Jesus Christ Is Lord

That every knee should bow and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father!

Posts Tagged ‘entertainment’

Good Christian Belles: Why It Isn’t That Big Of A Deal

Posted by Job on March 4, 2012

ABC – that’s right – the same company as “family-friendly Disney” that has been marketing sexualized images of teen girls for going on 20 years, and oh yeah has been promoting occult/witchcraft/magic to mainstream audiences from the very beginning – has a (yawn) “controversial” new show called “Good Christian Belles” or GCB (not the original more controversial title from the book on which it was based). As the “talent” behind this production have also worked on such products as “Steel Magnolias”, “Glee”, “Desperate Housewives” etc. (what, no “Sex And The City” veterans available?) and depicts Texas Southern Baptists, one can guess the tone and subject matter. And, as one can also guess, various “watchdog groups” purporting to represent evangelical Christians have professed themselves to be shocked and outraged. However, the truth is that this reveals more about the lobbying groups and the Christians that they represent than it does the TV show and those responsible for its existence.

Why? Because “Good Christian Belles” and those responsible for it – quite simply – are the world, and the world hates Christians and Christianity. Always has, always will. There is no way to sugarcoat it or tapdance around it: it is a fact plainly revealed in the Bible. Search the scriptures. As recorded very early in Genesis, history of those declared righteous on earth begins with elect Abel being murdered by the non-elect Cain. What was Abel’s crime that provoked Abel’s wrath? Being righteous. Cain killed Abel because Abel was righteous; because Abel had the faith that Cain lacked, acted according to that faith, and was rewarded by God because of his faith in action. Now Genesis is the first book in the Bible. In Revelation, the last book in the Bible, we see of persecution afflicting several churches in Revelation 2 and 3, and future times of persecution for the church throughout history are prophesied, including a severe global one at the time of the anti-Christ. In between, we see the Gentile nations’ persecuting the nation of Israel and God having to come to their aid time and time again (though God finally used those nations to destroy Israel because of their sins) towards the end of the Old Testament, the New Testament begins with the backdrop of the persecution of Israel by the Roman Empire. And of course, the climax of the story of the persecution of the righteous is the murder of Jesus Christ at the hands of His own Israelite nation and people (along with the Roman accomplices).

In addition to this context and background, Jesus Christ specifically told us that we would be hated and rejected by the world, told us the reason for it – because of our identification with Him, the true object of their hatred – and told us not to be surprised by it. Moreover, we knew that the early church did not see this rejection and hatred by the world for the sake of Jesus Christ as an occasion for grief and concern requiring “fighting back”, but rather an occasion for joy resulting in praising Jesus Christ. So, with these facts clearly laid out in scripture, why do (American) Christians react so churlishly in response to the world hating and rejecting us the way that the Bible says that it would? The answer: unbelief. We do not believe the Bible.

Now we do believe the Bible when it tells us that we are righteous, holy, and children of God. That is not the issue. What we do not believe is that the world will reject us because of it. The reason, the real problem: we do not believe that the world is sinful, unholy. Why? Because we do not believe that God is holy. Or more to the point: we do not believe that God is holy when compared to us! We do not see God as being truly holy. Instead, we see God as being “a better us.” We see God as being like us, only better. So becoming more like God does not require a miraculous conversion; for God to transform us into being like Him; for God to perfect us and glorify us in His image. No, instead we only need to improve through things like religious observance, good works, adherence to some moral code, plus some mystical mysterious religious experiences where we “feel God’s presence” and “encounter God”, not to mention the emotive experience of “having a personal relationship with God.”

Why do we not do this? Because coming to grips with God’s holiness means acknowledging the world’s unholiness. And as we are most certainly part of this current kosmos – this worldly system and its ways – it means coming to grips with our own unholiness. By this, I do not mean in an individual sense per se, especially as it applies to legitimately born again Christians whose sins have been forgiven and who are made holy through our identification with Jesus Christ. Rather, when I say “our”, I mean what we are a part of. Our communities. Our institutions. Our values. Our very friends and neighbors! We do not want to acknowledge that all of that is Babylon, and as such is going to come under the terrible judgment of an angry God on the day of the Lord.

And it is not merely that acknowledging that we and all that we know and love are part and parcel of a wicked worldly system is an affront to our human self-esteem, though it is most certainly the case. It also means accepting how truly isolated we are in a natural sense. It means accepting that we are not of this world, but merely pilgrims in it. It means accepting that we are indeed set apart from all else; that we are, well, peculiar. It means accepting being a Jesus freak, a holy roller, a religious fanatic, a fundamentalist, a cult member, a close-minded bigot, and all of those other perjoratives that you have heard directed towards Christians and probably used yourself. It means having to interpret and apply Luke 14:26 (“If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple“) to your own life literally instead of making it into a metaphor or symbolism (or just ignoring and dismissing it and pretending that it isn’t there; that it is just pious Bible religion talk that HAS no REAL concrete meaning other than some general “ok you go love and follow Jesus now!” like that “cutting off your hand and poking out your eye if it offends you” stuff).

So, we don’t want to believe that God is holy because it means that accepting that the world that we love is unholy. So, instead of using “Good Christian Belles” as an impetus to sanctify ourselves, we feign outrage in an attempt to sanctify the world. Shock! Anger! Dismay! Why can’t we get positive depictions of Christians in the media? Liberalism! Political correctness! They wouldn’t dare depict Muslims in this way! How do we know this? Why? Because the orchestrated, well-funded religious right political machine tells us so. You know, the ones to tell us how to shoehorn Christianity into the world, so we won’t feel like such an outsider. The ones who tell us that Christianity is “family-oriented” and “family-friendly.” Everyone likes families, right? And when you are with your family, your spouse and kids and grandparents and relatives, you don’t feel isolated or alone right? Well, Christians who have no family … well hey life’s tough kid, but I have mine! And Christians who had to leave everything behind – including their family – for the faith … well that is a mighty fine testimony that I will read in Christianity Today or World Magazine or listen to on my Christian/gospel etc. radio station, but it has nothing to do with my life! And the fact that most of my family doesn’t go to church … who cares … my fellowship and companionship is based on my family and my values, not identification with Jesus Christ, and that is a good thing! Or so they tell us.

