First of all, the three or four of you goonies who read my lovely blog should congratulate my wife and I. On Sunday @ 1044pm, my wife gave birth to our first child, a son. We named him Joshua, after our Savior, Joshua, er...you know Him as Jesus. Too bad everyone else and their mother (what??) is named Joshua in America. Hey, my name is Joe, there's a pattern here. Ya think? So I'm a Dad now, and to celebrate the birth of my first child, I'm giving up sleeping at night time! =)
So, I'm going to take a break from the previously discussed subject matter below and move on to a different target for now.
On Christian Research Network an article has been posted discussing some "Hollywood stars" who 'read their Bibles' everyday.
Normally this would seem like some very benign news, however per usual with this website, this 'news' is turned in to an opportunity to tear down apparent brothers and sisters in Christ, and curse them with our words, instead of commending something most Christians would consider a 'good thing' (Bible reading).
Look what was said on CRN about these people:
"Christian Post tells us about some celebrity "Christians" who read the Bible. CRN reminds you that the Pharisees, whom the Lord referred to as "children of the Devil," read the Bible every day as well"
Now the implication that they're making is obvious: that because these people are celebreties, they cannot possibly be "Christian" because they're too much 'of the world' (nice broad strokes there...paint a broad picture...)(I think driving cars and having clothes is 'too much like the world', if you ask me, lol.)
First of all, the author sets up a false ditchomy. He compares religious hypocrites, who are believing in a works-based righteousness religion, to professing Christians who declare they read their Bibles daily. Is that a fair comparison? This is like comparing apples and oranges. The author has juxtaposed a situation from 2000 years ago including different surrounding circumstances, a totally different group of people, and a completely different understanding of religion, on to a modern situation where people who profess Jesus as Savior, say they read their Bibles daily. Completely ridiculous, totaly disimilar situations. Terrible comparison.
Let me draw a true comparison of what the author is doing here so you can see the ridiculousness of this type of comment: Say there was this group of people who for some ungodly reason I really didn't like very much, and I said to you: "These people talk about the Jewish people all the time", and then immediately afterwords I say "Now remember that HITLER talked about the Jewish people a lot too..." You would then say to yourself, following along with my retarded implication, '...oh so these people must be evil like Hitler too.' That is exactly like the set up that has been distastefully done here. Apparently these people are not Christian because hey, the Pharisees read the Bible everyday too, just like them! (I'm a Pharisee too then, according to that weird comparison, by the by...) Oh and they were assumed to be false christians beforehand because hey, they're part of Show-biz. "Surely nothing good could come from" Hollywood! Guilt by association. How merciful and compassionate.
Anyone can make the case that Martin Luther, The everything-but-worshiped 16th century reformer, is just as evil as Adolf Hitler because he's from Germany also. Using this logic, it's perfectly reasonable to say that 'Carrie Underwood' is a 'child of The Devil' because she's in Hollywood. See the picture that's been painted here?
Besides, what is even the point of 'reporting' on this 'news item'? Just to spit venom at Christians, as if our own lives were not full of sin as well?
Now it's obvious that the whole flair of this article is to point out that these people are not Christians because they're in show-biz and some of them have done questionable things (what Christian saved by GRACE, hasn't? Has the author of this tirade against these Christians done anything sinful, ever?), or been in questionable movies. The point is also being made that you can say you read the Bible all you want, but some Middle eastern religious hypocrites from the 1st Century read the Old Testament every day, and they were 'damned', therefore if you're in a career field that is deemed 'the devil' by CRN, you're just like those Pharisees. Makes sense, right? I work in the Military, and many would say I'm evil too, just because of my job. I must not be a Christian, they would say, because I'm part of an 'evil organization' that 'kills people and breaks their stuff'. But I assure you by God's Grace alone that I am a Christian. Perspective and personal conviction is everything, but when you elevate that conviction to a position where you can do God's Judgment for Him, then you're a legalist.
They don't even know a meager 1% about the people they just condemned to hell. "By their fruits, you will know them.", said Jesus, sure, but CRN doesn't even know a fraction of a fraction of these people's lives and their walks (or lackthereof) with the Lord. How can you make a discernment on such little information? How can you act as God to them? You cannot. These people might have problems, shortcommings, and sins in their relationship with God, but fortunately for them, we're not saved by what we do. And I'll bet the author of this article on CRN has JUST as many sins before God as they do. Not the same sins maybe, but sins are sins, and equally terrible before God. So who are you to judge your brother to hell? Aren't you glad you're saved by Jesus' Works, and not your own, sinner? Perhaps these Christians who have been sworn at and torn down by the authors words (see Ephesians 4, for the real definition of 'swearing' and 'cursing' at someone), should take the same standard the author has used here against the Hollywood Christians, and use it against and use it on the author from CRN. I'll bet they come out looking just as bad as the Hollywood guys do, just as I would too. But then again, if they did that, it wouldn't be very Christian of them, would it?
"You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God's judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance? But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. God "will give to each person according to what he has done."
People, listen carefully, a man or woman is saved by Grace alone, through Faith alone, in Jesus Christ and His finished Work alone. Perfection on our part is not required. Jesus was, and still is, perfect for us. I'm trusting in that.
If only CRN followed and showed that they actually believed in the 'solas' they so adimantly profess and claim to love all the time.
Grace and Love to all,