Friday, October 30, 2015

October Surprises


Folks, it’s been a scary crazy month… 

While Hillary and the media covered the crap in Benghazi, Putin kicked the poo out of ISIS in Syria.  

Stranger even still: For the first time in the history of the universe the Chicago Cubs beat the St. Louis Cardinals in the postseason (at least now we know what that whole “Blood Moons” thingy was about).  

And to top it all off Glamour Magazine gave “woman of the year” honors to a guy named Bruce Gender—no!—I mean Jenner.
 
 
Yes, these are mind-bending times. How does one mentally and morally stay the course with winds of change such as these? To mix metaphors: How shall we stand on such shifting sand?
 
Well, I think the answer must be that we have to find something or someone unaffected by cultural gales or social erosions, something or someone constant and stable—yet relevant—that can serve as a true guide or fixed focal point. It is my firm conviction that there is nothing or no one better suited for this than Jesus Christ.
 
Confusion is nothing new. Knowing the perturbations of life that all people in all ages must endure, Jesus alone offers the intellectual, moral, and spiritual security humans need and crave. He says,
Everyone who hears these words of Mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash. (Matthew 7:24-27)
 
Undoubtedly thinking of these inimitable words of Jesus, C.S. Lewis observed, “There are lots of nice things you can do with sand: but do not try building a house on it.”
 
Everyone’s “house” is built on something. Friend, upon what are you building yours?
 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Lust & Marriage

Knowing that the Bible often condemns lust, a Christian friend asked: If a husband lusts for his wife, is he sinning?

Below is my response.

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I am inclined to say, “No.” In fact, the Bible encourages marital sex.
Each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other . . . (1Corinthians 7:2-5)

(It seems there were some in the Corinthian church who mistakenly believed that “holy” living required husbands and wives to abstain from marital sex—sex is “bad.” Paul is correcting their error.)

Logically, if scripture encourages marital sex (sex which is exclusive and consensual between husband and wife—I’m not talking about “child brides,” third parties, or sex acts that one spouse feels is degrading or painful) then it must not discourage sexual desire between husband and wife.

So in my estimation, sexual desire within the context of Christian marriage is not sinful per se. We may think of verses such as Proverbs 5:18-20 to illustrate this.

Also, Hebrews 13:4 comes to mind which reads, “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.”

Thus it seems that sexual desires and sex acts (as qualified above) within the parameters of marriage are not sinful. In other words, the Bible provides a context for the morally good expression of human sexuality: Christian marriage.

Now, Jesus does say, “whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Mathew 5:28).

But Jesus isn’t speaking of husband and wife. Here He is speaking of illicit (not marital) sexual desire. When a person encourages/expresses/feeds sexual desires for someone who is not his/her spouse, that person is committing adultery in his/her heart.

(Obviously having sex with one’s own spouse is not adultery! So thinking about having sex with one’s own spouse is not “adultery in the heart.”)

Whenever the Bible condemns lust (which is basically a synonym for desire) it is condemning one’s yearnings for things and/or persons which are not rightfully one’s to have. 

Naturally, lusts for forbidden things and/or people should be discouraged, fought, and prayed against. 

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Bill Maher & "Supply Side" Jesus


While I think Maher raises legitimate concerns, I do not believe Jesus endorses anything akin to socialism.

Socialism is a political/economic philosophy predicated upon the forced redistribution of wealth. That is, socialism espouses the civil government taking wealth—by force—from some citizens and giving that said wealth to other citizens.

Jesus nowhere endorses such a notion.

Jesus doesn't offer us economic/political theories per se. Rather, He offers us something better. He teaches us about life in His kingdom. He doesn't talk about civil laws. No, He talks about the individual heart. He doesn't talk about government coercion; He talks about inner transformation which comes from following Him and His Way. 

Capitalists, socialists, Maher, Democrats, and Republicans...none of them have cornered the market on Jesus.