She strikes the matches to light her cigarette just as my daughter turns round the corner of our hallway on her way to the car. I had passed her earlier on as usual. I was only looking back to be sure that my daughter was following behind. Two issues struck me instantly. Inside her own apartment, her son awaits her. So, she is apparently being protecting her son from the secondary smoke or the smoking habit. Here comes my own daughter in full glare of everything that she was protecting her son from. My daughter and her son are about the same age, they and attend the same school. Every morning, it’s the same scene.
Then, a second question struck me. Suppose she went to a church like mine and the pastor sends a message that the next three days should be observed in fasting and prayers for whatever purpose. How would this lady handle that? If I were to use the contact to preach to her, would she actually be willing to hear anything that discourages her from smoking? The looks on her face sees nothing wrong with what she was doing. Maybe, for all she cared this was just the equivalent of an early morning coffee for others. The son may be too young to escape the protection today but we can be reasonably sure that he is unlikely to see anything wrong with smoking. At least, it’s going to be difficult for her as the primary influencer of her son’s upbringing to explain that.
What is Christianity got to do with it?
Everything, I would say. It is the virtue of youth and youthful to lean towards the scientific method, that is, what makes common sense. It does not have to be proved literally like in science but at least appear to make sense. Therefore, when Satan puts spanner in the works to cast aspersions on Christian culture, the sensible begin to query traditional beliefs. When they do not seem to be getting a good answer it is not impossible to be swayed by appearances of behaviors that cannot be directly called sin because we cannot prove that anyone has been offended. For instance, this single mother was smoking her cigarette in her own house not disturbing others. How could anyone take offense with that? This is the departure point, the point that gets people out of even bothering to go to church.
Yet, Christianity is not scientific. It is a faith issue. You either believe or you do not believe what points have been made for your consideration. So simple! If we go back to the example about fasting, Christians know that fasting builds on the spiritual, the Holy Ghost realm of operations. For Christians, this should be a constant attribute in their lifestyles. And it grows to show evidence of another type of fire, a spiritual ability to pray, to heal the sick, to preach the gospel and have mercy. At all times, the fire of The Holy Ghost is willing to intervene. This fire is different from the fire of cigarette smoke that expires. Once the cigarette smoke burns out, the fire is out and after a few hours, man must recharge with a cigarette pull that continues the un-ending cycle of the insatiate.
Why Am I Worried?
A friend just asked me to show him the biblical quotation to suggest that ‘protection by the blood of Jesus Christ’ is a genuine claim. With my age and status, that is easy. For a young man not well grounded in the word of God, that may be a distraction that may take him years to answer and can possibly change his faith. My friend then went on to ask if I have ever thought the cross itself could be a fluke? Enough questions to ponder in a day for one who is not well grounded. In fact, if I was not sure about my sanctification experience, I could have begun to listen to this distractor who had scriptural references from many so-called historical authorities. You must be sanctified by the blood of Jesus Christ to remove doubt about the power in the saving grace of Jesus Christ (John 17:17).
It may be true that the demographics of the Church members are changing. The Church remains as organic as ever. Even, management science tells me that this is good. Whatever was called orthodoxy or mainstream may change because of the attitudes, worship methods and social movements, yet, the total numbers of professing Christians continues to grow. In every denomination, you will find people of all ages including the youth. Those young people have their own convictions. They may have doubts but go to church mainly of their own volition. For whatever reason that they voluntarily show up in church, the suggestion is that they have some touch of the Holy Spirit attracting them. They simply refused to be swayed by trends and fashion. It does not mean that all their questions have been answered.
Political Correctness versus Eternal Damnation
It may be politically correct to wonder why the single mother finds herself in that situation. What morals supported her or misguided birth herself and the father of her son into splitting from God’s union or their man-made union? Should the fact that sexual transformation through surgical sex reassignment be accepted in Pentecostal type churches? After all, everyone is supposed to have the freedom to do what they like with their bodies. Yet, for Christians what is politically right or democratic may not be spiritually correct. There is no Christian scripture to justify abortion. There is no spiritual correctness to justify the celebration of evil as mermaids and vampires in children’s movies on the grounds of making nonsense of evil. Evil should be called evil and cannot be destroyed by another evil.
This is why we all need the fire of The Holy Ghost to discern and decipher these grandiose deceptions and secure our eternity (Acts 2:17-21). When Jesus was leaving He promised us power to continue the mission. That power came in the form of fire seen physically on the heads of the obedient apostles, and it continues to push the gospel forwards 2000 plus years later.