A Slice of Apple Pie

I wonder where the average citizen in America finds a disclosure of God these days.

A battle is going on to submerge the Lord of the Judeo-Christian persuasion.  The God of Tolerance proposes acceptance of eastern religions and particularly Islam in this land, while Christianity is being cast aside and trampled.  There is no longer tolerance for all faiths, only tolerance for anything that is not Christianity.  The God of Tolerance himself is intolerant.  Have you noticed?

We cannot hold only our president Obama to blame for this, although he certainly is responsible for not being an inspiring role model.  His declaration that America is no longer a Christian nation is something he will have to stand before God one day and explain.  On the one hand, it could be God’s warning to us, to take heed, to pay attention that we are not living close to Him, reading His Word, and hearkening to His voice.  God forbid that this declaration was a prophecy.

We listen to our own voices and the voices of our culture, and fulfill our own needs.  We probably like the voices of those who tickle our ears the most.

We want so many things.  We want notoriety or acclaim.  Most glitzy Hollywood actors adore their awards and nothing else seems to mean more to them.   We want power, position and money. The corporate world finds  loopholes that smooth the way to their goals.   We want to play ball without any consequences for our private life choices.  Sports is bigger than ever and a thing as small as deflated footballs is nothing to make them stumble.  Who did it?  Well, the two top persons in charge certainly knew nothing about it, no Sirree.  (A psychiatrist is brought on national network to explain to us how particular body language and avoidance lingo reveals that lying is going on.)  We want mystery, intrigue and mysticism.  Readers of the best sellers want authors to create this and more for them through unsolved or solved murder, with dark plots.  The novels may or may not include honesty or light.  But a gnarled expository lacking declaration of good over evil seems to have a popularity.  A story without even a hint of God does not only disturb most readers, but is embraced as normal.  Or if there is a hint of God, it must be vague, otherwise it cannot be used as a literary text in the public schools.  And we want equality.  Of course we do.  Skin color was mentioned in the opening sentence of President Obama’s acceptance speech and has continued to be on the front burner.  I thought election was about choosing a capable president, not choosing a color. While no one can dispute that prejudice still exists in our land, using the color card to complain about not receiving a movie award or to call police bigoted is a misplay.  I think God made different skin color to test us.  We fail if we look at skin color instead of the heart as our gauge.  There can be hearts of integrity in every skin color.

Beth Moore, a renowned Christian speaker, says that we live in a new age, the Age of Posing.  Truth is twisted and tweaked, dyed and redressed.  Truth is squelched and pinched, stepped on and disguised. It is sliced out of a lemon pie and cleverly presented as apple.  In the case of food, that slice is how the pie tastes, but in life, that slice is a phony. The giver hopes the receiver will think it is apple.  But it is not.  Beth cautions us to be wise.  The Bible tells us to be as “shrewd/wise as serpents and as gentle as doves…” Matthew 16:10   In other words, we are to be on our guard that those around us will not mislead us into lies or danger.  We are not to treat others as they might treat us.  But we are not supposed to be blind to the truth.  Beth said we are to love with our eyes wide open.

Our culture seems bent on disposing of, or redefining God.  He is not Allah. Culture pushes Him aside, off the page, out of mainstream conversation. Arguments ensue about removing all Bible and its teachings from curriculums, from public buildings, from newspapers, from talk.   Nativity scenes on public property are being accused of being inappropriate. Statues that show Christian heritage are no longer looked upon with reverence, it seems.  But I love the scriptures that are already engraved in marble in public buildings that cannot be removed without blasting down the wall.  I saw a scripture about “Forbid not the children to come to Me…”  in an education office built in 1948. Hurray for marble!  Hurray for the permanence of truth!

Hurray that in our United States, we still have freedom of religion and open church services available to all who will come.  Think of our brothers and sisters in Third World countries who do not.  Pray for them.  Here, we still have loving churches that preach the good news of Jesus Christ!  Healthy churches spend money and time serving the needs of others about them, stepping outside their own walls to bring Christ to those in need.

Better voices than our culture, like Christian radio, make Jesus known.  Authentic Christian television makes Christ real.  Some relief organizations do not mince the gospel in order to qualify for federal funding:  hats off to them!  Bible studies are still thriving. God based recovery groups are getting the job done.  In fact, Christian based addictive recovery centers have the best rate of no return addicts.  Real Christians walk the life they talk with integrity and gentleness, convincing others of the truth by their example and word.  Functioning Christians invite their friends, co-workers and neighbors to come to church. Myriads of Christian material is available these days, but sadly we must discern which of it is authentic Christianity and which is not.  Deceit is usually subtle, and it craftily dribbles down into crevices and crannies.

Hurray that God gives us the ability through His Holy Spirit to recognize the truth and to confront deception at every turn.  He is intended to be our filter, the One through Whom we can screen all things and identify deceit.  It is not easy; we sometimes have to be detectives.  And sometimes it takes time.  Satan likes to punk us.  He is good at submerging the truth under the water.  Happily, it always bobs back up.

But there is more good news!  It is the presence of Christianity and authentic Christians in this world that God is using to hold things together until Christ comes again. I have heard this statement many times in my life, and I believe it now more than ever. We must take our role as authentic Christians seriously.  Our integrity, and our unwavering loyalty to Christ are absolutely vital in this Age of Posing.

Let us be careful to discern if our slice of apple pie is real or not.

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