With what sort of things should Christians be entertained?

So many time I see or hear Christians say they went to see some movie which depicts things God has said are abominable, or said to not do. I have long felt that a Christian should not be entertained by things God has said to not do. Does scripture agree?

First we have to realize There are things of the spirit and things of the flesh.

Galatians 5:19-24 (NKJV)

19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

So we know from Galatians 5:21 that we should not do the things considered to be works of the flesh, or we will not enter heaven.

Scripture tells us to not look at bad things.

Psalm 101:3 (NKJV)

I will set nothing wicked before my eyes;
I hate the work of those who fall away;
It shall not cling to me.

Scripture also tells us what to focus upon.

Philippians 4:8 (NKJV)

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

We are warned that making ourselves friends with the world will ensure we are enemies with God.

James 4:4  (NKJV)

Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

Indeed, people who love the world or love the things in the world, do not have the love of God in them.  We are told not to love the things in the world – lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and pride of life – because they are of the world, not God.

1 John 2:15-17 (NKJV)

15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

Finally, what ever we do, we are to do it in the name of the Lord.

Colossians 3:17 (NKJV)

17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Should a Christian  be entertained by something that depicts as good that God has said to not do? Magic/witchcraft/sorcery, getting drunk/high, homosexual sex, heterosexual sex with someone to whom you are not married, lying/deceitfulness, covetousness, stealing, murder are all things we are told are not good (Galatians 5:18-21, Romans 1:28-32).

Romans 1:28-32

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

We should seek things which will please God, not the world.

Ephesians 5:8-10(NKJV)

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.

And we should not be entertained by things which depict as good the things God has said is evil – regardless of the form said entertainment is packed in – such books, games, movies, TV shows, theatre plays, etc.

 

For further discussion, see What and Who you surround yourself with affects you.

Voting for the lesser of two evils

Well.. I am eating humble pie. I wrote an article entitled “A vote is a mark of approval”, where I  wrote about the need to not vote for the lesser of two evils (in reference to voting for either Clinton or Trump in the US Presidential 2016 elections). In it, I wrote, “So before we give our approval to someone, we ought to realize we are GOD’s children and must reflect the choice GOD would have us make. When did Christ compromise so the lesser of two evils would be the outcome? I don’t find a single example of that in scripture.”

So its safe to say that I have felt much like John Piper and Max Lucado – to not vote for the lesser evil. But then God showed me that everyone is evil – the apostle Paul was the chief of sinners. God chose David – knowing he would steal a man’s wife and have her husband murdered.

While we cannot know ahead of time what someone will do in any given situation, we can go on their history when making choices. We have anecdotal stories of nice things Trump has done over the decades. And we have similar anecdotes of things Hillary Clinton has done – few if any of them being nice.

I cant imagine voting for Clinton. She a liar, having been fired from the Watergate investigation for ethics problems. The same has haunted her all her life – to say nothing of the list of people who have died under mysterious circumstances around her and her husband. She has hurt people, lied, stolen, and ignored people under her protection who had begged for support and help and caused people to die.

I had almost as hard a time deciding between Donald Trump and Darrell Castle. Castle is a Conservative Christian. He holds to the constitution, without it being considered a living document that is open to changing interpretations. He seems to embody all my ideals in a presidential candidate. But he simply can not be elected.

Does this matter? I think in a race where one electable candidate is a liberal socialist, who is corrupt and unethical, who is wants to bring into the USA unvetted immigrants from groups of people and from places which have promised to kill Americans and destroy the USA, someone who who treats people poorly and the other electable candidate is some one who MIGHT be just as liberal and might treat people just as poorly, but claims to be a conservative and claims will select conservative judges and justices, then yes. It matters.

Trump is almost as despicable as Clinton. Plenty of people have come forward and said Trump has spoken of and treated women poorly. Its claimed he is racist. Maybe he is – I dont know him, but I know he has fought local city government to have an inclusive country club.
http://www.impulsetoday.com/donald-trump-fought-to-include…/

I know he has directed the party platform to be decidedly conservative and made political promises which seem to show a more conservative side of him. Who knows if he will keep his promises.

So we have to choose to do what will effect the most good that we possibly can.

So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.

Every election has always been between choices of sinners. If God didnt use sinners, He would have nothing to work with. So we choose between sinners (for the lesser of two evils), as has always been the case.

