- Reference: James 2:12-13
- Date: 14 April 2013
- Description: Are you the kind of person who holds on to problems, fights, hurt feelings for a long time or do you let go of these things pretty quickly? Do you find that with some people you are quick to forgive but with others it’s a slow process?
- Truthcasting: Watch The Video
- Study Notes: Coming Soon
- [New King James Version(NKJV)]
With all the talk today about same-sex marriage, I thought the following might be helpful.
Here’s a hypothetical conversation I’d have with someone who doesn’t understand why Evangelical Christians don’t support same-sex marriage.
Person: Why are you against same-sex marriage?
Me: Let me answer that this way. If we were talking about this 30 years ago, what do you think my answer would be? In fact, 30 years ago, what was YOUR view of same-sex marriage, and why? See-30 years ago, most people considered homosexuality a sin. And they considered it so because that’s what the Bible calls it.
Person: Yeah, but people change and we don’t see it that way anymore.
Me: Agreed. But the Bible hasn’t changed. So people who say they believe it , if they aren’t going to be the hypocrites they are so often accused of being, have to continue to hold to the same morality they did 30, 40 500 years ago – right?
Person: Well, isn’t denying marriage to same-sex couples like denying citizenship to blacks or voting to women? Isn’t marriage a civil right?
Me: Civil rights are matters of legal definition, not universal rights. The law of the land decides civil rights. And same-sex couples aren’t to be equated with blacks and women. Being a woman and being black aren’t issues of choice. People are born that way. Homosexuals aren’t born that way.
Person: YES they are!!!
Me: As a matter of fact, while that’s a popular belief, there’s no scientific evidence to support it. On the contrary, the research has discovered that homosexuality has far more to do with one’s nurture base, their family dynamic; and early childhood imprinting that comes through abuse, than anything else. It’s true that a person may not have CHOSEN to be gay, but the behavior to act out same sex attraction IS A CHOICE. So you can’t equate being gay with being black or being a woman.
Person: But if a person has same-sex attraction, why shouldn’t they be able to express it? What’s wrong with that?
Me: We’re back to our original point; the Bible says it’s sin and sin always has negative consequences. It doesn’t promote human flourishing which is what God & the Bible always aim for. Besides, once we open the door to saying that a lifestyle that is immoral is now acceptable, where do we stop? Why will it be okay for homosexuals to engage in homosexuality but not pedophiles engage in sex with children? Or people who like their pets to have sex with them.
Person: That’s absurd. That will never happen.
Me: I agree – problem is, it’s already being advocated by certain elites. Years ago, homosexual advocates were in precisely the same place; advancing a cause people said would never find acceptance. Yet here we are. And now the line’s been back even further, encouraging the perverts to start their assault on moral norms.
Person: Well, they’ll never find acceptance of their perversion!
Me: And THAT is exactly what people said 30 years ago when homosexuals began their assault on morality. So – you see, because I believe and want to live what the Bible says, while I love homosexuals as persons, I simply CAN’T accept the idea of same-sex marriage or even to recognize them as a distinct social group, any more than I can accept adulterers as a unique social group. It’s all sexual sin and not proper for assigning civil rights.
I have the honor several each year to hold an infant or young child in my arms and dedicate him/her to the Lord during our Sunday services. I’m nearly always moved at just how precious that child I’m holding is. It’s not mere sentimentalism. What moves me is the incredible potential that child possesses. As I look at that little one, what I see is someone utterly unique. There’s not another person in all the world like him or her.
The moment that child was conceived, God placed within him/her a unique spirit. In His infinite, all-wise plan, God called that little man or woman into existence to be a revelation of Him in some way no one else in all history is able to accomplish. That’s the great potential of every human being.
God is infinite; His love, power and perfection, without limit. Every human being, because we bear the image of God, has the potential of making visible to the rest of creation something unique about God. This is why Paul says in Ephesians 2:10 that we are God’s workmanship – created in Christ Jesus for good works. That word “workmanship” is the Greek word poema – from which we get our word poem. It speaks of a finely crafted work of art.
