American Values do not = Christian Values

Ravi Zakarias recently wrote a timely and important article a portion of which is quoted here:

Here, I would like to address our political leaders and media elite: You may personally have the moral strength to restrict your ideas to mere words but many who listen to you do not. To take the most sacred privilege of democracy and transform it into the language of aggression plays right into the hands of hate-mongers. This is not the language of a civil society or of wise leadership. It is not the ethos of a culture of co-existence. It is not the verbal coinage with which we can spend our way into the future. Our political rhetoric is fraught with division, hate, blame, and verbal murder. Our young are listening. Remember that what you win them with is what you win them to.

As for the entertainment world, what does one even say at a time like this? Calling for gun control and then entertaining the masses with bloodshed is only shifting the locus from law to entertainment. Do our entertainers ever pause to ask what debased values emerge from their stories? The death of decency is audible and visible in what passes as movie entertainment and political speech. This is the same culture that wishes to take away Nativity scenes and Christmas carols from our children. God is evicted from our culture and then He is blamed for our carnages. America is lost on the high seas of time, without chart or compass. The storms that await us will sink this nation beyond recognition if we do not awaken to the rapid repudiation of the values that shaped this nation. The handwriting is on the wall. Freedom is not just destroyed by its retraction. It is destroyed even more painfully by its abuse.

I would add my own thoughts as follows. It is not only the media and political voices that speak verbal violence and perhaps we can even say hate, it is the Christian voices as well that attack one another over political differences. It is not time for the church to point the finger at media, entertainment and politicians, we must point our fingers toward our own hearts and lives and ask the question, “How much does my own character, revealed in my actions from day to day, reflect Christ?” American society at the end of 2012 is filled with anger and violence. It is time for the church to make a difference, not by adding more anger with accusations and rebukes but by living out the values, priorities and character found in Christ our Lord. From the birth, death, burial and resurrection of Christ until now Christians have been called to be different than the society in which we live. American values do not = Christian values. The church must not continue to mimic the lifestyle of the rich and famous but must embrace the call to become God’s agent of change and His living message to this generation. “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be confirmed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Rom. 12:1-2.

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