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

Does God Guarantee Free Exercise of Religion?

I don’t believe God guarantees to us a free exercise of religion; however, I am grateful that by his providence, I live in a country where this is guaranteed. It is enshrined in the First Amendment of our U. S. Constitution.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

There are many countries that do not have the protection and freedom of worship. Many are subjected to forms of persecution if they engage in a religion not sanctioned by that particular government. Should the people living in those countries feel abandoned by God?

I don’t believe so. The Bible tells us plainly that this world is not our home. We are aliens and strangers here. In fact, God used persecution of the first church for the spread of the gospel to the nations.

What God does promise or guarantee to us believers, is that he will be with us always. Always means through every circumstance, be it persecution for our faith or any trial. He promises to be with us. He is with those saints in other countries where they are not free to worship, just as he is with us who are. So, how do we live as those whose God is always present? We ought to live as the Apostle Paul, who lived so as to not be a stumbling block.

Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ.

1 Corinthians 9:12b

The Apostle Paul saw himself as a servant, as one who, though certainly have rights, but willing to forfeit his rights for the sake of gaining some to Christ.

For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law.

1 Corinthians 9:19-20

He goes on to say that he aims to become all things to all people to win to Christ whomever he could.

Shouldn’t we be willing to forfeit our rights for the sake of others? I wrote about this when the global pandemic first started in Has Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness Made Us Selfish?

I am convinced by the word of God, that wherever we live, and under any government system, we have been made free, free to serve Christ wherever we are, although it may not look the same in all places.

To my brothers and sisters who do live where we are free to openly worship the true and living God, I repeat the Apostle Paul again:

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

In the book of 1 John, the Apostle John spends a lot of time speaking about love. He says in one place how can we know God whom we have not seen and not love our brother who we do see. He also says:

Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

1 John 3:18

The world is watching us. What are we showing them? Is it a love of neighbor?