Sinner on the End of the Spear

Filed in Religion, ReviewsTags: Christianity, Movies

I went to see End Of The Spear Sunday night. I intend to post a review of the movie, but first I have to get something off of my chest. It is not often that I feel compelled to call fellow Christians on the carpet, but in this case, I must.

The supposed "controversy" - generated by my fellow Christians, no less - regarding actor Chad Allen being a gay rights activist disturbs me to no end. The same people who are beating the anti-Allen drum are at the same time complaining that the actor is getting more publicity than the story itself; I wonder why?

I am absolutely disgusted that anyone would be so hypocritical as to speak ill of a movie telling such a compelling and God-honoring story because one of the lead actors is homosexual. You know, it's a good thing for tax-collector Matthew, prostitute Mary Magdalene, murderer-aldulterer David, and countless others that Jesus took a different view of sinners than we, in our own self-righteousness, do. What was that Jesus said to us, about a speck, and a plank? Sin is sin. ALL men have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God. God sees all sin equally, yet God loves all sinners equally. How utterly hypocritical of us Christians to make this an issue. Let him who is without sin cast the first stone. If we intend only to see movies starring those without sin, we're going to be waiting a VERY long time...

What a fantastic story - and the story itself exemplifies the gospel. How sad it is that Christians would actively work against this story being told. Who cares if whats-his-name is homosexual, or even a gay-rights activist? He doesn't stand up in the middle of the movie and say, "hey, this is a great story and all, but about that gay marriage thing..." If you can't sit through the movie without being distracted by the sexual preference of the lead actor, then it is your own heart you need to examine before you question the motives of the movie's producers.

Thankfully, I'm not the only one who feels this way...

UPDATE:

Fellow One Year Bible blogger Dwayne's World and Christian Carnival blogger Allthings2all have great posts on the issue, as well.

Christian Carnival CVII

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity

Today is Wednesday, so Christian Carnival CVII is up, hosted by Attention Span. This week's theme: the Winter Olympics.

This week's carnival features my first ever contribution! I am listed under the bobsled: "a few posts to help smooth the run for you."

OYB February 1

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Exodus 13:17-22, Exodus 14, Exodus 15:1-18
NT: Matthew 21:23-46
Ps: Psalm 26
Pr: Proverbs 6:16-19

Today´s notable verse:

The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.

Exodus 14:14 (NIV)

This verse reminds me of the words of Paul to the Ephesians:

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Ephesians 5:13 (NIV)

It is encouraging to remember that it is the Lord who fights for us - when we are confronted by Satan or his evil schemes, our primary responsibility is to stand firm in our faith. It is the Spirit who contends for and through us. God demonstrated this principle to the Israelites as they were pursued by the Egyptians and hemmed in by the sea. God told them to be still, and in their faith, He delivered them. The same principle is still true for us today.

The One Year Bible Blog asks:

Comments from you & Question of the Day - Back to my reflections above on music from the song in Exodus 15 ...I guess I struggle with being in the world and not of the world – and what is the line of listening to / enjoying secular music, versus it literally being bad for you? Please let me know your thoughts on secular music - do you listen to it? Do you avoid it? Are you cautious about it in any way?

I think that one could make an analogy between secular versus Christian music, and Christ's treatment of clean versus unclean food:

10 Jesus called the crowd to him and said, "Listen and understand. 11 What goes into a man's mouth does not make him 'unclean,' but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him 'unclean.' "...17 "Don't you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18 But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean.' 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what make a man 'unclean'; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him 'unclean.' "

Matthew 15:10-19 (NIV)

What I mean is this: secular music is not inherently evil, just as "Christian" music is not inherently righteous. Either may affect us for good or for evil. Our conscience can and will - if we let it - guide us as to the "line"; though, in general, we should not pursue a "line" between righteous and sin, but should instead pursue holiness in all things. I will leave you with the following standard:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

I know lots of "secular" music that meets these criteria, and lots that doesn't; at the same time, I can say the same thing for lots of "Christian" music.