Pastor's Corner

17 Mar
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Mid-Week Challenge

What do you think of when you think of St. Patrick’s Day?  Green rivers and beer, shamrocks and Irish folklore?  It’s too bad that this is the first thing that comes to mind, but it is due to the way we have allowed our culture to shape the day.  Many do not know that the historical St. Patrick was a hero for his time and ours.  Patrick was born in England around AD 389 but enslaved at the age of sixteen and sold to a farmer in Ireland. Somehow, he came to faith in Christ. Six years later, in response to a vision from God, he risked his life and returned home to England.  God gave him a deep burden for the salvation of the Irish people. He spent seven years in Bible study then returned to Ireland as a missionary. He founded two hundred churches and led one hundred thousand people to Christ over his career, surviving twelve attempts on his life along the way. His death on March 17, 461, is the historical reason today is St. Patrick’s Day. 

Culture sets the narrative, but it does not change the truth.  This is clearly seen in the statement made by CNN host Don Lemon. When asked about the Catholic Church’s refusal to bless same sex marriage he said, “I think that that’s wrong and I think that the Catholic Church and many other churches really need to reexamine themselves and their teachings because that is not what God is about.”  About a year ago Lemon said that Jesus “was not perfect when he was here on this earth.”  Clearly Mr. Lemon has not read the Bible but feels confident enough in his “own truth” to contradict it.  Sadly, a majority of the culture sides with his teaching.   

Another case out of Manhattan has a private school encouraging its students to stop using the terms “mom,” “dad,” and “parents” because the words make “assumptions” about kids’ home lives. Instead, children are encouraged to use the terms “grown-ups,” “folks,” “family,” or “guardians” as substitutes.  Just another secular school, right? Nope, the school is Grace Church School, an Episcopal Church school that is bowing to culture instead of God.

What is a Biblical Christian to do? The same thing we have been told to do from the beginning; be prepared to defend your faith.  Peter writes of this same challenge in his day:  But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear what they fear; do not be shaken.” But in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give a defense to everyone who asks you the reason for the hope that is in you. But respond with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who slander you may be put to shame by your good behavior in Christ. For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. (1 Peter 3:14-17).

We can’t defend our beliefs if we don’t know what and why we believe.  In addition, we should not be alarmed by the current events we are reading.  Jesus gave us a warning of the things to come, “When you hear about wars and riots, don’t be afraid. These things will have to happen first, but that isn’t the end.” (Luke 21:9) “But that isn’t the end,” He says.  That’s the hope I read, we still have time and usefulness or God would not keep us here!

Today, don’t be alarmed by what you read and hear from our culture.  Don’t be alarmed, but be aware! Arm yourself once again with the reading and application of God’s Word. Jesus promised the Holy Spirit as our guide to life.  If you are not seeking His direction and discernment the actions of our culture will come as a surprise.  But the person of God who is immersed in His will stands ready to defend when called upon.

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6              

Serving the Savior,

Bro. Jonathan


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