Archive for February, 2015

Biblical Confrontation

Posted: February 26, 2015 in Uncategorized

In our tolerant age where “just being you” and “expressing yourself” is celebrated, the only way to be intolerant is to tell someone they are wrong. Then you get labeled as close-minded, judgmental, or maybe even as a bigot. If there is no absolute truth and no standard all are held accountable by, then this is a legitimate way to think.

But as a Christian, we have a standard that has been set by God. And He has given it to us in His word. And as Christians, we are not only to have a “personal relationship with Jesus,” but also are called to think like a Christian and have relationships like a Christian and be on mission to the lost and help other believers grow up in their faith. Scripture tells us that we are to stand up for truth and are to hold other believers accountable to the truth and the profession they have made. Sometimes this involves having needed but difficult conversations because we love people more than we want to be accepted and like by them.

Below I have a guide on biblical confrontation (which looks different when approaching the believer and unbeliever), specifically dealing with those who are drawn to “Erotic/Romantic” novels and movies (see previous post on 50 Shades).

A Christian Response to The Unbeliever Drawn to “Erotic Romantic” Books or Movies

  1.  Not with Shock: You shouldn’t be shocked that an unbeliever would watch this. Scripture says we are all sinners and we have fallen minds that don’t naturally think God’s thoughts after Him. Because that is true, an unbeliever is not going see truth, goodness, and beauty in the same way God (and His word) does.
  2. Compassion Without Compromise: As a believer, we remember who we were before Christ. We all have things in our lives that we have done, watched, and thought that we now regret. We are not perfect people and still struggle with sin. We shouldn’t be self-righteous and arrogant towards others. But as believers, our message to the lost should be “Christ is better!” than all the things you are seeking to satisfy. It should hurt us when others are attracted to and see nothing wrong with sin that Christ had to die for. “Christ is better!” should be our cry. However, having compassion doesn’t mean we abandon all standards of right and wrong. We won’t win an unbeliever to Christ by helping them justify doing or agreeing with what the Bible calls sin. Pornography, lust, and sexual immorality all fall short of God’s plan for sexuality. And these things will harm the unbeliever if they are involved in them or see them as morally neutral because they are living their lives outside of God’s design. It is right to speak truth and point unbelievers to Jesus and his design for sexuality. This is what Jesus did. When Jesus met the unbelieving woman at the well and offered her living water (John 4) he also asked her where her husband was because he knew she was living in sexual immorality and repentance is necessary before you can taste the living water he offered

A Christian Response to a Professing Believer Drawn to “Erotic Romantic” Books or Movies

  1. Concern: In our individualistic culture, we don’t like other people being in our business and often chafe against accountability. We also are tempted to cry “legalism” when someone “judges” another Christian by saying they are in the wrong on something. This mentality is unbiblical and doesn’t follow the models of Jesus, the apostles, the prophets, or Christians throughout all of church history. It is also based on a misreading of biblical passages that speak about “not judging others” and “taking the log out of your own eye before you take the speck out of your brothers.” We should be concerned with our own sin and actively fighting against it, but Jesus says as you do this you are still to help your fellow Christian take the speck out of his own eye. We need to care enough about other believers to speak truth when their lifestyle or thoughts are out of line with what we are called to. And a professing believer is called to “not be conformed to this world” (Romans 12:2) and to not “love the things of this world” (1 John 2:15-17). When a believer is thinking wrongly or making choices about sexuality (or anything else) that is out of line with what God’s word says, we as Christians should be concerned for them and their faith. And more importantly, we should be concerned for Jesus’ reputation and God’s glory because the Christian represents Christ to the lost world.
  2. Speak Truth in Love: True Christian fellowship is about living life together and helping each other grow to be more like Christ. God’s plan is to use us to help others grow into maturity in Christ. Ephesians 4:15 tells us to “speak the truth in love” to help others mature in Christ. In Matthew 18:15-17, Jesus says that when a professing believer is living in sin, they are to individually confront them and call them to repentance. If they don’t repent they are to take others along with them and eventually have the whole church call them to repentance. In 1 Corinthians 5:12, Paul actually says that the church is called to judge and hold other believers accountable to the profession of Christ they have made. This is radically different from how we often think about our role in other believers lives. Not speaking the truth into other believer’s lives when they are living in sin is disobedience to God’s word and reflects that we care more about their opinion of us than what is good for them and their faith. When we do speak challenging truth, it should always be to restore and care for them. It should be done in love. But what is love? We must guard against the definitions of “love” that are not based on God’s word. Love is not “accepting what everyone thinks and does because you don’t want them to feel judged.” Believing that definition is a reflection that we have let worldly principles and beliefs about tolerance guide us more than the Bible. Biblical love is modeled for us in Christ sacrificing his life to pay for our sins (1 John 4:10). We are called to love people in that way. And sometimes that requires us to sacrifice our comfort for someone else’s good and have a hard conversation. You cannot biblically love someone without truth.
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Over the last month, specifically around Valentine’s Day, I couldn’t read through go through my home screen without seeing people with opinions about 50 Shades of Grey. This novel trilogy and recent blockbuster hit has been tagged by many as “mommy porn” and has caused quite the stir. In this brief blog post, I wanted to give 3 biblical reasons why Christians have rightly  made such a big deal about this movie.

