Who to follow — culture or Christ?
It has been theorized that the cultural trends in Europe — including ideologies, philosophies, cultural ideas, fashion trends, etc. — eventually migrate to America. There is some evidence to support this. I am grateful, however, that many cultural practices of the Europeans have remained heretofore rejected by Americans. Like, for example, the French practice of eating “mature” cheese. We Americans still call it spoiled.
Nevertheless, when we see adverse cultural influences in Europe it’s at least a good idea to keep a sharp eye for them in the U.S. lest they gain a foothold. Case in point: Europe has been called a “post-Christian” culture. It is said that Europeans embraced Christianity for a while but became too “enlightened” to keep on believing in spiritual “fantasies” or “fairy tales.” This “post-Christian” culture has been influencing American Christians for some time. Christianity is deemed “relevant” only insofar as it “embraces” the culture around it.
Hogwash! Where did that notion even come from? It sure didn’t come from the Bible (which you may recall is the authority upon which Christians claim to base their faith). Here’s what Jesus had to say about our role in culture:
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
— Matthew 5:13-16
It certainly appears the biblical instruction for the church is to influence culture not be influenced by culture. But we continually do just the opposite — like turn our worship services into makeshift rock concerts — in some futile attempt to remain “relevant.” The good news is Europe seems to be experiencing a bit of a shift. Apparently many Europeans are returning to the faith of their fathers. I hope it is a genuine move of God that will bring true revival. I also hope the church in America will forego the whole “post-Christian” phase, immediately repent of allowing culture to influence us, and remain faithful.
“Universal” healthcare is nothing more than socialism
As unbelievable as it sounds, it appears the 2008 presidential campaign has already geared up. The Democrat candidates are tripping all over one another in an effort to be the one to give away the biggest and best version of “universal healthcare.” They seem to think that government interference in this industry is the only viable solution for “controlling costs.” In this effort they have failed to recognize two very important things:
1) Government interference in the healthcare industry created the problems in the first place, and…
2) Healthcare is not a “right.”
Remember, there is truth in the old joke, “If you think healthcare is expensive now, wait to see what is costs when it’s free.”
Just remember. The candidates touting “universal” healthcare aren’t interested in healthcare. They are interested in votes and accumulated power.
National ID cards
In case you were unaware our federal government has passed a law that will make your state issued driver’s license a national ID card. The Real ID Act says:
“…starting around May 2008, Americans will need a federally approved ID card–a U.S. passport will also qualify–to travel on an airplane, open a bank account, collect Social Security payments or take advantage of nearly any government service. States will have to conduct checks of their citizens’ identification papers, and driver’s licenses likely will be reissued to comply with Homeland Security requirements.”
This is a horrible encroachment on liberty in America that is already being resisted by state legislatures. Hopefully more states will follow suit. In the meantime I can’t help but be reminded of governments that have done this sort of thing before — which brings me to a couple more of my favorite bumper stickers…
Bumper stickers of the day