Or you can choose not to vote and so remove your vote from consideration in this election – which could effectively put into office someone who would do more damage than the other. Plus, I think one of the responsibilities of a citizen of a country which uses elections to select leaders is to vote – just as we should pledge allegiance to the country.

Or you can choose to vote for third party candidate – which does both: votes for a sinner AND removes your vote from consideration between the only two candidates who have any chance of being elected, again effectively allowing your vote to not swing an election to the lesser of two evils.

Either way – vote as God directs you.

Pledge of Allegiance

I saw where some have said we should not pledge allegiance to this nation, or its flag, or stand for the national anthem. The idea is that somehow there is no way this country could be under God, but instead is of the devil.  I thought I would address this.

1) No where in the Bible is a country equated to the devil.

2) Every country is established by God, so the idea of this nation being under God is just saying God is in control – even if the leaders deny Christ
Romans 13:1
Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.

Acts 17:26-27
26 From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. 27 God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.

3) If God provides government, should Christians not be loyal to it? Peter commended us to submit to the government:
1 Peter 2:13-14
13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, 14 or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.

4) When asked whether to pay a tax to the government, Jesus said to render unto Ceasar what is Ceasar’s.

Mark 12:13-17

13 Then they *sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Him in order to trap Him in a statement. 14 They *came and *said to Him, “Teacher, we know that You are truthful and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any, but teach the way of God in truth. Is it lawful to pay a poll-tax to Caesar, or not? 15 Shall we pay or shall we not pay?” But He, knowing their hypocrisy, said to them, “Why are you testing Me? Bring Me a denarius to look at.” 16 They brought one. And He *said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” And they said to Him, “Caesar’s.” 17 And Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were amazed at Him.

Paul said essentially the same thing  – this means to meet your responsibility to the government.

Romans 13:1-7

1 Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.

5) Part of our responsibility is to be loyal to this country (although not to the exclusion of our loyalty to our family or Christ). This is exemplified through a promise of allegiance, the showing of respect for the country by standing at attention and singing the national anthem.

6) Some have asked about pledges. A pledge is not quite the same thing as an oath, as we see in Numbers 30:2
If a man vows a vow to the Lord, or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word. He shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.

In context, we are not to make to an oath by God or by ourselves. This does not mean to promise something, such as swearing allegiance to the country, but to make your yes mean yes – ALWAYS. Not to have to have to say “yes, I promise” when it should be good enough to say “yes”. Or instead of having to say something like “No, I swear on my mother’s grave”, we should say, “no”.

Matthew 5:33-37
33 “Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not make false vows, but shall fulfill your vows to the Lord.’ 34 But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35 or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil.

7) Of course, this does not say this country is perfect. It is not, And neither does this say we are not to fight against injustice. We are to not be friends of the world (James 4:1-5). This does not mean to not be involved in the world, but to not covet and not be focused on our own pleasures. We are to escape the corruption of the world (2 Peter 2:20). This means we are to be pure in our hearts, holy, not that we are to avoid the world. We are not to love the world or anything in it (1 John 2:15), but this does not mean we are to not stop injustice or not help people in need. We are to be aliens and strangers in the world and abstain from evil desires (1 Peter 2:10-12), as if we are strangers to the world and dont know about the allures to be enticed. This does not mean to ignore injustice or hurting people – in fact we are to be ready to do what ever is good (Titus 3:1). We are to not be conformed to the pattern of the world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:1-2). This does not mean we are to ignore injustice and not work to stop institutionalized injustice; it means we are to become more Christ-like in our inner selves and this should be reflected in our outter selves.

So we should feel free to say a promise of allegiance to this nation, as the nation was created by God, and its leaders are there because of God, and we should give to the government what it is due – this includes a pledge of allegiance or the respect of standing at attention and singing the national anthem.

All things, good and bad, come from God

Someone said that only good things come from God. But that’s not what scripture states.

Satan is limited by God. God created all things, and if calamity occurs, God does it.

Job 1:12

Then the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your [f]power, only do not put forth your hand on him.

Amos 3:6

If a trumpet is blown in a city will not the people tremble?
 If a calamity occurs in a city has not the Lord done it?

Isaiah 45:7


The One forming light and creating darkness,
Causing well-being and creating calamity; 
I am the Lord who does all these.

Lamentations 3:38


Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
 that both good and ill go forth?

Acts 17:24

The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands;

1 Corinthians 11:12

For as the woman originates from the man, so also the man has his birth through the woman; and all things originate from God.

