March 25, 2012

A Stranger Comes to Town

Romans 12:2
"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."

Unperceptive men exist and interpret reality only by means of sensory experience. The only real and true things for these men are their physical experiences. This certain breed of man excels in existentialism; that is, they suscribe to the idea that there is no “higher” meaning to the universe or to man’s existence, and no rational order to the events of the world. It is all coincidental, happenstance and circumstantial. Human life is not invested with a redemptive or affirming purpose. There is nothing beyond man’s physical existence. Therefore, the modus operandi of these men is a gentle indifference of the world. Live and let live, as it were.

Ironically, these men are unperceptive because they are not introspective. They perceive, but do not comprehend. It is only when they are confronted with something beyond their immediate interpretation or carnal appetites that they are compelled to become introspective about life, its meaning, and all the while contemplating about their impending death. This kind of man only becomes perceptive after he acknowledges his mortality and responsibility for his own life. In Hebrews 9:27, man clearly has a reckoning beyond meaninglessness: "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:"

After apostasy, the greatest threat to a Christian is apathy, the so-called gentle indifference that takes root as a consequence of living in the world and cooperating with it. Please read all of I Corinthians 3 for further convincing.

To illustrate this threat of indifference, I've included a story I came across somewhere on the web. Please seriously consider where you're at in your walk with Christ as you read.
A few years after I was born, my Dad met a stranger who was new to our small town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around from then on.

As I grew up, I never questioned his place in my family. In my young mind, he had a special niche.

My parents were complementary instructors: Mom taught me good from evil, and Dad taught me to obey. Both read the Bible and shared its wisdom with me. But the stranger was our storyteller. He would keep us spellbound for hours on end with adventures, mysteries and funny stories.

If I wanted to know anything about politics, history or science, he always knew the answers about the past, understood the present and even seemed able to predict the future!

He took my family to the first major league ball game. He made me laugh, and he made me cry. The stranger never stopped talking, but Dad didn't seem to mind.

Sometimes, Mom would get up quietly while the rest of us were shushing each other to listen to what he had to say, and she would go to the kitchen for peace and quiet. I wonder now if she ever prayed for the stranger to leave.

Dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions, and Mom submitted to Dad's authority without complaint, but the stranger never felt obligated to honor these convictions.

Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our home, not from us, our friends or any visitors. The stranger, however, got away with four-letter words that burned in my ears and made my dad squirm and my mother blush.

My Dad didn't permit the liberal use of alcohol. But the stranger encouraged us to try it on a regular basis. He made cigarettes look cool, cigars manly and smoking pipes distinguished. He talked freely - much too freely - about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing. Over time, he only got worse.

I now know that my early concepts about relationships were influenced strongly by the stranger. Time after time, he opposed the values of my parents, yet he was seldom rebuked. And never was he asked to leave.

More than fifty years have passed since the stranger moved in with our family. He has blended right in and is not nearly as fascinating as he was at first.
Still, if you could walk into my parents' home today, you would still find him sitting over in his special corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures.

His name?

We just call him TV.

Now, the stranger has a wife. We call her Computer.
"I  know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. "   Revelation 3:15-16
Please be prayerful about your choices as they relate to time spent watching TV or on the computer. They are powerful tools. Without godly purpose, they are the Devil's toys to take us away from God's will through distraction, doubt, and indifference. In godly endeavor, they can reach a lost and dying world. Choose wisely!

Here's a choice you can't afford to ignore: The Plan of Salvation

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