They also tell us about “values.” We can accept intellectually that most people may not be born again Christians in our beloved nation because of those inconvenient words of Jesus Christ about the “narrow road” and things like that. But you don’t have to be a born-again Christians to have “Christian values”, “family values”, “moral values” etc. Those shared moral values, based on a Judeo-Christian foundation (never mind that Judaism and Christianity are completely at odds with each other because the former hates Christ and the latter worships Him exclusively) can be embraced by “whosoever will” regardless of belief – or unbelief – and it makes us a good, moral nation … sanctified in a secular sense, right? And the reason why things like “Good Christian Belles” are being made today is because we have gotten away from our traditional moral values! Back in the day, when this country still respected moral values, Hollywood produced decent entertainment that respected Christianity!

Excellent theory. Except that it isn’t true. The Christian movie “The Timechanger” does an excellent job of debunking this myth by pointing out that from the very beginning, Hollywood was not only secular but subversively so … seeking to exchange Christianity with secular ethics and values. The best example of this are “Christmas movies” which make fleeting references to Jesus Christ, none of actual Christianity, and instead promote secular humanist – and situational – morality. How does the idea that Hollywood ever respected and embraced Christianity coexist with the reality that Hollywood took the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ and transformed it into a vehicle to promote anti-Christ humanistic religion? Simple: by watching “It’s A Wonderful Life” or “Miracle On 34th Street” or the innumerable “Santa Claus” movies (and it was Hollywood – and big business – that turned Santa Claus from being a little known figure to being the most recognized figure in the world, known of by more people than Jesus Christ!) and being entertained by them.

The same with other “classic” films and TV shows. Sure, some of them might have depicted a few characters as pious, moral and religious, but even that is a long way from Biblical Christianity. Christians who saw those characters often projected their own beliefs – or more likely themselves – onto them and identified with them. But the idea that Hollywood regularly depicted characters who attested to such doctrines as sola scriptura, sola fide, substitutionary atonement is simply false. The problem is that Christians were willing to accept so little from the “Christian” characters that Hollywood presented that these characters were readily taken for Christians despite the lack of it.

And those were just the characters that were overtly taken to be practicing Christians. Make no mistake: the overwhelming majority of the characters in movies and TV shows even in Hollywood’s so-called “golden”, “classic” or “moral” era were not. And though censorship boards and cultural sensitivies (i.e. market pressure) kept them from making the equivalent of R-rated movies today, the characters not only led amoral and immoral lives, but glamorized it. It was often in a subversive fashion: the movie would depict someone given to swearing, adultery/fornication (even if it was not allowed to be consummated), drug use, lying/deception, violence etc. as the hero or sympathetic character. Realize that Hollywood movies were promoting infidelity and divorce as early as the 1930s, such as in this Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers movie! (The Family Values Coalition and similar would have you believe that the culture wars began with the likes of Barbra Streisand and Cher, not Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers!)

Bottom line: Hollywood has never liked Christianity. It has never supported Christianity. It has never respected or feared Christianity. Instead, it has been a force acting against Christianity from the beginning. That fact causes us to stumble because we want to believe that Hollywood was once moral and good but lost its way when it was perverted by the socially liberal movements, i.e. the 60s and 70s. Why? Because Hollywood has always been extremely popular and influential in America. Accepting that Hollywood has always opposed legitimate Christianity would mean accepting the “America was once good and virtuous because its mainstream respected Christian values before its institutions were hi-jacked” notion. We are told that demonic “Avatar” became the top box office grossing film in history because the culture no longer respects God. But the box office champion for most of Hollywood’s history (when adjusted for inflation and number of tickets sold): Gone With The Wind! With Scarlett O’Hara, Rhett Butler and many other clearly immoral characters! (For example: when Scarlett declares “As God as my witness I will never go hungry again”, it was not a prayer or even a vow, but a blasphemous oath of the sort made by wicked people in the Old Testament!) That movie came out in 1939. During the Great Depression and World War II: “the greatest generation.”

This is not to say that things have not gotten worse. Clearly they have. But merely because things were better back then does not mean that they were good. To put it another way: just because Hollywood – and the mainstream American culture that it represents (the idea that Hollywood are these “cultural elites” that are disconnected from and do not reflect “the real America” is a right wing political device no different from the plot devices that screenwriter hacks contrive to keep stories moving along) – was less overtly antagonistic towards Christianity in the past doesn’t mean that they ever supported or respected Christianity. Today, “Good Christian Belles” depicts western Christians as liars, cheats, adulterers and schemers. 50 years ago, movies set in the “old west” commonly depicted preachers as being particularly fond of whiskey, gambling, swearing, violence or other vices. The difference is only a matter of degree.

The solution to the problem posed by such things as “Good Christian Belles”, then, is not to manufacture offense or outrage. It is certainly not to choose to believe a lie by pretending as if “the good ole days” actually were good. (Note that the Bible never instructs us to indulge in nostalgia, but instead to seek the holy God who never changes instead of preserving in memory the fallen culture that does change, and usually so for the worse.) Instead, it is to believe what the Bible says, and to embrace it. God is holy. God’s people are holy because God makes them holy. The world is wicked. Because of this, God, His people and the world are going to be at emnity (God and His people on one side, the world and the other) until the last day, when time shall be no more. Instead of pretending as if the world was never evil, or America was not originally part of the evil world because of its “values”, of its being a “Christian nation” or “founded on Christian principles”, or mourning over the time when America was “less evil”, we should look forward to the day of the Lord when all evil, all that opposes Jesus Christ and His church, are destroyed forever.

