When you leave God out of the picture…

Meredith Flynn —  September 30, 2013

pull quote_Kinder13HEARTLAND | Justin Kinder

On January 29, 2007, at about 10:30 at night, our daughter, Melody Anne Kinder, was born into this world. She is truly a miracle and a precious gift from God. Melody changed our lives completely and from the very start, as her parents, we wanted to raise her right. We wanted her to know right from wrong and to be equipped to handle all of the moral and ethical situations she will eventually face as she grows up in this world.

It didn’t take long for these teachable moments to arrive on the scene. Melody is now six years old and we have taught her why it is wrong to lie, cheat, steal, covet, and to throw temper tantrums, just to name a few. We have taught her to tell the truth always, to be loving to all people, and most of all to love God and to put Him first. We have modeled our faith in God in front of her all of her life.

Everything that we have taught her about right and wrong and about God has come straight from the Bible. It is our moral compass in this dark and sinful world that we live in.

When you boil things down and really look at life closely, you will see that there are essentially two opposing worldviews that exist in our culture – one sees God as creator, sustainer, and as the sovereign ruler of everything and the other leaves God entirely out of the picture. The first view is obviously the Christian worldview that we as Christians embrace and the second is what this sinful world embraces.

When you leave God out of the picture, life loses its meaning. Morals are defined by what feels right, feels good, and by what the majority says is okay to do.  But just because it feels good and the majority of people say that a particular sin is okay, doesn’t make it okay. We can’t trust ourselves to know what is right and wrong because our sinful hearts will only lead us astray.

I guess it should come as no surprise then the moral decline and failure that we see in our culture. When you leave God out of the picture, the downward spiral of sin and the pushing of the envelope in what is viewed as acceptable in our society only gets worse.  A prime example of this happened very recently. Miley Cyrus, who for the longest time was known as the good girl, Hannah Montana, recently performed a provocative dance routine on MTV. Our culture responded in two ways: You either were appalled by her dance or you thought it was a great performance.

There is clearly a moral dichotomy at work here.

As a parent of a young girl, my heart goes out to Miley Cyrus and also to all the girls who look up to her. I want them to understand that what she did on that stage was wrong, and not because I said so, but because God and His Word said so. Miley Cyrus is missing that moral compass in her life – Jesus Christ – and I pray that someday she will find Him.  As for my own daughter, I will continue to pray for her and continue to teach her God’s values and precepts that are found in His Word.

The Psalmist said in Psalm 119:11, “I have stored up your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (ESV)  And in Psalm 119:105 it says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” I want my daughter to hide God’s Word in her heart so that when she is older and sees the world pushing the envelope of sin even further, she will know how to stand for God and for what is right.

Meredith Flynn

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Meredith is managing editor of the Illinois Baptist newspaper.