Inside, Outside, Upside Down

Today, many of us feel like the world has been turned upside down.  Now today’s emerging culture has people looking inside at their feelings and desires to determine if they are male or female and whether or not they are gay.  It used to be that you looked at the outside, and found out whether your body was male or female.

Again today we look outside of ourselves to find what is wrong in the world, and we look inside to try to find a solution to all that is wrong, because we are considered to be good by default.  This is upside down from the Christian Faith, which points out that when we look inside, we find that we are self-centered and selfish, and that is the origin of all that is wrong in the world.  And as Christians we look outside to God for our help and salvation.

So this emerging culture change is very much upside down from the previous Christian influenced culture.  So which worldview or culture is right-side-up? It depends on how you look at it.  I believe the Christian worldview is right-side-up, but you can make an argument that the nonChristian worldview is dominant and thus it should be right-side-up. About 2000 years ago, the Thessalonians referring to Paul and Silas, shouted “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also” (Acts 17:6-7).  Christianity has always been countercultural to the sinful ways of the world.

I have friends who have a grown child, who is gay.  I believe this person looked inside to discover their homosexual desires and looked outside to blame the parental upbringing for all the struggles the adult child currently faces.  And this young adult also blames the conservative government where they live for their problems.  It appears that this young adult is quite unhappy, and I believe their issues and their unhappiness is due to their worldview.  That is to say this person has embraced this emerging worldview that they are good and anything wrong that happens is outside themselves. They think they are not to blame.

This means this emerging worldview also takes a dim view of forgiveness.  Forgiveness allows the offender to not pay their dues, while the forgiver takes on the offender’s “debt”.  Forgiveness is not fair, and some say it promotes injustice, but reconciliation is very hard without forgiveness.  Forgiveness goes against human nature.  We want justice and vengeance for those who have harmed us.  However, we would rather not take the punishment for our own wrongdoing.  As Christians we note that God has forgiven us.   Every one of us is a sinner and is in need of God’s forgiveness.  Because God has forgiven us so very much, we are able to forgive others and bring peace and reconciliation.

In this post-Christian society, there is this darkness of unhealthy thinking that is causing a lot of chaos, suicides, and mental problems.  As Christians, we can be lights to show a better way to live.  We show a life that offers love, peace, and security that is only found in Jesus Christ. Forgiveness is a key tool Christians can use to show God’s love and bring some peace and reconciliation to the world. There will be pushback because Christianity is countercultural and counter to our human nature, but we have the answer.  Therefore let us go out in love to serve, to speak the truth in love, and to lovingly correct the wrong thinking. 

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