“Somewhere in the midst of our becoming enlightened,” Mary Poplin writes, “we humans finally matured and no longer needed to socially construct God or gods or any supernatural entities to understand our lives or guide our behaviors.” (page 14, Is Reality Sacred?) We have replaced the Biblical metanarrative with our own enlightened metanarratives and she maintains that the consequences are destroying our young.
Worldviews thrive on change, and it is this ever-changing way of thinking and doing that makes it so difficult for our young to accept the unchanging truths in the Biblical view.
The truth that we are born sinners is difficult to realize and accept, considering how enlightened we have become. But it is true, “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:6.
The Israelites had just returned from captivity. God had guided them continually as He led them out of captivity. They soon forgot the God who had led them and quickly turned to their own ways. But the prophet Ezra had them stand up and read aloud the Pentateuch.
Adhering to the truth in the Word of God is so easily confounded by our attitudes towards the Old Testament as well as the New Testament. As we become more enlightened, we change the Bible according to our convictions.
The following considerations may see irrelevant to the enlightened, but I wish to make a point. We have no choice in who our parents will be, what we will look like, where we will live and the strata of importance into which we will be born. Yet we base our significance on color, gender, race, or creed. These are the causes of our deepest conflicts.
I recall the years in which I administered every type of evaluative test, the Myers Briggs, various I.Q. tests, the MMPI, and scores of personality and aptitude tests. These are based on attributes with which we are born.
Many of these tests were first developed in order to place people in appropriate positions in the armed forces. Since then, many tests have been developed. But they all produce the same effect. People become excited when they find out they are extroverted or introverted or reacted in some way or another from personality assessments.
After being tested people based their identities on these test results. The same was true with intelligence tests that told them whether they were dull or very smart and all the shades in between. Teachers saw these results and based their expectations of a student on them.
But there are no tests that in advance will tell a person whether or not they will have feelings of rejections, loneliness, and isolation throughout their lives. There are no reliable tests to predict who will become addicted to drugs, or who will kill, rob, or commit suicide. If there were, would we be able to prevent these from happening?
Never can these tests tell anyone what God thinks of them. In this age of diversity, what God thinks of us forms the basis of oneness.
Because of the fall of man, we are born in sin and the wages of that sin is death. As negative as it may sound, we all must first come to know that we are the object of God’s wrath. This is a truth not determined by human intelligence. It is a truth that testifies to how powerful God is. For what happens to us after this life is over is completely under the control of God.
Only the Word of God reveals the cosmic battle being waged. Satan continually fights to scatter us. God offers each of us a unity in Christ regardless of personality type, intellectual ability, race, or gender.
The same is true of pain, suffering, loneliness, times of anger, deep sadness, and sexual needs. It can isolate us from one another. God’s will unites us in these through Jesus Christ who suffered every one of these human experiences. But God’s will is made known through those who have heard His word.
The Apostle Paul challenges those to whom the Gospel has been revealed. “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” Romans 10:14.
Who is going to tell them about the forgiving stories that unite us? There is, for example, the story of the Samaritan woman recorded in John 4:3-42. She had many relationships until she found a relationship with Jesus who provided her with an everlasting relationship.
The world, which offers so many views, scatters our young as well as so many of us. At the same time as the media can unite, it can also scatter and fragment.
The church is now available through the media. The word media comes from the Latin word that means medium--a channel. A website such as this one is computer-generated. And like every technical device, it is not embedded, rooted, in the truth. It is merely a conduit.
One of the fundamental issues Mary Poplin wrote about is who is telling the truth. Paul asked, “How can they know if there is no one to tell them the truth?” Mary Poplin answered that in her book, Is Reality Secular? Worldviews are secular and in no way based on the truth revealed in the Word of God. Thus she makes the following statement. “The most consequential issue is not who gets privileged or marginalized but who tells the truth. This is a profound statement. The media is not the message of truth.
Dallas Willard writes, “Truth is realty, and reality is what you run into when you are wrong. Truth takes no sides and does not bend to human beliefs or desires. Reality (truth) simply is what it is; it functions with or without our agreement.” (Page 42 Is Reality Secular?)
Worldviews must be identified for what they are. They are beliefs based on the findings of the gods of our own intelligence. Christ enters our lives and through faith leads us to one God. He alone gave His Son power to heal. In person, Christ touched people, and they were healed. He fed hungry people. And He entered into the lives of people who committed grave sins that no human being could ever forgive, but He forgave them and made them His people. A despicable robber who had stolen property and killed people, hung next to Jesus on the cross. The robber turned just moments before his death and asked Jesus to remember him in paradise. This was an act of faith. And Jesus said to the despicable robber, “Today you will be with me in paradise.”
The robber saw Him as a good man who was being innocently killed by bad people. Jesus became eternal life for the robber just because the robber turned in confession to Jesus. Can you imagine, this worthless robber heading for an eternity apart of God, and having Jesus turn and personally say to Him, moments before his life in hell, “Come dwell with me in heaven.” That’s truth.
The vomit of humanity could not defeat His singular purpose. “He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.” Isaiah 53:3
Hear Jesus’ cry as He hung on the cross, “Father, why have you forsaken me?” Can one possibly fathom the power of God’s wrath that He should come to know that love He has for us?
“Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!” Romans 11:33
Consider the whimsies of our own significance. It may be being admired in the eyes of another person(s). It may be the significance of having the ability to make a hand-held device do what one tells it to do. Or it may just be some devious scheme that momentarily sways others. Or we may be rejection and worthlessness.
As one people, we are confronted with the truth that we are all dust and to dust we will return. That is truth, not because we accept it, and none of us can do anything about it.
It is in that very same Word that we are comforted with these words. “For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day." John 6:40
Likewise the same Word of God tells us the following.“Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:15
We will be made one people who at the second coming of Jesus Christ will either be condemned to eternal death or made righteous in the eyes of God through what Jesus Christ has done for us.
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