May 30, 2017 Steps to Life Newsletter


Dear STL Supporter

Then There Are the Silent Assumptions

Proverbs 23: 7 - For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he:...

Peace and safety. Around the world, where do you find it? We are travellers in a hostile environment, a bit like Abraham. He, by faith, was looking for a promised better land. Paul says in Hebrews 11: 8 to 10 - By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise... For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. A land of peace and safety.

A few years back I remember going one Sabbath with the tour group, my wife and I were with, to a Seventh-day Adventist church in Jordan. Jordan is a very dry country. The streets were dusty and littered. We turned into a narrow alleyway where people sat on the entry steps to their small, sun baked homes. They sat with dejected looks on their faces and enquiring eyes, as the westerners passed by. We entered one of the dwellings used for a church - sparse and small. There were about 12 people taking up much of the available space. Our group overflowed the chapel. After the church service we spoke to those who understood some English. The pastor was a young man who had to get a basic school education to be accepted into a training college in another country before he could take up his calling. To get this basic qualification he had to attend school on Sabbath. But he believed God wanted him to train to be a pastor. What a choice to face. Now he was an Adventist pastor in a country that was predominantly Muslim and that understood Christianity to come under the Orthodox of Catholic brand. The concept of Protestant, let alone Adventist, was mostly unknown. There were some men from a refugee camp in another country. They had escaped to Jordan for reasons of comparative personal safety and religious freedom. All of these people by faith were clinging to their beliefs and knew what it meant to be sojourners.

We are also Abraham's children by faith. Like Abraham we look by faith for peace and safety. He was called to be nomadic following where God led and learning lessons of faith. He waited to be led into the Promised Land.

The Promised Land is a new world where there is peace, safety, no conflict, no sickness, no troubles of any type, no injustice, no poverty. There is no shortage of anything we need and its all good for us! It's a world where sin does not take its toll. This world is not our home - we are sojourners/nomads as well. We are looking for the same type of world that Abraham was looking for.

Satan is the root cause of all the dysfunction we experience as we sojourn. He causes discomfort in so many different ways. He personalises temptations. As the master deceiver, to give us an impression that things are really going to get better, he advances his cause to increase the infection of sin that makes our world increasingly dysfunctional. He uses words and concepts that are designed to deceive, eventually hurt and lead astray. From the mundane things of life to important moral values.

Words like -

Organic - Have you noticed how many products that are not really all that healthy to eat are labelled organic? (Coffee, various meats, sugar, alcohol from organic grapes, fibreless and nutrition stripped foods, etc.). Organic has become synonymous with healthy.

Gluten free - Edibles might not contain gluten but might not contain anything that is really healthful and be loaded with things that are not. (You can buy really nice gluten free Tim Tams!)

Peace keeping forces - How many wars in the last 30 years have been fought in the name of peace? How many of them have actually achieved peace or safety? Or do they keep politicians in power and industry making profits?

Safe - this word is often use to be a cover for sin that is unsafe.

Safe sex - is taught to kids at school under the guise of harm minimisation. Justification being that a little bit of harm is better than a lot. Morality is dismissed.

Safe schools - a Trojan Horse for promoting gender fluidity and gay life style to children.

Safe injecting rooms - there is nothing safe about the habit of drug injecting.

Safe drinking/drug taking - parents tell their schoolie week children to stay in a group and look after each other while they

kick over the traces for a week of indulgence. Harm minimisation once again.

Safe euthanasia - otherwise known as assisted suicide. In countries where it is introduced the history is that the boundaries are always extended beyond the said safeguards.

Safe abortion clinics - Do you know that there are now over 100.000 abortions a year in Australia? Do you know if a baby is born 24 week premature they are given a humi-crib and life support. Do you know that if a 24 week old aborted foetus survives the abortion they are sometimes left on the table to die! What safety does the unborn child have? Are safe abortion clinics safe for them? What of the unborn's safety and the child's right to life?

What other words, phrases and concepts can you think of that are used to make something sound good that is really the opposite?

Is there any ultimate safety to be found in the world at the end of time? The world that is now. No or yes? No - in the sense that until sin is finally expunged there is always going to be trouble. Yes - in the sense that if we are right with Jesus, our ultimate salvation from Satan's world is guaranteed. This world is not our home. 1 Thes 5:3 says - For when they say, "Peace and safety!" then sudden destruction comes upon them. Hymn writer, Fanny Crosby, wrote some poignant words summing up where our safety lies, no matter when and where we live.

Safe in the arms of Jesus,

Safe on His gentle breast;

There by His love o'ershaded,

Sweetly my soul shall rest.

Then there are the silent assumptions shaping the thinking of the world around us. They shape our thinking and our moral values including those of the communities we live in. Recognising these societal thought assumptions is a powerful way of resisting them.

Atheism is one of them. It's a ploy of Satan to take God out of the picture. One of the faces of the underlying assumption of atheism is modern secular humanism. While Christians will agree we should show respect for all people, because they are God's children, secular humanism takes God out of the equation. Secular humanism would have man as the measure of all things, as Protagoras the Greek philosopher has claimed. Man himself becomes the god!

The Humanist Manifesto expresses the assumptions of secular redundant by world events - it was said to be far too optimistic in the eyes of the humanists! Version 2 (1973) considered that faith, commensurate with advancing knowledge, is also necessary. But faith in people, not God. Version 3(2003) is the current version. It recognises that - The lifestance of Humanism-guided by reason, inspired by compassion, and informed by experience-encourages us to live life well and fully. It evolved through the ages and continues to develop through the efforts of thoughtful people who recognize that values and ideals, however carefully wrought, are subject to change as our knowledge and understandings advance.

Contrast this with the morality of God, an expression of His character. His morality does not change for all eternity. God's law, values and judgements are not shaped by world events. World events are measured by them.

Largely, secular humanism shapes the agendas of our schools, government, mass media, courts and ethics of doing business. It says if there are problems, we need to find human solutions instead of looking to God. If we want peace, safety and justice, we must find common ground in our common humanity. It takes away the sure promise of ultimate justice, as God in his time makes everything new.

In Revelation 21: 5 the Bible says... he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

In Ezekiel 36: 26 God promises to remake our thinking and emotions - A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

Malcolm Muggeridge once said that if God is dead, something is going to take his place; it will either be megalomania or erotomania. That's the drive for power or the drive for pleasure. Aren't these two factors the major driving forces we now see in our society? Why? Because acceptance of God for who He is and what He can do, for those who let Him, has largely been obliterated from people's thinking by the use of words and underlying moral assumption.

With Christian greetings

Cherryl and the STL team

Brian Way/Programs Coordinator


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