Archive for the 'Social Commentary' Category

03
Jun
09

Comfort at Skinit.com??

John 11:20- 20 So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him…   iphone

Who are you turning to when you need comfort?  Where are you turning to?  It’s amazing how much we now cling to our cell phones.  Some of us pamper, and polish our cell phones.

I saw a guy’s cell phone the other day, and he had a picture of his son, like wallpaper, wrapped around the casing of his cell phone.  I asked him about it.  He said there is a website called “skinit.com”.   They skin everything.  They created a sticker with the picture of his son, designed like his phone’s casing and mailed it to him.  He loved his phone.

The other day I found myself polishing my phone on my pant leg.  I didn’t want it dirty.  I’ve even fallen asleep cuddling my cell phone once.

Our phones can become like security blankets when we need comfort.  Think of that – something electronic giving us comfort.  Our hope is in a text message, or a call back, or an email, or new “friend” on Facebook.

What are you turning to for comfort?  It’s amazing what people will do for comfort.  Some people take pills.  Some people get drunk.  Others have affairs.  Some people watch TV all the time.  Some people just crawl up in a ball and sleep all the time.  All in an effort to deal with the pain.

Martha was in deep sorrow over the loss of her brother, Lazarus.  But, when she heard that Jesus was near she left the mourners and went to meet him.  If you’re suffering hardship today, God has never been closer to you.  Realize that He is aware.  He cares.  He’s near and wants to help if you’ll come to him.  There is true comfort in his presence.

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24
Mar
09

Polyamory or Marriage?

cloudkingdombymissyg0hh3Has the joy run out in your marriage?  Evidently, for many couples it does slowly over time, so much so that institution of marriage is often laughed at, made fun of, and undermined.  Just be present when someone announces they’re going to be married and listen to what others around say.  “Well, you better run while you can.  Oh, so you’re ready to give up are you?  About time you got yourself a ball and chain.  At least you’ll have someone around the house to help you do some cooking.”

I’ll never forget the little placard my grandma had over her stove.  It said, “Kissin’ don’t last.  Cookin’ do.”  I remember reading that as a little kid and thinking, “How depressing!”

Many today are actually trying to redefine marriage.  The latest thing out there is something called “polyamory”.  Poly” is from the Greek meaning “many” and “amory” is Latin for “love.”  Polyamory, “many loves” is the practice of having more than one intimate relationship at a time with the full knowledge and consent of everyone involved.  Often those in a polyamorous situation all live in the same home, sometimes with members of the same sex.  They have another fancy word they use called compersion.  It describes the supposed joy that a person feels when their partner is having pleasure even if that means with someone other than themselves. 

Sleeping around with different people doesn’t bring happiness and pleasure, but jealousy, pain, confusion, and over time it dulls the senses, makes the soul shallow, and robs a person of the joy of giving themselves fully to another.  Can you see how broken this is? 

God design is for marriage, one man and one woman together for life.  In this way the Christian marriage is a witness to the broken world that has confused lust and sensuality with love.  In a world that’s making up fancy words to justify their sin, the Christian marriage exists to point to a better way.  It reflects to the world Christ’s love for his people the church.  So, we can’t give up on it.  We have to stick with God’s plan.  This world needs us.  If you want to be a witness to the world, just get married and have a bunch of kids and stick it out and be faithful, love, provide, care, and put yourself second.

How can Christ bring joy back into your marriage?  Most likely the unhappiness in your marriage stems from you being hurt over something.  You got offended and you’ve not said anything.  You’ve held onto it, and stewed over it. 

Dear follower of Christ, will you look again at what He has done for you, and all that he’s freely forgiven you of?  He bore your sins on the cross in your place so you might live and know God’s forgiveness and love.  Do you think you could offer a little of the forgiveness you’ve so richly benefited from to the spouse who has upset you? 

When the Christian couple lives with a fresh appreciation of Christ’s redemptive work on the cross for them they are ready and willing to forgive.  That forgiveness washes away the cancer of bitterness and the joy can flow again.

Eph. 4:31-32 – 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

 

 

05
Mar
09

Brickianity

Brickianity?  Yes, that’s the word.  Brickianity.  The word describes how healthy Christianity is built on solid, stable truths, doctrines, propositions, timeless principles found in God’s Word.

brickwallWe live in an age when some seek to push the historic doctrines of the faith aside, or at least not emphasize them so much, maybe even water them down a bit.  In the place of cold doctrine, some want to stress community, creativity, social justice, art, family, virtue, all of which are important and good.  They seek to build bridges, not walls, they say.

