Friday, March 21, 2014

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Is There Nothing Sacred Anymore?

Is There Nothing Sacred Anymore?

          Last night, after viewing a portion of a Bill Maher, an anti religious comedian, video posted on Facebook, a feeling of disgust rose up within me.  Yet the disgust I felt dimmed in comparison to the sense of sadness and remorse that clinched my heart as I heard laughter and applause from the people as they responded to his sacrilegious remarks, encouraging him to continue on in his tirade of scoffing and derisive monologue that was aimed directly at God and anyone who believed in Him.  The people were more to be pitied than the comedian himself, for there they were willingly subjecting themselves to such a godless form of so called entertainment.  (I say “they”, not to exclude myself among them, for I have no doubt that I too may have been just as guilty of disrespecting our Lord, so the guilt of having taken part is on my head as well.)  They were choosing to help support and promote a man who thinks nothing of demeaning the Living God and all that He is and stands for.  It is so sad to think that our society has reached such depths of unashamed depravity that it willingly exalts such a man, and the filth that he spews forth, to a status of acceptable entertainment.  The scene brought forth thoughts of how the people once laughed and applauded as Christ hung dying on the cross and, later, as the Christians were led into the arena to be devoured by lions.  Bill Maher is but one man, and his mocking of God could not exist if the people were not willing to uplift him in such a manner.  I wondered to myself just how many of those present were ones who may even profess to be Christians, and yet were willing to pay good money to be a part of such a godless event.  How many of them made excuses by saying, “O, he’s not just against Christianity.  He mocks all religion,” as if that somehow made their presence there okay?  Is there no shame in their heart for supporting someone as he makes fun of God Almighty? 

          I have lived through a time when it was once taken for granted that God was to be held in a position of awesomeness, reverence, acknowledging that the fear of the Lord was valued, promoted, taught, and held in high esteem.  A man, such as Bill Maher, trying to speak of God in such a mocking manner, would have been looked upon as down right unacceptable.  People, for the most part, would not want to even appear to have anything to do with him or his atheistic humor.  Ah, but the times today, they are changing aren’t they?  We have become so ‘wonderfully tolerant’ that we think it’s cool to mock God, and it has become politically incorrect to believe in Him.

          Some, among the body of believers, think that the church is going to turn enough people to God that one day the church will bring forth a utopia here on earth, and that is when they will have prepared the way for the return of Christ on earth.  How deceived they are.  If they truly had eyes to see, they would realize that mankind is not improving, but only sinking further and further into unbelief and all the consequences and decadence that a godless and lawless society can produce.  We are basically daily involved in the process of crucifying Christ to ourselves all over again.

          Fear, respect, of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom!  Fewer and fewer people, even among Christians retain that kind of wisdom and knowledge in today’s world.  Many of our pastors today are more involved in preaching the feel good messages of prosperity and having what you want when you want it, ‘name it and claim it’, that they have completely left out the messages that a loving God is also a just God; thus, if you continue to live a life willingly practicing sin, you will bring down His judgment upon a disobedient and rebellious people.  I’m not talking about unbelievers here.  You can’t blame the unbeliever for living like a total sinner.  They don’t even acknowledge that He exists, so obedience to Him is not even on their list of priorities.  I’m talking about those of us who profess to be believers and are thus supposed to be seeking to serve Him in ALL our ways, in thought, word, and deed.

          Sure, God knows our frailties and, try as we may, we will never reach perfection until we see Him face to face, and He completes His work in us giving us glorified bodies.  But until that time, we are supposed to fight the good fight, endure to the end, and every time we fall short of the mark we are to repent, confess our sin, ask for His forgiveness, and trust that He will help us through the power of the Holy Spirit to be more obedient unto Him, doing that which is pleasing in His sight.  God is all loving, and He is also a Holy and Just God.  A heavenly Father that does not chastise His children when they go astray is no better than an earthly father who fails to discipline his children when they are rebellious and disobedient.  Spare the rod of discipline and when the children turn out to be nothing but self centered brats, it is no one’s fault but the irresponsible parent who did not love the child enough to teach them right from wrong.  No parent is a perfect parent, but a negligent and irresponsible parent is no parent at all.  We should be thankful that we serve a God who loves unconditionally, knowing that He loves us enough to bless us with His chastisement so that we will turn back to Him and not continue on a dangerous and downward spiraling path towards harm and destruction.

