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Let Him In By Winans Phase 2: Why It Is Not Gospel Music But Blasphemy

Posted by Job on March 4, 2012

As concerning Christian music and other things concerning worship, I am not a traditional fundamentalist. I disagree with the position of John Calvin and other leaders of the Protestant Reformation, which is that songs, music and dance were primarily related to the tabernacle and temple in the Old Testament religion of the Hebrews, those things were fulfilled in Jesus Christ, and therefore the only permissible form of worship is hymns sung a capella (without music). Yet, that position is actually superior to the common claim that the only permissible mode of worship is that which dominated western culture in the 18th and early 19th century, a cultural/ethnocentric position because it is an indisputable fact of history that the early church – the ancient predominantly middle/near eastern one recorded in the New Testament – did not worship after the manner of Europeans that came along over 1500 years later. So, Christian country, Christian classical and opera music, Christian rock, Christian rap, gospel music (both contemporary and traditional) and the many other varieties under the sun by members of Body of Christ that is indwelt by and serves as a tabernacle for the Spirit of Christ are permissible, so long as it – along with everything else in Christianity – is governed by God’s revelation as preserved in the Bible.

The mere fact that the music is being performed by Christians does not make it acceptable to God, and neither does the intent of the performers or the effect that playing the music has on the regenerate (i.e. causing vigorous worship) or the unregenerate (i.e. helping them understand the gospel and lead them to conversion). The music is also not sanctified by the message (i.e. the lyrics) or the venue (i.e. being performed at a church or in a Christian concert). Moreover, the purpose of the music is to worship God, not to entertain people. Again, merely because it was made to entertain, inspire or aid Christians does not make it Christian music. If it was made to evangelize the lost to cause them to become Christians, then it is not Christian music. If it was made for people, then it is “people music.” Only if it is made for Christ does it become Christian music. And as with everything else, Jesus Christ did leave us in His Bible guidelines for what are acceptable.

Without going into a “theology of worship” discussion, two scripture texts that can be used as guidelines for choosing which music to listen to, include in worship, or (if per chance you are one who creates Christian music) compose are Romans 12:1-2 and Hebrews 12:28-29. The former reads “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Now this does not mean that Christians are commanded to reject popular or other music forms created or embraced by the world as worldly, or to create a distinctively Christian music form.

Christianity is not a religion of rules and rituals, but a religion of the heart. Thus, if your heart is not right, then your music will not be right either. So, rather than being some rule that would enjoin worldly musicians from making worldly music and from worldly listeners from hearing it – which appears to be the position of some of my fundamentalist friends – the message of Romans 12:1-2 is to not be worldly. Worldly musicians will make worldly music. Worldly listeners will listen to worldly music. The reason is that those people are of the flesh and will live accordingly. But Godly people will make and listen to Godly music because they are of God’s Spirit and will live according to God’s Spirit. No rules, regulations, rituals, customs, traditions etc. will made a worldly person Holy Spirit-filled and Holy Spirit-led in worship or anything else. And of course, such vain external trappings of false religion (John 7:24) should not keep true believers in bondage. So, if you are worldly, the world is what an artist will be thinking about, striving to emulate and please, when he makes his music. Further, if you are a worldly listener, you will not want music that reminds you of God and His attributes, but rather music that reminds you of the world that is your first love. But if you are Godly, then your desire to know and please God – your first love – will be reflected in the music that you make and/or listen to.

Now for the second text, Hebrews 12:28-29, which is not only an explicit command to guide worship, but tells us why this command or rule exists. “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire.” Note that “we may serve”, as the King James Version translators rendered it, is the Greek word latreuō, which can means “to perform sacred services, to offer gifts, to worship God in the observance of the rites instituted for his worship.” This definition fits the context, which is why other good translations use “worship” or “praise”. The English Standard Version renders Hebrews 12:28 with this very issue in mind (arguably making it more of an interpretation/commentary than a mere translation!) with “Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe.”

