Archive for April, 2010

HWY to Perdition is a popular road – even in church

I am increasingly amazed at the lack of respect paid to people based on gender or age. While we live in a so-called “tolerant” society, or at least one that is advocated, what I see is the complete dissolution of gender anything.

Although much of what passes for fads these days have more than temporary consequences (tattoos and piercings for instance), what really bothers me is this: young men (and older ones, too) referring to their female companions as “dude, guys, man” and so on. There was a time, not that long ago, when men only used certain words when ladies were not present and even immoral men saved their coarsest conversations for the bar or the garage. Now, it appears that it is acceptable for young men to use one or two bottom rung profanities in every sentence. And the young girls not only aren’t offended by it, they partake in the same language that used to be heard coming from only aged and jaded prostitutes. I hear conversations on the train all the time that are crass and crude and completely disrespectful, and not just from the drunks and the bums, or only the “gang bangers”, but from kids going to college.

I see where some younger so-called ministers of the gospel, claim that words are just that: words. They only carry the connotations that culture forces on them. One person’s bad word is normal and harmless to another. It’s all just cultural you know. Haven’t they ever read the book of James and his discussion of the tongue and how it is the most harmful thing we use? And many of these up and coming “pastors” and “preachers” buy into the books that Brian McLaren, Leonard Sweet, and off the wall types like Peter Rollins, write. McLaren, at least, is pretty up front with his agenda, writing a book titled “Everything Must Change”. Everything, Brian? Everything? What about “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and tomorrow”?

What liberal toleration and those Co-Exist stickers really promote is lawlessness; make up the rules as you go and change what doesn’t work for you. A return to no rules, no standards, just utter chaos and eventual anarchy. Men and women compete, it seems, to see who can be the most vulgar, shocking and rebellious. I try to always save my seat or open doors for women, especially older ones who appreciate it. But, more and more, I either get a reluctant nod or no acknowledgment at all of my trying to be a gentleman from even older women. Now, when I see a dozen healthy men sitting and women my age or older standing, I wonder what happened to the idea of men treating women with respect and women actually appreciating it, instead of being offended by such courtesy.

Thanks to Gloria Steinham and others of her ilk, women wanted equality and, for the most part, they have achieved it. When gays are granted the right to marry and adopt society are destroying the last vestiges of what it takes to make a family. Oh, some gays may very well make better parents than some heterosexuals do, but they cannot reproduce, they cannot pass on good or bad genes, and like the old communal religious groups like Shakers who advocated for celibacy, they may very well end their own club by dying out.

Because most Americans have bought into the idea that they should pursue their own happiness even if it is at the expense of society, marriage and children, these young girls tolerate a man speaking to them like they were dogs. Perhaps they don’t have a parent who will even try to help them draw boundaries and say, “That boy/girl isn’t good enough for you!” Every teenager thinks they know more than their parents, but parents still have to set the standards or their children must settle for whatever is acceptable within their peer group.

It works the same way in the church. The leaders/elders must set the standards high enough so that people will realize they are just fakes if they cannot attain to normal Christian standards of living. When they fail, as many will, they need to know where they fell from. Otherwise, the church standard becomes a free-for-all.

This is where our society is heading. And unfortunately, while reading movie reviews by those who also claim to be followers of Christ, we find movies being rated “Acceptable” and “Mildly Offensive” when they include regular blasphemy (misusing the name of Christ Jesus and God), overt sexual innuendo and what used to be considered off-color humor, nudity, and constant reference to the sexual vernaculars of the day. When “Christians” can say things about these movies like, “it may bother some people, but it didn’t shake my faith” or “what is offensive to some people isn’t necessarily offensive to me”, the church no longer mans the tiller of the common conscience in America, or the Western world, much less the minds and hearts of their congregations. We are, once again, living in the days of the book of Judges when “every man did what seemed right in his own eyes”.

On that same thought, it really, REALLY, bothers me that many in the so-called church accept pornography as a “typical” addiction among Christian males. Excuse me? Doesn’t scripture tell us that “For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.” (Romans 8:6-7 ESV) How about this? “You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.” (1 Corinthians 10:21 ESV) Yet, this is practically preached as a common sin and thus made reasonably acceptable in the Christian life.

What the problem truly is, it appears to me, is that modern day Christianity (or what passes for it in many cases) has lost the fear of God. I was a porn addict for decades, but I am convinced that if I were to succumb again I would be giving up my profession of faith and thereby a castaway. I am tempted very, very often, but I have a fear of entering through those gates which will lead only to ruin. I am not free of this addiction by willpower. I tried that route many times, but always fell back into pornography. I could not live without it. But, that was also before I came to a knowledge of the truth and made myself a slave to Christ.

If you are addicted to porn, drugs, lying, stealing or any of these things, the Bible says you are still a slave of Satan.

“Dear friends, now we are God’s children. What we will be isn’t completely clear yet. We do know that when Christ appears we will be like him because we will see him as he is. So all people who have this confidence in Christ keep themselves pure, as Christ is pure. Those who live sinful lives are disobeying God. Sin is disobedience. You know that Christ appeared in order to take away our sins. He isn’t sinful. Those who live in Christ don’t go on sinning. Those who go on sinning haven’t seen or known Christ. Dear children, don’t let anyone deceive you. Whoever does what God approves of has God’s approval as Christ has God’s approval. The person who lives a sinful life belongs to the devil, because the devil has been committing sin since the beginning. The reason that the Son of God appeared was to destroy what the devil does.” (1 John 3:2-8 GW)