For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Matthew chapter 6, verse 21; from the New International Version (NIV)
This morning, reflecting on what to write about today, my mind went back to my childhood and magnets. I remember being fascinated how that I could move a magnet towards a screw or nail, and magically that screw or nail would move–quickly move and attach itself to that magnet. I could pick up that magnet and that nail or screw would stay attached. For today’s younger folks that may sound silly. But remember, I didn’t have iPads, smartphones, or game consoles. And Al Gore was still developing the internet.
And what does this silly reminiscing have to do with the Kingdom Life? Glad you asked that question. It comes from today passage. The power of our treasure is just like that magnet–it pulls on our heart. Just as a piece of metal is powerless to fight the attraction of that magnet–so are our hearts unable to resist the pull of that treasure, whatever it might be. I know there are those who think and believe Jesus is speaking against monetary wealth; as if monetary wealth is the only Treasure. You know, money, cars, fancy houses, jewelry, and such.
Treasure can and IS more than money and what money can buy. The Greek word that Matthew used is thēsauros. It means the things laid up in a treasury, collected treasures. Quick Greek lesson. It comes from the root word tithēmi which means to make (or set) for one’s self or for one’s use. Now get this, thēsauros can be literal (meaning money and all the stuff money buys) or figurative. It’s descriptive of other things as well.
Now, some people think that it’s their heart that is magnetic–that their heart does all the pulling. They declare this to be so. There’s another name for this other than magnetism. I call it good intentions. Truth is, our heart does not do the pulling–the heart is being drawn towards the magnet–that treasure–whatever it may be. Treasure is what we believe gives our daily existence purpose and life. And herein is the real problem.
Many have turned away from the tried and true Bible to whatever it is their heart tells them. If they feel or believe something–then that begins to pull on their heart until it has captured it. And to no avail, they believe that they can just draw God into their heart–just like a magnet. Really?
Why can’t our heart be the magnet? Well, here’s what Jeremiah had to say about it: The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve. This is exactly why Jesus said that our hearts are drawn to our defined treasure. Be it money, power, sex, and even our feelings.
Now, allow me to go back to an earlier statement: Treasure is what we believe gives our daily existence purpose and life. And it has to be coming into that relationship with Jesus–and on God’s terms. Wood isn’t drawn towards that magnet. Duh! And because of sin–our hearts cannot be drawn towards God. This is why we need the New Heart–being born again. It’s the new heart that’s drawn towards God. Make God your Treasure! Be drawn towards what God wants for your life. And what God wants for your life is right there in the Bible.
“These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who built his house on solid rock. Rain poured down, the river flooded, a tornado hit—but nothing moved that house. It was fixed to the rock.But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don’t work them into your life, you are like a stupid carpenter who built his house on the sandy beach. When a storm rolled in and the waves came up, it collapsed like a house of cards.”
Matthew chapter 7, verses 24 thru 27; from The Message (Msg)
Think about this: We Get To Choose Our Own Morality! This is important; very important. We get to determine what is right and what is wrong; what is good and what is bad; what is acceptable behavior and what is unacceptable behavior. Now, there are some who declare that you cannot legislate morality! But yes you can! In fact, it has been happening for eons and it will continue to happen until time ends. Legislation, or the term laws if you prefer, is by definition establishing morality. Someone may disagree with me here, but they would be wrong. Every law enacted is a declaration of what is right and what is wrong; what is good and what is bad; what is acceptable behavior and what is unacceptable behavior.
And now this question demands to be asked: Who or what determines morality? And this is where the problem began. Everyone has an opinion about this. And those opinions are as varied and different as the people who form them. Quite the conundrum, wouldn’t you say? Many want us to accept that everyone should be free and allowed to form their own morality. Yet society cannot exist unless there is a single source that is consistent throughout for determining what is right and what is wrong; what is good and what is bad; what is acceptable behavior and what is unacceptable behavior. Without that single source, the guaranteed result is chaos, hate, anger, and all of their cousins and in-laws. Look no further than the United Methodist Institution, or Washington D.C.
