Throwback Thursday: We’re Just Like Hollywood

Originally published November 10. 2017:

Mirror Mirror

It’s easy, as Christians, to look down our self-righteous noses at Hollywood, sniffing sanctimoniously that their culture of sexual permissiveness is finally bringing judgment upon them. That assessment is, I believe, true enough, but I question whether or not we ought to gloat over their implosion. Shouldn’t the Weinstein and Spacey scandals cause us to examine our own hearts?

The apostle Paul, after writing that blistering portrayal of rebellious sinners in Romans 1, turns to the religious establishment with penetrating questions. Those of us who identity as Christians might do well to apply these questions to ourselves.

17 But if you call yourself a Jew and rely on the law and boast in God 18 and know his will and approve what is excellent, because you are instructed from the law; 19 and if you are sure that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth— 21 you then who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? 22 You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who boast in the law dishonor God by breaking the law. 24 For, as it is written, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.” ~~Romans 2:17-24 (ESV)

I know, most of us have been physically faithful to our husbands, but let’s be honest. Haven’t we felt twinges of envy when Darcy pursues Elizabeth Bennett in Pride And Prejudice? Do some of us harbor secret fantasies about male co-workers or men in church? Would we be embarrassed if people saw our online histories?

We must remember that Jesus said a disturbing thing about our secret thoughts:

27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. ~~Matthew 5:27-28 (ESV)

And ladies, we know that principle applies to our thoughts about men other than our husbands! The uncomfortable fact is that every one of us has been guilty of sexual sin, even if we never carried our thoughts into physical actions. Let’s make sure, before we click our tongues at “those sinners” in Hollywood,  that we’ve confessed our own sexual sin to the Lord, and that we’ve genuinely repented.

We should respond to Hollywood’s sexual permissiveness with horror and revulsion. But we should also praise the Lord for His grace in pulling us out of those same sins. How kind He’s been to rescue us from ourselves.

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Do We Really Need More Articles Exposing Beth Moore?

Martyrs Bible

Yesterday I wasted an hour slogging through a blog post promising more information about Beth Moore. It was, to my disappointment, only a badly written regurgitation of the same charges against her that Michelle Lesley, Elizabeth Prata and I have made for several years. The spelling errors made it miserable to read. Frankly, I should have found more productive uses for my time.

Much has been written about Beth Moore’s deviations from Biblical Christianity. Elizabeth Prata is probably the foremost authority on Moore, and offers a vast archive of carefully documented essays detailing various ways that Moore violates Scripture. If you seriously wish to research Beth Moore, Elizabeth certainly supplies more than enough material to educate you.

In that respect, it’s needless (and a bit silly) to write the sort of post that I bothered with yesterday. Nothing new came to light, and the poor quality of writing would only convince Beth Moore followers that the writer isn’t credible. Sadly, the writer added nothing noteworthy to the conversation.

And yet, many people Continue reading

Twitter Just Makes It Easier

ConfrontationI don’t deny the ugliness on Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms. Even in the early days of the Internet, chat rooms and forums provided a sense of anonymity that allowed people to say cruel and vicious things without fear of reprisal. Twenty some years later, the nastiness has reached a fever pitch, with no end in sight.

I respect those who withdraw from social media because it causes them or their loved ones to stumble. Such decisions show a rare and remarkable obedience to Scripture.

29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell. ~~Matthew 5:29-30 (ESV)

Having said all this, we must resist the temptation to blame social media for the cruelty permeating our culture. Social media simply makes it easier for us to take nasty pot-shots at each other. But let’s be honest: we would take these pot-shots with or Continue reading

What Do You Sing About?

One Personal Care Attendant of mine, upon hearing my attempt to sing, sweetly suggested that I stick to my writing and digital art. I had to agree.

But I do sing in my heart, as well as out loud in church, without reservation. The Lord has given me cause to sing His praises, not to fancy myself a gifted singer, but to express the joy of His love for me. Who cares that I can’t carry a tune or properly enunciate the words? The focus belongs on my Savior.

My song shall ever be about Jesus. He alone deserves the attention and glory because He is marvelous and wonderful!

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Justin Peters Promotes The Outspoken TULIP And I Promptly Disappear

Just this past Saturday, as an appendix to his statement on why he left Twitter, he graciously directed women to my little blog. I appreciated his promotion, and looked forward to writing the article I had planned for that following Monday.

A funny thing happened that Sunday. My supposed cold started acting more like a serious illness. I couldn’t eat saltine crackers without nausea. I’m not a doctor and I don’t even play one on TV, but I don’t believe colds generally behave like that. So, as much as I hate the local hospital (our fire department EMTs aren’t allowed to transport patients to Massachusetts General Hospital), I asked John to call 9-1-1.

Two  girlfriends from church met me at the Emergency Room since John had no way to get there. Strange as it sounds, we were hoping for a diagnosis of pneumonia so that I could be sent home with antibiotics.

Milton Hospital

Selfie with my two girlfriends

Um, no. The x-rays showed that I have RSV. They admitted me immediately, and kept me until Tuesday afternoon. No chance of blogging those days!

Yesterday I couldn’t even consider putting my headstick on, so I set Youtube to auto play and watched several videos on the Ligonier channel. They reminded me what a tremendous teacher R.C.   Sproul was. And even more, what an amazing God we worship.

I won’t post a Saturday Sampler this week. Typing this notice is wearing me out, so I’ll probably do a Flashback Friday tomorrow. Yeah, kinda embarrassing after Justin Peters promoted my blog. But sometimes an Outspoken TULIP needs to be humbled, apparently. Hope to write to you next week.

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Saturday Sampler: October 27 — November 2

Does your church view its Pastor as CEO? Mark Mclntyre explains, in an article for Attempts at Honesty, why this unbiblical model of church leadership poses so much danger. It never pays to structure God’s church according to worldly ideas and patterns.

Enriching our understanding of the Protestant heritage that we have as evangelicals, Sinclair Ferguson contributes Four Implications of Martin Luther’s Theology to the Ligonier blog. This rather intimate peek into Luther’s life make the basic tenets of Reformed Theology easier to apply to our 21st Century experience.

In celebration of Reformation Day, Michelle Lesley reprises her article, 8 Theses for Women of the Modern-Day Reformation. You may have read this piece in past years, but I promise you that you won’t regret going through it again.

Eric Davis posts Reformation: Can the Roman Catholic Gospel Get You into Heaven? for The Cripplegate in honor of Reformation Day. Contrasting quotes from the Council of Trent with Scripture, he walks us through the primary issues, teaching us to discern the fundamental Gospel message.

Visit Logos Talk to take their Quiz: How Well Do You Know the Protestant Reformation? C’mon — it’s fun, and you might learn a few things in the process.

I appreciate Michael Coughlin of Things Above Us for sharing From the Mailbag: “Judge Not” as a demonstration of how to respond to critics respectfully without compromising the truth. As a bonus, he shows how to handle claims of healing that people attribute to false teachers.

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