Thursday, February 19, 2015

Who Will You Call On?

On Sunday February 15, 21 Egyptian Christian men were martyred for their faith in Christ. I watched the video. All of it. I did not turn away.

And now I kind of want to go throw up.

The Walid Shoebat foundation reports it as such:
"Even under the blade, some were making their last prayers and as the blade came to their neck they all cried in unison "Ya Rabbi Yasou" (O My Lord Jesus)." 

These are those truly giving their lives for Christ, giving all and not turning away under any circumstance. They leave behind families, children, and parents. They are those who remained faithful to death, putting all in the hands of the Lord Jesus Christ.

These are their names:

These are the names of men who called on the name of Jesus. Who put their hope in the only One who could fill them. Who gave everything and in return received a painful and gory death.

This is what Jesus said would happen to those who follow Him: that they would be persecuted, imprisoned and even killed. We would do well to remember that, especially as we look inward from so far away. By refusing to convert to Islam, these men, like those in ancient Rome, refused to worship that which was not God.

They chose a different path.

And so the question now comes to us: who will we call on?

We (hopefully), will never find ourselves in this position. But we may, and indeed many will at some point, find themselves in a position where they must either take a stand for Christ or not. Will you join the ranks of those who were willing to give it all, or will you give in to the temptation to deny Him?

When you are threatened with fines and jail for preaching the Bible (as in Canada & Europe) or threatened with the loss of your business for not associating yourself with a particular event (Arizona, Colorado), or even simply made an outcast for being vocal about your beliefs (anywhere), who will you call on?

We are not given a spirit of fear and powerlessness. We are those made alive in Christ. Those made whole in Him. When the time comes, what will your decision be?

Who will you call on?

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

So Let's Deal With This: The 50 Shades Thing

I will be up-front about this. This is a post I have been debating about writing for some weeks now. There has been plenty of other writing about it, but the voices of others does not mean that I can then keep silent.

In fact, I wish I did not have to write about this at all. I hate pornography. Every Christian should. The fact that this needs to be said to Christians at all makes me a little scared.

I will also admit that I am far from perfect, and have plenty of my own faults. That does not change the point, and it does not change the truth. Truth is truth regardless of outside circumstances.

If I offend you with this, then you may need to be offended. If you are already on board with what I am about to say, great, I am glad to have you with us. But if you are a Christian on the edge, please take what I am about to say (all of it), with an open mind and heart, realizing that I am doing my best to write and say what God wants me to say.

Christians men, if you take your wife to see 50 Shades of Grey, you are taking her to watch porn, doing her an enormous disservice and making an unforced error in spiritually leading your home.

Christian women, if you choose to go see 50 Shades of Grey, you are going there to watch porn, doing yourself an enormous disservice and making an unforced error to guard your hearts and minds, as well as those of your household.

Like I said, if you are offended by that, perhaps it is because you need to be offended. Hopefully though, it will also cause you to rethink your position because "its just a movie," is not good enough. We are called to be different.

You know this to be the truth. In a 120 minute film, where 20 minutes of it is sex scenes, it is not incidental. That's 1/6 of the entire movie. In England, the movie received an 18+ rating. In the states it is only rated R. Just as an extra piece of info, it has outsold The Hunger Games on Fandango in the first week of ticket sales, making it #1 for non-sequel films.

This is not a little bubble in the pot. This is a tsunami. It is coming, and if you are going to see it you will be a part of that tsunami.

This is not just a harmless movie. It literally peddles as love: 
Abuse - sexual, emotional, and verbal
Stalking - including disallowing the woman to have contact with family & friends 
Bondage - tying/locking up someone so they cannot move
Domination - forcing someone to submit to you with words and physical force
Sadomasochism - getting pleasure from people inflicting pain on you
Masochism - getting pleasure from bringing others pain, physical or otherwise 

As love.

This is what is being peddled as romance. And 100 million of these books have been sold. And it could have a $60 million opening weekend.

It is rated 'R'. Now in theory-world this means that only people 17 and up can go see it. In reality that works quite differently. How many parents have you seen take small children into an 'R' rated movie? How many kids ages 12-16 have you seen without parents in 'R' rated movies?

Do you really think this will be any different?


Do you honestly think that young kids, even your kids possibly when you drop them off at the theater, will not try and see the Hottest Movie Of The Season?

Be honest with yourself about what this really is, and what it really means.

Because if you are, you will see the follow of supporting it yourself.

In the interest of not ending on a negative note, might I suggest an alternative? If you are in the mood for a romance on Valentine's Day, why not go see something (that looks from the trailer, anyway), to be a good, wholesome, caring film about what love might really look like? Go see Old Fashioned. Stay home and watch the Princess Bride or some other wonderful movie. If you're really adventurous, maybe even have a Valentine's Day date that doesn't have a movie at all!

But put something positive in your life.

Don't fill it with the garbage the world is spewing.

Find real love. True love. Amazing love.

With your spouse. With your family. With God.