By Dr. Gabriel B. Ndhlovu | TRINICY.org
Photo by Jeff Lemond
For many conservative Christians, dealing with many ethical dilemmas seem like a daunting task. Conservatism is not based on any political alliances, but on the acknowledgment of the truth of God’s Word revealed in the Scriptures. Conservative Christians are those who base their lives on the teachings of Christ and follow the examples of His life. As conservative Christians, it is easy to feel like one is swimming against a tide that is beyond our control. Many voices seem to cloud and distort constructive dialogue on many issues. More so, the purity of the Gospel message is affected by political jargon and labels that most people do not know their origins. Every generation has to deal with its own sets of challenges and the manner in which these mountains are faced will affect how the next generation will critique the former. The songs sung during the trials faced, and the courage displayed by those who are marginalized become a source of inspiration to those who come after. It is essential to look at three key characteristics that would help this generation to deal with numerous ethical and moral challenges.
MAINTAINING AN UNWAVERING FAITH IN CHRIST AND THE WORD OF GOD
The Book of Daniel is full of examples of individuals who faces extraordinary situations in the most extraordinary ways. The confidence of Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (Shadrack, Meshach, and Abednego), and the faith and gentleness of Daniel serve as great examples of how we should meet every challenge in our lives. Their unwavering faith is on the God who is in control of all things and has preplanned all things. This faith is the acknowledgement of our limitedness in time and knowledge and our reliance on the eternal, perfect, and loving Father. This loving God has provided us with His wisdom on how we ought to live our lives in this world, and to face our difficulties with confidence and faith.
CHOOSING TO BE THE ALTERNATIVE INSTEAD OF CONFORMING
One of the greatest challenges when dealing with many moral issues in our lives and society is dealing with the approval of others. Conforming to the ever-changing views in society may be enticing, yet many of the current views have disastrous consequences. What is needed is an alternative that people can see working in their lives, and this is possible through consistent application of God’s moral foundation in our personal living. Daniel’s life and attitude demonstrated a clear contrast between those who oppose Yahweh and his faith and obedience to Him (Daniel 6). Daniel’s consistent obedience in prayer and upholding the laws of God led King Darius to acknowledge the greatness of God. What we as Christians have failed throughout history is being consistent in our obedience to God, and this has had reversal consequences to Daniel. As individuals and as a community, we should not be afraid to face the lions, but demonstrate the pragmatic nature of God’s moral law.
DISPLAYING GENTLE AND LOVING ATTITUDES
Much of the challenges faced involves people, and at times people with different values and worldviews. Decisions that we have to make may be different from the expectations others may have of us, or even may affect others in one way or the other. Gentleness in relating with people often helps to defuse negative attitudes, especially in dealing with moral issues that differ from the Christian perspective. A militant attitude increases animosity and does not win anyone. In the words of Virgil's Eclogues X.69, “Omnia vincit amor et nos cedamus amori: love conquers all, let us all yield to love.”
“Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may
become blameless and pure, children of God without fault
in a warped and crooked generation. Then you will shine among
them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.”
- Philippians 2:14-16a
By Dr. Gabriel Ndhlovu | TRINICY.org
TRINICY: Out of all God’s attributes, which one amazes you most? Why?
DR. GABRIEL: Love. This is the one attribute that best describes who God is, and also God’s expectations of us. This attribute is very pragmatic and helps us how to live our lives in a community.
TRINICY: Who led you to Christ? Who are you leading or hope to lead to Christ?
DR. GABRIEL: A friend of mine in Junior high. Although I grew up in a Christian family, the political situation in South Africa prevented me from seeing God as the God of love because His people were living the way they were supposed to live. My friend encourages me to focus on Christ and not on people as we are able to take something that is beautiful and spoil it. The main focus is for me as an individual not to be a stumbling block for others. Right now, I hope to lead my father-in-law to Christ. This is a long-term project.
TRINICY: Which person from the Bible do you resonate with the most? Why?
DR. GABRIEL: People focus so much on popular heroes like David, but for me I hope to be more like Joseph, the earthly father of Christ. He was a man who stepped forward and took on the burden that God placed on him. He took care of Mary and Jesus and loved them both, even to the expense of his personal reputation and the hardship of his family. He was obedient when it was most difficult.
TRINICY: What does being a Christian mean to you? Why Are you a Christian?
DR. GABRIEL: Beings a Christian means that I believe in the historical Jesus and his divine nature, and to recognize the sinful nature within me and humanity that can be healed by Jesus Christ. More so, it means that I ought to follow the example that Jesus set regarding living a life of holiness, love, and forgiveness.
TRINICY: What does being a Conservative mean to you? Why Are you a Conservative?
DR. GABRIEL: Being a conservative means that I uphold the biblical views of the existence of God and the authority of the Bible. More so, it means that the Bible is the authority of my worldview regarding the value of life, morality, and my personal spirituality.
TRINICY: What passion or dream keeps you up at night or wakes you up in the morning?
DR. GABRIEL: The question is how will things be like in the future and how can I best prepare my children for what the future holds. I have been concerned about the rapid moral degeneration in society and it is a great concern
TRINICY: If Jesus were physically here now, what would you want to ask Him or talk about?
DR. GABRIEL: What I would like to talk to him about is the extent of love that he had for humanity that he was willing to die on the cross for us. The process of setting events in history to reach a perfect point in history for Jesus to die on the cross.
TRINICY: What legacy do you want to leave as a Christian?
DR. GABRIEL: The legacy that I would like to leave is being an example of a life of faith and non-compromising the truth of Christ. I hope to publish works that will help Christians around the world, in every generation, in their journey of faith and defense of God’s truth.
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