Am I the only one who’s picking up a lot of “bad vibes” lately?
Our country and world is seemingly in disarray. Hateful protestors are marching the streets. People are being attacked and even killed. People have never been so divided.
Why is this?
After all, it’s 2017. One would think that, in all our modernity, the evils of racism, bigotry, and prejudice would have been wiped out by now. The Civil Rights Movement took place more than half a century ago. How can it be, 50 years later, we’re still dealing with hate?
It’s not because we haven’t tried. Law after law has been passed. Court case after court case has been fought. People of all races and creeds have been elected to some of the highest positions our political system offers. Organizations at home and abroad fight for social justice on a daily basis and they’ve been doing so for decades. Yet, evil remains.
To me, this is due to a few simple truths. Firstly, evil is real. It’s always been real. And it always will be. The Bible, the world’s most-read and most-respected book of all time, overwhelmingly supports this.
Ephesians 6:12 states, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
Regardless of your religious persuasion, it’s hard to argue that evil doesn’t exist. Whether you believe morality to be a standard derived from our Creator or a mere social construct, we see evidence for its existence everywhere. Just look at all the good churches and charities do each year. On the flip side, look at all the evil that is committed each and every day all over the world. It’s a seemingly endless battle.
In this fight, however, the enemy needs to recognized. How is it possible to fight an opponent that isn’t identified properly? Short answer: it’s not. In the war of good and evil, the enemy is clearly, well, evil. And that would mean the antidote is good.
Good. Not emotions, not “thoughts,” not “vibes.” A moral problem requires a moral solution.
Why is it then, that so many in society today fail to recognize this? You may be thinking, “What do you mean? Clearly I can identify that society has problems.” I’m sure you can. However, the root cause of these problems needs to be addressed with an ultimate solution.
I’ll put it bluntly. Western culture has never been so secular. I need not bore you with the evidence for this. One only needs to look around to see this fact. Church attendance is on the decline. In fact, every year in America, more than 4,000 churches close their doors. While the vast majority of Americans profess that they are Christians, less than half of us actually live that out by attending church regularly. In some states, church attendance is as low as 17 percent. Not a good statistic.
Am I saying that merely attending church is the solution to hate and evil in this country? Not entirely. But it would be a start! I think Americans would do well to turn to God during turbulent times. Instead, we see the opposite. More and more people are seeking to combat our country’s moral ills by pursuing government leaders, protest, outrage, or other secular “solutions.” This is largely ineffective.
The title of this post is “Bad Vibes.” Hopefully, by now, you can see the sardonic implication of that: Americans have never been in a worse place spiritually or morally. But there’s certainly no shortage of “vibes!”
These “good vibes” are even making their way onto our clothing:
How can it be, with all these “good vibes,” that our culture continues to rot? We’re not addressing the problem with the correct solution. Again, if the problem is evil, the solution is good.
But what is good? And what does it look like to use it to fight evil? Let’s once again see what the Word of God has to say.
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” – Romans 12:21
“To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.” – Proverbs 8:13
“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.” – Romans 12:9
“But test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22
“For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” – 1 Peter 3:12
“The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him.” – Nahum 1:7
Clearly, God is meant to be our solution for everything – including the immorality in this world. The Bible says that by seeking Him, we can overcome the enemy. It says nothing about “good vibes” or “positive thoughts” or anything of the sort. Those are ineffective, secular solutions. When it comes to love, sincerity is key. Love is not a slogan on a t-shirt or bumper sticker. It’s a character trait of God that we are supposed to take upon ourselves and hold in our hearts. We would all do well to remember this.
The United States is full of evil. That’s a fact. But we can overcome it. It’s as simple as looking to God for our answers and rejecting the insincere, unproductive efforts of secular culture.
Lose the “vibes.”
Give prayer a try.