We are God’s finely crafted work of art.His work begins with our conception, continues through our time in the womb, reaches a critical moment of revelation in birth, proceeds through our childhood, adolescence, teen years and into adulthood. The whole time, He’s at work shaping and molding us to reveal something of Himself to the rest of creation.
In 1 Peter 1:12 we discover the angels are intently watching us; not because we’re so interesting – after all, they behold the glory of God. What does interest them so, is how God is revealing Himself in and through us.
The Pro-life movement is based on this principle of the sanctity, the special-ness of human life. This is the foundation upon which the whole Pro-life worldview rests; that there’s intrinsic value to each and every human being because each of us bears the image of God, and we bear it in a unique, individual, and God-planned way.
Those are familiar with the Pro-life worldview know how often our cause is likened to the Abolitionist Movement of the 19th Century. There are many notable parallels. We point out that Laws making slaves nothing more than the property of their owners were immoral and wrong. No one today argues with that because it’s a self-evident truth. It’s difficult for us to conceive of a time when some men considered other men, not as human beings, but as property to be bought and sold; as tools to be used in the creation of wealth. Yet that is precisely the way it was and the Law enforced it. Now we know those laws were wrong and needed to be changed.
One of the main arguments in support of abortion today is that it’s the Law, it’s legal. A woman’s right to privacy has been stretched to include a right to terminate her pregnancy. Just as the laws permitting slavery were wrong 150 years ago, the law permitting abortion today is wrong, and the day will come when some future generation will look back on ours with the same confusion and bewilderment we look back on those who supported the right to own slaves, just because that man or woman was a different color. That future generation will look back on this with shame and regret that some supported a woman’s right to kill her boy or girl just because it hadn’t been born yet.
Slavery came to an end because those who believed in the sanctity of all human life, regardless of color, or age, or social status, demanded that all be treated with dignity and respect. At first, their numbers were few, but by the persuasive force of reason and logic, they were able to convince a few others. That few persuaded still more. There were many long years when it seemed to the Abolitionists nothing would change; the status quo was too entrenched and would never yield. Abolitionists lost members as the years dragged on with no real victories to show for their cause, just a lot of bad press that painted them as radicals.
But those who were driven by the principle of the sanctity of human life remained true to the cause, and slowly but surely, the mindset of the common man began to change. There was something irresistible about the logic of the Abolitionist’s argument. Every man, woman and child knew that deep in their heart they wanted others to treat them with respect and to recognize their dignity as a human being. It wasn’t difficult to see in the face of a passing slave the same humanity and to realize they too held the very same desire! Eventually, the lies that supported slavery came tumbling down and the evil institution ended.
It’s crucial that we do not stop proclaiming the foundational truth and premise of the Pro-Life cause; that human life is sacred, special, and held valuable by God. Our cause too has the weight of reason and logic behind it. And though it seems to have stuttered a bit in the last few years, losing some of its supporters because of discouragement that we’ve not been able to accomplish more in terms of ending abortion, we must not grow weak or faint-hearted. The common man is waking up to the fact that our message is true. They feel it: Life is sacred. They desire to be treated with dignity and respect. Every time they see a pregnant woman, they’re reminded there’s a whole class of people today to whom that dignity and respect is being denied; the unborn.
The lies that support abortion are tumbling down and one day, that evil institution will end. It must.
One of the primary ways we can demonstrate our conviction about the sanctity of human life is through the vital ministry of local pro-life pregnancy centers. This is the most effective way for us to prove we are not merely engaged in some kind of social or political agenda. This isn’t about politics at all, though that seems to be the only way the pro-abortion camp thinks of things. They don’t understand that we see this, not as a political issue, but as a moral imperative. They frame the issue as a civil right; we see it as something much more important. It’s the heart and soul of an entire civilization; for a civilization is judged on the basis of how it treats the weakest and most vulnerable in its midst.
