Choosing a Perspective

There are varied definitions of ‘perspective’ but they all center on the way in which one views events or situations relative to each other or to a base. This subject was brought to the forefront recently when president Obama’s former chief of staff contended that Fox News Channel was not really a news organization but was rather an organization that offered a specific perspective on current events. In this case Fox was described as an organization that focused on the conservative view point. Of course there are other ‘news agencies’ that focus on a more liberal perspective. It is very interesting to listen to Fox and MSNBC discuss the same topics such as the president’s effectiveness, climate change, health care, etc.

It is widely accepted that everyone has a perspective on life and death and has considered such issues as the meaning of life and whether death really means the end of it all. One’s overall perspective will also define how they interpret current events in concert with their existing circumstances.

Inasmuch as nearly 8 out of 10 Americans claim to be Christians, let’s examine the Christian perspective and see how that viewpoint defines one’s interpretation of events.

Christians definitely believe there is life after death and a person can freely choose their own final destiny. The Bible also clearly outlines the choices necessary to achieve the destiny of one’s desire.

The Bible begins with Adam and Eve being given a simple instruction in the Garden of Eden and the consequences of not following that instruction. The consequence of disobedience was death, not only physical death, but also spiritual death or eternal separation from the Creator. Eternal separation from God is commonly referred to as ‘Hell’ which ultimately is the everlasting Lake of Fire. The Bible goes on to state that everyone has disobeyed God’s instructions and is incapable of reversing their own destiny of eternal separation from God and must; therefore, rely on God’s provision for reversing the consequences of their choice to disobey. Let’s face it, man had a tremendous dilemma. Throughout the Bible God exhibits extreme patience with man and let’s him continually fail to prove to himself that he must ultimately rely on God’s provision and do it His way. The ultimate outcome for the earth and its inhabitants is clearly outlined in the Bible but each individual person may choose their part in that outcome.

Consider back at the time of Moses.

“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice…but if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them, I announce to you today that you shall surely perish…” Deuteronomy 30:15-19

Consider next the words of Solomon as he personifies wisdom.

“Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the LORD, they would have none of my counsel and despised my every rebuke. Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way; and be filled to the full with their own fancies.” Proverbs 1:29-31

Regretfully, the Bible reveals that many will reject God’s wisdom and provision for life and will instead rely on their own wisdom and choose to do it ‘their way.’

“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” Proverbs 14:12

Therefore, even though the end has already been written, man has the free will to choose his eternal destiny as well as the freedom to choose his actions as his life progresses. Let it be clearly stated that God’s sovereign election and predestination as described in the Bible are in perfect harmony with mans’ freedom to choose.

One would think that a Christian nation would legislate and govern according to scriptural teachings. Below are several current challenges and initiatives that reveal conflict with that premise.

• Attempting to force democracy on other nations and then align them into coalitions

• Ignoring the Ten Commandments in favor of contemporary ideologies

• Pursuing political correctness instead of Biblical truths

• Granting authority to government not recognized in the Bible such as the redistribution of wealth via taxation or ‘entitlement’ programs

• Allowing any anti-Christian and/or anti-western ideology to gain footholds in America

• Approving flagrant anti-Christian legislation such as Roe v. Wade

• Favoring a Palestinian state within Israel’s borders

The above is puzzling inasmuch as the end has already been written and our handling of contemporary issues is in many instances counter-Biblical, but then again, we have the freedom of choice.

Isn’t it wonderful to live in a free country where each individual can choose his/her own personal perspective and view life accordingly? One may choose varying perspectives including Christianity or fatalism, atheism, agnosticism, monotheism, polytheism, progressivism, secularism, liberalism, conservatism, Islamism, or whatever ism they desire and determine their own meaning of events and circumstances. Wouldn’t it be boring if everyone had the same perspective?

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