We are in grave times. Of course I knew that long ago, but things have been brooding in my mind and heart for a while now. I am kept so busy that I can rarely have a few minutes to myself. I am not sure when this began, but I assume near the end of 2006 when I was gearing up for my last year of work on my doctoral program. This led to employment in university and college settings which tend to be very busy and at times over-working. To this end, I have not written as much as I would have liked to. That which I have read went mostly unpublished. I think that what is on my heart tonight needs to be read however.
The beginnings of this writing is still in my passion for children, that which I have labored many hours, and continue to do so into the present. I hurt with the thought of seeing these precious ones perish into a dying world of sin. I am now in a town with direct anti-meth campaigns because of our drug problems. Our state is very low in the national educational trends, and the school district in my town is among the very lowest graduation rate, very lowest scores, and the very lowest education. Mix these two factors together, and you simply have a recipe for disaster. But this is not a piece about education or politics, nor even social issues. Or is it?
You see, as a Christian, we can walk around trying to save souls. But the Christian life has never been about simply praying for salvation. It has far more to do with right living, or what we might call orthopraxy. But understand that it is not about rules to obey, but rather love for one another. We live the right life because we love. Just examine Ephesians starting around the middle of chapter four. Verse 17 talks about living how Christ commands and contrasts this to our life before Christ. Verse 22 specifically says to stop living how you lived before Christ. Verse 25 gives five commands for Christian living: Cast off lying, but speak the truth in love; Be angry, but do not sin; do not steal, but work so you have something to give; proper speaking instead of tearing people down with words; and casting off the general concept of evil. Chapter 5 picks up the same concepts, thus, we are to live a certain way. But this is not for the sake of rules, but for the sake of others.
The Breaking Point
So the breaking point lay in where I was tonight. I attended a ‘Poetry Slam’ at the college. This is an event where anyone can appear and read; it is a public event based around free speech. Some of the poems had wonderful lessons, experiences, and words. But most of it was so far beyond raunchy that it was a disgrace to be there. The crowd does know what it needs, however. I saw this in their eyes as I read the words to my poem, Breakthrough. I saw and even heard gasps as the poem culminates in a conversation between the speaker who is accomplished and the whiner who thinks they can not achieve. The last two lines read, “You are smart, smarter than me”, and the accomplished speaker says, “Than why don’t you listen to me!!” The audience was literally gasped, but it did not fit the content they were looking for. They wanted poetry that appealed to the baser desires of sin. I was pleased to be eliminated as with each ‘poet’, more and more oozing sin dripped off the lips. It was indescribably sick.
The Double Standard
So we bring up children into this world and want them to behave like good little boys and girls. We yell at them for doing what is wrong, and talk to them about sex and drugs. But how are we? I kind of liked the guy who stood up and gave the anti-Christian poem because they are only nice to him on Sunday when he comes to church. They ignore him when he says ‘hi’ because he is controversially dressed. People, let me tell you that the church needs to stop playing church and be the church!! How many times are you out helping those who can not help you back, for any reason other than you are redeemed by the precious blood of Christ! The double standard is this: We expect our kids to avoid sex, but we talk about its glories in the sinful sense. We objectify the bodies of people for our own disgusting pleasure. So our children experiment more and more with sex. If you don’t believe me, than spend some time with kids in a setting where they are comfortable talking. You will hear and see all about it while busy parents run from place to place pretending to care, but missing the signs. STOP AND TALK TO THEM, but for God’s sake (literally), stop being hypocrites. Stop saying, “you are too young for that movie”, but avoid it yourself. I saw tonight a person who has a vested interest in kids doing the right things. This person was taking in the evil of the evening with glee. I thought about how sad it is that we live in a world where people taking care of children can be so morally bankrupt, and still try to help the kids grow up to be something. Is it any wonder that we lose this generation to the provocative life of deadly sin only to see that many will kill themselves or others by STDs, drugs, and stupid decisions? They learn it all by watching us.