June 20, 2014.
“Then those who feared the Lord spoke with one another. The Lord paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the Lord and esteemed his name. “They shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, in the day when I make up my treasured possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his son who serves him. Then once more you shall see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him.”
If you have read any religious news today, you probably know what that a vote was called amongst the Presbyterian church to change the definition of marriage, allowing the union of two people of the same gender. I don’t really want to get into that discussion other than to say I do not agree with this new definition of marriage, but I do want to talk about the implications of this decision.
In the days of Malachi, the children of Israel had a problem, and that problem was that they had left the Almighty who had chosen them and blessed them and turned to other gods who were really no gods at all. There was a blurring of right and wrong, so much so that society could not see any difference between worshipping God or other gods. Actually, it was probably viewed as the same thing. They hadn’t abandoned God, they were just worshipping other gods too. The line between right and wrong was gone. This can be seen in Malachi’s dialogue with the people (or rhetorical dialog).
“Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? Why then are we faithless to one another, profaning the covenant of our fathers? Judah has been faithless, and abomination has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem. For Judah has profaned the sanctuary of the Lord, which he loves, and has married the daughter of a foreign god. May the Lord cut off from the tents of Jacob any descendant of the man who does this, who brings an offering to the Lord of hosts! And this second thing you do. You cover the Lord’s altar with tears, with weeping and groaning because he no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand. But you say, “Why does he not?” Because the Lord was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant.”
I think the children on Israel were confused as to why God had left, or they didn’t even think that God had left. “Why does he not?” They thought what they were doing was holy and right. The lines were blurred, or rather erased completely. What was right was what anyone felt was right. “Well, God wouldn’t want us to be unhappy.” “God is a God of love, he would not care if this or that happened.” Sound familiar?
I opened with one of my favorite sections in Malachi because God says that there is coming a day when a distinction between the righteous and the wicked. The line was coming back, and it came back with Christ. Christ preached a message of truth, not letting the threat of offending people suffocate the truth. The fact of the matter is God is indeed a God of love. But this does not negate His will. It does not negate his righteousness. It does not mean He allows us to do whatever we want. On the contrary, love demands obedience.
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”
The question is, are we reaching the point in America now where the line is again being blurred? The implications that a vote by human hands can change the commandments and will of God are vast. If we can call holy what God called unholy, why do we even need Him? If righteousness is just up to a vote with the majority opinion winning out, then what made Natzi Germany wrong? If righteousness is subjective, who are you to tell me what should or shouldn’t happen? Without objectivity, all moral law fails. Without moral law, all society as we know it fails.
I believe that we are getting to a point where a distinction between what is righteous and what is wicked cannot be made. In a few generations, the question might be asked, “What do you mean Christianity is does not align with same sex marriage? Of course it does!” And this is just one of the many issues where the line has been erased. As society’s norms changes, some churches are changing their positions on biblically backed items to say that they are all well and good. This is not good.
“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and shrewd in their own sight!”
Right now, no matter what side of the fence you are, there is a distinction to what is considered to align with general Christian values and what doesn’t. But this distiction is fading. It is time for us to take a stand, to teach truth in love and to share the good news of our Lord with the world. We live in an age of lost souls. It is our job to reach them without loosing our own by the deceptions of society. May God be with us.
Suggested Daily Reading: Isaiah 5, Malachi 1-4.
The Lord bless you and keep you.