The Moving Line

ImageI have heard ever since I was young that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. There seems to be something irresistibly enticing about things that are across barriers or even forbidden.

I guess it’s human nature to push beyond barriers. It’s that curious, questioning, daring nature that has allowed humankind to experience some of our greatest achievements. The first speeding violation in an automobile was in 1899 in New York. A cab driver was jailed for driving 12 mph. I guess he had “the need for speed!” But the human race was not content with 12 mph; we wanted to go faster, higher, farther. That pressing forward is not always safe but it has produced remarkable achievements.

But stepping over lines and knocking down fences may not always be in our best interest. Adam and Eve were given full access to Eden and all its delights with the exception of the fruit of one tree. That decision to eat of it had devastating consequences for them and for all humanity.

There are lines drawn by society that sometimes need to be erased and moved. There are lines drawn by God, however, that should remain solid. We need the wisdom to know the difference.

A new poll done by Gallup indicates that moral lines are moving in our culture and in the church. For instance, 59% of American adults indicated that gay or lesbian relations are morally acceptable. That represents a 19 percentage point increase since 2001; at that time only 40% said it was morally acceptable. In addition, 60% of respondents said that having a baby outside of marriage was morally acceptable. That is a 15 percentage point increase since 2002. (For a story on this Gallup poll from the Christian Post, go to

Lines are moving. Ethics are shifting. Some people rejoice and declare, “It’s about time.” Some pick up placards and take to the streets declaring hatred for all who disagree with them. Believers should understand both the times in which we live and the eternal truths of God.

Our teaching and lives should be consistent with the revealed will of God. Our attitude should be one of love but not necessarily acceptance of the new norm. We must speak the the truth in love. We are not to angrily condemn people nor are we to condone sin. Instead we are to allow the truth of God to shape our ethics, the power of God to help us live in a godly fashion, and the love of God to lead us to share with others the reason for the hope that we have.

Danger: Psychic Ahead reported on the erroneous prediction of psychic Sylvia Browne that Amanda Berry, the woman recently set free after 10 years of hellish captivity, was dead. Browne shared this heartbreaking information with Berry’s mother Louwanna Miller on The Montel Williams Show. And this was not the first time she had given wrong information to a grieving family. (

ImagePsychics have been around for a long time. They claim to have insight that the normal person doesn’t have. Very often psychics claim to be able to communicate with the dead. Sometimes they even mix some Christian words and concepts in with their insight. When a family is grieving the death of someone they love or when that person is missing, the promise of insight into their well-being is alluring. The sad truth is that people take advantage of these people, taking their money and giving them information either created in their own minds or produced by the demonic. In fact, as I read that article I became both angry over and deeply saddened for the lies told to this hurting family.

The Bible makes it clear that the people of God are not to consult psychics or dabble with witchcraft. God was concerned that His people would be misled by Satan or charlatans. Instead, He offers true insight about the present and the future. He provided prophets. He gave us His Word, the Bible. And ultimately He sent His Son to reveal the fullness of God’s truth and heart.

Those who get truth and wisdom from God have no need for psychics, horoscopes, or fortune-tellers. They will not provide real truth and they made open you up to further demonic influence. Get your insight from God’s Word, godly friends, and fervent prayer. You may be surprised what God might reveal!

The Two Exchanges

In re-reading Romans 1 today, I could not help but reflect on two major exchanges recorded in Scripture. The first one is found in Paul’s letter to the church at Rome:

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

ImageFor although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. (Romans 1:18-25)

Here humankind makes the exchange. They exchanged the true God for false gods and therefore ended up worshiping that which they themselves created. The consequences of this action are disaster. God allows people to make this choice and to face the consequences. It leads to a downward spiral and deeper depravity and ultimately to death and separation from God. This is NOT a good exchange.

The second exchange that came to mind is more positive. It is also found in one of Paul’s letters, this one to the church in Corinth:

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Although the word “exchange” is not used, an exchange is exactly what takes place. Through His sacrifice on the cross, Jesus took the sin that belonged to you and me and made it His. He died for sin paying the full penalty.  He takes our sin; we get His righteousness! The very thought of it still blows my mind. How great a God we have! How great a love He has shown! How great a Savior we worship!

The first exchange shows the downward direction of humanity sinking deeper and deeper into sin. There is willfulness about it, stubbornness. As a child stomps his or her little foot and says, “I will not!” (insert pouted lip here), human beings stomp their collective foot at the thought of a God who is Creator and Sovereign and declared, “We will not! We will do it our way! We will make our own rules! We are our own gods!”

But Jesus gives us a simple warning: For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. (Matthew 23:12)

Rather than demanding God acquiesce to our view of the universe, the humble person recognizes that there is a God who created him and has a claim on his life. Such a person will seek God’s will for this life and for eternity. What he discovers is that God has opened wide the gates to Heaven for all those who embrace His Son as Savior.

What might be the theme song of your life? “I Did It My Way” or “Have Thine Own Way, Lord”?