More and more, the world seems to be turning upside-down, Lord.
Long ago, Doubting Thomas said he wouldn’t believe You had risen from the dead. Not until he saw for himself the wounds in Your wrists and side. You were so kind to him, Lord. You came to him and encouraged him to touch your wounds. Then You told him to stop doubting and believe (John 10:27).
Doubting Thomas. The “poster child” for the expression: “I’ll believe it when I see it.” Yet an equally profound truth appears when we switch two key words in that sentence:
“I’ll see it when I believe it.”
Belief is a powerful force in the world. But believing something — even believing it fervently — doesn’t make it true.
A lot of people once believed the Earth was flat. And the sun revolved around the Earth. Their fervent belief didn’t change the truth. Eventually the truth was revealed.
A lot of beliefs are shifting in our culture today. Beliefs that are causing people to “see’ what they want to see… even in Your Word. Social beliefs impacting religious beliefs.
I thought it was supposed to be the other way around.
“Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:18-20a)
This morning, we heard a report from the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church, which met recently. The Conference voted to propose the removal of certain language from the Church’s “Book of Discipline.” The language it recommends removing? “The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.” The General (national) Conference will meet in May 2016 to vote on such proposals.
It may have taken a few “rocket scientists” to dispel the myths about the Earth’s shape and orbit. But it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the handwriting on this particular wall.
Societal beliefs have shifted greatly — in the area of sexuality, in general, and homosexuality, in particular. Shifts in what is considered acceptable, even desirable. But just because many people are fervently believing prevailing “winds of doctrine” doesn’t make them true.
Up the Down Staircase. The place where Wrong is Right. Confusion is Order. Bondage is Freedom. Lies are Truth. Lust is Love. Slavery is Liberty. Truth is Relative. Sin is… not.
“See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” (Hebrews 3:12-13)
The tide may have shifted. The culture may be “flowing” in a different direction from what Your children ever imagined possible. But doesn’t that make Your charge(s) to us more important than ever, Lord?
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” (Matthew 22:27-39)
“In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of His appearing and His kingdom, I give you this charge:
Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage — with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” (2 Timothy 4:1-5)
Sensing Your grief, thankful for Your grace, confident in Your victory…