Progressive (or as I call them: Pro-Aggressive) theologians and thinkers want to dismantle the tried and proven true morality of The Bible. Just flush it all down the toilet. Well, all except that part about love. They see love as God giving us permission and the empowerment to determine our own morality and call it good–as long as you love. They tell us that Jesus came to show us how to love. Well, I can’t dispute that. But that’s not all He came to show. Case in point: this parable about house builders.
This particular lesson is best presented in the rawness and bluntness of The Message translation. The very idea, and then acting upon it, that God has given us limited in thinking human beings the power and authority to determine what’s right and what’s not right in The Bible is. . .is. . .is. . . like building a house of cards. Listen again to what Jesus said: “These words I speak to you are not incidental additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundational words, words to build a life on.“ And at this point I must add this thought: Those of you who can quote and throw Bible verses out like throwing rocks, you haven’t reached the standard that Jesus set. We have to work these words into our thoughts, attitudes, words, AND actions. Listen again to the rest of His words: But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don’t work them into your life, you are like a stupid carpenter who built his house on the sandy beach.
And for those who have flushed down the toilet the Morality of the Bible for a more pleasing-to-you form of Morality, you are building that proverbial house of cards. All it takes is a good sneeze to blow it down. And the problems of life are much more than a sneeze. But we, the followers of Jesus, cannot change others view about Morality by our words. They must see it in our day-in-day-out life. Denominations that have adapted to the world’s Morality continue to be in decline. The solution to this morass we are in will not be found by hanging the 10 Commandments in government buildings, putting Bibles back into classrooms, and opening each school day with prayer, and having prayers to Jesus in public events. This is akin to using watered-down paint to cover over graffiti. No–we need to build the Morality of the Bible into our day-to-day life. After all, that’s what Jesus did!
“You have minds like a snake pit! How do you suppose what you say is worth anything when you are so foul-minded? It’s your heart, not the dictionary, that gives meaning to your words. A good person produces good deeds and words season after season. An evil person is a blight on the orchard. Let me tell you something: Every one of these careless words is going to come back to haunt you. There will be a time of Reckoning. Words are powerful; take them seriously. Words can be your salvation. Words can also be your damnation.”
Matthew chapter 12, verses 34 thru 37; from The Message (Msg)
Cupcakes! We are living in a world of cupcakes! No, not the kind one sees at parties! It’s people I’m talking about. When I was young, I often wondered why “old people” were always so. . .so blunt. They didn’t mince or sugar-coat their words. And now that I’m old, I understand. As I get older I know that my time here is getting shorter and shorter. Thus, my opportunities to speak the truth are becoming fewer and fewer. I realize that I just don’t have the time to draw pictures to explain the things that are really important. It seems my ability and talent to be snarky has come into full bloom. I define snarky as a mixture of satire with a heavy dose of sarcasm. But here’s the thing–I don’t use it very often. Some may say otherwise, but they’re wrong. I refrain from using my snarky more times than Carter has little pills. (You have to be from the south to know what that phrase means!)
My previous post brought out my snarkiness. And as snarky tends to do, I offended at least one person. (click here to see the post) Someone thought my insights worthy of passing along to several people via email. And I am humbled they thought so. Apparently one of the recipients did not like my blunt honesty. And had this to say about my post: “It’s insulting and immature to speak to grown people who can think and decide for them self. To point I think it’s low class to say suck it up buttercup.”
Allow me the kindness to pull out one part of that comment for further reflection: “It’s insulting and immature to speak to grown people who can think and decide for them self.” Yes, people can think and decide for themselves. Got no problem with that premise. Our problem as a church, culture, and society is HOW people think. I.E.–people are all to quick and easy to be offended–especially with The Truth. It goes beyond the insane concept of political correctness. It’s rooted in how people respond. And the United Methodist Institution is an excellent case study.
