I’m a HUGE fan of John Wayne. My favourite of his movies is, without a doubt, “True Grit“. The rugged character, rough around the edges and more at home in the wasteland outback than in 19th Century “civilised” society.
Aside from having both eyes, I’m starting to feel like a Rooster Cogburn type.
This current spell in Wasteland is pushing my limits, but at the same time I’m finding myself beginning to become comfortable in the environment.
That’s a red flag in the biggest possible way.
The last place God wants us to be comfortable is a barren wasteland. In Wasteland, there’s nobody around to touch your life, and nobody who’s life can be reached. The Christian Walk is not an easy one, but it should place us firmly in the face of other people. Walking around in Wasteland is actually what the entire world is doing.
Let me just say that again:
Walking in Wasteland is what the WHOLE WORLD IS DOING.
There is a real danger in getting comfortable in Wasteland.
Just consider for a moment. In the story of Ordinary that I’m walking through right now, he begins his life in the land of Familiar. OK, that sounds like a description of where we are in the West. But he is “comfortable” there.
It’s a dangerous situation. How long does it take for Wasteland to become “Familiar”?
Disturbingly, not long. We get to be so used to fighting the same fight over and over again that we lose sight of the Truth. We are more than conquerors.
And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you].
Romans 12:2 (Amplified)
It’s heavy to read, but I love the Amplified translation because I don’t understand Greek, Aramaic or Ancient Hebrew, so it helps to get the full context of what was being said. I read an article a few days ago by an “educated” atheist who based that the Bible couldn’t be true because Jesus didn’t speak English, and there were so many differing accounts of His words (translations).
The lunacy of the argument was completely lost on the individual. The same person told me my argument about science being able to replicate the molecular structure and chemical composition of an acorn, yet on planting it would never become an oak tree was a terrible argument about evolution – because they thought I was saying an acorn had to evolve into an oak – not knowing it was the seed of an oak tree.
I didn’t know whether I was being “punked” or if they were in earnest.
This week I was accused of being a “liberal” theologian because I argued that Donald Trump might not be the best president the USA has ever had, and also that an individual in England born female who had been having hormone treatment to “become” male and insists on being called “he” now had given birth.
Granted, many Yanks who hear me talk of 45 might paint me “liberal”. If that means I reject the inhumanity, sexism, racism, fear-mongering, lying, backstabbing and betrayal he has brought to the office, then all I can say is “Thanks”. But if it means they think I dilute the Gospel and twist the words to make the message more palatable to the 21st Century listener, then they are in for a shock if they bother to get to know me.
It takes courage to stand up for unadulterated Christianity today.
This is a time when the pressure to conform to the pattern of this world has never been greater.
Paul had to deal with people living in a time when there was a brothel on every corner or a temple to a false god, or both. Some homes might have an altar to a Roman god, but many didn’t. Today, our altars sit in pride of place in most living rooms with their little false gods we worship beamed in directly, be it sports teams, singers, actors or televangelists. We sit waiting for St Arnie to say “I’ll be back”, or a crumb of wisdom to fall from the lips of St Jeremy or holy father Donald. Or we keep our deity in a special room attached to our home, lovingly taking it out to wash and wax it weekly so it looks good when we go to the social club we call “church” on a Sunday morning.
It’s nothing for us to sit for seven or eight hours a day in front of the altar, as it tells us who to adore, who to watch, what to wear and what to think. And then the clowns that buy into the message admonish Christians for being “brainwashed”.
I’m actually glad I’m brainwashed. Something needed to clean our the garbage that the world has dumped in there like an open sewer.
I looked at several translations of Romans 12:2 by the way. I could be wrong, but they all seem to indicate that the transformation of our minds is not something we do, but rather something God does in us – if we will let Him.
Another thing that has his me recently is this: Even Christians today can’t tell the difference between “meek” and “weak”. We have the world’s definition of “humble” drilled into us.
Now Numbers 12:3 says Moses was more humble than anyone else on the earth. We read that. We accept it.
But consider the human author for a moment.
Moses wrote it.
Humility in God’s eyes – if you look through the whole Bible – is not seeking to make yourself out to be more or less than God says you are. It means standing up for yourself sometimes. Jesus was humble. He never sought to be seen as anything more or less than He is.
So to be imitators of Christ – “Little Christs” or “Little Anointed Ones” is what “Christian” actually means – we must be prepared to be humble the way He was humble. Quit putting ourselves down. Stop making out we are less than we know God created us to be. It’s not Godly to be self-deprecating.
It insults our Creator.
Have the nerve to declare ourselves boldly to be exactly what God created us as.
That’s real Grit!