Conventional Thinking: Help-me culture
We live in an age of experts. If you have a problem, there are specialists to fix it. I even read about a new one the other day wherein people come to organize your closets at home.
During the 2012 elections, it became very apparent that Americans were looking for someone to quick-fix all our problems. Our economy is broken, so we were waiting idly by for the best-sounding candidate to come change that.
In the Messenger Insight insert in this issue of the Baptist Messenger, we make the case that the family in today’s culture is “broken.” Whether it is by looking at what passes as entertainment, reading statistics or simply hearing anecdotal evidence around it, the conclusion is clear that the American family is in a grave state of disrepair. It does not take an expert to see that.
In the Insight, though, we come to the radical conclusion that to correct the matter, it will not be experts or outsiders to do it. It will not take Christians looking to the right politicians or policies. Instead the church itself, through the help of God alone, can set things on a straight course for the family today.
What would such a correction look like? For starters, there would be a dramatic divorce-rate decrease among Christians. In fact, in some ways, Christians could expect that virtually no divorces would happen in our churches.
Secondly, the pornography epidemic would be taken away to the ash heap. Imagine if Christian men and women, like Job, “made a covenant with our eyes never to look upon anything” pornographic or inappropriate. That action alone would revolutionize the church. What’s more, the decrease in demand for this soul-destroying material of pornography would be noticed by the world.
Also, you would see an upsurge in marriage, as cohabitation would be unacceptable for Christians. While Jesus had compassion for the woman at the well, he did rebuke her for “living with a man who is not your husband.” Many today need such correction.
We also could expect to see compassionate restoration of those who have fallen into sin. One of the articles in the series explores how Christians should respond when a loved one says, “I’m gay.” Instead of alienating or accepting, the article calls for reaching and restoring the person.
Finally, if the church experienced a revival in our homes, we could expect to see a growth in people through conversions, yes, but also through procreation and adoption. There is perhaps no clearer picture of the Gospel than the one that comes from birth and adoption. As the holidays near, it is important to reflect that in Christmas we celebrate a birth (not an abortion).
All of these improvements would be a benefit to society, as there would be less crime, more stability and more industry. (The one industry that may see a decline would be Christian bookstores, as we would not need countless books to address our myriad problems. We would primarily need The Book.)
Does all of this sound unrealistic? Maybe too “pie in the sky?” If so, that is a sad testament to our belief in the power of the Gospel. After all, as biblical Christians, we believe that eternal life begins at salvation. Jesus came that we might have “life and life abundantly.” It is not just “then and there” God saves us, but “here and now.” While we will never become sinless in these earthly bodies, we surely can sin less.
To that end, it is time for Christians to stop waiting for someone to come along and fix the “family flat tires” we have. It is time we roll up our sleeves and, prayerfully relying on the Lord, fix it ourselves. God help us.