Thoughts of a messed up Christian saved by God's grace

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Who is influencing who?

   My family didn't have a TV for most of my life. From around the age of 12 on up, I didn't watch TV or movies. I can still remember one of the first secular movies I watched as an adult. It may sound weird, but I was bothered that the main character in the movie lived with her boyfriend. It was a clean and amusing movie, but for me who wasn't used to that aspect, it bothered me. People who were used to that and had been watching movies and TV for years, wouldn't have even registered that fact,

  Back in 2005 a movie came out that sent shock waves across the country. Brokeback Mountain was the first gay movie to be shown in movie theaters across the country. Churches all across the country called for boycotts. I know enough about the movie to know that compared to other movies that have been in movie theaters, it wasn't that bad. Yes, it was about two gay cowboys having an affair, but there have been worse movies shown without gay characters, and the same churches never bothered to boycott. They had gotten used to heterosexual immorality being shown on TV and in movies, so they weren't bothered by that. A gay movie though....they weren't used to that,

  My pastor preached a message Sunday night about Christians and culture. I can't remember much of what he said, but it has been something that has been on my mind lately. I even started a blog post on the subject a couple of weeks ago,

  I came away from that sermon with this:

  Are we Christians changing and influencing the world and culture, or is the world and culture changing and influencing us?

  I read an article a few years back in a Christian magazine that took me aback a bit. It was on whether Christians should watch R rated movies or not. The writer claimed that there are some R rated movies we should watch for the experience, and would be missing out on some great movies if we avoided all R rated movies. Think about that for a minute. We should watch movies that have a lot of violence, bad language, nudity, and other things R rated movies have because we might be missing a good movie. Really??

  Back some years ago, there was a talk show on the radio that was by a Christian guy who was a pastor.....if my mind serves me right. I called into the show once, and it was to disagree with him. He had just had quite the lecture on his show about Christians going to watch the movie Titanic because there is a nude scene in it. It may have even been that very day he had gone on and on about it. He then went on to rave about the movie Saving Private Ryan and was urging people to go see it. I have never seen either movie, but I knew that Saving Private Ryan was full of bad language. So I called in and pointed out his double standard. He of course disagreed with me, and said some not so nice things about me when I hung up. He felt SPR was such a wonderful movie, and since it was a war movie the language was necessary; so Christians should go watch it..... but shouldn't watch Titanic because of a nude scene.

   Here is a news flash: There is no movie that a Christian must see. I like to watch movies, but am careful about what I watch. But have we become so influenced by culture and Hollywood that being entertained is more important than being careful what we view, and more important than pleasing God?

  This past year, abc Family aired an episode of a TV show that had 2 13 year old boys kissing. I wonder how many Christians kept watching that show.

  Hollywood has an agenda. They are putting gay characters in many TV shows and trying to condition people that gay is OK. Sadly, they are even doing it in kid's TV shows to start the conditioning and indoctrination early.

It would seem Christians and the church are being impacted and influenced by the world than the other way around.

    Even this Donald Trump phenomenon shows this. No Christian worth their salt should consider voting for a man like him..... and they wouldn't have years ago. The reasons why a Christian should not support him are endless, yet he is getting the Christian vote. They have become convinced he is the answer, and are ignoring all of the reasons why a Christian should not vote for and support such a man. They aren't shocked that he owns strip clubs. They don't care that he is a serial adulterer who brags about his affairs. It doesn't matter to them that he says Planned Parenthood does a lot of good. His vulgarity doesn't faze them, nor the fact that his wife posed nude. Not only are they not bothered by all of that, they defend him and find fault with anyone who dares point these things out. They have set aside morals, principles, and biblical values to vote for a man who is the total opposite of what we believe and stand for. Politics has trumped not only common sense, but Christian values.

  We have become too much like the world. Jesus said we are to be in the world, but not of the world; but we have done the opposite of what He said. Does what God may think even enter our minds when we decide our movie and TV viewing choices? Do we seek His opinion on what kind of music we listen to, what kind of books we read......who we vote for?

