There are two theories about human nature. One is that man is essentially good and occasionally screws up. The other is that man is essentially depraved, born with a fatal error in his nature, and any good that he does is in spite of himself. The evidence seems to favor the later and best explains the pervading presence of evil, problems in the economy, politics, international tensions, relationships, and why things deteriorate. In fact a curse placed on the earth is the best explanation as to why there are problems.
I had not revisited my high school in years. So on a trip to my hometown I decided to enter that old war zone of my adolecense. You’d think after 26 years I would feel dominant enough to own the place; but the old memories of insecurity that were buried alive reared their ugly heads. I remembered the gut wrenching anxiety I had on the first day of school when everybody was looking to see who had changed, who had filled in, who had grown, and who had acne. I remembered walking down the hall after I made what I thought was a terrifying decision to part my hair in the middle instead of on the side that morning. I saw the “burnout bench” where the druggies would intimidate anyone who stared too long. I recalled John Bubala dressing up in a toga and sitting outside with the “Breakfast Club”.
There is a notion in our culture that if you become a Christian, you are committing intellectual suicide. It accuses Christians of “ignorant bliss” and checking one’s brain at the door when walking into a church. The charge is summarized by what Boston University sociologist Alan Wolfe said Continue reading
Billy Joel wrote a song in the 1970’s called “Only The Good Die Young”. In the song is a lyric that goes, “they say there’s a heaven for those who will wait, some say it’s better but I say it ain’t. I’d rather laugh with the sinners than die with the saints, you know sinning is much more fun, only the good die young.” The song has spooked many away from the Christian life by resurrecting old lies and misconceptions.
Christianity is not a political position, it’s a person. The message of Scripture is intimacy with the Creator, not merely the gospel of social reform. At the same time, Christianity is about beliefs that stem from that person. When cultural assaults contrary to sound living like abortion, gay marriage, human rights violations, and judicial tyranny assault us, do we take a stand? And what kind of a stand? If our home is the next world, should believers be involved in the political and social issues of a nation? Or should we just preach the gospel and swell the ranks of heaven?