How we lost our way…

Why we Americans have become relativists:

“The attempt to make nature the basis of morals was also taken into the area of civil law, where it was called the Natural Law School of jurisprudence…It was an attempt in this eighteenth-century period to have principles of law, ‘even if there is not God.’ These jurists thought that a complete and perfect system of law could be constructed upon principles of natural law. But there was a serious problem in trying to construct a system of law upon nature. Nature is cruel as well as noncruel.” (Francis Schaeffer, “How Should We Then Live?” p. 159)

“Alfred Charles Kinsey (1894-1956), a biologist-sociologist at the Institute for Sex Research at Indiana University produced his influential Sexual Behavior of the Human Male (1948) and Sexual Behavior of the Human Female (1953). These were based on 18,500 interviews. Kinsey made that which is “right” in sex a matter of statistics. Many people read his books because at that date they were far more titillating than other books accepted as respectable. However, their real impact was the underlying conception that sexual right and wrong depend only on what most people are doing sexually at a given moment of history. This has become the generally accepted sexual standard in the years since. Modern man has done the same thing in law.”

“…the Greeks found that society – the polis – was not a strong enough final authority to build upon, and it is still not strong enough today. If there are no absolutes, and if we do not like either the chaos of hedonism or the absoluteness of the 51-percent vote, only one other alternative is left: one man or an elite, giving authoritative arbitrary absolutes.”

“Here is a simple but profound rule: If there are no absolutes by which to judge society, then society is absolute. Society is left with one man or an elite filling the vacuum left by the loss of the Christian consensus which originally gave us form and freedom in northern Europe and in the West.” (p. 224)

“In our era, sociologically, man destroyed the base which gave him the possibility of freedoms without chaos. Humanists have been determined to beat to death the knowledge of God and the knowledge that God has not been silent, but has spoken in the Bible and through Christ – and they have been determined to do this even though the death of values has come with the death of that knowledge.”

“We see two effects of our loss of meaning and values. The first is degeneracy… “

“But we must notice that there is a second result of modern man’s loss of meaning and values which is more ominous, and which many people do not see. This second result is that the elite will exist. Society cannot stand chaos. Some group or some person will fill the vacuum. An elite will offer us arbitrary absolutes, and who will stand in its way?”

“Will the silent majority (which at one time we heard so much about) help? The so-called silent majority was, and is, divided into a minority and a majority. The minority are either Christians who have a real basis for values or those who at least have a memory of the days when the values were real. The majority are left with only their two poor values of personal peace and affluence.”

“With such values, will men stand for their liberties? Will they not give up their liberties step by step, inch by inch, as long as their own personal peace and prosperity is sustained and not challenged, and as long as the goods are delivered? The life-styles of the young and the old generations are different… But they support each other sociologically, for both embrace the values of personal peace and affluence. Much of the church is no help here either, because for so long a large section of the church has only been teaching a relativistic humanism using religious terminology.”

“I believe the majority of the silent majority, young and old, will sustain the loss of liberties without raising their voices as long as their own life-styles are not threatened. And since personal peace and affluence are so often the only values that count with the majority, politicians know that to be elected they must promise these things. Politics has largely become not a matter of ideals – increasingly men and women are not stirred by values of liberty and truth – but of supplying a constituency with a frosting of personal peace and affluence. They know that voices will not be raised as long as people have these things, or at least and illusion of them.”

“Edward Gibbon (1737-1794) in his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776-1794) said that the following five attributes marked Rome at its end: first, a mounting love of show and luxury (that is, affluence); second, a widening gap between the very rich and the very poor (this could be among countries in the family of nations as well as in a single nation); third, an obsession with sex; fourth, freakishness in the arts, masquerading as originality, and enthusiasms pretending to be creativity; fifth, an increased desire to live off the state. It all sounds so familiar. We have come a long road since our first chapter, and we are back in Rome.” (Pp. 226-227).

GODSPEED

What is the most valuable thing in the Universe?

