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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Should We Expect a Utopian or Dystopian Future?

I just finished reading the last book of The Hunger Games. I have already read the Divergent novels. Both of these present a young girl who fights for a better future. Neither has a "happily ever after" ending.

I grew up on Star Trek. It presented an extremely flawed positive future. For example, the use of money was eliminated but greed was ever-present. Execution was abhorant but revenge was quite acceptible. Honestly, it made no sense. However, I liked the fact that honor was elevated even if it was a flawed honor. I liked that the universe was saved from whatever evil was present at the beginning of the show. I liked thinking all would be right with the world eventually.

Today, I think the recent dystopian novels present a better picture of the future than my rose-colored look from the past. I have to take into account what has happened recently.

During my life time I have seen morality get turned upside down. My role as a pastor has gone from a respected position in the commnunity to that of a slimey man who is merely trying to manipulate people for his own welfare or power. I am treated with disrespect even among my own church members at times. Some see me as a politcal figure that requires watching.

What was wrong has become right and what was right has become wrong. The family was held in high esteem. Yes, it was flawed because it contains humanity but it is now being torn apart because the family has no definition. People have children without thinking of their welfare. Men may finacially support their children but do not think of supporting them physically, emotionally or spirtually. They have abdicated their roles as respected leaders in their homes.

Few people seem to know what a family is for. They do not understand that God instituted the family for a man and woman to become agents of His presence. They do not understand that their major role is serving Him through their children and their work. They do not realize that their commitment in marriage is first to the Lord. It precedes their commitment to each other.

The Church hasn't fared much better. Too many churches have abandoned a scriptural foundation. There is more psychology and entertaining stories than scriptural reason for what is going on. The scripture is often like an after thought. It is read but largely forgotten.

Prayer has become something that is done at the last resort for people who are terminally ill. God has been deemed impotent in the affairs of every day life. There is a greater trust in a marriage counselor than prayer. Even politicians are counted on before one goes to the Lord in prayer. The average person believes that God has nothing to do with the economy and do not understand that He is using the economy to bring people to His purpose.

The Holy Spirit is rarely mentioned. He remains that mysterious Person with whom we don't know what to do with. We ask Him to be present only in a perfuntory way. We really don't expect Him to arrive. We may even secretly hope He doesn't. Things would get out of our control if the Holy Spirit arrived.

The average Christian fails to be desperate for God's presence. Going to church is merely an obligation. It should be avoided whenever a socially acceptible excuse can be made. Thus, the children's sleepover allows the whole family to stay home. Surely God wouldn't expect anyone to lose any sleep over Him. (Ask Jesus about the Garden to Gethsemane before you agree with that one.)

Christians are joining in with the rest of the world. They go to the same movies, drink until they are completely sotted and cheat just as grandly as their secular friends. They do not stand up for their faith because they have nothing to stand up for.

So, should I suspect that the future will be better than the past? Yes, but only because I am convicted that praying believers  can ask God for a new sweeping presence of the Holy Spirit. I ask all believers to fast and pray that God would send the Holy Spirit to bring us back to Him.

Otherwise, I already know what our future holds. I believe we are already experiencing it.

Romans 1:28-32 (ESV)
28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

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