The pregnancy center is a place where we demonstrate to a woman with a crisis pregnancy that WE REALLY DO BELIEVE in the sanctity, not just of human life as a general principle, but of her and THAT specific life inside her womb. Pregnancy centers are a ministry we must support, because it’s the front line in the battle for the sanctity of human life in our culture.
While we wait for abortion laws to be changed, the local pro-life pregnancy center is today’s Underground Railroad, seeing little men and women who would be destined for destruction, brought to birth, and the women enslaved to the abortion lie, set free by a gracious and gentle demonstration of the truth.
May God bless the ministry of the pregnancy center, it’s staff and volunteers and all those who support it.
Many of the people of Calvary Chapel Oxnard keep a close eye on developments in the Middle East, especially Iran and that nation’s nuclear ambitions. We see it as prime trigger for the unfolding on what the prophet Ezekiel describes in ch. 38 and 39 of the Book in the Bible named after him. Those chapters describe an aborted invasion of Israel in the end times of an Iranian-Russian led coalition of Middle East and North Africa nations; geographic regions which today are predominantly Islamist. We’ve long speculated that an Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear facilities could precipitate an Iranian counter-attack that would fulfill Ezekiel prophecy.
It has been with intense interest we’ve watched the news of sanctions and rhetoric alternately calling for more stringent action against Iran or more times for sanctions to effect a regime change. While Israeli prime minister Netanyahu has announced a “red line” beyond which the Israelis feel they cannot let Iran go in developing a nuclear capacity without taking military action, the US administration has taken a far more restrained approach, preferring sanctions with a seeming reticence to even speak of a military action.
As a distant observer of all this, I’ve wondered for some time now why there has not been real progress in dealing with Iran and a more visible preparation for a military intervention on the part of BOTH the US & Israel. At the same time, reports have leaked out of Iran that several of her nuclear facilities have suffered “set-backs.” This looks to be the work of sabotage. It makes sense if the US and Israel were trusting to such sabotage to curtail Iran’s nuclear progress, they would not be compel;led to urge or pursue the military option.
But last week, that changed . . .
New reports out of Iran suggest Iran has at least two, until now, highly secret facilities that have progressed much further than was known and Iran may be closer to a bomb than was assumed. Iran’s close affiliation with North Korea is also troubling since they recently performed a nuclear test at which prominent Iranian officials and scientists were in attendance.
It’s this report that may jog the Israelis into taking the military action they’ve long warned of. Moves in Israel over the last week seem to be positioning the nation for such an attack. And the latest rumbling from our politicians and military leaders are also getting more heated.
Take a look at Joel Rosenberg’s link for more specific details – Article
What follows explains why Calvary Oxnard will be asking it’s members to sign a petition to the Boy Scouts of America on Sunday, Feb. 17, asking them not to alter their policy regarding allowing the gay-rights agenda to influence their organization. But first, a little background . . .
One of the ways public discourse is shut down is by labeling an issue as “political” then banning certain groups from contributing their views to political issues. A problem arises when that issue is profoundly moral and the banned group is compelled by its ethic to take a moral stand.
Slavery was an intensely charged subject in this country in the mid-19th century. It was THE defining political issue. It was also essentially moral. In truth, it was so politically charged precisely because it was regarded by a great many as evil. Imagine a Northern abolitionist pastor being told he was not allowed to speak on the subject of slavery because it was a “political issue.” Imagine Christians at large being told they were not allowed to weigh in on the topic that dominated so many discussions of the day because as “religious people” their view wasn’t tolerated.
That’s the situation many evangelicals and churches face today with same-sex marriage and gay-rights. Certainly this is a highly charged political issue. It’s also essentially a deeply moral issue. If it weren’t, it would have been settled long ago. While some want to make gay-rights merely a civil rights issue, Evangelical Christians see it as a non-negotiable moral issue. It’s non-negotiable because the Bible is clear that homosexual behavior is a sin.
