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Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17

Christianese 101

What is Christianese?

Well, words like sin, salvation, fellowship, and gospel are considered to be Christianese. A proper definition would be ‘the terms, catchphrases and theological jargon used by some Christians, commonly from Christian theology and influenced by popular translations of the Bible.’ Christianese (which is in itself Christianese) is something that we’re often told to avoid in conversations. We come upon articles like “The Dangers of Christianese,” that encourage us to cease, but should we?

As far as moderate Christianese is concerned, I would disagree that we should stop, as long as our words are applicable to the conversations in which we’re engaged. I am a Christian and I speak the Christian language in an appropriate manner when it is appropriate.  What typically happens next is a conversation develops. If I use a word that a person does not understand, they generally say something like, What does that mean?” and you know what I do? I tell them what it means and the conversation goes deeper. It’s probably what occurs in your conversations too. Oh, and guess what I do if they use a word I don’t understand? That’s right! I ask them what they mean. As a result we’re not only having a conversation, but we’re learning stuff about each other!

Christianese and Discernment

I was being seated in a diner a few years ago and the waitress asked me how I was doing. I responded as I usually do, “I’m blessed more than I deserve.”

DSCN1750The waitress said, “Oh that’s nice, I wish I was.”

She got the gist of what I was saying.  A conversation was blossoming and I couldn’t wait for her to return to the table. As I sat down, my Christian acquaintance rebuked me. “Ya know, David,” he said in his lovely Australian accent, “she didn’t understand a word you said because you’re talking in Christianese.”

I was taken aback. His words made me feel as if I did something horrible.  When the waitress returned I said not a word except to tell her my order.

A lot of water has passed beneath the bridge since that incident and I have learned much. I realize now that my friend was wrong and I was wrong for listening to him; I had forfeited an opportunity to have a wonderful conversation with our waitress. God only knows where it would have gone — I had been given a measure of discernment and direction from the Holy Spirit, and I ignored it. Shame on me for listening to the wrong voice.

The Real Controversy

The real issue has nothing to do with non-Christians not understanding the words that Christians use, in fact it’s quite often the opposite – they do understand, or at the very least they recognize it as Christian jargon and as a result they are offended. They’re offended because they don’t like Jesus and they don’t want to discuss their sin. If they sense that they’re conversing with a Christian, they go on guard immediately. If they cannot suppress our enthusiasm (often with some undelightful language of their own), they will attempt to leave the conversation entirely.

It is here that some well-meaning Christians (at least I’d like to think they’re well-meaning) have determined to come to their aid. Their counsel: stop talking like Christians! In other words, they want us to take that little light of ours and put a basket over it, or better yet, slide it under the bed before we leave the house in the morning. Talk about quenching the Holy Spirit!  (If you don’t know what Quenching the Holy Spirit,” means, click the link).

Why?

I wonder why my brothers and sisters in Christ do this? Are they ashamed of Jesus Christ and/or their Christianity? Are they embarrassed that they lack boldness and confidence in their faith? Are they trying to protect a relationship? Have they witnessed an overly aggressive believer in operation and therefore want to solve that problem by silencing all Christians? Are they adhering to some false doctrines of their own which prejudices their reaction to the truth? Are they nominal (or minimal) believers? If you’re a Christianese-squelcher, please tell me why in the comments below.

Whatever their reason…

Don’t Buy the Lie

Friends, please don’t buy into their nonsense. I’m not talking about those who muddle a conversation with complicated phraseology or weighty theology (they need to know their audience). I’m referring to us simple folk who desire nothing more than to talk and act like the new creations that God has made. No, instead of rebuking you, I want to encourage you to continue expressing yourself as a Christian should and to be ready to answer any questions that arise, being sensitive to the reality that folks might not understand a word or a phrase you’re using. Also be sensitive to the fact that a Christian conversation is not a Gospel presentation until God says it is. It is when we attempt to force the latter upon an unwilling audience that we often bruise or become bruised.

He that saith he abideth in Him (Jesus) ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked. 1 John 2:6

 

“A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear.” Matthew 13:3-9

Charles Spurgeon’s take on the parable.

