I love my church and could never abandon its traditions and truths. Yet I, like so many in other churches, share many of the same frustrations and anxieties, for example:
Modern social trends and pressures are influencing traditional Christian family values with the seeming goal of lowering God’s standards of excellence and the watering down of basic Christian dogma in order not to offend evolving social sensibilities.
Our church is not a spiritual cafeteria, nor is God a spiritual short-order cook.
For many of our younger church members, Satan and his demons have become little more than a storybook, mythical bogeyman, just as many view God as a mythical Santa Claus.
The power of choice may be either a blessing or a curse. This most powerful tool is used by two opposing entities. Who and what are they? Why do we not know more about them?
For many Christians, as well as for many other of God’s children, perceptions of fact is equal to, if not the same, as fact. This premise when given tacit approval by many well-intended but woefully misguided Christians is dangerous. These false premises are the direct result of Satan’s lies, deceptions and temptations. Such is a God-stated fact of life. Numerous errors of omission are obvious by their absence.
Further, inasmuch as our path to heaven or hell is directly and absolutely dependent upon our personal choices, it is absolutely critical that we are fully knowledgeable and keenly aware that God, who is the provider of all life’s options, leads and directs us to make good and pious choices.
Who or what then leads us to evil and harmful choices? The answer of course is obvious or is it? Many well-intended parents and teachers are inadvertently leading our children and young adults to the belief that their sinful and harmful choices are of their own making. The devil and his demons are for some reason given a pass in deference to misguided social sensibilities.
It is my belief that this error of omission is leading many to a feeling of indifference, despair and hopelessness, intimidation and unfounded guilt. Satan’s weapons of sin are not sinful until such time as you submit to them and subsequently fall into Satan’s trap. To say that Satan made me do it is of course ludicrous. We must teach our children how to defend against temptation and, in fact, all of Satan’s weaponry. To bring this to light is the ultimate responsibility of each who affects the lives of all Christians, both young and old.
We have been taught or at least told of the awesome power of God, but in too many instances only a passing mention of the awesome power of Satan. We all know of the old adage that absence makes the heart grow fonder. Well, that most certainly is not true of God. It is more akin to out of sight, out of mind.
My father did not create rattlesnakes, wild dogs, snapping turtles or poison ivy. He did teach me where their favorite haunts were and how to protect myself against them. I could have ignored his teachings and thus suffered the consequences. Fortunately, by the grace of God in most instances, I followed his instructions.
It is critically important and of utmost significance to point out that we do not personally create sinful choices, or beneficial choices. Our time in this temporal classroom we call Earth is a gift of God for us to learn how to make right choices. When we learn our lessons well and follow his teachings, we are heaven bound at which time we will receive our promised reward and our new assignment in accordance with our classroom performance.
God has stated unequivocally on numerous occasions that we are at war and has repeatedly made the call for Christian warriors. To me, this is so much more than just a passing metaphor; it is a simple and direct call for positive and committed action.