Structurally Sound?

If you have watched any home renovation shows, from Extreme Makeover: Home Edition to Property Brothers to Fixer Upper, you will learn a few things immediately: things like – replacing the 1990s counter tops with modern granite, islands or peninsulas, and the hosts’ personalities. Every now and then, the hosts find important structural issues:

  1. Uneven sub-floors
  2. The wall they want to knock down to make it an open concept design is actually load bearing.
  3. Asbestos in the insulation
  4. The house is graded improperly, causing periodic flooding.

All of them are expensive to fix but all of them are also necessary to fix. What good is having the best bay windows overlooking a mountain vista, when your house’s foundation is crumbling?

So why do we not take the same approach to life?

When was the last time you did a structural evaluation of your life?

Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.

Psalm 127:1

I have to ask: What are your moral foundations? What are your philosophical underpinnings?

I believe we can expand this question to causes and the movements out there. There are plenty of worthy causes out there… and there are just as many unworthy causes.

The question is not whether you should join them; the question is whether these causes have the proper moral foundations supporting them. Is this cause the mere creation of outrage and anger? Good feelings? Or is there something deeper that can withstand time? Can it withstand criticism?

As a Christian, I have to be even more on guard about what causes I support. History has shown the times the Christian Church joined forces with a secular movement has resulted in disaster for both sides. I believe that every Christian should act according to his God-given conscience on which cause to support, but they should never let their platform take precedence over the Gospel.

Example: in 1930s Germany and Italy, the churches allied with Hitler and Mussolini. Why? Because the other major political force threatening them was Communism. Many believed that once the Communists took power in Germany, they would force the churches to close or be “reeducated”. Besides, fascism never once threatened their existence. They had seen what happened to the churches in the Soviet Union, and later North Korea and China. Fascism was seen the lesser of two evils and it nearly destroyed the testimony of the church. Thanks to men like Dietrich Bonhoeffer who reminded Christians what happens if the church gets too close to secular forces.

Fast forward to 2020. The culture wars are in full swing. There are causes – some worthy, and some not worthy. I can tell you where I stand on certain matters, but I won’t. Rather, I would rather point to Jesus and His work on the cross.

Jesus died for His enemies. Yes, that means God has declared a line in the sand and we were once on the wrong side because of our sins. That’s not a popular thing to say, but it is the truth.

Jesus rose again. The resurrection from the dead declared His divinity. It also symbolizes the new life in Christ. That is the renewal I am looking for.

Ultimately, I believe any cause whose foundation is NOT in Christ will fail. Without God’s love and grace, all you have are fear and anger. Fear and anger gets you only so far before it turns inward or alienates others. Without God’s truth, all you have are opinions and whichever voice shouts the loudest.

It’s not my place to tell you what to think or believe. It’s certainly not my place to change your mind or how you should vote. It is my place to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ – his life, death, resurrection, and the kingdom to come. That’s the foundation I will build on.

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