Saturday, June 14, 2008

Three Little Pigs and a Barbque Sandwich

Do you remember as a child reading the story of the three little pigs? Recently, I was driving to a meeting and I began thinking about this story. Actually, I was driving past a barbeque restaurant and thinking about how great it would be to stop and get a pork sandwich – inside chopped, oozing with sauce, a side of potato salad and baked beans and....you get the picture; barbeque pork naturally leads one to think about pigs which leads to reminiscing about those most famous of pigs – the three pigs (or, perhaps, Porky the Pig for some).

But, I digress. Anyway, you know the story, the three pigs each build a house to protect them from the big bad wolf – one of straw, one of sticks, and one of brick. The ones of straw and sticks were quickly disposed of by the strong winds blown by said wolf; but, the one of brick withstood the winds and protected the little pig that constructed it. The moral, of course, is to build with strong materials that will withstand the attack and protect you from that which would harm you.

In other words, the building materials we use in life are important, as is the foundation that we build on. Long before the story of the three little pigs, Jesus had taught this lesson to those who would follow him. He didn’t speak of three pigs, but of real life situations. Here is how he put it:

"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash." MT 7:24-27 (NIV)

This is why the Crosswinds Foundation was established, to help recognize that the cultural winds are blowing and to help build our faith and culture with the best materials on the right foundation – Jesus Christ. It is this same Jesus who is the “Foundation” in Crosswinds Foundation.

Just like the big bad wolf, it is not a question of whether the rains and winds will come; the question is, will the faith, beliefs, values, and practices that we hold and pass on to our children withstand the cultural winds that blow against them? The answer depends on the foundation on which we are building and the materials that we are using.

Jesus words are clear; believers are not simply to rest on the foundation but to build on it by living out the words of Jesus in the culture. We should not fear the cultural winds but withstand them. While the winds can be quite strong, let us not forget that the foundation is stronger and secures us in the midst of the storm and will prevail.

The big bad wolf huffed and he puffed but he could not blow the house down. Why? Because the foundation and building materials were too strong. Should our faith be any different?

Our forefathers established the “foundation for faith and culture” of this country on Christ and His teachings, so much so that we have long referred to ours as being a Christian Nation. I think most would agree this is no longer the case.

Cultural winds have been blowing a new course – shifting the very foundation and fabric of our society. Beliefs and practices that forty years ago would never have been part of who we are, as a people, have now been mainstreamed into our society. One of the reasons for this is that somewhere along the way, the voice of the Church was lost to the discussion; thus, in many instances, these social, political, and philosophical changes went unchallenged.

As believers, it is essential that we turn this around and again become intentional in shaping the conversation in the marketplace and to be the influencers of the culture that Christ intends us to be. Jesus was very clear on this:

"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. MT 5: 13-16 (NIV)

We cannot be salt unless we are engaging the world. We cannot be light unless we are where there is darkness.

And he huffed…. And the rains came down
And he puffed….And the winds blew
But he could not blow the house down… Yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.

I ain’t afraid of no big bad wolf…are you?

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