"It's funny to me how a lot of people criticize me, supposed Christians especially, criticize me for playing Reacher. As if the only TV that should exist is seeing people silently folding their hands in the pew of a church. I mean, what kind of stories are we supposed to tell?" Ritchson, a professing Christian himself, said in a YouTube video.
The future of our democracy depends on the moral transformation of our people. As the only light in a dark world (Matthew 5:14-16), this process starts with us. But we must be changed to be the change we need to see. We must settle for nothing less than holistic holiness and then ask the Spirit to make us more like Christ than we have ever been as we submit daily to his lordship and obey his word and will.
People are dying—some literally through “deaths of despair” such as suicide and drug addictions, the rest spiritually—to experience God’s life-giving love and grace.
But they understandably judge Christianity by Christians. When I was lost, I did the same thing. It was the vibrant joy and peace I witnessed in Christians I met that drew me to their faith. I wanted what they had. Nearly fifty years later, I’m so glad I saw Jesus in them.
Now it’s my turn and yours.
When you are tempted by immoral thoughts, reflect on biblical truth. When you are tempted to slander or gossip about someone, pray for God’s best for them instead. When you are tempted to shrink from sharing your faith, pray for courage and then stand boldly for your Savior.
If our intuitions do influence our moral decisions, even overriding our best intentions and our rationality, we’d do well to pay attention to what is shaping them. What’s legally available (or not) shapes them, and not just because people don’t want to get in trouble. Laws create conditions, such as whether we have access to certain products and advertising. Laws make some financial incentives possible, but not others. They can also normalize or stigmatize behaviors. In other words, laws play a role in fostering the habits of a people, and people tend to be formed by their habits. Laws should not enable and should never incentivize bad habits. Good habits, on the other hand, also form our moral intuitions.
In his memorable “Letter from the Birmingham Jail,” Martin Luther King, Jr., threw down the gauntlet in his great Civil Rights crusade when he refused to obey what he regarded as an immoral man-made law that did not match up with the law of God.