Jim Denison | Denison Forum on Truth and Culture | Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Playboy will no longer publish images of naked women. Not because they've changed their values regarding the pornographic plague on our homes, marriages, and culture. To the contrary: porn is now so rampant on the Internet that they can no longer make money selling it. The magazine's chief executive explains: "That battle has been fought and won. You're now one click away from every sex act imaginable for free."
I would say the battle has been fought and lost, at least so far. (For more, see Nick Pitts's Playboy Bunnies are getting clothes.) How can Christians impact such an immoral culture?
Jesus stated his mission clearly: "I came that they may have life and have it abundantly" (John 10:10). Eternal life starts the moment we make Christ our Lord. Consider the present tense of these familiar statements:
- "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come" (2 Corinthians 5:17).
- "Whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life" (John 5:24).
- "He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world" (1 John 4:4). When the Spirit gives us eternal life, he takes up residence in us (1 Corinthians 3:16). Three facts follow.
One: Life is significant only when it is lived in the power of the Spirit. In The Problem of Pain, C. S. Lewis noted: "Human will becomes truly creative and truly our own when it is wholly God's, and this is one of the many senses in which he that loses his soul shall find it." In First15, Craig Denison adds: "You and I are only truly living to the degree that we've surrendered our lives to Jesus."
Two: When we live abundantly, others see Christ in us. Oswald Chambers: "Our individuality is to be rendered radiant through a personal relationship with God." The "fruit of the Spirit" (Galatians 5:22-23) are obvious in a fruitless world.
Three: Helping our children love and serve Jesus is urgent in our post-Christian culture. That's why our ministry is launching a new website today: www.christianparenting.org. Led by my wife, Janet Denison, the development team has created a remarkably interactive, very practical resource filled with biblical advice for the challenges parents face. Its mission is to engage, equip, and encourage parents to raise strong children who will know and love God and strive to fulfill his purpose for their lives. I hope you'll visit the site today and use its resources often.
I was walking before dawn yesterday morning and noticed that no moon was visible. The sun was still shining on it, but its position relative to the earth made its sunlit side impossible for me to see. However, the stars were still shining. The difference: the moon reflects light that shines upon it, while stars reveal the light within them.
When Jesus told us, "You are the light of the world" (Matthew 5:14), he meant that we are to reveal his light within us to the world: "Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven" (v. 16).
Would you ask the Holy Spirit to help you "let your light shine" today?
Publication date: October 14, 2015
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Read today's First15 at www.first15.org.