In 1963, the movie “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” was released. It had an All-star cast and the movie concerned the antics of a group of people trying to be the first to get to $350,000 in stolen money. It was an epic comedy that was highly successful. This movie title came to mind while looking at some of the news stories from this week and at the same time, thinking about the “Substitute Society” that this world has become.
Here are a few of the headlines I ran across along with a few comments:
There was a Pastafarian wedding by the Church of the Flying Spaghetti in New Zealand. You can’t make this stuff up. A man and women married, there was a time when that clarification wasn’t needed, in a legally recognized ceremony. Spam nuptials can’t be too far off.
The CEO of Planned Parenthood compared a women voting for a particular Republican candidate the equivalent of a chicken voting for Colonel Sanders. This from a women who heads a group that proudly slaughters millions of unborn children. Any humor that could be found here would be lost to this modern day holocaust.
The White Privilege conference, held in Philadelphia, PA, stated that “Everything Bad in the World comes from Christianity.” My Mom taught me not to use the word “Stupid” when talking about people but it seems to fit snuggly here.
The Governor of the State of Tennessee vetoed a bill that would have made The Holy Bible, the official state book. On the surface this would seem to be upsetting. But after thinking about it for a little while, do we (man) really think the Word of God needs to get our vote of approval? Isn’t that a wee bit presumptuous of us? I don’t believe Father God wanted or needed this to validate His Word to us. After all, if you aren’t reading and in the Word regularly, then you might as well make “Where is Waldo” the official state book.
The American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom said that the “Holy Bible” was the 6th most challenged book for 2015. It was beaten out by five books that seemed to be considered too sexually explicit. Nowhere on the list was the Koran found.
Finally, there is the backlash from the Bathroom Bill passed and signed in the state of North Carolina. It seems some artists, like Bruce Springsteen, the rock band Boston and Cirque du Solei, are cancelling performances in North Carolina to protest men not being able to use the restroom with women and little girls. They cite their support for the LGBT community as the reason why. Yet in the case of the last two, they will be performing in countries that either execute homosexuals or do not give them any legal recognition. Can you say “Hypocrites”?
We live in a world that is ever increasingly calling bad good and good bad. We live in a world that would rather lie than embrace the truth, justify any inconsistency and attempt to make God into their own image instead of conforming to His image. (Real Man page 8).
“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” Isaiah 5: 20.
We learned in Lesson 1 that those of us who want to be real men must seek to live on a higher level and recognize these substitution tendencies, bracing ourselves with Truth and reality. This will not be popular. We must live by the Word of God and keep our plates at 17 inches.
“He will completely fool those who are on their way to hell because they have said ‘no’ to the Truth; they have refused to believe it and love it, and let it save them, so God will allow them to believe lies with all their heart, and all of them will be justly judged for believing falsehood, refusing the Truth, and enjoying their sins.”
2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 (TLB).
It’s not just the world, we make substitutions in the Church as well. Here are the six areas that the Church has made substitutions:
- Talent for Anointing
- Remorse for Repentance
- Traditions for Commandments
- Respectability for Righteousness
- Passion for Obedience
- Status Symbols for Relationships
I don’t know about you but that list hit me hard. I have been guilty of all six. And still struggle with some of them now.
There was another statement that Ed Cole made that caused some reflection:
“Many religious people are simply indifferent to the Word of God.”
Maybe that explains some of the news stories I mentioned. We can’t be a Follower of Christ and be indifferent to the Word of God. It is not possible.
If it was a mad, mad, mad world in 1963, we must be past the point of insanity today.
Are we “Substitute Men” reflecting this world or are we “Real Men” reflecting Jesus?
Real men run to the Cross!