Thursday, August 15, 2013

The "Unloving Way?"

“Daddy, may we have candy for dessert?” This is a question I often hear from Jace and Gwyneth as they  labor over their last bites of potatoes or broccoli. Any anticipation of a food item they crave helps the last vegetable morsels go down like good medicine. Often my answer is “No,” and I explain to them that they had enough sugar for the day. Honestly, I sense pleasure seeing them enjoy candy. But out of concern for their health, their afternoon nap (and my relaxation too), I make the decision that it wouldn’t be prudent for them to fill up on candy.
As a Christian, I have faith in a God who interacts with me much like an earthly father who wants to raise healthy kids. As a father, I believe that I show love to my kids by giving them boundaries, and I think my heavenly Father has done the same for each one of us. It’s as if God has constructed a “way of refuge” for people who follow Him. It’s not a way without suffering, but it is a way of peace and purpose that He has fashioned for each person.
If you hold to a belief or a conviction that there is actually “a way” to do life that supersedes all others, you may be labeled unloving, intolerant, fundamentalist, non- progressive, a traditionalist, unbending, culturally blind, etc…. It’s like the cultural heart-cry of the day is “love has no boundaries and no discriminations.” In other words, if you are loving, you better accept my way of life, and don’t EVER disagree with me.  These attacks center on anyone who holds to a belief that there actually is “truth” about how to live life, and it isn’t just true for me, but rather for everybody.  And, it’s not that I don’t accept you, I just don’t accept “your way." Now because I don’t accept “your way” even though I accept you, please don’t label me or call me an arrogant bleepity, bleep, bleep….
Absolute TRUTH has been under attack through the ages, and especially in the last twenty years. But, the issue is evolving even more. I quote Pastor Mark Vroegop on the issue when he says, ”Before the advent of post-modernity, followers of Jesus might have been excoriated for believing something that non-believers believed was false. They would have been shamed for their ignorance. But now the categories are no longer 'true and false'; the new cultural categories are tolerance or arrogance. In other words, the problem now is not being 'wrong' but in thinking or saying that someone else is wrong. The issue then is that the cultural discussion has been framed such that Bible-believing Christians will be shamed for their arrogance of thinking that they are right and someone else is wrong.”
To be perceived as a person who thinks of himself as superior or uncompassionate, as a Christian, is antithetical to 'the way' the Bible, our authority, tells us to live. And just because we attempt to follow a written rule whole heartedly, does not mean that we are arrogant, unloving, bleepity bleep, bleeps.
“ I would suggest that we have an opportunity to present to the world the refuge of God’s way. Post-modernity will not last. Truth inside of oneself and morals chosen by public opinion will collapse, personally, and eventually, culturally.” Mark Vroegop
Yeah, my kids will continue to have limits. And, they seem to know I love them.  In fact, they tell me so!