So make no mistake, this text commands us to worship God in an acceptable manner, and that the only acceptable manner is reverence. Again, reverence is not a rule, ritual or tradition, but a matter of the heart. The Old Testament bears this out. God gave Israel a specific, detailed collection of rules and rituals to follow concerning the manner in which He would be worshiped. What happened? They didn’t follow it. Why? Because their hearts were not right. They did not love God, they did not have a desire to know or serve God, so they did not consistently keep the religious forms that God gave them for any length of time. This was so as a general rule anyway. The remnant, the elect chosen and preserved by God, DID worship God to the best of their ability. So, even from the Old Testament we know that rules banning rock guitars, hip-hop drumbeats, or everything but hymns without musical accompaniment are vanities in a heart that is hardened. Just as a worldly heart will lust after the world, and irreverent heart will never know reverence in its cold, dead and depraved condition.

By contrast, a regenerate heart will revere God. Why? Again, Hebrews 12:28 tells us. Be not deceived: it is not mere mutable emotion that waxes and wanes with the phases of the moon, but something far more permanent. 1. Born again Christians are grateful to God for our permanent kingdom that cannot be shaken; that we will spend an eternity with Jesus Christ in New Jerusalem (commonly called heaven). This fact serves as a powerful hope, inspiration and driving force that remains constant no matter our circumstances or emotional state. 2. Our God is a consuming fire! Born again Christians do not erect false idols of nonexistent deities that will not punish the wicked. Instead, we love the truth – that God will punish and destroy the wicked – because this truth confirms God’s holiness and power, and we love God because He is holy and powerful! A safe god, a god that we can transgress and disrespect without consequence, or one who only punishes us for crimes committed against His creation (i.e. only sending murderers, thieves and rapists to hell for what they have done TO PEOPLE) and not for offenses done against God’s holiness is no God at all. Scripture makes it clear from beginning to end that God is One who demands and is holiness. God does have the whole world in His Hands after the manner of the children’s nursery rhyme, but make no mistake: God is no child’s toy, or anyone’s toy for that matter. The elect is indeed safe in the arms of Jesus Christ, as an old hymn asserts, but this same Jesus Christ – the same One who drove the thieves out of the temple with a whip and will one day return riding a white horse and carrying a two edged sword with which to horribly punish the wicked – isn’t safe! For those who reject this and deny that our God is a consuming fire, they should instead be confronted with the reality that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Hebrews 10:31, plus a rather well known sermon)!

It is not merely a “we must worship God in this manner or God will send fire down from heaven and consume us” sort of fear, though Christians should certainly remember Nadab and Abihu, Uzzah, and Ananias and Sapphira when that very sort of thing did happen if only for the typology. Instead, it is simply a truth that God has disclosed His Divine Nature to us in the Bible, and those that are regenerate and hence truly love God will respond to God’s self revelation by acting in accordance to that revelation, not against it. Again, this is something that will not happen by way of adherence to ritual, or creating rules based on human comprehension of the facts of scripture, but as the elect are carried along by God’s Holy Spirit. Similar to salvation (consider what Jesus Christ told His disciples when they were astonished after the rich young ruler incident) with man, it is impossible to achieve worship that is spiritual and reverent, for man is only capable of worldly irreverent worship that mocks, hates and rejects God. But with God, it is possible to attain reverent spiritual worship that is liberated from the rusted shackles of carnality, and it is indeed achieved. This is done because it is God’s will to receive reverent spiritual worship that is pleasing to Him, and God’s will is most certainly done.

In conclusion, I will provide the example – a negative one – which motivated this entry: Let Him In By Winans Phase 2. It is simply one of the most egregious ones that I have encountered. For those who are uninitiated as concerning the R&B music genre, this song is – not emulates but is – a “slow jam”, meaning a romantic song. The purpose of the “slow jam” is to create a mindset – or mental atmosphere – of emotional and physical intimacy, including – but not limited to – sexual intercourse. (Of course, not a few artists in this genre make such songs solely and entirely for the purpose of promoting sexual intercourse, and take it as a compliment when their fans inform them that their music was played on their prom nights, wedding nights, when their children were conceived, etc.) And keep in mind: when such intimacy is not available or attainable, the purpose of the music is to remind people of such intimacy, or cause them to desire for or aspire to it! Make no mistake, that is the primary reason why such music exists, it is the primary reason why it is so popular with the artists who make it – as many of the artists are lovers of sensuality – and it is also why the music is so commercially successful.

