Here’s a trend that should disturb us all: American teenagers are getting drunk on liquid hand sanitizers. The substance contains so much ethyl alcohol that it is 120-proof; by comparison, vodka is 80-proof. As many as 2,600 cases of alcohol poisoning from hand sanitizers have been reported in California, but officials say this is a national problem. Internet videos teach teenagers how to distill and ingest it for maximum effect.
Meanwhile, North Korea has renewed its threat to attack U.S. and South Korean military installations and “cut the throat” of anyone who defames their leaders. South Korean authorities went on high alert after the threats.
In more positive news, Apple’s profit nearly doubled last quarter on much stronger-than-expected iPhone sales. The company also announced sales of 67 million iPads since the device was launched two years ago.
And a start-up with high-profile backers has announced that it will send robotic spacecraft to remotely mine asteroids for water and minerals. Planetary Resources expects to launch its first spacecraft within two years. The company claims that a typical asteroid 265 feet in diameter could contain $100 billion of metals.
While science continues to advance, human nature remains the same. In our day of technological progress and moral decay, Chuck Colson spoke prophetically for the relevance of God’s Kingdom. Colson was one of the most famous converts in recent American history. The former Nixon White House enforcer died last Saturday; his commitment to Christ in prison launched a global ministry to inmates and made him an effective spokesman for the biblical worldview. He once stated, “I don’t think the job of the church is to make people happy. I think it’s to make them holy.”
We don’t always have to choose between the two, of course. But when we do, which is more popular in churches today? Are we trying to help people be happy in the moment or holy for eternity? Which does God intend for us?
Reading this morning in Leviticus 20, I found this injunction: “Consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am the LORD your God. Keep my decrees and follow them. I am the LORD, who makes you holy” (vs. 7-8). See the divine-human partnership? If we will obey God’s word and follow his will through this day, our obedience will position us to experience the character formation only God can produce. In other words, if we want to be holy, God will make us so.
Which do you want more–to be happy, or holy, today?