As most of you know, I love to write letters to the editors of the newspapers, occasionally magazines, on subjects that I believe need clarification. Over the years I have learned that the people who read my letters are truly, concerned citizens, and I try to make my comments increase their efforts. I still recall the early days of our nation when there were newspapers in the major cities, but the people living in the outskirts or the country had to rely on the pamphlets that were being prepared by people with a primary interest and that was to inform the populace.
Nowadays, we have the printed media everywhere. The other day I noticed that a "grocery" flyer in our community had space for opinions on the service they had been receiving in one of the stores. That is a great idea because it is not the lack of opinions, but the fact that far too many of the opinions are being expressed by people who are merely relating the opinions of others.
I was thinking about this last night when I tuned into Andy Stanley's video in NBC, following Saturday Night Live. That means it has to be a re-run as the program is definitely directed to youngsters. I have to doubt that there are many in that age waiting up until past midnight to hear a Pastor talk.
And you might note that Andy is the son of a rather well known Pastor in the Atlanta area.
Both talk fast and I often have a difficult time keeping up with Andy's pace. But he is always "right on the money" in my opinion in dealing with the youth in his audience. Last night, he seemed to be dealing with pre-teens, but as I listened, I realized that the lesson was applicable to all ages.
I don't know if you have noticed but we are all walking around with labels. I am, for example, a senior citizen, a veteran, a college graduate, a Democrat, supposedly a Southern as that is where I live, and a PinTA to some of the people who disagree with my opinions. (PinTA in case you hadn't heard, is a pain in the - you know where!) And Google, FaceBook, Twitter and others in the "social soup" that I have yet to hear of, are earning billions in earned revenue by sharing what they know about you, and me, and yes, you - the others who tend to deny this. I am not really opposed to this as their earnings are what we like to call the "economy" and as the economy goes, so goes our prosperity.
Back to the younger, Pastor Stanley. In my opinion, he is creating a real service for the "body of Christ" in general by dealing with thoughts that escaped me in my tender years. For example, last night he asked the question, "Who has the right to label?" His answer: manufacturers of product and services, owners and purchasers. Think about it. If you can add to the list, let me know.
Once he had discussed that information fully, he turned to this question: "Who has the right to label you?" His answer: ..."only you and God". "Just beware", he cautioned his audience, "of the labels you put on yourself," For example, 'hot', 'popular', 'attractive', and others that merely are tentative opinions.
I could think of others I had heard my teen aged friends use, but I did not want them to think that I was only expressing the views of an "old timer".
The foundation of his talk came from Romans 12:1-2 "I urge you - all of you, therefore, by the mercies of God, to present yourselves as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship, And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect."
We seem to live in a world where there are Christians everywhere, but then, so often, there are those labels that are applicable to many among us. We really do need to take advantage of the Bibles that are available everywhere and then, not just listen to others, but take them seriously. Otherwise, beware of the labels