Sermons

Summary: An exhortation to live a truly alternative lifestyle.

Live The Alternative! Part 1

Galatians 5:16-25

In previous years, Americans have seen the flappers, zoot suiters, beatniks, hippies, punkers, and gangs. Now we have the Goths. Each generation has its group of people seeking an identity that is away from the mainstream. They scoff at society’s norms and decry its injustices. They identify themselves by their clothes, music, esoteric language, and sometimes slightly bizarre mannerisms and some strange idols. You might say they all have their own beat, brogue, and brotherhood.

From time to time, I turn on MTV to see what the kids are listening to now days. I had a preacher in the late 80’s still talking about the Beatles and the bugs when he wanted to preach against rock and roll. Most of the kids he was talking to probably did not even know that Paul McCartney was ever in a group before "Wings." Not wanting to be that far behind the times, I check out "Yo, MTV Raps" and "Alternative Nation". Maybe because I am a poet I can hang on the rap programs longer than I can some of the alternative ones. When you start singing about spreading marmalade on toilet seats I have to leave.

I am an alumnus of the hippie generation and I understand the desire to be different. I know what seeking identity and independence is all about. I know well the abuse of authority and I learned to hate it then. I knew and believed all the slogans. I believed that we would bring about change and all we had to do was "give peace a chance" and practice "free love" and we would usher in the Age of Aquarius.

In reality we ushered in the Age of the Nefarious! What we allowed in moderation in our eyes our children and grandchildren have allowed in the excess. You can thank us for all kinds of godlessness and philosophical insanity. What you see in the nineties and will see in at least the first decade of the twenty-first century is the fruit of the seed that was sown in the sixties. The harvest of harlots, heroin, and other harbingers of Hell will be as full as our folly in those days.

We wanted the alternative. The establishment was not like us. We were very foolish. I contend that no alternative movement of any generation in human history was really different than what they sought to destroy or reform. The alternative movements fail because they consist only of window dressing changes, but at the very root issues of life they are no different.

There are many, many types of cuisine in the world, but at the root the reason for food preparation is the same. No one wants to die of starvation. Cuisine styles may provide some innovation, but no real deviation from the norm. Human courtship rituals are as varied as can be, but the root of all them is to ensure survival of the species and to chase the "elusive butterfly of love." Yes, there is some creativity in nativity, but it is the same relatively. At the root of existence, there are really only two lifestyles. One is predominant and is the norm or the establishment, if you please. The other is truly alternative and practiced only by a minority. In fact, even amongst those who claim to practice this alternative lifestyle only a few truly do practice it with any consistency. Because the lifestyles are so antithetical of each other those who try to mix the two are the most miserable of all people.

The two lifestyles are flesh and Spirit. All humans are born into the flesh lifestyle and are in reality enslaved to it by nature. They do what comes naturally and will seek to fulfill the lusts or desires of the flesh. These are broken down into three categories: the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. All activities of the flesh can be listed under one of these three headings. Terms and technologies may change, but the basics do not change.

A human may look at a chariot powered by four horses or a several hundred horse powered ChevroletÓ and lust to own it. He just has to have it. Both are lust of the eye issues and could spill over into the pride of life arena depending on whether it is the sheer esthetics of the items or the social standing they would bring that causes the desire or lust.

The Israelites lusted for meat in the wilderness and the leeks and onions they left behind in Egypt. That is an appetite or lust of the flesh as well as desiring multiple sexual partners. In control, desiring food or intimacy is not wrong. We must eat to survive individually and must mate to survive as a race. Out of control, those desires lead us to extremes of obesity or bulimia and abnormal celibacy or debauchery.

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