“The preacher of the gospel is like the sower. He does not make his seed; it is given him by his divine Master. No man could create the smallest grain that ever grew upon the earth, much less the celestial seed of eternal life. The minister goes to his Master in secret, and asks him to teach him his gospel, and thus he fills his basket with the good seed of the kingdom. He then goes forth in his Master’s name and scatters precious truth. If he knew where the best soil was to be found, perhaps he might limit himself to that which had been prepared by the plough of conviction; but not knowing men’s hearts, it is his business to preach the gospel to every creature—to throw a handful on the hardened heart, and another on the mind which is overgrown with the cares and pleasures of the world. He has to leave the seed in the care of the Lord who gave it to him, for he is not responsible for the harvest, he is only accountable for the care and industry with which he does his work. If no single ear should ever make glad the reaper, the sower will be rewarded by His Master if he had planted the right seed with careful hand.” — Charles Spurgeon

For the record, I do not disagree with Charles Spurgeon. He likens the sower (in Jesus’ parable) to a preacher; one who is specifically DSCN1751called to teach the Word of God. I suppose Spurgeon would further liken the preacher’s congregation as the field (the soil) to which he broadly casts God’s celestial seed. I suspect any pastor would acknowledge that within his very flock there are some with harden hearts and others whose minds are preoccupied with the cares and pleasures of the world. As the parable reminds us, the seed that falls in these unfortunate places are devoured by birds, withered by the sun, or choked out by thorns.  That leaves me with a few questions for Pastor Spurgeon, and also for those who ‘fully’ embrace that interpretation.

  1. Is this parable for preachers exclusively or for the church generally?
  2. Is that the end of the lesson; is that all that Jesus intended us to glean from the parable?
  3. Is there an additional (and incredibly obvious) message we’re all missing?

As you might surmise from my questions, I believe the parable was intended for the entire Christian audience (pastors included), that there is much more to be gleaned, and that we might be glossing over a critical aspect of Christ’s teaching. What is that critical aspect? In two words: soil preparation.

Can soil prepare itself? Let’s consider the sower (aka, the farmer; husbandman) and his duties. If all he had to do was broadcast seed, I suspect farming would be an easy livelihood, but there is much more to it than merely casting seed. By definition he is a person who cultivates the land.  He is a nurturer and a promoter, he fosters growth by preparing and tending the soil. He breaks the hardened earth with the till, thus exposing the rocks for removal while simultaneously plowing the weeds under for nutriment. As he turns over soil, he’s aerating, effectively breathing life-giving air into it. It brings to mind this Genesis passage:

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (Genesis 2:7)

I noted He did not broadcast His breath upon the earth (although He certainly could have); He took a portion and formed it for the sole purpose of breathing into it. Arguably (in this) we see the first mention of cultivation in the Bible. In that act, coupled with the lesson of Christ’s parable, I’m seeing a picture of the ‘born again’ experience; that moment when life is poured into a soul by the Word of God, giving new life. Of course this all begs the question, “As sowers of God’s seed, are we also called to be cultivators of His soil?  Cain would ask another way, “Lord, am I my brother’s keeper?”

Instead of speculating, it would be better to turn to the Bible to see if there are any good examples of sowers cultivating the ground before actually depositing the seed.  Naturally the best example of goodness is Jesus, so let’s see what He has done in this regard.

The Woman at the Well

The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. John 4:16-18

I don’t see any broadcasting in Christ’s encounter with this woman, at least not initially. What I do see is Jesus breaking up some hardened soil and addressing a mind that has been preoccupied with the cares and pleasures of the world. This cultivating act ultimately leads to Holy Spirit conviction. The Apostle Paul would later say, For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of” (2 Corinthians 7:10). Having received the word (after having been appropriately prepared), the woman leaves the well rightfully proclaiming, “Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?” (John 4:29) all because the Messenger took the time and effort to remove some stones, turn under the thorns, and aerate the soil.

The Woman Caught in Adultery

Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.  When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. John 8:6-12

Take note that nowhere in this account does Jesus condone the sin of adultery or this woman’s involvement in it. Without using so many words, Jesus effectively gives us what the Apostle Paul would give us in Romans 3:23, that is, “”For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” When it comes to preparing soil for seed (or the soul for God’s word) addressing sin; putting the spade into the earth and exposing sin for what it is and what it does, it arguably the first step. God only knows what Jesus wrote in the soil, but what we do know is that it was very convicting. Perhaps in some way it revealed the second step in the Roman’s Road to salvation, “For the wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23). Either way, Jesus is doing a lot of groundwork. At the right time Jesus plants the seed essentially saying to her, “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1).  We also notice that Jesus [the multitasker] was working in the field of many souls this day.

