There seems to be a tremendous amount of fear, anxiety and anger gripping Christians especially regarding politics and morality, yet the Bible says, “do not fear” 94 times. “Do not be terrified” and “do not be anxious” appear 8 times each. Regarding anger Psalm 37:8 reads, “Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper—it only leads to harm.”
I will not debate there is a great deal of ungodliness in our world today; however, I will argue who’s responsible. My first concern is how often Hollywood is criticized for glamorizing sex in television and movies. Many feel this has led to an increase in pre-marital sex, teenage pregnancy and adultery. Secondly, our government is blamed for the millions of abortions that are performed each year and for an inadequate and unfair welfare system. It is my opinion these problems and others exist because too many Christians have and continue to fail society.
Without question the Bible speaks against sexual immorality in dozens of passages, a few can be found in 1 Corinthians 5, 1 Thessalonians 4, Jude 1 and Ephesians 5. Sexual immorality encompasses fornication (sex before marriage), adultery (sex outside of marriage) and homosexuality (sex with someone of the same sex). In John 8 a woman was found guilty of adultery. According to Old Testament law, she was to be stoned to death but Jesus said, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Because no one was free of sin, they left. Since no one condemn her, Jesus said, “Then neither do I condemn you…Go now and leave your life of sin.” If Jesus didn’t condemn sinners why do we? Jesus teaches us in Luke 6, “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven.”
Why do Christians expect others to adhere to biblical teachings when we ourselves fail so often? Anyone who has committed any sexually immoral act while professing to follow Jesus Christ has done far more damage than any television show or movie. Any Christian who fails to take the time to share with young people the joy that comes from living a life of purity is also responsible for the moral decay. If you’ve made good choices in your life, why wouldn’t you want to tell others? “…Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience…” 1 Peter 3:15-16
Next, let’s discuss abortion. Why are women seeking to end their pregnancies? The large majority of women who seek abortion are unmarried and feel alone and scared. In addition, they feel emotionally or financially inadequate to raise a child. Why do our young people feel this way? Is it because Christians have a reputation of being judgmental and critical? Christians need to embrace those in need not push them away. Older men need to teach younger men about self-control, leadership and responsibility. Girls, too, need a support system of other women who they can count on anytime but especially in time of crisis (Titus 2).
The goal of Christians shouldn’t be to make abortion illegal but to make it obsolete. This can only be accomplished through relationships, not laws. Supply does not exist where there is no demand. Christians are responsible for telling others about Jesus. When a relationship with Jesus is formed the Holy Spirit changes people. If we’re doing our job, more and more people will naturally make Godly choices.
Finally, let’s discuss the welfare system. Currently, if a person is unable to provide themselves with food, housing and/or medical care they can turn to the government for financial assistance also known as welfare. But shouldn’t Christians be meeting these needs? Why does government welfare even exist? When did citizens stop helping each other? If your neighbor lost his job would you be willing to pay his mortgage or allow him and his family to move in with you? “For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing…” Matthew 25:42-43.
Furthermore, Deuteronomy 15:7-11 reads, “…do not be hard-hearted or tightfisted…Instead, be generous and lend them whatever they need…If you refuse to make the loan and the needy person cries out to the Lord, you will be considered guilty of sin. Give generously to the poor, not grudgingly, for the Lord your God will bless you in everything you do. There will always be some in the land who are poor. That is why I am commanding you to share freely with the poor…”
While the needs in our community may seem overwhelming, God doesn’t expect any one person to help everyone but everyone must help someone. I strongly feel that for every person or family in need God has equipped several with the desire, ability and resources to help them but where do we begin?
I’ve created a Facebook page titled, Changing Daily For Jesus – Central Alabama. Here a person can let their needs be known. Maybe you’re a teacher and would like an adult to help in your classroom. Maybe you’re unable to drive and would really appreciate someone taking you to the store once a week or to the park on a nice day. Maybe you’re getting ready to start a new job and need new clothes. Maybe you’re a teenager and need someone to talk to. There are thousands of great people in our community with a willingness to help they just need to know who wants help.
Loving our neighbors will take time. Ask God to show you where you can make time for others. It will mean making significant changes in our lifestyles but honestly what choice do we have?
This article was written by Michelle Garris and published in the Prattville Progess January 2011.