2004-05-06 - The Wizard of Oz
Matt 10:16 "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. (NKJV)
In one of the last scenes of the movie The Wizard of Oz, the four companions stand in a dark room standing before the Great and All-Powerful Oz .Towering flames rose on either side of the face of Oz. The four shook in fear. But a small dog pulled back a curtain off to the side, revealing a man operating a control board. This meek man was the impostor who claimed to be the mighty Oz.
I was watching the evening news yesterday. It was filled with nothing but one story after another of shootings, kidnappings and more. There was almost no good news at all. It was frustrating to me, because I know all the news in this world is not bad. The bad, or better more spectacular, news is what sells advertising time. It is all about the money and what sells. Reality seems to be a secondary concern. The disheartening wail of the world was in full voice. This world system will attempt to grind us all into power and convince us that we are all too small and too insignificant to do anything about all the ills of the world. I know people who don't want to try because "it just won't help".
Then, in contrast, a friend sent me an article written by the Christian author Phillip Yancey. He wrote that he had received an anonymous email that claimed that a number of things had not changed or had gotten worse since 1980. His curiosity was piqued and he began to investigate if the claims made were true. He began to dig for the facts. To make a long story short, the claims were unfounded. But so many are willing to take at face value what appears to be obviously true. I'm not saying the world is a bowl of cherries. There are Christians who live in fear of their lives on a daily basis. More than 4,000 children die every day. But there are people who are motivated by a wide variety of reasons that are making a difference. Many of them are taking the gospel with them as they go.
Jesus instructed us to always be ready; that his return would be at a time we won't expect. The world rails against Christianity. But it has always done so, unless the world has turned to embraced Christianity to the point of polluting it with every other world view it could. And in that light, the world was still at war with Christ. As a counter point, while these people go out and build homes for the poor, educate teens about social pitfalls, and raise the standard of living where they can, Jesus warned us that we would always have the poor. And just as that is no reason to stop trying to reach out to the world with hope and help, it also makes sense to defend out hearts and our minds against the lies and poisons of this world aimed at the hearts and minds. Be willing to doubt the doomsayers. Feed your heart and mind on good things.
Phil 4:8-9 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things. 9 The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things; and the God of peace shall be with you. (NAS)