Monday, July 6, 2009

The shame of it all....

I know a lot of things. I know about a lot of things as well. Frankly, there are a lot of things that I know that I wish I didn’t know. There are places, people, activities, entertainments, etc., about which I know many things that I wish I didn’t. I’ve seen things, heard things, said thing, and been to places that cause me shame. More importantly, these things have brought shame to name of my God. I have knowledge of things about which no child of God ought to have knowledge. I have said things, laughed at things, and viewed things over the years that ought to grate like sandpaper on my sensibilities, yet I have done these things without even blinking.

Five years ago or so I got to spend an afternoon with an old friend. I grew up with this man. He is currently a fairly well-known and public figure in a large Christian ministry. We grew up in the same church and attended the same school. We were both in single parent homes. We both attended Bible College. We have both been in leadership roles since our teenaged years. He’s a bit older than me and a man whom I’ve always respected and looked up to as a “big brother”. During this day we spent together some years ago I popped a joke without even thinking about it. My friend didn’t get it, as he had never heard one of the words before. As I was trying to explain the word to him I realized that it was something best left unsaid and I apologized for the joke. His ignorance about this matter truly stunned me. At the time I remember thinking to myself, “how can a man in his mid 30’s not know about that?” Recently however, I’ve gained a deeper respect for him in this area. The fact is that he has attempted to live a life separated to his God. His “ignorance” in this matter is more properly called “innocence”. There is a language that he doesn’t understand because, as a Christian, he has sought to live a life that is separated to holiness.

It seems to me that many of us – me included – have no qualms about defiling ourselves with the pervasive wickedness of this world. Speaking for myself, I have become so desensitized to sin that it doesn’t even give me pause at times. Some in Christendom have taken passages like Paul’s proclamation of “becoming all things to all men so that I might by all means save some” and perverted them to justify our own desires to look and smell a bit more like the world. Unfortunately it’s not too difficult to find someone who will help us to blur the lines between “light and darkness” either. For instance, there are well-known, orthodox, evangelical expositors who are willing to wallow in the filth of this world all in the name of “relevance”. I am a proponent of reaching the lost right where they sit, but the idea of sacrificing purity to appear “relevant” is twisted at best.

I think that we, too often, will drag the name of Christ along with us into places we ought not. Our eyes behold things that grieve our Savior. With our mouths we say things that bring shame to His name. The frightening part, at least for me, is that I can often do these things without a moment’s hesitation. At times I don’t even realize what I’ve done.

“Be ye holy; for I am holy”….grasping hold of what that phrase means should radically impact the way we live our lives….

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