We all like the idea of “solutions” but first you have to identify the problem
Most of the time, we realize that something is “off” before we can identify just what exactly it is. We’ve all been there, we don’t know for sure, it’s just a “gut feeling” about something. Unless we want to keep coming up with bandaids to fix our symptoms, we need to strike at the root of our problem.
Take a simple look around and you’ll realize that there is something wrong with our culture.
Now, I’m not a “doom and gloom” type of guy who wants to throw the baby out with the bathwater, I think there are a lot of positive elements in western culture today, but we need to identify our root problems and offer a solution.
The solution, if you were wondering, is the Gospel. The problem, can be seen in 4 key individuals who’ve shaped western thought:
- Charles Darwin – Naturalistic undirected evolutionary theory has removed God as a necessary function in our daily lives. This has caused us to believe that our problems are basically physical/biological and that with enough study or the right combination of chemicals we can reach a higher level of development.
- Thomas Dewey – It is common belief that we need more education, or we need better education. This is evidenced in the fact that we continue to spend more and more money on public education even as the trends are going in the wrong direction.
- Sigmund Freud – Whenever someone does something wrong or breaks a law, one of the first thing that people ask is “why?” as though it would be preventable if only we could understand the individual’s psyche. We have been lead into the belief that we are all simply victims of our circumstances and not actually culpable for our own actions.
- Karl Marx – As we look at our culture in the west, and in particular the problems that our society as a whole faces, we are sliding more and more into an accepted practice of looking to government as the “fixer” of first resort. Medical expenses, retirement, lack of jobs, even drug abuse in baseball, we are well down the path of looking to an institution to correct our problems rather than trying to fix them ourselves.
These are all false views of the world. In each of these areas we are actually seeing a “devolution” rather than progress. Something is broken, we are surrounded by decay and death, and we don’t know how to fix it.
So what is the answer? Jesus. The Gospel is the “fix” to our problems. We need God in our lives because he actually is the one who created and sustains the universe. We need education, sure, but it is just as important what you teach as whether or not you are teaching. Sin is our problem, not simply psychosis that can be purged by facing it, we need someone to pay our penalty. We are not going to be able to grab each other’s shoulders and make it all better as a community, the government is not the solution, Jesus is the solution.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
The simple truth that our problem is spiritual (sorry Charley), it is not a matter of learning enough (strike two Dewy), there is such a thing as sin and we have done it (so much for Freud), and the solution to this problem is outside of our collective ability to set right (that doesn’t Marx the spot).
As individuals we sin, as individuals we must confess. When we do, Jesus not only forgives our sin (which is amazing) but He also cleanses us from all unrighteousness. It is not only a clean slate that we receive from our Lord, for we would certainly fail again, but a complete paradigm shift whereby we no longer have the righteous demands of the law to live by.
As we receive this forgiveness, truly receive it to the point of changing our lives, we become an example, a shining city on a hill for all the world to see. We become the answer, because we point people to Jesus. The Gospel is the answer for the broken world… in begins with you but it can’t stop there.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.