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The Culture Wars Are Ancient History

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Today’s fights over the religion in the public square are replays of fights from two thousand years ago.

In The Idea of a Christian Society (1939), T. S. Eliot saw a conflict between Christianity and paganism shaping the 20th century. Steven D. Smith’s Pagans and Christians in the City applies Eliot’s map to today’s culture wars, especially in the United States.

It’s common to portray the culture war as a battle between people who favor a public role for religion and people who want to keep religion locked securely in the private realm. Smith argues, however, that our frameworks and language obscure a deeper reality: The real fight isn’t between religion and secularism, but between two kinds of religion. His book makes the case that today’s culture war shares much in common with the culture war that rocked ancient Rome.

The Romans were pragmatic and worldly, yet they believed their greatest strength was devotion to the empire’s gods. This was evident in public rituals, architecture, the role of divination, and the military. Rome, in short, was a “city of the gods.”

The paganism of Rome treated the world itself as sacred. But Christianity introduced a radically different perspective. Christians—while affirming the world’s goodness—located the sacred in another world altogether. In other words, paganism was an immanent form of religiosity, while Christianity embraced the transcendent.

Take, for instance, their competing approaches toward sexuality. For the Romans, sex provided pleasure and progeny, but they also viewed it as a divine imperative that shared in the energy of the universe. (Some pagan religious festivals included sex shows.) Christians did not claim that sex and reproduction were wrong, though Augustine and others insisted that sexual desire in …

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GOD DOES NOT REWARD FALSE CHARITY – Matthew

Honest Charity Deserves Good Reward

It is good to be good! When we act in good faith, people are blessed, and God is glorified.

No doubt that God sees our charity efforts. He is surely keeping the record, and he will reward them in due time.

God and his angels rejoice when someone goes out of his way to bless his fellow human being, but not only are heavenly hosts celebrating the good deed, but God keeps the record; he will hands down his good reward for the effort.

Since an act of charity is honorable in the sight of the Lord, Christians are encouraged to engage in it.

Charity Worker, Check Your Motive

Not all charity works are visible to others, but some can’t really be kept secret from the public eyes. In such a situation, people may acknowledge and shower praises on the worker. However, the charity worker must take caution and not get carried away with the praises he receives.

A person who does a thing to receive human praise has gotten all he deserves. He may not necessarily receive God’s reward afterward since he’s all out seeking human’s approval and praises.

Seek God’s Endorsement, not a human endorsement! #endorse

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As children of God, our efforts must not focus on receiving human’s praises but must focus on glorifying God.

When selfishness is not the driving motive, the result of our efforts will be so praise-worthy in the presence of God.

Meanwhile, besides any human’s praises and acknowledgment, God knows how best to reward our righteous services that focus on helping humanity and glorifying the name of God.

God will reciprocate our true efforts with riches and glory in his kingdom. He will also bless us on earth.

“Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you; they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly. (Matthew 6:2-4).

God’s Reward Awaits Your True Services

God is an honest deity; he also respects people who share the same attribute. True worshipers score a high mark with God, but people’s pleasers won’t go far!

As a child of God, you should evaluate your motive in any matter.

Ask yourself, “Why am I doing what I’m doing: Am I doing it to receive human’s praises, or I’m doing it to receive God’s praises?”

Self-seeking praise may go well with humans, but it doesn’t go well with God. Let your efforts be motivated by love; let your action glorify God! 

Allow God to Guide Your Actions Human flesh is in enmity with God – Flesh will encourage you to go in the way of human satisfaction, which means you will have to seek human praises to meet the demand. The flesh will motivate you to parade your charity, but the Holy Spirit of God can help you overcome that challenge. Those who are led by the Spirit are the children of God! Ask God to give you the strength and power not to be selfish nor seek

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