  We aren't shocked by nudity and immorality anymore. In fact, many Christian women dress in ways that reveal parts of their bodies to the world that should never be shown.....and men aren't exempt either. We listen to music with cursing and talk about cheating on your spouse, we watch and read things like 50 Shades of Grey....we have adapted to the world and don't think anything is really that bad and come up with excuses why it is OK to dress the way we do, follow the fads that we follow, use the language we use, watch the things we watch, and vote for the kind of person we want to vote for.

  Nothing is wrong anymore. We decide for ourselves what is OK for us to do. Most of us only do or don't do what the Bible says, and unless it is black and white.....and even then a lot of us reason around or twist the inconvenient verses.

  Back to politics for a minute. Consider this:

The front-runner for one political party is a liar, is corrupt, has cheated, is suspected of being complicit in murders and also in the deaths of the guys in Benghazi. She has helped cover up her husband's abuse of women, and stands against everything a Christian believes and stands for.

Behind door #2: is the front-runner for the other party.He supported the other candidate for years, has been good friends with her, has defended her in the Benghazi scandal, has defended her husband's sexual escapades, owns strip clubs where women are abused and degraded, has cheated on 2 wives and bragged about it, uses vulgarity, is a bully, says he doesn't need God's forgiveness, defends the largest abortion provider in the country and says they do a lot of good.

  Christians by the thousands, maybe millions; are going to vote for these 2 candidates. Culture says you must vote for the candidate in your party who wins the nomination. Culture has numbed us to the things these 2 candidates are guilty of. Culture says politics is more important than character, biblical principles, and morals. Making sure the other party doesn't win is more important than sticking to your principles and not voting for these candidates.

  We are not of this world. We do not have to watch that TV show or movie. We don't need to read that book, listen to that singer, wear that outfit, follow that fad. We don't have to vote for a candidate that is against everything we believe as a Christian. The world says we do. The world says we are crazy if we are careful about what we let into our minds and lives. The world - and even other Christians -  says we are nuts and traitors to our party if we won't vote for the candidate our political party puts up. The world has become our measuring stick for what we view as right or wrong. They offer up a smorgasbord of things that can drain us dry, come between God and us, cripple us spiritually, and make us shallow Christians more concerned with what people think of us than God.

I'm concerned about myself. I don't want to be shallow. I don't want to be so used to sin that it doesn't bother me. I don't want the culture and world to change me and influence me. I don't want the world, or even other Christians, to influence me on what I can and cannot do, or should or should not do. I don't want it to be so necessary to me to read that book, watch that movie, vote for that party. I have already been too changed and influenced by the world. I need to remember I am living for Heaven, not for this world, not even for this country I don't want my god to be entertainment, comfort, a political party, or even the freedoms I have as an American.

  I want to be a man with morals and convictions that I get from God and His Word. I want to be a man that sticks by those convictions even when everyone around me is doing something I consider wrong. I want to be a man who doesn't cave to peer pressure, even if it is coming from fellow Christians.

I Want to Be That Man

He was awake before the sun with his Bible opened up 
Seeking truth with every single page he turned 
Anyone could see my daddy lived what he believed 
With a gentle heart and passion for Jesus burned 
I know we had our times we disagreed 
But the longer I live it’s clear to me 

I want to be that man 
Who loves the Lord with all his heart just like the Word commands 
Who takes a stand and leads his family as he holds the Father’s hand 
I want to be that man 

Society would say there’s a new ideal today 
Not what you give, it’s more about what you can get 
But I want to live a life that’s marked by sacrifice 
Like the Savior who died to show us all the way 
So I’ll take up my cross and trace His steps 
Surrendering is how I serve Him best 

I want to be that man 
Who loves the Lord with all his heart just like the Word commands 
Who takes a stand and leads his family as he holds the Father’s hand 
I want to be that man 

Just like Peter, Paul, and all the saints of days gone by 
Let me show that kind of faith to those who come behind 

I want to be that man 
Who loves the Lord with all his heart just like the Word commands 
Who takes a stand and leads his family as he holds the Father’s hand 
I want to be that man 

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