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"Since you asked ..."

 

Paul Baxter

Question: Why are we as Christians being increasingly criticized and condemned by a changing culture and what can we do to defend ourselves?

Answer: This is a question being asked more frequently as “politically incorrect” Christians are being targeted by “biblically incorrect” shapers of our secular society. It is hard to believe what has just happened to the Fire Chief in Atlanta by an “intolerant” mayor.

What is happening to some Christians in America helps us to understand one of the beatitudes that we may never have personally experienced before. In Matthew 5:10 we read: “Those who are persecuted for righteousness are blessed, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.”

When we refuse to go along with what is wrong, when we refuse to drift downstream toward the catastrophic waterfalls but instead go against the current following Jesus toward His Kingdom, we are truly blessed. We know we are doing what is right in the sight of God even if we are doing what seems wrong in the eyes of others who are going with the flow and demand that everyone else go with them.

Let us take heart in knowing how Jesus spent His ministry not only helping the hurting but hurting the hurtful by confronting them with their sinful/hurtful ways. He hurt the religious leaders by telling them the truth about how they were hurting others and themselves, but they didn’t want to hear it and instead chose to silence Him at all costs.

During the Christmas season I personally witnessed what happens when a person tells someone the truth about their aberrant behavior and that someone goes berserk, losing all rationality as they seek to silence any critique or diagnosis (and their own conscience). It is both irrational and illogical to see an intolerant mayor persecute in the name of tolerance a fire chief for simply expressing what the Bible teaches and he believes, and for the mayor to do it in what was once the heart of the Bible Belt.

Once upon a time those who now seek to silence any and all who disagree with their lifestyle cried out for tolerance, but they now display an angry intolerance for those who are genuinely concerned about people’s health and wellbeing.

… Jesus spent His ministry not only helping the hurting but hurting the hurtful by confronting them with their sinful/hurtful ways

The above questions get to the heart of apologetics: To defend and commend Christianity and its inherent God-given morality!

I am reading a fascinating and eye-catching little book entitled None of These Diseases written by a medical doctor who has researched the emotional, spiritual, mental, and physical benefits inherent in God’s biblical commandments and guidelines. The front cover of Dr. S.I. McMillen’s book proclaims how The Bible …

► Prevents devastating disease and senseless suffering.

► Explodes the myth of the Kinsey report.

► Erases irreconcilable grief and mind-poisoning guilt.

This classic fifty-year-old book cites numerous studies that confirm the blessings/benefits of following God’s guidance. The most recent chapters I’ve read document how invaluable it is to take to heart Paul’s advice in I Corinthians 6:19-20: “Don’t you know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body.” The author quotes the prophetic (for our day) words of Dr. Irving J. Sands:

“… change and progress are not synonymous and all that is new is not necessarily good, nor all that is old necessarily bad … The Ten Commandments are old indeed, and yet they comprise the greatest mental hygiene code and the best set of rules and regulations for ethical human relationships ever produced by mankind … A happy marriage is the result of a harmonious relationship between two mature people. Marriage is the greatest institution of civilized man.”

A wealth of evidence before and since 1963 supports biblical correctness and refutes much of political correctness/secularity/immorality!

 

Paul Baxter serves as pastor of First Baptist Church on the Square in LaGrange.