What Are We Doing?

See why we have an absolutely ridiculous standard of beauty in just 37 seconds.

Warning: This video shows a topless woman, you side the side of her breast slightly. Men, if you think that will cause you to stumble, please don’t risk temptation. 🙂 

Watching this makes me sad. Because I too have looked at these oddly perfect pictures and thought “I wish I looked like that”. But the truth is, no one does. It’s a lie that has been so deeply embedded in the hearts of men and women in this culture, it’s making us seek out something we cannot and should not desire.

The Right Road

We are not living in a world where all roads are radii of a circle and where all, if followed long enough, will therefore draw gradually nearer and finally meet at the centre: rather in a world where every road, after a few miles, forks into two, and each of those into two again, and at each fork you must make a decision.
I do not think that all who choose wrong roads perish; but their rescue consists in being put back on the right road. A sum can be put right: but only by going back till you find the error and working it afresh from that point, never by simply going on. Evil can be undone, but it cannot “develop” into good. Time does not heal it. The spell must be unwound, bit by bit, “with backward mutters of dissevering power”–or else not. It is still “either-or.” If we insist on keeping Hell (or even Earth) we shall not see Heaven: if we accept Heaven we shall not be able to retain even the smallest and most intimate souvenirs of Hell.

~C.S. Lewis

For reflection on Jeremiah 6:16-19

Standards: On What Do You Base Yours?

Recently, I’ve been noticing that my friends, Bible believing, Church going, Godly friends have standards that are very different from mine when it comes to music, television, movies, and entertainment in general.  My question is, why are our standards different? We’re all human, subject to the same temptations and struggles, and especially if you’re a guy,  you’re more vulnerable in some ways than us girls. We use the same book to find our standards. If anything, guys, your standards as a now and future leader should be higher than most. Why aren’t they? What are your standards, and what scripture verses do you have to support them?

This has been on my heart for a while, so bear with me, God’s put this on my heart for a reason.

As believers, we’re supposed to be lights in the darkness, when non-believers look at us, from how we dress and act to our choices in entertainment, I would rather they find themselves wondering “What’s wrong with that freak, why are they so strict?” than thinking to themselves “Oh, cool, they’re just like me!” If we’re just like them, where is the proof of the Holy Spirit in us? Should our standards not reflect our respect for the Savior who died to put to death the sinful things that fill some of this entertainment that surrounds us?

I met a man who is a greeter at NewSpring Church not long ago and one of the things he told me right from the start is that they have music by Led Zeppelin, KISS (Which stands for Knights In Satan’s Service, FYI), and others before their services sometimes, because they want to be cool and show new people that Christians are easy going and not judgmental. Music created to worship sex, drugs, alcohol and Satan have no business in our Churches, in our iPods, on our laptops, anywhere. They mock what Jesus has done for us on the cross.

We are what people look to as examples of what Christ can do in a person’s life, and we are supposed to constantly improve upon our standards and purity. We all get frustrated when people refuse to listen when we talk about Christ because “Christians are all just a bunch of hypocrites”, our standards should not be based on how much we think we can “handle”, but on what scripture says.

We are weak, we can’t handle what we think we can, and letting ourselves watch movies with lots of cursing and/or sexual content will slowly, centimeter by centimeter, drag us down.  We will begin to do, say and think things we never thought we would even consider.  

Satan looks at people like us, people who stand out, people who are respected, and plots how he will devour us. [“Stay alert! Watch out for your adversary the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” ~1 Peter 5:8] He knows we’re too smart to go for some random pop-up or internet add for a porn site. So he’ll start off small, and cleverly tempt you with something as simple as being entertained by a movie that’s “not that bad”. Sin is sin, no matter what pretty, clever package it may be wrapped in. A movie that’s well made but full of sin is not worth God’s time, and you’re living on God’s time. It’s not free, spend it wisely. Soon things like cursing and sexual content don’t really bother you anymore, and you’ll occasionally watch something that doesn’t quite meet up to your standards. Eventually you’ll be so used to that content, your old standards just seem silly, so you’ll lower them. And it will continue on like that. Slowly. Inch by inch. Like grass grows. You never see it growing, but all of a sudden you look out there and it needs mowed again…

I’ve seen it happen to too many guys, strong christian guys, smart guys. Years from when they thought to themselves, “oh, it’s not that bad” they’re sitting alone in their room looking at porn and can’t figure out how they ever got to that place. It seemed so impossible. They thought it would never happen to them. They were strong enough to resist it, so they thought. Women too often find themselves captive to sinful addictions such as porn. It’s a disease that plagues humanity.

