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Currently a hot topic in political news is this story:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23572671/?GT1=43001

I comiserate with those who have weighed in with their shock and dismay at these allegations. However, I am also somewhat baffled at the reaction from the secular world (I have not heard any opinions from other Christians on the issue).

That a governor of the state of New York, who is supposed to be one that people can trust and emulate, someone who sets an example of high standards and solid character, would choose to follow a path of such moral degradation and sexual immorality is surely a tragedy and an outrage. Isn’t it?

Woah! Wait a second. Since when did our secular, humanistic, and hedonistic society place any value whatsoever on traditional (“old-fashioned”) sexual morality and conservative values in one’s personal life? What happened to the sexual revolution? What happened to the age of tolerance (what’s right for you is right for you and I can’t judge you)? What happened to the idea of monogamy being antiquated and unrealistic? Those are the messages I’m getting loud and clear from my culture. So how come politicians are held to a different standard?

Don’t get me wrong here – I’m not saying I actually agree with any of those things. I believe strongly in monogamy. I believe that extra-marital sex (in all respects) is morally wrong – it is sin. I also believe that leaders should be judged more harshly and that they are examples to the people they are leading.

My problem is that I simply don’t understand where the secular world gets off saying that Spitzer’s actions are disgraceful and that he should resign or be impeached.

“Particularly because of the reform platform on which he was elected governor, his ability to govern the state of New York and execute his duties as governor have been irreparably damaged,” said Citizens Union, a good-government group that supported the crusading attorney general for governor in 2006 and provided critical support in his effort to reform Albany. “It is our strong belief that it is now impossible for him to fulfill his responsibilities as governor. Accordingly, Citizens Union urges him to resign as governor.”

The fact that he spent a significant amount of his own money (he is independantly wealthy) on a prostitute seems to be the main problem here. Is it because he cheated on his wife? The fact that he is married comes up only once in the article, which doesn’t even refer to the fact that what he did was commit marital infidelity. There’s more focus on the fact that he spent so much money. Perhaps if he’d spent the money selfishly on himself in lavish cars, luxury vacations, or any kind of ridiculous indulgence it would have been applauded instead. After all the problem of selfishness that is inherent in our capitalistic and narcissistic society doesn’t seem to be on anyone’s radar. In fact the more money and toys one has, the more one’s status in society is elevated. A “funny” parallel, I think. The Biblical values of sexual morality are paraded out as if they actually mean something to these people, while Jesus’ other teachings are all but non-existent to them.

What’s up with that?

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Sunday School taught me that a Christian is a person who has “asked Jesus into their heart”, has done the ABC’s: accept, believe, confess.  I am wondering if this was perhaps an incomplete explanation of being a Christian (By “Christian” I mean one who follows Christ, not necessarily an adherent to the established religion called Christianity).

The Bible says that even the demons believe.  According to my upbringing (and I believe, according to Scripture), we are to accept Jesus as our “personal Lord and Savior”.  I’m definitely not the first one to say it, but I think it’s pretty obvious that many who call themselves Christians embrace the “Savior” part, while the “Lord” part falls by the wayside.  I think Jesus was pretty clear on expressing that he desired for the church (his bride) to be set apart, to be a light in the world, to be different from everyone else.  It looks like that’s where the Lord part comes in.

Being a Christian is not just accepting the potential risk and purchasing fire insurance.  It’s not a “get out of hell free” card that you get and keep for later.  It is obedience. 

Of course we aren’t perfect, and He knows that, and has already allowed for it within the gifts of grace and mercy.  However just because the parent of a 3-year-old knows that their child will not be perfect in obedience does not mean that the parent does not still expect it.  The parent expects obedience, but realizes that their child is not perfect.  If the standard was lowered, then would the child still have something to strive for, something to encourage continual improvement?  If the standard was lowered, then perhaps the behavior would worsen accordingly.

Just throwing a theory out here… perhaps the reason God holds such high standards for His children is to give us something to strive for.  It seems to be human nature to adjust our efforts to the expectations.  If the expectation is a fourth-year university-level paper, then we have a certain level of effort.  If however the expectation is an explanation of why you didn’t enjoy your chicken carbonara on a restaurant customer satisfaction survey, then you likely won’t be pulling an all-nighter surrounded by stacks of reference materials and resources, with your handy reference guide at hand to ensure your citations are correct.

That said, I want to ensure that my efforts in following Christ (which is simply a natural response to the grace that He has given to me) are less and less hampered by sin.  I want to be continually transformed to be more like Him, and for this I must resist the devil.  I must believe the Truth of Jesus Christ over the lies of Satan.  I choose to continually resist my sinful tendencies and allow Christ to mold me and use me, making me into the child He desires me to be.

Perhaps that’s a better definition of a real Christian.  It seems to have less to do with what you believe, and more with how you live.  Don’t get me wrong – I think certain beliefs are necessary for a Christian… but I do not think they are the foundation on which a Christian is judged.  As I mentioned above, even the demons believe.  So what makes us different?  I think it’s the way we live.

I fear that it truly may be. Outside of the academic world (including professors, philosophy majors, and select others), there seem to be so very few people who are able to engage in calm, edifying, rational discussion or debate on issues, where there may or may not be major differing of opinions. Why is that such a tall order?

Why does the general church community in the Western world tend to ignore the part of the verse that commands us to love God with our minds as well? Why is it a social faux pas to think “outside the box” (and not in the cool, non-threatening way, but in the radical uncomfortable way)? I am forever trying to discuss things and find that so many people are just not interested or able to engage in rational discussion of some issues, such as pacifism, the church, or social justice. Those types of issues are not comfortable for most people. I have been told that I can come on strong when in these discussions, and I have worked on my delivery for years now. I take to heart 1 Peter 3:15- “Always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect”. I have slowly learned how to say things in a calm and rational way, and yet I cannot speak with less conviction than what I have. I have been told that to speak with such conviction is offensive to people (this is people in the Christian community I’m talking about). Apparently it is offensive because I am presenting my opinions as if I am right. This frustrates me to no end, because the way I see it… why would I have an opinion, unless I think it is right? Who in their right mind believes something to be true that they also think could very well be false? (I also get really passionate about discussing issues and believe that it needs to be done far more than it is).

At the risk of offending, as I seem to be so good at, I would venture to say that our Western world has been so incredibly impacted by the recent revolution of tolerance, that even Christians are afraid to stand up and say that truth is NOT relative. Many have been sucked in to believing that it is improper (at best) and sinful (at worst) to claim truth on any issue.

Now I know that many people out there would say that we can never really know the truth, because we have limited human knowledge, etc. But I would contend that God created us with critical minds with the ability to reason. Of course we cannot know all truth, only God is omniscient. However that does not mean that we cannot know ANY truths. I know for example that Jesus Christ is Lord. It’s not a matter of “I think He’s Lord, but I’m really not sure, and I’m totally open to other opinions, just so I don’t offend anyone”. No. “I know He’s Lord like I know that the sun rose this morning”. I am sure.

Just to clarify, I do not think that knowing truth is the only important aspect of being a Christian, nor do I think that it is sufficient for “getting into heaven”. Nonetheless that does not negate the importance of it. I think that a relationship with Christ needs a balance of the heart, mind, and soul.

I’m still learning, still on the road… waiting for Christ to return and take me home.

I'm Red, he's Honey. I'm the writer of this blog and the source of your entertainment and/or boredom. We're parents of an exceptionally adorable child, and we have no idea what we're doing! This blog is the outlet for my thoughts along the way - welcome! Pull up a couch, grab a cup of tea, and stay a while! Or back away slowly. Whatever works.




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