Monday, June 13, 2016

Countercultural Truth

Friends of Faith:
Cultural and political voices have us believing that we are our own gods; that we can be, should be, and are in control of our destiny. They have us acquiring whatever it is to please ourselves and believing that a simple desire, a faithful promise, will makes us worthy (deserving) of every treasure – even God’s.

God gives us the message much differently. He created us in Love and said He would provide everything for us that we need. But even in the beginning, before today’s political and cultural voices, instead of believing that God would provide every gift, humans chose to be in control and to believe a deceitful being (Genesis, original sin). 

So, in fact we are not as worthy as we were originally created, nor are we all deserving.

And God continues to be countercultural.

So as discouraging as the culture can seem I am constantly affirmed by His one resounding message, that He is waiting for me to ask Him for Him. Because He, God is Love. And Love Never Fails.

He says we must ask Him for His love, that He GIVES all gifts, and that He is the only truth. He promises us heaven IF we affirm Him. And to affirm Him we must live in, with and for Him – in Love. We must not only say we are faithful to Him, we must seek to live in a way that is faithful to him, we must become Holy. And we are called to bring others to Him and to holiness.

True love isn’t controversial nor is it divisive. Love is caring and sharing; giving and serving.  Love is entirely different than sex; has nothing to do with equality; and is completely intertwined with His design of the free, faithful, fruitful, and totally committed, unitive, and procreative marriage. A marriage which can only happen between a man and a woman and which faithfully continues His own creation story.

God tells us in a very direct way what is right and what is wrong; how to love like a saint and how to avoid being a sinner. He uses the verb, love, to mean a total gift of oneself to another so that when we give love we feel long term joy vs the fleeting happiness we feel by when we “feel the pleasure” of love.

Evil is the unfaithful, untruthful, search for a self satisfying love, a love which doesn’t satisfy. 

The issue, as I see it, is that the culture, politics and powers of the world lie to us about what God intended about love. The culture tells us that love is a feeling, a happiness that we deserve and that our success is measured by how I feel individually, what I have individually, and how I can get others to give me what will make ME “feel” good.

Our current culture has us believing that everyone should feel good equally, and that if I feel good all will be right regardless if someone else is slighted, walked on, or even denied life itself. AND in order to feel good I must get what I want as quickly as I want without regard and respect for the human being He created in His image or the creation He put here to serve us and give us our daily bread.

My favorite Scripture verse simply says it all:
If I speak in human and angelic tongues  but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing. 
Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth.  It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. 1Cor: 1-8

Heavenly Father: Thank you for loving me unconditionally. Help me to avoid worry, rudeness, and self-righteous behavior. Give me the grace to be patient and kind to others, loving them as you love me. Forgive me when I fail, and help those I hurt to be tolerant of my shortcomings. Please also help me to be tolerant and forgiving of others especially when the temptations of the culture pull us away from each other. Help me to seek, share and find peace and joy thru love. Amen.

As countercultural as it is, may we strive for the truth that is in God’s voice, remember how he served (loved) us with his gruesome death on the cross and seek the only truth that will get us to heaven: love Him and love one another.