Are You Of The World

There was a time when I watched television and went to the movies. I enjoyed television cartoons, sitcoms, and even the news. Fantasy, futuristic, cowboy, and manly movies were cool too. This “entertainment” made me think or simply made me happy. I believe I first stopped watching TV after Happy Days, and I can say happily I’ve probably watched less than ten movies at a movie theater in the past thirty years. Nothing in particular chased me away, I rather just found the content uninteresting and I had too many other things to do.

Now I’m not saying I never watch TV or an occasional movie. I do watch classic movies, mostly pre 1970’s, and my wife enjoys it when I watch music shows with her. I do my best to stomach the agenda personalities, but for the most part they stay away from the hot topics because not everybody has issues.

The other night, however, after we watched American Idol, I left the channel on and was intrigued by The Good Doctor. I’ve heard it was a “good show” and it was for the most part. But like almost every other time I give the world a chance they have dissapointed. In this case the subject matter was intriguing, but like all other shows post 1980’s they interjected the subliminatal agenda of sinful ideology. They unnecessary forced into an otherwise perfect script, homosexuality, racism, sexuality, and the use of drugs to calm anxiety. “It was all so innocently expressed,” some might say. For me, I’ll never watch it again.

Of course there were movies in the past that definined racial inequity and objectified various inequities. We all knew a Sidney Poitier movie was going to be a deep dive into racial injustice. Or we knew a James Dean movie was going to be a culture trip. But we had choices back then. To watch a movie without cursing or a political agenda was pretty nice. And the outcomes were almost always happy endings.

Just look at what Disney is doing these days. Hardly a movie or show they produce is without the influence of a liberal agency. And I remember the few times I’ve watched HGTV you would think half the universe was gay. Now school children are being indoctrinated in first grade to “The Agenda.” Folks it’s getting worse out there. We all know the acceptance of pedophilia is not far away.

Unless you’re like me you may not see what I see. I’ve not been desensitized. When I do watch the world’s media it’s appalling and in most cases disgusting. And you’ll notice I hardly addressed the sexualizing of everything.

So, you might say I’m a dinosaur or at least a relative of the Cleavers. If so, thank you, I’m proud of it! I’m not naïve of what evil is, I just avoid it.

We Should Hate Sin

First of all I must say that many Christians and many so called conservatives who don’t know Jesus are equally enraged about “the worries of life.” But no matter what conservatives think, it is important that Christians are not weighed down by the worlds recent descent into disillusionment.

We know the ungodly regularly decend into drunkenness, drug use, and sexual perversion when their hearts are weighed down. Let’s not join them. For we should not be surprised that such ungodly political things are happening. And the bible warns us to be on guard* that we should not be “suddenly trapped.” So our ignorance is not an excuse. We are to be well informed, alert, and praying that we may have the strength to escape the things that trouble our hearts. It takes effort to “stand before God.” And He will come sooner than you expect.

So you see one reason unbelievers hate you is because they are weighed down by sin. They do not recognize that the Kingdom of God is near. So they fear what man can do to them and they forget what God will do if they do not repent and believe. They fear not God’s imminent arrival, they fear the world and the politics of governments. While some political policies enjoy legitimate fears, we should not so much turn to politics but to God for relief. Strong Christians, the ones that I know, “keep on the alert at all times, praying that we may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, knowing we shall ultimately stand before the Son of Man, not man himself.*

So you might ask, “what does this have to do with “the liberal left?” It doesn’t! Except that it is the left that does not generally embrace Christ and Christian values. This is understood by the sheer numbers of Christians that voted for Trump, but this should also not be the standard. Currently the left’s political values publically trump Christian values. (no pun intended.) Now let’s be real, even biblical, “fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, gender perverters, homosexuals, thieves, the covetous, drunkards, revilers, swindlers, will not inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:10). Politics plays no role here except when the sinner also makes a claim of party affiliation and their beliefs do not impune their sins.

Let’s now look at another list of sins from Roman chapter 1 beginning in verse 28. “And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; 32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.” (Romans 1:28-32, NASB).

Now think about these two lists of sins. These sins should be convicting in one way or another to believers and unbelievers, “for such are/were some of you.” But if you are a forgiven Christian, the consequences of these past sins have been dismissed. Just as if you went to court and the judge threw out the case against you. Your lawyer, Jesus, tells the judge, God, “Judge, my client should be justly sentenced to die on a cross for his sins, but I paid the cost of his disobedience, I died for his sins.” God, the judge, throws out your case and you can now enter heaven through the pearly gates.

Now let’s look at why unbelievers hate you, and it’s not because you love Trump. I suppose they either think it is unfair that Christians think people like Trump can have their sins forgiven just for believing in a divine fairy, or it may be that they love their own sins too much to quit them themselves and believe in redemption?

This so much resembles politics, right? Most people tend not to love and forgive the forgiven while living an unrighteous life themselves. Our political parties gives us moral cover because we truly believe “we’re not racist like those Republicans,  like Trump.” And Republicans likewise say, “we don’t believe in killing babies in the womb” therefore we are better than they are. Likewise, most of the christians I know only go to church, pray, and read their bibles on Easter and call themselves conservatives with less effort than calling themselves Christians. And both political parties get divorced at about the same rate and justify it for the same unbiblical reasons. It is sin that divides us.

