Holiness in a New Year 2/5/20

We don't expect the world to look like the church. The Bible contrasts the darkness of the world with the light of Christ. It reminds us that we no longer walk in darkness, but we are now, in Christ, children of the light. We expect there to be a contrast, a difference, between believers and the world. We don't have to look hard, or far, to see the world's love for immorality and impurity put on display. But there are times when something happens that brings this to center stage. Such a time was the halftime show at this year's Super Bowl. It has certainly gererated a volume of reactions. This is, however, only a symptom, only an example of a larger problem.

Once I brought a baggie filled with goldfish crackers to our youth meeting. I offered to give the baggie to anyone who wanted it. First, though, I explained that I had stopped by my chicken coop before leaving, scooped up a small spoonful of "stuff" off the floor of the chicken coop, and dumped it into the baggie of crackers. No one would accept it. Why? It was just a little bit of chicken poop. It wasn't so bad. Most of the crackers were OK. What's the problem? The kids knew that a little bit of filth made the whole baggie unclean. The baggie and its contents were no longer pure.

Some Christians have become so comfortable with feeding their eyes and minds on the things of the world that they have become comfortable with the world's values, with the world's sin. "It's not so bad." "Most of it was OK." What we used to call pornography is now acceptable because people are so used to watching it that it is now "not so bad." What we once recognized as sin now becomes acceptable in man's sight, even in the sight of some Christians. People were offended by the halftime show, and rightly so. But are we also offended by the countless other places where we see similar displays every day? Movies, TV shows, music, videos, the public beach? How comfortable are you watching a program where the Lord's name is taken in vain regularly and frequently?

God has commanded believers to be holy. We can't be holy if we compromise with the world. If sin no longer offends us, we have a serious problem. Holiness is not optional, it is commanded, it is required. Does what you watch, what you listen to, what you accept, meet God's standards? Are we spiritually minded, or carnally minded? Who are we trying to please? God, or the world? Christ died that we might be set free from slavery to sin; He was raised to bring us new life. God says "you shall be holy for I am holy." (Lev 11:45) And, again, "Keep yourself pure." (I Tim 5:22)

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