Bridges are good, but we must not forget to build strong walls.  I took the following example from a great book I just finished – Why I’m Not Emergent (Kevin Deyoung and Ted Kluck).  It’s a quote from the great apologist GK Chesterton who pictured doctrine as the walls of a playground.  He writes:

We might fancy some children playing on the flat grassy top of some tall island in the sea.  So long as there was a wall round the cliff’s edge they could fling themselves into every frantic game and make the place the noisiest of nurseries.  But the walls were knocked down, leaving the naked peril of the precipice.  They did not fall over; but when their friends returned to them they were all huddled in terror in the centre of the island; and their song had ceased. (Chesterton, Orthodoxy, 153)

Chesterton is saying that walls are needed – doctrine is needed because it keeps us safe and free.  Many live with fear and insecurity because they don’t know what to believe.  God help us to continue building bridges, but while we do let’s hold up the walls.

2 Timothy 1:14 – By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.

13
Feb
09

Living in an Age of Pluralism

pluralism-1Our world is increasingly pluralistic.  Pluralism says that there is no real, knowable, absolute, universal truth.  Truth is relative.  What’s true for you is true for you and what’s true for me is true for me.  Its sounds very sophisticated – generous, virtuous even. 

I’ve got a couple of problems with the whole pluralism thing.  First, it contradicts itself.  What if someone comes up to you and says, “There is no absolute truth?”  What have they just done?  They’ve made a claim to know the absolute truth. 

Second, a pluralistic society can become the most intolerant of all.  The most prized value in pluralism is tolerance.  “Oh, if we could all just be tolerant.  If we could just get along!”  What we find though is that the lofty idea of pluralism and tolerance quickly slips into the very thing it despises.  It becomes intolerant of anyone who doesn’t fit in.  It becomes intolerant of putting a manger scene on the lawn in front of city hall.  It becomes intolerant of a prayer at graduation.  It becomes intolerant of teaching Intelligent Design along side Darwinism.  Why stop there.  Just to make sure no one feels uncomfortable lets remover every reference to God like in our Pledge of Allegiance, or on our monuments, or money.  A pluralistic society can become most intolerant of all.

In reality everyone believes in some form of truth.  Everyone.  The real question is what is the truth that can change you, save you from yourself, fill your empty soul, and give you true peace and joy?  I’d like to propose that truth is found in the person of Jesus Christ.  Jesus said in John 14:1 – “I Am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life.”

 

08
Jan
09

Should We Just Forget About Abortion?

infant-wear3Exodus 1:15-17 – Then the king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah,  16 “When you serve as midwife to the Hebrew women and see them on the birthstool, if it is a son, you shall kill him, but if it is a daughter, she shall live.”  17 But the midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but let the male children live.

The Pharaoh calls in these two Hebrew midwives.  Today we would call them head nurses.  Pharaoh calls them in and orders them to be on the look out for new baby boys to kill them as soon as they’re born.  No more fathers, no threat of a young army.  Israel would grow weak and assimilate into their culture.

These were two pretty amazing women.  Remember, Pharaoh was believed to be a god.  What pressure!  Their lives were in danger, but they said, “No.”  They willfully chose to disobey the Pharaoh’s orders.  How could they have such courage?  The Bible tells us they feared the Lord.  Pharaoh was scary, but they feared and honored the Lord more.  They knew that the safest course of action for them was to obey God.

There’s something I see in these two women.  They were pro-life.  They stood up for the unborn.  They would not impose themselves and take another child’s life.  They knew that life came from God.  They dare not usurp God’s right to give and take away life. 

I think about abortion in our country today.  In America alone every year there are 1.37 million abortions, and everyday there are 3,700.  Why are women having abortions? 
1% of all abortions occur because of rape or incest; 6% of abortions occur because of potential health problems, and 93% of all abortions occur for social reasons (i.e. the child is unwanted or inconvenient). http://www.abortionno.org/Resources/fastfacts.html

The voice of reason in our day would have us be quiet about abortion. “Don’t cause a stir.  Keep quiet.  Don’t be divisive.  Focus on other social issues that we can agree on like poverty and human rights.”  Human rights?  I’m not here to throw stones at anyone who’s had an abortion.  God is rich in forgiving love.  As followers of Jesus, this is something we should not cave in on.  God forgive our nation!  Let’s pray that Roe vs. Wade would be overturned so that no more innocent lives would be lost.  Every life comes from God.  Let’s not take the place of God.

18
Dec
08

Date Rape

63314049Genesis 34:1-2 – Now Dinah the daughter of Leah, whom she had borne to Jacob, went out to see the women of the land.  And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, the prince of the land, saw her, he seized her and lay with her and humiliated her. 

Here is an account of a rape in the Bible.  Dinah was the only daughter of Jacob.  Her mother was Leah, the unloved, overlooked wife of Jacob.  He loved her younger sister Rachel much more.  The lack of interest in Leah trickled down to his feelings for her kids.  It looks like Jacob was not very interested in Dinah.  He sure didn’t spend any quality time with her.  His fatherly neglect put Dinah in real danger.  She decided to go out on her own.  She met an attractive well to do prince named Shechem who showed her a little attention.  One thing led to another and in the heat of the moment Shechem took her by force, raped her, and humiliated her.

