Things I think I think
Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets. (Amos 3:7)
I love history and sociology. Understanding what people have done and how they behave grants us insight into future behaviors and attitudes. Reading history and sociological texts from the filter of a Biblical wordview, allows us also to understand God's revelation to man, and man response to that revelation. This response to God occurs again and again and agin in scripture and history. These patterns happen so regularly that we can begin to anticipate themes and threads regarding how humanity responds to God and how he responds to humanity.
Right now, there are some fascinating things happening in the world that calls to our attention that God is active and intervening in the lives of people. Here are a couple of trends to follow:
1. An explosion in followers of Jesus all over the world. Although the American Church, particularly in mainline denominations, has remained static or declined, that is not the case for churches in the Southern hemisphere and in Asia where the number of Christians has exploded in the past several years. We understand United States as the 4th largest mission field in the world. We are now seeing missionaries sent from Africa and Korea to the United States.
2. An aggressive posture in our communities against hyprocrisy. Recently, Ohio State Coach Jim Tressel resigned from the head coaching position. Interestingly, what he did wrong was minor in comparison to what many other coaches had participated in. His players did not receive large amounts of money, use drugs, or get involved in violence. What made the reaction to his failure to pass on information of suspected violations to vigorous, was his staunch advocacy for morality. He has written numerous books and is well known for being a defender of integrity. The outcry against him was significantly out of proportion to the deed. It has to do with the perceived idea of hyprocrisy. The greater crime is hypocrisy, not breaking the rules. Integrity to stated values, even if they are poor values, is often considered more credible than a breach of integrity, even if its minor.
3. People are fed up with Church for church sake. The wonderful thing about the Generation X adults is that they are doers! Church, like all of their activities, must have a purpose that is greater than themselves. Many churches celebrate their self-help philosophies and even prosperity theologies, but ultimately those churches that thrive are those who are centered around the mission of Jesus. People desparately desire to be part of movement that inspires, motivates, and transform the world.
4. People approach politics with more cynicism than hope. The days of many people having confidence in government and governmental institutions have long past. Every two years, we oust the majority party in congress with a new sweeping agenda. Our problem is that we are not really supportive of the new agenda, we are simply frustrated with the old. Its not just the politics, but its the lack of ethics by the politicians and the biased process where election is dependent upon deep pockets instead of deep convictions. I anticipate more anger and apathy. I believe that God allows this so that we understand the limitations of humanity.
I would love to know what trends you are noticing. Feel free to comment and have a blessed day,
Pastor M Traylor