I've never been one to avoid a controversy or been called a shrinking violet. So, I'm going to jump into a topic that has caused me some concern for a while. First let me say that God's call of holiness on my life is something that I take very seriously and I'm committed to. Let me also say that even though that's the case I struggle terribly with the human tendency to gratify my own desires, at times making excuses for my actions (just ask my husband). But I don't want to be that way. I want to draw a deep line in the sand and stand firmly on the side of holiness. For me to be successful in the pursuit of holiness there are a few things that I believe I need to do. First I need to daily open myself up to the cleansing of the word, the Holy Spirit uses the word to shine a spotlight on every area of my life that needs transformation. In times of prayer I need to be honest, with God but also with myself. I need to submit to his correction and co-operate with the work of the Holy Spirit's transformation of my heart. I also believe I need to listen to people who will point out things in my life that don't honor God or set me apart as holy. It's painful, I don't like it (once again just ask my husband), but it's so necessary if I'm going to live a righteous life. I say that because I don't want anyone reading this to think I believe I have arrived or have any right to preach a sermon I don't need to apply to myself daily. I humbly say that I want to receive correction, painful though it may be, when it's needed. Feel free in the future to remind me of these words when necessary.
So here's what is burdening my heart. I'm confused by the rush of Christians to the movie theater to see the New Moon movie. I'm even more concerned by parents allowing their kids to see the movie. I don't understand Christian's thirst for entertainment that contains sexually explicit, violent, immoral behavior much less supernaturally corrupt themes. I admit I've watched a movie or two in the last month that I regret and it has caused me to re-evaluate my standards. If a life of purity is what we as believers are striving for then I believe we have to feed ourselves a pure diet. Philippians 4:8 (NLT), "Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise."
In Colossians Paul tells of his prayer for the believers. He is praying for them to be strong with God's power and he concludes his prayer saying, "May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light. For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins." Colossians 1:11b-14 (NLT) Can I have a hallelujah?! Talk about an exciting drama unfolding. The king gives his own perfect son so that we, impoverished beggars serving a wicked slave master, can not only have freedom but also share in the inheritance of the Son. From darkness to light, from death to life. Why look back on that dark world that was once our prison? Out of honor for God I think we should not look on evil things as entertaining. His price for purchasing us from such evil was too great.
God calls Satan our enemy, the deceiver, the father of lies. Life is not a game to him, the stakes are high. He's mean and he wants to win, he will use any means he can to deceive and destroy. 1 Peter 5:8 (NIV) says, "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." I've heard it said that the Twilight series is just a love story and they're not really bad vampires because they don't drink human blood. Can we be honest here and speak the truth. That flimsy excuse doesn't stand up to scripture. It's not a love story, it's a lust story. The Father of Lies would want you to think they're nice vampires, he always puts a little goodness in with his evil to make it more palatable. Evil is evil.
In Deuteronomy God is preparing his people to enter the promised land. He's giving them instructions and reminding them of who he's called them to be, a people that reflect the Most High God's holiness to the nations around them, a task not unlike our own. Deuteronomy 18:9-14 (NLT), “When you arrive in the land the Lord your God is giving you, be very careful not to imitate the detestable customs of the nations living there. For example, never sacrifice your son or daughter as a burnt offering. And do not let your people practice fortune-telling or sorcery, or allow them to interpret omens, or engage in witchcraft, or cast spells, or function as mediums or psychics, or call forth the spirits of the dead. Anyone who does these things is an object of horror and disgust to the Lord. It is because the other nations have done these detestable things that the Lord your God will drive them out ahead of you. You must be blameless before the Lord your God. The nations you are about to displace consult sorcerers and fortune-tellers, but the Lord your God forbids you to do such things.” If these things, in which I think we can lump vampires and werewolves, are horrifying and disgusting to God then not only are they something we as holy people shouldn't engage in they are also things we shouldn't entertain or please ourselves with. The Holy Spirit is resident in our very beings and he is at war with all things that are unholy. Out of respect and love we shouldn't submit him to watching as we entertain ourselves with the very things he rescued us from in the first place and is seeking to destroy.
Holiness comes at a price. Our original purchase into holiness was the death of the beloved Son and our lifestyle of holiness is death to ourselves. In Ephesians 4:17-18 & 5:8-9 Paul says,"With the Lord's authority let me say this: Live no longer as the ungodly do, for they are hopelessly confused. Their closed minds are full of darkness...For though your hearts were once full of darkness, now you are full of light from the Lord, and your behavior should show it! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true."
These words are tough ones, ones I have in no way lived out to the fullest, but I want to. So, lets cast off darkness and live in the light together.