Mission and Opinion

Brief mission statement and commentary by Pastor John.
Messiah’s Mission:

Exalt God
Edify our faith
Encourage each other
Equip to serve
Evangelize others

"Big enough to serve, small enough to care."

Puppet show

Commentary: About the Right to Choose

Media, education and conversation have brainwashed most Americans into believing that "Choice" is the greatest thing people can have. Even many Christians have been led to feel that a country's most basic purpose is to give people the right to choose whatever they want. To put it bluntly, "Choice" (as it is promoted today) is leading America into terrible tragedy and decay. Left unchecked, this idea will severely hurt and cripple all of us. Does that sound like "heresy" to you? If so, keep reading, because this is the second most important message you'll hear this year.

The basic problem is this: people believe "that" you can choose is more important than "what" you choose. They believe it's more important that you can say anything ("free speech") than it is what exactly you're saying (whether clean or obscene). They feel it is more important to be able to choose to broadcast anything on TV or radio, than it is to decide what is healthy enough to broadcast. They say that it is more important that one can choose to marry anyone (same or different gender) than it is who you can marry.

As America has worshiped the God of "Choice" more and more, "Choice" has been used to promote all kinds of evil, including obscenity on the airwaves, pornography, gay marriage, abortion, legal prostitution, recreational drugs, nudity and profanity on TV, and so forth. Even worse, people believe that "all choices are created equal." To them, gay marriage is no worse than heterosexual marriage, abortion is no worse than destroying one's unborn baby, obscenity is just as valid as clean speech, pornography is as artistic as a Rembrandt landscape, and "Married with Children" is as fine to view as "The Cosby Show." Except for a "moral du jour" (a behavior of the week to avoid), anything goes. Today's message is, "if you're not racist or sexually harassing anyone, then anything you choose is as valid as anything someone else chooses." Although the "moral du jour" is inconsistent with the "all choices are equal" propaganda you hear all the time, at least it's a reminder that there are things which are bad in themselves, even if people"choose" them.

The idea that "choice" in itself is good, and that all choices are created equal is an idea that is totally false and angers God, because it approves all kinds of sin, wrongdoing and harm. Christians must make strong efforts to get rid of this attitude and replace it with Godly ones instead. Jesus Christ emphasizes that it is far less important that you can choose than it is that you make good and godly choices. God gives us freedom to make the rightchoices, not to make just any choice we feel is nice. The Sermon on the Mount is one of the greatest sermons Jesus ever preached. Oddly enough, he never says "be sure to give people the right to make their own choices." He never said, "do what you feel is best for you." Instead, He described in detail the good and godly choices we should make. (Read it yourself-- Matthew 5, 6 and 7.)

Why is Jesus so "picky" about how people behave? Because He has the foresight and wisdom to see how much damage, hurt and ungodliness occur when people break God's commands. He wants the best for us, which comes as we learn to do God's will, not our own. We like to talk about "shades of gray" in choices, because we don't want to be held accountable for what we do. Jesus describes a lot more "black and white" than we are comfortable with. He sees that even "victimless crimes" have victims. God also lets us in on a secret that many people don't want to accept. He shows us that a "sinful nature" is hidden in each person. This means that we always lean toward sin, even when we know it's not good for us. Our sinful nature leads us to do things we know are not good (like getting drunk again, or making life hard for our spouses even though we know it is not loving to do so).

So if our society fosters "choice," what are most of the choices likely to be? Sinful ones, of course. The sinful nature in all of us pushes us into sinful and damaging choices. When choices grow, sin grows. When sin grows, harm grows, and we all are hurt more and more. So what can we do? First, learn to know and do God's will, even when it is harder. People will see how godlychoices are far better than just any choices (at least they will when they are open to learning rather than just interested in protecting their sinful lifestyles). Second, we need to fight for good laws that restrict people's choices. Is this "forcing your morals on others?" You best it is! Just as we need to restrict people's choices when it comes to racism, so we need to do it on marriage, obscenity, abortion, and so forth. Just as a curb keeps most (but not all) cars from running over your rose bushes, so good laws keep most (but not all) people from making sinful choices that harm themselves and others.

The more we let sin run rampant, the more hurt, pain and damage we all will feel. "Choice" is not the greatest good. Making good and godly choices is. Learn, and practice the difference!

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