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It is time we listen to God, writes Ivan Grindlay.
The late Billy Graham recalls boyhood days when radio was coming of age. Family gathered around the homemade set, turning the tuning dial. Often the only noise was static, but by persisting, they eventually heard a voice loud and clear.
Does God speak to us? Very much so! The problem is our incapacity to hear Him.
He speaks in creation, in circumstances and through written revelation, the Bible.
When Jesus entered our world 2000 years ago, his teaching brought mixed reactions: some listened, some believed, and others conspired against Him because his words didn't fit their cultural agenda. They didn't grasp the meaning of his parables ("earthly stories with a heavenly meaning").
Secrets of the kingdom of God were for needy hearts open to divine truth.
The "spirit of the age" in which we live is infected by evil and we unwittingly play along to its dictates, unaware of its deceptive power. Easily influenced by "bandwagon" public opinion (social media), we are blinded by Satan's kingdom of darkness, characterised by lies and deception (see John 8:42-45).
For those seeking truth, God has been revealing. His eternal plan since time began.
The Bible says: "... what may be known about God is plain to [us] because God has made it plain. For since the creation of the world, God's invisible qualities - His eternal power and divine nature - are clearly seen, being understood from what he has made, so that we are without excuse" (Romans 1:19-20; cf. Ecclesiastes 3:11b).
The "wisdom" of this age, taught insidiously in our learning institutions, is opposed to divine revelation, much like David Attenborough.
Although exposed to evidence of God's creative genius daily, closed and rebellious minds refuse to concede.
We deny weekly Bible-in-Schools teaching where students might learn about their origins and destiny.
Tertiary students learn not to question tutors for fear of being ridiculed and being "marked down".
This tangled web of deception perpetuated by academics playing follow-the-leader glorifies the esteemed institution at the cost of honest and transparent debate.
Instead, our youth are brainwashed, showing increasing propensity to rebel and flout the law by striking, protesting and marching for whatever is fashionable - so discontentment simmers.
Now "saving the planet" victimises farmers, reduces job opportunities, shatters regional economies and exacts extra taxes for carbon emissions.
Why not trust the Creator to sustain His amazing world, rather than being duped by "doom brigaders" convinced they can save the planet. It is producing an insecure generation with no spiritual foundations who find that living is not a good option.
Those who choose to oppose the sovereign wisdom of God, preferring to obsess over speculative presuppositions, gullibly accept any popular alternative to divine truth and reality.
The Bible warns: "The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of [those] who suppress the truth by their wickedness" (Romans 1:18) .
You may choose to deny or suppress truth, but truth remains and will ultimately rise up and condemn you.
Speculative theory taught as fact will eventually be exposed, unable to hold up under scrutiny. The perpetrators, lacking discernment, grasp at any plausible alternative.
So what are the options?
Acknowledge the reality of God evident in our physical world, or struggle to make sense of "His power and divine nature" that can bring joyous change.
To persistently ignore God's revelation in creation will determine the outcome (v28-32). God will accept our choices, "giving us over" (abandoning us) to our natural instincts - the sinful pursuits of depraved minds doing what should not be done. Removing His hand from our lives, we are left to self-destruct while pursuing fiendish ends.
It is in the nature of truth to not always be palatable, so we bury our heads in the sand and avoid the facts (John 14:6).
Our suicide rate in New Zealand suggests many have lost hope. Without an anchor when the foundations fail, we become restless and anxious.
Perhaps Israel Folau's efforts to share truth was an act of love.
Love that avoids the truth is not love - it's deception!
Jesus has an answer, a way out of the universal human dilemma. "Come unto Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28).
- Ivan Grindlay is a member of `The Gathering', Dunedin