Remember the warning of Luke 9:62: “And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” Join that with Luke 17:32’s “Remember Lot’s wife.” Instead of being deceived by false teachers into loving this worldly system, we should endeavor to separate from it, be holy and embrace the world to come, which is New Jerusalem where we will be with Jesus Christ – and separated from those who hate Him and us because we are in Him – forever.

If you have not separated from the world and its wickedness, I urge you to do so immediately. Repent of your sins and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Believe that He died for sins, that He was worthy to do so in the place of sinners because of His being the Son of God, and that He rose again from the dead. If you need more information on how to accomplish this, please click on the link below.

Follow The Three Step Salvation Plan

Advertisements

Posted in Christianity, Jesus Christ | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

The Strange Religious Direction That Quantum Physics Is Taking

Posted by Job on October 15, 2009

From the Huffington Post:

And in the modern world, with the strange and inexplicable discoveries of quantum physics, scientific treatises on the nature of reality sound remarkably like ancient mystical writings. The more we learn about the shocking contradictions and improbable mechanics of the subatomic world, the more it appears that the universe is less like Isaac Newton’s giant clock and more like one giant dream, imagined from within an implicate order that transcends human reason. Such a vision would be familiar to the Sufis of Islam, along with their counterparts among Buddhist masters, Kabbalists and Christian mystics like Meister Eckhart.

So, Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, and “Christian” mystics all agree on this stuff. Fascinating. In addition, the “dreamtime” religious myths of Australian aborigines can be compared to this also. (Incidentally, Kabbalist means Jewish, as Kabbalism is part and parcel to the accepted Jewish religion. Kabbalism is in no way pseudo-Jewish cultism. Instead, esoteric knowledge and magic are all over Judaism, and is the acknowledged but seldom spoken of underpinnings of the Talmud and other rabbinic Jewish books. Kabbalah, which at best is a syncretism between some elements of the Hebrew religion and the Babylonian pagan mystery religions and is more likely the Babylonian mystery religion in Jewish guise, can be considered “higher Judaism.” Jews are encouraged to master the Talmud and the other books first, and the brightest and most devoted then go on to study Kabbalah. From a Jewish website: Kabbalah is also part of the Oral law. It is the traditional mystical understanding of the Torah. Kabbalah stresses the reasons and understanding of the commandments, and the cause of events described in the Torah. Kabbalah includes the understanding of the spiritual spheres in creation, and the rules and ways by which G-d administers the existence of the universe. More information that “Christian Zionist” preachers and leaders never tell the laymen, though they certainly know about it. So, we should not be surprised that Kabbalists and Muslims agree on this topic, because it is “knowledge” that not only spiritually but also quite literally has the same origin.)

This also seems to correlate to the religious worldview pushed by people such as Dan Brown and George Lucas (theosophy and New Age sorts), where knowledge (or more accurately consciousness), matter and energy themselves are worshiped as god. Reminds me of a couple of articles I read (see below). One world religion anybody? The interesting thing is that this religio-scientific worldview very much accommodates evolution, the big bang theory and similar. As a matter of fact, the article points out that believers in this worldview include Francis Collins, the current director of the National Institutes of Health (Barack Hussein Obama appointee). Despite his belief in and advocacy for evolution, Collins is considered to be an evangelical Christian (and is indeed embraced as one by evangelicals desperate to see one of their own ranks represented in mainstream culture, especially in the elite academic, scientific and government arenas, and Collins represents all three), and is working to get evangelical Christians to abandon their opposition to evolution. I should point out that in this Francis is far from alone, as not a few Anglican evangelical theologians, including Alister McGrath, have been trying to get evangelicals to submit to evolution for decades. And incidentally, you should know that the Roman Catholic Church, with its long history of mysticism, is slowly accommodating evolution as well. Again, one world religion maybe, perhaps?

crossroad.to/articles2/05/star-wars.htm

rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/Cults/newage.htm

Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Christian Women With Weave, Was Your Hair Offered To Idols?

Posted by Job on October 14, 2009

Let us remember the verdict of the Jerusalem council of Acts 15 where the Jewish Christians decided the guidelines for sanctification and holy living for Gentile Christians. Consider this verse:

That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.”

Now consider this nugget from an article on the movie “Good Hair“:

… the movie, “Good Hair” … details the lengths to which some black women and men will go for straight hair … from a hair salon where a 6-year-old maintains a stiff upper lip as a chemical relaxer sits on her scalp, to the temples of India where the hair women sacrifice in a religious ceremony is swept up, sent to factories and exported as weave

Of course, I know the difference between eating something and putting it in your hair. I also know that Paul liberated this principle from being made into legalism in 1 Corinthians 8. However, allow me to propose this:  humans generally need to eat meat in order to be healthy. So, if there was a choice between damaging your health by doing all that one possibly can to obey Acts 15:29 and thus becoming malnourished or eating meat and being healthy, Paul said to eat meat. Also the context of 1 Corinthians 8 is that the meat that had been offered to idols was then mixed and sold with all the other meat, and it was impossible to tell which meat was which.

So while Acts 15:29 made it unlawful to KNOWINGLY eat meat offered to idols – which is practicing idolatry – UNKNOWINGLY eating meat offered to idols was not idolatry and thereby harmless. The reason is that the prohibition is not on the meat itself, which was fine, but rather the idolatry, which is sin. So this was not  a choice between being an idolater and not being an idolater. Instead, it was a choice between not APPEARING to be an idolater and being malnourished, or APPEARING to be an idolater and being healthy. Paul’s reasoning was that appearances don’t matter, only the heart does, so go ahead, buy your meat at the market with no worries as to whether it was offered to idols or not – because it was impossible to tell – and eat it.

