Wednesday, January 29, 2014

365 Days with God - Day 40: A Self-Centered Culture

I'm giving myself a challenge. Read the Bible each day for a whole year, following the ESV Study Guide 1-year plan. Each day, I will post whatever God has revealed to me in His Word, and how it is changing me. A friend of mine once said that nothing has changed her life as much as reading the bible each day - and I'm excited for how this will change me. Join me on an adventure into the heart of God - and day by day, we can learn more about who He is and what that means to us!

- Andy Catts

Day 39, January 28, 2014
Readings: Psalm 39, Genesis 36, 2 Chronicles 13, Acts 6:8-15, Acts 7:1-60

I'll start this off by saying this: I never intended these writings to be political. But sometimes something must be said. It is not enough to contain the truth, hoping that someone else will see it. As stated in yesterday's post, sometimes it is necessary to suffer the judgement and condemnation of others for the sake of the truth.

Today I saw a billboard that caught my eye. And it defined, very clearly, an issue that is facing America. An issue that we don't want to acknowledge. An issue that is, I believe, at the core of the deterioration of our society. The billboard read:

Your Embarrassing Problem? Our Tuesday Morning. Planned Parenthood.

Friends, let's be honest. Children. Are. Not. Problems.

To be sure, they're challenging. They're hard to bring into this world, hard to raise, expensive. But they are people. People who are loved by God just as much as anyone else. The fact that you're pregnant isn't an "embarrassing problem." It's a miracle. It's the most amazing thing. And yet we live in a culture that is perfectly OK with treating people like a problem that just needs to stop impinging on our lives.

Our culture has made an idol of idealism. Living the ideal life is the utmost ambition. Get the right education, the best job, the right spouse, the perfect wedding, the house in the right neighborhood. But at the end, none of this matters. People matter. Children are people, and they matter. We have replaced God with our own advancement and comfort. We have made a god of ourselves. And we're not the first.

"Our fathers refused to obey him(Moses,) but thrust him aside, and in their hearts they turned to Egypt, saying to Aaron 'Make for us gods who will go before us. As for this Moses who led us out from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.' And they made a calf in those days, and offered a sacrifice to the idol and were rejoicing in the work of their hands. But God turned away and gave them over to worship the host of heaven, as it is written in the book of the prophets:

"Did you bring to me slain beasts and sacrifices, during the forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel? You took up the tent of Moloch and the star of your god Rephan, the images that you made to worship; and I will send you into exile beyond Babylon.' (Acts 7:39-43)

In Acts 7, Stephen is recounting the story of Israel's rejection of God. And the Israelites rejected God because they wanted to live life their way. They didn't want to trust God. They didn't want to believe that He would provide. They wanted to be their own god, their own savior. And that led them to worship golden calves...and to worship Moloch. Any guesses about what sacrifices to Moloch entailed?

Child sacrifices.

Abortion is wrong. It is deplorable. The fact that our society rationalizes it, explains it away as a "woman's right to choose" is awful. They are children. Our children. Sacrificed on the altar of comfort, the altar of not having "embarrassing problems." I'm not demonizing the people who chose to have an abortion. That must be an incredibly difficult and heart-wrenching decision that they live with for eternity. I'm placing the blame squarely on our society that has promoted and idolized a culture that is entirely self-focused.

Recently someone posted a video of a senator (who was attempting to limit, and his end goal was to eradicate) abortion in his home state. He was asked (and this is what the video was about) "Why do you think women have abortions?" He didn't have an answer, and received much derision. Guess what?

There is no good reason.

 Okay, I promise to get off my one minute. America, stop living for yourselves. Stop living in such a way that you would sacrifice children for your own comfort. We know what this looks like. Abortion is only the most politically charged symptom of our disease. Life is not about you. Or me. It's about loving God, and loving people. You can't do that if you're always looking inward.

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