People are so afraid of hurting someone’s feelings that it has become more important to be nice than it is to be truthful. Somehow it has become mean and ugly and hateful to be truthful; that somehow if we disagree with someone that we can’t and don’t love them. Where did this idea come from? I KNOW! I KNOW! From the heart and mind of Satan! Yes, Virginia, there is a Satan even if you think there isn’t. Nowadays the only way you can love someone is to approve, bless, and sanctify how they think. And if you can’t–well you are just plain ol’ mean and insulting.
I sigh a deep sigh when I think that it’s more important to make people feel good than it is to be truthful. Did you notice how Jesus responded in the passage I opened with this morning? You have minds like a snake pit! Did I miss something here? If Jesus said that today, people would demand an apology from Jesus! And IF Jesus was present like He was then, then by their views, Jesus should have said afterwards: “Oh, I’m so very sorry I offended you. And so that you can feel better about yourself, I renounce those words and I agree with you. Feel better now? Good! Here’s you a cupcake.
36 After some time Paul said to Barnabas, “Let’s go back and visit each city where we previously preached the word of the Lord, to see how the new believers are doing.” 37 Barnabas agreed and wanted to take along John Mark. 38 But Paul disagreed strongly, since John Mark had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in their work. 39 Their disagreement was so sharp that they separated. Barnabas took John Mark with him and sailed for Cyprus. 40 Paul chose Silas…
Acts chapter 15, verses 36 thru 40; from the New Living Translation (NLT)
As you’ve noticed, I haven’t been writing lately. It’s not for lack of material–but I’ve had what we call here “the crud”. Tests revealed I did NOT have Flu A, Flu B, Covid, Sinus Infection, nor Pneumonia. So it must be “The Crud”! All I’ve been able to do lately is preach and teach and a few other things. But writing wasn’t one of those “other” things. Well, after much prayer and medicine, this morning I am feeling a lot better. The Crud is losing, and I am gaining. And so I am back doing one of the things I love and enjoy doing: Writing! And for those who watched Tuesday night’s Facebook Live Bible Study, you’ve heard most of what I am writing about today.
Today’s passage is what has been come to be known as a Paul and Barnabas Moment. Paul wants to revisit all the churches they planted to see how they were doing—AND to make sure that what happened in Antioch wasn’t happening there. Paul wants to make sure that the Message of Grace hasn’t been polluted by adding things to Grace. Barnabas agreed AND he wants to bring John Mark with them. But Paul insists that he isn’t allowed to come—and thus the disagreement. Paul is stubborn on this issue. But so is Barnabas.
There comes a moment—a decision has to be made. The decision made was different than the first decision. The first decision was about taking or leaving John Mark. Since that decision doesn’t seem to be an option—another decision has to be made: What Now? Both men seem to be immovable on their positions. So the Holy Spirit moves with another option. They Part Ways. Barnabas goes in one direction with John Mark. Paul goes in another direction with Silas. And what about the United Methodist Church?
This moment in the early Koinonia should have been put into play at least 22 years ago—maybe longer. Sadly it wasn’t. While both, I said BOTH sides continue their rhetoric and reasons why we should stay together or why we should part ways, we have been missing our purpose and our mission. Here are the obvious reasons why it’s time to end our debating and move on, in separate directions.
We are in a Paul And Barnabas moment. In fact, we’ve been here for a long time and no one wanted to talk about the elephant in the room. The Paul and Barnabas Moment continues to be present, and it will never go away; until we reach the only conclusion that will work and resolve this crisis.
Not talking about this elephant in the room in the past didn’t make the elephant disappear. Ignoring anything rarely, if ever, makes it go away. And ignoring it, or choosing not to know anything about it, has made the problem worse, a lot worse.
Sometimes there are principles and truths that demand that Paul And Barnabas Moment. Some ideas, or call them beliefs, cannot co-exist together. The idea being pushed by some bishops and others that the United Methodist Church can be a “Big Tent” where there is room for our different views is flawed. The issues we are facing are so opposite that they cannot co-exist together. We need to learn the lesson from electricity. You have a positive current and a negative current. And those currents cannot exist together. See what happens when you take a live electric line with 2 wires and touch them together. Unlike magnets, theological opposites do not attract and stay together. They repel one another. That just the way it is. It’s time to admit it. And it’s time to stop blaming one side or the other.