However, where meat serves a vital human need, I would argue that hair weave does not. It is entirely cosmetic. So even though it may be lawful, is it nonetheless expedient (1 Corinthians 6:12) for a Christian woman to adorn herself with hair offered to idols? Is such a thing edifying (1 Corinthians 10:23)? Is hair offered to idols and then sold for a price an appropriate covering (1 Corinthians 11:15) for the body of a Christian woman, seeing that such a body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19) as opposed to a pagan temple filled with idols? And is acquiring and wearing costly weave that has been offered to idols a way of keeping 1 Timothy 2:9-10?

In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.

Now of course I am not going to claim that it is a sin for Christian women to use weave because it MIGHT contain hair offered to idols. Not only would I be guilty of violating 1 Corinthians in saying such a thing, but I would not even be able to rely on the literal interpretation of Acts 15 or Exodus 20:3-4 (the passages concerning idolatry specifically and practicing false religions – which includes participating in their rites and ceremonies – in general). Instead, I am just providing more information for Christian women (and men) to consider in our efforts to make better, more Christ-honoring decisions. After all, where does the idea to go out and put weave in your hair come from? Or the idea that we have to look a certain way come from? Generally the media, Hollywood, mass entertainment, Madison Avenue (commercials), and what have you. They sell you an image of beauty that is not real. I am not merely referring to this image because so much of it is literally fake, whether the product of airbrushing, lighting, cosmetic surgery, photo editing etc. but because it takes our minds and hearts away from the true beauty that is Jesus Christ that is revealed through us through the wonderful works of His creation (Romans 1) and causes us to exchange it for a lie, an image conceived not in God’s mind or made by God’s hands but rather created by man’s hands and conceived in his sinful, corrupt rebellious minds. And what are images conceived and made by man? Merely idols.

So the real issue is not that the hair MAY HAVE BEEN offered to some idol in some Hindu temple. The issue is that your DESIRE to use weave – wherever its origin – probably comes from looking at magazines, watching television, coming up with some false image of beauty that you desire. So, the false idol that is the problem is not in some temple in India, but rather is inside the temple of your own heart! And these false images and idols promoting a perverted, corrupted sense of beauty and attractiveness in the media have only two real purposes. The first is mammon, money. I fear continuing to sound like a leftist or socialist, but the fact is that these images are disseminated to cause you to buy the magazines that contain them, which contain still more images that cause you to want to buy the makeup, hair products, clothes etc. that make the magazine publishers a lot of money.

The second reason, make no mistake, is to challenge and attack Biblical notions of modesty, decency and sexuality. Most of the publications, TV shows, movies etc. that endlessly present these images also ceaselessly mock anything resembling notions of Biblical purity, including but not limited to marital fidelity. Even if they don’t directly attack it, they undermine it with the lie that a man and wife can sit and look at that junk 24/7 without either A) being tempted to stray (adultery) or B) fantasizing (which is also adultery Matthew 5:28), or similarly that our children can watch it without either being tempted to commit fornication or fantasizing about it. So similar to my challenge regarding tattoos, the issue is not whether weave is permissible according to scripture, but whether the motivation to get a weave is Christ-honoring in the first place.

That said, there may be many motivations for getting hair weaves that are completely legitimate, i.e. totally unrelated to wanting to look like the female vampires in these soft-core pornographic magazines and music videos. Some women may state that their husbands like the way that it looks. Others may profess that it is a look that they prefer for themselves. Others still assert that in their work environments (office or professional jobs, etc.) they must maintain a professional appearance. Again, I am in no sense asserting this to be some sort of law that has any bearing on anyone’s salvation, justification, sanctification or consecration. There are also many who may perceive me to be just totally off base, tilting at windmills and causing unnecessary division and confusion (stumblingblocks as it were) when I should focus only on Jesus Christ and Him crucified, risen, and will one day return. To such people, I apologize in advance, and please know that it is not my intent. Instead, my reason for dealing with this topic is this Biblical one: Christians, beware of and be separate from the world and things in it, whether it be its mindsets, its desires … or its idols. After all, we only have to look at the world of televangelism. Paula White, Medina Pullings, and many others are counted among those who market their own appearance, and tie it into their false health/wealth/family prosperity gospel doctrine. Jan Crouch, Juanita Bynum and Cathy DuPlantis are just among the many who proudly declare that they have had cosmetic surgery (or surgeries)! Extend it a little further and we have professed evangelical Christians Carrie Prejean’s lingerie modeling (and plastic surgery), Heidi Montag’s Playboy modeling, and Miley Cyrus pole dancing, all done for a little bit of fame and fortune that even were it to last 1000 years would be a mere flicker of an instant in the eternity that we will either spend with Jesus Christ in New Jerusalem or in the outer darkness where the worm never dies, the fire is never quenched, and there is wailing and gnashing of teeth. Again, the issue is not the weave, but the heart and where it lies.

However, for people who are considering the issues raised in this post, allow me to refer you to an expert on the topic by following the link below:

I’m a natural systah

Also, for those who may be wondering what all of this is about to begin with, please play the video below.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Posted in Bible, christian worldliness, Christianity, church worldliness, Jesus Christ, media conspiracy | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 40 Comments »

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?

Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Buffy The Vampire Slayer versus Jesus Christ: Wicca Glorification In Media Reducing Female Church Attendance!

