Monday, April 24, 2006

Another Authoress

I started reading a short bio on George Eliot followed by her book The Mill on the Floss. She was born in that awful time when Christianity was being swallowed up in mysticism and naturalism. In her youth she seemed quite established in Christian theology, but perhaps in reality it was more in the practice of traditional Christian theology, because once her intellect was spurred on by genius thought of the day, she quickly and easily veered off the beaten course.

In her parlor were often found such men as Emerson, Dickens, Richard Wagner, Darwin, and Kingsley. They were drawn to her lively mind and she was the center of much conversation. Unfortunately these men did not keep the Scripture as their focus, nor did she. In her mind she felt that she never forsook them, but the Word failed to be the beginning and end of all thought. Scripture was not the final authority -- it was no longer the paradigm through which all else was examined. Although their ideas seemed sound enough and kind enough, they were not tested against the Wisdom of all eternity. Their philoshophies and solutions for social concerns most certainly, therefore, fell short of true wisdom.

Oh, the heart is easily deceived and the mind polluted with things that tickle our ears. Once again I was reminded of the importance of formal training in the Word and the life of the Word being lived before the eyes of our young ones. We must have the Holy Spirit present in our lives. We must have! And they must experience the Holy Spirit at a young age lest the spirit of this age sweep in and steal their hearts and minds. He is always looking for opportunity in every sphere - the mind, the heart, the flesh, the eyes. Pray earnestly that they will have real life encounters with the Living God. Nothing less will do. They must taste of His goodness, they must sense His presence with them, they must know deep within their spirit that He alone is truth and life, that all else is counterfeit, and nothing else will deal with sin and eternity in a merciful and just way.

It isn't so much what we shield them from as what we present to them. Living in a vacuum will never satisfy a young searching heart. They want to experience fullness of life. They must experience Him as much as you do.

Christ was never afraid of sin and sorrow; He never ran from it or hid His eyes, but He did know the answer for it. And the truth was never hidden either. As children see the sinful world around them, they must know Christ's answer for it. Bring it all to light; speak the truth in love with boldness. But speak the Word! Unveil the works of darkness for what they are. If we forever hide them from them, they will not learn the truth regarding them.

I remember Bill Gothard sharing how his father would from time to time drive him through the rough part of the city where men were lying in the street in drunken stupors and prostitutes advertised their wares -- not to gloat in smug condescension, but to reveal the reality of sin and all its consequences. He then shared God's heart of redemption, His plan for Holiness and beauty, and His everlasting love for each and every man.

Oh, to remember always the great and wondrous benefits of life in the kingdom. As the Psalmist said:

Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle's. Psalm 103:1-5