Well, it’s not impossible. It’s so easy to fall into that pit, particularly if you’re tip toeing along the edge from time to time, because you think your balance is quite good. You think you’re strong enough not to fall. You’re chuckling quietly at that sexual innuendo and you don’t even realize that the demons are laughing at you behind your back.

Guess what, you are human and you are weak.

If your standards aren’t inline with scripture, your standards are wrong. It’s scripture or nothing. Opinions don’t count, “how much you can handle” doesn’t count. 

“I will set before my eyes no vile thing.” ~Psalm 101:3 (Also translated: “I will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar. I hate all who deal crookedly; I will have nothing to do with them.”)

“Abstain from every form of evil.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:22 (Also translated: “Abstain from all appearance of evil.”)

“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” ~Philippians 4:8

“Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” ~Galatians 5:19

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.‘ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.” ~Matthew 5:27-30

“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”  ~Matthew 5:48

“But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.” ~Ephesians 5:3

“So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.” ~Colossians 3:5

“I am afraid that when I come again my God will humble me before you, and I will be grieved over many who have sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual sin and debauchery in which they have indulged.” ~2 Corinthians 12:21 (Possibly indulged unknowingly?)

“Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside of his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.”  ~1 Corinthians 6:18

Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.” ~Ephesians 4:19

“For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live,” ~Romans 8:13

“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.” ~Proverbs 4:23-27

“For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery,” ~Mark 7:21

As a Believer, you are a Leader, you have friends, coworkers, siblings, and others who look up to you. You have a responsibility to be the very best example of Christlike standards. If you’re a guy, you’re most likely going to be the Leader of a household someday, and should begin now to practice the ways you want to lead and the standards that you will set for your future home.

God made it unquestionably clear what his standards are. Perfection is his goal. We should be ever growing more and more like him, getting closer and closer to his standard. It’s not fun, it’s not entertaining and it can be painful, but we have to “Put to death” [Colossians 3:5] our desires in order to become more like Christ.

So maybe that means seeing less movies. Oh darn. How much more important is it that you grow closer to Christ than be entertained for a few hours? Spend those hours with Him. Or in a good book. Or re-watching an old classic that has nobility and purity at its heart. Something that makes your heart swell with the desire to be courageous and pure. Not something that you have to fight against becoming like.

We all know how important it is to surround ourselves with friends who bring us up rather than drag us down. It’s no different with movies, music, books, etc. We need to prevent “even a hint”of impurity from creeping into our minds and hearts. Even if we never do anything that looks impure to others, it’s whats going on in our hearts and minds that matter to God. He didn’t go through the trouble of dying for me so that I could live as I please. He died to free us from the chains of sin, and casually allowing sin to become entertainment is insulting to Him.

I’d like you, my reader, to do two things, read Proverbs 1:20-33 and Proverbs 2 (Proverbs 5 is really good as well, it talks about how alluring these things can be. That’s something movies are fantastic at, using a false pretense of enjoyment to pollute our minds in the subtlest of ways, often times without us taking any notice of it.), and take some time to pray about it. What is God saying to you? Remember to check any of your arguments or protests with Scripture.

I’d very much like to get feedback on this from you guys! Let me know what you think.

Experience

What I like about experience is that it is such an honest thing. You may have any number of wrong turnings; but keep your eyes open and you will not be allowed to go very far before the warning signs appear. You may have deceived yourself, but the experience is not trying to deceive you. The universe rings true wherever you fairly test it.

 

~C. S. Lewis

For reflection on Jeremiah 2:19

Broken Souls

Whether we feel miserable or not, and however we feel, there is on each of us a load which, if nothing is done about it, will in fact break us, will send us from this world to whatever happens afterwards, not as souls but as broken souls.