Posted by Job on August 24, 2008

Buffy the Vampire Slayer slaying church attendance among women, study claims

Religion News Blog, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Aug. 23, 2008 News Summary
www.religionnewsblog.com

Buffy the Vampire Slayer slaying church attendance among women, study claims The old-fashioned attitudes and hierarchies of churches are causing a steep decline in the number of female worshippers, according to an academic study.

The report claims more than 50,000 women a year have deserted their congregations over the past two decades because they feel the church is not relevant to their lives.

It says that instead young women are becoming attracted to the pagan religion Wicca, where females play a central role, which has grown in popularity after being featured positively in films, TV shows and books.

The study comes amid ongoing controversy over the role of women in all Christian denominations. Last month its governing body voted to allow women to become bishops for the first time, having admitted them to the priesthood in 1994, but traditionalist bishops have warned that hundreds of clergy and parishes will leave if the move goes ahead as planned.

The report’s author, Dr Kristin Aune, a sociologist at the University of Derby, said: “In short, women are abandoning the church.

“Because of its focus on female empowerment, young women are attracted by Wicca, popularised by the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

“Young women tend to express egalitarian values and dislike the traditionalism and hierarchies they imagine are integral to the church.

“Women’s ordination, as priests and now bishops, has dominated debate and headlines – but while looking at women in the pulpit we have taken our eyes off the pews, where a shift with more consequences for the church’s survival is underway.”

Her research, published in a new book called Women and Religion in the West, cites an English Church Census which found more than a million women worshippers have left churches since 1989.

Over the past decade, it claims, women have been leaving churches at twice the rate of men.

In addition, the census is said to show that teenage boys now outnumber girls in the pews for the first time.

Dr Aune says the church must adapt to the needs of modern women if it is to stop them leaving in their droves.

She believes many women have been put off going to church in recent years because of the influence of feminism, which challenged the traditional Christian view of women’s roles and raised their aspirations.

Her report claims they feel forced out of the church because of its “silence” about sexual desire and activity, and because of its hostility to single-parent families and unmarried couples which are now a reality for many women.

But it also says changes in women’s working lives, with many more now pursuing careers as well as raising children, mean they have less time to attend church.

Source: Buffy the Vampire Slayer slaying church attendance among women, study claims, Martin Beckford, Religious Affairs Correspondent, Telegraph, UK, Aug. 23, 2008 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

Posted in Christianity, Jesus Christ | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Batman Is No Superhero. Batman Needs Jesus Christ!

Posted by Job on July 11, 2008

Read below:

www.newsweek.com/id/145509

and you will know that people like this need

The Three Step Salvation Plan

The question is: do you also? By the way, Tony Stark of Iron Man needs Jesus Christ too, and David Banner (the Incredible Hulk) needs salvation and spiritual deliverance, and so do all the X – Men (including the Roman Catholic Nightcrawler). Oh yes, and as for the people who conceive and draw this stuff to begin with. Might I point out that Marvel Comics gave us the first mainstream homosexual superhero (Rawhide) as well as Stripperella.

Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

To Indiana Jones And Star Wars Fans: Writer George Lucas Is A Theosophy Occultist

Posted by Job on May 24, 2008

Why did I watch the new Indiana Jones movie to begin with? Long story, but let me summarize: many months stretching into a few years going through an incredible effort to live holy by rejecting entertainment that did not conform to a Christian worldview – which inevitably lead to patronizing only “Christian” entertainment – left me JUST A LITTLE BIT BITTER when I discovered the decidedly non Christian views, lifestyles, and decisions made by many (as in JUST ABOUT ALL!) of the popular creators and distributors of said “Christian” entertainment that I was patronizing. So, the other day I turned to the wife and made comments to the effect of “Hey, let’s check out the new Indiana Jones movie, how bad could it be? Lucas and Spielberg are not the ones harming Christians by spreading false doctrines with products that they pretend were created to honor Jesus Christ.” So … let us say that in less than two years I went from thinking that keeping the TV on televangelists 24 by 7 would make me more holy and sanctified to thinking that there was nothing that Lucas and Spielberg could throw at me that was more spiritually harmful than what was being produced by Paul Crouch, Pat Robertson, Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Joyce Meyer, Fred Price, etc. 

Now let me say that it was not very long into the movie that I remembered why I had shunned popular movies to begin with. (My reason for renouncing television was due to the drastic decline in the quality of writing since the 1980s TV that I grew up on … movies suffer from the same incidentally.) I will not “review” the film other than to say that the general consensus of it by critics is correct, but let me just say that its ending – which I will not reveal for the benefit of those who will see it – got me to thinking about George Lucas’ religious beliefs. Claiming that Lucas has none is incredible (by that I mean the original meaning of the word – not credible or discredited – as opposed to how the term is now employed) after watching a movie whose only purpose was proselytization: to promote the religion and resulting worldview of Lucas. Seriously, there is no other reason why the movie exists. Yes, the movie does tie up some loose ends of the entire series.

However, an integral part of the “tying up” was using the fourth movie to connect the previous three in a tight little religious circle. How? Raiders of the Lost Ark = Judaism. Temple of Doom = Hinduism (sort of). The Last Crusade = Christianity. The Crystal Skull = New Age/the oddly similar religions of many third world tribal religions. Further, this current movie presses the case that all of these religions – and all religions in general – have the same origin, which is actually George Lucas’ religion. Now, I have always felt that it was a VERY GOOD THING for the religious landscape of America that the last two movies of the gnostic/Marxist “The Matrix” series were so terrible, otherwise more people than those like gospel artist Tonex would have taken its political – religious ideology seriously. Similarly, I am extremely glad that “The Crystal Skull” communicates Lucas’ beliefs rather poorly, and moreover is a very flawed vehicle for doing so. Still, even though very few people if any will be won over to Lucas’ views by this movie, it motivated me to do a bit of research into precisely what it is that Lucas believes. I found the answer rather quickly which is a good thing as the consensus of opinion in a variety of sources both religious and secular greatly increases the likelihood that it is true.

