Monthly Archives: March 2014

The Sexualization of Our Society

I am thinking of how provocative everything is.  How most movies, most TV shows, much of the advertising of any sort and even just the everyday close worn are designed to be sexual and to desensitize society to sexual morality that was set many generations ago.

Even things that are supposedly innocent such as a child’s dance program are turned sexual. You see little kids in outfits that use to be only worn in places people were embarrassed to be seen in.  We are teaching our children to throw away modesty.  It seems like our society now says it is okay to sexualize someone who is not an adult and in fact we cheer, clap, smile, give accolades upon accolades and tell them how cute they are when they are wearing clothing that is in no terms modest.  What are we building in that child’s (usually girls) subconscious?  What lessons are they learning?  That a girl is only appreciated when they do something sexual (teen pregnancy epidemic & the growth of sexual assaults).  Sensuality is flashed in front of us in one form or another all day long be it by advertising or TV or just seeing what people are wearing.

According to the CDC in 2012 they did a survey and they found that 1 in 5 women have been raped at some point in there life in contrast 1 in 71 men experienced the same. This number does not count sexual assaults.  Out of those rapes for women 12.3% were raped at the age of 10 or before while boys were 27.8% but out of the rapes for women 42.2% were perpetrated while they were under the age of 18.  These are just some of the statistics there are many more that will break your heart.  So many that I had to quit researching it because I am getting angry.

I realize that large amount of society (this includes many many Christians) does not see the sexualization of children and society as a whole as a bad thing.  They believe that throwing off the old social morays is a good thing and will bring freedom for people to live and be who they are meant to be.  They do not want Christian principles governing society they want to fantasize about anyone they want they want to look at porn be it adult or children if they want to and they want to have sex (regardless of age) with anyone they want to.  They do not want someone to say what they are doing is bad.  They even go further then that.  They want the law and society to say their sexual distortions are okay and in fact good.  They want to be a part of a society that says they are admirable and we should all do as they do.

Here is the question “Do you want to live in that society?” 

I do not.  I do not want to live in a society that sexualizes kids that are still single digits in age.  I do not want to live in a society where teachers can rape children for years and get a slap on the hand and probation then walk free.  I do not want to live in a society where unions fight for child rapist to get their pensions back after losing it for raping children.  I do not want to live in a society where sex is the center piece.  Where some of the most popular songs on the radio are about aberrant sex (such as rape, sadomasochism, the destruction of someone else and so on).  Why are these things so popular?  Why does society allow such trash as this?  Why are our kids told it is okay to have sex with anyone they want and then again with someone else?  Why does our society think that having sex with anyone they want is freedom?

I will answer this, though you may not like my answer.  Our society is a post Christian society.  A society that no longer lives by Christian morality but by morality that comes from the society itself.  The obvious problem here is when morality is set by society it will change with society.  Morality is not supposed to be something that changes it is supposed to be solid.  The reason Christian morality does not change and has not since the beginning is because God does not change.  The reason societies morality fluctuates is because people change.   People will always give into to their passions whether they are good or not.

Now before you go and tell me about someone who has not just think as a human I have given in to passions that I should not have (Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God).  I can say with all confidence that we all have given into base passions that have no value but actually detract from that which is truly valuable.

Fluctuating morality is the downfall of countless societies through out history.  Usually at the core of the fluctuation is sex.  When I say sex I do not mean sex between a husband and a wife.  I mean any other type of sex.  God is clear that any sexual experience outside of the confines of marriage  is wrong.  Any sex out side other then a man and a women is wrong.  Sex is not supposed to be public in any way.  Though in our society everything I have just stated as morality has been pushed off and now our society goes for it fully with out reservations and they say it is good.  In fact they say it is not only good but better to break the Christian morality of modesty while in public and the Christian morality of Sex only between a man and a women who are married.  The results are everywhere one goes.  On bill boards, sides of taxi’s, TV, internet and so on.  As I have stated previously even children are being brought up to show their bodies at young ages  even as young as 4 or 5.  Modesty has changed to mean anything anyone wants it to mean.

