Recently, I was watching the highlights of the past decade. They were showing the outstanding athletes for the last ten years. The advances in technology. Famous people who had died. Decades do seem to be major mileage markers. To me, what I found most notable wasn’t anything material but the momentous change in our value system. There has been a moral earthquake happening right under our feet, and some of us never even noticed the ground shaking.
What a shaking it has been. Many of our moral examples have failed us. In 2015, the United States legalized gay marriage. We are now publicly applauding transsexuals on the covers of our most prominent magazines. Currently, we can choose our gender and also retain the legal right to change it. One of our local librarians was told to take diversity and sensitivity training when he questioned the wisdom of introducing a transgender story hour for children.
Evidently, there is a segment of our population that does not believe in absolute morality until you violate their absolute morality. You may find yourself wondering if you really are insensitive and narrow- minded. Maybe even a bigot.
In reality, most don’t think much about moral issues. They simply believe the ethical good is reached by consensus, and governments legislate them. However, morality has very real-world consequences and requires our careful consideration. Recent history shows the reality of good and evil. About 20 million dead in World War 1 and approximately 60 million in World war 2. Apparently, to not question what we believe and why we believe it can be catastrophic to our society.
So, why do we believe what we believe? Evolutionists will tell you moral values are a result of our progression. It’s a cooperative way of living so that we can grow and thrive as a species. However, if we are truly the product of evolution, how can that be a reliable belief system? If we are evolving, then so have our moral standards. Morality has definitely changed in the past 50 years, making it difficult to know if anything we currently value is concrete. If governments legislate our morality, can we really say Hitler’s government was immoral? Does might make right?
To those born in the last half of the 20th century, this new broad-minded thinking is an enigma. Facebook just released 58 acceptable pronouns. Apparently, they permit terms like Agender, Androgyne, CIS, Neither, Transmasculine, Two-Spirit, or you can simply customize your own. I confess I have no idea what some of these terms actually mean. We dinosaurs see a freight train of changing moral values barrelling down the tracks and wonder how it will all end. In our heart of hearts, something is wrong. How can anyone pick their gender? To us, this is thinking we don’t understand.
Ironically the Bible, and Jesus in particular, had much to say about the culture of 2020. The Bible accurately describes our times. Jesus said “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.” Isn’t Jesus saying that broad-minded thinking will not end well for us, but his narrow-minded thinking will point us to heaven?
The Bible says in the book of Timothy…. “understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self… rather than lovers of God.” Interesting that we employ this exact vernacular in our current term “selfie.” We are the selfie society. Consider this statement: ‘Killing babies for fun is an acceptable moral value.’ All of us recoil at that statement. Apparently, we still have some moral agreement. Yet it is much closer to reality than fiction. According to the statistical site Worldometer, we aborted 42.4 million babies in 2019 alone. Why? It wasn’t because of health issues. Could it be because we elevated self above a baby? The classic abortion argument that a fetus is not a baby no longer applies. Outrageous as it seems, we now have American states who permit abortion at nine months. Consequently, perhaps we are more of a pagan society than we clearly like to admit. Our god is not a wooden idol; today, self is a much more acceptable god. It could explain our inclination to pick our own gender. In doing so, we elevate self above God.
Plainly, our cultural signs are pointing to this god. A fortuitus escape from Jesus and his morality? Incongruously, Jesus not only saw this reversal of cultural norms coming but commented on it in Revelation 3:20:
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.”
However, many of us seem to miss its actual setting. Jesus is standing outside the church of Laodicea. Apparently, there is a time coming when Jesus himself will actually be an outsider. Timothy goes on to say that the god of this church will have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof. Hebrews 4:12 tells us that Christ’s words are powerful. If a church is willing to water down his words to make it more palatable, then they are denying his crucifixion. It was Jesus’ words to the Pharisees that cost him his life.
Two thousand years later, his words still skyrocket people’s blood pressure. Words like “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the father but by me” are offensive. However, when we water down God’s word, we also strip it of its benefit. The neurosurgeon Dr. W.L. Warren is often required to inform a patient they have terminal brain cancer. He states there is something worse than receiving that diagnosis. It is when he sees his patients lose all hope. The Bible says in Romans 15:13 “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” God is our hope, and there can be peace in the midst of our storm.
His benefits don’t stop with hope. When our spouse tells us they no longer love us, God’s words echo in our mind. For he loves each of us so much, he gave us his one and only son. If we have financial problems, he told us he will meet all our needs according to the riches of his son Christ Jesus. Regarding anxiety, he said be anxious for nothing but in everything make your requests known to God and his peace will fill our hearts. He said he is our refuge if we are oppressed. In Romans, we learn if God be for us who can be against us. That same book also tells us nothing can separate us from the love of God. Not death or life, nor height nor depth. Not a government or your Boss. Not a bleak future or a bright future.
Even when we ignore Jesus, he continues to pursue us. In Matthew 7:7 he said, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” When we don’t, he still continues to knock at the door of our heart. Timothy goes on to say that when we are faithless, he is faithful for he cannot deny himself. Every day he waits patiently to see if we will embrace the narrow or the broad path.
We can embrace broad-minded thinking, but it might come at a big price. A price for us personally and as a society. An embrace of Christ’s narrow-minded thinking will only prove to be for our benefit. A little narrow-minded thinking anyone?