So, the belief system that Lucas adheres to is most likely theosophy or something similar. Below is one of the better links that I found – a Christian one related to the Star Wars series – on what Lucas believes and how he uses his film projects to promote it, followed by one that ties theosophy to the modern New Age movement. And as to whether my practice of generally trying to avoid secular entertainment for one reason or another related to Christianity … I am just going to say that CHRISTIANS WHOSE DOCTRINES STRONGLY RESEMBLE THEOSOPHY AND EVERYTHING ELSE FALSE EVIL AND WICKED ARE A FAR BIGGER PROBLEM and if you start by unconditionally rejecting them first as the Bible explicitly incontrovertibly tells you to, then wherever you end up will be fine. 

crossroad.to/articles2/05/star-wars.htm

rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/Cults/newage.htm

Posted in Christianity | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

THE TV AND MOVIE INDUSTRY AND THEIR INFLUENCE ON PEOPLE’S LIVES PART 2

Posted by Job on April 28, 2008

 www.liveprayer.com/signup.cfm

Some of the great movies of all time would never even be made today! A year
ago on Easter Sunday, I was able to enjoy some down time watching the back
nine of the Masters. Congratulations to Zack Johnson for holding off Tiger
Woods and winning one of golf’s most prestigious tournaments. Johnson took
several opportunities to let a worldwide TV audience know that his faith in
Jesus Christ sustained him in those final holes. After chatting with several
good friends who are on the PGA Tour, it turns out that Zack is not only a
great golfer, but a very committed Christian. How fitting his great victory
came on Easter Sunday!

After my wife and I ate some dinner, I sat down to catch up on some of the
day’s news before going to bed. In scrolling thru the stations, I stopped on
AMC (American Movie Classics). Just starting was the 1937 classic movie
“Heidi” starring Shirley Temple. Instead of going to bed, I got my wife and
we watched this great movie classic together. Immediately following, we
watched another Temple classic “Little Miss Broadway.” As I sat there and
enjoyed these two great movies, I couldn’t help to think that if someone was
trying to make those exact movies today in the year 2008, they would be
laughed out of the offices of every major motion picture studio.

Let me tell you what are some of the hottest movies the major motion picture
studios have put out recently. The Hills Have Eyes 2, Grindhouse, 300, Dead
Silence, Hannibal Rising, Hostel 2, and Saw 3. What do these movies all have
in common? They make the studios tons of cash and they are some of the
sickest, most disgusting movies ever created depicting human torture,
mutilation, and killing. I already know the standard answer from those who
support these types of movies is that it is not real, it is just a movie, it
is entertainment, and that nobody was really tortured and killed. I counter
that weak justification with the simple question, “What possible good can a
person gain by watching such a movie?”

The answer is simple, NOTHING! I would also add that anyone who is
“entertained” by watching a person being tortured, mutilated, and killed,
has some very serious psychological issues. It is simply not normal to find
anything entertaining in seeing a person being tortured, mutilated and
killed. This is partially a byproduct of the world we live in that places
little to no value on human life. We slaughter 4,000 innocent babies every
day in this nation. Children grow up playing video games where the goal is
to kill your opponent. The media is feeding young adults a steady diet of
death on TV, in the movies, on the Internet, and through music. It is no
wonder kids today grow up desensitized to death and place little value of
human life.

I think it is wonderful that the movie studios are producing more family
friendly movies. It is nice to have those options. While people of faith,
people who support more traditional family values will go to see those types
of movies, the very same studios also produce the sexual, violent,
mutilation films that glorify death because there is an insatiable demand
for those types of movies. The lost and hurting masses who choose to reject
Christ’s love, live in rebellion to God and His Word, have so hardened their
hearts that they demand more blood, more gore, more sensational ways to view
death. Never forget, satan is about death and God is about life. Those who
follow satan embrace death and those who follow Jesus embrace life, even in
the movies they watch!

Long gone are the innocent days of Shirley Temple. In just a few generations
we have gone from the wholesomeness of Temple to the utter depravity of
movies graphically depicting every kind of deviant sexual act and ways to
kill another human being. As I watched those two Shirley Temple movies that
Sunday, I smiled as little Shirley knelt by her bed and said her prayers, as
her grandfather read passages from the Bible, and the scenes of a church
service complete with a few minutes of sound preaching and the great old
hymns of the faith. The sad reality of the year 2008 is that you won’t even
find that in most so-called churches today!!!

You don’t have to have any history degrees to simply look at where this
nation was spiritually 70 years ago and where it is today. While things
weren’t perfect, we still lived in a nation that honored God and revered His
Truth. Even though we had many different denominations, all Christian
churches still preached the Bible and called sinners to repent and turn
their hearts and lives to Jesus Christ by faith. Sin was not glorified and
accepted but condemned. Alcohol, drugs, gambling, pornography all existed,
but they were deemed as deviant behavior not socially acceptable. False
religions and cults were not given a place of prominence but kept
underground.

Marriage was without question one man and one woman for one lifetime, with
there being a huge stigma to divorce. Most children grew up in a home with a
mother and father, unlike most children today who grow up in broken and
blended homes. TV, radio, and the movies produced wholesome family
entertainment with strict standards of decency. Many say we have progressed
over the past 70 years. I agree that we have progressed in every way but the
most critical, SPIRITUALLY! You don’t have to be saved, read the Bible, or
even believe in God to know that as a nation, as a people, we are in
spiritual free fall!

