Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

In the eastern city of the Democratic of Congo, Beni is a free standing home not more than 20 by 12. Dirt floor, mud walls, tin roof, windows with no glass, home to more than a dozen homeless children taken care of by a selfless woman, lovingly named Momma Noel. Having traveled extensively throughout the world I have often found myself in these types of situations… servants of God doing the right thing without experiencing the obvious outward provision of God which western culture uses to gauge God’s approval, but in spite of what they get, have or don’t have they continue to do good.

People like Momma Noel, who do good in spite of the odds, are one third of an eternal equation with the other two being people who do evil and people who do nothing. Edmund Burke, an Irish philosopher living in the mid 1700’s and often called the father of modern conservatism, said, “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men (women) to do nothing.” I added the women part and I believe this with all my heart.

It seems today that it is not politically correct to go against the grain and speak your mind when it comes to religious views. You don’t have to be in an Islamic nation to feel the ill effects of being a true believer. In England and other places in Europe there is an assault on believers talking about their faith in public. In fact people are calling this act “religious terrorism.” Bill Muehlenberg, of Christian Today Australia, shares; “This is a war of worldviews. Just as the early Christians clashed head-on with the ruling powers of the day, proclaiming Christ - not Caesar - as Lord, so to today we have a full-on battle taking place. The secularists want us to be a silent, obedient and docile bunch who do not ruffle any feathers or make any waves.” Muehlenberg goes onto to say that, “that the whole point of such laws is “to forever rid Christianity from the public square.”

If we think this is only happening half a world away we are asleep. Christianity Today’s online version has an article about the recent 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court decision which upholds the decision of Hastings Law School to ban the Christian Legal Society from campus because of its “discriminatory policies” of only allowing members that share its statement of faith. In his dissent, Justice Samuel Alito castigated the majority opinion as political correctness run amok.

Moving into the future I am sure we’ll all face decisions that will make us unpopular or even cause us to have to choose between what is the good and the right thing to do, shrinking back doing nothing, or even allowing evil to triumph in order to be accepted or not loose what have. I pray that with God’s grace we will, like Momma Noel, do what is right and good in spite of having, obtaining things, not having things or even gaining outward acceptance.

As I left her home I allow her face to be imprinted on my mind while I pray; God, with all the busyness and distractions in my culture never let me fail to hear the small voice and do the right thing… no matter how hard it is.

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This is your investment. This is your joy.

Mark Szymanski

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