2013 is a year in which one discerns great global divides and when many nations, peoples and individuals and even the faithful have challenges to make far reaching choices. My prayer is that many come out of prevarications and boldly decide for Christ.
Luk_11:17 But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth.
Unholy Laws – Legislative Divides
How far does a nation need to go to protect the rights of groups who insist they are entitled to equal access to opportunities even when they have made decisions which the Bible and Christian tradition decry as unholy? The arguments that we can no more pass laws based on an ancient book or deny new social realities based on new social agreements on what is right and wrong are perhaps persuasive. The phenomenon of unholy laws is the new great legislative divider. Social options in reproductive rights, marriage and sexual behavior as we now see them may not be new but the demand for an overwhelming recognition and acceptance is unprecedented. The almost even divide in the polls on the issues is instructive. Gallup Editor-in-Chief Frank Newport recently reveals that 53% of Americans favor legalizing same-sex marriage and 48% favor legalizing marijuana. Societies have always placed a heavy premium on the wishes of its people …The Pharisees and Pilate wisely leveraged on this as the manipulated people echoed in unison …“Barabbas!”
The New Socialism
Obama emerges to run another term as the President of the United States of America in a keenly contested race. The wake of a close battle leaves a deep cleavage separating the mind sets of the people as what some see as a new godless socialism promises peace and prosperity. The cost of a divided America will perhaps emerge later as the razor edge of a superpower is finally blunted due to inability to respond unanimously to global crises and forced to always tread the less bold path of weak compromises. If America does not emerge from its economic stagnation, it will not be the President’s fault but the natural outcome of a house divided. How many will flock behind the new socialism, how many will oppose it and how many will be anchored steadfastly on to Christ?
Cosmic and Social Storms
More may be said about how to get ready and strengthen foundations for extreme weather situations but very little can be done when cosmic forces battle and humiliate human intellect. David aptly concluded in Psa_103:15 As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.
Thoughts are divided as some perceive these storms as early signals to help man adjust and refocus on His Creator and His expectations and begin to worship Him; while others sing que sera sera and a different more effective humanism emerges even stronger. Presidents sob when overwhelmed by forces of nature and social volcanoes…changes in laws and strengthening institutions to rescue will help but for most there are little changes in our hearts towards God even when social eruptions occur in nursery schools and we conclude even our toddlers are no more safe.
Arab Spring … Divided
That which perhaps started as a wave of democratization has developed into a different less restive situation as civil violence rages. 2012 established that the ousting of dictators does not equate to harmony and progress. Absence of the institutional clarity to usher in a new order of fairness only positions a fresh opportunity for the advent of worse demons waiting to seize the vacuum. The tense divide between secularists and more fundamental Islamists portends more unpredictable outcomes for the future.
Will rebel forces defeat Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as Russia and China continue to oppose outside intervention. Will the Spring spread to the Gulf region or quietly fizzle out as Saudi-Arabia battles to keep its impatient youths happy. Who will be the winners in 2013 – Secularists, fundamentalist Islamists, western-backed monarchists or will we see new answers. A divided Spring continues to weaken growth intent and foster economic decline – the monster it was initiated to defeat. Will the minority voice of Christianity in the region find fresh opportunities for expression as more evangelism is targeted at these zones preaching eternal answers to old frustrations? Choices will impact outcomes.
Revival of Holiness
The greatest divide is in our faith … like for other divisions but only more deliberately orchestrated. The new faith of living for now and seizing the moment did not start in America as many think but perfects a brand of epicureanism that follows the maxims of Epicurus (341–270 B.C.E.). Epicurus held that pleasure is the end of all morality and that real pleasure is attained through a life of goodness, prudence, honor, and justice. Christianity which teaches that goodness, truth and the way is Christ is very different. While we are called to excel in secular exploits and the earth is the Lord’s and its fullness ours to enjoy, the end of Christianity is Christ and not pleasure. Many faith groups can no more emphasize this perhaps because of overwhelming pressures requiring a more practical response. The greater and far more important and compelling realities of the rapture, millennium and eternity in Christ bring a completely different perspective that is calling for a revival of holiness and a different consecration to be ready for a revolutionary agenda of Christ’s return and the pilgrim’s greatest joys.
How do we respond to all these divides? There needs to be choices. Choices come with their own consequences …for now and for eternity. The first month in the New Year is a good time to reflect on our deliberate choices. Decide for Christ afresh.
Jos_24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
The blog author has published a new Devotional Songs of Joseph.