And “Let Him In” by Winans Phase 2 is a song after this genre and spirit. The musical accompaniment is entirely sensual. So is the way that the song is sung. But that is not the main problem.Consider this: the “Let Him In” title of the song – and it is also a refrain, repetitively sung in a soft, sensual manner! – is an evangelistic plea to convert to Christianity. (It is based on the very common misapplication of Revelation 3:20, but the issue here is not the free will salvation theology advocated by the song, but the song’s irreverent form.)  Again, based on the musical and lyrical style, the purpose of it was to emulate an R&B “love song” (when in truth most “love songs” should be renamed “amorous songs” as they are far more often concerned with physical attraction and emotional infatuation than actual, Biblical love). Further, “let him in” is a widely known euphemism that has the purpose of requesting sexual intercourse. Make no mistake, as a large number of R&B (and rap/hip-hop) songs have a very similar musical and vocal sound and use the same “let him in” phrase according to its common meaning, how is it possible for one very familiar with the genre to listen to that song without making that association? Of course, it is possible to suppress it, and undoubtedly the professed Christians who listen to this very popular song do so. But had this song been reverent in the first place, it would not have been necessary. It is not the duty of the listener to suppress what the song would have certainly meant were it in a different genre, the genre that this song was intended to sound like. Instead, it is the duty of the Christian performer not to make a song that sounds very much like an entreaty for the listener to consent to Jesus Christ performing a sex act on him (or her)!

That sounded strong to you? Well, consider the lyrics to this song. Now they deny that the song is carnal on one hand, but the song elsewhere says – concerns Jesus Christ – “He’s making love to my heart.” Which by the way … A REFERENCE TO APPEARS FOUR TIMES! (I want to point out: THIS SONG IS BEING SUNG BY MEN. It would still be blasphemy were it sung by women, but I just wanted to point that out.) Some other lyrics from this homosexual love ballad – excuse me, gospel song: “Sweet as can be”, “I love the way he talks to me”, “Oooh I’m so happy.” Also, one of the “He’s making love to my heart” references asks the listener to “let him make love to your heart.” Again (and I do not intend this to be Mark Driscoll vulgar here): “let him in” in is colloquial context is a request to allow a man to have intercourse with you made by some intermediary. A common application is when a man is dating a woman, wants to have intercourse with her, but she is reluctant. So, the man gets a mutual friend of theirs to go to this reluctant woman on his behalf and tell her “Come on. He’s your boyfriend. You know you like him. You know you want him. You have been dating how long? Three months? What are you waiting for? How much longer are you going to wait? Come on, let him in!” When you read the lyrics, it honestly appears as if the meaning of the “let him in” phrase was not something that they were unaware, or some horrible accidental coincidence, but instead something that they directly, purposefully incorporated into the song, as the entire song itself is concerned with sexuality! The song explicitly says, in multiple occasions – “Jesus Christ is making love with my heart, let Jesus Christ make love with your heart!” And then it makes use of Revelation 3:20 (which is directly referenced in with “I’m here to let you know he’s knocking at your door to let him in”!) to make the connotation of the euphemism direct and complete. The song purposefully, directly associates – indeed depicts – Christian conversion and Christian living with sexual encounters with Jesus Christ in the same way that Paul associated the Christian’s life with an athlete running  a race. Now John MacArthur spoke of the rape of the Song of Solomon by Mark Driscoll. Well “Let Him In” constitutes no less than a (homosexual!) rape of Revelation 3:20 by Winans Phase 2.

This is merely the most egregious example that I am aware of. As I no longer listen to Christian music radio of any genre and merely happened upon this song, there are probably many others as bad or worse. But it serves as a good example of a song that is not reverent and is very much worldly. Though this song purports to be evangelistic, the truth is that it represents an attempt by carnal-minded people to win converts by relying on the basest of means. It is the “sex sells” approach to evangelism and discipleship that is advocated in this age by many, including Rick Warren and Ed Young Jr.

Rest assured, one cannot be carnal and worldly and be saved. One must be made holy, and this holiness is only achieved through Jesus Christ. The Bible does not tell us to become converted by lustfully imagining a sexual encounter with Jesus Christ. Instead, it tells us to repent of our sins and believe that Jesus Christ died for sins in the place of the sinner, was worthy to do so because of His being the Son of God, and was resurrected from the dead. If you have not done so already, I urge and entreat you to do so immediately. Click on the link below to receive some information on how to do so.