I love you and care about you so much. As I layed in bed Sunday night, I
couldn’t go to sleep right away. I wanted to cry but couldn’t. We have
become a wicked people. Millions of people are spending eternity in hell
because we have allowed our society to lose sight of God, forget the Truth
of His Word, and reject the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ. As someone
who has committed my life to serving the Lord I weep daily for this nation
and the lost masses who will perish and spend eternity in hell. I am
resigned to the fact that this nation is so lost, its heart so hardened,
that it will never turn back to God. But that only motivates me to do more
each day to reach those who are hurting, are searching for answers, and do
want to find true hope that only exists in a personal relationship with
Jesus Christ..

You see, it is still about souls my friend. One at a time. Yes it would be
wonderful to see this nation fall on its knees and repent and turn back to
God. If that happens praise God. However, those who know the Lord can still
make a huge impact on millions of lives who without Jesus will spend
eternity in hell. We have great hurdles to overcome, great obstacles to
clear, but with God’s strength we can overcome those hurdles and obstacles
and be victorious in bringing in that last great harvest of souls before our
Lord returns.

The contrast between the Shirley Temple movies of a generation gone by and
the graphic mutilation and death movies of today demonstrate how far we have
fallen as a people. But it is still about each individual soul, and knowing
how many souls will be lost forever should be all the motivation the child
of God needs to give all they have to reach as many as they can with the
Truth of God’s Word and the hope and love of Jesus Christ. The time is
short, Jesus is coming, and the lost masses are out there waiting for
someone to reach them. It is time to get serious and busy about bringing
these lost souls the hope they yearn for and helping them find the peace,
joy, and everlasting life that only comes from knowing Jesus!

In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,
Bill Keller bkeller@liveprayer.com

***ARE YOU 100% CERTAIN WHERE YOU WILL SPEND ETERNITY?  The fact is you will die one day.  At that moment, you will either spend eternity with the Lord or be cast into everlasting darkness forever separated from God your creator. To know for certain you will be forever with Jesus, go to:
http://www.liveprayer.com/bdy_salvatn.cfm

***I am excited to let you know that the Liveprayer Daily Devotional is now available via AUDIO each day.  Simply go to http://www.liveprayer.com/Audio.cfm Also, you can now listen to the Daily Devotional by phone by calling, 1-727-342-5673 or 1-845-510-2722.

Posted in Christianity, devotional | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

THE TV AND MOVIE INDUSTRY AND THEIR INFLUENCE ON PEOPLE’S LIVES PART 1 OF 2

Posted by Job on April 28, 2008

www.liveprayer.com/signup.cfm

The TV and movie industries which have a huge influence over tens of millions of people’s lives, including
many Christians. The Bible talks about the “renewing of our mind,” something
we all need to do on a daily basis through His Word. What we watch and hear,
DOES make a difference in how we think and act. What you allow yourself to
watch and listen to IS a big deal. As you read the Daily Devotional today
and tomorrow, be in prayer about what YOU watch and listen to on a daily
basis. For many of you, God is speaking to your heart about this issue.

People love the HBO series the “Sopranos” for the same reason they love “The
Godfather” trilogy. Even 35 years after it was released, “The Godfather”
starring Marlon Brando is one of the most popular movies ever made. So what
makes “The Godfather” movies, other organized crime movies like
“Goodfellas,” “Donnie Brasco,” “Carlito’s Way,” and “Scarface” such a hit
with people? After all, these are movies where the lead characters are part
of organized crime, men who spend their life killing, stealing, cheating,
and destroying other people’s lives. They are involved in illegal businesses
such as bookmaking, prostitution, extortion, selling drugs, and any other
illegal activity you can name.

THESE ARE MEN WHO LIVE THEIR LIVES IN COMPLETE REBELLION TO GOD AND HIS
WORD, SO WHY ARE THEY SO POPULAR? PEOPLE LOVE SIN MORE THAN THEY LOVE GOD!!!

The popularity of these fictional crime bosses like Tony Soprano can be
directly linked to the popularity of the real-life crime bosses like Charles
“Lucky” Luciano, Myer Lansky, and Bugsy Siegel who ran New York in the ’30s,
to Al Capone who ran Chicago in the ’30s, to all the men who ran the various
families across the nation throughout the decades. Men like Giancana,
Marcello, Trafficante, Genovese, Gambino, Bonanno, Lucchese, Colombo,
Accardo, and Gotti to name just a few. People have always had a fascination
with these men who loved to portray themselves as “businessmen” and “family
men,” yet in reality lived brutal and evil lives.

Hollywood and television are largely responsible for how we look at these
criminals. They have glorified and glamorized the lives of these men, often
turning them into sympathetic figures. The movies and television have showed
the human side of these men while almost justifying and excusing what their
life is really about. Make no mistake my friend, these are cold,
calculating, evil, and brutal men who without conscience or mercy spend
their lives killing and destroying others. There is absolutely nothing
glamorous or redeeming about how they live. There is nothing special about
them. They are simply men who have chosen to live a life of crime and live
in violation of society’s laws as well as God’s!

I am going to share some things from my personal life that I have never
shared publicly in all of these years. After the initial success of my
marketing business in 1979, I moved to Chicago in 1980 and that became the
headquarters of my fast growing network of companies throughout the nation
and Canada. A close business associate had introduced me to a law firm in
Chicago that I would use to help me set up my various companies over the
years. The lawyer I met with was a man named Jack Cerone, Jr. who actually
specialized in labor law, so he referred me to one of his partners, Joe
DiNatale, to handle my legal needs. Little did I know that Jack Cerone’s
father was the infamous John “Jackie the Lackey” Cerone, who was actually
the Don of the Chicago outfit (what the Mafia is called in Chicago).

