Cross burning and Satanism are two acts that, to most people, exemplify the idea of rebellion against God, but there are greater rebellious activities that often go ignored or unnoticed even by Christians.
To quote from Roman’s chapter 1 starting at verse 18 and finishing the chapter we read,
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.”
For those who do not believe Scripture is God’s Word, Romans one is a great chapter because it so clearly demonstrates the insight into human existence that helps prove Scripture is not ultimately human in origin. According to this profound verse we see that rebellion against God includes things like: suppressing the truth, not honoring God, unthankfulness, misusing the body, and acknowledging God as God.
How appropriate are these verses to our day? We live in the era where people now think they can define human personhood by their individual desires. If you desire the same sex, you are a homosexual person, if you desire little children you are a pedophilic (my word) person. Decide your gender is what you want it to be, you become a transgendered person. Is marriage not all you want it to be? Then simply redefine it how ever it fits your desires and purposes for the time being. Identity now lies in your own power, and the power of 5 unelected lawyers on some high court somewhere, and God is no longer needed, thank you and good bye. Why look to God when we clearly have everything under control? If this is not the base definition of rebellion, then I do not know what to say.
At the root of so many things on this list is the mix of not honoring God and being thankful. Instead of accepting what God gave us, our gifts, body, sex, and marriage, we ungratefully throw it back in His face and say, “thanks but no thanks, we got this, we will be happier creating a world in our image, not living in the world according to your image.” How arrogant do we act, when as creatures we decide God has no right to rule us, we now have arrived to rule ourselves, and so it has been from the very beginning; sure sounds like a certain commandment about some little believed sin, covetousness, is being transgressed.
I see in our culture and myself this root of rebellion in ungrateful living. No longer can we be content with God’s gifts towards us, accepting with gratitude the life He gives along with its calling and gifts, but we must now make our own destiny, pull ourselves past our bootstraps and into new boots all together. How else would you categorize the root behind our human inventions of things like: the lottery, divorce, redefining marriage, defining our own sexuality and gender, and like things, but as rebellion and ungratefulness, rooted in covetousness.
As to the people who just want to be on the “right side” of history, let me just say that the right side of history is God’s side, and when comparing the side your on, does your side look more like the last verses in Romans one, or does the other side? Which side is seeking blood, and the ruination of the opposition by going after their businesses, churches, organizations, and even their personal religious liberty? If you cannot see which side is the Romans one side, then maybe you should switch sides.
All this might leave you angry, but even though God has the greater right to be angry, He has, mercifully provided forgiveness through Christ, His Son, to all who believe. Although Jesus never coveted, and accepted everything God gave Him, even His suffering and death on a cross, and we all have done all sorts of evil rooted in ungrateful covetousness, we have hope that God will see us just like Jesus, the perfect, grateful son, because God rose Jesus from the dead, and Jesus offers us forgiveness from sin, and his righteousness. Repent and believe that Jesus is Lord, and you too will be called a child of God, loved, forgiven, and declared righteous before God no matter how you had lived your life in the past nor how your continual and future failings may play out.