Thursday, March 24, 2005

Let me qualify that

I know the last post sounded somewhat cynical. If I had been just a little more awake, I might have added what I have to say here on to the end of that post--where it ought to have been.

I described America in these terms:

"the land of lemmings,"
"...can't take it for granted that America is decent and willing to be ruled by principle,"
"...so dimwitted and propagandized as to lose their ability to overcome their foundationless morals with a keen intellect."


Yeah it sounds pretty bad I know. I'm not going back on it in any way. I've thought about these things for a long time but it's only at times like these that I tend to let them take me too far.

Don't think for a minute that I think I know perfectly the state of the American heart and soul. My thoughts on it tend to shift and slide back and forth based, of course, on the latest events. Ultimately--and I hope I have always made this clear in my past writing--it must always been acknowledged that such things are not under our control, but God's. If there could be another title for this blog--appropriate, for the content--I think I would want it to express my complete and unshakable belief in God's sovereignty.

So how are we to live then?

While we can take our comfort by it, God's sovereignty is hardly an invitation to apathy. As much as it seems nothing we can do has an effect on the world at large, yet we have a calling to fulfill. We are not alone in this work either. It is the work of the church as a whole.

Let me put it this way:

Many people, when they think of how they are to be a light in the world and evangelize, lose sight of something--or perhaps they never see it in the first place--that in order to fulfill the call to spread the gospel, we ought not only to ever be looking outward into the darkness--striking out on our own with a little lamplight in our outstretched hands. Recognizing our place in the church--the Body of Christ--should first make us look inward to the circle of brethren who make up our spiritual family. The gospel is always brighter, always richer, always more powerful, when brethren "dwell together in unity."

By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.
John 13:35
What greater and neglected witness to the world than if the church shines as a body.

We should each look to where our light is best utilized--among our spiritual brothers and sisters. We cannot survive or be fully effective workers independent of Christ's Body, anymore than a hand can do a simple task without the attached arm. God did not intend it to be thus, so let us not think it.

So if you want to do something about the those "foundationless morals," let me simple say that the answer is at church!

Ok...nuff said. You see, I'm not a cynic after all.
<< Home 4 Comments:
Blogger Wheelson said...

Morals being the standards with which one passes judgment on the goodness or badness of human actions and character, if you use standards that are founded in beliefs formed within your religion, how do you then deal with people who's beliefs are formed within their religion and are different?

In other words, do morals have foundation only when that foundation is religion? If so, how are conflicts resolved when differing beliefs result in differing moral standards?

While employing religion as the foundation for morals that you wish to live your life by is certainly fine, I wonder what your opinion is about legislating those morals and ensuring that others abide by them.

For example, say in this country there were some people who held the belief that eating meat is immoral. These people's moral convictions have their foundations in a particular religion. If 75% of the population believed in that religion to varying degrees, should that moral standard be legislated?

I find the questions about the foundation of moral judgments to be a very interesting one and although the suffering inflicted upon those who are being kept alive by machines in hospitals is tragic, I am glad that this country seems engaged in a very worth while conversation about these very topics.

12:16 PM, March 28, 2005  
Blogger Conservation Terms said...

I actually believe that America's morals and standards are being lowered. I believe that it is bad in the fact that it is a creeping compromise. Very dangerous.

1:36 PM, March 28, 2005  
Blogger Rebekah said...

I like what you're saying Mark, about looking inward. In the recent discussion between you, Ben, and Grandpa, I became frustrated by wet blanket attitudes and it seemed to me that everyone was burning my cookies. I am very idealistic, and I must say niave. I want to believe in the lingering morality of this nation, and I tend to think that disputes within the Church about theological issues are too often raised to too high a level of importance. Don't get me wrong--I appreciate the vital nature of many of the questions brought to the fore in the Church today, but I just want my brothers and sisters in Christ to remember that they are just that. They were all redeemed by the same Savior and I wish we could all stop bickering and share our joy in our Lord Jesus Christ. I know I sound terribly unreformed. Please straighten me out if I'm wrong!

1:22 PM, March 31, 2005  
Anonymous mark - meneltarma said...

Beka:

I think what you need to remember is that an important part of our joy in the Lord is building one another up...helping one another mature in the faith. Joy in the Lord is not ignorant bliss.

Biblical maturity is not come by easily and (hopefully without sounding arrogant) I believe it lacks most among congregations that do not discuss doctrine. In my experience, it is usually those who are willing to discuss doctrine who are least likely to "bicker," ironic as it sounds. The key is they are not afraid to learn and accept their own need for study and the continual exercise of their minds. With maturity is usually found the ability to stifle (somewhat) the personal pride that causes bitterness to spring up.

There is true and literal life and joy among the people of God when they are most willing to "test the spirits" and search the scriptures and a regular basis.

4:01 PM, April 01, 2005  

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