Living In An Upside Down World

(A Repost from September 2018)

“Truth isn’t truth,” “alternative facts,” and we are told to not believe what we see with our eyes or what we hear with our ears. Does this sound strange to you? Whether you are aware or not, we are living in an upside down world. What was once absolute, is no longer absolute, and what once was considered evil or even shameful, is now considered good and something to be embraced and celebrated.

This world is rapidly changing. All we have to do is look around. As I was doing my walk at this park, I noticed that the bathrooms are no longer marked with one for women and one for men, now they are both marked “All Gender Restroom”.  All gender? I thought there were only two genders, male and female. How did we get here? We left the word of God, the Bible, the Holy Bible. We exchanged the truth of God for a lie.

So, then who or what determines truth if we are untethered to “The Truth” – Jesus said: “I am the way, the truth and the life.” John 14:6a  His truth doesn’t change with the times or circumstances. His truth provides our moral compass.

To live in this upside down world, I believe:

  • We have to, we must return to the word of God, for he alone is unchanging, and his word alone provides the key to life.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8 ESV

  • We must value the word of God, rely on it as our authority and guide for living.   “The only authority in the universe is God, and the expression of  his authority is in the Word of God.” John MacArthur

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. II Timothy 3:16 NASB

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Psalm 119:105 KJV

  • We must daily read our Bibles to intentionally have our minds indoctrinated with the ways of God rather than the way of the world. Doing this daily, will aid to sensitize us through the Spirit to stay on the right course.

I have not departed from the command of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food. Job 23:12 NASB

And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2 KJV

As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming. Ephesians 4:14 NASB

  • We must obey the word.

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and at once forgets what he was like. James 1:22-24 ESV

  • We must teach our children what the word of God says, and what the word of God requires of them. If we do not pass on what we have learned, it would be as if we are sending our children out into the world without survival gear.

You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. Deuteronomy 6:7 ESV

Recently, our church discussed catechizing our children. A catechism is a learning tool in the form of questions and answers for instruction of Christians. Here is one recommended source,  A Catechism For Boys and Girls | The Reformed Reader.  This catechism includes scripture reference.

And finally,

  • We must have and share the love of Christ because we know that we all need the light of his word and his Spirit to see. Having the knowledge of Jesus Christ without the compassion and love of Christ means nothing. Christ died for us because we all are  sinners, and only he could save us from the penalty of our sin.

Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. Ephesians 4:15 NLT

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. I Corinthians 13:1-2 ESV

Will America Self-Implode Because of Our Individualism?

Will life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness be the death of this nation?

I’m just wondering. I’m not trying to be over dramatic. I remember hearing a sermon, God’s Word To Our Nation, where Pastor Albert N. Martin says that we in America love our individual liberty. He said that if we were to travel to other parts of the world, we would see a mass transportation system, but not in America, because we are an individualistic people.

I am glad that I live in a country where we have certain freedoms. As a Christian, I am also free in Christ. In the book of Galatians, the Apostle Paul says:

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free,

Galatians 5:1a KJV

The Apostle Paul goes on to say:

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Galatians 5:13-14 ESV

I bring up these scriptures because it has been my observation that our response to the Coronavirus, which has affected every country, has brought about such strong feelings regarding our rights. Some see our religious liberty being infringed upon. Some see the mandate to wear masks an infringement upon their personal liberty. Many refuse to take the vaccine for various reasons including compromising health conditions, uncertainty of its efficacy, distrust of government, misinformation, and sadly, because it’s been politicized negatively.

However, our failure for the masses to vaccinate is resulting in a turn in the wrong direction. Hospitals are filling up again. It is reported that approximately 97% of those who are ending up in the hospitals and 99% of those who are dying as a result of Covid are all un-vaccinated. While we have been able to open up theaters, restaurants, and businesses these past couple of months, the uptick trend of Covid cases could move us back to restrictions.

The appeal for people to get the vaccine has gone out and continues to go out because of the frustration as states see the numbers go in the wrong direction. Republican Governor Kate Ivey was questioned by a CBS42 reporter, “What is it going to take to get people to get shots in arms?” In utter frustration, the Governor responds, “I don’t know. You tell me. Folks are supposed to have common sense.”

Common sense? You might think that since all we really want is for life to return to normal, we would do what it takes, but to get there it may take relinquishing certain freedoms, rights, not only for ourselves but also for the sake of others, the “love your neighbor” deal. It appears that the data supports what the scientists have been saying all along. The vaccine works!

I’m reminded in this of another biblical account. It happened in the time of Moses and the children of Israel, who got impatient and grumbled against God, as they have done before. This time they complained because they didn’t like the food from heaven God provided.

Then the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. And the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD and you. Pray to the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. And the LORD said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.” So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live.

Numbers 21:6-9

God answered their prayer. All the people had to do was to look up and live, look at the serpent on the pole and live. Of course, they did not have to look up, but if they did not, they would succumb to the bite of the serpents and die. There was no mandate. Their failure to look up, however did not affect others, other than mourning the loss of loved ones.

I believe that many people have prayed to God regarding this pandemic. I also believe that God is sovereign and that he still works in the lives of men to execute his purposes. Former President Trump’s initiative, Operation Warp Speed, was able to give us emergency FDA approval for the Coronavirus vaccine. Three companies, after having completed clinical trials, were approved by the FDA for emergency use, Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson.

However, to date, we have lost over 600,000 people to Covid, and many who have had Covid will have long term effects. How much do we treasure our liberty, our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Is there a time to defer my rights to benefit another? When this pandemic first began I wrote Has Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness Made Us Selfish?

I’m still wondering this because the sermon that I cited earlier was given in 1983. In his introductory sermon in this series, Pastor Martin used Proverbs 14:34 to show that all nations, including America, are subject to God. The verse plainly states: “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any nation.”

Jesus told his disciples as he was preparing them that he was leaving:

By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.

John 13:35 ESV

Sometimes, love may cost us.