The failure to recognize, accept, and move forward in this Paul And Barnabas moment the way they did—is doing nothing but creating tension and even more division—and it resolves nothing. Folks, the Big Tent, if it even existed, has collapsed a long time ago. UNITED METHODISTS ON BOTH SIDE, WE’RE DOING NOTHING BUT SPINNING IN THE MUD; AND IT’S ONLY DRAGGING US DEEPER AND DEEPER INTO A HOLE! And we are hurting the Witness of The Koinonia by trying to co-exist.
Everyone is making a decision on which side they are standing with. Even churches who don’t want to make a decision, have chosen which side they are standing on. Remember the lesson about positive and negative electrical wires. And while that electrical wire has a neutral wire, there is no neutral position to take here in the United Methodist. Why? It’s the nature of The Kingdom of God; and it’s the nature of our relationship with God. We are either in or out. No middle ground has ever existed when it comes to walking with Jesus!
We have reached critical mass in reality, not theory. In the realm of nuclear bombs, critical mass is a chain-reaction that results in more neutrons being generated by fissions per second within that mass than escape per second to the outside world. In other words, a deadly explosion is about to happen. And the explosion about to happen within the United Methodist Church—if it remains under that non-existent Big Tent—will leave about as many survivors as the detonation of a nuclear bomb. United Methodists, I ask each of you: Are you really willing to push that button and destroy the Wesleyan Movement? I hope not. I pray not! Say it isn’t so!!!
It is better to have that Gamaliel Solution rather than to self-destruct. Remember early in the formation of the Koinonia when all of the disciples had been brought up on charges before the Sanhedrin? They were trying to figure out the best way to deal with them. Some wanted to kill them. But Gamaliel had a different idea. We read in Acts chapter 8, verses 38 and 39: “So my advice is, leave these men alone. Let them go. If they are planning and doing these things merely on their own, it will soon be overthrown. But if it is from God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You may even find yourselves fighting against God! I make this plea to our Bishops to implement the Gamaliel Solution, sooner than later. By doing this we can stop pointing fingers and laying blame at each other’s feet. Tell the Judicial Council to go to Antarctica, and let us depart in peace. Then we can go to either Cyprus or to Syria and Cilicia.
This is where we are, folks. It is what it is and all this caterwauling isn’t solving or resolving anything. Failure to part ways is hurtful. Please Bishops, Please! The Gamaliel Solution sounded good back then. And it sounds even better today. Let’s leave the results to God on who’s right and who’s wrong! Failure to do so is just wrong. . .just plain wrong!
6 So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. 7 For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will.
Romans chapter 8, verses 6-7; from the New Living Translation (NLT)
Recently I had a conversation with a fellow United Methodist clergy on Facebook. It was focused on a post this individual had made. It was surprisingly civil (up to this point)–still, I couldn’t help but think: What are they teaching now in United Methodist Seminaries? Here’s the screenshot of that comment:
This person compared understanding Scriptures to a 3-legged stool. The top is the Scriptures and the 3 legs are tradition, reason, and experience. Thus, without tradition, or reason, or experience, one cannot adequately understand Scripture. The primary (and often times “sole determining factor”) way to understand Scripture is through tradition, reason, and experience. Now, before you call me that dreaded “fundamentalist”, hear me out. We do not study the Scriptures in a vacuum. There are traditions. We all have experiences. And God created us to be able to reason, or think if you prefer.
But it seems that many of our clergy are using reason as the final determining factor. In other words, if it doesn’t make sense to us, or if the culture tells us something contrary, then we are free to change or ignore what the Bible clearly teaches. This is what many seminaries are teaching. Not all of them, mind you; but enough of them are and the result has been the dilution and devolution of the power of Scripture to guide us and form in us the life of Holiness demanded by God for His Image Bearers. Go back to the writer’s analogy of that three-legged stool.
