Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Of Cities and Cultures

Can you name this ancient city?
1. It had a major stadium that was often filled to capacity.
2. It boasted lots of worship venues where major world religions and beliefs were represented.
3. It had a market place where citizens gathered to shop, talk, and share ideas.
4. Its theater entertained while trying to shape a pro-government, liberal viewpoint.
5. Major government offices were in operation there.
6. It had a thriving "red-light" district.
7. There were places where men gathered to drink, discuss, and argue the issues of the day.

Did you name ancient Athens? How about ancient Corinth or Ephesus? Actually, there were many cities of the Roman Empire with the features above. I find it interesting there is so much similarity between today's modern cities with those of antiquity. It's almost as if the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Twenty-first century culture shares many parallels with those of the past. The citizens of the ancient world were taught to be tolerant of all people with, perhaps, one exception -- Christians. The citizens of the ancient world packed stadiums and theaters seeking entertainment and escape from the tedium of life. The government was thought to be the only force that could keep order, peace, and bring prosperity. Government officials were placed above the law or, as was often the case, positioned themselves above the law.

So what to do? The Christian men of the ancient world banned together and worshiped a living Savior. They boldly proclaimed Christ regardless of the consequences. They could witness because they knew Christ; they studied the Word, listened to teachings, and shared this knowledge with their family and friends. They were willing to live -- and to die -- for their faith.

Men, we need to do the same. We need to read and study the Scriptures, listen to its teachings, and share this knowledge with our family and friends. We may not have to die for our faith, but let us live boldly and courageously -- sharing the hope we have in our living Lord and Savior Jesus.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

I’ve thought about this often. It seems like society just keeps making the same mistakes time after time. Unfortunately human nature is sinful. When things go well, humans lose the wisdom of their need for God. The devil takes over, sin abounds, and souls are lost. Eventually, it gets so bad that we once again remember that it is God who is in control, and it is Him we depend on. Things get better, and the cycle starts all over again. This happened multiple times with God’s people in biblical days. And it’s happened a few times in more recent history.

I often morn over the U.S. We are following the footsteps of many other nations in the past. Greece, Rome, Russia, China and others have all had a time of superpower stature. But all of them have lost their leadership role in the world, I believe because they didn’t lead in accordance with God’s plan. I’m sure the Romans and the Greeks each thought they would rule forever. But they didn’t. Unfortunately, neither will the U.S. In the case of the U.S. I believe it’s because we have had it so well for so long that many Americans can’t imagine a time when the U.S. will not be the world leader that it’s been for so long. Most U.S. citizens have never even been out of the country to see how the rest of the world is. And most don’t even consider the possibility that the freedoms we have today, could be gone in a very short time. In fact, I believe that if we don’t clean up our act, and get back to being the Christian country we once were, God will do to us what He did to the Israelites on more than one occasion. God promised that His Word will not pass away. But He never promised that the U.S. will not pass away.

If we don’t want that to happen, we need to wake up, and take our country back. We need to quit being so PC about everything, quit being so accommodating to the enemies of God, quit trying not to impose the truths of God on others, and start living the Christian lives we know we are supposed to. For those of you over 40-50 years old, just stop and remember what it was like in the 50s and 60s. If you were around then, you never in your wildest dreams would have believed that someday it would be illegal to pray in school, or to have a copy of the ten commandments on display in the county courthouse, or display a manger on the public streets at Christmas, or to not hear merry Christmas from merchants at Christmas. Remember when you never heard a bad word on TV, or open discussions or even pictures of sex on TV? Remember when sit coms we Ozzie and Harriott and Father Knows Best? Remember when the good guys wore white hats and the bad guys wore black hats, and the good guys always won? Just imagine what it will be like in another 10 years if we don’t do something to turn it around.

God is patient. But He will eventually step in to fix the problem. I don’t want to be in His way at the time.