Luke 8:54

"And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid arise." Luke 8:54

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Call It Sin

Spiritual Lessons 

Call It Sin
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Most people won't say it. They won't talk about it. They shy away.

Most Christians refuse to talk about certain sins. Especially in the church, but also in the home. Drinking, cussing, smoking are all addressed. Immodesty and adultery are sometimes talked about...

But most sexual sins are hardly ever mentioned. Let alone explained. Homosexuality, pornography or masturbation are barely ever acknowledged subjects in the conservative Christian home. (Let alone the topic of sex itself. Most conservative young people I've talked to grew up in a home where “sex” was kind of a bad word. Mysterious. Maybe even funny. I know of quite a few Christian adults who had to figure out sex themselves, once they were married or one the verge of marriage. ever told them.)

I'd like to address masturbation. Simply because NO-ONE ever will.

The definition is as follows:

Maturbation: erotic stimulation especially of one's own genital 2) organs commonly resulting in orgasm and achieved by manual or other bodily contact exclusive of sexual intercourse, by instrumental manipulation, occasionally by sexual fantasies, or by various combinations of these agencies

Most Christians that dare approach the topic are unwilling to call masturbation a sin. Probably because it's not really a black and white issue. It isn't addressed specifically in the Bible.

But the Bible does address vain imaginations. It does talk about lust. It does say that our body is meant to glorify God. Sex can and does glorify God. It is holy and good when between a married man and woman.

Anything outside of that God seems to see as defiled. Is masturbation sin? There is such a thing as carnal appetite. An unlawful desire for carnal pleasure. Depraved affections. Concupiscence. Lust. In some, this manifests itself in a desire for the same gender. It leads some to defilement with their eyes (pornography). And for some, a defiling with their bodies, (masturbation).

“But! It is impossible to fornicate with your own body! It is not sexual intercourse!” A friend told me that once. Masturbation is not fornication. True. But neither is pornography, and rarely does the Christian hesitate to call porn wrong.

Masturbation is often degrading to oneself. Even if it is only in the mind. It opens doors to impurity. Evil imaginations. Things you might not do in “real-life” you commit in your imaginations to conjure the necessary emotions to spur on your habit.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

You are precious. Made in God's image. Everything about you is valuable. And as a child of God you are meant to be holy. Your thoughts are meant to be held captive for Him. We must renounce the hidden things. The dishonest parts of ourselves. If we call ourselves pure saints, but commit sin in our minds, we are lying. Jesus is meant to be made manifest in our our minds, in our actions. No sinful habit can be conquered until acknowledged as sin and repented of. THEN, God can begin a new work in you. THEN, begins the healing. THEN, He begins to faithfully keep you.

I'd like to say that children ought to be told about it. Obviously there is an age appropriate answer for every age. But many people who engage in sin were introduced to it at a young age and just weren't equipped with how to deal with it, or aware of the consequences. Many children are embarrassed to ask. Parents have a responsibility to train up their children in the way they should go... which includes what paths they should NOT go. No Christian parent would like to think that their child struggles with homosexuality. But they may. I've talked to broken-hearted Christians who have borne their shameful secret sin. No Christian parent finds it easy to address uncomfortable topics. No Christian parent wants to think their son may struggle with masturbation. Or that their daughter is plagued by immorality. But better to address the topic and equip your children, no matter how uncomfortable, than to abandon them to their own discernment and resources. They will figure it out, let me assure you. I've talked to them. But only after years of pain and scarring.

There. I said what most people won't.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Spiritual Abuse

Spiritual Abuse 

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Abuse: To use ill, to mistreat, to misuse, to violate, to defile, to deceive, to impose on, to pervert. Improper treatment.

People who mistreat you, violate you, deceive you, impose themselves upon you, are ABUSERS.