Did you know date rape happens all the time in our day and age?  Date rape is when there is forced sex on a date between friends, friends of friends, or general acquaintances.  Everyone was just out for a good time. 

Date Rape is the most common form of rape (78%) with 1 in 4 girls expected to fall victim to rape or attempted rape before they reach 25, and 3 out of 5 rapes occurring before a woman reaches age 18.  (http://teenadvice.about.com/od/factsheetsforteens/a/10thingsdrape.htm)

Drugs are out there to help.  Have you heard?  GHB, ActiveSeX, Roofies, Ruffies, Roche, R-2, Rib and Rope are all names of date rape drugs.  These drugs are odorless and tasteless.  They’re simply dropped in a drink or placed in food.  The young lady given these drugs responds but can’t remember anything after.  (http://teenadvice.about.com/library/weekly/aa062502a.htm)

It’s important that we teach our sons how to treat the young ladies they are attracted to.  In a rush of passion and young guy, with his hormones running wild can tell himself, “If I can just get her to be physical with me, then she’ll be mine.  She’ll be nuts about me.”  What she really needs though is a brother, a friend to talk to.

It’s so important that we teach our little girls to be walls instead of doors.  Some girls are doors.  Anyone knocks. “Come on in.  The door’s open.”  Some other guy knocks, “Come on in.”  A wall is always closed.  “Can we just kiss?” “No.”  “Can we go parking and snuggle?”  “No.”  “Will you come over to my house to watch a movie on my couch?”  “No.”  “Can I email you?” “No.”  “Can I text message you?”  “No.  No.  No.  No!”  A brick wall.  What a great thing for a young girl to be a wall instead of a door.  The best way to defend yourself from date rape is to say “no” like you mean it.

It’s so important that dads give their girls the proper time, love and affection they need.  Dinah didn’t have that.  Hugs and kisses from dad are huge.  Dates with dad are a must.  Our daughters will then grow up knowing what its like to have a healthy relationship with a man that truly cares for her.

 

13
Nov
08

The Dangers of Porn

7363040Sadly pornography has become a multibillion-dollar industry in our country.  It is so private and easy to access.  Just one click of the mouse, in the confines of a cubicle, or a person’s basement is all it takes.  No one has to know.

The lure for many is too great.  Pornography is like a drug.  It releases chemicals in our brain that produce a rush of adrenaline, a kind of high.  It creates a temporary release.  It’s a distraction from the pressure of the real world.  It creates a moment of fantasy. 

Like a drug, after we view it once we want it again.  Over time our senses become callused and we need more of it to get the same stimulation.  Harder and harder kinds of porn are eventually needed to produce the same rush.  Over time our minds become completely warped.  At best pornography will cause sexual frustration, perversion, and anger that will damage and destroy a healthy marriage.   At worst it will lead to violence, rape, child molestation, and even murder.

Check out some of these stats (http://www.safefamilies.org/sfStats.php)

As of 2003, there were 1.3 million pornographic websites; 260 million pages (N2H2, 2003).

The total porn industry revenue for 2006: $13.3 billion in the United States; $97 billion worldwide (Internet Filter Review).

U.S. adult DVD/video rentals in 2005: almost 1 billion (Adult Video News).

Hotel viewership for adult films: 55% (cbsnews.com).

Unique worldwide users visiting adult web sites monthly: 72 million (Internet Filter Review).

Number of hardcore pornography titles released in 2005 (U.S.): 13,588 (Internet Filter Review).

Adults admitting to Internet sexual addiction: 10%; 28% of those are women (internet-filter-review.com).

More than 70% of men from 18 to 34 visit a pornographic site in a typical month (comScore Media Metrix).

More than 20,000 images of child pornography posted online every week (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, 10/8/03).

Approximately 20% of all Internet pornography involves children (National Center for Mission & Exploited Children).

“At a 2003 meeting of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, two thirds of the 350 divorce lawyers who attended said the Internet played a significant role in the divorces in the past year, with excessive interest in online porn contributing to more than half such cases. Pornography had an almost non-existent role in divorce just seven or eight years ago.” (Divorcewizards.com)

What are we to do?  In Matthew 5:29-30 Jesus said, So if your eye – even if it is your good eye – causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away.  It is better for you to lose one part of your boy than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.  And if your hand – even if it is your stronger hand – causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away.  It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.

Don’t go gouge out your eye, please!  But do take some drastic measures.  Confess your sin to a trusting, godly, prayerful friend.  Repent of your sins and renew your commitment to Jesus Christ.  Take your computer out of your basement and put it in the kitchen where the whole family can see what you’re doing.  Better yet, consider unplugging the computer all together.  Pray and ask God to renew your mind.  Begin to meditate upon God’s Word.