2 Peter 2:4-8
For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;
And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;
And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;
And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:
(For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)
We live in a very dark and dangerous generation. A generation in which the cause and effect of moral corruption is all so apparent. Even more dangerous is the fact that the more corrupt and filthy society gets, the more impervious and unresponsive society’s moral barometer gets. You may want to call it the COSMIC ACCLIMATIZATION – becoming so much used to certain situations and behaviors that they can no longer elicit the responses that they used to sometime ago.
Some decades back, it would seem utterly unthinkable for a movie to feature a scene which captured a couple’s bedroom, legitimate or otherwise, and the things that went on in there. We moved past that and came to a point where it was OK for a scene to feature a bedroom so long as the “owners” were not seen together in bed. From there we got to the part where they could be in bed but fully clad and still covered with a ‘yuge’ blanket. As predictable as the Pandora’s box is, in the sense that it never stops giving, the situation evolved to a point where “married actors” can now go stark naked and engage in illicit behaviours all for the sake of entertainment. .
As is consistent with human nature, the voices of criticism grew louder but only to be drowned, soon after, by the louder voices of counter criticism in defense of professionalism and realistic portrayal of ideas – true or fiction. Today, it is no longer what is seen in movies, accessible only through the power of choice. Whatever used to be done in secret and was once thought shameful is now offered freely in public, and whether or not you choose to behold such unsightly scenes is beside the point. Whether or not you agree to it or feel comfortable about it is a none issue. The expected response?! Show open or silent support, be indifferent or at least pretend to remain so. Anything to the contrary and be ready to be lectured in political correctness – a highly efficient strategy employed to silence dissent or debate. Tolerance, rights, consenting adults, nobody’s business, acceptance, to mention but a few get daily rimmed down our throats by the social justice warriors. What is the excuse?! ENLIGHTENMENT. Sadly and reprehensibly enough, the post modern form of enlightenment has become synonymous with a dead conscience. For how can we make a value assessment of ourselves and judge our consciences to be alive if we cannot detect, discern and openly critique that which the bible clearly calls SIN. Today, it is no longer the movie industry. The decadence runs amok through the news media, the music industry and even the books we read. They all have something to offer in this endless thought binding business.
Where am I getting to with all this?!
Well not too long ago, as I scrolled down my Facebook page I happened to come across a post which at its basic seemed to be advocating, subtly, for 16year olds to be allowed to purchase condoms <a href = ” https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2072526672785850&id=100000856130450″ >here<a/>
without judging them as is done in many advanced countries. The argument was that it could be a means to curbing the HIV/AIDS menace. Beside that the author also went ahead to express her disdain for those who would be tempted to take the moral high ground, implying that they had no right to be casting stones when they themselves are not without fault. Interestingly and funny enough, the author uses her freedom of expression to agree with such reprobation spared no efforts in using that same freedom to stifle the rights of other to dissent. As she calls on others not to judge people because they disagree with them, she herself was quick to judge those who would not side with her line of thinking. That is what you call using freedom to suppress freedom. Who would have thought the vehicle of social justice only plied a one-way route. You can be offended but woe be unto you to want to return the favour, irrespective of how civil you may want to approach it.
Later on, I came across another post, the very same that would later inform this opinion of mine <a href = “https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2215909478419128&id=100000002934600″ >here</a>. In that post too the author claims to have witnessed a public incident which under natural circumstances should have enraged the inner man enough to elicit a physical response but he refused in his own words:
” I simply don’t care and tickled even if they go naked and do all they so wish! I will just enjoy the acts optically and go my way! It doesn’t take anything from me!”.
Of course, what two consenting adults choose to do behind closed doors or even in public view should be of little or no concern to anybody else, the caveat always being that – so long as it doesn’t affect you in any way or form.
