*Pastor’s Note: This is another short article I wrote in the late 90s along with some others for the Church section of the local newspaper where we lived in Globe, Arizona. I thought it might interest my readers and I HAVE updated some of the Scriptures references. All in all, it is pretty much as it was published in the Church editorial of the newspaper. The pictures were added for this posting.
Supposedly we live in an enlightened age. We think we are enlightened because we have thrown off the old taboos. The old puritanical moral standards which held us in check have been discarded in place of the new ideal, “if it feels good, it is good, so do it.” We even have products advertised with this new ideal as a logo. Now we are free to express ourselves in more creative ways. Society can advance to the utopian ideals of equality and true human dignity. Right?
It all sounds so good. But where is this kind of thinking coming from and just where is it leading us? The sexual revolution in the sixties brought a flood of illegitimacy. Over twenty-six percent of the births in America now occur outside of marriage. The number of single parent homes is skyrocketing. Millions of children are brought into the world without the benefit of a loving mother and father living in a committed relationship, and children growing up in single parent homes are more likely to be `at risk’ in some form or another.
That this high sounding enlightenment has led to turmoil has Biblical precedent. People can have deep RELIGIOUS experiences and not be true followers of God. It is possible with the unprecedented New Age movement for individuals to have special gifts and receive knowledge from the Bible and yet remain unsaved; it is the difference between intellectual knowledge and spiritual re-awakening. As in the secular enlightenment just mentioned, religious (not spiritual) enlightenment is possible when people who are on the road to destruction start relying upon their own intellectual prowess rather than relying upon the Spirit of Truth. It might even be called enlightened self-interest or self-love. But that’s where the problem lies.
Without Godly love, “it profits me nothing.” The Apostle Paul, who was truly enlightened wrote this centuries ago and it is still relevant today, “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.” – 1 Corinthians 13:1-3. Spiritual re-awakening allows the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Truth to abide within us, whereas religious or secular enlightening allows us to be deceived by our own supposed intelligence!
Just another thought to consider in your times of meditation!
Pastor Roland Ledoux
Oasis Bible Ministry