Understanding instead of Condemning the Reality of a Non-Christian World

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 4.48.20 PMI hate watching the news

No seriously I hate watching it because the news is always depressing.

Now of course I understand if only encouraging things were aired, the nightly news would have gone out of business a long time ago. But thirty-minutes filled with bad news around the world and events viewed from a non-Christian worldview is enough to make anyone change the channel.

Yet when I do change the channel it creates a serious problem;

Dr. Albert Mohler in his awesome book “The Conviction to Lead” uses a quote to describe the need for leaders (and all Christians)to become what he calls thinkers. A big part of this is being willing to not only face a painful reality, but examine it closely [1], and confess weaknesses it may reveal [2].

“We believe that God created us as rational creatures who have the real, but partial, capacity to understand reality. We can be certain that we are to devote ourselves to understanding reality rather than denying it.” Albert Mohler

His quote highlights the problem because when facing painful realities Christians (myself included) do two things:

  1. We ignore it
  2. or we condemn it

Now let me be clear that according to Biblical principles the majority of what happens in our culture SHOULD be condemned because it is sin [3]. However when my first response is to condemn reality (culture) instead of trying to understand it [4] I lose an opportunity to deal with the real problem using Scripture.  

One of my College professors made this point using the illustration of a teenage girl who would go home after school and eat Doritos all afternoon which her parents didn’t like.  Their response was to demand she stop eating Doritos, so now she eats lay’s potato chips all afternoon.  This girls parents dealt with a coping mechanism linked to a deeper problem (eating Doritos) but didn’t figure out why she was eating junk food all afternoon.

In the same way taking the time to understand how the non-christian worldview works, and why it makes certain decisions helps us meet their deeper problem instead of a response to it.

As an illustration of this allow me to use an interesting article on July 18th entitled, “what does the rainbow mean for Gays?” In it Brian Baker, the man credited with making the rainbow flag a symbol of the LGBT describes why they have chosen it to represent them.

“The rainbow’s in the Bible. It’s a covenant between God and all living creatures.” According to Baker, the God of the Bible knows the struggle of gays and lesbians, and that is where he finds hope.”

In other words Baker and other members of the LGBT community view this flag as a symbol of a God who loves everyone [5]. In their mind, if God viewed homosexuality as sin, He would have judged it a long time ago.

The Christian article does an excellent job of explaining God’s patience has nothing to do with acceptance of sin, but an offering of mercy so that individuals can escape His judgment.

“God is patient. The fact that he has refrained from sending another flood to destroy the world does not mean that he accepts homosexual practices, or any other kind of sin. God’s covenant with creatures and the rainbow in our sky do not mean that sinners have nothing to fear. Rather, this kind of mercy shows us that God is patiently waiting for all, including homosexuals, to believe. God’s gracious display of patience is meant to lead to repentance from sin (Romans 2:4), not celebration of sin.” Dieudonne Tamfu (What does the rainbow mean for Gays)

Do you see how this article looks past the issue we see [6] and deals with the deeper problem…a flawed view of God.

Does this mean we should just sit by and do nothing as our nation celebrates sin? Of course not! Instead we are called by God to become “students of reality” who look past the sinful actions of our culture, and understand it flows out of a heart trying to fill itself with something other than God.

The bottom line is we can tear down all the rainbow flags in the world, but if we haven’t changed a false view of God behind those flags with the Gospel of Christ, we haven’t truly brought change.

  1. The leader faces the facts, and this means that the facts must be determined and known (pg.61)  ↩
  2. “History is filled with generals who refused to admit they had been out-maneuvered, captains who refused to admit they were lost, and CEO’s who refused to admit that no-one was buying their products”  ↩
  3. rebellion against the commands of God  ↩
  4. why are they acting this way? what is the REAL ISSUE here?  ↩
  5. he gives a deeper explanation in a separate article on CNN…I’ve included it in the footnotes even though there is some profanity and it’s from a definitely pro-gay standpoint because it illustrates their need for Christ http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/30/us/rainbow-flagmaker-gilbert-baker/  ↩
  6. White house lit up with colors of the gay flag  ↩

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