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Ethics & Religion
Column #2,055
December 29, 2020
Christian Choices Matter
By Mike McManus

We are about to celebrate a New Year. A New Year typically prompts people to make new Resolutions or choices. The world seems to say, "Choose what feels good."

But the Word of God points in one clear direction - an eternal one. It urges us to follow Him.

For example, the world says you can choose whatever gender you prefer. Indeed, the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriages. It declared you can choose whatever gender you want to marry.

However, God's word is clear. Jesus declared in Matthew 19:4: "Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female?"

The Word of God says marriage is between a man and a woman.

The culture states it's not a child. It's a choice. "That's diametrically opposed to God, says an article in the evangelical magazine, Decision. "How long will we vacillate between God's truth and human opinion?"

Good question.

The New Year is an excellent time to stomp upon the notion that everybody's opinion matters. It does not.

What matters is God's word. In I Kings 18:20-40, we read how the prophets of Baal were worried as they gathered on Mount Carmel, about 10 miles from today's city of Haifa. About 450 of these pagan priests were wailing, raving and even cutting themselves with swords and lances, pleading with their gods to burn their sacrificial bull on a wooden altar.

But their god was silent. Hour after hour they carried on, bleeding and desperate, hoping against hope that there would be fire from heaven.

One man stood against them: Elijah, the Old Testament prophet. Unlike the hundreds of Baal worshippers who were yelling loudly, Elijah knew he could quietly wait upon the Lord. He even drenched the altar he had prepared with water - three different times - so that when the Most High consumed it with fire, there would be no mistake - that the God of Israel was the true and living God.

Watching were thousands of Israelites, discerning a contest between light and darkness. No doubt, they felt great anxiety. Would the pagan god and his hysterical priests succeed? Would the God of Israel act?

Then Elijah prayed a simple, eloquent appeal that ended with these words: "Answer me, O Lord, answer me, that the people may know, that you, O Lord, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back." (I Kings 18:37).

With that, Elijah's altar burst into flames, and not only was the sacrifice consumed by the fire, but so were the wood, stones, dust and water.

In recent days, many of us have felt the anxiety similar to that of the people surrounding Mount Carmel. What just happened in the Presidential election? What will happen to many of the causes of Christians, from defending unborn life to upholding religious liberty?

And how do we know what to believe, anyway? What, or whom can we trust?

Americans have made their choice in the election, an important choice. But more important, we must choose whom we will follow and devote ourselves to in worship.

How long will we limp between two diametrically opposed choices? Today too many Christians are bouncing back and forth from the world's opinion and the Word of God. Increasingly, what God's Word says and what the world says are diametrically opposed.

In Matthew 19:4, Jesus asked, "Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female?" But the world says you can choose your own gender. The Word of God says that marriage is between a man and a woman.

Ignore what the Supreme Court says to the contrary.

What matters is the wisdom of God found in Scripture. Some Pharisees asked Jesus if it was lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?

"Haven't you read," he replied, "that in the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female' and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.' So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no man separate." (Matthew 19: 3-6).

That's God's wisdom from 20 centuries ago that still makes sense in today's culture.

_________________________

Copyright (c) 2020 Michael J. McManus, President of Marriage Savers and a syndicated columnist. To read past columns, go to www.ethicsandreligion.com. Hit Search for any topic.

 

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