My Head Hurts

James writes, in James 1:27, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world”.  One of the things James means when he speaks of undefiled and unstained is that the world system, the world’s beliefs and actions, are evil.  The thoughts and worldviews of the world are far different from those of a Christian.  We must always be aware, striving never to be ignorant, of not allowing the decisions of the world to defile or stain us.  We must work hard, not burying our heads in the sand,  to not allow the evil of the world system to stain us.  In Acts 17 we see an example of this as the Jews wrestled, with several cultural issues.  There was a group of Jews in Berea that were called “more noble” because they were “examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so”.  They were taking the issues of the day and examining them in the Scripture.  They were allowing the Scriptures to dictate what they believed and how they would act.

We live in such a fallen world today.  Sin is not only on full display but it is celebrated and legalized. To speak out against such sin is fast becoming hate speech.  Christians, today, need to be more discerning than ever.  In the past few days, our President has proudly announced the appointment of the first trans person to play a significant place in government.  Senator Rand Paul, seeking to point out some of the fall out that could come from this, asked some graphic and pointed questions concerning how some issues with children would be dealt with.  Rather than seeing the wisdom in these questions, our culture is eviscerating Senator Paul and the questions he asked about children.  How are we, as Christians, to think about this whole issue?  We want to protect children and not add to the suffering of those who are struggling but we must stand for what the Word of God stands for and protect children from immature decisions.  We cannot bury our heads in the sand and allow others to stand, we must know where we are to stand in these issues.

Johnson and Johnson has just had it’s vaccine approved.  Their vaccine was made from the stem cells of aborted babies.  Kind of.  These stem cells were taken from aborted babies in the 1970’s.  One or two aborted babies (other options were available) were used.  Since then, these stem cells have been cloned over and over again.  These “eternal lines” of stem cells have become the basis for a number of medicines or have been used in the testing of medicines.  Does the fact that we are now generations away from the original evil and that no new babies will need to be mutilated mitigate the evil that was originally perpetrated?  Very difficult questions but ones that Christians need to think through and answer as we seek to keep from being unstained from the evil of the world.  When you support a business, do you need to know where they are giving their money?  What if they are heavy supporters of evil?  I do not believe ignorance is bliss.  We need to be aware, the best we are able, so that we are not indirectly supporting evil.  Yes, it is a daunting task and we will be looked upon as being kooky and strange (just look at Senator Paul) but as evil becomes more public and pronounced, so must we, as believers, stand more publicly.

Someone recently sent me an article where a Pastor was sharing how he is having to prayerfully figure out how to counsel some of his parents.  The parents came to him and shared how their teenage girls are refusing to drink anything before they go to school.  The girls were afraid that if they hydrated before school they would have to use the restroom and the some of the boys had figured out that the new laws allow them to use the girls bathroom if they identify as a girl.  The boys were using the new laws to harass and peep at the girls.  Now, I am sure that the schools will figure out a way to provide privacy, at least I hope they will, but for now, think of the new horror these teenage girls face in high school.  High school is difficult enough without having to stop hydrating because you are afraid to use the restroom.  These are the days we now live in.  Each morally stunted decision creates new issues for those who seek to live morally pure lives.

To be honest, each of these culturally new issues have made my head hurt.  Even if the issue is Biblically easy to discern, how to remain unstained and still live in the world in a way that makes a difference for the kingdom of God becomes more complicated.  It is just as important to live the Biblical principals of love, mercy, and grace as it is to stand for the Biblical principles of marriage, sanctity of life, and sexual purity.  While Jesus remained holy as he drove out the money changers with whips, I am not so sure that whips are an option for us.  We must learn how to let the world know we are Christians by our love while still remaining unstained by the evil the world loves.  To use Jesus’ words, “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”  Not easy to do.  It makes my head hurt and my heart ache for his soon return.

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