It’s human nature to share good news with others. When our children started having children, I joyfully joined the ranks of obnoxious grandparents, happily forcing others to hear my stories extolling their perfection. When I see a good movie, I want others to see it. When I read a terrific book, I want others to read it.
For instance, I recently read David Orlo’s The Jerusalem Protocol, the second in his Regan Hart series. David is a longtime friend and very gifted pastor, preacher, and writer. His novel imagines a time when Jewish authorities are able to rebuild the temple alongside the Dome of the Rock. I encourage you to read this fascinating window into the geopolitics of the Middle East and the faithfulness of God to the Jewish people.
This week, Israeli and US archaeologists announced that they have found compelling evidence for a twelfth Dead Sea Scroll cave. Thieves had already stolen the scrolls housed in the cave, but the announcement shows that, as one expert noted, “finds of huge importance are still waiting to be discovered.” The story encourages me to encourage you to visit the Holy Land. There is no more transforming experience for a Christian than to walk where Jesus walked.
It’s usually a good idea to experience something before commenting on it to others. However, the rest of this Daily Article will focus on an experience I refuse to have and encourage you to refuse as well.
Fifty Shades Darker, the sequel to Fifty Shades of Grey, is showing in theaters beginning tonight. One secular reviewer called the film “the year’s first true cinematic travesty,” “utterly ridiculous,” and “reprehensible.” I warned you not to see the first movie when it premiered two years ago. I’ll repeat my reasons for the sequel.
One: The movie is pornographic in the extreme. It exhibits behavior so explicit and immoral that I will not repeat even what reviewers have said about it. Jesus warned us to refuse lust in all its forms (Matthew 5:28). His Spirit will be grieved by any Christians who open their minds to such blatant immorality.
Two: The plague of pornography is an epidemic in our culture, and these movies are making things far worse. They are intended to legitimize and normalize behavior that, according to researchers, damages the brain and escalates deviant behavior.
Three: The movie normalizes sexual abuse. The timing could not be worse: according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 64 percent of American women have been victims of rape or other sexual violence.
God’s word is clear: “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Philippians 4:8). We are told to “keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life” (Proverbs 4:23).
So read God’s word and good books like The Jerusalem Protocol. Go to the Holy Land and other places that feed you spiritually. Do what will draw you closer to Jesus. And refuse what dishonors your Lord and damages your soul.
If you knew a snake was poisonous, would you pick it up?
NOTE: For more on the value of integrity, please see my new website article, Terrell Owens and the crisis of character.
Publication date: February 10, 2017
For more from the Denison Forum on Truth and Culture, please visit www.denisonforum.org.
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