The Cost Is Too Pickin' High

We live in a world without a distinct compass of morality, ancient anchors, or even now...dignity. That's not a view held only by rabid fundamentalists (for which I am not), it's actually shared by an atheist/liberal who recently blew me away with her candor.

In an Interview with Salon, Camille Paglia stated something profound: "I’m speaking here as an atheist. I don’t believe there is a God, but I respect every religion deeply. All the great world religions contain a complex system of beliefs regarding the nature of the universe and human life that is far more profound than anything that liberalism has produced. We have a whole generation of young people who are clinging to politics and to politicized visions of sexuality for their belief system. They see nothing but politics, but politics is tiny. Politics applies only to society. There is a huge metaphysical realm out there that involves the eternal principles of life and death."

There it is, and not from a bible professor at a tiny conservative Christian college. But couldn't this be said of professing Christians who long to be accepted? I'll go first. I've clung to cultural hipness over truth a time or two and I'm sad to say it. I've traded-down for fear of what others might think or that I might be shunned. But the hollowness and fallout of compromise is costly to ourselves and those closest to us. Each time truth is avoided/rejected the lightness is turned a notch lower.

But the slow dimming of our culture is now creeping into the church. Even the church is splitting but this time it's far worse than even worship-style wars. My view is that we're guilty of cultural eisegesis – we're forcing the word to conform to culture rather than allowing the view of ourselves and our culture to be shaped by the word. I've witnessed some good friends trade in their passionate desire to reach people for a passionate desire to be accepted by people. The former causes us to contextualize the gospel, the later causes us to inevitably compromise the gospel. The trade-off will ultimately starve us spiritually.

Just imagine what a "politicized vision of sexuality" will garner us. We'll lose the ability to celebrate the unique design and role-distinction of men and women – forcing sameness instead of being champions of equality. And nothing is as dull as sameness. We stand to lose the beauty and power of the metaphor "bride of Christ". The children who lack the benefit of their biological fathers in their lives have told me how much pain they bare – and yet we risk causing even more confusion and pain for many more children.

God's power is as real today as the beginning of time. His promise of life is for everyone! The standard of truth is not a life constrictor, it's a life giver. We could "gain the whole world" and even that would never fill/satisfy/save our soul. The crazy little secret is that there are many people who are looking for answers outside the mainstream. And that's the secret of Jesus. He loved people, like me, who were swimming with the tide. He bucked cultural currents and called us to come alongside him for the ride of our lives. Here's the truth: There are millions more who are ready to go a new direction. Let's go turn the world onto The Word, and watch him turn things around.

Mark 8:36