The writer is correct in stating that for a three-legged stool to be secure enough to sit on, it needs all three legs. And, by implication, those 3 legs need to be the same length. Otherwise it is unstable. But do not overlook the other implication–that Scripture (the seat of that three-legged stool) cannot safely support us until all three of those legs are the same length. In other words, Scripture is to be formed by OUR traditions, experiences, and reasoning.
Can I be frank with you? I know, my name is Randy. But I need to be FRANK with you this morning. Using the writer’s analogy of that three-legged stool, when those who are supposed to be our Spiritual Leaders are taught that human reasoning overrides the Scriptures and that we need to change our beliefs about anything in the Bible, then the result is the chaos and soon to follow destruction of the United Methodist, and any other church that follows the same primrose path. And to my fundamentalist friends, if you allow your traditions to determine your beliefs about the Bible, then your three-legged stool is just as unsteady.
Hear me out! Yes, reason, tradition, and experience are helpful tools when it comes to understanding Scripture! But they do not determine what is THE TRUTH! The Truth is set by the Bible for all matters of faith, life, and conduct. But none of them gives us the permission to change The Standard clearly set in The Bible! From my perspective, many seminary professors took a bite of that apple Satan offered Eve and Adam, and unlike Eve and Adam who recognized the shame and mistake, they “reason” that the apple is good, and that Satan was right. Is there any doubts now as to why the United Methodist Tribe is imploding? It looks like that three-legged stool analogy doesn’t work after all.
It Matters! There’s so much talk–scratch that–there’s so much SHOUTING about WHO matters. Black Lives. Blue Lives. Asian Lives. White Lives. All Lives. But this morning I don’t want to talk about WHO matters. The burden that has been in my heart for some time now has been IT MATTERS! The reason being is that there are so many–way too many–who believe IT DOESN’T MATTER–though it does. What is the IT I’m talking about?
The IT is What We Believe About God And His Word–otherwise known as The Bible! Theological progressives are promoting this crazy idea that when it comes to God and His Word, it doesn’t matter what we believe, as long as we believe, especially that part about Love. Progressives say, “Just let us believe what we want. And you can believe what you want. And let’s just live together side by side. As long as we love each other, then the rest doesn’t matter.” But IT does MATTER!
People are heading down what they believe is the yellow brick road to enlightenment full speed ahead. But left in the wake of their ignis fatuus are broken, disillusioned, and deeply wounded people. They live a disconsolate and wistful existence. And the Progressives blame that lugubrious state of mind on those who of us who understand that IT DOES MATTER what we believe. While their mantra has been “You believe what you want and we believe what we want and we can still get along” is an incongruity because it elevates US human beings as the highest and final authority of what it means to put our faith in Christ–and to be His disciple and follower.
This kind of thinking is built upon a supposition that we humans are fully capable of understanding the heart and mind of God. That WE have the mental acuities to determine who God created us to become. That WE are free to determine what is right and what is wrong; what is acceptable and what is unacceptable; what is sin and what is not sin. In an online conversation with a progressive, she told me, “The Fall was a good thing because it freed us to determine our own life.” Excuse me, but isn’t that what Satan told Eve and Adam? I think it was.
Another alleged Gospel has been presented–it may sound good and reasonable to the human mind. It even sounds like it’s the way for all of us to get along. But sounding good and being good isn’t the same. Paul warned about this in Galatians Chapter 1, Verses 8 and 9–“Let God’s curse fall on anyone, including us or even an angel from heaven, who preaches a different kind of Good News than the one we preached to you. I say again what we have said before: If anyone preaches any other Good News than the one you welcomed, let that person be cursed.”
Good News includes the truth that there is also Bad News! The bad news is that we are all infected, tainted, and under the influence of sin. This infection has corrupted our mind, and thus our ability to understand exactly what God wants of us. And the only reliable source to understand both the nature of sin and how it is affecting us is found in The Bible. Though the Bible was written by human hands, and though human minds brought together all these books as our Canon–our source for authority over us–I maintain that God was watching over these processes ensuring that today we have an accurate and reliable foundation, both about sin and God’s Grace. If God cannot protect The Truth from being transmitted through the millenniums, then God cannot be trusted at all.
