OK, this is probably not big news to those who know me. I learned something while attending a Conference last week. One definition of a freak is something that is often unusual and unexpected. Who knows, maybe you are a freak too.
My beautiful, wonderful and long-suffering wife ,Teri, is probably tired of hearing it, but I frequently say to her, “I must be a weirdo!” or “I feel like I was born in the wrong century.”
Everywhere I look today it appears that people are in a race to see who can be most outrageous. Just today I read an article about a University of California, Santa Barbara professor that requires his students to perform naked. If they refuse, they fail the course.
Another headline on the same News Site, excitedly announced the latest Playmate pick. That’s not something I remember on the nightly news when I was growing up, and to be honest I don’t want to see it now.
At the risk of sounding old-fashioned (and I am way too young for that ) I don’t want my children, my friends, my church members or myself bombarded with sexual imagery, violence and low-intellect words and images.
Many wish to pretend that it has no negative impact on our lives, but I have had the difficult duty of trying to minister to people addicted to pornography. I have counseled many with anger issues. I have tried to help put families back together after the devastating effects of the unrealistic and often dangerous ideas promoted by modern culture.
The way of the Cross is often perceived as out-of-touch with our “modern enlightenment,” but the current statistics show that we were far better off when Jesus was more than a cultural icon and He truly impacted our day-to-day decisions and lives. Divorce, Single Moms, Absentee Dads, Education, the intensity of violence and the list goes on. We should feel shame, but instead we seem to boast at our freedom.
Please don’t misunderstand. I am not writing as judge. I am merely a saddened member of a corrupt and perverse generation who desperately clings to the nail scarred feet of Jesus. I have felt the damaging effects of the things our culture celebrates.
I am also not saying that no generation or culture has been here before. Indeed some actions of pervious cultures can make ours seem tame. Still, we should be wise enough to know that the current trends are not making us better.
To another challenged culture, the Apostle Paul wrote about the juxtaposition of wisdom and foolishness. Eugene Peterson in his Message translation words it like this,
The Message that points to Christ on the Cross seems like sheer silliness to those hellbent on destruction, but for those on the way of salvation it makes perfect sense. This is the way God works, and most powerfully as it turns out. It’s written, I’ll turn conventional wisdom on its head, I’ll expose so-called experts as crackpots. So where can you find someone truly wise, truly educated, truly intelligent in this day and age? Hasn’t God exposed it all as pretentious nonsense? Since the world in all its fancy wisdom never had a clue when it came to knowing God, God in his wisdom took delight in using what the world considered dumb—preaching, of all things!—to bring those who trust him into the way of salvation. 1 Corinthians 1:18-21 (MSG)
So, if you will pardon the expression, I hope you are a freak!
Here are few suggestions that may just help you live like a freak:
- Spend more time reading or listening to the Bible to get God’s perspective of right and wrong.
- Limit your exposure to television, internet, magazines etc. that cause your mind to go down roads you know are not godly.
- Find better ways to spend your time. Help a friend, spend time with your children, read a good book.
- Find a friend that will help you with all of the above. It is amazing how much our life can change when there is someone to ask us the difficult questions.
Father, forgive us for ignoring and/or participating in cultural activities that promise freedom but only enslave. Bless my readers today and make them stand out as salt and light in a bland and dark world. Amen!