Friday, August 25, 2017

Lots of Lots

"If he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)— if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment."

Lot was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless people he observed around him.  He was tormented day-after-day by the lawless deeds that he saw and heard.

For Lot's distress arose from adherence to a standard.  That standard was not found in the prevailing morality.  The standard was instead found in the perfect living Jehovah.  Lot knew that when everyone else has their own truth, then he was not insane to hold to the Truth.  The great prophet Jeremiah also knew this - evident by pleading the people not to stray to false gods.

And, many Christians find themselves tormented in the lead-up to the Australian postal vote on revising the definition of marriage.  They find themselves tormented by other "Christians' who post support for a 'yes' vote on social media.  The posts have thin to no Biblical reference - they instead sway to the prevailing morality.  Where they have Biblical reference the exegesis is often flimsy.  I've counted five such posts including a perplexing one that was ripe with contradiction to order of:

'I think that what they [homosexuals] do carnally is disgusting but
I believe that Christians should want them to marry. 
This is why I will vote yes.'

[I seriously doubt that the person who posted this appreciates the irony!]

Of course, there is also the 'non-yes' set on social media.  They can't bring themselves to say that they will vote yes, so they instead hop onto whimsy that questions the validity of a no vote.  They are at risk of betraying their maker, they risk harming their neighbour:

It is one thing for Aussies to speak in favour of same sex marriage, but when Christian leaders do so they are speaking against the faith that they have promised to uphold, and in turn they are doing the very thing that was problematic in Jeremiah’s day. We are not loving our neighbours by adopting this posture, we are hurting them. We are not pointing to the wonder of God’s love and grace in Christ Jesus, but are directing people toward some contemporary version of Baal or Athena.

Christians are a people of truth.  They are set apart from the world.  They have rest in heaven.  Their King allows them choice and also has expectations of them.  He spoke of lust in a way that gives us to understand that anything beyond natural relationship between man and wife is to be put aside in favour of pursuit of God (Matthew 5:27-30). 

Paul, in his prayer for the Philippians, sees discernment through love, knowledge and insight.  The more the love + knowledge + insight the more the ability to embrace and pursue excellence:

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
(explained by Pastor John Piper via this link

In this, there is a standard.  Christians can "Take heart. Real marriage is not for sale" (From Reverend Peter Jensen).


Note: all links good as at 25 August 2017

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