By the World
Off The Wall, December 25 2009

As you may remember, last week, I gave mention of some excerpts of a homily Reverend Edmond Kline gave at the funeral Mass of seventeen year-old Amy Sigel who died of cancer, and how her faith helped her see the true light of Jesus Christ.

Today, I also want to bring to your attention a message a priest conveyed in his homily that I happen to feel raised a few eyebrows of the parishioners sitting in the congregation.

The Greater Latrobe leader of his flock told his listening audience, “We have reached a period in time when people are succumbing to the evangelization of the world, rather than that of the Holy Bible.”

Just lay down the paper for a moment and fully comprehend what this man of the cloth is conveying. He went on to give some examples.

“People are being swallowed up by what they see on television, watch at the movies or on DVDs or what is broadcasted over the radio. They are soaking it all in, believing that if the world says it is OK to do this or do that, it must be acceptable.”

Are you beginning to sense just what is taking place here? We, who call ourselves Christians, who allegedly live by the Holy Bible, look up to and know the standards by which we have to live. We are God’s people dedicated to His service. And yet, we are told, the ways of the world are taking over and getting the best of us? How does that make you feel?

Just the other day, someone came up to me and in a short amount of time told me, “Do you know that in a few years, Christianity will become a minority?” “Why?” I had to respond. Could it be that the ways of the world are more important to the flesh, than our faith to the dedication to the Spirit?

Let’s jump back a number of paragraphs and pick apart what really is causing friends, and perhaps family, to be pulled into a mass media plot to steer people away from kingdom-type living.

I used to watch television quite a bit. But after a while, I found less clothing on women, in particular, and found that to be unacceptable. Then I noted a degradation of morals as a whole following suit. Early on, I believe it started during the soap opera programming, then spread to sit-coms, and late night television viewing.

Having given up television viewing a number of months ago, I have to say that what I saw was more than I wanted to see, so hitting the “off” button wasn’t a sacrifice for me. I knew what I was doing was better for my spiritual life, and that was all that mattered.

I haven’t been to a movie for ages or even rented DVDs. The reason – I’m afraid I’ll be exposed to profanity, or someone be attired inappropriately. I won’t go for that, plain and simple. The way to live for Christ is on a path that is straight and narrow, and that is the avenue I wish to choose.

And need I say anything about the music that the younger generation thinks is so great. All one has to do is listen to the words. Sex, violence and drugs are promoted as being the “thing” to do if one wishes to be accepted. Any Christian following that path is doing so by label only – not Christ-like, but one who wants to be known as one in disguise.

How then must we as the followers of God’s Word act as to counter-act that statement that was so truly made by the local priest. If we are buying into the evangelization of the world, then one very important step has to be realized.

Just like the alcoholic, we have to understand that we have hit bottom and we are guilty of walking away from the Lord. In so doing, we must confess our sinfulness to Him. Second, we have to arm ourselves with God’s Word. And third, we must move forward, working on strengthening our faith so we may not only enrich our lives, but reflect the love of Christ to others. Exceeding our comfort zone for His name’s sake must be our goal. Forget the world. There’s nothing there for us. Our hope is in the name of the Lord.

Should we allow the world to draw us away from that which is truth? Think about that.

May each of you have a very blessed Christmas .

- Paul J. Volkmann
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