It doesn't matter if the abuser has a title. He is still guilty.
It doesn't matter if others trust him. He is still guilty.
It doesn't matter if he's a nice guy. He is still guilty.
It doesn't matter if he suffers. He is still guilty.
It doesn't matter if you remain silent. He is still guilty.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Pants vs Skirts

Spiritual Lessons
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By Guest Writer:  Arlene H.

I hate to state something so obvious but there are only a few reasons to wear a skirt:

1. You like them because you like to wear colors, have comfort & wipe your hands at the same time.
2. It is fun to swish in them while you dance with your kids.
3. It is a cool way to stay warm if you live where it's cold.
4. It's a hot way to stay cool if you live where it's warm.
5. You can write on them... which is fun and provoking to the culture around you.

There is absolutely nothing moral about SKIRTS Regardless of whether they are part of the Uniform of the Local Religious Social Club or not.

For my part, I am inclined this summer toward shorts and spaghetti strap tanks for a change. It works better for the new Otts Basin running club, and... Everyone in my town has already seen all my messages anyway.

The irony about silly uniforms is that they change but the fact of their existence does not. Men create things to comply with and the rules they create always tend toward self-righteous piety and isolation of Christians... Which is exactly what Satan wants. All of it is much more flesh pleasing and much less difficult than true Christianity.

Morality is action.
Love is good works.

Idolize no one but Christ and do not adopt and settle for trite religiosity like dress codes... cause Satan would like for you to set yourself apart with these things and channel people's energy into outward expression. Don't settle for pleasing men who change and whose breath is in their nostrils. FEAR GOD.

If you live in one of these religious clubs with dress codes, realize it for what it is. If you struggle with jealousy and are caught up in thinking that problems that you have in your marriage or that problems other people have in their marriages will be solved by women wearing skirts... Realize that is a Satanic facade to keep you from seeing the real problem and to keep you from looking inward. Having a soft heart and falling in love with your husband is really where it's at and would go much further.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Spiritual Abuse

Spiritual Abuse 
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The names have been changed in these stories for privacy.

Roxy was 13 years old when a man in a black sedan tried to kidnap her. She was riding her bike down her neighborhood street when a man stopped her to ask if she'd seen his dog. It was then that he tried to grab her. Turning her bicycle around she peddled as fast as she could to her parents. They didn't believer her.

Ethan was 10 years old when he took his first camping trip with a friend of the family's. The first night out in the woods, he felt his sleeping bag unzipped and the “friend” try to molest him. He ran for miles, with the man in pursuit, to a neighbor's house. They didn't believe him.

Carrie was 17 years old when she finally told someone her father beat and raped her siblings. She had been beaten with toys as a toddler, threatened with “Hell” if she did not give in to her father's demands, stood by while her sister was molested. Friends and family didn't believe her.

Do I really have to go on, or do you see the similarities in these true stories? These people were abused and those who should have stood up in their defense, refused. I know each of these people. And I know many of the people that these children went to for help. We might be tempted to think of these unresponsive adults as insensitive and idiotic monsters, but honestly, they are sweet, good, loving people.

So why did they refuse to help these children? Well, let's look at what THEY had to say...

“This is your father. All young people go through a rebellious stage where they feel their fathers aren't understanding. You need to get your heart right Carrie. Go back home. It's where you belong.”

“Honey, Mr. So and So wouldn't ever hurt anyone! You must be mistaken. Mr. So and So is a nice guy.”

“Your father loves you. Even if you don't always understand you can be assured of his good intentions. He won't always be perfect, he's human you know, but he knows what's best. You're the little girl.”

“Okay, let's not be dramatic. We know him personally – the entire town knows him. Think of all the great things he has down for our town... All the people he has helped.”

“ God has placed your father to be your authority. You are obligated to honor and obey your father. It's what the Bible says.”

If there are children being abused under your watch and you do nothing, you are guilty of negligence and condoning evil. You are ignoring God's command to protect the needy. You ought to have stones tied to your neck and be thrown into the sea. It doesn't matter how nice and loving you are, you're still guilty.