          Years ago there was a TV character called Fonzie.  He was supposed to be this dude that was not a preppy, but had a bit of a delinquent image.  Having this image, he was presented as the coolest of all the cool dudes.  This kind of a somewhat ‘bad boy’ persona in those transitioning times of our society, tended to desensitize the teens, and even drew them towards the attitude that being a rebellious person was of more value than being obedient to authority and striving to be a good student was.  The character playing the obedient and good student was depicted as being less ‘cool’, while Fonzie was depicted as the role model for the others.  It was all a part of the free love, hippy, turn on (to drugs), and drop out of what had been the main stream society that, though not perfect itself, strove to refrain from and appearance of evil and believe in the Lord God Almighty.  I was a teen during those times and could have chosen to ‘drop out’ and become a part of it.  I saw the consequences of doing so, and, thank God, decided I wanted no parts of it. By the grace of God, I was spared from having to suffer through many of the consequences of such times.  I don’t boast of any such self righteousness, for I know that it was faith and dependence on God that was my salvation then as now.

          As this Fonzie character was a sort of cool imagery used to draw teens away from the image of being respectful and striving to do your best, there were just as many attempts to present deceiving images of the character and holiness of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  If Satan can present enough of his lies in small ways, bit by bit he can eat away at the foundation of the deity of Jesus, and undermine His image as the all powerful Son of God. It’s Satan’s goal to present Jesus as being no more that just a mere man, no more worthy of respect, obedience, reverence and worship than any other mere man.  So what comes on the market but a bobble headed figure called Buddy Jesus.  It’s not rare, even now, to see them displayed on the dashboard of a car.  This “cool” Jesus has an outstretched arm sporting a thumbs-up hand at the end of it, just like that cool dude Fonzie.  At first glance, one may say, “Hey, that’s cute and cool!  What could possibly be wrong with that?”  That’s just it.  It’s such a little thing.  You may even think I’m making a mountain out of a mole hill.  Again, we must remind ourselves of the tricks Satan plays on us; little by little he chips away at the foundations of our faith until, without our awareness, the whole wall of protection from his fiery darts comes tumbling down and we are left vulnerable and defenseless.  I’m not saying the maker of these figures was purposely trying to be sacrilegious or evil.  But Satan can use the simplest things to destroy the fundamentals of our faith. 

          Do not be deceived! Isn’t that one of God’s warnings to us?  Look deeper at the deceiving message that this seemingly innocent little figure could present even without our conscious understanding.  Listen to the deceiving voice of Satan as he whispers his lies into your ears in an attempt to deceive your mind and heart: “Look at this Jesus, boy He’s cool, just like that Fonzie guy.  Look at this Jesus, why he’s your little buddy, just like that Fonzie guy.  Look at this Jesus, he’s just like you and me, just like that Fonzie guy.  Look at this Jesus; he’s just one of the guys, just like that Fonzie guy.”  Before you know it, this Jesus has been striped of His deity, stripped of His character as God incarnate in the flesh.  Before you know it, he has been presented as being only a mere man, maybe a very good man, maybe even a prophet, but God?  No, that knowledge and image has been erased and in its place is just a man no longer worthy of our respect, awe, obedience, reverence or worship.  Before you know it, you too have been desensitized to His holy character.  It becomes easier to take the name of God in vain; easier to be disobedient to His Word; easier not to fear, respect, the Lord; easier to do your own thing without regard as to whether it is pleasing before the Lord; easier to believe in any other gods of your choosing for this Jesus is no longer special and exceptional but only one of many gods.  And now, yes, it’s easier to be one of those in the midst of a Bill Maher concert, laughing and applauding as the Lord your God, the one you believe and have faith in, is held up in a constant barrage of ridicule, scoffing, mocking, and even ‘crucifying Him unto yourself all over again.’  The one who was crucified on the cross, bled and died to pay for your sins and mine though He Himself knew no sin; the one who gave His life that you and I might be saved through faith in Him; the one who rose from the dead and ascended into heaven to prepare a place that where He was we might also be; the one and only One that deserves all glory, honor, and worship.  And yet, here you are, laughing and applauding along with everyone else as the One who loved us first is not revered or feared, but is being made fun of and ridiculed.  Oh, I forgot, it’s only comedy! 


Where is our shame?

Where is our repentance?

Where is our fear of the Lord?


Is There Nothing Sacred Anymore?


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