2002-06-27 - Lies of Omission
Rom 1:20-25 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. 24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, that their bodies might be dishonored among them. 25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. (NAS)
Today the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals surprised me. The historically liberal court issued a ruling so far removed from the mainstream culture of America that I could not have imagined pen being put to paper to write the court's majority article. The Pledge of Allegiance was ruled unconstitutional because of the inclusion of the phrase "under God". The words were added in 1954 by the Congress and signed into law by President Eisenhower.
This raises several issues to the Christian living in the United States or even in the world today.
The spirit of anti-Christ is alive and well and not standing idle. Those who feel that any reference to God or deity must be removed from everyday life are not resting. There are many who believe our court and political systems are so corrupted that they are beyond repair and they should just be allowed to slide into the hole that they are digging for themselves. There are others who believe we are to occupy until the Lord Jesus returns and that we should not surrender anything without resisting. There are arguments for and against both sides.
The question of end-times is raised again. Whether or not we are living in the last days is not clear. What is thrown into sharp relief is that we are decidedly one step closer to the return of the Lord. There is coming a time when mankind will not tolerate the word of God in their hearts and minds. Even if the ruling is reversed by another court or even the Supreme Court, the taboo has been broken and the idea even validated to some extent by this ruling. Even if the decision is overturned - which is not certain - it will come up again and again. This step will never totally be reversed. The same Spirit of God that tells us of the love of God speaks to the world as well. Many who hear the call resist it with the very fiber of their being. They refuse to honor the witness of God's invisible attributes to their hearts and lie to themselves and those around them that there is no such thing as God. There is also, therefore, no accountability to God.
There has been a spirit of openness to spiritual matters since the despicable attacks of September 11th of last year. The nation and the world were at once wounded and shown their mortality. In the process of coming to grips with the horrendous loss of life many asked why and turned to God looking for answers. This was the silver lining of the acts of terror committed that day. The hearts of many were opened to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and learned through volunteers at shelters and churches that there were answers for some of their hurting questions. There are those so opposed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ that they fight to close the spiritual door that was opened on that day. The door will close sooner or later. We must not squander the time while the door remains open.
The Colonial Statesman Ben Franklin, who was not a Christian at the time but a Deist, was honest enough about what he observed around him that he made the following observation. During the Continental Congress the delegates became sharply divided over several issues and the convention was in danger of breaking up. Mr. Franklin observed to his fellow delegates that when the meetings were opened with prayer for guidance and wisdom that the meetings were calmer and more unified. It was when prayer was missed that the meetings took on a more divisive tone. He requested that the sessions never open without prayer. The Congress took on a much more productive tone immediately. The result of those meetings is the republic that Americans have enjoyed up to today. Near the end of the convention Mr. Franklin was asked by a lady waiting outside the hall, "What have you given us?" His reply was, "A republic madam, if you can keep it."
One day God will be removed from daily life. That day has not yet come. Until it does, we need to be ready to speak to those who are open to the good news that a Savior has made a way for them. We need to pray regularly for our government and civilian leaders. We need to be aware of events around us even if we are of the mind that the political system is broken. We need to renew a sense of urgency that opportunities are present but often fleeting. We need to pray for each other and for those who oppose us and the cause of Christ.
Matt 5:14-16 "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 "Nor do men light a lamp, and put it under the peck-measure, but on the lampstand; and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. (NAS)
Lord Jesus - the lies that men will speak to their own hearts reach out and snare their neighbors and countrymen. Remove the scales from their eyes and the stone from around their hearts. Give us the sensitivity to the opportunities You place before us. Through your Spirit, reach out and touch the hearts of many who resist Your grace and mercy and change their minds. Heal this nation and world that many more may come to know You as Lord and Savior. Amen.
Grace & Peace,