Ephesians 3:9

and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things;

1 Timothy 6:13

I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate,

Hebrews 3:4

For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.

Revelation 4:11

“Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.”

 

God created all things. God gives life to all things. All things originate from God. Good and ill come forth from God. Calamity comes from God. Even Satan is limited by God.

God doesnt want you to be happy, He wants you to be His.

I can’t tell you how many times people have said to me that God wants them happy so they should be able to do some sinful thing.

The will of God is NOT that you be happy.

God wants you to be HIS, to be holy.

God makes us sorrowful so we will repent without regret, so we will be saved. But the world, Satan, wants us to be sorrowful so we will die – seeking sinful things to get a break from pain, buying things, having sex, lying, cheating, stealing, hurting ourselves to feel a different pain rather than deal with what is causing us pain to begin with, you-name-it-so-we-dont-feel-pain-right-now….

God wants us to be His. God wants us sanctified. Sorrow according to the will of God produces repentance without regret, leading to salvation.

2 Corinthians 7:9-10
9 I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, so that you might not suffer loss in anything through us. 10 For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.

Scripture does not say God stopped speaking

Many want to say that God does not speak today.
 
I simply do not see that in scripture.
 
We are to test everything by scripture – no where does the bible teach God does not speak today.
1 Thessalonians 5:21

But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good;
 
1 John 4:1
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
People use the following  passages to say God doesnt speak today, so I will address them each.
 
Revelation 22:18 I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book;
 
Rev 22:18 is speaking about the book of revelation – not the Bible.
 
2 Timothy 3:16-17
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
 
2 Tim 3:16-17 – all scripture is inspired, profitable for equipping man for every good work. But its does not say that God has stopped speaking.
 
Malachi 3:6 “For I, the Lord, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed.
 
Malachi 3:6 says God does not change – this is true. But that does not say that God stopped speaking – perhaps because then He would have changed.
 
Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
 
Hebrews 13:8 says Jesus Christ does not change. Again, this dos not say anything about whether God has stopped speaking.
 
James 1:17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.
 
James 1:17 – says God does not change – God spoke, so if he does not change, then He still speaks.
 
Numbers 23:19
“God is not a man, that He should lie,
Nor a son of man, that He should repent;
Has He said, and will He not do it?
Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?
 
 
Numbers 23:19 – God does not lie or repent. Again, this would indicate God doesnt change, but people want us to believe God has changed and stopped speaking.

Men, do you have any idea what it means to be a husband?

Men, do you have any idea what it means to be a husband? Do you REALIZE your responsibilities? Here are only a few scripture dealing with how a man should be with his wife….

The man is to lead by being a servant. Our faith is to be expressed in real ways – like ensuring we feed and clothe our family. Men are not to be harsh with their wife, but to love them and live with them in an understanding way.. We are to persevere, encourage, and accept one another. Our love is to be without hypocrisy, honoring and giving preference to the other. We are not to be haughty. We should strive to get along with each other, being humble, kind, tenderhearted, patient, tolerant, forgiving. We are to model Christ and the Church. And as for being ‘friendly’… our body is not our own, but belongs to our spouse. Ultimately, it is your responsibility to present your wife holy and blameless before the Lord.

Mark 10:42-45
42 And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Matthew 20:25-28
25 But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 26 It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, 28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

James 2:14-17
14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

2 Thessalonians 3:10
For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.

1 Timothy 5:8
8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

Colossians 3:19
19 Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.

1 Peter 3:7
7 Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.

Romans 15:5-7
5 Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus, 6 so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7 Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God

1 Thessalonians 5:11
11 Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.

Hebrews 3:13
13 But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

Romans 12:9-21
9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; 11 not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, 13 contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. 17 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. 18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. 19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

1 Peter 3:8
8 To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit;

Ephesians 4:2-3
2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, 3 being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Colossians 3:12-17
12 So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. 14 Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

Exodus 21:10-11
10 If he takes to himself another woman, he may not reduce her food, her clothing, or her conjugal rights. 11 If he will not do these three things for her, then she shall go out for nothing, without payment of money.

1 Corinthians 7:3-5
3 The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

1 Corinthians 7:10-11
10 But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not leave her husband 11 (but if she does leave, she must remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband should not divorce his wife.

1 Corinthians 7:33-34
33 but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, 34 and his interests are divided. The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband.

Colossians 1:21-22
21 And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, 22 yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach

Ephesians 5:21-33
21 and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. 22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. 28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are members of His body. 31 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. 32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.

 

 

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