Follow The Three Step Salvation Plan

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Rush Limbaugh’s Not Being Allowed To Buy An NFL Team May Be A Bad Sign For American Christians

Posted by Job on October 15, 2009

First, please do not mistake me for being a Rush Limbaugh supporter of any sort. (For the record: I was once a regular listener to his show back when I was an ardent religious right neoconservative Republican, but since then my religious views have changed, resulting in my political views changing – to apolitical –  as well). Also, it is significant that by his own words Rush Limbaugh cannot be considered to be a Christian of any sort, which makes it particularly distressing that so many of my politically conservative Christian brothers and sisters vigorously endorse and allow themselves to be influenced by Limbaugh’s views and count him among their ranks, even to the point of considering him to be a great articulator and defender of the faith and equating an attack on him and his views to being an attack on Christianity. (Such people really need to pay serious attention to the history of Christianity, allow me to recommend The Reformers And Their Stepchildren by Leonard Verduin, a book that would shatter the basis for most religious right – and religious left – delusions.)

Yet the rejection of Rush Limbaugh’s attempt to become a minority owner of an NFL team should still cause Bible-believing Christians some concern. Make no mistake: the opposition to Limbaugh is largely due to his opposition to ideas and things that Christians also consider sinful: abortion, homosexuality, feminism etc. Make no mistake, this has nothing to do with Limbaugh’s racial views. Let me point something out: the NFL has a long history of racism. It is the only major sports league that has an explicit affirmative action program (the despised Rooney rule) because it is the only one that needs it! Limbaugh would have been far more likely to make the NFL less racist than more racist. Also, there is a huge double standard. You would have had a difficult time finding a bigger racist in modern professional sports – or in big business – than Ted Turner. Yet neither the media or civil rights groups said a peep about Ted Turner’s longtime ownership of the Atlanta Braves or the Atlanta Hawks (or for that matter CNN or the Turner Networks). By contrast, the media pressured Major League Baseball into forcing Marge Schott to sell her team!

The difference: Ted Turner openly mocks Christianity. So Turner’s racism is not only never commented on by the media, but it is artfully concealed. Instead, the media talks glowingly of Turner’s “philanthropy”, which JUST HAPPENS to include support for PLANNED PARENTHOOD and U.N. POPULATION CONTROL EFFORTS. Check out this quote where Turner claims that global warming could cause us to become cannibals, and it could turn civilized countries into places like SOMALIA and SUDAN, examples which JUST HAPPEN to be black African nations. Oh yes, this supporter of Darwinian evolution Ted Turner also claims that the world has too many people. Which people would those be, Mr. prominent supporter of “The Origin of Species: By Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life“? But can any of you recall the last time Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton or any of the other types denouncing Limbaugh’s attempt to own an NFL team saying a thing about Turner’s racism EVER?

Now do not mistake this for being just another “liberal media hypocrisy double standard” screed that you can find in any right wing organ like Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, National Review (or sadly far too many evangelical Christian outlets). That the world is evil and hypocritical is to be expected, and that is precisely one of the reasons why Jesus Christ called the church out of the world and commanded us to be separate from it. Instead, my angle is this: the treatment of Limbaugh is still more evidence that this country is becoming ever more hostile to Bible-believing Christians. Don’t be deceived into thinking that it is because of our political views, our “moral values” or what have you. For instance Hollywood gave the rabidly homophobic rapper Eminem award after award and also raved over the allegedly “pro-life” movie Juno (which was actually a very cleverly concealed feminist hatchet job on males and fatherhood). As the movie “The Time Changer” excellently made the case for, it isn’t conservative political views or good family values that Satan – and by extension the world that Satan rules – hates, it is Jesus Christ. That’s why the very same people who attack Christians for opposing abortion and gay rights RARELY IF EVER do the same regarding shari’a law Muslims!

