“Woe be unto thee, Assur, thou that hidest the unrighteous in thee! O thou wicked people, remember what I did unto Sodom and Gomorrha; Whose land lieth in clods of pitch and heaps of ashes: even so also will I do unto them that hear me not, saith the Almighty Lord.”
(Reference: 2 Esdras 2:8-9 )
Five years ago I think I did a masterful job of looking at this text in the post What does it mean to be godless? I am not sure I could much improve upon it, though I did do a little minor tweaking. I posed the question as to what it means to be “godless”, meaning devoid of the attributes that mark believers of God.
But it seems to me, some five years hence, there could be another way to look at it. What does it mean to be a person or a nation that does not believe, espouse, or follow God? Does it mean to be without compassion, ethics or morality? Are those attributes of a person or nation only available with belief in the one monotheistic God?
It is possible to be “godless” yet believe in God. Historic Anabaptist Dirk Philips makes this point when he reminds his reader that “the church in Thyatira was reprimanded by the Son of God (although it was adorned with several virtues and gifts of the Spirit) because it permitted the prophetess Jezebel, (which means false doctrine) by whom the servants of God were seduced, Rev. 2:18-23.” And that when one sees evil, one is to separate one’s self from it. Does this mean it is possible to be not “godless” but not follow God? There are no easy answers in our world. Sometimes the old ways from the past do not work in the present. That is one of the things I have come to realize over this past year.
But, you beloved and myself, we believe in God. We seek to follow God. We turn from evil and rather than be without God, we seek God each day. And if we have a time or a day when we have not been “Godly” we ask for forgiveness, and seek mercy and redemption. As we come out of this Christmas season may be resolve to be God-filled! Selah!