What is the most valuable thing in the universe?

Gold? Diamonds? Your wife? Your kids?

What or who made all those things? Wouldn’t the Maker, being the source and originator, be of more worth, more value?

Worship in Old English is “worth-ship” meaning to give something or someone it’s worth and praise or adoration.

Some worship their car, their job, diamonds, the almighty dollar, or their family, their kids… But if God is the designer of those things and if everything proceeds from God as the original source, then God is of more value because nothing would exist without Him. And so God is of more worth and worthy of your praise and worship above all else.

Think about it.

GODSPEED

Christianity is an Education

What is School of Theology and why should you take a class?
 
School of Theology has the purpose of equipping you to spiritually feed yourself and make disciples (example: your kids, your friends, people in ministry, etc.)
We all are called to partake in ministry (Ephesians 4:11-17), which requires you to focus on: head, heart, and hands.
 
Head: It says in Romans 12:2 – “…be transformed in the renewing of your mind…” so that you know God’s will.
It also says in Ephesians 4:11-17 that church is about “…equipping…” which involves head knowledge to help you grow in the Lord and learn to minister to each other making disciples.
You might feel intimidated in learning, but Christianity is an education.
You can’t grow as a Christian if you do not focus on educating your mind.
 
Heart: It says in Mark 12:29-31 that we are to “…love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength…” – in other words with our entire being.
We feel close to God when our hearts are inclined toward his.  Yesterday morning before coming to church I got up at 5:30am and a song was ringing in my head from the movie Percy Jackson (a Greek Mythology movie set in modern times).  It was from the scene where Percy and his friends were in the Lotus Casino eating the lotus cookies, which dulled their senses and distracted them from their mission.  So as I woke up to get ready for worship, the song from that scene kept going over and over in my head and my heart felt distant from God.  I remembered back to when I was 14 years old and in love with God, and how songs from youth group would be going over and over in my head and how it made me feel.  So to get the Percy Jackson song out of my head I started singing an old youth group song in the shower –
“Oh God you are my God, and I will every praise you.  And I will seek you in the morning, and learn to walk in your ways.  And step-by-step you lead me, and I will follow you all of my days.”
 
As I would sing those lyrics out loud, the other song would fade and I would begin to feel close to God.  But as soon as I would stop singing those lyrics, the Percy Jackson song would come back.  I persisted, and my wife said, “Quiet, I’m trying to sleep.”  So I kissed her and went to Starbucks and meditated on loving God with my heart as I sang that song.
 
Hands: It says in Mark 12:29-31 that we are also to “…love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength, and love our neighbor as ourselves.”
Loving God with our strength means actions.  And actions of love are in what we do and how we love our neighbor (example: wife, husband, kids, parents, boss, co-workers, church congregants, neighbors, strangers, etc.)
A well rounded and mature Christian loves God with head, heart, and hands.
School of Theology is designed to help you focus on the head knowledge to guide you in how to love God and people with your hands.  The worship service is designed to prick the heart to help you passionately love God and know Him and do something about it.
Jesus basically said THE Commandment is loving God with head, heart and hands.  And this is something developed, we are not born with this.  And this is something we should re-order our lives around, hence the importance of church community and our emphasis on Sundays (SS, School of Theology and worship), Wednesdays (children’s and youth ministry and School of Theology), and Home Communities (during which we put this into practice in more intimate settings).

And so the following are classes help you develop your head knowledge and what to do with it (please email me if you will be taking a class).

Sunday School of Theology Classes: starting this Sunday…
  1. The Master Plan of Evangelism: how to evangelize, apologetics, etc.
  2. Real Life Discipleship: How to make disciples (of your kids, friends, in church, in community, mentoring, in small groups, etc.)
 
Wednesday School of Theology Classes: starting Wednesdays January 21st…
  1. Live: Foundations of Christianity #1 (plus an introduction to Grace Church)
  2. Encounter:  Foundations of Christianity #2

GODSPEED