So take up the cause of Rush Limbaugh? I would really dissuade any Bible-believing Christian from doing so. But realize that the media firestorm that resulted from Limbaugh’s attempt to become a minority owner of an NFL team is still more evidence that this nation is becoming ever more hostile to Christians and recognizing it as a sign of the times? That is what you should do. Ironically, Limbaugh is one of the major purveyors of the “America is a Christian nation” nonsense that is actually a false doctrine and form of the religion, one that takes a religion based on faith in the revelation of God’s Son Jesus Christ and turns it into merely a political/cultural belief system. Because of that, many of Limbaugh’s Christian followers are convinced that American Christians will not – or should not – ever face the marginalization and persecution that Christians in other nations do because America and its church are a special covenant nation with a special standing before God. This line of thinking is why so many of the rapture-based movies like “Left Behind” and “The Omega Code” depict America as leading the fight against the anti-Christ, at times with the American president leading the way. However, the truth is that America is part of Babylon, the worldwide political, economic and religious system that exalts itself against God, just like any other nation. If anything, America is a leader in it. America is where the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Federal Reserve are. Freemason and occult emblems are all over our national symbols. And if America didn’t invent violent and occultic movies, pornography, and similar content in heavy metal and rap music, we certainly lead the world in exporting it, and incidentally the same is true with the dissemination of false religious cults (Scientology, Jehovah’s Witnesses, oneness pentecostalism) and religious syncretism, especially with New Age. And yes, America does have an ambassador to the Vatican, and 6 of our 9 Supreme Court justices are Roman Catholics, including at least one Opus Dei member.

So, the prophecies in Revelation apply to America just like everyplace else. America will turn against and persecute its Christians just like every other nation, and America will be judged by God for its treatment of Christians (do not believe John Hagee and other dispensationalists who claim that judgment will be based on the nation’s treatment of Israel, the martyrs that will be avenged in Revelation 6:10 are Christian martyrs, not Jewish ones) just like other nations. And speaking of dispensationalism, in addition to their erroneous claims concerning America and Israel in the last days, the Bible (including Revelation 6) states that the church will have to endure this time as opposed to being “raptured out of it.” So, this Limbaugh episode is more evidence that Christians should be preparing themselves for what is coming in America as opposed to continuing to delude ourselves.

Incidentally, if you are not a Christian, please know that all of the things that are going on in this country and our world, all of the massive problems, were foretold long ago in the Bible. There is no excuse for continuing to disbelieve the Bible and continuing to rebel against Jesus Christ. Please end your rebellion in Jesus Christ today. The video below provides information designed to help you do so.Vodpod videos no longer available.

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G.I. Joe: Promoting Adultery And Violence To Children

Posted by Job on August 11, 2009

My motivation for mentioning this was hearing a couple of disc jockeys on Christian (CCM) radio go through great lengths to promote the idea that it is acceptable for Christian parents to take their children, given to them by the Lord for the purpose of instructing in righteousness and protecting them, to see this film. Those disc jockeys need to watch the movie the “The Time Changer” or view the Tim Conway video and link below, and so do all Christians that agree with them.

Now why do Christian parents want to take their children to see this movie? Simple: because despite being rated PG-13, the movie is obviously being marketed to children, just as was the Transformer movies (Incidentally G.I. Joe and Transformers are manufactured by the same toy company and the movies are made by the same studio with the same producer. Isn’t capitalism grand politically conservative Christians?) Do not pretend otherwise. Not only is the mere fact that the movie is based on a toy line going to pique the interests of children, but the movie is heavily promoted during children’s programming (ar reason to consider liberal socialist PBS as an alternative to Nickelodeon, Disney, Cartoon Network, network TV, etc. … no commercials!) and there are the usual “kids’ meal” fast food tie ins. So, many Christian parents have their children begging them to allow them to see it, plus the movie also appeals to the child in a great many adults … meaning the desire for visually stimulating escapist entertainment.

However, Christian parents – and their children – should not be in the business of seeking entertainment from things designed to appeal to our fallen nature. Perhaps the best description of our fallen sinful nature is contained within Romans 1:18-32. Here is an excerpt: “Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” Sound familiar about any society and culture that you know? Sound familiar about any household that you know?

That excerpt makes it clear that not only does our fallen sinful nature crave wanton violence and sexual immorality ourselves, but we take pleasure in watching others do the same. It is called voyeurism, without which no “reality show” (which consists of sitting around watching other people act immoral for our own entertainment) could survive. However, where true voyeurism is unavailable, fantasy voyeurism – which only depicts immorality – will do. Yet G.I. Joe is where fantasy immorality meets reality in the person of Sienna Miller.

