The Great Danger Facing Us Today

“The trouble isn’t so much that we don’t know enough, but it’s as if we aren’t good enough. The trouble isn’t so much that our scientific genius lags behind, but our moral genius lags behind. The great problem facing modern man is that, that the means by which we live have outdistanced the spiritual ends for which we live. So we find ourselves caught in a messed-up world. The problem is with man himself and man’s soul. …

“The great danger facing us today is not so much the atomic bomb that was created by physical science. Not so much that atomic bomb that you can put in an aeroplane and drop on the heads of hundreds and thousands of people—as dangerous as that is. But the real danger confronting civilization today is that atomic bomb which lies in the hearts and souls of men, capable of exploding into the vilest of hate and into the most damaging selfishness—that’s the atomic bomb that we’ve got to fear today. …

“My friends, all I’m trying to say is that if we are to go forward today, we’ve got to go back and rediscover some mighty precious values that we’ve left behind.” —Martin Luther King, Jr., February 28, 1954 (empahsis added)

Thursdays With Oswald―Don’t Become A Pharisee

Oswald ChambersThis is a periodic series with things I’m reading and pondering from Oswald Chambers. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Oswald” in the search box to read more entries.

Don’t Become A Pharisee

   If I cannot see God in others, it is because He is not in me. If I get on my moral high horse and say it is they who are wrong, I become that last of all spiritual iniquities, a suspicious person, a spiritual devil dressed up as a Christian. 

   Beware of mistaking suspicion for discernment, it is the biggest misunderstanding that ever twisted Christian humility into Pharisaism. When I see in others things that are not of God, it is because the Spirit of God has revealed to me my own meanness[*] and badness; when I am put right with God on the basis of His Redemption and see those things in others, it is in order that God may restore them through my intercession.

   [*] meanness as used here: something or someone ordinary, common, low, or ignoble, rather than cruel or spiteful.

From Not Knowing Where

Pharisees are so quick to point out what’s wrong with other people. Pharisees are so quick to look at others’ shortcomings as a means of propping up their own “religious perfection.”

As Oswald Chambers points out, the only reason God would ever show me something out of place in someone else, is so that I may intercede in prayer for them. If that revelation causes me to talk about them, instead of talking to God about them, then I have become a Pharisee.

Thursdays With Oswald—Moral Choices

This is a weekly series with things I’m reading and pondering from Oswald Chambers. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Oswald” in the search box to read more entries.

Oswald Chambers

Moral Choices 

     Jesus Christ revealed what a normal man should be and in so doing showed how we may become all that God wants us to be. … But Jesus did not come to show us what a holy life was like: He came to make us holy by means of His death. 

     … When we partake of His life through the experience of regeneration we are put into a state of innocence towards God, and we then have to do what Jesus did, that is, transform that innocence into holy character by a series of moral choices. 

From Bringing Sons Unto Glory

There’s a song that says, “Now that we’ve found love, what are we going to do with it?” The Holy Spirit asks regenerated Christians the same thing: “Now that you’ve been declared innocent in God Almighty’s sight, how are you going to live?”

Every day you and I are faced with moral choices. Will we try to find the loopholes or the easy way out? Will we justify our ungodly choices? Or will we do what Jesus did and obey God fully?

Now that you’ve been declared innocent, what are you going to do with it?

Thursdays With Oswald—My Standard Of Conduct

This is a weekly series with things I’m reading and pondering from Oswald Chambers. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Oswald” in the search box to read more entries.

My Standard Of Conduct

     Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter into the kingdom of Heaven. (Matthew 5:20)

     The practical outcome of these words is astonishing; it means that my standard of moral conduct must exceed the standards of the most moral, upright man I know who lives apart from the grace of God. …Instead of our Lord lowering the standards of our moral conduct, He pushes it to a tremendous extreme. We have not only to do right things, but our motives have to be right, the springs of our thinking have to be right; we have to be so unblameable that God Himself can see nothing to censure in us. 

From Biblical Psychology

There are some very moral people in the world, but their morality is of their own design, and not the morality that comes from a relationship in God’s grace (i.e. just like the first century Pharisees). I cannot try to match their moral lifestyle, because my morality will not be God-centered.

My thoughts have to be perfectly moral. My thoughts about how I’m going to behave must be God pleasing. This prayer of David needs to be my prayer as well if my thoughts and conduct are to be unblameable in God’s sight—

How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults. Keep Your servant from deliberate sins! Don’t let them control me. Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to You, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. (Psalm 19:12-14)

I Saw It Go Down

I was at a business function today and I saw a fellow businessman do something, ah, questionable.

Illegal? Definitely not. Immoral? I don’t think so. Unethical? Yeah, probably.

It happened so suddenly. So deliberately. Right before my eyes. Instead of picking a winning card at random out of the fishbowl, he drew out the card of the individual he wanted to win.

He’s not a Christ-follower. We’re not that close.

I said nothing. I did nothing. What do you think? Would you have said/done something? I’m still pondering this one.

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