Augustine
Serving Him with you
Until He comes for us,

February 7, 2020

Wisdom has the Advantage of Giving Success
Ecclesiastes 10
I assume we all want to be successful. But the first thing to do is to define what success truly is and then discern how to find it. Many people equate success with happiness. Aristotle understood that there were two types of happiness. The first was called hedonistic happiness which involved enjoying the pleasure of good things. The second was what he called "eudaemonic" happiness (a good spirit). This has to do with how we feel in terms of having a purpose for our lives and sensing fulfillment of the potential of that purpose.
I assume all of us want to be wise. But where do we get our wisdom for successful living? Each day millions of Americans look and listen to the views expressed on TV shows like - "The View." Others turn to the likes of the "Jerry Springer Show." Some find relational wisdom with voyeuristic attention to an endless variety of soap operas. For a more sophisticated expression many will watch "Dr. Phil," "Ellen," or "Oprah."
Entertaining? Sure.
Enlightening? Some.
Educational? Slightly.
Edifying in terms of wisdom? Seldom!
Let me encourage us all to seek and find wisdom for living successfully in the inspired scriptures.
Proverbs 2:1-10
My Son if you will receive my sayings, and treasure my commandments within you, make your ear attentive to wisdom, incline your heart to understanding; for if you cry for discernment, lift your voice for understanding; if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will discern the fear of the Lord, and discover the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice, and He preserves the way of His godly ones. Then you will discern righteousness and justice and equity and every good course. For wisdom will enter your heart and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul...
Psalm 119:9-11
How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Thy word. With all my heart I Have sought Thee; Do not let me wander from Thy commandments. Thy word I have treasured in my heart that I may not sin against Thee.
Serving Him with you
Until He comes for us,