Today there is no chance for a child today to grow up and not be bombarded with sexuality being shown in a way that is not Biblical.  I realize that  that statement I just made makes some rejoice.  They think by throwing off the boundaries that God Himself set they are now God themselves. They get to make the rules and say what is right and what is wrong.  They are the ones who say to far is to far.  The issue is for them what happens when someone else where they are is not far enough?  What happens when lines become blurred as they are today.  Teachers are molesting and raping children and getting off with one year in prison and a few short years of probation.   This tells society that things are changing that children are now sexual objects to be used as one chooses.  There is not way that a 12 year old can consent to sex with an adult or any one for that matter.   They do not have the reasoning capacity to make that decision.  There are grown adults in this nation who believe it should be okay and are actively working on making it okay through judicial decree, through changing laws or any means they are able to have sex with minors of any age.

I realize that we technically state that sex with a minor is wrong but our enforcement of these laws are tepid at best.  In my home city of Portland, OR we had a mayor Sam Adams who had some sort of sexual experience with a minor boy.  He did not get evicted out of office nor did he go to jail.  I will say this that many of the gay organizations who supported him withdrew their support and even campaigned for his eviction from office. (to their credit) The problem here is society is okay some things while saying others are wrong.  Soon there will be no line where wrong is.  You can not have one minor okay to have a sexual experience with and another not.  You can change the definition of minors but once you do that it does not stop either.

Our nation is on one of the most power drugs known in history and we need to stop using cold turkey.  This drug is sexuality (power).

There is only one way to successfully stop this trend of over sexualization of society and that is to see a Christian Revival.  Laws do not work.  Speeches do not work.  Being told you are wrong does not work.  All these have been tried and failed.  God works.  When God changes ones heart there is true change.  The old ways die off and new ones are born.  We are not who we use to be we are new creations in Christ.  This allows for society to change to transform into a society that honors God and His ways.  A society that allows for righteousness and holiness that sees real value in people and especially the young, old and weak.   They are the ones most hurt by the change but soon it wont be just them it will be all the rest.  The insipidness that is the sexualization of our society will not stop till it kills off our society once and for all.  Remember what God said that all sin leads to death.

Well this is a long post.  I do hope someone reads it.  It is a rant and I am sure it was not well written.  I may edit it later.  As for now I am tired and have other things to do.   Thanks for the time to read it.

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Charity

This is one of those post that I think I will come up drastically short.  I am not really sure where to even start.  I guess we can start with an explanation.  When I say Charity I do  not mean giving money to the poor or giving your time to a non profit though that is part of Charity.  I mean Agape or in English Love.  I chose the title of Charity because I think it has a greater descriptive strength then the word love has in our day.  In todays modern society love is weak and valueless but in Gods society it is the ultimate strength.  Nothing can break Charity nothing can hinder Charity or even slow it down.  True Charity comes only from God and when He fills us with His Charity we have power to change the atmosphere around us and thus the lives around us.  We have the power to give that Charity to others.  Remember when we forgive people on our their sins our heavenly father is sure to forgive us ours.  Forgiveness is an act of Charity it is not Charity in and of itself.  There is one passage in Scripture that most folks know 1 Corinthians 13.  The chapter on Charity.  (A side note prior to getting into this passage I want to say my normal version of the Scripture I use is New American Standard Version.  I do use other versions when I think they are more descriptive of the original so today I will be using the old fashion King James Version.)

1 Corinthians 13

King James Version (KJV)

13 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. 4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.  11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.  12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.  13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

My hope in posting the whole chapter here is that you will read it out loud in its entirety twice.  This will allow your brain to relearn it and see it from a fresh perspective.  I think if the greatest of the is Charity then we  must spend the most time on Charity.  We should dedicate ourselves to its understanding.  Remember 1 John 4:8 God is love.  If God is love and even in the King James version they would use the word love mostly in fact but here in 1Corinthians 13 God chose to use the term Charity instead of Love and that for a purpose.

We talk as if we want to be more like Christ more like God.  This is our goal but where is Charity in this.  We cant be more like God until we have His charity in us.  Remember what the scripture you just read out loud twice (really do this stop reading and go back and do this) God does not care if we practice all the spiritual gifts, if we give all we have to the poor or even if we are martyred for the Faith it all means nothing with out Charity (Agape).  Remember God is Agape.  How long are we willing to suffer?  Are we willing to be kind even to those who we do not like? Do I envy the car the house the children the spouse the life of someone else?  Am I able to happy for them with out it bugging me?  Am I selfish, easily angered, a show off?  These things are directly against Charity.  Charity requires us live different to die and be reborn anew.

