By Barbara Henderson
Well, I suppose it is time to let the cat out of the bag. I am a conscientious objector.
There are a lot of things going on in this world of which I definitely do not approve.
I do not approve of abortion. My conscience demands that I object. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the birth of a child, the only reason for an abortion is literal self defense on the part of the mother. If the life of a mother is truly in danger because of her pregnancy, then she should have the right to make a decision whether or not to carry the baby through to its actual birth.
I do not approve of people living together outside of the bonds of holy matrimony. My conscience demands that I object.
I do not approve of men and women making babies when they are not married. I do not approve of living together on a trial basis before marriage. My conscience demands that I object.
I do not approve of welfare. My conscience demands that I object. People should work for what they have. It is thievery to take something from one person and give it to another.
I do not approve of American troops fighting for freedom in places where the troops cannot express their own religious views without being subject to discipline. My conscience demands that I object.
I do not approve of illegal immigrants coming into my country and attempting to change my country to be like the country from which they came. My conscience demands that I object.
I do not approve of anything the US congress and senate are proposing at this time. My conscience demands that I object.
I do not approve of women walking around in wal-mart dressed like hookers. My conscience demands that I object.
I do not approve of 99.9% of what is currently shown on television, the movie screen, printed on magazine covers, and blasted through the air waves. Most music today is unholy from its very beginning, and I conscientiously object to that as well.
And in addition to all of the above, I conscientiously object to most of what passes for civilized behavior today!
Now, as I object to things, I turn from them. As much as possible - I don’t want to participate in them. That means I haven’t figured out how to avoid wal-mart altogether – I mean you can’t get everything on ebay. And I hope you also object to all these things and in fact – that you object to most of what is going on in the world. If you do, now is the time to turn from evil and look to find good things with which to fill your life.
The truth is that many Christians have turned from the things of the world already. They want to build a better world that is more pleasing to God. In their hearts, they love God and try to keep the commandments and to love others as Christ loves them.
As time goes by, they continue in well doing, but they begin to faint in their minds because they do not see the world as a whole, or even in part, going through any transformation for the better. In fact, it seems that the world is spiraling downward at an ever increasing speed. The truth is, ‘Yes, the world really is going to hell in a hand basket’.
The Christian today is seeing what appears to be the triumph of evil in every aspect of society, government, and religion. This brings weariness to the soul that cannot be borne for long without the Christian fainting in mind and spirit. Christian ‘burn out’ is just around the corner for those who have turned from the world, but still have the world stuck in their line of sight.
Sometimes Satan gets a ‘piece of the world’ and just rubs it in your face. Sometimes a trial comes along that makes the Christian say, ‘Man – I would have rather had a beating than had to go through that. Whether you are in a world of hurt right now, or just weary to the bone from facing circumstances beyond your control, it is time for you personally and everyone who calls themselves a Christian to stop looking at the evils of the world – about which they can do nothing, or at the very most – hardly nothing. Instead we should be looking at God’s instructions to ‘occupy until I come’. (Luke 19:13)
It is time for Christians to forget the things to which they object, and think on the things they want to project into the world. 2 Peter 1:5-9 gives us instructions on what to put into our hearts in place of the things to which we have objected and rejected.
5. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
6. And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
7. And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
8. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
Now, I love verse nine. It gives us an idea of what happens to the Christian who does not add all these things to his daily thoughts and actions. He or she gets stuck in the moment. He cannot see afar off that followers of Christ are the triumphant ones. They only see the misery and woe of the day. It naturally follows that the Christian who has put all these things in his or her heart CAN see beyond the hurt and turmoil of today. They can see a better day coming. This helps them endure the trials of the day.
No Christian should be lacking in the virtues mentioned above. Let’s just take a minute or two to go over them.
First, we must have faith. Faith is the beginning of transformation.
Faith in Christ pulls the believer to Christ.
In Christ we see all the good qualities listed above.
As the Christian is pulled closer to Christ because of his or her faith in Christ, the following things begin to be demonstrated in his or her own life. The Christian should ignore what is demonstrated in the world. Their thoughts should be focused on demonstrating the things of Christ in their own lives.
The foundation stone for transforming the Christian life is faith in Jesus Christ alone. From the solid rock of Jesus Christ, Christians are supposed to grow stronger by building on the foundation of Christ.
2 Peter tells us:
To your faith add virtue – to actually do the things Christ says to do, and to NOT do the things He says not to do.
To virtue add knowledge – to actually study the Bible to know what God has to say on every subject
To knowledge add temperance – moderation in all that we do
To temperance add patience – submission to the trials in your life – or willingness to enjoy the things of God even in trying circumstances
To patience add godliness – love God with all our hearts and love others the way God loves them even though they don’t deserve such love and compassion. The most godly people have a continuing sense of God’s presence in their lives. I suppose they know well that our Good Shepherd walks with them wither-so-ever they go.
To godliness add brotherly kindness – as we love others as brothers we will treat them with brotherly kindness.
To kindness add charity – which is the love of God, or love of God that continues to grow as the believer better understands the love God has for him.
These things are stepping stones that lead us higher and higher. Our view of God becomes clearer as we struggle to add all these things to our thoughts and actions. The view of the world and its evil becomes dimmer. We are learning to see afar off.
The alternative to adding these things to our lives is to be stuck looking at the sin and sorrow of the world.
Adding these things to our lives does not prevent us from being affected or even attacked by the world. Adding these things does strengthen us to better be able to face our future without despair or burnout.