We are not equipped mentally nor spiritually to determine what is or isn’t sin. Besides, we already have those definitions. It’s called The Bible. Here in The Bible is where we find Personal Holiness. Do we always get it right the first time? Hardly! But we are not left alone to our own devices to figure it out. We have many centuries of writers and witnesses who attest to the Truth of God’s Word. The Orthodox ways, though not perfected completely, reveal to us that Truth is Truth is Truth. And we are not free to redefine things like sin and personal holiness.
We have the Holy Spirit to help us. And the Holy Spirit will not, cannot contradict The Bible. We need to be careful, very careful, how we handle This Word. It matters what we believe–when it comes to sin, salvation, and a life of holiness. It matters, even if you think it doesn’t matter.
Here’s another one of those things that many people think is there–but it’s ain’t!
Money Is The Root Of All Evil!
This is typically said by those who do not have a lot of it. But the thing is, they use this fake truth to justify their own sense of moral superiority over the rich. The lack of money doesn’t make anyone morally superior; nor does having a lot of money mean that God favors you more than He does others. Let’s look at exactly what the Bible says:
For thelove of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows. (1 Timothy 6:10 NLT; EMPHASIS mine)
See? It’s right there! My point here, as in this whole series, is that we often read –make that misread—The Bible without listening to The Bible. There are two points that are often missed:
It’s not money, but the LOVE of money; and
That LOVE is the root of a variety of evils–not ALL evil.
So, if the LOVE of money isn’t the root of all evil, what is that root? Glad you asked! Have you ever read 1 John in The Bible? Look at Chapter 2, Verse 16 where John writes: “For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.” The root of each and every sin comes from these 3 arenas of life, and they have nothing to do with money.
Until next time, friends–be careful with wanting to please your flesh–be careful what you look at and want–and really be careful about feeling morally and spiritually superior to ANYONE! Here is the root of all evil!
Sign, sign Everywhere a sign Blockin’ out the scenery Breakin’ my mind Do this, don’t do that Can’t you read the sign?
“Signs” performed by Five Man Electrical Band, written by Arthur Thomas
If you were not singing along with the above lyrics, you are NOT a part of the best and coolest generation ever! Yep! I’m thinking about signs today–and the messages they disclose. When I’m on my motorcycle, I absolutely LOVE this next sign! As I recently posted on Facebook, sometimes you need a really crooked road to get your head straight!
There are more signs that just highway signs. Signs of summer:
Signs of fall:
Signs of winter:
And the ever popular signs of Spring:
But I am aberrating. There’s a road sign I’ve seen a few times, and today I started thinking about that sign. Can I be honest with you? It’s a sign that bemuses, bewilders, and stupefies me. And here it is:
I realize that a lot of churches are indeed slow, but I wonder what are the qualifications to receive such a designation? If I was the pastor of the church that had this sign–I would seek a new appointment. If I was a member, I would insist that the highway department take it down immediately. I mean, who wants to lead or attend a slow church? Apparently, there’s a lot who will fit the bill.
I call them Tenured Pew Sitters. The church has been SLOW to realize it doesn’t exist to serve it’s members. The church has been SLOW to accept people who don’t dress, think, or vote like them as people who need God’s grace. The church has been SLOW understanding that our story isn’t the story about the church, but the Saga Of The Kingdom Of God. The church has been SLOW recognizing the it isn’t a building but supposed to be a people.
It seems the church has been SLOW in responding the Great Heresy Of The 21st Century–that of progressive theology. This started back in the 1960’s. Yet Churchians and Tenured Pew Sitters refused to believe it would ever gain traction. So…they remained silent.
And now it threatens to ripe apart the fabric of many churches. It’s a theology that depends and relies on human intellect and logic. And that is a train wreck about to happen, the likes of which have never been seen before. In it’s carnage will be victims of both sides–you see falsehood and heresy doesn’t care who it hurts–it will even hurt it’s most ardent supporters. The wake that will be left by progressivism will be a bloody mess of anger, doubt, fear, and broken spirits.