Hold on! Let me explain.
Yes, homosexual acts are sin, as are immoral heterosexual acts like adultery, fornication and the lustful consumption of pornography. They’re sin because the Bible says they are, not because some group of moralists have made up a set of do’s and don’ts.
A common complaint voiced about Christians is that “they’re all a bunch of hypocrites.” Yet when they do adhere to a Biblical standard they’re labeled as “intolerant”. Christians aren’t allowed to pick and choose what they believe about such things as God and morality. They may field all kinds of opinions about music, art, and who has the best burger, but the Bible is the authoritative standard that shapes their theology and ethics.
Scripture is clear; all sex outside of marriage is sin. All of it, hetero- and homosexual.
One pastor has said it well: Homosexuality won’t send someone to hell any more than heterosexuality will send them to heaven. There will be people who’ve had same-sex attraction in heaven and oodles of heterosexuals in hell. A person’s sexuality doesn’t determine their destiny. What DOES is their faith in Jesus Christ. And the history of the Church is one of a long list of morally wretched derelicts who’ve been radically transformed by the power of Christ.
Being a follower of Jesus means acknowledgment and acceptance of the Gospel as made clear in the New Testament. Jesus saves us FROM something; that something is SIN. It’s God who defines what sin is. Man does not have the authority to edit morality. His duty is to comply. So Evangelical Christians understand homosexual behavior to be sin because God’s Word says so. No amount of social tinkering changes that. Sin, in all its forms, harms humans. It does not contribute to human flourishing. God wants the race to flourish, so His people are obligated to promote that which contributes to it’s flourishing and oppose that which works contrary to it. Even when the larger society in which they live is of a divergent opinion.
The gay-rights movement in collusion with major media have done an effective job of casting their agenda as a civil-rights issue. According to recent polls, it seems that public opinion will soon swing to a majority in favor of gay-rights and same-sex marriage. This change has come about because the issue has been untethered from its moral connection and made a political issue. Gay rights advocates try to link their movement to the Civil rights movement of the 60’s. As many have made clear; they are not the same. Being black isn’t a sin. Practicing homosexuality is.
Evangelical Christians simply cannot promote, condone, or stand silently along the sidelines when there is a movement to normalize sin, which is what the gay—rights movement aims to do. They’ve pressed hard to see same-sex marriages legalized and now they are pressing into traditional institutions that have purposefully taken a stand against their inclusion. Today we see that with the Boys Scouts.
Sadly, Evangelicals have at times dealt poorly with homosexuality. Having its own agenda, the press has jumped on some of those sad moments and used them to caricature the Evangelical position toward homosexuals as bigoted, intolerant, hateful and/or homophobic. Yet all of those things are 180 degrees out of phase with what it means to follow Jesus. Christian don’t hate gays, nor are they afraid of them. Truth is, there are many in evangelical churches who experience same-sex attraction but who are also born again, and just like their heterosexual friends, struggle to keep sexual temptation at bay, choosing instead to be holy and discover God’s plan for their lives. What Evangelicals must learn to do is to love consistently enough that we promote what makes for human flourishing while tactfully opposing what diminishes that flourishing.
Now, to the issue of gay rights and the Boy Scouts . . .
The Scout oath includes the promise to remain, “. . . morally straight.” And now, because they’ve been targeted by proponents of gay-rights, they face a crisis of redefining what that oath means. The “straight” of the oath doesn’t mean merely heterosexual, as in “gay versus straight.” It speaks to a moral standard derived from the fixed and unchanging certainty of a Biblically consistent worldview. Part of the Scouting ethic is loyal adherence to traditions that embody solid and substantial content; content that strives for virtue. Now they’re being pressed to cut themselves loose from the very virtues that scouting has been dedicated to fostering.
