Archive for category Sin and Salvation

Love Does It My Way

coverThere have been very few instances in my life where someone has shown me a book, I’ve read it, and it significantly changed my life for good or ill. So when, for nearly a year, my Twitter feed and Facebook timeline routinely had quotes from and reviews of Bob Goff’s book Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World, I had cautioned optimism that perhaps there might be something I was missing out on by not yet having read it myself. So, after finishing a fiction book this summer, I decided to finally give the book a try. My cautiousness was warranted. Read the rest of this entry »

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Lent Week 1: Prayer

So after not updating this site in nearly a year I am now going to write an article nonchalantly and act as if nothing at all is amiss.

Ever since I decided to once again participate in orthodox lent people have been bugging me to start blogging again. In particular, one minister from Mitchell. I messaged him this morning with an offer. I had two ideas for writing this week. One on prayer and one on scripture reading. Laying down these offers on the virtual canvas between us I slammed my hand down and declared “You shall choose!” To which my office mates looked at me funny and told me to sit back down. But I still got the answer I wanted from Mr. minister.

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The Moral Blue Wall

Too many times I hear the phrase “the moral police” used in accordance with over zealous christians who want to impose their view of morals on the people of this world. And as much as I would love to say the opposite, the people of the world are right on this one.

Christians out there, Im talking to you. What give us the right to tell other people how to live? What gives us the right to dictate what others do or what they take into themselves. Be it music, art, television, movies, whatever, I hear too many times “well, that just shouldn’t be on TV” or “That music is horrible, it should be banned!”

Where does the Bible say “And ye shall smite the infidel with the law of God” or “Make disciples of all nations, by holding them at gunpoint”? Because thats basically what you’re admitting to doing by engaging in such reckless disregard for the free will of others. Is it not the muslims who convert by sword? Was it not the nazis who converted by gun? Who then are we when we say “take such-and-such off the air so no one can see it”? How are we any better?

People are not going to see the error of their ways because you quash their entertainment. In fact the opposite will occur! Take away a child’s toy and he will hate you. Hide something from a child and he will want to see it. Forbidden fruit is tempting and all the more delicious because it is forbidden. So then, if vile and disgusting media exists, and we hide it from everyone, what do you think will happen? They will want to see it all the more.

The fact of the matter is that we cannot change anyone by changing the media. The world is the world after all and we are told to not become like it yet still live within it. Not once in the New Testament is someone changed by destroying all that conflicts with God’s word. In fact just the opposite. Paul used the Unknown God in Athens to teach people about the true God. What do you think would have happened had he gone in and destroyed or stolen all the idols of Athens? He would have been executed by a mob. And what good would he have done to the world had that happened?

Matthew 7:1-5
1 Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, “Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Judging the world by your standards is ridiculous by any stretch of the imagination. If we did something here in America that was illegal in Japan, is it just and fair for the Japanese to come arrest us? No! So then, why do we consider it just and fair to chastise those who do not submit to the law as we have? For their souls? To save them from God’s wrath? The ends do not justify the means!

We submit to the law voluntarily, meaning we have a choice to submit or not too. Yet then some turn around and want to force others to submit without a choice because they think they know what’s best for them. But how could they? The Bible does not teach this kind of practice. In fact it teaches the opposite.

In every case in the New Testament, people were converted by the word. And I don’t mean the word in so far as how it would send them to hell if they don’t follow it. They were persuaded by the fact there was salvation for them. Only then did they accept to be judged by God. I know you ask “well, how do they know they needed salvation?” Because the word appealed to them as human and they saw they were messed up on the inside.

But if they were told they were messed up inside instead of coming to that conclusion on their own, that would only have served to alienate them. You cannot dictate who is sinning and who is not! Who is the judge of such things? Is it not the one who writes the law? And is that you? No! You are but a follower of the law. You are not the judge.

Therefore, the way to conversion is through a personal means. If you want to make someone not listen to music, sit down with them as a friend and ask them why they listen to it. Ask them why it appeals to them. And work from there. Screaming “sinner” will get you no where and will only serve to make those you want to preach to hate you and despise your kind.

Personally, I think those who want to ban the world from practices which are worldly are those who are unsure of their own faith. They are too weak in their own mind to resist the world and are tempted by worldly things. Instead of fleeing from the temptation, like we are taught to, they seek to destroy it for everyone. Instead of dealing with their own weakness they simply want to destroy the source of the temptation. Thats like trying to fix a termite weakened house by trying to kill every termite in the world one by one. It cant happen.

We are to individually deal with temptation. Worldly things will exist as long as there is a world. Does this mean that they are not subject to the same laws we are? By no means. God will judge by his law. But we are not his hammer. If you don’t like the music, turn it off. Don’t want your children watching trash? Teach them why it is trash. But don’t target producers and labels when you cant control yourself or raise your children to be conscientious about sin.

“The Devil made be do it” wasn’t a valid excuse for anyone before. Why now is it a valid excuse to blame media when you control the remote?

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