Slate magazine is making headlines today with a headline of its own: “Humans should be able to marry robots.” The writer takes “marriage equality” to what he considers to be its logical conclusion. Politico recently published an essay titled, “It’s Time to Legalize Polygamy.” New York Magazine carried a long, sympathetic essay on “zoophilia,” in this case a man who has sexual relations with horses.
Welcome to the brave new world of non-moral, non-religious, secular correctness.
If you look over the school calendar for Montgomery County, Maryland, you’ll quickly discover that there’s no Christmas. Or Easter. Or Yom Kippur, or Rosh Hashanah. Schools are closed for the days coinciding with these religious holidays, but not because the district observes them. Rather, classes are closed because the district expects a high level of student and staff absenteeism on those days. That way, Montgomery County Public Schools can remain decidedly non-religious, despite the decidedly religious convictions of many of their constituents (For more, read Nick Pitts’s Should Schools be closed for Christian Holidays?).
Episcopal rector Andrew Petiprin: “We have slid down the slippery slope, hurried away from a biblical vision of right-ordered humanity, and our culture now consists of work with no intrinsic end, mind-numbing entertainment, ubiquitous self-medication, the valorization of every sexual desire and identity under the sun, genetic manipulation, and industrial levels of abortion on demand with the harvesting of baby organs.”
Perseverance is the order of the day.
In Jeremiah 25, the prophet told the nation, “For twenty-three years . . . the word of the Lord has come to me, and I have spoken persistently to you, but you have not listened” (Jeremiah 25:3). Later, the Lord said of the same people, “They have turned to me their back and not their face. And though I have taught them persistently, they have not listened to receive instruction” (Jeremiah 32:33). But neither the prophet nor his Lord gave up. They continued speaking truth to culture, until the people repented or faced divine judgment.
Here’s the irony about persistence: it takes persistence to persist. In dealing with spiritual opposition, the longer we obey God, the greater the resistance. When we refuse Satan’s first temptation, he escalates his attacks. When we stand against cultural immorality, the culture stands against us. The longer we trust God, the more we need to trust God, both for strength today and for results in eternity. (Tweet this)
Henri Nouwen: “We belong to a generation that wants to see the results of our work. We want to be productive and see with our own eyes what we have made. But that is not the way of God’s Kingdom. Often our witness for God does not lead to tangible results. Jesus himself died as a failure on a cross. There was no success there to be proud of. Still, the fruitfulness of Jesus’ life is beyond any human measure. As faithful witnesses of Jesus we have to trust that our lives too will be fruitful, even though we cannot see their fruit. The fruit of our lives may be visible only to those who live after us.
“What is important is how well we love. God will make our love fruitful, whether we see that fruitfulness or not.”
So let’s love people enough to tell them the truth with grace. And let’s ask God for the persistence to persist. Where do you need spiritual stamina today?