1. It is classified as “Erotic Romantic” and includes sex scenes and graphic nudity.

  • This is a black and white issue in Scripture. A Christian is called to purity of eyes, heart, mind, and body. Viewing sex scenes and graphic nudity arouses lust in the viewer. Christians are called to not even have a hint of sexual immorality named among them (Eph. 5:3), but instead to think about and dwell on things that are good and true and beautiful (Phil. 4:8). Viewing the images in these types of movies and reading the storylines of erotic books has the same effect as viewing internet pornography. It treats other people made in God’s image as objects instead of as people with God-given dignity and value. It creates lustful intent outside of the marriage covenant. The Christian community has responded to this movie the way it has because of the harm it has on viewers.

2. It normalizes and celebrates sex outside of the confines of marriage.

  • God is not a prude. In fact, He is the one who thought up sex and gave it as a gift to humanity. But God’s design of sex is viewed as radical and repressive in our “enlightened,” sexually tolerant culture. Because of this, we must build our sexual ethics on God’s word instead of the culture. Scripture says that any sexual relationship that occurs outside of marriage (as defined as one man and one woman committed to one another for life) is sin. Sex is a gift from God to be enjoyed within the context of a covenant relationship that God has ordained. God’s standard is much higher than the standard of our national laws which only require the act to be consensual. Having consensual sex outside of marriage is legal by law, but sin in God’s eyes. This movie in particular (and many others like it, tv shows and song lyrics included) normalizes what the Bible calls sin and celebrates it as good and beautiful and right. But the Bible says that sexual immorality is wrong and is based on lies. It also says that sin is why Christ died on the cross. If sin is a big enough deal to God that He sent His only Son to die in our place for it, surely it should be a big deal to us as well. The Christian community has responded to this movie the way it has because they don’t want to be like those who know that sin deserves punishment from a just God and yet still willfully live in it and give approval to it.” (Romans 1:32) Those who do this have a debased and depraved mind (Romans 1:28)

3.  The storyline centers around a relationship that makes sex about dominance and submission instead of serving and love within a covenant relationship.

  • Much of the same here as the last point. When a husband and wife marry, Genesis 2:24-25 says they become one flesh, meaning that this covenant commitment joins them together in every way. Ephesians 5 tells us that the way a husband and wife interact with one another should reflect Jesus’ relationship with the church. A husband is to sacrificially lay down his life for the needs of his wife as the leader in the home and a wife is to joyfully submit to her husband’s sacrificial leadership. Both are to seek to serve the other in love, putting the other before themselves. This other-centered focus is to play out in every area of their lives together, including their sexual lives. The reason the Christian community has responded to this movie and this theme the way it has is because it presents a picture of sexual relationships that are outside of God’s design.

4.  Here are a handful of verses from the Bible that speak into this

  • Genesis 2:24-25, Ephesians 5:3 Philippians 4:8, 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8, Matthew 5:27-28, Romans 13:13, 1 Corinthians 5:9-12, 1 Corinthians 6:15-20, Ephesians 5:3 and 5:5, 1 Corinthians 6:18, Ephesians 2:3-4, Hebrews 13:4