As Biblically-consistent Evangelical Christians we must exercise our identity as spiritual salt and light. WE have a golden opportunity to do so by sending to the National Organization of the Boy Scouts of America our strong insistence they do not capitulate to those who do not have the best interests of the Scouts in mind but only an agenda to promote, and agenda that which betrays what Scouting stands for. Those leaders took an oath to be loyal and morally straight. Will they keep that oath?
We need to encourage them to do so.
Interesting article about tracking people via RFID’s.
WND, the site where this article was posted, can be a bit extreme and their opinion-articles polemic, but this simple news report is alarming.
The conclusion that wearing an RFID equates to the Mark of the Beast is an over-reach. But the trend here to enforce students wearing a chip trends toward the Transhumanist agenda we’ve been watching for a while now.
Read the article. How long before school districts across the country find innovative new ways to use such devices on students? How long before corporations find ways to make such technology was way to track hours, labor, security? It’s not a question of “If” – only “When”?
Then they [the leaders of Jerusalem] said, “Come & let us devise plans against Jeremiah; for the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come and let us attack him with the tongue, and let us not give heed to any of his words.” • Jeremiah 18:18
Jeremiah stood alone in his generation as a faithful witness of the Lord. Against him were all the other authorities of the day: The Priests, the Wise, the Prophets. The people compared Jeremiah’s lone voice to the collected pronouncements of all these others and decided when it comes to truth, the majority wins. What they ought have done was compare what they heard to God’s Word; the books of Moses who’d foretold what would happen if they rebelled against God and worshiped idols.
Our nation was originally shaped by principles of governance derived from God’s Word. If you want to see what influences had the major impact on shaping the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, read the sermons preached in the churches of Boston and Philadelphia in those days. The Founding Fathers, even those few who were so-called Deists, sat under pastors and preachers who faithfully taught the Word of God. The books of political philosophy they feasted on were nearly all written by men informed by the Bible. Their worldview was profoundly shaped by Scripture.
Today, 230 years later, the God who gave those Scriptures has been virtually banished from the public square & public discourse. His Word has been relegated to the quiet corner of Sunday mornings in a handful of churches, while His counsel has been expunged from the halls of government; a government which owes its existence to Him & His Word.
The originally stated aims of that government, to secure the rights of all people to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, are crumbling & being swept away.
Life is denied to those most needing its protection, the innocent unborn.
Liberty is a flickering flame about to be snuffed out by regulations, onerous taxation, and government-mandated products & services; like Healthcare.
And the personal pursuit of happiness has been redefined as a socialist program for the redistribution of wealth so that everyone shares, not the same level of happiness but an equal measure of misery.
Jeremiah felt very alone in his stand for what was right. So may we as we stand for the Lord and His Word. Truth is not decided by how many believe it. And as history proves, character often means taking a lonely stand.
Today, it’s Jeremiah we honor while the so-called experts and populist pundits of his day we deem fools. The day will come, soon, when history will honor those who stand for righteousness today.
Last night while teaching through Jeremiah, a phrase in chapter 17 leapt off the page and exploded like a grenade in my mind. Verse 13 begins, “O LORD, the hope of Israel . . .”
Yahweh is The Hope of Israel; not a hope, just one of several – THE Hope of Israel.
God wanted His people to depend on Him alone. Repeatedly in Israel’s history, He warned them about courting the support of other nations, of forming alliances and trusting in other kingdoms or empires for their defense. During the kings, Israel and Judah had something of a penchant for looking to Egypt for assistance in forestalling the aggressions of emerging empires to the north. (Isa 36:6, 2 Kings 18:21, Isa 20:5, 30:1-7, Jer 37:5-8. Eze 29:6-7). Hezekiah tried to secure the assistance of the Babylonians against the threat of the Assyrians by showing them Jerusalem’s treasures; a ploy which backfired badly.
