Who Decided To Change Things?
We live in a time when the divide between people, organizations, nations, politics, religions- as well as factions within each, constantly get wider and wider. Yet the areas and differences between right and wrong, good and bad, are continually coming together in a mixture that’s hard to distinguish one from the other. A division in all of the first mentioned groups is inevitable when there is a merging and blur of right and wrong, good and bad, light and darkness.
Proverbs 22:28 states, Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set. The landmark was literally used to establish land ownership. It is that marker or boundary that sets the limit to how far one is to go. In our lives, and in society, our fathers of the faith and the fathers of our country (both inspired by the Holy Spirit) have set landmarks to guide our lives and country and to make definite differences about right and wrong, good and bad. However, when referring to the landmarks God has lain through our fathers, it is so obvious that the landmarks have been moved! So who moved the landmarks?
Unfortunately, it’s sad that our churches and our country have moved so far away from the landmarks that our fathers have laid. It’s no wonder that we have lost sight of good and bad. The bible gives warning to those who “call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”(Isa 5:20 NIV) Much of the blame for the confusion and the moving of the landmark has to be placed squarely on the church. For so many years the boundaries and standards set by God through our fathers have been moved, changed, compromised and ignored, to accept and be accepted by the culture in which we live. As a result we have generations that are born and reared outside landmarks and boundaries they never knew existed. Is it any wonder that this generation can’t understand or see anything wrong with living together before marriage? Or same sex relationships? Or abortions, etc.? We, as the church, have been so accommodating to move the ancient landmarks in the name of “winning the lost”. Jesus said to the religious leaders of his day, "How horrible it will be for you, scribes and Pharisees! You hypocrites! You cross land and sea to recruit a single follower, and when you do, you make that person twice as fit for hell as you are.” Matt 23:15 GW
When we do not adhere strictly to the message and example that the Lord Jesus and the fathers of our faith left for us, then we are guilty of moving the landmark by straying away from our first love. It becomes extremely difficult to bring a person or generation back to a landmark to which they have lived outside of for most or all of their lives. They will feel no need to change, and move to a landmark that, to them seems restrictive, religious, or legalistic (terms often used erroneously to justify non adherence to an established, set landmark). After all, “God has accepted them as they are!” They came to Christ under a compromised, watered down gospel like that of the scribes and Pharisees.
In light of this disturbing trend to move away from, change, and ignore the ways of God, it behooves us all as followers of Christ, to “…earnestly contend for the faith that was once delivered to the saints.” Instead of regress, we actually progress, when we ‘go back to the old landmark’!