It was definitely a stand-off. Zac was nine months old, barely walking, and his finger was poised over the VCR eject button. “Don’t press it again, Zac,” I warned. Zac stared at me and moved his digit a fraction closer to the button. “Don’t —” I began, but was interrupted by a sudden wild flurry of desperate activity as Zac pressed the eject button as quickly as his stubby index could, before I took him away from further temptation.
Almost nine years later, Christina was in another stand-off, this time with Alex, our younger son, who was already sobbing from another feisty tantrum that day. Christina cautioned, “I’ll give you three seconds to calm down, but close your mouth and stop wailing.” Alex kept his mouth open. “Close your mouth now — I’m going to count to three and then you open your mouth.” He still kept his mouth open. On ‘three’ Alex closed his mouth.
Man doesn’t have to be taught to disobey, to rebel, to do what he wants. What is authority, who has authority? After all, if Adam and Eve didn’t trust God enough to not fall for Satan’s cunning deception, is it any surprise that the world is heading where it’s going now?
The more things change, the more they stay the same...
“They say to wood, ‘You are my father,’ and to stone, ‘You gave me birth.’ They have turned their backs to me and not their faces; yet when they are in trouble, they say, ‘Come and save us!’”
– Jer 2:27
Billions are imprisoned by religions that are bound by worship of idols or demons. Even more are trapped by the god of materialism, drowning in selfishness and histrionic excess, including in Australia. There are reality shows that are built on the worship of wealth and ‘popularity’. When trouble comes in the form of a natural disaster or unexpected act of terrorism, do Australians even turn to God in prayer, or do they complain, “Where’s God when you need Him?” Current people’s attitude seem even worse than in Jeremiah’s day. They often only have cynical scepticism; they aren’t even jolted back to an albeit reluctant dependence on the God whom they have offended and Who is about to bring judgment on them.
“From the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain; prophets and priests alike, all practise deceit. They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace. Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush. So they will fall among the fallen; they will be brought down when I punish them,” says the LORD.
– Jer 6:13-15
“The answer lies in loving and accepting one another for who we are, not judging our choices but embracing tolerance. Then we will have peace,” worldly wisdom may advise. “All is subjective, so if it’s right for you, who are we to object?” appeases the post-modernist. (Then under his breath, can’t you just hear him sneer: “Well, unless of course you believe what those loony Christians believe…”) “I guess I can’t stop you believing in God,” bemoans the post-Christian, “but I don’t care about God or Jesus or whether I’m an atheist or agnostic — I can live my life without all that stuff anyway.” Increasingly we are told by society that we shouldn’t rock the boat. It is just not trendy to stand for Christian beliefs — you can say what you like about matters that offend believers, but if you defend the faith on formerly shameful issues like sexual immorality, abortion or euthanasia, you better watch out. Vocal interest groups and civil libertarians will be beating down your door faster than you can say “No, I don’t belong to the extreme right or left, but you have just offended
Christians, once the silent majority, are now the silent minority. We need to step up and speak out for God’s truth in our misguided and deceived society — who else is going to do it?
Editorial by Andrew Chan