“When the righteous do well, the city rejoices; when the wicked perish, there is joy.”
A society flourishes when righteousness prevails. Righteousness and wickedness cannot coexist.
In what ways do righteous people bless a society?
Rick K. nails it with this original association. Do read the entire post.
All societies are engaged in a continual process. Either they draw closer to God, or they grow further away from him. In either case, certain features will become evident in time to mark the direction.
In the case of Sodom and Gomorrah (and the other surrounding cities), the man-made Utopia involves a number of trademark qualities and preferences (explored more in chapter 19:
- a segregation from Divine influence,
- an extreme – even aggressive – lack of tolerance for individuals who disagree with their Utopian way of life,
- a profound lack of concern for consequence, as the ends seem to justify any means used to achieve them,
- and this one signature matter: the up-ending of social and sexual norms.
You can easily track this humanistic, Utopian philosophy from ancient Sodom to modern San Francisco.
By Hugh Fulford — The January 2015 issue of The Spiritual Sword is now in the mail. In my judgment this is another “landmark” issue of this great journal, dealing with an exceedingly timely theme, “Can We Save Our Children?” I am continually amazed at how Alan Highers, editor, always seems to come up with a “cutting edge” theme for every issue of this widely-read quarterly publication. Continue reading
QUESTION: If there is no God, then why does every society have a religion?
AN ATHEIST’S actual answer: Societies are people. People develop theories and create concepts. The existence of religion merely proves the existence of people. The various concepts of god(s) and the great number of different religions no more provide evidence for the existence of multiple gods than they do so for even one.
A CHRISTIAN (me) answer: This answer is pretty much accurate. The debate on God’s existence must have a different starting place than a society’s religion, or many societies having a religious community. There might be some warrant to asking why the religion exists, but the answer will have to travel further into the depths of the foundation than mere existence of a community idea.
“Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: ‘Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious.’” Acts 17:22.
In many ways we are living in the Athens of the 1st Century today. Whether those around us who worship at their altars will admit to this or not, our culture worships many gods.
There are the gods of hedonism (pursuing sensuality), materialism (pursuing stuff), and egoism (pursuing self). And then there are the postmodern (each is his own god) gods of human secularism (man is man’s savior) whose doctrines are evolution, tolerance, and militant intolerance towards truth.
We could proclaim the same thing today: “Men of America! I see that in every way you are very religious.” The difference is that while the 1st Century Athenians were curious about Paul’s “preaching of the good news about Jesus and the resurrection,” the 21st Century Athenians believe it old news, outdated … and disproved by science and the advancement of human intelligence.
Just as Paul was able to connect with the men on Mars Hill by proclaiming the “unknown god” to them, we must seek and fill the needs of those in today’s Aeropagus, never changing the gospel message, but repackaging it for our audience so they can see its enduring relevance.
Will you stand up or shrink back?
Plattsburgh church of Christ
author of Kin of Cain
a Christian historical fantasy
From a spiritual perspective, the following are some of my observations regarding items or habits no longer in use today (comparatively speaking) as they were three to four generations ago:
1) The Bible is no longer habitually read, studied and used by members of the Lord’s church like it was in the 1940’s and 1950’s (we used to be called “walking Bibles” by those outside the church – http://cedarparkchurchofchrist.org/cpcofc/index.php?n=Articles.2010DailyBibleStudy).
2) Looking at all of the immorality in our society today, we can plainly see that Interest in spiritual values and principles are no longer “in vogue.” If they were, children would be taught these values at home and our society today would be less immoral as a result.
3) Hell fire and damnation sermons are today rarely heard from the pulpit (I grew up hearing these type of sermons on a regular basis back in the 1940’s). And guess what? The Lord’s church grew dramatically.
4) Home Bible studies with others are virtually non-existent today (no time to study, folks say).
5) Personal bible study at home is virtually non-existent today. Too many worldly influences (too many digital “toys”), thus, no time to study.
6) In the 1940’s and 50’s, folks habitually assembled to worship the Lord – so much so, that two to three week gospel meetings were not uncommon (I attended some of them). Today, they are unheard of. If we can get members to come to a three-day gospel meeting, we count ourselves successful.
7) Pews are not being filled today as they were three to four generations ago. The testimony of the “empty pew” is a testimony to our lack of focus on spiritual things (Colossians 3:1-2): http://mbriley.preachersfiles.com/2008/08/09/lessons-from-an-empty-pew/
I could go on and on and on (like the energizer battery bunny), but the above are enough samples to let folks see the fact that spirituality has greatly waned in our country and in the Lord’s church.
What’s the solution to all of the above? Open the Book! (read it and do what it says do – James 1:22-25): http://mbriley.preachersfiles.com/2008/01/08/lets-open-the-book/
An important distinction in my life has been the distinction between good and evil. Many people in our society are woefully ignorant of that distinction (Isaiah 5:20). That distinction can only come about by a daily and habitual study of God’s word (Acts 17:11; Hebrews 5:13-14; 2 Timothy 2:15), as well as an application of it (Psalm 119:33-34).