WRIGHT WAY: This ever changing world
by WILLIAM WRIGHT
May 01, 2013 | 1642 views | 0 0 comments | 95 95 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The scene of this world is changing faster than many people expected, especially in the areas of legalizing marijuana, same-sex marriages, gun control and immigration reform.

According to a November 2012 online CNN report about marijuana legalization in two states, “Pro-pot groups cheered passage of referendums legalizing recreational marijuana in Colorado and Washington state as the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ in their 50-year campaign to make the drug legal nationwide.

“‘Yesterday’s elections have forever changed the playing field regarding cannabis prohibition laws in America and probably in large parts of the world, too,’ Allen St. Pierre, executive director of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, wrote in a celebratory blog.”

“The significance of these events cannot be overstated,” said NORML, in a news release. “Tonight, for the first time in history, two states have legalized and regulated the adult use and sale of cannabis.”

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper stated, “The voters have spoken and we have to respect their will. This is a complicated process, but we intend to follow through. That said, federal law still says marijuana is an illegal drug, so don’t break out the Cheetos or Goldfish too quickly.”

Same-sex marriage is now legally recognized in many jurisdictions in the United States. As of January 2013, nine states — Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, Vermont and Washington — as well as the District of Columbia and three Native American tribes — have legalized same-sex marriage. Canada, Argentina and Uruguay have followed and supporters are picking up momentum. According to a Pew Research Center poll conducted in March, 49 percent of Americans now favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally.

Although a number of lawmakers, including several advocates for gun rights, have agreed that it is time for the nation to take a closer look at its gun control laws, President Barack Obama summed it up by saying, “Today there is still genuine disagreement among well-meaning people about what steps we should take to reduce the epidemic of gun violence in this country.”

Then there is the challenge of drafting a new bill for comprehensive immigration reform that address the nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants and provide clear guidance on dealing with future newcomers wishing to become legal citizens amid concerns that more natural citizens will face unemployment in the future.

Like it or not, change is coming. Welcome it or resist it, but change is coming. Perhaps you want to voice your approval or disapproval about the direction the world is heading? That is your prerogative. According to 2Timothy 3:1-5, however, some changes are a sign of the times that we are living in what God’s Word calls “the last days” of a world of people who refuse to align themselves with the will of God.

How should this ever changing world affect true Christians? Jesus said at John 15:19, “If you had anything in common with the world, the world would love you as one of its own. But you don’t have anything in common with the world. I chose you from the world, and that’s why the world hates you.” — GOD’S WORD Translation.

If Christians are not supposed to have “anything in common with the world,” how do they strike a balance between being in the world and no part of the world in imitation of Christ?

History shows that in Jesus’ day, the Roman empire was not unlike the world today, only on a smaller scale. There was civil unrest, moral decline, revolts against the government, discrimination and poverty. Did Jesus try to change that world? Did he invest his time correcting social conflicts? At Luke 4:43 he told the people, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent.” — New King James Version.

By his faith and obedience to his heavenly Father, Jesus condemned the world. He quoted God's Word as the final authority on matters and left his followers a pattern to follow, according to 1Peter 2:21. What advice did he offer his followers when dealing with the world and each other? At Luke 6:37 Jesus said, “Do not judge others, and God will not judge you; do not condemn others, and God will not condemn you; forgive others, and God will forgive you.” — Good News Translation.

At 1Corinthians 5:12-13, Paul told Christians in authority, “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside.” — New International Version.

If God is to judge those outside the congregation, many feel it is not their place to express approval or disapproval of what the world does, but to imitate Jesus and focus on preaching about God’s kingdom in fulfillment of Matthew 24:14.

This is in harmony with Paul's advice at 1Thessalonians 4:11: "To make it your aim to live quietly and to mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we ordered you." — New World Translation.

Remaining neutral, they trust in God and put their faith in His promise at 1John 2:17: “The world and its cravings are passing away, but the person who does the will of God remains forever.” — Common English Bible.