Deciding Controversial Issues

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Big decisions are being made right now. Many people are strongly opinionated about some current issues. Lines are being drawn.

But I wonder how most people arrived at their conclusion.

If you will allow me, I will humbly make some suggestions for anyone who is considering which side of the fence they are on regarding the issues in the news.

Don’t allow the media to influence you. They have an agenda. And they have no interest in your best interest.

Don’t trust the political parties. Once again, they merely use the citizens to get what they want.

Don’t form your opinions based on social media. Most people who voice their positions there have not studied the issues.

Don’t be influenced by celebrities. I heard a quote the other day: “What happens in Hollywood doesn’t stay in Hollywood.” While I wish that were not true, it is. Without being too harsh, we don’t need a bunch of dysfunctional rock stars directing our lives.

Don’t go by polls or popular opinions. These change with the wind.

Don’t make your decisions based on your emotions. These also are subject to change.

Don’t side with what seems right. Like it or not, we are sometimes easily deceived.

Don’t even base your opinions based solely upon the church because the church is made up of imperfect people.

So, where do we go to get the correct guidance when we are making our decisions about controversial topics?

I bet you saw this coming: Go to the Bible. And here is why:

The Bible is here to stay. It has withstood the test of time. It has survived all the scrutiny. It will not change. It takes no regard for what is popular or trendy. It is not influenced by popular vote. It is not even concerned with hurting people’s feelings. It simply is the truth. The reason it is the truth is that is it authored by God. He is the only One who never changes. What He says has always worked and it always will work.

A really good reminder about this is found in Matthew 24:35 “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.”

Whether it is gay marriage or abortion or the economy, you just can’t go wrong siding with God. He has never been wrong, and never will be.

The Fight against Widow Burning

sati-mitul-vyasSati, an ancient Hindu custom practiced in parts of India until 1829, was the focus of William Carey, Christian missionary. In this practice, a recently widowed woman would immolate herself (burn herself alive) on her husband’s funeral pyre.  We are appalled at such a practice.

Carey, a preacher and social reformist battled the ancient custom, seeking respect and fair treatment of these marginalized women. They had no choice in the custom. It was Carey’s relentless 25 year war against Sati which finally led to the famous Edict in 1829 banning widow burning.

A few critics condemned Carey for entangling himself in cultural issues. He was denounced by some Christians for spending time doing anything other than preaching the Gospel. But Carey stood for justice and God’s Word in regard to the treatment of women. Thankfully, he had an impact.

There are issues in our American culture that, in my opinion, scream for our focus, as much as Sati did for Carey. There are societal matters that have become political – but at the root they are basic human justice issues. One such example is abortion.

While some believe that abortion is taboo for public discussion, I believe that a battle must ensue. In the spirit of William Carey, those who believe in justice for all people must begin to speak out and act out on behalf of these marginalized people. Too many babies have been killed and too many mothers have been destroyed. Taking the life of an innocent child may be acceptable in our society, but it is an atrocity that must be addressed – and stopped.

Hopefully, one day, people will hear of our custom of killing babies and be appalled. Hopefully, this atrocity will end.