Most of us are familiar with the seven things that will put you on God's naughty list. If not, let Solomon refresh your memory.
"A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked imaginations, feet that are swift in running to mischief, a false witness who speaks lies, and he who sows discord among brethren" (Prov. 6:16-19).
Recently, over 40 U.S. Senators, including six candidates for president, brazenly ran the table on all seven points, and we don't have to guess God's mood right about now. But to most of them, God's list has no bearing in their inclusionary, enlightened orbits, anyway.
So, swathed in haughtiness, ignoring substantiated mental and psychological consequences, emboldened by the goading of an angry and depraved peanut gallery, they made a willful decision to step over every natural and spiritual semblance of compassion and morality with their death vote.
For years, heated debates have ensued regarding an allowable abortion date. Before the first trimester ends? Perhaps the second? But never the third. That's too barbaric, they said. Until now.
In this vote, the governing gaggle, under the guise of Women's Rights, affirmed the practice of intentionally denying medical care to a newborn baby, putting it on the side, allowing it to die. We're so compassionate and tolerant these days.
So there is now a fourth trimester? (Math teachers, don't call me). The death trimester. There's no way to smoothly explain this away. This is depraved. This is pagan. This is murder.
In fact, a few days earlier, in the New York statehouse, cheers erupted, and then, the pandering governor ordered the iconic high rise to be lit bright pink to revel in the sanctioned killing of innocents. Although his little light show hijacked one of the great symbols used to encourage and celebrate our brave ladies who fight cancer, there was nothing brave about what these "wise ones" celebrated.
And forget it if you're expecting apologies or remorse. They want their way. They want their agenda. And if we lose a few globs of tissue in the process? Some minor collateral damage? So be it.
We shouldn't be surprised. The Word clearly warns of the escalation of evil. But it now seems that some of the same anger and rage have trickled into a hallowed place, as some of the hostile divides of the outside have subtly seeped inside. It's just better-dressed.
Good people now get shamed and isolated unless they spout the authorized verbiage. As a result, many of the ones who could and should speak are hiding behind the rocks like David's brothers when the giant was bellowing his threats.
Intimidating speech has no place in God's house. But the "either/or" lines have been drawn. Stray out of those lines, and you might be shunned to a pretentious time out, pronounced a "hater," "a bigot" or "not our kind of Christian."
More than ever, we need righteous words spoken with conviction, clarity and love. But those who speak had better brace themselves for the repercussions, from without and from within.
In today's America, this spirit is evident. In deciding what's acceptable, some have even been shamed and have had to apologize for the terrible crime of being seen with the president of the United States.
Partnering with this policy, a new Christianized enlightenment, suggesting, in order to relate, we might need to "unhitch ourselves from the Old Testament," or to embrace a loving version of socialism or an inclusionary truth-bending crusade catering to same-sex seekers.
Because of this discord and disconnect, in another collateral damage moment, real issues are getting lost, even to the point of where we're not moved by the thought of babies left on a table to die.
We desperately need clear voices with a clear sound. Lord, let it be!
"If the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare himself for the battle?" (1 Cor. 14:8).
Right now, with sanctioned murder, encouraged anarchy and even pressure from the pews, we need people who can and will speak! But many remain fearful, tentative and tongue-tied. In the process, strong voices, whether against the silliest of social commentary or the unconscionable threats of today, are nullified and stilled.
When we unhitch from the Word, foolishness like collateral murder is easier to pull off. And it breaks God's heart.
Michael Green is pastor with his wife, Linda, at The LifeGate (thelifegate.com) in Metairie and Mandeville, Louisiana. He is also a speaker, singer, producer and writer. Find him on Twitter (@MichaelGreen77).
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