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Affirmations.


Few of us will deny these cultural plate tectonics, that is, collision of worldviews, so apparent today. For many years they lurked in the shadows, unmentionable concepts, words, and phrases that were quietly acknowledged, the whispers of monumental change. Today they confront and challenge us boldly in every media platform, public education system, political rally, and marketplace. They were not so much a gradual infiltration of our traditional systems as an invasion. And, they have altered, or are attempting to alter, our standards at every level of American life. Welcome them to our world---naturalism, postmodernism, pantheism, pluralism, Islam, and moralistic therapeutic deism---the worldviews that challenge us daily.

For example, consider the new math. It is an enhanced analytical system that actually calculates human social standing and ideology, usually in negative ways. It goes something like this----

So, yes, those equations may be little extreme, and my artwork isn't too classy. But, the point is clear. People with values, belief systems, and worldviews that are traditionally conservative are the enemy in the worldview collisions so prevalent in our culture, these cultural plate tectonics. This enmity is public and is now the theme line of network television, the Hollywood elite, main stream media, political candidates, and leftists in our government. So, today, if you live in a neighborhood with the word "plantation" in the title and labeling you are a racist bigot. When I affirm the sanctity of human life from the pulpit I am guilty of hate speech and lack of respect for women.

The verbal grenades tossed back and forth across these entrenched positions are usually the strong words of opposition. And, that is a problem. Affirming one position doesn't necessarily translate to opposition, hatred, or enmity toward another. My affirmation of the Christian worldview doesn't make me draw swords against those holding other positions. To be sure there are Christians who verbally oppose these competing ideals and their negative assaults usually grab media attention. Among those Christian nationalists, the more trendy description of people who affirm America, or the America of our founders, as a Christian nation, there are calls for more vocal and visible support of traditional Christian values. Perhaps the voting booth is a path in support of the Christian worldview.

Last Friday I withheld publication of this post because of the breaking news about Beto O'Rourke, one of the many Democratic candidates for President. At an LGBTQ forum Thursday night O'Rourke was asked if "colleges, churches, charities" who weren't pro-gay marriage should be denied their tax exempt status. Of course, he answered yes. Once again, the media posed the matter as a for or against proposition, battle lines drawn. Even many of this Democratic colleagues were aghast at his answer. Still, it was more of the new philosophical, social math. Affirming the Christian worldview of marriage is suddenly anti-American. People of faith are the enemy.

Scripture boldly mentions times when Christian standards would be openly challenged, debated, and criticized. This is not the first time such threats have thrown Christian ideals and standards into the enemy corner.

Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show

integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may

be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.

Titus 2: 7-8, ESV

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching

ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will

turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

2 Timothy 4: 3-4, ESV

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God,

for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God:

every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every

spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which

you heard was coming and now is in the world already.

1 John 4: 1-3, ESV

There are, of course, many others. The point is, however, these challenges are expected and will continue. The question is, what do we do? Again, there are many answers and possibilities. Here's a start---

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of

God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not

wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against

the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the

heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to

withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having

fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as

shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all

circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming

darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which

is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To

that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also

for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the

mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it

boldly, as I ought to speak.

Ephesians 6: 10-20, ESV

And, also, affirm the elements of this traditional worldview. Paul wrote it to Titus---

This saying is faithful, and concerning these things I desire that you affirm confidently,

so that those who have believed God may be careful to maintain good works. These

things are good and profitable to men.

Titus 3: 8

Affirmations! Confidently. Amen.

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