Satan will use whatever he can to work toward his goal of death and destruction. It isn’t always as obvious as a pitchfork holding, cattle hooved, evil looking creature showing up outside the Christ follower and the collective of Christ follower’s house. Instead… it is the things that seem normal, even good, that he hides behind as he “masquerades as an angel of light” ( 2 Corinthians 11:14 NIV ).
Slowly he wears down the outer layer of protection with a constant flow of what we consider normal everyday things…The little things that erode our belief system, changing us and the churches we attend go unnoticed.
I don’t know how much entertainment has worn away at you…
…but the next time a scene that suggests or shows unmarried characters engaging in a sexual relationship, ask yourself, “does this even phase me?” When I was growing up, Christians were worried about the language in movies and on TV, followed closely by the amount of exposed skin. What was lost by focusing on creating rules to address the obvious linguistic and visual boundary pushing, was the changing message about sex.
Although there were movies being made that were rated “R”, there were many more that catered to a wider age range. To make a movie or a TV show available to the largest audience and therefore create the best opportunity for a money making hit production, the language and the nudity had to be all but eliminated. If you want parents and teens to see your show keep it “PG”.
When watching these “cleaner” shows, do you find yourself cheering for the romantic lead or the action hero to finally get the girl or guy? I do! Okay I admit it, as much as I am not a big fan of rom-coms (romantic comedies) I still get swept up in the love stories, please don’t tell anyone. The truth is, when we cheer for a connection to be made between characters, almost always we are cheering for them to “hook up”.
In the fantasy world created by Hollywood…
…love is expressed by sleeping together while marriage is an afterthought if it is thought of at all. Let’s face it, we don’t even notice that this is what we are cheering for. We don’t realize that we are accepting sinful behaviour as part of this good story. How we view sex or drugs, lying or cheating, or any sinful acts can be slowly conformed to the pattern of this world through the media we consume.
Whether the slow erosion is effective or not, Satan is not finished.
Using the word of God as he did when he tempted Jesus, Satan twists the idea of love and the concept of mercy to wage war against us. It’s in the news stories we read and view, and in the plots of the shows we watch. If you don’t accept people’s lifestyle then you are not a good person and therefore not a good Christian. If you really love and have mercy you must allow people to do what they feel is right.
Born that way or just experimenting, finding pleasure a different way or just looking for a little spice in their life, the message is: who are you to judge? We are barraged with messages that ask us to embrace the sinful behaviours of the world outside and try to convince us that love and mercy really means acceptance – anything else is passing judgement.
Slow erosion or full assaults, The Snake is using the people of this world…
…to wear away at the Bible based beliefs Christ followers hold until they are gone and we “conform to the pattern of this world” (see Romans 12:2 ). If we are not making sure the spiritual shingles and flashing are still intact, it won’t be long before something gets through.
If this were a building we would inspect the exposed part of the roof to make sure it still looked like it is supposed to look so it will function the way it was designed to function. It is too late to start to check after the water is eating away at the inside of the house, we need to make sure that from the beginning it is functioning right. This means installing it right and maintaining it right. The nails, flexible adhesives and overlapping patterns of the Christ follower and collective of Christ followers are:
- Reading the Bible
- Creating a system of accountability
- Learning and building relationships as part of a collective of Christ followers.
This doesn’t just apply to the individual Christ follower…
…but the collective of Christ followers. The church needs a Bible reading leadership that is accountable to each other and the people they serve while continually learning from one another. Relying on one of the three parts is not enough. Redundancy is everything!
There is no guarantee that reading the Bible on its own is enough, after all you may misinterpret, not fully understand or improperly apply the text. The individuals who you trust the most to keep you on the right path may not always recognise your missteps. The meetings of the collective of Christ followers do not always address your specific needs at that time. Without all of these multiple layers it is much easier to create rules, a bucket under the leak that makes the situation more bearable but never truly addresses it.
When the outside tries to force its way inside…
…you need to protect yourself with every Godly thing at your disposal. If you combine the truth of God’s word with the loving correction and advice of Christ following mentors in concert with the fellowship and learning that takes place in the collective of Christ followers, you create a redundant system of protection against the outside. You will not be conformed to something that you are protected against.
Stay tuned A Little Understanding – Climate Protection (Part 4) will be posted in late July 2019
From time to time my blog will include abridged excerpts from my book “Blueprint.” Like any author/blogger, I find it difficult to leave the words I have written in my computer until a publisher can be found. Maybe it’s because someone somewhere needs to read these words now.
For more excerpts and quotes from my book Blueprint find the heading “Categories” on the right side of this page and click on “Blueprint (my book)”
An important message for a culture that exalts sexuality.
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Dave, thanks so much for this insightful post. It’s that slow creep into our lives we sometimes miss.
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