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He went on in this vein for a long time, urging them over and over, ‘Get out while you can:  get out of this sick and stupid culture!’ ” -Acts 2:40


The Message translation oftentimes provides some interesting insights into scripture. Here we find Peter at the Pentecost challenging the crowd that to find Jesus they must recognize that their culture was corrupt and sick.  It sounds like our first century brethren had to deal with cultural lies just like we do.

The first century Jewish religious elite who were tied to Rome’s political power were corrupted and threatened by Jesus’ message.  The Pharisees preached their version of “fake news” to get the people back in line with the wealthy and powerful.  While it is much easier to spot the corruption in first century Israel, are we doing what we should to remove ourselves from our sick and self-serving culture?

I don’t know how or what you might need to do, but several years ago, Janet and I decided to stop watching the news.  Some of that started with an offhand remark from friends that worked at one of the local TV stations.  They referred to their network’s version of the news as the “Big Lie.”  Hardly fair and balanced.

This year’s advent theme is “God with Us.”  However, I think what Peter was telling his audience then and now is that in order for us to be with God, we need to push aside the distractions of our sick and corrupt culture.  So, here’s to shutting off the TV, putting away our cellphones and getting plugged into a Bible study or one of Bayshore’s wonderful ministries.

–Philip Salyers