Charity gives true life.  Charity allows us to live in what is real not in our own head of what is real but what is truly real.  Remember Charity never fails and who is Charity (Agape) well 1John 4:8 states “God is Agape” Charity = Agape so God = Charity.  Simple math.  If we want to be more like God (like we regularly proclaim) then we need to live 1 Corinthians 13.

Turning the World Upside Down

This post is a bit different then some of my others.  I have been reading Acts and this struck me.  Acts 17.6 “turning the world upside down” this raises a number of questions the first and foremost though is “Why am I not turning the world upside down?”.  This takes some deepness within to truthfully answer this.  We must examine ourselves and see where our loyalties truly stand.  Am I Christ’s?  Do I hold back?  Anything? Before I can really get into “Why am I not turning the world upside down?” We need to examine what it means to turn the world upside down.  What did the Christians do that turned the world upside down?  Well lets look at that.  They changed the world through preaching the Gospel.  As people accepted the Gospel the world changed.  It changed in dramatic ways.  Remember it was Paul who stated in Galatians 3:28 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”  WOW!!!! this is radical.  What are the implications of this message.  Think that race means nothing to God.  Social status means nothing to God.  Your sex means nothing to God.  Before God we are all on equal standing men and women are equal, rich and poor equal, black and white equal.

These are differences that humans look at.  We have built economies around these differences we have built nations around these differences we have built societies and laws and rules and many many religions around these differences. How is Christ different then all that.  He does not care about these differences they do not make us better or worse for it.  He want us.  While the early Christians preached this gospel that turned the world upside down.  Economies changed, governments changed, societies changed and most dearly religion changed.  This was radical, society was built on certain unalienable truths.  One truth man is better then women another truth my race is better then your race another truth my religion is better then your religion and my culture is better then your culture.  Think how God changed all this.  He said follow me leave the rest behind.  Follow  me treat others as better then yourself.  Selfishness is abolished.  Put others first (this was not the standard way) be a servant to all not all should serve me. These concepts these way of being are so absolutely different then what is normal or human that it rightly turned the world upside down. People were losing their businesses, their jobs, their income, their stature, their power, their way of life. They fought it they hated it and they finally gave in to God and repented of it. The world changed. The world was confronted with the Cross of Christ with sin and forgiveness and they knew. They knew they needed forgiveness. They understood they were sinners and now they found the answer. The one beggar told another beggar where to find bread. The early Christians changed the world one person at a time. They preach the unadulterated truth of grace, sin, faith and forgiveness. This struck at the heart of everyone and people had to make a decision they could not sit on a fence about it it was to in your face. The early Christians were killed for the message. Look at Stephen. Paul stood there giving his approval for Stephens death. He choose to go against God and still the message went on.

That is how the world was turned upside down. Now why am I not turning the world upside down? That is an intensely honest question! For myself I can only say that I have allowed the luxury of living get in my way. I do talk to folks and try to show Christ wherever I am but I am not turning the world upside down. I am comfortable. I am at ease. I do not move outside my circles. This limits my ability to transform the atmosphere around me. This limits my ability to touch lives that do not intersect with my own already. I must make changes.

I have. At work I now play worship music (I own my own business I get to choose what is being listened to) and this has opened up many conversation with those who are and who are not Christian. It is small. I also spend much more time in prayer while working. I have prayed for more opportunities to open up and I have tried to be available for them. I have prayed more with strangers. I have started praying while walking again. I am going back to what I did at first when I was newly on fire for God and I see God responding to this. I see doors opening and people being touched. I see lives changing including my own. I though it was going to be hard and possibly embarrassing or confrontational but in the end it has been healing for me as well as those I am touching. I have found peace in this. I have found hope in this. I have found opportunity.

I am not able to say why you have not turned the world upside down but I can say this. I know you can make small changes that lead to bigger changes and in the end the atmosphere that surrounds us will change and those who enter it will know peace and life even if they do not understand it. You can start all this by making small changes. I would love it if you could please share your stories so that others can also be encouraged. Remember Proverbs 27:17 “Iron Sharpens Iron”. It is important that we build each other up so that the Kingdom can be built.