 

~C.S. Lewis

For reflection on Isaiah 59:9-15

The Temple Of The Holy Spirit

Not that you and I have now much reason to rejoice in having bodies! Like old automobiles, aren’t they? Where all sorts of apparently different things keep going wrong, but what they add up to is the plain fact that the machine is wearing out. Well, it was not meant to last forever. Still, I have a kindly feeling for the old rattletrap. Through it God showed me that whole side of His beauty which is embodied in color, sound, smell and size. No doubt it has often led me astray: but not half so often, I suspect, as my soul has lead it astray. For the spiritual evils which we share with the devils (pride, spite) are far worse than what we share with the beasts: and sensuality really arises more from the imagination than from the appetites; which, if left merely to their own animal strength, and not elaborated by our imagination, would be fairly easily managed.

 

~C.S. Lewis, from a letter to Mary Willis Shelburne, November 26, 1962

For reflection on Isaiah 46:3-4

Apocalipse

The doctrine of the Second Coming is deeply uncongenial to the whole evolutionary or developmental character of modern thought. We have been taught to think of the world as something that grows slowly towards perfection, something that “progresses” or “evolves.” Christian Apocalyptic offers us no such hope. It does not even foretell (which would be more tolerable to out habits of thought) a gradual decay. It foretells a sudden, violent end imposed from without; an extinguisher popped onto the candle, a brick flung at the gramophone, a curtain rung down on the play– “Halt!”

~C.S. Lewis

For reflection on 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12

A Perfect Gift

Just a short post expressing my hatred of the content you can so easily stumble across on the internet these days.

Seriously, it’s gotten ridiculous. There is so much disgusting, vile, vulgar content in our society now, I just can’t even comprehend it. And even if you find it by accident, once you’ve seen it, if only for just a second, its stuck there in your head. Ready to be recalled for no apparent reason at any moment. In your dreams, while you’re having a conversation with someone, while you’re reading your Bible. It’s like Satan finds it particularly amusing to take someone who makes a great effort to keep their thoughts pure and take that one mistake, using it to make them feel as if they’re just as twisted as the rest of the world.

To push them down, and make them feel useless and dirty. Powerless against the temptations of humanity, and more willing to fall the next time that temptation rears it’s ugly little head.

Honestly, I dearly miss the days when I didn’t understand the dirty jokes in the break room. When I didn’t know the crude terms people have for sex and body parts and anything else they’ve come up with. I miss the innocence. That’s why I am so careful about what TV shows and movies I watch. I get enough filth poured into my mind from work and being around worldly people. I don’t want to have dirty jokes, innuendos and “steamy scenes” being put in my head while I’m at home as well. I want to be free of all of that.

I want to think of sex as something beautiful and private, to be shared with husband and wife alone, and not allow our cultures view of it to distort it and make sex in it’s entirety seem dirty and forbidden. I think that’s a trap a lot of Christians have fallen into. Society has turned sex into and act, a sinful act, and many Christian’s have allowed society to take it so far that we, the followers of Christ, think of sex as something nasty and unspeakable and forbidden. But it’s not. It’s a gift from God specifically for a husband and his wife alone. The coming together of two souls in a permanent union designed by God to link them together for life.

Satan loves to take God’s good and perfect gifts and make them into something horrible and damaging and destructive, and we cannot allow him to have the victory. We must remember to honor God by treating those gifts he has given with great care, and decency and respect. Sex is a holy union. Take care to give it the privacy, respect, and honor that it deserves.

 

~TQG

Remedy

On the one hand Death is the triumph of Satan, the punishment of the Fall, and the last enemy. Christ shed tears at the grave of Lazarus and sweated blood in Gethsemane: the Life of Lives that was in Him detested this penal obscenity not less than we do, but more. On the other hand, only he who loses his life will save it. We are baptized into the death of Christ, and it is the remedy for the Fall. Death is, in fact, what some modern people call “ambivalent.” It is Satan’s great weapon and also God’s great weapon: it is holy and unholy; our supreme disgrace and our only hope; the thing Christ came to conquer and the means by which He conquered.

 

~C.S. Lewis

For reflection on Isaiah 25:6-9