News broke late yesterday of escalating conflict between Israel and Gaza. Hamas has been firing hundreds of missiles into Southern Israel and Israel is now mobilizing for an apparent invasion to halt the attacks. All of this precedes the Palestinian plan to declare Statehood in the UN on November 29th. Israel has warned that such an appeal will vacate the Oslo Accords and has been working feverishly to garner international support to resist the Palestinian move.
As I read those words last night, “O LORD, the hope of Israel . . .” I couldn’t help but wonder iof the results of last week’s election here in the US were one more piece of the global puzzle that needs to be in place as God shifts His redemptive focus back to Israel.
It’s no secret the Obama Administration has been cold toward Israel in general and to the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in particular. Hostile, might be a better descriptor of Obama’s treatment of Netanyahu. Was the president’s re-election God’s way of moving Israel to shift its dependence, at least politically, from the US to the Lord?
We know that based on Genesis 12, it’s in our nation’s best interest to be supportive of Israel; not blindly, but wisely. We ought not support Israel without qualification. When she acts unjustly, we cannot condone or consent. But we ought to adopt a political and economic posture toward Israel that is one of blessing so that the promise of Genesis will lean toward our being blessed. If we move over into a posture of cursing Israel and doing them harm, then we can expect the treatment history has repeatedly shown follows, that being loss, turmoil, and hardship – also a fulfillment of Genesis 12.
If we believe we’re rapidly approaching the Last Days, we ought to see the world stage being set up for what the Bible says will occur in the end times. After the Rapture, God turns His redemptive focus back to Israel and the Jewish people. It’s His aim to bring them both ethnically and nationally back to faith in Him. Israel is largely agnostic today. So we ought to expect God to be positioning them politically and economically in such a way that He can deal with them spiritually, just as He did throughout the careers of the kings and prophets. They need to be shaken loose from their reliance on all others so that they will look to their only hope, Jesus, Who will come to and save them at the end of the Tribulation.
So, again, for our sake as a nation, we need to support and seek to be a blessing to Israel so that the promise of Genesis 12 can bestow blessing on us. But Israel must not depend on anyone other than the Lord. He alone is her Hope.
In the thirty years I’ve been pastor at Calvary Chapel Oxnard there have been many national and regional campaigns to recruit local churches to join some cause, to devote their pulpits for a Sunday or series of Sundays to some issue. I’ve consistently resisted joining these campaigns.
Let me explain why.
I take the pulpit ministry at CCO very seriously. It is a sacred and solemn trust. What I teach and preach is at the direction of God’s Spirit to me as the spiritual shepherd to His flock. So for thirty years we have followed the course of teaching expositionaly through the Scripture, verse by verse, chapter by chapter, and book by book. There are seasons when we need to do a topical message or short series to meet a specific need in our fellowship. But even then, the message is an expository study in God’s Word.
When that Word lends light on a contemporary topic, we deal with it forthrightly and unapologetically. But I’ve resisted bending a passage just so I can give my opinion on a current hot topic. Using a text as a pretext to merely sanctify an opinion is misrepresenting what God says and a violation of the pastoral trust.
The current Pulpit Freedom Sunday campaign busily recruiting pastors and churches is one more of a long line of such campaigns to push what I consider an inappropriate agenda. Using the pulpit to force the IRS to sue a church so that the IRS code can be reviewed by the Courts is, in my opinion, degrading to the dignity and purpose of the pulpit. Preaching ought to carry the weight of prophetic authority. It demeans the dignity and duty of the Gospel message when it’s made a vehicle for challenging a mere aspect of a tax-code.
I’m being asked by the Pulpit Freedom Sunday Campaign to say why everyone should vote for a certain candidate. I’m not going to do that. And I’m not, not because it violates the IRS code but because it violates the trust God’s given me as a pastor. IF the Spirit directed me to explain why one candidate in a race was unalterably evil and another was manifestly God’s choice, I would indeed speak out. I don’t have that direction. So to presume to announce God’s will of who to vote for is, in my thinking, the height of arrogance and a gross violation of the pastoral-pulpit trust.