In 1985, my attorney Joe DiNatale would represent Jackie Cerone, Sr. when he
and several other leading mobsters would go on trial in Kansas City for
skimming millions out of Las Vegas casinos. Jackie Cerone, Sr. was convicted
in that trial and would spend the rest of his life in a Federal Prison. I
was very close to DiNatale in the ’80s, and often when we were alone at
dinner he would share some of the stories of what really went on in the
world of organized crime. He often referred to it as “unorganized crime,”
and in reality it was nothing at all like the world portrayed in the movies
or on television.

These were mostly uneducated street criminals who killed, stole, and cheated
people as their life’s work. Those who rose to positions of power usually
did so by attrition, since in the world they lived in you either ended up in
prison or dead. Those who were able to escape those two fates the longest
become the “boss.” Over the years organized crime diversified from their
traditional illegal businesses into legitimate businesses that would become
fronts for many of their criminal activities.

However, in the ’80s new laws that turned what used to be 2-3 year prison
sentences into 20-30 year sentences, encouraged people inside organized
crime who once would “honor the code” and do their time, to now cooperate
and testify against those they worked for. Also, the new technology that
made wiretaps and tracking people possible, gave the Federal Government
tools to gather information they never could in the past. Today, the Mafia
as we know it still exists and always will to some extent, but doesn’t have
anywhere near the influence it used to and thankfully never will again.

When I was indicted in December of 1989 for insider trading, I was denied
bond for fear I would leave the country and was held at the Metropolitan
Correctional Center in downtown Chicago to await trial sometime in late
1990. I was at the MCC from the first week in January in 1990 until October
of 1990. It was there on August 20, 1990 that I rededicated my life to the
Lord and finally gave God the one and only thing He had ever wanted from me,
and that was my life completely and unconditionally surrendered to Him. My
friend, today that is the only thing God wants from you, your life,
completely and unconditionally surrendered to Him.

God began to work in my life. Within a week of rededicating my life to the
Lord, my attorney was able to work out a plea agreement with the government
that called for me to plead guilty and spend the next 22 months at a minimum
security Federal Prison in Pensacola, Florida. If you have never heard my
testimony, you can go to the link below and read all about it. It is a story
I have told to millions worldwide over the years as a tribute to God’s grace
and mercy in my life, giving Him all glory and honor for what He has done
for me. Let me encourage you today that what God has done for me, He will do
for you!!! http://www.weeklyplanet.com/2003-12-04/cover.html

While I was being housed at the MCC in downtown Chicago, in February of
1990, the Federal government indicted Ernest Rocco Infelise, who at the time
was the head of the Chicago Outfit, and several of his top lieutenants,
including reputed mob hit man Harry Aleman. They were obviously denied bond
and also housed at the MCC awaiting their trial, and were assigned to live
on the same floor I was on. I spent the next 8 months living with these
guys. There are no secrets in a prison environment, and they found out that
Joe DiNatale was my attorney, so I was one of the few people on the floor
they interacted with. Many nights we would be in the dining area, and they
would talk about their lives and experiences. They would never get specific,
but it was enough to know that these were men who lived lives of crime from
their youth and really only knew and understood that world.

Obviously, I was fortunate enough to never make the choices to become
involved in that type of life or be part of the world of organized crime.
However, I have had enough contact with those who were in that world to know
there is nothing glamorous about it. It is a very dark, cold, evil world
that operates in complete and total rebellion to God. No matter how much
Hollywood cleans it up, no matter how appealing they make it appear, it is
nothing but a world of destruction. Those who choose to be part of that
world have their lives destroyed. Those who get caught up in their world
have their lives destroyed. At the end of the day, NOBODY WINS BUT SATAN!

I love you and care about you so much. This message today is really a
warning to you. A warning to keep your guard up at all times and not allow
Hollywood and the television industry to cause you to fall into the trap of
glorifying evil no matter how attractive they make it appear. The media
already does a masterful job at glamorizing sin. Sexual sins of every kind
are promoted as fun and exciting with no consequences. Drinking and drug use
are also glorified by the media. So it is no surprise that the media will
try to sanitize sins like murder, robbing, and whatever kind of evil one man
can perpetrate on another you can think of.

I will be praying for you today to take a stand in your life from letting
the world lie to you and lead you into the trap of sitting back and giving
approval to evil by viewing it. Yes, I know the “Sopranos” is a fictional
story, but what they portray is the real life evil and horrors of those who
are part of the world of organized crime. No, you are not going to hell or a
horrible Christian if you watch the “Sopranos” and shows like it. However,
our goal as we mature in Christ is to be more like Him. The Bible talks
about the “renewing of our mind.” A great computer term is “garbage in,
garbage out.” Why would you want to pollute your mind with murder, adultery,
physical violence, and a myriad of other sinful activities?

The problem with a program like the “Sopranos,” the problem with so much of
what is on television today and in the movies, is that they glorify and
glamorize sin. Can you tell me anything glamorous about the sins you have
committed in your life? Can you tell me how glamorous the consequences of
your sins are? That is the point my friend. Sin is NOT glamorous. It is
destructive! The consequences of our sins are very real and very painful.
Watching sin, even in a fictional format, is not something a follower of
Christ should be doing. Why do people love the “Sopranos?” Simple, they love
sin more than they love God!

In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,
Bill Keller bkeller@liveprayer.com

***ARE YOU 100% CERTAIN WHERE YOU WILL SPEND ETERNITY?  The fact is you will die one day.  At that moment, you will either spend eternity with the Lord or be cast into everlasting darkness forever separated from God your creator. To know for certain you will be forever with Jesus, go to:
http://www.liveprayer.com/bdy_salvatn.cfm

***I am excited to let you know that the Liveprayer Daily Devotional is now available via AUDIO each day.  Simply go to http://www.liveprayer.com/Audio.cfm Also, you can now listen to the Daily Devotional by phone by calling, 1-727-342-5673 or 1-845-510-2722.

Posted in Christianity, devotional | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
%d bloggers like this: