Another Reason to Turn off the TV

Christian, are you sure that spending hours in front of the “Babylon-Tube” (hat tip to my pastor for that one) is the best way to be spending your time? Between all the filth, dirty language, and worldly values, there isn’t much that can be redeemed from Cable TV. Now to make matters even less palatable, this article reports that Comcast and DirecTV are going to be pushing pay-per-view porn advertising on male-oriented channels like ESPN and Spike TV.

Faced with increased competition from former phone companies such as AT&T and Verizon, satellite and cable companies are loosening their chastity belts and getting more aggressive about promoting adult content on other male-heavy channels such as ESPN and Spike TV. What’s more, even as they raise prices on regular channels, the price of their adult fare is about to get much cheaper and more attractive.

So, in addition to what you’d find on almost every other channel, now Cable TV will be airing porn-vertisements. How… nice. Undoubtedly, this move will contribute positively to America’s sewer-mired culture.

God’s Word calls us to be separate from the world, not a part of it (1 John 2:15). And more and more today, being a part of the world includes television watching. The reason why is that what we see on TV affects us. It shapes our values, our morals, our views on God, and defines our standards for behaviour (usually lowering them). Since so much worldly wisdom spews forth, there is no profitability in a Christian devoting himself to the tube. Not only will no spiritual growth amount from it, but excessive television viewing will likely cause the viewer to sin in mind, if not in act. And now, with the porn-vertising push, there is even more risk of that happening.

It’s for reasons like this that we Christians should be spending less time consuming worthless brain-rot and devoting more time to the Lord who has saved us. Maybe instead of watching that R-movie, why not open up your Bible instead? How about finding a quiet place to pray for a while? What about engaging in some sort of ministry for you church? All are preferable to the spiritual poison television feeds to those who view it.

We need to be devoting ourselves to God’s glory, not reveling in that which God hates.

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Arthur Pink: Walking as Jesus Did

“Leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps.” 1 Peter 2:21

“Whoever claims to live in Him–must walk as Jesus did.” 1 John 2:6

If all professors forfeit their claim to a saving interest in Christ, who do not endeavor to sincerely and earnestly imitate Jesus in the holiness of His life–then how small a number of real Christians are there in the world! If flowery talking–without strict walking; if common profession–without holy practice; if Church membership–without denying self and treading the Narrow Way–were sufficient to constitute a Christian–then a large percentage of earth’s population would be entitled to that name.

But if Christ owns none but those who follow the example that He has left–then His flock is indeed a little one. The vast majority of those who claim to be Christians have a name to live–but are dead (Rev. 3:1), being such as walk after the flesh, following the course of this world and yielding their members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin (Romans 6:13). The demands of Christ are too rigid for them–they prefer the Broad Road where the majority are found.

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:13-14

– Arthur Pink, “Christ our Exemplar”

Source: Grace Gems

Paul Washer: The Cost of Discipleship

Are you enslaved to sin?

You will likely find this five minute clip quite sobering.

An Attitude Adjustment

In America, insulated from the harsh consequences of reality, we know nothing about the persecution and pains most Christians face on a daily basis. Those troubles don’t matter and belong to some far away land. Christians here could never be called upon to suffer for their faith in such a way.

But we are tormented in our own fashion. For instance, I spent almost fifty dollars filling up my 2008 Ford Fusion last week. What’s more I couldn’t believe that I only managed to get 27 miles per gallon off my last tank. It gets worse. All around the nation, beleaguered Christians are feeling the credit crunch and can’t qualify for those $500,000 home loans they so desire. Oh, and imagine how many Christians’ investment portfolios have been devastated by the current financial crisis. Think of all the money they’ve lost! How else can they possibly pay for that new boat they just financed?

Only with paralyzing grief and heartbreak will the believers in this nation continue on. Truly, the days ahead are overcast with doubt and uncertainty, as the plight of suffering American Christians will only intensify.

All right. It’s time for an attitude adjustment and a little perspective. Below are some images from the Christian persecution in Orissa Province, India.

 

The next time you complain about the cost of gas, just be thankful it wasn’t used to set your vehicle aflame.

 

The next time you cringe at your mortgage bill, praise God for allowing you to pay one in the first place.

 

And finally, the next time another driver makes a rude gesture because of the fish sign on your car’s trunk, give thanks to our God they’re not doing something much worse.

HT: Persecution Update India

Additional photos can be found here.

As American Christians, we need to be more thankful and less ungrateful. Our worries are nothing compared to what troubles most other Christians around the world. Please endeavor to keep them in your prayers.

If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: “A servant is not greater than his master.” If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. (John 15:18-21, ESV)

That Which Captures Our Fancy

I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.

You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments. (Exodus 20:2-4, ESV)

The tendency to slip into a subtle form of idolatry is the ever-present snare before our feet. Any number of different things – cars, homes, money, our spouses, our children, even our ministries – can set themselves up as idols in God’s place.

As such, we must be ever-watchful and ever-vigilant. The false idol that creeps in unheard and unseen is the same that will rob us of the riches of Christ in our sleep. When that happens, alone in the dark, we must humbly seek our repentance before God, that He might repay the treasures we have lost.

What many Christians fail to see is that idols don’t have to be in the form of carved images made up of stone or gold, but that they can just as easily be idols of the mind. Such an idol is nothing more than whatever takes our affections away from God. Whatever a person thinks about most will also be the false god they bow down before.

The flesh we fight everyday seeks to lay prostrate before these idols. Only too easily can even the strongest Christian fall into the gaping trap of idolatry, and only through the Grace of God can he be freed.

I speak as one who has struggled with this type of sin for the longest time. The Lord has finally allowed me to come past it, but it remains a constant struggle to maintain humility and devotion to the One whom I love. Please be careful that you are not the next person to be taken a hold of by the idol of your mind.

Paul Washer on “Religion That Sends You To Hell”