Archives For values

Our founding fathers, in an attempt to keep government out of the church, gave us an amendment stating, “Congress shall make no law regarding an establishment of religion, nor prohibit the free exercise thereof.” This was meant to safeguard the sanctity of the church, keep government from meddling in its affairs. This Establishment Clause, however is increasingly interpreted to mean that religion has no place in government.

Or in the public discourse.

We’re told it’s a private matter–faith–and as such should be discussed privately. If at all. God help anyone who voices a conservative, biblically informed opinion in the public arena. Because it’s time to get with the program, toe line, march in step with the times.

What was good enough yesterday no longer is.

Is it any wonder?

Lewis wrote of (then) contemporary education producing “men without chests.” People, by and large, devoid of magnanimity and sentiment. He said, “We castrate, and bid the geldings be fruitful.”

A large number of our Ivy League colleges started as seminaries, the Bible used to be used as a reading primer, we used to allow prayer in schools. These things, however, changed over time as we (supposedly) became more enlightened. Certain things were deemed to be in violation of the establishment clause…

Our collective values as a nation shifted away from their foundations in Judeo-Christian tradition. Personal liberty seems to be the order of the day. Is it any wonder? Personally, I blame Darwin. Because, with the advent of evolution, what need had we of God?

When once we knocked the Creator from off of His throne, what tether is there anchoring our values in something solid–something concrete?

Something transcendent?

Nothing.

I submit to you that the fractured nature of our current public discourse has its origins here, in Darwinism. For if we take away from mankind the dignity of being created in the image and likeness of a Creator, what is he but an enlightened beast?

Once God is gone, anything goes.

Sin is no longer sin–just an inherited trait, or a genetic predisposition. A beneficial mutation. Whatever we can conceive of goes. Because we no longer have an anchor tying us to to past, to our “inalienable rights,” “endowed by our Creator.”

Abraham Lincoln said that “all men are created equal,” but how can that be if there is, in fact, no Creator? If we are not created at all? We give lip service to the ideals upon which our nation was founded, but term such language “old-fashioned,” or “traditional.” Surely Lincoln was speaking metaphorically, or poetically, and did not all actually mean we have a literal Creator? Surely, it’s the ideal of equality which matters more?

Upon what are we basing that equality, upon whose standard?

Nothing but prevailing winds of the day.

Evolutionary theory is at the heart of a whole host of things which plague us:

Utilitarian bioethics, which deems some lives more important than others.  If you’re old, infirm, no longer able to make a meaningful contribution–watch out! Or if, say, you’re an embryo with identified birth defects, you don’t deserve a chance. In fact, I contend that without evolutionary theory undergirding it, abortion on demand would never have been legalized.

It’s also at the heart of so-called “values clarification” taught in schools. The idea is children aren’t to taught what to value so much as they supposed to figure it out for themselves. (“Men without chests”). Because they are apparently so very wise and discerning…

I could go on.

With evolution on the table, and with God gone, life no longer has any “endowed” value–for there is no Endower. Life no longer has any inherent value. There is no longer anything to defend at all costs… The only value it has is what we say it has.

And what’s best for humankind seems to be determined by an elite few, or by those with the loudest voices. Or as Owell put it, “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.”

Call me backwards, a fundie, a wingnut, a denier of evolution. I don’t care.

Here I stand. I can do no other. So help me God.

I know what you’re thinking. No, you don’t have to say anything; the look on your face says it all: why do we need another Chick-fil-A post? I mean that was so two days ago, right?

Truthfully, we don’t. But if you bear with me, I think it’ll be worth your time. Promise.

Here’s the deal: we’ve basically got two groups of people who are feeling marginalized and disenfranchised. On the one hand, there’s the LGBT community who wants to be accepted; on the other, folks who are quite sick of being told what’s normative, what they need to accept.

Both groups often don’t feel welcome in their own country.

One groups looks back, and sees an ever-increasing decline in our country’s values; the other, an ever-increasing freedom.

In a sense, both are right.

Since 1969, at Stonewall, the LGBT community has become more and more vocal in speaking up, and acting out. Whilst the Evangelical community has dug in its collective heels. What we saw this past Wednesday was a great communal example of that. It was quite simply a conservative backlash at the gay community’s zealously proclaimed message.

Both sides are essentially saying you will accept me, swallow the message I’m peddling, believe as I do.

And both are equally guilty of intolerance. However, tolerance in and of itself no virtue–respect is. Mutual respect is what we all must work towards.

But it doesn’t happen in a fast food line, or a “kiss-in;” rather it happens one life at a time.

The problem as I see it is that people are so busy fighting for their rights that there is very little exercise of humility. We simply can’t hear one another over the din. The shame of it I lay at our feet, brothers and sisters in Christ: despite Bible that tells us that “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal,” we insist on the using the same tactics as the “other side.” It’s like we haven’t heard that “more things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.”

Instead of praying, we fight fire with fire. And wonder why we lose time and time again. It’s like we’ve come down with a case of spiritual amnesia, and forget the maxim of Jesus, which tells us “He seeks to save his life, shall lose it.” Might this not also apply to he who seeks to fight for his rights? “But he who loses His life for My sake, and the Gospel’s, shall find it.”

If my own life is at all representative of a large American Evangelical whole, I see very little of this Jesus-approve losing going on. In fact, I would say more than any Judeo Christian tradition, this country is predicated upon the notion of right fighting.

It is our American bedrock: we fight for our rights, rather than give them up for the cause of Christ.

Personally, I belive there is a reckoning coming, and all of us–whether gay, or straight–will have to answer to God, to Jesus. For it’s not for nothing that the Bible says “It is appointed unto man once to die, and then the judgment.” This means every idle word, every jealousy, gossip, slander, idolatry–there is nothing hidden from the eyes of Him with Whom we have to do.

Each of us must look to our own hearts, pull the logs out of our own eyes, before attempting to correct a brother.

In the meantime, we watch, and wait, and pray. And the wheat and the tares grow up together as they must.

At an acceptable hour, Father will call in the harvest. There are sure to be many surprises on that day.

In the end, what can I say? I echo the words of the Scriptures:

“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another.”

What do you think? Do you have something to say?