You can either be a Lighthouse Christian or an Alley Light Christian

The world is not Christian, they don’t have our values. We can’t shove our morals up their throats. We must first point them to Christ by the lives we live and the example we show…then they will crave the sweet smelling roma of Christ.

8 “For once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light, 9 for the fruit that the light produces consists of every form of goodness, righteousness, and truth.”
Paul to the Church in Ephesus Chapter 5 verses 8 & 9 ISV

When I was a teenager, I had been indoctrinated to be a full-blown card-carrying Democrat. I was told that conservatives were racist and anti-immigrant. I was in a private school full of conservative kids. I was a sophomore in High School when I heard President Ronald Reagan was shot. My first reaction was to smirk. Good for the country, that racist jerk has been shot, I thought to myself. Now when I think of that very moment, I cringe at the words that left my mouth during that tragic event.
Today, we have a country ripped and divided. The Christians are in one corner, the anti-christian community is on the other. The other factions are on the other corners.
Why am I writing all this?

To explain why we in America, specially Christians, have to change the culture. Fascism, Communism, Socialism and moral decay start when the true Church of Christ rescinds on everything worldly or what I call the Church imploding from within.

We, the Church, should be the ones helping the poor and destitute. We should be the ones actively seeking the lost and needy. Is this being done by the church right now? To a small extent, it is.

I have heard Christians say that they are there to preach and not be a social activist church. They are afraid that they will concentrate on only the social aspects of Christianity and forget the word and the Gospel. I understand the catch-twenty-two of getting stuck in an always-helping-out-the-poor-and-needy vortex which will suck up any church budget. But that is not why we are here.

We are not here for the long-term security of  buildings. We are here to feed the hungry(Matthew 25), help the widows and orphans (Psalm 68) and visit the sick and jailed (Matthew 25).

In Ephesians chapter 5, Paul explains that we are to be like Jesus. We are to be a sweet-smelling aroma. One that people smell and crave. Yet, we have not been smelling very rosy lately. Instead, we focus on one or two things that are wrong in this country and beat it down until they give up to our way of thinking. Instead of concentrating on one thing that can change society, we have shifted our thoughts like the world to force change through the political arena. This doesn’t mean we stop voting on things.

It just means that this way is only temporary. It only patches up what’s wrong with the moral fiber of this country instead of focusing on the real issue, which is moral decay.

We have forgotten that the world is dark and ignorant and just like me, as a sophomore in high school, my thoughts were dark and ignorant. I was not changed by Christians ranting and raving, waving Turn or Burn signs at street corners. When I saw this, I laughed at them. I thought to myself, who wants to be angry like those weirdos.
What changed me was a sweet-smelling aroma of a family who took their time to see past my hard exterior. I was a cocky athlete. I was in the streets, hanging out with guys that were fluffing their feathers and parading themselves like peacocks. Chests up, arms out, and bad thoughts running through our minds, always scanning for trouble. I did not do drugs or alcohol like the others because I wanted to be in control of every situation. I thought of situations and then countered them with more dark ways to beat them. I was selfish and proud.

police-car-with-flashing-lights
Sheriffs Patrol Cars With Flashing by Robert A Cervantez

Some of my friends, were always hiding from the cops. When squad cars would pass by and shine their Alley Lights on us, my neighborhood friends would get angry at them. But I thought to myself that they were only doing their job. I knew some of the cops because they were coaches in the city park leagues I belonged to. They knew that I was not a troublemaker and they warned me about hanging out with he wrong group of kids. I knew they were right but it took me a while to figure it out.

It wasn’t until I met a goofy Christian. He was nothing I wanted to be. His family was different. He and his brothers were immature, and socially awkward.

One day they invited me to dinner. I was curious. I went to his house and really met his family. I went to his house a second time and a third time. Something was different about his family. No they were not perfect but they had something I wanted.

They had unity, and love and harmony. My family was crazy and loud and all of us were like Tasmanian Devil characters. Where we went, their was chaos, laughter and put downs. We would go at each other with street put downs until we saw anger or the beginning of tears from our siblings.
My friend’s family was also loud and obnoxious. But it was different. The loudness was the Hispanic culture of talking in above normal decibels and with our hands. Their was laughter I heard which was different from ours. We laughed at off-color jokes. They laughed because there was joy.
I wanted this joy. I wanted this unity. It was different from our unity. Outside of our home, anyone that would hurt any of us would have the whole family at them because we were all angry.

At my friend’s house the unity was different. They loved each other with respect. I craved this Godly respect and peace. It was years later when I found this peace and passed it on to my wife and kids. It’s the same peace that I pass along to others in my Bible studies.

I realize that only through Jesus the One they call The Christ, can someone change their minds and their hearts.By changing their hearts and pointing them to Christ, we change the culture one person at a time. This is where true and lasting change happens.

It is not politics. It is not condemnation that will get people to change. It is the love of Christ when He showed that dying on the cross for their sins was why He came into this world.
It is the sweet-smelling love and lifestyle He showed to all those that fell short in life. It is the people he fed and gave hope to. He was the Light of the world. He came to take our sins away. We are to be like Jesus. Let’s not be remembered by what we don’t do but by what we do for the world.

Instead of getting fixated on the wrongs of people. Let’s get fixated on saving lives for Christ. Throw the lifesavers out and bring them into the lighthouse of God.

 

lighthouse_at_night_chania
Lighthouse at night, Chania, city of Crete. by Martin Belam

Let’s go and shine ourselves unto this dark world. But not with a Police Alley lights that blind and anger people but with Lighthouse Lights pointing our country back to God, one person at time. This is the only way many hearts and minds will change morally.

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