Wednesday, June 17, 2015

June 18, 2015

In 1993, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D., NY) coined the phrase "defining deviancy down". Moynihan's thesis was that, as a society, America has been "re-defining deviancy" so as to exempt conduct previously stigmatized, and quietly raising the "normal" level for behavior that was abnormal by previous standards.

It's not often I agree with someone from the Democratic Party, but in this case I am in full agreement with the Senator! It has been over 20 years since he made this perceptive commentary on American culture and the past two decades have added credibility to his statement.

Nowadays we are told the degradation of our culture is the "new normal" and we'd better adjust to it!

I have no intention of adjusting to it. I refuse to participate in the further deconstruction of our culture. I will not adjust to the "new normal". I have dedicated the rest of my life to restoring the "old normal". That is one reason I have chosen to spend the Summer preaching a series on I Corinthians 13:4-8. Like the Apostle Paul, I want this to be the norm for our culture beginning with the people of God:

"Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, and it is not proud. Love is not rude, is not selfish, and does not get upset with others. Love does not count up wrongs that have been done. Love takes no pleasure in evil but rejoices over the truth. Love patiently accepts all things. It always trusts, always hopes, and always endures. Love never ends."

Paul also described "old normal" like this in another letter:

But the Spirit produces the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. There is no law that says these things are wrong. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their own sinful selves. They have given up their old selfish feelings and the evil things they wanted to do. We get our new life from the Spirit, so we should follow the Spirit. We must not be proud or make trouble with each other or be jealous of each other.

This “old normal” is what God calls us to when we commit to becoming fully devoted followers of Christ. It is the normal result of dying to your selfish will and receiving the fullness of God’s Holy Spirit. Being filled with the Spirit and walking in the Spirit is the prescribed normal for His people. It is our only hope for confronting and defeating the “new normal”.

I call you to join me in “defining decency up” and “reconstructing” our culture. I challenge you to be Spirit-filled and walk in the Holy Spirit.

If you refuse to be part of the solution you will remain part of the problem.