This Sienna Miller may yet legitimately be an actress of some ability and reputation. But let us be honest: her resume and acting ability had nothing to do with her getting this role. Instead, it had everything to do with this Sienna Miller’s being famous – or should I say infamous – in the now rather large tabloid subculture for her very brazen and public relationships with married men. So, this Miller gets rewarded for her grotesque personal immorality with a movie role that she would have never gotten otherwise because the film’s makers knew that her lifestyle would attract people who – again according to Romans 1, have pleasure in her lifestyle!  And for the maximum effect (or exploitation), Miller was cast in the “bad girl temptress”, a role described by a tabloid as that of  “a leather-clad man-eater.” So, what is the (im)moral of the story? Become one of the world’s most notorious adulteresses and get a role in a movie that influential evangelical Christians (which by nature of their profession the CCM disc jockeys are) will defend taking your kids to go see!

Now granted, it is possible that many Christian parents may not know a thing about this Miller person or this film’s attempt to profit from her reputation. (However, no Christian parent can claim to not be aware of Hollywood’s reputation and therefore be surprised in any way that Hollywood is using fascination with adultery to increase the profit margins on movies marketed to children during “Dora The Explorer” and with Burger King kid’s meals.) However, no Christian parent should delude himself about the extreme violence that G.I. Joe (and for that matter all of these comic/book and toy movies) depict. We see the gunfire, the missiles and bombs, the lasers, car crashes, explosions etc. and think “wow that is so cool!”

The truth is that these things are false images, lies, and all lies are the product of the adversary, the enemy, the serpent of old which is Satan that has deceived the whole world. The reason why I say this is because being exposed to false depictions of extreme violence produces a person – and a population and culture – that goes beyond merely being desensitized to violence but having a mindset that is altered and strongly deluded to the point where violence, death, mayhem and destruction are worshiped. How receptive will a mind raised in such a culture be to the Prince of Peace Jesus Christ and the offense of His work on the cross? As a matter of fact, how many professing Christians have real trouble with believing that they have to personally obey the Sermon on the Mount and the other instructions of Jesus Christ to love your enemy, turn the other cheek, make peace with your adversary etc. because they grew up cheering police officers and other “good guys” brutally kill the bad guys vengeance style? Rarely does this “entertainment” depict the bad guy being merely apprehended and placed into custody to stand trial, which is actually the desired outcome in a civilized society based on law, order and justice. Why? Because the viewing wants to see the police officer (or as it happens an average citizen) play judge, jury and executioner and satisfy their lust for blood. We also want this escapist fantasy violence to be our outlet to vent our fears, hatreds and frustrations (preferring to watch the objects of our evil thoughts and emotions being blasted away in movies and on TV) rather than confessing our faults before the body of believers in Jesus Christ and going before the throne of grace for forgiveness of our sins. So, we reject the true High Priest that is seated on the right hand of God the Father, Jesus Christ, in favor of the idol of the TV screen!

And make no mistake, this does impact people’s thinking. The best example of this was the criticisms of the actions of the police department during the Columbine High School massacre. The police were denounced for not barrelling through the front door and confronting armed gunmen! Why? Because a society that has for decades been molded by action movies and TV shows thinks that is what you are supposed to do. In such shows, it is possible for the police, the military (so long as it is ours) and other “good guys” to wade right into a blizzard of bullets and missiles with no casualties. They have no idea that it is the opposite is true: it only takes one guy with one gun firing one bullet to kill the “good guy.” It really is a type of brainwashing, where these false media images conform you to the lies that the god of this world, the prince of the powers of the air, want you to believe so that accepting and living by the truth of Jesus Christ and His resurrection will be all the more difficult.

After all, the reason why we watch entertainment like this is because “it looks so cool and realistic.” Excuse me, but what is “so cool” about a lie? And how can it be “realistic” if it isn’t true? If these movies were so “realistic” and “true” they would show severe burn victims with their skin melted off, and how such people will be disfigured for the rest of their lives even after several iterations of plastic surgery. They will show people lying in hospital beds screaming in pain despite having received the most powerful anesthetics available because their nerve endings are messed up. They will show a paraplegic struggling to learn how to bathe and clothe himself. They will show mothers and wives at the end of their wits struggling under the stress of having to take care of their paraplegic husbands and sons. They will show mortally wounded people slowly degenerate and die over the course of several days and weeks while their family members grieve and watch.  They would show the three year old children waking up in the middle of the night asking their mothers “Where is daddy, when is he coming home?” over and over again and having to be told “Daddy is dead, sweetie, he is never coming home” and the mother and child having to hold each other, cry and console each other.

