Threats over one’s belief in a God are nothing new. Adam and Eve immediately encountered Satan after their creation. Jewish history is filled with stories of enslavement and exile because of their beliefs. Just pick up the Bible and you can read about King Herod’s direct assault to kill the newborn Christ child (Matthew 2:16-18). Our world thought that the job was finished with Jesus’s crucifixion. Little did they know that evil is powerless against our God. One might say that since the beginning of time, the godly family has been under constant assault. In recent years, Christians have awakened to this reality. Society and governments now embrace everything from the destruction of marriage and family to forbidding parents from disciplining their children and even restricting parental rights regarding health care. But before we go off and blame others, it is worthwhile to conduct some self-reflection. Are some of the serious threats coming from within?
Are we moral enough?
Morality matters! But is any means to an end considered moral behavior if the cable news says so? Where have you heard a good discussion on morals lately? Was in church or maybe you no longer go to church? Is your family laboring to simply do good, but not just good for society’s sake, to do good to the glory of God? To have a moral family, one must be able to point to a set of basic principles. There first must be the belief that God exists. We must believe that God is real and that God is in control of our universe. People, the government, are not in charge of the universe! The leaders of our world (those good and those bad) hold their positions at the pleasure of our God. Humanity is expected to pass God on to its subsequent generations. Yet, we no longer expose our children to God in schools or even in many of our homes. Society has equated the removal of God from the government as necessary and good. Read the founding documents for our country, that was never the intention.1Quotes from the Founding Fathers, on the Importance of a Moral Society! With the removal of God, so went the removal of morality and ethics. Are you happy with our world now? We threw the baby out with the bathwater!
George Washington, General of the Revolutionary Army, president of the Constitutional Convention, First President of the United States of America, Father of our nation, “Religion and morality are the essential pillars of civil society.”
Thomas Aquinas was the first theologian and philosopher to articulate ethics based on natural law. The first axiom of natural law is that God has placed within the natural world discernable qualities that present guiding principles and an alternative source of revelation to assist “human reason.” Humans, though flawed, are expected to use observation, common sense, and reasoning, aided by the Holy Spirit, to understand their world. The results would provide humanity with an understanding of God’s Truth.
(Matthew 7:17)2NIV New International Version Translations – “Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.”
The Apostle Matthew points out a simple truth, when something is good, there is evidence, “good fruit.” Bad fruit would be chaos, crime, drugs, trafficking, irresponsible debt, lying, cheating, theft, murder, etc. There is a problem with our “tree!” Where is all of that “good fruit?” There are many analogies to explain what is going on here. Roots need continuous nutrition and water. Branches need periodic pruning. Unfortunately, the tree (our society) is not being fed and people no longer see the fruit as part of true repentance and faith. When Tik Tok, Facebook, and Twitter define the fruit, morality suffers. It is time to prune some branches!
Have we become lukewarm toward God?
(Revelation 3:15-16) – “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”
Jesus had some rather harsh words for the church of Laodicea (See Lostpine’s Study: Laodicea). The affluent city had found it easier to accommodate the world’s morality rather than live by God’s Truth. Unfortunately, it is not enough to consistently attend church, have children enrolled in the youth group, and volunteer on Sunday mornings. To save our families, the entire family must be centered upon Christ. It is time for the Word of God to dominate homes, shape our families, and permeate our conversations. It is also time to demand that our leaders follow God’s moral Truth.
The Impact of COVID Policies on our Nation
(Romans 12:5) – “so in Christ, we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”
The Christian Church is a community. Our Sovereign God placed us in this Body. As members of the Body of Christ, we know we belong to others. Therefore, isolation is inconsistent with God’s plan for humanity. In the past several years of forced isolation, “solitary confinement,” has been used effectively as a tool of evil in our world. As families engage each other in the church, we exercise hospitality, sacrificial love, and gracefully allow others to minister to us. We live in a mission field that we dare not neglect. God in our neighborhood, city, and county working together for a better world. Fight the isolation! God intended us to be “face-to-face” people (2 John 1:12)!
Do we have too much STUFF?
(1 John 2:15-17) – “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 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 the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.”
The American Dream seems to be to fill whatever space, closets, basement, attic, garage, or storage unit until it is time for another garage sale. Have you ever walked through a flea market? If proof is needed that people have too much stuff, go to a flea market! In our world today, the slippery slope of excess does not lead to God. Accumulating more than one needs is just another creative form of idolatry. Here is where God just asks us to abandon a few things our family would enjoy and desire and make time/use a few resources to serve Him. Considering God sent His one and only Son to die for us, that is not asking too much is it?
Do we have enough time for God?
Technology is fun, the desire for more toys, success, and accomplishments can become consuming.
(Hebrews 12:1) – “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,”
The Apostle Paul only reminds us to choose our outside engagements carefully so that we are not so busy that we miss the singular most important thing in life. That is, to pursue Christ and serve His Church. As any runner knows, a marathon is much more analogous to life than the 100-meter dash. When our goals align with God’s goals for us, when our priorities align with God’s priorities for us, reaching the finish line is assured. The world gets an A+ for distractions. The good news is that most of the world’s distractions come with an on/off switch. Try it sometime!
The Christian family has always been a battleground. Attacks will always come from outside. Our world, however, views a moral family as a threat. We need to guard against complacency or Satan will attack from within. Our families need us more than ever to see God in our world and trust Him for their future. Know God is good! Know that God has proven Himself good to those who trust Him. Most importantly, know and recognize God and all that He has done for you.
(Psalm 73:25-26) – “Who have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”
- Where do you see the pressure coming against the family?
- Ideas to Explore: Public educational systems, government, segments withing our society, family needs, church, etc.
- How has the pressure against religion impacted you?
- Ideas to Explore: Talk less about it to friends, no longer involved in church, shelter children from public view, avoid references to religion at work, etc.
- What would happen if you put a big sign on your lawn that says, “My family has turned their lives over to Jesus!”?
- Ideas to Explore: Neighbors would complain, you might find other neighbors who love Jesus too, your children would be ostracized, The HOA would fine you, etc.
- How do you keep God and Jesus alive and well in your family?
- Ideas to Explore: Church as a family, watch Godly shows, discuss God and Jesus at home, help your children with Bible Study, etc.
- Sort the following categories by the amount of time you spend in each activity:
- Reading, learning God’s Word.
- Watching TV, movies
- Sharing your faith with family and friends.
- Helping neighbors and your community with everyday problems.
- Sharing your faith with others.
- On the Internet.
- Do you engage with people eye to eye or via technology?
- Ideas to Explore: What methods are the most satisfying? Which is more effective?
- What worldly ideas have you adopted just because you are tired of the fight?
- Ideas to Explore: Are you setting an example for the world or blending in?
- 2NIV New International Version Translations