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The Problem Is Simple

divorce“Love and lust – you can have both!” “Divorce doesn’t have to break up a family!” “Divorce not an option? We’ll help you get the satisfaction you deserve with private affairs.” This is some of the modern wisdom that is whirling around – and it’s not just in the check-out line of low-end convenience stores. Rather, this is stuff you can find at such high-brow institutions as Whole Foods. What’s going on?

Mindfulness, meditation, yoga, smoothies, anti-oxidants, and a host of magic elixirs to fix all your woes are readily available to the next lucky customer. In our culture it’s cool to talk about Buddha, and a variety of spiritual practices, but not Jesus. Why?

Because it’s the self saving generation.

It doesn’t want, or even see the need, for a savior of any kind, let alone Jesus and his band of followers.

All the above are just some of the tools of the self-saving generation. This generation is not interested in the creator God revealed in Jesus Christ that requires things like obedience. Rather, folks go it alone, doing whatever feels right to them. They don’t need God. They are gods. Some speak of their autonomy as enlightened thinking – as if it’s how things were always meant to be.

Like Eve, seduced by Satan, they choose they’re own path of what’s good and what’s bad. The result is disaster. They want, somehow, to mix the unmixable –  love and lust, divorce and family, autonomy and God. They go to incredible lengths to justify the unjustifiable.

The Apostle Paul highlights this type of incompatibility at length, but here’s a passage worth reflecting upon:

Those who live according to the flesh (the worldly desires described above) have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit (God’s will) have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. (Rom 8)

The problem is simple – Go with God. Or not.

Does this sound too harsh – too exclusive – too absolute? It’s no more absolute than the beliefs under-girding the behaviors above.

Good news, though. This holy God has a plan, and is already at work.

The Creator God has set out to set the world right with His New Creation project. This is the announcement of Jesus (the Gospel). The time has come – God’s rule – the Kingdom of God (the Rule of God) is at hand – you can see what it looks like in and through Jesus and his Church. The Church may be less effective, but it’s still learning. The characteristics of this Kingdom include such things as humility, gentleness, grace, hope, justice, and forgiveness. The announcement includes, since God’s at work, to stop doing it your way (repent) and believe the Good News (see any of the four Gospels for the details of this news).

So yes – the problem is simple. The fix is a little less simple, but is found in Jesus Christ, and his band of followers.

Thanks for reading,
~ Ted

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Comments

  1. Ted, you got that right – all of it. I heard someone say that we live in the Romans 1:18-32 generation.

    A generation that calls evil good and good evil. “Woe until them that call evil good, and good evil, that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter. Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight.” Isaiah 5:20-21 It doesn’t get clearer than that.

    It’s an upside down world. People doing what is right in their own eyes. ~ Judges 21:25 Lawlessness abounds. Ted, when you look at the news, how does it make you feel? I feel pulled down by so much darkness that it makes me want to bury my head in the sand.

    Yes, the fix is simple. Agreed. And yet the road to this simplicity and peace is a narrow one that only a few will find.

    • Ted Olson says:

      Thanks for your comments Debra. As far as how I feel about the news, it can indeed be overwhelming. One can easily despair – and bury their head. I’ve done it. It’s exactly what Satan wants us to do. He whispers lies saying things like, “it’s too hard, look at all the misery, you can’t do anything.” But God is faithful. He does His best work when all seems lost. I’m seeing a lot of movement in the Church right now – folks are tired of a 1/2 gospel. There is a mega-shift happening where folks are seeking to join in God’s new creation project, and to live and work for the Kingdom of God ushered in by King Jesus. He is Lord. He reigns, right now – and He’s at work. Understanding that – and all it entails – puts us in a position (filled with grace, humility, and power) to shape the world (to be a blessing) rather than be shaped by it. Much work (and workers) is/are needed. I think of Tom Wright’s work, as well as guys like John Dickson, Scot McKnight, Scott Rodin, as well as the “Frontline” material from the LICC.

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