While thinking about the next election, and all of the coverage of it either way, I am reminded of the plague of relativism that has permeated this country, and even the church.
Relativism is the belief that all points of view are equally valid, and that there is no truth, except what you personally believe to be true. Followed to its logical end, this means that all moral positions, religious systems, and political stands are equal, as long as you believe it to be truth, and that I cannot state that your perception of truth is wrong. In short, there is NO absolute truth.
Relativism clouds so much of what goes on in our country, churches and ultimately our homes.
At the very heart of the notion of relativism is me– Me and my ideas are god—>What I think matters most. I can live my life as though God had never spoken in His Word.
And any time we make ourselves central and God peripheral, we know three things:
1. We are setting ourselves up for personal emptiness. [life isn't supposed to work w/o God as your everything]
2. We become like the world, slowly and surely. [We are walking in the "vanity of our minds" independently of God. The fool in Scripture leaves God out of his life, out of the equation, and pursues worldly things, i.e.,living for self, promoting self, protecting self, indulging self, etc... instead of what God's word requires which is denying self, suffering for Christ, and submitting to others.*
We push God's teaching aside and live as though Jesus Christ's words were optional--just another voice to be considered. And if you don't like what Jesus Christ actually said in His word, the relative mindset just says "change it to mean what I want it to mean. Sin always leads us to believe that we are the exception to the rule: our situation is so hard, my temperament is such that I can't do it, etc...]
3. We stop growing spiritually. [Whenever you read something from God's word, and the Holy Spirit prompts you to do something with it-- to change something, to repent of sin, or make something right w/someone else-- and you refuse, (i.e.,quench the Spirit) you are stepping away from the light and backing up into darkness. When we "hear" and "do" we are blessed with spiritual growth. But when we "hear" and then rationalize "Well, I don't think that this command is culturally relevant to me in 2012" or "That is not something that I am fully pursuaded about right now," you can be sure that your focus is on you and what you want rather on God and what God expects.
So, I will be posting my political piece shortly, but I would encourage you today to ask yourself if you have valued your own ideas and desires more than what God has desired and written out for us in scripture.
Ask yourself, Have I:
1. Highly valued God's word above my own thoughts, ideas and desires? Is my testimony showing it?
2. Made a conscious effort to put away the lusts of the flesh, the eyes and the pride of life?
3. Filtered out influences that would encourage me to leave God out of my daily life? [the world around us that tells us to live life for me, handle life my own way or live for the moment w/o highly esteeming God's wishes for my life.]
4. Evaluated whether or not I am “worldly” in the sense that I desire pleasure, possessions or power.
These are things that have been on my mind as I prepare to vote. Hopefully they will be helpful to you as well, not just in the political season, but in all aspects of life. And, I promise, that political piece is coming.
Have a wonderful weekend.
*I am afraid that Christians think of worldliness in terms of adapting current externals, like clothing, music, movies, etc.
Although guarding our heart and families against those things are important, a more insidious and subtle worldliness eats away at us from the inside. When we adopt the MINDSET of the world, i.e., lies like I can live for myself, I am the master of my own destiny, I am living for the moment, I deserve better so I am taking charge–these are what truly makes a person “worldly.” Any time pride is ruling, you are pursuing independence, power, respect, indulgences, etc…these are the mindsets and behaviors of someone who is living as though God is not there.