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IN TOUCH WITH GOD    by Edward Heppenstall

Personal Responsibility August 13


Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom. Gen. 13:12.

This Biblical phrase has an ominous ring about it in light of what happened later.

The loss of one's wife and sons, as Lot suffered, does not necessarily follow because we live in the city. We cannot isolate ourselves and live apart from the world. As Christ's ambassadors we cannot deny ourselves some intercourse with the worldly and the ungodly. But the peril arises when we absorb the spirit of Sodom, when we come to prefer economic advantages to moral and spiritual values, when we become engrossed with the pleasures of the world and catch the spirit of it, when we find more meaning to life in association with Sodom than with Jesus Christ. Then we have pitched our tent toward Sodom. When the desire comes to rise in the world, to allow ourselves to he compromised by evil influences, then we dwell too near the tents of wickedness.

The word secularism embraces all of these factors. Secularism is the domination of temporal things. It does not necessarily deny the Christian faith. It requires that we live indifferently to it, that we spend our lives under some dominating interest other than faith in, and allegiance to, God.

Ours is a secular and materialistic age. Many fail to realize what this secular philosophy is doing to us. In an affluent society, people need a lot of things and want a lot more. The well-being of our families and particularly of our children is at stake. This lopsided preoccupation with things, the submissive deference we give to those who have money, the lengths to which people will go and the sacrifice of integrity they will make in order to get money, all this is destroying family life and character.

Certainly we may acquire wealth and riches and enjoy them as Christians. But we must not make materialistic gains at the expense of our commitment to God and to our family. One has only to remember Lot's choice and the sad tragedy of his family. If you lose your children, what do you have left? Fit them for the Christian life now and for eternity. Then you will have everything.

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