Object and Objective
Object and Objective
By Dave Breese
We have, as our readers will remember, extended in these pages an earnest call for Christian thinking. The core of the difficulties which our world now faces is the absence of anything that resembles The Christian View in the modern mind, in the thinking of our society. In our view, the absence of correct thought can be ascribed to the fact that most people, in what passes for thinking today, allow their thoughts to center on the wrong objects and to contemplate the wrong objectives. In short, our world mostly thinks about the wrong things for the wrong reasons and as a result, something between intellectual poverty and strange insanity has come upon the culture of our time.
This being the case, what then should be the object of our thinking? The Apostle Paul, that great intellectual of the New Testament, had the answer. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things (Phil. 4:8).
These are to be the objects of our thinking even while we live in a world which is filled with lies and lechery. The degeneration of our present corrupt culture need not subvert our minds. Not, that is, if we will deliberately concentrate on that list of the imperative things that make for sanity and stability. Think again of those objects. We are to think about
1. Things that are true. There is no doubt that most of the touted principles of our time are simple, straightforward unvarnished lies. Men have even changed the truth of God into a lie (Rom. 1:25), and as a result, that which is false sounds more true than that which is true.
2. Things that are honest. Quite obviously, most of the problems of our worldfrom troubled marriages to economic collapse (these often go together)come because of the dishonest thinking of people. Our world has, therefore, come to live in a house of delusions in its frantic attempt to escape reality. Dishonesty now warps the world from pole to pole.
3. Things that are just. Even in a distorted world, people should be given what they deserve, paid what they have earned. It is unjust to ask the competent to support the incompetent, or the resolute to forever compensate for the unreliable.
4. Things that are pure. It takes but a small fraction of impurity in a glass of pure water to render drinking water unsafe or even fatal. Inner purity is far more valuable than outer beauty.
5. Things that are lovely. So many of the productions of our world are gross, degenerate, intrinsically ugly. What a contrast is a lovely life or even a genuinely attractive work of art.
6. Things that are of good report. Everything and every person has a reputation. A good reputation is easily the greatest personal credential one can have. We all need to live lives that are well-reported so that others may be encouraged.
7. Things that are virtuous. Unquestionably, the basis of life is moral. Neither morality, nor fame, nor cleverness can make up for the absence of virtue. So it is that the first call to the Christian is to add to your faith virtue (II Peter 1:5).
8. Things that are praiseworthy. The mind must be forced to think upwardly, inhabiting a higher level. That which is shoddy and superficial must not be praised, except in the case of children whom we wish to damage. We are to congratulate the commendable and give honor to whom honor is due. The moral inversion of our time too often means that the degenerate is praised (albeit often posthumously in that he has died of AIDS) and the honorable man languishes in a jail cell.
These things should be the object of our contemplations. Yes, there are still godly people, selfless activities, and great truths for us to contemplate and then emulate.
By contrast, how inexpressibly sad it is that our society is so strongly influenced by cultured reprobates who, in the name of academic freedom, civil rights, freedom of choice, and freedom of artistic expression, have so offended the soul of our beloved nation. Obviously, our society must find a way to keep degenerates out of positions of influence and wicked carnalists from the levers of power. Failing this, our society will become incurably wicked, thereby guaranteeing its own self-destruction or untold ruin under the mighty hand of a holy God. Soon to expire is the nation which suffers sodomites to serve in its Congress or pedophiles in its religious leadership.
An antidote to this is suggested in the Scripture. Those things, which you have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you (Phil. 4:9). Here is a clear call for Christian influence. Christians, having learned and received the higher truth, the pure Word of God, are supposed to do it. The Christian is the workmanship of God and he is called to good works, earnest endeavors, magnificent accomplishments for the Lord in this world.
America, in our judgment, is in a condition where nothing short of powerful moral reversal will preserve us as a nation. In that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, that moral reversal must be based on spiritual life, yes, the revival of spiritual life. The pure water of divine revelation must be poured again into the parched earth of todays wicked society. Perhaps then God anew will visit us with spiritual revival, with showers of blessing.
Learn again the formula given to us by the Word of God. The object of our contemplation are the pure things given to us in the Word of God. The objective of that contemplation must be earnest endeavor for the Lord, the doing of those virtues which are ours because of Christ.
A final reminder is also appropriate. Those virtues must be done out in the world. Happily do we meet in beautiful churches behind stained glass windows to hear messages appropriate to the season. Unhappily, so little is translated out into a cynical, preoccupied, increasingly wicked world. Too seldom does the Christian stand in a political meeting, in a self-discovery seminar, in a worldly study group and demand honesty and scholarship from the subversive speaker. Too seldom is the Christian view the ready resource of the believer, and too rare is the ability to make that Christian view stick in a cynical world. So it is that the pure religion of Christianity, the honest answers which it brings to every question, the proper judgment and pure motive which it embodiestoo seldom are these applied with impact to a society. The result is that the world simply does not think of the Christian faith as a valid part of the equation of life, a serious factor to be considered.
But isnt this to be the objective of our thinking, our contemplation, our labors? Much has now been considered within the halls of our churches. Much now must be done in a world that knows little of the Gospel of Christ. It is time to turn the potential into the kinetic. It is time to work out into a world the things which our hearts have come to believe. Unless this is done soon, then soon comes the night in which no man can work.
Destiny Newsletter continued