Do Not Conform To This World!

The Pilgrims who landed on Plymouth Rock in 1620 didn’t go there to flee religious persecution from England. They already had freedom when they emigrated England and went to Amsterdam, Holland in 1607 and 1608. 

The problem the Pilgrims had in Holland that people, especially their children, were seduced into the mainstream culture there at the time. The kids just wanted to fit in and not be seen as odd. The children ignored their upbringing in the faith. Pilgrims were lured into sinful activities. Many pilgrims abused their new found freedom and tolerance. The Dutch children didn’t read their Bible and the pilgrims’ kids stopped reading their Bibles. They were taken in by their welcome grin! 

In the 1600s, Amsterdam grew in affluence and prosperity, and pilgrims grew along with them. They worked hard and long hours and didn’t make time for God.  Likewise, Christians in America prospered materially, but declined spiritually. In fact, there is a spiritual bankruptcy in America. There are preachers, like Joel Osteen and Creflo Dollar (who lives up to his name), who preach the prosperity doctrine. 

The affluence and prosperity – the worship of the almighty dollar – and diminishing spirituality, is evident during the Christmas season, as the crass commercial hawkers started well before Thanksgiving. Hallmark did some Christmas in July!  In Mel Brooks’ Silent Movie, the executives at Engulf & Devour bowed at the altar of the dollar, an idol set in a golden background, reverently saying “Oh mighty dollar, we pray to thee; without thee we would be in the crapper!” 

Jesus said the root of all evil is the love of money. 

Like the pilgrims in the Dutch city of Leyden, Christians in America are getting seduced by idols. And there are dire consequences. The Dutch, who were originally tolerant of the Pilgrims’ beliefs, became intolerant of them. This is the way the politically correct are today in our country. 

What we need today in America is to anchor to a Plymouth Rock and have Jesus as our rock. 

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” -Romans 12:2

From Whence Comes My Help?

In Mel Brooks’ Silent Movie, the executives at Engulf & Devour bowed at the altar of the dollar, an idol set in a golden background, reverently saying (sic) “Oh mighty dollar, we worship you; without thee we would be in the crapper!”

Jesus said the root of all evil is the love of money.

In my last blog I quoted Expedia that the disease theory, which is espoused by the state of Pennsylvania and the professional addiction treatment centers, “exists only to benefit the professionals’ and governmental agencies responsible for providing recovery services, and the disease model has not offered a solution for those attempting to stop abusive alcohol and drug use.”

Like Engulf & Devour, PA Governor Big Bad Wolf is ramping up funds to fight the drug epidemic. With all the money already confiscated and dumped into drug and alcohol programs, the problem continues to mushroom. Caring organizations such as churches, that host 12 Step Programs to help people overcome their besetting sin are competing with the state, which engulfs and devours our money in order to gain an unfair advantage and have a monopoly.

Although I don’t exactly commend drug pushers – they are part of the problem – it’s the users who keep the drug industry going. Without customers, there would be no drug lords. Think of the logic behind calling drug and alcohol abuse a disease. You make users victims. It’s as if drug pushers were Pied Pipers who cast a magical spell where druggies are pulled by magic magnets into street corners where they were forced to do drugs.

There was an episode on the 70s comedy series Good Times, when JJ, the oldest, and the younger kids got busted for having a wild party when the parents weren’t home. JJ explained that some people “broke in and forced us to party with them.” This is a joke, but to say that drug abusers are not responsible for their behavior is analogous to JJ’s thesis and just as laughable.

Why do drugs? Humans need something to make sense of the world and to find peace in life’s storms. As the preacher said in this past Sunday’s sermon, some people eat excessively to find satisfaction, some shop to feel good. There are many ways people try to find shelter and help. But Jesus is the answer. He moves in unexpected ways.

In Silent Movie, the movie director  Engulf & Devour tried to swallow up, who had a problem with alcohol and whose career was floundering, wandered in the streets and saw a gigantic bottle of booze above him, lit up like a neon sign. Handel’s Messiah (Lord of Lord and King of Kings) played as the Mel Brooks’ character gazed in awe.

In the movie, a big movie producer hired a bimbo, as it said on the check they wrote to her “for pretending to be in love with” the small struggling director so he would go back on the bottle, ruin his business, and Engulf & Devour would swallow it up. In the end, things turned out well for the director with a drinking problem.

We too shall overcome. Christians know where their hope is.

I will Lift Up My Eyes to the Hills
“I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come?  My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.  He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber.…”

Psalm 121:1-3