Archive for July, 2008

21
Jul
08

The Dark (K)night

Today my wife and I are in lovely Estes Park Colorado taking a few days break and enjoying each other’s company.  After 21 years of marriage she is still far and away my favorite person in the whole world.  A newspaper was outside our hotel door this morning so we perused it over breakfast.  USA Today reported that the new Batman movie will likely smash all box office records and only stop short of Titanic for overall gross revenue.  This breaks my heart.  Only a few weeks ago I spoke in church about making good media choices and to evaluate humbly before the Almighty God (who calls us to holiness) what we are consuming.  I wonder how many Mountain Springs members who said “amen” in church to good choices stood in line for hours to see this movie?  

My son (17) was offered a free ticket by some friends at church on Friday night and he turned it down.  He had seen a trailer for the movie and sensed a warning in his spirit about the film.  He wanted to see it, but opted out.  I am proud of his choice.  You may wonder if I think that seeing this film will corrupt you.  No, one film (or song, or video game, etc) will not cause you to turn your back on God and sin habitually for the rest of your life.  Now if you live in that place and feed yourself on that garbage, yes of course it will.  But I want to focus on another point, the fact that God may just well be allowing darkness to cover this land of ours. 

There have been many prophetic words of late from people I trust and who hear clearly from God, that God might well be allowing this to happen.  Due to habitual sin and turning our backs on Him and His ways, He is now lifting the hedge of protection on us.  Precedent is set for this all throughout the Bible, and having just come off of a study of the wilderness experience of the Israelites, I can see how the God of judgment in the Old Testament many times dealt with those who turned their backs on Him very harshly.  The first book written in the Bible reports an interesting exchange between God and Satan on this point.  Job 1:9-10a reads “So Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have you not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side?”  Then in verse 12a God says “behold all that he has is in your power…”  It appears that God places hedges of protection and blessing and then also makes the decision to lift them. 

Kay Arthur recently said that “calamity” is coming to America because we have not done the things we should as a church.  John MacArthur believes we are seeing the “debased mind” spoken of in Romans 1 right in our midst and God will do as he says in verse 28 “God gave them over to a debased mind.”  Our very own Senior Pastor Steve Holt speaks of the “restrainer” lifting off of America.  Another prophetic word from a member of our body came on Tuesday last week and said in part “It is a time similar to when the angel of death passed over the homes. It is now night time America, and you will now go to sleep in the bed you have made.” 

Which brings me back to The Dark Night…I mean Knight.  The new Batman movie is nothing short of a horror flick that pluggedinonline.com says “The Joker forces us to imagine every cut and tear. He makes Jigsaw from the torture-porn Saw flicks look positively ethical.”  Fellow Jesus followers, I say this to you – we are called to be “salt and light” and a “city on a hill” by Jesus (read Matthew 5:13-14).  We were rescued out of darkness into His marvelous light, to proclaim His praises (1 Peter 2:9).  We are called to preach the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to everyone (Acts 1:8 and Mark 16:15).  We are called to holiness and yet we fill our hearts and minds with putrid garbage. 

A woman in our church wrote me an email today regarding the message I brought about redemptive and non-redemptive qualities of media we intake.  She said “Your chart has helped me nail down why I take part in certain things and not others, why we allow Cinderella but not Aladdin.  I could never explain it before.  I have always just said that God has different rules for different families about some things, and for our family, we feel He has us do one thing or the other.  Now I have a tangible way to explain it to the girls.”  So if it’s so obvious to this mom, why did so many of us “Christians” go see a flick this weekend that glorifies heinousness?  

USA Today reports that it should have been rated R – I understand most people and reviewers are saying this.  Interesting that in this same newspaper there was an article about people abandoning Christianity because they couldn’t believe that a “good” God would allow so much hurt and pain the world.  The Dark Knight’s villain “The Joker is as horrific a villain as I’ve ever seen onscreen—an embodiment of nihilism, a manifestation of pure, unapologetic evil.” And we spent over $150 million just this weekend to glorify this monstrosity.  Yet we immediately blame God for all the “bad” stuff in the world?  Does anyone see the double standard here besides me?

07
Jul
08

Billboard Top 10

I preached the message this week on A Biblical Perspective of Music. It was a lot of fun and I got some amazing feedback. So many people over the weekend, and also in follow up emails, are buzzing about the content. Very exciting. Part of my sermon was about what people are listening to now and how non-redemptive it is. I read out the subject matter of each of the Billboard Top 10 in the church services to make a point that we’re seeing the “debased mind” that Paul refers to in Romans 1 lived out in our most popular music. I am not shocked easily and it did not really suprise me the content of these songs, but rather I was shocked these are the MOST POPULAR SONGS IN AMERICA TODAY. For your edification, here is the list I presented. The subject synopsis’ are mine based on reading the lyrics:

#10: About using drugs to get away from the tough things in life
#9: Love song about teenage romance
#8: Only one night to be with a girl, so the guy goes for it
#7: Highly descriptive song about sex, the only good thing about a woman
#6: Death to self, that ends in hopelessness
#5: Lust. A guy sees a girl who’s so hot he’s burning with passion for her & it’s overwhelming
#4: Guy cheated on his girl and now she’s kicking him out of the house
#3: Friends trying to stop a girl from loving because she’ll only get hurt
#2: Oral sex (graphic and descriptive)

And the #1 most popular song in all of America according to the Billboard Hot 100 is:
#1: Girl gets drunk at a party and has a lesbian sexual encounter and hopes her boyfriend doesn’t mind




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