Being In the World and not Of the World

I’m writing this in response to a comment that was made to me a month or so ago that I have been ruminating about.  The comment was  “But we need the strip clubs and gentleman bars because of all the sexual offenders  being released and other perverts. Let them go there instead of after our women and children.”  And someone else agreed – saying they knew more than I do about this issue.

I disagree with their thinking – and maybe the other person does know more than I do about this issue – but it just doesn’t jive with any of my Christian learning.  We are taught that no one should put a stumbling block in front of another person.  And that everyone who puts a stumbling block in front of a weaker brother or sister will be held accountable for that persons downfall.  This is serious and I’m sharing my thoughts with you.

First – I’m not sure that released offenders have the legal right to attend those places.

Second – I am pretty sure that any offender who gets out of prison has to prove himself (or herself) to be rehabilitated.  So we don’t need these places for them.  Especially because as Christians we are supposed to help them become and remain mature in Christ Jesus with the Power of the Holy Spirit working in and through us.

Third – Christians are called to be different – Christians are called to a life of purity and holiness.

Christians aren’t the only ones called to purity and holiness – other religions also call people to a life of self-control and discipline.

Those who are strong are always supposed to keep in mind those who are weak.

That being said.  I don’t agree that we need strip clubs and gentleman bars or male strip shows.  I don’t think Jesus would say we need them either.  I think  people need to avoid going to them –  I’m pretty sure Jesus would agree.  I always pray for conversion of the owners of those places – that they would close shop – and rebuild into a business that would bring glory to God and draw their former clientele into a relationship with the Lord in the power of the Holy Spirit.

In the book Praying Our Way Through Stress: Drawing Wisdom from the Lord’s Life and Prayer I discuss Manifestations of Unresolved Stress and sexual promiscuity and misconduct is one of the manifestations.  We need to help the clientele and employees find better ways of managing stress.  We need to pray for people to rescue the employees and clientele – for them to seek first The Kingdom of Heaven . . . . on earth . . .

 

Lord, Pour your Holy Spirit Out Upon all people and fill them with your power to resist temptation and overcome improper manifestations of stress.   AMEN

 

About Anger and Stress

Our society seems to take two stances on anger – either it is 100% unacceptable or it’s funny. The Lord doesn’t think there is anything funny about our anger nor does the Bible teach that anger is 100% unacceptable. In fact we are given permission to be angry with an admonishment to not sin when we are angry.

Anger management is important. Learning how to discern what we are angry about is equally because it helps us express our anger in more appropriate ways and can move us towards taking some constructive action. Continue reading

Father, Forgive Them . . .

Walk in ForgivenessYesterday evening my husband and I went to see the movie Son of God. Two scenes are embedded in my mind and heart both have to do with forgiveness . . .
The first is the scene of Jesus asking ‘Which is easier to say; Your sins are forgiven. or Get up and walk.? The Son of Man has the authority to forgive sin.’

The thing about saying ‘get up and walk’ to someone is that most of us could say this to someone and that would not happen, the person wouldn’t get up and walk. But it did happen for the paralyzed man when Jesus reached toward him and helped him up. It was after the man got up and walked that Jesus looked around and then said ‘The Son of Man has the authority to forgive sin.’

Throughout the New Testament Jesus is called The Son of God and also The Son of Man . . . Jesus had the authority to forgive sin because of who Jesus is. But what has Jesus said to us about forgiving sin committed against us? He said we must forgive other people the same way He has forgiven. Now which is easier for you to say to someone? Get up and walk? or ‘Father forgive them’ or “I forgive them.’ Think about that for a time . . . Who gives us desire to forgive? Who gives us authority to forgive? Who gives us ability to forgive? Who has the final say when it comes to forgiveness?

The other scene from the movie that is embedded in my mind and heart is Jesus on the cross saying ‘Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.’
So often we think that people are fully aware of the wrongs they are doing toward us or other people or even God or Jesus or the Holy Spirit. What is our reaction then? What action do we take? A lot of times we assume what might not be true. Maybe not everyone is really aware of what they are doing all the time . . . the people chose to release a murderer back into their population rather than Jesus who would never murder anyone . . . I mean, what seems more crazy than that? Really? What is our response supposed to be? Wouldn’t it seem the sane response would be to say – put that murderer back in jail and release Jesus? Jesus was executed and what did he say? Father, forgive them . . . How do you think his followers responded? I think they too, forgave . . . but they told the story and the story continues to be shared . . . Now what are we going to do with this knowledge in our generation? It’s a good question for us to ponder and discuss . . .