Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. ~ Galatians 1:10
It’s the 4th of July and let me start by saying I believe America is the greatest country in the world. I think most of the world agrees because 3/4 the people in the world would come here and live if they could. Nearly every person in Haiti would come here and live if they could. And Americans could go just about anywhere else in the world to live and 99% of us choose to stay here. I think that’s evidence enough of how great a country this is without going into the fact that we’re also the most generous nation in the world. I feel the need to say what a great country this is because the title could be taken out of context. Yet I also know the title has led some of you to read the post
Yesterday I wrote about homosexuality and gambling. I knew it was a controversial post. In less than 24 hours over 350 people have read yesterday’s blog. The people who have responded have been mostly positive. At the bottom of yesterday’s post you can read that one person was primarily upset that I picked on the gambling establishments. I certainly know that at least half the people reading it think I’m wrong in some sense – be it too soft or too judgemental. The beauty of America right now is that I’m entitled to my opinion, even if I’m wrong. Americans have always been entitled to their opinion even if it is offensive. It’s the freedom that gave Martin Luther King, Jr. the right to march. But it’s also the same freedom that gives the few people (who get way more attention than they deserve) from the Westboro Baptist Church their right to march and protest.
One of the things I see as a problem in our society today is that we all want approval. And I’m not talking specifically about a lifestyle. There are way too many of us who don’t just want the freedom to say or do something, but we want the rest of society to tell us they approve. We want society’s proverbial ‘stamp of approval’. None of us are immune. Even the church is not immune. Some churches are so ‘approval seeking’ that they are willing to throw any Biblical truth out the window because someone finds it offensive.
For example, Jesus said He was the only Way to the Father. But there are churches who will try to please society and appear ‘inclusive’ by saying there are many ways to God. In America today, I have a right to believe and say Jesus is the only Way to God and heaven. As more and more people and other religions demand approval, and as more and more people are offended by the Gospel, down the road I’m not so sure that my belief will be permitted to be spoken.