Porn

Porn. Porn. Porn. Porn. Porn. Porn.

Okay, now that I’ve got your attention, I want to ignore the question of pornography for a minute, because in the Church that’s what we like to do when confronted with this particular issue isn’t it?  We kind of like to ignore it, and try to pretend that it is not there, that it will go away. So that’s what I want to start off by doing, but we all know that it will still be a MASSIVE issue when we come back to it.

What I want to do is to ground this issue around the idea of following Jesus, and so there will be a little excursion into what the basic Christian confession means for us. What I really want to talk about first, as a prequel I suppose, is, “What does it mean to be a Christian and follow Jesus?”

 So, what is the basic Christian confession? What is at the heart of what we confess when we become Christians? You know, you have that moment where you suddenly decide that you want to follow Jesus, and you dedicate your life to him, what are you saying in that moment? You are confessing three little words,  you are saying that Jesus is Lord.
Now this confession works out on two levels. First, we believe that Jesus is the one who is in charge of the world, that the real power does not lie with the governments or the armies or the police forces of the world, or the tyrants, or the dictators, or any of that. We believe that the one who has final say over the way the world runs is not any of those people, but rather one person – Jesus. So when nations rage against each other, or the government makes a rule about something we know that Jesus disagrees with, then we are free to follow Jesus rather than the government, because we know who holds the real power and authority.
Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against his Anointed, saying,
“Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.”
He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision.
Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying,
“As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.”
(Psalm 2:1-6)
But this also works itself out on a personal level. When we say that Jesus is Lord we make it real for our own life as well, that Jesus is the final authority in our own lives, that no matter what anyone else may say, he is the one that we listen to, if it’s a choice between someone else and Jesus, he always wins, no contest even. If someone asks you to hurt someone, you don’t do it, not because it’s wrong, but because Jesus has called us to a life of peacemaking, if someone asks you to lie, cheat, or steal or to take advantage of your position for something, you don’t do it. Again not because it is wrong, but the moment that you said Jesus is Lord you submitted your life to his rule and will, and he has called us to a life of justice, and love, and mercy.
Now, one of the funny things about the modern world is that we have separated the public from the private, as if you can do that! And the big idea is that you can do whatever you want in your private life, as long as your not hurting anyone, becasue it has no effect on your public life, that is the real part of your life, and how you appear in public is all that matters.
Do you see how this has worked it’s way into the church? Where we get this idea that we have to look a certain way or act a certain way, and that is what is important, how you are seen to be in public is the real thing. My mum used to do this all the time with phone calls, right? Have you guys ever done this? She would be yelling at us kids “I can’t believe that you did this! How dare you! So help me, I will…!” And then the phone rings, interrupting her tirade, and she answers, her voice dripping with honey, like this, “Hello? Oh HI! How are you? No I’m good, I’m good…” And off she would go into her conversation. I have seen people fight and yell bitterly at each other and then get out of the car at church, all smiles, because that is what is important. It doesn’t matter if their world is falling apart at home, the only important thing is that no one else finds out about it, you have to keep up the appearance of Christianity…
Read more in part 2
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