Sunday, July 13, 2008

Guarding the Mental Fortress

Today in an aside I mentioned that we must be careful what we allow to influence us. And as I was reflecting (over-analyzing) over lunch I realized two things. That I wasn't sufficiently clear and that is the central purpose and message of our blog. Everything that we allow to influence us is a seed planted, either for righteousness or unrighteousness. We are delusional if we think that we can numbly soak in the frivolity and sensuality of TV all week and there be no price to pay. We will gradually come to make peace with and then embrace that which we expose ourselves to.

I think for example of the Oprah clip I saw this week where she was explaining her pluralistic ideas. That all ways eventually lead to God and that it is arrogant to think that there is only one way and we know that way. Now how many Christian ladies were watching that show and saw that. Now if those same Christian ladies heard their waiter say that they would simply blow it off, but because Oprah said it comes with a kind of authority. We must be careful what we let inside the walls of our mental fortress.

I saw another clip this week about Billy Graham and his views on those of other religions. Graham says that he believes that people can be saved without ever hearing the Gospel if they know that they need something. I respect Mr. Graham's years of faithfulness in preaching the Gospel, but what he said is simply not the Gospel. And if Oprah has influence what about Billy Graham!

It may seem intolerant and arrogant to say that there is only one way. But we cannot be more tolerant than Jesus, and Jesus said in John 14:6 - "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." We are told that it requires conscious faith in Jesus and His saving work on the cross for us to be saved, we must repent and believe. Without this truth the Great Commission simply makes no sense. We need a new perspective on the "one way" we need to be thankful that there is A WAY, the fact there is a way at all is the pure grace and mercy of God. God did not have to provide a way for us through the life, death, and Resurrection of His Son. He chose to.

These are two respected public figures who have undermined the Gospel in recent days and if you were not careful then your eyes may have be drawn away from the pure beautiful gospel of Christ.

Yet there are also other influences that we must avoid. We must careful of the themes of the movies and TV shows we watch, the ideas presented in the music we listen to and the books we read. We must be careful to always hold before our eyes God as He has chosen to reveal Himself in His word. This is a call to caution and thoughtfulness. We must be on the alert, because no one gains any ground in likeness to Christ without discernment.

Sorry if I still isn't clear. Jamie.


Joshua Owen said...

You "is" very clear, Jamie. Mark Dever has a helpful answer to the criticism that evangelism is an imposition in chap. 5 of Nine Marks of a Healthy Church.

First, Gospel truths are not mere beliefs or opinions; they are facts.

Second, they are not yours in the sense that they uniquely pertain to you or your perspective or experience, or in the sense that you made them up on your own.

Third, we don't impose anything; we are simply telling the Good News.

He wrote, "Christian evangelism by its very nature involves no coercion, only proclamation and love.

For these and further insights see IX Marks pp. 130-133.

Jenny and Danny said...

We completely agree, Jamie. Many public figures have great influence, and it is very concerning how others are affected by this influence.