In today’s podcast I am continuing my focus on social issues, these are issues that challenge our faith and our God in some very different ways.
Today’s podcast is part three of my three podcasts on social issues. On my previous podcast I focused on what I call megaphone social issues, specifically the homosexual/LGBT lifestyle and culture, and also gay marriage and abortion. I
The subject of today’s podcast is what I’ll call ear bud issues, those issues we face on a much more subtle level, challenging us more as individuals, families and local churches.
We all know and have used ear buds. An ear bud is a cool little device; it fits snuggly in our ears and fills them with words and music that only we can hear. Ear buds are designed to block out the larger world around us, so we can listen in peace and in secret. That’s the way it is with many of the social issues we face as individual Christians today. I want to focus on three such issues, issues that snuggle into our ears and lives, appealing to us, at least for a while, in secret, but that challenge our faith and our proper view of God and His will for our lives. Each of these issues has two facets that I’m going to try to expand on and explain the challenges they present.
The first of these issues are pornography and promiscuity. These two issues together challenge both the humanity and the love of those involved. Pornography is a shallow, one-dimensional representation of an individual, usually female, that we see on a screen or on paper. We don’t see these women as humans, they are simply bodies presented for our pleasure in a very de-humanizing format. Promiscuity, and I’ll add prostitution, is the other side of the coin to pornography. It challenges the love and union that God designed the sexual act to represent. When two bodies come together outside of that design, as an exchange of benefits or even money, or to simply satisfy an appetite, God’s design and will are corrupted.
Next on our list of ear bud issues are drugs and alcohol. These two substances challenge the Holy Spirits control over our minds and bodies. God’s desire is for us to present our bodies to Him as living sacrifices, and to hold our minds captive to Him and His Word and Spirit. If our bodies and minds are controlled by substances, legal or not, then we are taken out of the Holy Spirits control.
And the final set of ear bud issues I see today are Secularism and Materialism. The previous issues were activities, while these two issues represent our frame of mind and our values. Together they challenge the notions of God glory, eternity and His plan of salvation. In the secularists view, obviously there is no God; therefore there is no need to glorify Him as God. Self is glorified and becomes the center of existence. Secularism also leads directly to materialism, where all we have is what we can see, feel and touch. There is no eternal context for our lives; therefore there is no need for eternal salvation and reward, and certainly no concern over eternal punishment.
Now I mentioned in part one of this podcast series that we need to somehow cut through the noise of megaphone social issues to see the deeper challenges they pose to us as a Christian community. With these subtler ear bud issues, we need to avoid the temptation of keeping their volume low and secret. We need to find ways of turning up the volume so that we as individuals, and as a community, can resist their appeal and ultimately the damage they do in our lives, families, relationships, and ultimately our churches and the larger Body of Christ, which He has set apart from the world for His glory.
On my next podcast I’ll be wrapping up the trilogy with what I feel is the ultimate social issue we all face as a society, in a category of it’s own. It’s an issue we face not only as a society, but also as a Church and as individuals, and its consequences have only begun to rock our culture, our faith and our personal lives and relationships. So please stay tuned.
In closing, it’s time for the Great Cloud Of Witnesses, the segment of our podcast where we meet and hear the stories of those who have given, and some who are still giving, their lives by faith in the promises of God, and of whom the world was and is not worthy (if you don’t know that reference, please check out Hebrews chapter 11 in your Bible). Today’s witness is an unnamed group of students who were brutally attacked by Islamic bombers. Twelve children ages nine to 16 were killed in the horrible, bloody, senseless attack. Seven more students died in the days following from wounds inflicted by the bombing; and three endured amputations in order to survive.
But, amazingly, children showed up for school as usual the very next day. The exhausted and despondent schoolmaster told them to go home: “I cannot tell you when or if we will resume classes.”
Then he was approached by a ten-year-old boy who plead, “Please let us continue. We want to learn. And if it’s God’s will, then today we won’t die.”
Even amid the horrors of a brutal attack he sought God’s will and not his own.
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