My response to this was as follows:
ᴡᴇ ʙᴇᴄᴏᴍᴇ ᴜsᴇғᴜʟ ᴛᴏᴏʟs ᴛᴏ ᴡʜᴀᴛᴇᴠᴇʀ sᴏᴄɪᴀʟ ᴀʟɢᴏʀɪᴛʜᴍs ᴡᴇ ᴀʟʟᴏᴡ ᴏᴜʀsᴇʟᴠᴇs ᴛᴏ ʙᴇ ᴘʀᴏɢʀᴀᴍᴍᴇᴅ ᴡɪᴛʜ, ᴡʜɪᴄʜ ɪɴ ᴇғғᴇᴄᴛ ᴅᴇᴛᴇʀᴍɪɴᴇs ᴏᴜʀ ʀᴇsᴘᴏɴsɪᴠᴇɴᴇss ᴛᴏ sɪᴛᴜᴀᴛɪᴏɴs ᴀs ᴡᴇ ᴇɴᴄᴏᴜɴᴛᴇʀ ᴛʜᴇᴍ.
Living in a world where truth is relative and morality is subjective – where you dare not claim absolutes in either one or both, it becomes a stretch of credulity to expect any better from the most rational of God’s creation under such circumstances. Everything is now to be viewed from a humanistic point of view. Tools are we all, useful only to the algorithms we permit ourselves to be programmed with. Hence, what to respond to, when to respond to it and how to respond to it is determined by those social algorithms. Whatever the response, it is best kept to yourself. Don’t use what you choose to believe to judge what I choose to believe or condone. That is the basic line of reasoning. These indeed are dangerous times.
The question that begs asking, though, is: is it really true that whatever consenting adults do does not affect us; even if physically? Should we sit aloof as the old ‘no harm no foul’ mantra is weaponized and employed to undesirable ends? Well, as believers, since we agree to and accept that our absolutes in both truth and morality do not stem from humanistic or subjective worldviews fed to us by the binary systems of the world, it becomes highly necessary that we turn to our only Source – God – for answers when faced with such situations, for he alone is Light and Truth. According to 2Peter 2:7-8, the soul of the righteous is vexed with the filthy conversations of the wicked, no matter how remote we may think or perceive them. Two Greek words translate the English word vex.
In verse 7, kataponeõ and basanizõ in verse 8 both connote to labour down with, to wear with toil, to harass, to oppress, torment with pain. Physically we may feel impervious to them but the soul which is always connected with the mind and conscience is tortured constantly as we interact daily with the vile conversations and manner of behaviour of the wicked. This, I honestly believe should be enough motivation to generate appropriate godly responses in thought, in speech and by way of deed. Acclimatizing with the standards and order of this fallen world should be luxuries we must never be willing to afford. They should cause a tickling enough to move us to shake ourselves and react to them instantaneously, seeking to restore order where there is chaos and to shine the light of truth where the darkness of lies seek to engulf. We can never and should never feel at home with them. We must openly and unequivocally resist and oppose them as though our very existence depended on them. It is what we have been called to do, both as light and salt of this world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid and when salt can no longer season, it is cast away and trodden under foot. It is morally wrong to sit adamantly on the fence of nonchalance cooled by the breeze of apathy. Both Noah and Lot being righteous were daily vexed with the wickedness around them. Perhaps this virulent vexation of the soul contributed to Lot losing his wife. No one knows for sure.
Yet, if the torment meted out to the soul is not motivation enough to propel believers to godly action, at least the mere thought of being likened to those who have their conscience seared with a hot iron should be frightening enough. 1Timothy 4:2. The purpose of searing is to burn or damage with sudden but intense heat. Of what good is a burned or damaged conscience to a believer? It ceases to function. Imagine if a pilot or sailor were to encounter dysfunctions in their navigational compasses. The results could be catastrophic. The conscience is a compass. Through sin and disobedience it died. By the Spirit of God, it has received a fresh reanimation. The more it is exercised along the lines of godliness, truth and righteousness the more active it remains. Indifference and apathy can easily get it deactivated all over again. This can be self inflicted or permitted Those who have active conscience cannot remain unconcerned about the rot that surrounds us.
We cannot change the world. We can however show it the right way. We cannot eliminate the darkness. We can however illuminate it for those trapped in it, haply, the path to truth, life and righteousness may be revealed to them also. None of these can be achieved by remaining quiet. Like Noah before the deluge and Lot in Sodom and Gomorrah we can be the voice that warns of the impeding judgement. Yet we have a more glorious and sublime : the ministry of reconciliation.
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