Jesus and His Disciples

Is not everything Jesus said and did before His disciple preparatory? These same men who walked and worked side-by-side with the Messiah had little or no understanding of His earthly mission, let alone the suffering and death He was going to endure, or His glorious resurrection.  What we do see in Jesus’ interaction with His disciples is the same love and patience we might witness in a dedicated farmer.

For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them. Matthew 13:17

We’re Not Jesus

That’s an incredibly important tenet to remember, but at the same time Jesus is our example. If Jesus takes the time to prepare a soul to receive the Word, should we not do the same? The question now is what does that look like for the disciple of Christ? I believe it begins with being a good listener. As Mark Cahill would say, “Sharing the Gospel message should be a conversation, not a presentation.”

Now that may not be the case for the preacher (in Charles Spurgeon’s analysis), for a preacher’s sermon is a presentation of Bible Scripture; it’s a teaching without class participation, but I’m not a preacher. I’m just a guy saved by grace with a burden on my heart to share God’s grace with others and to do it in the most loving way possible. To me a presentation says, “Here’s some seed for everybody,” but a conversation says, “Tell me about yourself and when we’ve dug around a bit, I have a good word for you.” There is nothing presumptive about that kind of approach, while the broadcasting approach supposes much.

For my money, Ray Comfort does it well. Instead of hopping up on a soapbox and broadcasting seed, he engages folks one-on-one (often in populated environments) and determines where they are in their earth-bound life. It’s not uncommon (for one example) for Ray to discover a person who falsely believes they’re going to Heaven [because] they think they’re good. Comfort is quick to turn over a portion of soil, exposing their true sin-nature by the Ten Commandments, quite often bringing revelation to the person that they are sinners in need of saving. In contrast, if Ray did not take the time to cultivate the soil, I suspect very few would even listen to a broadly cast, Gospel message. Even then what would the result be without cultivation? Would not some seed be eaten by the birds, dried up in the sun, or choked by the thorns? Is not [at least] one lesson from the parable of the sower that this does not have to be the case, but rather with just a smidgen of preparation, the yield could be greater (not for pride’s sake, but for God’s sake)?

I believe it is and for that reason I will take the time to prepare the soil whenever it is possible, and not because I believe I can ‘save’ a person with my efforts, but because I believe it is of godly counsel and good stewardship to do so. I see it as a compassionate and loving way to deliver the Word of God, partly because it demonstrates to the hearer that you care, taking the time to listen and go deeper. It’s not the only thing, but it’s an important thing that Christ revealed in His parable of the sower and prescribed in Paul’s letter to Timothy. Reprove, rebuke, exhort with patience (and truth) are the sower’s tools.

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away * their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 2 Timothy 4:2-4

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? 1 Corinthians 6:9a

Did you know that homosexual perversion (while still a sin), is not nearly as rampant as heterosexual perversion?  It’s true. Drawing upon the data from recent surveys, there are over 8 million adults in the US who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual. That’s only 3.5% of the population. That leaves us with a population of over 96% that are heterosexual.  Of those, 75% have had sexual intercourse (outside of marriage) by their late teens!

We’re Not Hurting Anyone

“We’re not hurting anyone,” is an excuse common to both the homosexual and heterosexual camps, but the sad reality is that casual footheterosexual sex has directly contributed to the death of almost 60 million babies in the United States and over 1.3 billion globally. Let that number sink in. 1.3 billion abortions due largely to casual sex between a man and a woman. In steep contrast AIDS has only claimed the lives of 39 million people. It sure makes me wonder if our homo-myopia is yet another satan-fueled diversion. Could it be we’re shooting our own foot?

What’s my point?

Hear me out — I am not defending homosexuality. Heaven forbid. Having said that, homosexuality is a frequent topic of conversation (as it should be), but it should not be so at the cost of all other sin. Chances are the folks sitting next to you in church are not gay (based on the data), but might very well be involved in some type of heterosexual sin that is being largely overlooked in our discussions and our pulpits.

