Pastor Brian Homan’s Devotion for June 25, 2019

Our read­ing for Tues­day, June 25, 2019 is Acts 4:1–12.

The priests and the cap­tain of the tem­ple guard and the Sad­ducees came up to Peter and John while they were speak­ing to the peo­ple. 2 They were great­ly dis­turbed because the apos­tles were teach­ing the peo­ple and pro­claim­ing in Jesus the res­ur­rec­tion of the dead. 3 They seized Peter and John, and because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day. 4 But many who heard the mes­sage believed, and the num­ber of men grew to about five thou­sand. 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spir­it, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the peo­ple! 9 If we are being called to account today for an act of kind­ness shown to a crip­ple and are asked how he was healed, 10 then know this, you and all the peo­ple of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you cru­ci­fied but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11 He is “ ‘the stone you builders reject­ed, which has become the cap­stone.’  12 Sal­va­tion is found in no one else, for there is no oth­er name under heav­en giv­en to men by whom we must be saved.”  NIV

The cen­tral point of our pas­sage for me is the final verse, verse 12: “Sal­va­tion is found in no one else but Jesus; there is no oth­er per­son under heav­en through which we might find sal­va­tion than Jesus.” Too often though, I think that the major­i­ty of peo­ple who pro­fess they are Chris­tians speak and act hes­i­tant­ly as though they are unsure of this. Our sec­u­lar cul­ture pro­pos­es the way of human sal­va­tion is through human rea­son­ing with sci­ence and tech­nol­o­gy lead­ing the way. The only prob­lem is that human progress has raised as many moral prob­lems as solu­tions it has giv­en. Human rea­son­ing, edu­ca­tion, and psy­chol­o­gy have failed to resolve our human dilem­ma of our self-destruc­tive ten­den­cies.

Now tru­ly trans­par­ent so called pro­gres­sives rarely admit their prej­u­dice again reli­gion, Chris­t­ian or oth­er­wise, which they cred­it for the fail­ure of human rea­son­ing for sav­ing our world. Until reli­gion is erad­i­cat­ed except that of human sec­u­lar­ism (faith and wor­ship of human­i­ty) tech­no­log­i­cal progress toward a utopi­an world can­not be pos­si­ble. Reli­gion is the alba­tross around human­i­ties neck. Only the bold philoso­phers of our mod­ern age have dared to pro­pose open­ly the geno­cide of reli­gion though the idea seems to grow in pop­u­lar­i­ty.

The main­stream reli­gious cul­ture pro­motes there are or may be many ways to sal­va­tion. It too pro­motes human rea­son for the solu­tion to human­i­ties ills. The Bible is selec­tive­ly used to sup­port the val­ues and goals of sec­u­lar human­ism while the Bible’s author­i­ty is erod­ed to dis­miss the con­tent of the Bible that is deemed incon­ve­nient to the more sophis­ti­cat­ed and rea­son­able inter­pre­ta­tion of the scrip­tures. In the light of ris­ing rate of men­tal dys­func­tion, rela­tion­al col­lapse, and per­sist­ing vio­lence (as well as oth­er numer­ous and obvi­ous social symp­toms of soci­etal dys­func­tion) it is tru­ly against good human rea­son­ing to blame humanity’s ills on reli­gion.

The prob­lem is with­in human­i­ty itself. Our capac­i­ty for healthy rea­son­ing is cor­rupt­ed as is our emo­tions. As I helped feed my own grand­chil­dren this morn­ing I observed my inno­cents occa­sion­al crys. When rea­soned with they respond­ed sim­ply “because I want to.” So we phys­i­cal­ly and more capa­ble adult chil­dren cry out to God with lit­tle emo­tion­al self-con­trol also, say­ing, “Because I want too.” By nature we are self-cen­tered and down­right self­ish. I know we want to hear some­thing uplift­ing and pos­i­tive but that only comes when we hear the gospel (good news) of Jesus.

The Bible expos­es humanity’s self-destruc­tive addic­tion and cor­rupt­ed capac­i­ty for rea­son. Knowl­edge is not rea­son and wis­dom is the capac­i­ty to use knowl­edge to bless the world (Albert Ein­stein). Jesus remains THE WAY to true under­stand­ing of self and the world, and the only per­son who can lead us from self-destruc­tion to sal­va­tion. Oth­er per­sons may sug­gest thoughts that com­ple­ment the prin­ci­ples of Christ, but only Jesus presents the whole pack­age along with the pow­er to trans­form the human heart and mind that is required to “save” us from our­selves.

The Lib­er­al bias of reli­gious thought attempts to free human­i­ty from account­abil­i­ty to any­thing or any­one but our own cor­rupt­ed capac­i­ty for rea­son. The so called Pro­gres­sive path seeks to find its own human defined path with­out God which will lead to tech­no­log­i­cal Armaged­don for the greater the tech­no­log­i­cal progress with­out the con­straint of God’s absolutes to guide us the greater our capac­i­ty to destroy human­i­ty and the world. 

Like Peter and John we must take our stand as fol­low­ers of Jesus Christ to pro­fess his name and val­ues as the only rea­son­able hope for the sal­va­tion of human­i­ty. We will be called into ques­tion and ridiculed, and our cul­ture will “progress” in its resent­ment and attempts to elim­i­nate the threat of faith in Christ. We will ulti­mate­ly pre­vail how­ev­er, as before we self-destruct Christ shall return to restore and reign. While we may have lim­it­ed impact on the direc­tion of the world we can pro­vide the way for each indi­vid­ual to be saved from per­son­al destruc­tion. Faith in Christ is the cap­stone, the crown­ing achieve­ment to God’s plan for human­i­ty and the sure foun­da­tion to a healthy and pro­duc­tive life as God intend­ed for us.

Bless­ings as you stand firm in Jesus!

Dr. Bri­an Homan