The Providence of God

This is only going to be a quick note on the Providence of God.  There have been volumes written on this topic and in no way am I going to attempt to comprehensively cover this topic here.  I wont even give a theological definition to the word providence since there is large divide in that as well.  The reason I am doing this, is that I am reading in Acts.  When I read in Acts I see the providential hand of God everywhere.  I see where God moves behind the scenes and how He effects change in the world, without others even knowing that it is happening.

Lets take a look at the apostle Paul.  Starting with his standing over Stephen’s murder.  Here he was standing over and approving of Stephens murder.  Who knew that Stephen’s sacrifice would be the start of Paul’s conversion?  Even though Paul did not know it, this is the point where Paul starts on his path to conversion.  Stephen’s martyrdom and the imprisonment of christians gives Paul the credentials needed for him to get the letter from the Jewish High council to go to Damascus and arrest those who are part of the Way.  It is along this road where God intervenes directly.  While he intervened indirectly prior to this, now he directly confronts Paul.

I am not going to re-hash the story you can read it in Acts 9.  Read it, it will be worth your time.   What I am looking at today.  God’s providential hand was directing events even though most people would not have understood that.  It is rare that while we are in the midst of events someone understands that Gods providence is at play.  Hindsight is 20/20.   It is easy for us some 2000 years later to look back and see all the different things that were happening at the same time to see Gods providence taking place.  Remember the folks at the time did not know everything that is taking place nor did they see the big picture they did not have the internet with instant information at their finger tips information could take days or even weeks to travel to someone depending on that persons connections.  God created circumstances so that the big picture could take place.  Those circumstances were hard, and even cost many their lives but, in the end Gods providence was fulfilled and Christianity spread all over the world.

Lets take a look at Paul and his going to Jerusalem for the second time since his conversion.  On his way to Jerusalem he made many stops and at each stop he was told by prophetic message not to go bad things were going to happen.  He heeded them but chose to go on anyways.   Even with the warning he knew what the Spirit wanted; which was for him to go to Jerusalem.  He did not know that he was going to be beaten almost to death by a mob.  He did not know that he was going to be almost tortured by Romans, or have a plot to kill him thwarted by his nephew.  He only knew he had to go and that bad things were going to happen.  He had to be a witness for Christ and the consequences be damned.

From here he did not realize that all this would lead to him being a witness for Christ to Caesar then be freed and do yet another missionary journey possibly even into Spain.

All these circumstances were difficult and in many cases people paid the ultimate price but all were in the Providence of God. He wanted these things to happen so that the good news could spread and be most effective.  The original persecutions that happened in Jerusalem was used to move the good news past just the Jewish homeland.  This was the beginning of the spread.  Remember Jesus stated that first to Jerusalem, then to Judea, and then to Samaria and finally then to the uttermost ends of the earth.

God set it out ahead of time but, the human understanding did not see this.  They were stuck in Jerusalem and Judea.  This forced them to move forward and God’s providence was being fulfilled.

How do we apply this to our lives?  That is a great question.  I am glad you asked.  We often do not see God’s providential hand at the time we are a part of it.  We often complain, get depressed, fight what we are going through and even blame God and say that it is unfair.  When we do this we are forgetting that God’s providence has a purpose in all things.  There are no accidents in the Christian life.  All things have a purpose.  A purpose to bring this world to Christ.  What we go through even if at the time we can not see it God has a purpose in it.  He has providence.

Remember when we came to Christ we gave him ourselves.  We did not say to him here I will follow you when I want to but I will follow You. I will go where You lead.  I will suffer as You have suffered.  I will bless those whom You bless and curse those whom You curse.  Remember birds of the air have nest, the fox has a hole in the ground but the Son of Man has no where to lay His head.  That is us.  Remember the Son of Man must suffer many things.  It is through suffering that we are refined.  The refining process stinks.  It is not something we want to go through but as Christians we gave Him everything that means we no longer have providence over ourselves but Christ does.  Christ has providence now we gave Him everything and He gives everything to the Father.

The ultimate providence is in the Father and if you really want to get philosophical the only true providence is in the Father and always has been.  There is none other.

This short piece is something to chew on.