Be not deceived : neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers,nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers,nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. 1 Corinthians 6:9b-10

Do you ever wonder how many of the people who rightfully denounce homosexuality are ‘habitually’ viewing pornography or are fornicating outside of marriage? Porn alone will claim 70% of these men. How many of these have slid under the church’s radar, or more accurately, beneath the span of the spotlight we shine on what’s generally perceived to be the more grievous sin? We’d be wise to remember that homosexuality is a sin worthy of discussion, but it’s not the only sin.

The Debate

I’ve heard the arguments and I have even cited them myself: the ‘gay agenda’ is being crammed down our throats. It’s an undeniable truth. Everywhere we turn the culture, the media, and the government are defending, supporting, or creating law in support of homosexuality, thus encouraging sinners to wrongfully proclaim ‘gay is not a sin.’ We stand against this assault because souls are being lost. I get it. I’m merely putting forth there’s a larger picture we should not ignore.

And such were some of you: but ye are washed , but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:11

Fear Factor

This is going to hurt a little, but I’m going to say it anyway. When it comes to social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and social interaction in general, we’re afraid of our heterosexual friends. By that I mean we don’t want to make them angry, nor do we want to lose any of them. We may only have a few gay friends and/or family members, but we have a gazillion sexually active hetero friends and family, and we do not want to further alienate them.

You might not like it, but hatred of this kind is inevitable. You can espouse your love for them until you’re blue in the face, but at the end of the day most sinners will choose their sin over your suspect love or friendship.

And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake:but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. Matthew 10:22

What Are the Options?

In an attempt to thwart Bible prophecy, some Christians have determined that they won’t talk about any sin, at any time, with anybody (aka: Joel Osteenism). I submit to you that is not a viable option for a follower of Jesus Christ. We’re called to share the Gospel message and its foundational principle: all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory. In other words, we cannot ignore the issue of sin, but we’re to approach the sinner in a loving and Biblical way.

Judge Not

The Bible makes reference to three kinds of judgements and encourages the followers of Jesus Christ to actively participate in two of those three. The third type, judging unto condemnation is forbidden — God alone makes that final determination. The other two are:

  1. Judging for the purpose of identification.
  2. Judging for the purpose of restoration.

An example of the first sort might be ‘determining that a person is highly intoxicated,’ and based on the situation concluding that the wisest option is to walk away.  An example of the second type is similar, but in addition to making the identification we see an open door to assist (restore) that person.

Christians are called to identify (judge) sin, and then by means of the Holy Spirit discern if we can act on God’s behalf to restore such a one. Sin is very often the leaping off point by which we deliver the Gospel message, but if we’re primarily focused on just one sin, we’re inevitably going to miss a slew of other closeted-folks who need a little light shined in their direction in order that they might know the full grace of God this side of Heaven.

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. Matthew 28:19-20a

Are You Going to Heaven?

My blog is primarily intended for a Christian audience, but I realize that on occasion non-believers happen upon it. It’s for those folks I’d like to give an opportunity to know and follow Jesus Christ. Please click this link to learn more.

A guy goes in for a job at McDonald’s

“Do you like the ‘Big Mac‘ burger?” the manager asks.

1“I believe it’s the best burger in the universe!” he replies.

“Excellent! I think we can use a guy like you. Here’s a uniform and our employee’s manual. Study the book tonight and we’ll start training you tomorrow.”

The next day the guy shows up and begins training. As the boss wanders by, he drops a burger on the floor and casually picks it up, tossing it back on the grill.

The manager intervenes, “Excuse me! What are doing? Don’t you know that’s wrong? Did you even read our book? And by the way, where’s your uniform?”

“Here’s the problem, bro. I don’t believe it’s wrong and I don’t really appreciate you telling me it is. Oh, and I don’t agree with everything written in your little book, either.”

“Oh really,” the manager says, “well I’m very sorry, but you cannot work here. I’m letting you go.”

The guy storms out, but the next day he shows up for work. The manager stopped him at the counter and reminded him he was fired for failure to comply with the company manual and for thinking bad behavior was good.

He protested, “But bro, I believe the Big Mac is the best!!!”

The manager set him straight.

