Nov 27

The Most Dangerous Place to Raise Your Children

Many times, I have reflected on how blessed I am to live in the United States, and to enjoy the many freedoms we have here. I am thankful to everyone who has ever served our country in the military, for their part in protecting our freedoms. And honestly, I have been very comfortable and insulated here. I’ve never even traveled outside the U.S.

But tonight, I am thinking along different lines. What if…the home that I love, that I pray for God to protect, is actually quite a dangerous place for me–and for my children?

First, let’s get a broader perspective, beyond the life we spend on earth. Assuming that one believes in an eternal afterlife (as I do), then it stands to reason that I should be much, much more concerned with where I spend that eternity, than with how comfortable or happy my temporary, brief life is here on earth.

Also, I believe that in order to spend eternity with the Lord of our universe in Heaven, I must repent of my sins, and ask Jesus Christ to forgive me; I must submit my whole life and entire being to His will; I must give the Holy Spirit full reign in my life; and I must die to my own selfish desires and quit trying to run my own life.

But why, even if you agree with me on these two points, does this mean that the United States is a “dangerous place”?

Based on some things my insightful husband shared this morning in church, I’d argue the problem is our prosperity. It’s our ability to create for ourselves a good life.  It is easier to see your need for God, for repentance, and for His forgiveness and mercy, when you are struggling or faced with a crisis or tragedy. It is hard, though, to believe that you need an almighty God when, really, you’re doing just fine on your own. Our church leadership team discussed this morning that it’s easier to reach those who are hurting and struggling with, for example, homelessness or drug addiction, than your average middle-class citizen who is doing OK.

The Bible in Revelation shares a very scary message to a church (a church!!!) in Laodicea:

I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot.  Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. (Rev 3: 15-17)

All of us are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. We all need Christ’s forgiveness. Yet how many churches in America could this letter be written to, today?

My children are growing up in a wonderful country and I pray God will use our resources and people to reach the world for His name. But I fear, also, that many who live in our country and even go to our churches are “lukewarm.” And I fear that I may be among them.

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