You see, there are many reasons to “hate” the other side. I dare say we don’t really hate each other over universal health care or lower taxes. We hate each other over our sins! Our sins because we don’t want to give them up, their sins because they flaunt them and they tell us we can’t call them sins.

* “34 Be on guard, so that your hearts will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap; 35 for it will come upon all those who dwell on the face of all the earth. 36 But keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:34-36, NASB)

Ignorance, Guilt, & Gratitude

Ignorance is essential to the existence of the human race; to posses omniscience is to cease to be human and to become gods. Proof- we can only know fragments, so the tragedy of human action and unforeseen consequences produces guilt for our existence, and fate more the result than classic action. So we should not think ourselves so smart.  In truth it is the counsel of God that deepens our hope. We are not self created, nor all that brilliant.  Gratitude withheld is a greater sin than ignorance.

A Life Worth Living

It is the grace of God given to us in Christ Jesus that we stand. In the end, in the day of our lord Jesus Christ, it will be the testimony concerning Christ that shall confirm us blameless, not our good deeds, not our status in this world.

A friend of mine’s mother went to heaven today, she was 95. I did not know her, I may have met her a time or two at church, but I don’t remember. I cannot tell you much about what she looked like, or how she lived. I don’t know if she was famous, rich, or poor. Did she have a liberated career, who knows? I suppose I could find out. Maybe she was the daughter of politician? Maybe she had ancestral ties to royalty? What I do know about her is that her son loved her very much, that he was a believer and that she loved Jesus. What joy there is in knowing Jesus! I can rejoice with my friend, not in his sorrow but in his joy, knowing the grace of God was with his mom. That she now resides in heaven with the Father. She loved and lived faithful to her calling in Christ. She was blessed by God, called to do His will, and nonetheless she knew she humbly breathed, and now lives by the mercies of Christ.

If this is all that could be said about her, is it not enough? Some of us aspire for a calling not of God. We think we should be a great singer, a famous writer, a popular preacher or a rich man like Warren Buffet or Bill Gates. Maybe God has a simpler plan for you and me. Maybe He wants us to be a great fathers or a loving mother like my friend’s mom. To be known in the end not for some worldly achievement, but for the righteousness given to us by the mercies of God through Christ Jesus – a good and faithful servant of Christ.

How do you love?

Do you love your neighbor? What does it look like to love? Do you love like Jesus loved?
Look at me, look carefully. Listen to me, listen carefully. Watch me, observe my ways. Is there something worth loving in me? What if I’m not a “good” person? I lie, I steel, and I lust. Maybe I smoke, cuss, wear gangster clothes, and listen to rap music. Or maybe I smoke some pot, drink, and live a rebellious life; I use women, look at porn, don’t work, and always look angry. I know I’m not very cool in your eyes. I don’t care what you think. I’ll believe what I want to believe; your God is not real. Do you still love me, really love me?
What does your love look like? Do you talk to me? Am I a stranger to you or do you know who I am? Did I attend your church at one time, did I go to school with you, or maybe you just see me on the streets. Do you go out of your way to see me, to talk with me, or help me? Do you leave me encouraging notes on my Facebook Wall? Will you smile at me, and introduce me to your friends? Do you call me and ask me to do things with you? Will you include me when you’re getting together with friends? Will you help me move or fix things for me? Do you invite me to church?
Or do you just pray for me; is that love?

Family Guy – Corrupting Influences

Obscene and filthy conversation prevails everywhere in society. So universal is this that almost every Christian finds common conversation corrupt and defiling. Especially contaminating is the media. For example, obscene and offensive cartoons like Family Guy are training our children to disrespect themselves and others.

“Speech is an invaluable gift; a blessing of inestimable worth,” said Albert Barnes, and I agree. The act of rendering indirect or even worse openly offensive speech toward fellow human beings is having tragic consequences on the families of this generation. A depraved, even evil force seems to shadow this corruption. So speak always to do good to others. Give information; impart consolation if needed; elicit truth in friendly conversation, or admonish kindly those who are going astray. For if we talk only for the sake of talking or being funny, we will certainly say foolish things; but if your aim in life is to benefit others, we will not likely say things that we will have occasion to regret. Obscene and filthy conversation prevails everywhere in society. So universal is this, that almost every Christian finds common conversation corrupt and defiling. Especially contaminating is the media. For example, obscene and offensive cartoons like Family Guy are training our children to disrespect themselves and others.

“Speech is an invaluable gift; a blessing of inestimable worth,” said Albert Barnes, and I agree. The act of rendering indirect or even worse openly offensive speech toward fellow human beings is having tragic consequences on the families of this generation. A depraved, even evil force seems to shadow this corruption. So speak always to do good to others. Give information; impart consolation if needed; elicit truth in friendly conversation, or admonish kindly those who are going astray. For if we talk only for the sake of talking or being funny, we will certainly say foolish things; but if your aim in life is to benefit others, we will not likely say things that we will have occasion to regret.