Let me join the fracas
Let me join the fracas as if there isn’t enough noise out there already. I am astounded at the number of Christian people that are defending the writings, as well as the movie, “50 Shades of Grey.” “If you haven’t read it then you don’t get to talk about it”, I believe was how one FB post read. Well, I haven’t read it and I will share my opinions on it. There have been enough movie trailers and excerpts from the book posted on line as proof of it’s theme and purposes, that one does not have to read it to see what it is, and what it is about.
What’s really going on?
The bigger picture as I see it is our comfortableness with immorality. Having been raised in an home where pornography was accessible and almost celebrated, I will be aware of it and have to stand against it the rest of my life. I cannot tell you how disturbed I was, when a trusted friend of mine forwarded an article that had a half naked picture of a movie actress, under the pretense of ranting about the horrible way Hollywood objectifies and demeans women through body types. Un-followed!!! Why did they think that was ok to post this so it would come across my feed? What about any children of their vast number of friends who may have been subject to it? Not cool!
The struggle is real!
I’m no prude, anyone that was raised in my house will tell you that, but sexual sin, including nakedness, is the only sin that I can think of readily where God says to “flee.” Don’t stand and fight, don’t take up arms, don’t linger in the battle, FLEE! Run away, get far from it. As you skim through the Law of the Jews you will find verses that say, don’t get people drunk so that you can look upon their nakedness. (Habakkuk 2:15) I share that just to show how serious God is about it. Jesus said to look upon a woman to lust after her is to have already committed adultery with her. So we see again how serious God is. To be fair Jesus rendered everyone guilty when he was speaking on the judgmental spirit that comes from religious people pointing fingers. Same thing he did when he was dealing with the woman caught in the very act of adultery, first he made everyone guilty, then he invited the woman to leave her life of sin.
I guess I am a bit surprised at the whole group of men or women that will defend a movie, any movie, that has nudity in it and then turn right around and sit in my office telling me about the struggle they are having with porn. How many of you are watching Game of Thrones? What about Vikings? Nakedness, Biblically speaking, is porn. How do you weigh out your entertainment choices? If it’s a “fun” movie, or, “good book” (I guess we should include music in that as well) then it’s ok. Women scream about the objectification of their gender and where this particular book and movie are concerned turn right around and defend it. This particular book, at the least the excerpts that I read that were posted, were pure, scintillating, porn in prose. Every detail, every thought, painting as detailed a picture as possible. I have to say I was glad they were short posts. They are posted to give the reader an understanding of what the theme and story was going to be like. it’s interesting how many women will come crying about their man’s porn issues and yet …
What about guarding our eyes? Psalm 101:3 What about cutting off our right hand if it is offending us? Matthew 5:30. I’m not suggesting that we go through life maimed, but Jesus was saying get radical!! Wasn’t it the radicals of the 1500’s that brought about a reformation? They stood against religious tyranny and shouted that they wanted to live out the words of Jesus even if it meant death. They wouldn’t be quiet even when they were being burned at the stake, quartered, hung, drowned, pieces of their flesh including their tongue and eyes were pulled from them with hot tongs, or they were tarred and burned alive. Today we’d be lucky to just get some of the church goers uncomfortable so we can get them to grow. We are more interested in splitting over women in leadership, worship wars and who’s allowed in to the church, then actually reaching the lost. When was the last time you invited someone to your church? Why aren’t you in a small group, or life group, or what ever your church calls them? Where do you serve on sunday morning? Here’s a biggie, Why don’t you tithe to your local church? (don’t tell me Jesus didn’t address it, he did. If not it would be the only thing he addressed where he “lowered the bar instead of raising it, and that just isn’t Jesus)
I think the church has become a little lax in it’s interactions with our culture. We may be a little more OF the world and not just IN it. Maybe it’s just apathy. I’m talking about actual Biblical issues, not preferences. I’ve seen what people do with preferences. I have actually had a religious man tell me that he didn’t care what the Bible said about alcohol, we have to preach that it is a sin. When he said he didn’t care what the Bible said he lost me. I do care. Same guy teaches people to kill their enemies even though Jesus said to love them. I sin, please don’t get me wrong. Don’t ever listen to a preacher that tells you he doesn’t, that man is liar. As God is my witness! The issue is when we set our lives up to live in sin. When we rationalize it to the public so that we can indulge our natural man. What ever happened to being ashamed of our sin? I am ashamed of my sin. It bothers me this sin that put Jesus on the cross. What ever happened to, “it was for my sins that he died?” Maybe what’s really happening is that Jesus isn’t as important to us as we want everyone to believe he is. Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5 wanted everyone to believe they were really holy and “ALLIN.” They wanted it so much that they lied to the church about the price of a piece of property they sold. They died of the Spirit that day. I have often wondered why God is so patient with me and yet they dropped on the spot! I have no answer, but God I am thankful.
but there is a fire growing
In the midst of all this crazy negativity about sin and culture I am meeting young people that show me God is up to something. They are concerned about their purity, their witness to those around them. I even hear them speak of pride issues. Wow. These are some class people. They are graduating college and then not entering the fields of study they have degrees in. No, these young people are heading into ministry. As I relate to them they can’t stand the idea of not telling people about Jesus. They can’t stand not getting involved. They believe the message of the Cross and of Jesus at his ascension. They NEED to lead small groups, and disciple people on a regular basis. They can’t give or serve enough. These are people that will be changing the world. It is so exciting to interact with them. Our church is filling up with older people that have the same heart. These more mature believers are pouring into these young people and it is changing our town.
This FIRE is contagious. This Fire comes from people who are willing to come away from sin, sinful lifestyles, and are hungrier for the love of Jesus and his teachings then they are religious. It comes from being hungry enough to let go of preferences and wrong ideas of spirituality. It comes from letting go of preconceived notions about Jesus and choosing instead to determine what does the Bible say about what the Bible says. These are radicals. The world will be changed by radicals. You can be a radical and you can change the world!!
It is going to start with you and I confessing our sin and stepping away from what this world says is ok. Christians have to be the ones to lead the charge on purity, sexuality, honesty, justice and integrity. Listen, it is our job to introduce the world to Jesus and if we do not have any integrity in our walk, if there is no purity in our lifestyle, if no justice for the oppressed in our hearts, what do we have to offer a dying world? A drowning man cannot save a drowning man.
I want to SOAR this year and SOARING means leaving the common ground, going where the average doesn’t go and doing what the normal doesn’t do.