Monday, March 25, 2013

Ramblings from Brad


So it has been a really really long time since I have posted anything. Erin normally posts all the awesome stuff. But lately I have had some things on my mind as it regards to how Christians behave and act. and how non-Christians view this. The mentality the world teaches children is that you are young and only live once, so have fun and do whatever you want early on in life and there will be plenty of time later in life to repent and live the way God has called us to. It probably starts much younger than high school and college of course, but it seems more and more like this is at least a common starting point for this kind of mentality to begin. I am still not really sure the cause of this, and I guess it doesn't really matter in the end. What matters is the fact that there are people that are turned off by the hypocrisy of believers. When a person talks about how much God has changed them, and yet, their actions do not reflect this change, non-christians view us as hypocrites. I am sure you have heard the saying if a hypocrite is standing between you and God, the hypocrite is still closer to God. That saying is fine I guess if you are already a Christian, but as Christians we have to remember that people that are not believers do not know and sometimes do not care what the Bible says. We have to give them a reason to care.

Far too often now I see high school/college age people start to go out into the real world. They are leaving the comfort of the "shelter" they had been in and are exposed to things in the real world that tests whether or not the faith they have is their own, or if it is someone else's. The subtle, or not so subtle things that kids see their parents do or hear their parents say will come out. If a parent tells a kid not to drink, but they have drank while they were growing up, it seems to me the kid is going to be more apt to drink. If a kid hears their parent cuss, even though they have been told not to cuss, they are going to be more likely to cuss.

As young children you are always taught the golden rule in Matthew 7:12, "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets." Then as you get older things seem to become more complex. As a society we tend to make gray areas so the things in our own life do not really seem as bad as they should be. Christians cannot change the world if we are doing the same things the world is doing. Multiple times in the Bible there are mentions of not causing someone else to stumble. 1 Corinthians 8:9 ("But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.") and 1 Corinthians 8:13 ("Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble."). The the second verse, Paul is talking about food specifically causing his brother to stumble, but you could easily look at it and insert whatever you wanted and line it up to God's Word. As a parent now, and as a volunteer in the youth department at church, I really look at the following verse for guidance. Mark 9:42 ("Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea."). That verse really hits home in regards to how the students, and my kids, view my life and my walk with Christ. I do not want one of them to see something that I do that causes them to fall into sinning. Granted, I cannot ultimately be held responsible for what someone does or says, but if I assisted the devil in tempting and enticing one of them into something that goes against God's Word then I have to take some level of responsibility. In the end, if I am the reason someone did not make it into Heaven then that is something I will have to answer for. It is like as a kid and your parents are asking why you did something wrong. The only difference here is I will have to answer to the Creator of the universe. Pretty intense stuff and something that scares me!

As a society we try to rationalize things. We try to sit there and say, well, it is OK if I do this, because that person is doing worse. Once again, the audience of this is for Christians. We cannot compare ourselves to each other. There is only one perfect person and his name is Jesus. The more we try to compare or try to rationalize things, and talk ourselves into things that we know are not right, the farther we fall into the rabbit hole of temptation and sin. How do we as Christians expect non-christians to view us as changed if we not only do the same type of stuff they do, but then say we don't, or it is OK because God forgives us. Yes, we are forgiven, but not so we can go out and sin again and again and again. That is not true repentance. We cannot stand idle and let Satan use worldly pleasures to win people away from God. We as believers have to stand firm against the attacks and fight back against the temptation to rationalize sin. I pray that no one, including the students and my kids, look at me as a rationalization for sinning.

-Brad

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