Over the past few days, several headlines have come across the news wire that seemed to be perfect blog fodder. As each showed up on Yahoo, Google, newspapers, etc. I said to myself, “I need to write on that.” But every time I disciplined myself to pen a word or two, another headline came to my attention!
Each thing that grabbed my attention reflects how our society is either moving away from or, surprisingly, towards biblical commands and principles. So I’m going to comment on each, but only briefly. Consider this a “ripped from the headlines” kind of segment.
In case you don’t follow professional basketball (I don’t regularly), Steph Curry is the best player in the game right now. League MVP and all-everything, his wife, Ayesha Curry, caused a firestorm on Twitter Saturday night after posting two comments about the lack of modesty in women’s fashion. Here were her comments:
“Everyone’s into barely wearing clothes these days huh? Not my style. I like to keep the good stuff covered up for the one who matters.”
“Just looking at the latest fashion trends. I’ll take classy over trendy any day of the week.”
A number of women on Twitter immediately jumped all over her comments. “Who’s everyone? What’s wrong with not being covered up? Are you saying you’re better than women who show off their figures?” one woman posted.
Curry stuck to her position on modesty. Other women came to her defense.
The Bible defends modest apparel for women. In 1 Timothy, Paul writes, “women are to dress themselves in modest clothing, with decency and good sense, not with elaborate hairstyles, gold, pearls, or expensive apparel, but with good works, as is proper for women who affirm that they worship God.” (1 Tim. 2:9-10) The same sentiment is reflected in 1 Peter 3:3-4.
Remarkably, our society wants both gender neutrality and gender sexualization. Often, women of celebrity choose to wear less while the world applauds, while on other hand some women want to dress like men and men want to dress like women! We want to destroy gender and exploit it at the same time.
The story here is one I’ve been following for some time. Younger Americans care about environmental issues more than their parents and grandparents. Even more, younger Christians are speaking out on environmental issues in vastly increasing numbers compared to older generations.
“The AP-NORC and Yale analysis of Americans’ environmental attitudes identified nine distinct segments of the U.S. population, each with a different relationship with the environment. Members of one group, called the “Religious Greens,” are among those most likely to attend church at least once a week. A majority of this group trusts their religious beliefs over scientific explanations when the two conflict.
At the same time, 9 in 10 of them believe global warming is happening, and 7 in 10 believe the environmental crisis is more serious than most people think.
They are among the most likely of the nine groups to support environmentally friendly policies, too.
Despite their views, just 2 in 10 of this highly spiritual group call themselves environmentalists.
Demographically, the Religious Greens tend to be young — a majority of them are under age 45 — and 6 in 10 of them are female, more than in any other group. Seventeen percent are black and 22 percent are Hispanic, making them among the most diverse groups identified in the analysis.”
The bottom line is that younger Christians are awake to the need to care for the amazing creation that God entrusted to mankind. As one Christian said in the article, the environment is not a political issue, it is a moral issue.
I grew up in a land between the “slash and burn ’cause its all going to burn anyway” and the “save the rainforest” nations. My folks recycled cans and newspaper when it became available in their neighborhood but, the best I can tell, don’t consider the environment to be a pressing issue in our country today.
The Bible makes three things very clear.
- God created all things and, after He created them, deemed them “good.” (Genesis 1)
- God gave Adam the responsibility to “rule over” creation as, essentially, His vice-regent. President of the planet, so to speak. (Genesis 2)
- God continually renews, refreshes, provides for, and otherwise cares for His Creation, bearing the ultimate responsibility for it. (Psalm 104 is my favorite passage on this.)
God will make all things new one day. A new earth (Isa 65:17, Rev 21:1). Will this be a new face to Planet Earth or a whole new planet? No idea. But Adam and his descendants never had their responsibility to rule this current earth revoked. Mankind isn’t off the hook! And even today the human race has the greatest effect on our planet’s appearance and function. So why shouldn’t those who claim to follow the Creator care for His Creation? Just wondering…
The New York Daily News ran this headline, “God Isn’t Fixing This” on its front page in response to last week’s mass shooting in San Bernardino, CA. The sub-headline was: “As latest batch of innocent Americans are left lying in pools of blood, cowards who could truly end gun scourge continue to hide behind meaningless platitudes.”
On the front page, the Daily News also posted the “prayerful” responses of four Republican leaders to the shooting as proof that the GOP is sheltering serial killers, or something. Actually, the activist newspaper has been calling for stricter gun control for years and this latest shooting brought out a wave of editing emotion. Its point is: Prayer doesn’t stop gun violence. Do something!
You may wonder, Where does the Bible fit into all of this? There were no guns in Jesus’ day, nor were crossbows outlawed by the apostles. So does God want us to take people’s guns away or what?
At the heart of the whole issue, I think, is another, more important issue. S-I-N. God fixes hearts. If every heart is fixed, there would be no more violence. No more guns, grenades, crossbows or fouls in basketball. But mankind, as a whole, is in revolt against God. This is step one in the Gospel message. We need a Savior!
King David looked at the world around him in 1000 B.C. and wrote:
“There is no one who does good. The Lord looks down from heaven on the human race to see if there is one who is wise, one who seeks God.
All have turned away; all alike have become corrupt.
There is no one who does good, not even one.” (Psalm 14:1-3)
Saint Paul looked at the world around him in 55 A.D. and wrote,
“both Jews and Gentiles are all under sin, as it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one.
There is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God.
All have turned away; all alike have become useless.”
I’d personally love to see all weapons off the streets. That would satisfy a part of my desire to see a safer world. And politicians are obligated by civic duty to try and protect the people the best they can.
But even if all pea shooters, poison dart guns and gunpowder instruments were removed, man would still carve sticks into spears and throw rocks at people tied up next to a wall. We’d still seek to kill because sin is constantly calling us to seek one’s self at the expense of others. It is calling us to give in to our anger at our fellow man and to strike before we’re struck.
God calls for the opposite. Seek others before yourself. Deny anger that is ungodly and seek peace with all men. Let yourself be struck for righteousness sake. Look at Jesus Christ and follow Him.
The heart of the issue is the heart. Until that changes, nothing will change — guns, politics or crossbows.
So there it is — straight from the headlines. When you look at the news do you see the “big picture” of God, the wayward world, and sin? Or are you fixated on the “smaller picture” of emotions and reactions? Whenever I get caught up in the emotion of the here and now (which is powerful) I often forget about the bigger picture. I forget that there is a sinful world rebelling against a good and holy God. I forget that sin and evil may have been judged but we have to wait for their final demise. I also forget that God will give evildoers what they deserve and they will meet a most ungodly fate in this life.
It is my prayer that you and I will both start seeing the world through some slight shadow of God’s eyes, and that we will turn our hope of salvation to Him, not just eternal salvation but a betterment of things in the here and now. And that we will both do whatever is possible to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, who has come to fix broken and wayward hearts so that they may be right, just and holy.