Are we human beings responsible for our actions? The answer throughout history has always been a straightforward, emphatic "Yes"! Times have changed in this regard and we can see this change in all aspects of our society from our legal system to our schools to the work place. People, today, commit the most outrageous crimes which would have led to extended time in jail years ago, and yet are excused because of some psychological condition or an extenuating circumstance in their life which is blamed for their grossly inappropriate behavior.
Can we human beings choose to avoid harmful behavior by denying ourselves something we want? Historically, that question has also been answered "Yes"! Today, however, "scientific" studies try to tell us that we really can't control our emotions or desires. A tragic example is the mass distribution of birth control in our public school system which is based on the thinking, "Well the kids are just going to have sex anyway so at least we should give them 'protection'." Given the lowered moral standards of our society one might think, "That kind of makes sense." However, a much greater principle is at stake; the principle: Can humans make good choices? If we cannot, then where does such thinking stop? Do we just let people continue to take drugs, steal, hurt each other because they can't be any other way?
Jesus Christ made it very clear that his followers are not at all victims of circumstance, but have at their disposal everything necessary to make wise, healthy choices in life. This Sunday we continue to study the meaning of baptism in the life of a believer. While some may relegate baptism to the category of cute family rituals, the Bible places it at the forefront of this whole question of human accountability and behavior. Baptism provides Christian disciples with the motivation to be able to rise above our circumstances and do what is right, regardless of what our desires tell us or what the rest of society encourages us to do.
If you want the power to rise above the situations in your life which are holding you down, making you a prisoner to sinful, destructive behavior, join us this Sunday (September 4 at 10:00 am) to discover how God will set you free through your baptism.