Monday, June 27, 2011
Rubber Ducky, You're the One!
This was written with the youth of our churches in mind, but really, it's for any of us who struggle with the humanistic, relative morality of our day. Read on, and let me know how you are a light in this dark day...
The world is a very different place than what it was when I was a teenager. Technology has made advances we could only dream about, and now our world is filled with continuous faceless conversations. Life in general rolls at a much faster pace. People seem to be much more worldly-wise and much more worldly. It used to be that heroes were people who sacrificed something for the sake of another. Today, heroes on the whole are those who have acquired fame and riches, and how they arrived at that place is of little concern to most people. Drug dealers who wisely saved and invested their “earnings” become rap artists and entrepreneurs. Pimps are heralded as those who have great success and young people use the word, “pimp,” to describe something made luxurious, never seeming to understand that pimps are people who use and abuse human beings in the worst possible ways. Those who are social rebels are made role models although their platforms include all that is socially amoral and unacceptable compared to the Biblical standard. This includes reverse discrimination, the murder of the unborn, the promotion of gay rights and marriages and more. But more than just those rebels are fighting for these causes. Moms, Dads, Grandparents, teachers, doctors, college professors, and many more people you know fight for the “rights” of others that they may not even want to be part of themselves. It’s pretty weird, isn’t it? But more on that in a minute.
Did I lose you? If so, perhaps it’s because our culture has taken you as a captive to its current thinking. If not, perhaps you are intrigued or angry with me because I will unashamedly stand up for what I know in my heart is right. The line between right and wrong has been blurred beyond recognition for most people, especially young people who have known nothing else. Right=what I think, what I feel, what I want. Wrong=anyone who attempts to tell me what I think, feel, or want is not okay. This is called “relative morality,” and it is making our society very sick.
We are told in our schools, in our jobs, and even in some churches that we must be tolerant of those who live different lifestyles or believe differently than we do. But think about that. You believe something and stand up for it. Someone tells you that because of your beliefs, you are intolerant and need to become more tolerant. But in doing so, didn’t they just tell you that they were intolerant of YOUR beliefs? Anyway, remember something. Cultures are made up of sinful people doing sinful things and are in constant need of being realigned to God’s will and how they relate to others in the culture. (That’s why we have laws, courts, judges, and prisons!)
Today, people are being led to believe that all truth is subjective: meaning what I want, what my community wants, what I think is real and right, what my community thinks is real and right. Nothing is absolutely right or wrong because what’s right today may be wrong tomorrow! You see what I mean about those blurry lines?
Let me give you an example. A 16 year old girl has been raised in church and has been clearly taught right from wrong. She falls in love with her boyfriend who pressures her to have sex. She knows what to do, and knows she should wait until she is married. She refuses for several weeks, but he threatens to leave her if she doesn’t prove to him that she loves him. She gives in and in a month or so, she finds out she is pregnant. She’s devastated and frightened, but tells her mother the truth. Her mother is a church going, Bible believing Christian who is against abortion. They talk and the daughter tells her mom she’s not ready to be a single, young mother and wants an abortion. Her mom tells her how she feels about abortion, but the girl is adamant.
The mother confides in her Christian friend. The friend counsels the mom to consider adopting the baby herself or giving the baby up for adoption. The woman responds by saying she can’t raise another child and would never be able to give the baby up. She says her daughter has made up her mind, and she feels it is better to support her daughter than have her go on her own for the abortion. The conversation goes on for a while, but the mother is determined to support her daughter in this decision. So the mother calls the insurance company and makes the appointment. Within a few days, the procedure is completed, the situation is seemingly over, and a baby’s life has been taken.
What happened here? Several times in this story, right was absolutely right until it didn’t fit the situation or wrong was easier and more convenient. And that’s relative morality. (This story is not fiction. I was the mother’s friend and counselor)
Another example-the day after the gay rights marriage bill passed in NY, the local news interviewed Mt. Vernon Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson. She supported the bill with her vote. When interviewed, she said her pastor spoke to her before the vote and said he knew she was a Christian and understood the right thing to do. Her response was, "The right thing to do has nothing to do with what I believe in terms of what I believe religiously or spiritually." WHAT? How do we live with ourselves and expect to make a difference when we compromise our own values?
So what’s my point in all of this? YOU ARE. You are immersed in a culture where you will face many decisions and the voices you hear may distract you from what you know is right. And if you have a heart to do the right thing, you are like a little rubber duck in a huge ocean. Even if you want to swim the right way, the currents seem to constantly push you the other way so that you’re back in the main stream. No kidding. Swimming against the current may be hard, tiresome, frustrating, and even embarrassing. And you can spend so much energy fighting the current and seeming to get nowhere that you never look up and see there are other little ducks around you trying to go the same way, and that Jesus is rowing a boat calling you to get in!
Okay, seems like I’m over simplifying it, but really, I’m not. God has done some
really good things to help you erase the blur between right and wrong. He needs you to know there is a very clear difference between them, and He wants to help you stay right! First, He sent Jesus to rescue you from the world. You may live in it, but you are no longer a part of it if you have accepted Him. But you are not alone! He has promised to never leave you, to give you the strength you need for the day, and to complete what He’s started in you.
Second, He’s given you the Bible as THE book that will help you understand what’s really right, despite what everything and everyone else in your world is telling you. So get a version you understand and read it. A lot!
Third, God has given you a Helper, really! The Holy Spirit helps you by reminding you what the Bible says, (given that you read it) and He does something amazing! When you have to make a hard decision (like your best friends are going to a wild party and want you to come) the Holy Spirit will tell you what to do. I know! It’s crazy, but we call that a “still small voice.” You’ll know exactly what to do and what not to do. But be warned! If He tells you to do or not to do something and you do what you want to instead, the next time His voice may be more still and small as your own flesh has been given the power to be louder.
Finally, God has placed godly, faithful men and women in your path to help you! Never underestimate the love and guidance of us old people! Find an adult that you trust in your church that you can talk to. It could be the pastor, youth leader, an elder, or a member of the church who really cares. (like me!) And don’t be afraid to share your heart. (and be wise about meeting in a public place!)
Listen, none of us can go through this stuff alone. It’s tough out there, and we don’t always have the answers on our own. Don’t be a lonely little rubber duck bouncing on the stormy ocean of life. Rubber Ducky, you’re the one God wants to use to make the world a better place! Get into Jesus’ lifeboat! Find your strength in God, His Word, and in those who are also working against the current with you! As you swim against the current, God may use you to change one life or the lives of many!
For further info check out the Red Balloon @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2Flgdwlqz0