Hasn’t the recent past taught us that a candidate who looks and sounds good while campaigning, once he/she gets into office turns out to be a terrible disappointment? How many candidate say they are pro-life and will end abortion, but do NOTHING about it when they are elected? How many promise to lower taxes but end up growing government, raising the debt and forcing later officials to raise taxes to pay the bill? And who’s to say that the candidate who makes no claim to faith won’t be elected, come to Christ, and turn out to be far more Biblical in his/her term of office than the candidate who campaigned ON his/her faith?
Let me be clear: If we were living in 1930’s Germany I would join Bonhoeffer and Niemoller in denouncing the Nazis from the pulpit. If the Holy Spirit moved me to speak out on a candidate either in support or warning, I would do so, regardless what the IRS said. He hasn’t, so I can’t.
Unless you’ve been (happily) living under a rock, chances are you’ve heard that the big book craze right now is a trilogy of erotic novels that start with Fifty Shades of Grey. No—I have not read them and won’t. Don’t need to. Don’t want to. But according to the news reports of the phenomenon, millions of women are snatching them up and diving in. The Wall Street Journal reports they are set to reach the 20 million mark in sales within days in the US. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303684004577510902680342704.html
That rivals the sales of Harry Potter. They’ve sold over 31 million in the English speaking market.
The books are reported to be pitched at women. Some have dubbed the genre “mommy porn.” Now the talk is making them into a movie, not for those dive theaters were XXX rated flicks play, but a major studio production to be shown in neighborhood theaters alongside the latest Disney film.
It’s porn as family entertainment. Norm porn.
When I first heard of the rocketing popularity of this book craze, I admit I was stunned. But lately, another thought has surfaced. Why am I surprised? Now, I’m surprised by my surprise. I ought to have seen this coming.
One of the enduring cultural debates over the last decade has been the steady and relentless campaign by the homosexual community to normalize what classically has been deemed a moral perversion. Playboy and the sexual revolution of the 60’s foisted onto pop culture an acceptance of what’s called “soft-core” porn. Then, the lid was taken off with the arrival of the internet and cable television. The modern mantra is, “Hey, what consenting adults agree to . . .” The qualifier of “two consenting adults” has even been edited out. The fence around immorality and human depravity has been all but dismantled. The chain links are gone and all that’s left are some lonely and rusted poles. Even those are now being yanked by a backhoe mentality of postmodernism.
The postmodern perspective is like an arson that wants to burn it all down. Millions of people today are of the mindset that anything tradition wants to pass on must be rejected. Liberty is defined as freedom from anything that makes a person feel bad or that hinders them from the pleasure they demand. Guilt is a negative feeling they have a right to live without. So when their desire for anything is deemed to be outside of acceptable standards, it isn’t they who need to change. It’s the standards! Why allow guilt to plague us when we can make acceptable the behavior that causes guilt. And it isn’t enough to just be allowed to indulge privately. No—People want a public, open acceptance of what has caused them shame. Because deep down inside, they know it’s wrong. They think of they can get a critical mass of the public to accept it, if they can see it in best-sellers and on feature films playing to packed houses, then it really is okay, and the guilt will evaporate.
So, the popularity of mommy porn shouldn’t really surprise us. Saying that, what we ought to do is ask, “What’s next? What else is coming that today shocks, but tomorrow will be viewed by our society as normal, acceptable, even preferred?
Make no mistake, the archfiend has an objective in all this; to destroy the sanctity of marriage. The devil wants to dismantle it. That’s how he plans to stall God’s plan. Destroy marriage, then you can more easily destroy children, especially boys.