“What you ‘believe’ about our most famous burger isn’t relevant. Even our competition knows how great our burger is, but that’s not enough. You cannot serve here and continue to call bad behavior good, nor can you reject the portions of our policies you don’t agree with. You can show up here everyday with your belief, but it’s a ‘lie’ if you think you have a future here.  If you want things ‘your way’ you should probably go to the ‘Home of the Whopper.'”

~ ~ ~

Of course this was a fictional account, but it does demonstrate a point about the Christian faith: believing Jesus is the ‘best’ is not enough. The Bible says even satan believes in Jesus.

“Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believeand tremble.” (James 2:19)

The Bible says that true Christians (believers) follow the commands of Jesus that are found in the Bible. Our belief is not merely an understanding of historical data, but a determination to act affirmatively upon that which we know to be true. It’s for this reason we cannot pick through the Bible determining which commands we like and which we reject. It just doesn’t work that way.

“If ye love me, keep my commandments.” – Jesus

Calling sin what God calls it (sin) is our leaping off point. We can’t repackage our illicit behavior(s) and call them lifestyle choices, nor can we argue that the Bible was written for a different time and culture. We believe God and appreciate that God cannot lie.

“For I am the LORD, I change not…Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and forever.” (Malachi 3:6a, Hebrews 13:8)

Servants of the Lord are those who are submitted to God, regardless of how often we ‘drop the burger.’ Rather than make light of it, we recognize our errors without making excuses or worse, pretending they are something else. We don the full armor of Christ, even if it doesn’t fit as well as we’d like. We know we’re imperfect, but we also know by His grace we are saved, showing up to work each day knowing that our future is secure.

These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. (1 John 5:13)

If you would like this same assurance, believe in Jesus Christ similarly. It’s a kind of faith that says you trust Jesus and you desire to follow His ways.  It’s also an understanding that you’re a sinner (just like the rest of us) and that you need a Savior. In other words, there’s no way for you to enter Heaven on your own; there’s just one way – through the person, divinity, and sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

You can learn more about it, HERE

“This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.” (John 15:12-14)

The year was 1977 when Ron and Linda Cross informed a social worker that they wanted to adopt another baby girl. Imagine their joy when they were notified of the availability of a newborn at St. Luke’s 11Hospital in Sioux City, Iowa. To their shock they would soon discover that this baby weighed in at only 2 pounds, 14 ounces, having been born prematurely somewhere between 18 and 22 weeks. I suspect they were less prepared to learn the reason — this little girl’s birth was a result of a botched abortion and despite having survived some doctor’s attempt to kill her, her prognosis was not good: retardation, sight problems, emotional and physical disabilities were within the scope of possibilities.

Ron and Linda briefly weighed all the information and decided that they would adopt her. They named her Melissa.

“Behold , what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God” (1 John 3:1)

What Manner of Love is This

The Cross’s love for Melissa is difficult to fathom. They took as their own a helpless babe, who if even able to survive the next few days, would undoubtedly be severely damaged for the horrific experience. Having heard this story for the first time, I immediately drew a parallel between Ron and Linda’s adoption [of Melissa] and our Father’s adoption of us.

Taking it to Another Level

Even the best analogies are flawed and this is where this comparison comes to a screeching halt. It’s true, God our Father adopted us into His royal family, but He did so in a most unusual way. In order for our adoption to be legal (in the most righteous sense of the word) our Father-to-be would first have to relinquish His first and only Son to the grave. It’s preposterous to even consider this notion, nevertheless can we imagine the social worker telling Mr. and Mrs. Cross, “You can not adopt Melissa unless you sacrifice your first child.” 

You can not adopt Melissa unless you sacrifice your first child.” 

What manner of love is this? Frankly, it’s far beyond our capacity to understand the question, let alone answer. All we can do is breath deeply trying to get the air back into our lungs. Regardless, this is what our Father did for us in order that we might become the sons and daughters of the Most High. In our worst condition, God surrendered Jesus in order that He could call us His children.

Don’t try to figure it out, just receive it for the Good News that it is.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the beloved.” (Ephesians 1:3-6)

We know our adoption story has a miraculous ending, and so does Melissa’s. My age 5 Melissa (Cross) Ohden was medically cleared; there would be no lingering physical side effects from the abortion. It is an amazing story and you can read more about it HERE.

You may also be interested to know that there are currently about 200 abortion survivors living in the United States. You can read their stories HERE.

Happy Valentines Day.

