Core Ideas of the Gospel of Jesus Christ

BAG OVER HEADIt’s confusing enough to be a grownup in America 2015.  You’ve got TV interviews with a successful male Olympian explaining his plan to be surgically altered; to become a woman even though he is still attracted to women deep within his psyche.  Elsewhere, the US Supreme Court debates whether or not the fathers of the US Constitution intended gay marriage to be a civil right. Meanwhile, you learn that the newest trend coming to a school near you is teen-aged boys visiting girl’s restrooms while they decide which gender they prefer. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

A friend tried to reassure me last week: “The questions change but the answer is still Jesus.”  Except you have well-known celebrities who profess Christianity while comfortably embracing all this decay. On your best days you try to speak out but the tidal wave of the media drowns you out.  On your worst days, you occasionally wonder, “Am I just a Neanderthal?”  Imagine what the youngsters still growing up in church are thinking. Lately I get this question every week: How do I talk with my kids about this twisted culture? 

I’m hammering out some practical, down to earth nuggets of truth we can share with our kids. Insert them into conversations one at a time. Make it a thought, not a sermon.  Here are the first three.  I’ll share more suggestions next time. The challenge is to wait for for an opportune moment and unemotionally slide one of these truths into the mix.

1. Sometimes nations go crazy. Laws are often misguided.  Just a few generations back, many Americans bought and sold fellow human beings as slaves.  It was legal and acceptable to transport African men and women packed in ships with conditions so dreadful that many died on the way. More recently, many Germans voted for Adolf Hitler, who finally exterminated six million Jewish human beings and others  in death camps scattered across Europe. In fact, the legal slave trade was finally outlawed.  And the Nazis were defeated. Whenever and wherever evil prevails, God always finds a group of faithful believers who honor Christ and stand tall- often when they are badly outnumbered.

2. Hollywood celebrities are rich and famous because they are good at pretending to be someone else. Just because they make fun movies doesn’t mean they make good decisions.  Be sure to consider the life a person lives in private before you allow his public opinions to find a home in your heart.  Beauty fades quickly but wisdom sticks around and finally makes a difference.

3. The true measure of life is not popularity.  When Christ was nailed to the cross, it surely appeared he was completely alone and hopelessly on the wrong side of history.  In fact, he prevailed because he based his life on reality rather than appearances. If you root your decisions in truth from a timeless authority, your life will still make a difference when the fads and fashions of 2015 look as dumb and dopey to future generations as clothes from the 1960’s now appear to you.

Feel free to share your feedback with me.  I’ll return with three more nuggets in a week or so. In the  meantime, lift up the cross!

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