Some of you might be guessing where I'm going with this. If you know me well enough to know that I'm an abolitionist against human abortion, you're probably assuming that I'm going to compare this to abortion. If that's what you've guessed: you're wrong.

While there are similarities, (if there are children being murdered under your watch and you do nothing you are guilty of negligence and condoning murder...etc.) I'm not talking about abortion. 

Jewel's elders and pastors didn't agree with her evangelism “style”. They brought the matter before the church where she wasn't allowed to speak. After they gave their side of the story they gave her the ultimatum: leave your convictions, or leave the church. If she did not obey them, she was worse than the heathen, she would be excommunicated.

Beatrice's Pastor told her that he had been in fornication for a while now. But “shhhh, don't tell anyone”. He had the entire congregation fooled into thinking his actions were justifiable because he was...him. The Pastor. The man of God.

Matt was told that what his pastor said was final. If Pastor asked that he dress a certain way, he'd better. If Pastor asked that he attend every church service, he should. If Pastor said something felt wrong, it was.

This minacious evil I'm talking about is abuse. The first was physical abuse. The second, spiritual abuse. Physical abuse is rampant in the Western world. Spiritual abuse just as much. The churches are filled with authority run recreant.

Why won't someone say something?

Well, let's here what the spiritually abused are told –

“This is your Pastor. All young people go through a rebellious stage where they feel their authorities aren't understanding. You need to get your heart right. Submit. This is where you belong.”

“Honey, Pastor So and So wouldn't ever hurt anyone! You must be mistaken. Pastor So and So is a nice guy.”

“Your Pastor loves you. Even if you don't always understand you can be assured of his good intentions. He won't always be perfect, he's human you know, but he knows what's best. You're the layman.”

“Okay, let's not be dramatic. We know him personally – the entire town knows him. Think of all the great things he has down for our town... All the people he has helped.”

“God has placed your Pastor to be your authority. You are obligated to honor and obey your Pastor. It's what the Bible says.”

People that physically abuse children have the same reasons as those in pastoral authority who abuse. Physical and Spiritual abusers are either deviant or delusional. They either have power trips or insecurities. They are predators or fools glut on false authority.

Often, criminals and abusive pastors alike, go unchallenged because of the failure of “good people”. The same family and friends who refused to believe ill of the men who tried to kidnap their daughter, or molest their neighbor's son etc. are the same people in pews who tell the victims to endure, to believe the best of “Pastor” and obey. In either case the truth is twisted. Somehow love is interpreted as silent forbearance and complete obedience. The mother in law defends the abuse to the victim. The pastor's wife defends the abuse to the victim.

The victims are silent out of fear. Out of obligation. Out of commitment. They are brainwashed by their abusers. Don't disrupt the unity. Don't make waves. Don't risk our reputation. Forgiveness would endure the wrongs.

The victim sacrifices so much to do what they believe is right, and yet they are not only endangering themselves, but others. For their abusers will not be satisfied to prey only on them. They will hunt out others. The abusive husband often attacks his children. The abusive Pastor rarely abuses one out of the congregation.

Some readers might find my comparisons are a stretch at best. If so, I'd encourage you to take off your blinders and have a look around. My personal experience of Pastoral dictatorship is not unique. The complaints from unbelievers are often justified. And the thousands of hurt Christians can testify...if they would be brave enough.
Are there illegitimate “victims” out there? Certainly. Some people make up stories (in the physical and spiritual arenas). Are there righteous pastors out there? Of course – just like there are godly men and fathers. I could make disclaimers all day – but here's the point:

Abuse is common in the church house. And those of us who remain silent are to blame.

The abusers will continue to prey, and victims will continue to suffer if we stand quiet. We must repent of our own apathy before we can hope anyone else might be saved.

Don't be a willing victim. Repent. Say something. Don't allow abuse. 

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