Thursday, December 11, 2014

A Clear Trumpet Sound

In the past two decades there has developed an increasing interest in the subject of aging and spirituality. That topic has emerged to the center of attention by elder specific service providers and publications and in the field of academic gerontology. It is appropriately recognized that people are multi-faceted in essence; beyond the physiological, there is the emotional, the psychological, and the spiritual.

The stated mission in our residential facility for the elderly is to minister to the entire person. We recognize that people have spiritual needs as well as physical and emotional needs. So I am especially interested in the concentrated attention this subject is receiving. As good as that sounds though, it raises some concerns.

In most disciplines of human study, there are certain bodies of truth that are generally accepted by mainstream scientists and practitioners. We know what is healthy and what is not, and we know what is normal and what is problematic.

So it seems reasonable to assume that there must be some truth or absolutes in spiritual matters also. The questions must be answered, “Does God exist?” and if so, “Has He absolutely and authoritatively revealed truth?”

Answers to those questions would certainly impact the way we address spiritual needs. Apart from God, treatment of the spiritual being remains very subjective and experiential. There is no foundation in truth. We are left to flounder within ourselves in search of personal truth that can only be validated by our feelings. That results in all sorts of subconscious, unconscious, and intuitive activity. The goal becomes self-realization or self-actualization (whatever that means). Meditation is focused on inner voices (the spirit within). Faith is thought to be virtuous or even therapeutic but it has no real object. Each individual’s personal experience is legitimized. Everybody is right; nobody is wrong. No wonder people are confused.

The Apostle Paul warns us in I Corinthians chapter 14. When it comes to spiritual matters, we are to speak in words that make sense. What value is there in words that no one understands? In verse 8 he asks, If a trumpet call isn’t clear, how would you know to get ready for battle? He concludes by challenging God’s people to be clear in speaking forth God’s Word so that when others hear, they will know that they are sinners and will bow down to God with understanding.

One of our desires when dealing with our elderly residents is that we give a clear sound in matters of spirituality. Do you ever question the meaning of life or wonder how to get to heaven? Do you get confused by many voices, philosophies, and ideologies? Do you want to have the assurance of eternal life in God’s favor? Most people do.

Well there really is a God and He has spoken. And because He has spoken, we understand that we are all sinners in need of a savior. And we can also know that God has provided a savior for us in His Son, Jesus Christ. In John 14:6 Jesus said to Thomas, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No man comes unto the Father, but by me. God’s good news is clear and simple; “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved.” He is God’s only provision for our salvation. There is no other way.

first published in May 2008

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