Of Fire and Ice
There are two kinds of sins, if you will, ungodliness and worldliness.
Worldliness is the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes, as it says in I John 2. Lust and sexual immorality, covetousness and theft, malice and gossip — whatever looks good at the time that we want, worldliness says “ignore the consequences, just do it.” The moral compass of a worldly person just points in the direction of the closest, strongest magnet.
Ungodliness is the pride of life that turns away from God’s holy authority. This person’s compass does not spin around, it is ever pointed in one direction and that direction is “S” for Self. God or His law and sovereignty have no place in this person’s life. Like Sauron, their every thought is bent on the Ring of Power. Power for themselves. Total and ultimate control. They are the masters of their own fate.
Normally, I give the real life example and then go into the spiritual application, but I did it backwards today. Because 2016.
I mean, this concept shouldn’t be too hard to grasp since it’s played out for us throughout the political mess (too tame a word) this year.
Burning Man & Ice Queen
On one hand, you have a presidential candidate who is the personification of worldliness. Whatever he wants, he takes. He’s a lustful, unprincipled human being. He’ll say what he needs to get what he wants. His own desires are the forces driving him. Everyone is so appalled by Mr. Trump because he is downright, indefensibly appalling.
On the other hand, you have a candidate who personifies ungodliness. She doesn’t have a string of salacious marriages or affairs (of her own), but the woman is fully and utterly corrupt. She breaks laws to protect her power. She manipulates and has others manipulate the system to keep or gain control. She hides, and lies, and betrays. Hillary Clinton is her own god.
“If anyone thinks that Christians regard unchastity as the supreme vice, he is quite wrong. The sins of the flesh are bad, but they are the least bad of all sins. All the worst pleasures are purely spiritual: the pleasure of putting other people in the wrong; the pleasure of power, and hatred. A cold, self-righteous prig who goes regularly to church may be far nearer to hell than a prostitute.”
– C. S. Lewis
It’s unfortunate that Donald Trump’s splashy sins keep people from also recognizing how utterly unfit to be president Hillary Clinton is. But that’s human nature. We love salivating over the disgusting details of Trump rather than wading through the dry details of the moral depravity of Hillary.
I’m not saying that Trump is a better option to vote for. He is not. His brand of tyranny is as bad for our civil government as Clinton’s is. I’m not with her; and I’m most certainly not with him. They are a shame upon us, and a sign of our moral decay as a nation.
Only one thing can stop moral decay. Only one thing can conquer sin — whether ungodliness or worldliness — and that is the worship of Jesus Christ as Lord of All.
Soul on Fire
In previous elections, when the wrong candidate would win, Christians would say, “It doesn’t matter who is in the White House, God is on the throne.”
Why did so many of us forget that this election cycle?
God was on the throne. He is on the throne. He will be on the throne when one of two depraved candidates hypocritically put their hand on the Bible this coming January to take the vows of their office.
But how many of us hypocritically put our hands on our Bibles during devotions or on Sundays and spend the rest of the day and week looking to ourselves as our own master and decision maker and following whatever desire looks good to us?
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. (I John 2:15-17, NKJV)
Everyone seems to think that the election of the other party’s nominee will cause the Republic to go down in flames. I say, “let it!”
Yes. I want to see this nation burn, but not in lust or in tyranny.
“I sought for the key to the greatness and genius of America in her harbors…; in her fertile fields and boundless forests; in her rich mines and vast world commerce; in her public school system and institutions of learning. I sought for it in her democratic Congress and in her matchless Constitution.
Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power.
America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” – Alexis de Tocqueville (emphasis mine)
Let’s not let worldliness or ungodliness hide our little lights under a bushel. Let us, as Christians, proclaim the name of the Lord and walk in His righteousness.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.