Slowness is killing the church in the U.S. of A. Elsewhere in the world, where the church isn’t SLOW, the Body Of Christ is Alive, Vibrant, and bringing new citizens into the Kingdom of God. Perhaps in the U.S., they should change words to a familiar hymn: Like a little snail, move the U.S. Church. But that’s just how I feel.
Dysphoria–it’s a word frequently used in our culture–especially in the realm of gender identity. And it is being especially applied to children and adolescences. There was a time when Genesis 1 verse 27 was sufficient: “So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” This was the rule–with the exception of chromosomal abnormalities. Simple, look below the waist–and there’s your gender, period!
But with the inflation and over evaluating of the most unreliable of human sensations–that of ‘feelings’–we now have multiple choices. Gee, whiz! How could God get this so wrong! The term “gender dysphoria” which Child Mind Institute defines is this:
Gender dysphoria was created as a distinct disorder to clarify that being transgender, or identifying as a gender different from the one of your birth, is not in itself a psychiatric disorder. The new disorder was meant to remove the stigma from being transgender, and to shift the concern of mental health professionals to assisting those for whom the experience of being transgender has resulted in significant distress and impaired functioning.
Recently in Tuscaloosa, Alabama a father was interviewed about this very issue. He was affirming that his son, now his daughter, has every right to make such a life-changing decision and encouraged other parents who have dysphoric children to enable their children to follow his example. But what IF–the parents said to that child, “Look, we feel like you are more of a daughter than a son. And we want to help you, make the necessary decisions for you to become our daughter. After all, that is how we feel about you.”
Does this really make sense to you? To anyone? Some would reply, “It’s not up to you and how you feel. You have neither the intellect or wherewithal to make such a decision!” But what if their feelings are very real? Shouldn’t they have this right based on their feelings? When one insists that it is legitimate to travel on the road of feelings, this is where that road will eventually AND inevitably lead us.
The real dysphoria of out is not about gender identity–the dysphoria is about the Truth–to be exact–the source of Truth. Do you know what the word dysphoria means? It’s not psychobabble invented by psychiatrists. It means: melancholy, restlessness, despondency. As long as one lives outside The Truth of God’s Design for life–dysphoria is where we will live, and where we will die.
We see these ads multiple times from different organizations every day. And NO! I am not against any of these organizations who run these ads. Their work is closer to the work of the Kingdom of God than many church programs and ministries. However, do wonder about a couple of things. Why $19 a month? And does $19 a month really show you care when you’re in a nice, comfortable home or driving a really nice car all while compromising your integrity?
Granted, they do a great job at pulling at our heart strings when showing us pictures of things like abused animals. Don’t get me wrong–I am against the abuse of animals. But I am also against the abuse of humans. They show the worst conditions that some animals live in. BUT. . .for only $19 a month you can change it AND get this limited edition T-Shirt that shows you care.
But what about unborn children? Why don’t we see ads of children being aborted because someone doesn’t want to be a parent, or because the child may have a birth defect, or because the child is the wrong gender, or simply because they changed their mind about being a parent? If we, as a nation, really care about the neglected, abused and abandoned, then $19 a month for a magazine subscription, a T-Shirt or a throw doesn’t cut the mustard when THE MOST VULNERABLE are allowed to be discarded like yesterday’s trash.
Here’s my point–$19 a month, just pennies a day will NOT change our culture as long as an unborn child isn’t protected. An expectant mother who uses Meth is arrested for abuse. But, if the day before she went to an abortion clinic to have an abortion, it’s OK. I think not. If you feel like you are a better a better person for wearing that T-Shirt or wrapping up with that blanket, go right ahead. But it takes more than $19 a month to really care. Think about James 1:27
True spirituality that is pure in the eyes of our Father God is to make a difference in the lives of the orphans, and widows in their troubles, and to refuse to be corrupted by the world’s values.
(The Passion Translation)
If $19 a month, just pennies a day makes you think you really care–then you have been corrupted by the world’s values.