The devil is going hard after men because they present the biggest threat to him. God made men to be warriors, as He is (Exodus 15:3). When a man embraces his call to be a spiritual warrior, it’s the beginning of the end for the devil in that man’s life and his sphere of influence. So the devil has pulled out all the stops to neutralize men.
He pushes men to the classic mockeries of themselves as either cowards or bullies. In our culture he’s used radical feminism to blur the lines between male and female. He’s used porn to steal men’s souls and turn them into slaves to lust. Slaves make lousy warriors! Want to know the real root of the radical homosexual agenda to make normalize a deviant lifestyle; it’s right here! What better way to neutralize men than to get them to deny who and what they really are as MEN? Then get a whole society to accept that idea, promote easy divorce so that women, not men, raise sons, and you have the nurture base that’s ripe for producing even more men with homosexual desires.
As a pastor, I’m in a unique position to see the real effects of pornography. Many if not most of the marriages I’ve watched blow up over sexual sin began with one of the spouse’s addiction to pornography. And if it didn’t begin there, it was certainly helped along the way by it.
You’ve likely heard some of these stats on the porn industry. I repeat them here for the shock value they OUGHT to have. (Thanks to a friend for culling these stats)
Size of the porn industry: $57 billion; of which $12 billion is in the US. By comparison, the combined US revenues of ABC, CBS and NBC are $6.2 billion.
- Pornographic websites: 4.2 million, 12% of all sites on the Internet
- Pornographic emails: 2.5 billion per day
Source: Top Ten Reviews
- 50% of Christian men admit to being addicted to pornography
- 20% of Christian women admit to being addicted to pornography
- 60% of Christian women admitted to having significant struggles with lust
- 68% of divorces involve one party meeting a new partner over the Internet
- 56% of divorces involve one party having an obsessive interest in “pornographic websites”
- 33% of divorces involve one party spending excessive time in “chat rooms”
Source: American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
- 34% of female readers of Today’s Christian Woman admitted to intentionally accessing Internet porn
- One out of 3 visitors to adult websites are women (Internet-Filter-Review.com)
- Of those struggling with sexual addiction under the age of 35, 40% are women (National Coalition for the Protection of Children and Families)
- The largest and fastest growing group of consumers of Internet pornography are 12-17 year olds (Internet-Filter-Review.com)
- The average age of exposure to pornography is 11 (Internet-Filter-Review.com)
- 47% of families said pornography is a problem in their home (Focus on the Family poll, 2003)
What do we say to this current manifestation of spiritual insanity sweeping society with the Fifty Shades books? Turning up our noses and calling it disgusting will do only one thing; reaffirm in the minds of the world that Christians are up-tight, pleasure-hating sexual prudes. We have to do better than that. Let’s boldly tell the truth!
Sex is God’s idea. He made us male and female and that means something marvelous. Christians aren’t negative and down on sex. We embrace it for the marvelous gift it is from our God. What we’re down on is every and anything that would get in the way and ruin any of God’s gifts. And that means all forms of sex outside the right place for it – IN MARRIAGE!
My wife and I don’t need some erotic novel written by a middle-aged woman in London to have a full and mutually satisfying love life. We’re doing real well on our own. Our Bible even has a highly erotic love poem called the Song of Songs. We could call it, Fifty Flavors of Passion. Yep, it’s pretty spicy.
Hebrews 13:4 tells us that the sexual life of a husband and wife is clean before God. That’s a pretty wide open field for a couple to use as they spend their lives together and the years pass. God wants them to enjoy each other. In 1 Corinthians, the Apostle Paul goes so far as to say the husband’s body belongs to his wife and he owes her sexual pleasure as well as vice-versa. A pretty liberated concept for a 1st Century Jew living in the Greco-Roman culture. Yeah, Paul is light years away from the misogynist modern feminists want to make him in to.
So while the world is all excited about enjoying graydom – let the People of God stand up and say – “Away with the gray! Fill your life with all the colors of God’s marvelous love. His plan extends all the way into your bedroom.”