A transition occurred in our world in the late 70’s to early 80’s when we moved from the industrial age to the information age. There was a time not so long ago that if you wanted your opinion heard you could write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. If your letter was deemed “appropriate” for readers, (yes, editors once had a moral conscience about what was published) it would be edited simply for grammar, spelling, and punctuation and printed. Your opinion then might be the topic of the day at the local breakfast and lunch cafes. Maybe something would be accomplished to make the community a better place to live or maybe the idea would be dropped in favor of the one in the next day’s newspaper.
The explosion of the internet changed all that. Virtually eliminating restrictions to communication has given every person the ability to project their opinion to a global audience within a fraction of a second. What a remarkable concept. What great things we can now accomplish. Except for this, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)
Turn on your television or access the internet and you’ll likely be bombarded with controversial opinions. Opinions that, because our heart is naturally evil, are inclined to promote division. Division then brings destruction and decay to our society. This rapid decay has brought on anxieties, hopelessness and depression at a staggering rate. We see Christians, even some deeply rooted in their faith, fall into the snares of the division that is being loudly proclaimed. We live in an “I am right, you are wrong” world and so we respond to the controversial ideology by claiming our “God given rights” cannot be taken away.
“God given rights.” Can we make a list? Sorry, it’s not technically a list when we only have two. We have the right to accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour. Number two, we have the right to reject Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour. Anything else we have is through God’s grace and mercy and therefore subject to His sovereignty. When we fully surrender to Christ and accept this fact then we can enjoy the peace from God instead of suffering the anxieties of the world.
So, you ask, does this mean Christians must refrain from involvement in the world’s controversies? Do we not take a stand against what we know to be wrong? Absolutely we need to take a stand. However we must be careful to keep our emotions and feelings, not mention our language, in check. Our activities against injustices of the world must be prompted and guided by the Holy Spirit and our position must be in accordance with God’s word. Our priorities must follow the words that Jesus gave His disciples, “Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.”
Jesus allowed His anger to be known when He overturned the tables of the money changers in the temple. Imagine arriving at your church for Sunday morning worship and finding someone sitting at the entrance charging an admission fee. Would you follow Christ’s example by stopping such an ungodly activity? I know that may be an unlikely scenario, but consider carefully, are there activities going on in your church that are disrespectful or irreverent toward God? I pray not, but as the body of Christ we must keep a watchful eye on ourselves to ensure we are in God’s will before we can challenge the injustices in the world. In Jesus’ words, “Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” (Matthew 5:13)
We can face the world’s controversies if we meet them with compassion, driven by the Holy Spirit within us. Our first priority however is always to teach the gospel of the salvation through Jesus Christ. Each soul we win for Christ is one more that is not against us. For if we are together with Christ we should be in harmony with each other.
“Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.”