50 Shades of Filth

Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. 1 Corinthians 7:1-2

I really didn’t want to enter the 50 Shades debate. I think it was because I’m still reeling from the President of the United States 1standing up before the 2015 National Day of Prayer and reminding us all that we should dismount our ‘high horses’ of anger and justice (in regard to Muslims burning a man alive), and pause to remember the church’s historical record. I’ve this vision of President Obama calling me out, “Ya know Dave, I think you should get off your ‘high horse’ and stop talking about all this ‘sex within marriage’ stuff. Seems to me your record on this issue makes you a hypocrite.”

Ya know Dave, I think you should get off your ‘high horse’ and stop talking about all this ‘sex within marriage only’ stuff.” 

Ugh

He’s right.

Where do I get off warning others about their sexual exploits after I’ve had my fill. While I’m at it, what business do I have warning others about drug and alcohol abuse, drunk driving, aggravated assault, or dare I say murder. Let the record show that Dave has lots and lots of blood on his hands.

A ‘Biblical Reality’ Check

This is where we all need to pause and consider all the players in the Bible, save Jesus. Can you think of one who was without sin? Me either. But yet these same men, inspired by the Holy Spirit, wrote the Bible. My mind immediately flashes to the Apostle Paul; a guy who arrested and murdered Christians, not unlike some barbarian Muslims we know! How dare this wretched man offer us Godly counsel and call it wise.

Ah, but for the grace of God, there go I.

Our One Defense

For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. Romans 3:28

Sinners have only one defense in this matter: we boldly proclaim Biblical truth because we are justified by our saving faith in Jesus Christ. It is not the Christian who speaks, but the saint who is robed in His righteousness. No one in Christ’s church sits upon a high horse except Christ Himself, and it is in His name we may speak. It is for this reason I often declare on these matters that I have no opinion – I have a Bible. Therefore, we boldly proclaim that sex outside of marriage (i.e., marriage between a man and a woman) is wrong because God has said so.

I Don’t Agree

Please don’t argue with me or anyone else, read Acts 15:20; 1 Corinthians 5:1; 2 Corinthians 12:21; Galatians 5:19; Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; and Jude 7 for yourself. If you still don’t agree, bring your debate to God, however trust me, “But Dave did it,” is not good fodder for your argument! The Bible commands complete abstinence before marriage, with sex between a husband and his wife being the only sexual relationship God approves.

It’s Black and White

5o Shades of Grey is nothing more than perversion. Even when I was active in my sexual sin I would have recognized this book as perverted, depraved, and pornographic. There’s nothing gray about it being smut. Know this: if you’re a follower of Jesus Christ and find yourself attracted to this book (and reportedly there are many), you are being deceived and you’re opening a door to consequences you may not be prepared for. Check out the last verse of Romans 1.

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. Romans 1:32

Earlier in this same Book, the Apostle Paul makes ill mention of all practitioners of unrighteousness, with dishonorable recognition going towards fornication, inventors of evil things, an unnatural affections. If we stop reading after verse 31, we might ride away on our high horses saying, “Shame on these evil doers,” but verse 32 serves to knock us out of the saddle by reminding us that if watch (or read) from the sidelines, we’re just as guilty.

Please don’t reject 50 Shades because some hypocrite told you it was filth; reject it because God says it’s more harmful than you know.

Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:7-9

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aaaaaa10) You might be in sin if you regularly find yourself saying that what you like to do is not sinful.

9) You might be in sin if you regularly find yourself saying the Bible is wrong on many issues, especially the issue you regularly say is not sinful.

8) You might be in sin if you regularly find yourself saying the people who point out sin are legalists, pharisees, fundies, or hypocrites.

7) You might be in sin if you regularly seek out people who prefer and/or agree with the same ‘questionable’ things that you do.

6) You might be in sin if you regularly point out the sins of others.

5) You might be in sin if you regularly say that ‘regardless’ of your behavior, Jesus loved sinners and hung out with them.

4) You might be in sin if you regularly misquote Bible verses about judging others.

3) You might be in sin if you regularly say that you’re not hurting anyone else.

2) You might be in sin if you regularly hear a still, small voice telling you what you’re doing is sinful.

1) You might be in sin if you respond to this post with an excuse I didn’t think of.

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!  (Isaiah 5:20)

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