Why? Because that is the actual result of the real violence and destruction falsely portrayed by G.I. Joe and similar films: people getting maimed for life or killed and their loved ones having to deal with it. Pretending as if these avalances of bullets and bombs can fly all over the place with absolutely no real consequences (i.e. no one that we care about gets injured and no one is personally affected by or has to deal with it in any serious way) is just as wrong as depicting promiscuity while omitting sexually transmitted disease, abortion, divorce, rape and child molestation, and “crimes of passion” that results from this behavior. It is the “sin has no consequences” lie, which by the way was the same lie that Satan used to deceive Eve in the Garden of Eden with “you will not surely die” (Genesis 3:4). It is called “fantasy” and “escapism” because the ultimate fantasy of every sinner is that he can sin without there being any consequence. The sinner wants to delude himself that the consequence of his behavior is not offense to God’s holiness or righteousness, or that God will not take action against the injustice committed against His holiness. But whether the lie is “no harm done” or “God doesn’t know” or “God doesn’t care” or “God won’t do anything about it”, trust me, it is still a lie no different from the first one told in the Garden of Eden. And just as in that instance, we should not focus too much on the lie or even on the liar, but on the wicked human heart that was all too willing to believe it and act on it. Honestly, what makes you think that your internalizing a lie through your action of being entertained by it is any different from Eve’s? If you can tell me the difference, I would like to hear it. For in both cases, the issue is not the lie so much as it is the heart that wants to believe it for its own purposes, which is to serve its own pleasure rather than to serve the will of God.

If movies like G.I. Joe were realistic, they would show the broken bodies, broken minds, broken spirits, broken families and broken lives that are the result of this violence. They would show you what REALLY happens when a laser hits someone, when there is a serious car crash, when a bomb or missile explodes, when someone starts shooting machine guns, or when buildings collapse. In real life, explosions burn people and blow off body parts. Car crashes and falling buildings crush people. Bullets tear flesh. And when these things happen, no distinction is made between “good guys”, “bad guys”, or “innocent civilians.” You can see things like this happen in an action movie dozens of times and NO ONE GETS HURT. Or if they do, it is all clean and sanitized, with the “bad guys” getting the worst of it, and often very little blood, let alone actual carnage and mayhem. Why? Because no one wants to see that. No one wants the truth, so we would rather have our minds shaped, twisted and conformed by corrupt lies.

We would rather be entertained by lies than live for the truth, and this is the result. So the question is: how can we love a lie and call ourselves Christians? Go read what Revelation 22:15 says about the fate of those who love lies and answer that question. Make no mistake, this is a serious issue. I am not going the usual route of “watching Megan Fox (who openly brags about her lesbianism) in Transformers may cause you to want to go out and fornicate” or “watching the gunfire in G.I. Joe may cause you to go out and shoot somebody.” I realize that this only occurs with a small amount of people who already had these tendencies to begin with. But we have to start directly confronting the issue of how polluting our minds – and that of our children – with things that we know to be lies and with the fascination and worship of sin, evil and destruction causes. I did not say what it leads to, the famous “slippery slope” argument. Instead, we have to deal with what entertaining lies in our mind and worshiping violence and destruction are, which is sin.

Why are we so quick to resort to escapist entertainment anyway? Because dealing with the real world is so hard, so painful, so difficult. We would rather take the easy way – escape from it – than the hard way, which is deal with it. Well, if that is how we as adults feel, imagine how our children, who have to deal with so many strong emotions and frightening situations at such young ages, feel? Instead of plunging our children ever deeper into escapist fantasy cocoons, we need to show our children the reality that they are going to have to deal with if they are going to effectively serve Jesus Christ and glorify God the Father by obeying the Holy Spirit in the actual world that does exist. Yes, the primary way that we teach our children how to deal with reality is by showing them to with our own example! Of course, Satan does not want your kids to be able to effectively deal with the real world (a precondition for serving Jesus Christ), and allowing your kids to be trapped by his worldly system that plunges them mentally and emotionally into some confused fantasy land state where they cannot tell their right hand from their left (which means they don’t know right from wrong, tell what is real and what is fake, don’t know the truth from a lie, and wouldn’t even know how to deal with what is right, what is real, and what is true if they did) is nothing less than a dereliction of your duty as a Christian parent.

