I need to wake up

So Sunday was Earth Day, which means you should take that can of Coke you're drinking and drop it in a recycling bin.

And, yes, yes, yes, you should buy those new, expensive "green" lightbulbs that look like a kid's crazy straw, turn the lights off in a room you're not using, carpool if you can ... the list goes on.

Of course, you should do those things anyway, Earth Day or not, and even if you don't agree with the alarmist attitudes of those on the political left.

Regardless of intentions, social responsibility is hip. Never mind the fact that Christ started it all and that, at times, it seems celebrities have co-opted Christ's message. "American Idol" is getting into it, for crying out loud, with something called
"American Idol Gives Back," which is a show tonight with a bunch of people all getting onstage and showing just how altruistic they all are -- just so long as you photograph them from their good side.

Angelina Jolie has a heart for Third World children. Dr. Phil campaigns for the Salvation Army. Julia Roberts is concerned about something called Rett Syndrome. Name a celebrity, they have a cause.

Like Melissa Etheridge. A few days ago, I posted the
lyrics to her Oscar-winning song, "I Need To Wake Up," which I found exceedlingly curious because, to me, it sounds like your garden-variety Christian song. It's almost a call to salvation. Check a few out:

"I need to wake up
I need to change
I need to shake up
I need to speak out
Something's got to break up
I've been asleep
I've got to wake up
See what I mean?
Now, this is another example of misguided philanthropy. You can tell there's a God-placed desire in everyone's heart to love people, to make a difference in a world humans intuitively know is, well, screwed up.
Theologians correctly highlight the separation of God and man when it comes to Adam and Eve's fall in the Garden of Eden. But there's another facet to it that most people miss. It didn't just separate us from God, it separated us from his intentions.
As a result, we all have this inherent desire in each of our souls to make right what was once made wrong. Because make no mistake about it, when sin entered human history it created a sinful climate that has tainted everything. That's why there's a need for social action.
Carl Jung would call it a part of our "collective unconscious," but whatever you want to call it, if it's not centered in a love for Christ then it is ultimately meaningless. Angelina Jolie can save all the orphaned babies in the world, but if she doesn't instill in their hearts the transforming power of Christ's forgiveness and salvation, then they are doomed to repeat the cycle of sin and oppression that created the situation that orphaned them in the first place.
So, do you need to wake up? You're darn right you do.
Just not in the way the world would have you believe ... you need to wake up to Jesus.
It's funny how God works. While I was writing out some ideas in preparation of writing this entry, lo and behold, yesterday's devotional from Oswald Chambers' classic "My Utmost for His Highest" was exactly on point. What a coincidence -- unless, like me, you don't believe in coincidences. At least not when God's concerened.
You can find the devotional on the links to the right, or just click here for the entry.
(copyright 2007, andrew j. beckner. all rights under copyright reserved)