The Answers Ain’t Blowin’ In The Wind

Bob Dylan wrote the mother of all protest songs in the sixties, asking when the real questions of the times were going to be answered.   “Blowin’ In The Wind” has been recorded a jillion times and is yet played today.  It is a very clever song that joins that rare genre of having a generational appeal, and though there have been several explanations as to it’s meaning, it seems clear that Dylan does not expect answers to be forthcoming.  In other words the answers really are “Blowin’ in the Wind,” so who knows.

In the cultural climate of current times, answers are hard to come by.  There was a time when most things were cut and dried.  Lying was wrong; stealing was wrong; killing unborn babies was wrong; being a mooch was wrong; sodomy was wrong, and a host of other behaviors were just plain wrong.  Why even the pagans pretty much honored social mores that were simply considered to be the way people lived their lives.  The difference between then and now, is not that people suddenly started to sin, it’s just that back then no one was proud of it, and the shadows harbored the worst ones.  Additionally, there did exist a Christian culture that moderated societal behavior.

Not so today.  There are no rules, even for polite society.  Shoot, there aren’t even many rules for churches.  I surf the religious channels some on early Sunday morning since I’m up everyday at least by 5:00 a.m.  I found a new broadcast pastored by a Dr. (somebody) that caught my attention; maybe because he wore a tie.  I tuned in for several Sunday’s, that is until he used the word “freakin’” in his sermon.  Now, there’s no mystery about for which this word is a substitute, so I lost interest in Dr. nobody.  I have a question.  Why is there such a need to conform?  For Christians that is, I understand the need for non-Christians.

There are a myriad of examples where the church has begun to adapt itself to the cultural fads so as to appear accepting and non-judgmental.  The idea is to be relevant, and thereby attract sinners who increasingly are not challenged about their sin, but offered grace anyway.  The biggest battle of the millennia is not passing fads, rather it has to do with same sex marriage and homosexuality.  High profile ministries and preachers are now questioning whether or not God really disapproves of same sex marriage and sodomy.  I really believe that the equivocating is not out of concern for being fair, loving, accepting, or whatever, but rather the fear of losing jobs, money, support, ministries and dealing with lawsuits and personal attacks.

Well, my friend, the tsunami is coming.  The day may be closer than we think when Christians will have to stand up and be counted.  At issue is the truth of the ages.  Is the Bible in fact the true Word of God or not?  Have our lives been transformed by the power of God or not?  Both of these questions are inextricably intertwined.  I have long been of the notion that the best thing to do is say, “Bring it on.”  We never know whether or not when the time comes we will have the courage to do the right thing.  I like to think my constitution and faith is such that I will answer the call, not only in natural circumstances, but also most importantly, to be a witness for Christ Jesus regardless of the circumstances because He gives the absolute assurance of being with us when the time comes.

With all respect to Bob Dylan, the answers “ain’t blowin’ in the wind.”  Cultural answers of the time are easy to come by, but the critical answers of the ages are unchanging, except that is, unless one accepts the idea that absolutes do not exist.   Ephesians 4:11ff, gives a powerful explanation of the functioning of the church by spiritual gifts given by Christ.  The purpose is to reach unity of faith and knowledge of the Son of God, in the Body of Christ, “and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (13b).  And in so doing, “we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching…” (14a)

One would think that in two thousand years, the faith that “was once for all entrusted to the saints” (Jude 1:3) would be once and for all settled, and it certainly is.  But that doesn’t stop the church from chasing after the latest ecclesiastical fad.  Those in Christ should be like the strong oak tree standing strong against the fiercest gales of attack by Satan often dressed as an angel of light.  Christ is everything we need, and the Word of God reveals all we need to know.  Would that we not be “blown here and there by every wind of teaching…” For the world, the answers may be forever blowin’ in the wind, but for the redeemed, “the real answers ain’t blowin’ in the wind.”








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