Christian parents need to build their children up in the Lord, not destroy them with the things of Satan. The enemy has already been defeated on the cross by Jesus Christ and the battle is already won, so why even give a place to this defeated foe in the mind of your children? So, instead of filling your children with hate, violence, wrath, wantonness, sensuality and craven glorification of sin, please use this test to evaluate whatever your children (and for that matter you yourself) are exposed to and reject whatever fails.

Philippians 4:8 – Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

And no, do not go pulling the “legalist” card. Biblically, a “legalist” is someone who claims that a Christian needs to convert to Judaism and follow the law of Moses in order to go to heaven. The modern definition of “legalist” is adding rules and creating sins that do not appear in the Bible and claiming that they have the force of scripture. Advising Christian parents against giving money to Hollywood producers seeking to profit off Sienna Miller’s adulteries and warning against things that conform your mind to a lie (read Romans 12:1-2 and 2 Corinthians 10:5) is not legalism. Instead, the burden is on the Christian to explain why he absolutely HAS to view this “entertainment” in the first place, let alone let his children see it. If Christians were able to get by for almost 2000 years without the advantages of movies glorifying fantasy (meaning unrealistic and therefore inherently immoral) depictions of violence because such things hadn’t been invented yet, today’s church has no need of these things either.

Tim Conway – Do You Watch Things That God Hates?

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Should Christians Engage The Culture?

Posted by Job on December 18, 2008

I hear it commonly asserted by pastors and theologians that I respect that Christians should engage the culture. So, I am asking those of you wise and learned in things concerning God’s Word and commandments these questions.

1. Does the Bible, especially the New Testament but I will accept the Old Testament (although no dominion or covenant theology interpretations of Old Testament scriptures please), contain verses that commands saints to engage the culture?

2. Does the Bible contain any examples of saints engaging the culture?

3. If the Bible does not contain any commandments or examples of saints changing the culture, should Christians do it anyway?

4. What other things that the Bible does not command or example saints to do should Christians engage themselves in?

5. What things that the Bible does not command or example saints to do should Christians NOT engage themselves in and why?

6. What is the goal of engaging the culture? Is it to spread the gospel? To oppose and restrain evil? Or is it to promote or preserve specific cultural norms?

7. Should Christians engage the culture only in cultures and populations that are majority or historically Christian? Or should Christians engage the culture in areas where they are tiny and persecuted minorities with little or no history?

8. Where should we focus our efforts? A. On primarily good, functional prosperous cultures to keep them from getting worse? B. Or primarily wretched, dysfunctional, violent, impoverished cultures to make them better?

9. What is the primary way or method that Christians should use to engage the culture, especially in the case of 9B?

10. If Christians successfully engage and change the culture, to whose will and glory is it, especially in the case of 9A? Is it to the will and to the glory of Christians (man) or of God?

Thoughtful sincere discussions and debate from Bible – believing Christians would be appreciated.

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Steven Camp: To Evangelize Effectively Think Biblically Not Culturally

Posted by Job on March 6, 2008

Courtesy of Christian Research Network.

Romans 1:14-17
“I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”1 Corinthians 2:2
“For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.”2 Corinthians 4:1-6
“Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

Galatians 1:6-10
“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel–not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

Ephesians 1:3-14
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.”

Philippians 1:20-21
“as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

Colossians 1:6-15
“Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.”

1 Thessalonians 2:2-8
“But though we had already suffered and been shamefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we had boldness in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in the midst of much conflict. For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive, but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts. For we never came with words of flattery, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed–God is witness. Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others, though we could have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.”

2 Thessalonians 3:1-5
“Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you, and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one. And we have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are doing and will do the things that we command. May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.”

1 Timothy 1:12-19a
“I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, holding faith and a good conscience.”

2 Timothy 1:8-9; 2 Timothy 4:1-5
“Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me.”

“I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound [1] teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”

Titus 3:1-8
“Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people.”

Philemon 1:4-6
“I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and all the saints, and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ.”

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