Sex and the Superbowl

Last year I reminded us all about a few things in regards to the wonderful world of sports. This year, I’d like to bring up another issue. As Tim Sewall pointed out at his blog, there is more than football going on down South. Sex trafficking is bigger than you might think. These two blogs make that known to us.

It affects us all

Many of us have most likely seen the movie Taken starring Liam Neeson. Many people hated it, I actually really loved it. If you are unfamiliar with this film, Neeson plays a divorced dad who goes to France to save his daughter who has been kidnapped and forced into the sex slave business. I didn’t love it so much because Liam Neeson kicks butt, I loved it because it brought to light something that actually happens everywhere. People tend to think that most prostitutes actually want to be in that profession. However, the truth is that most are forced into it. So how does this affect us all? Well, never mind the fact that there are countless children enslaved in this “business”, but as believers in Christ, we believe in liberty for the captive and the redemption of sexuality – which means we are against prostitution in every form.

If you watch the game, skip the commercials and pray for the slaves. If you don’t watch the game, remember those who are enslaved and shipped off for the pleasure and wealth of others.

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Come and die

Dietrich Bonhoeffer is known to have said, “When Christ calls a man he bids him come and die.” As believers in Christ, we have been called to die to ourselves daily, but we also have been promised persecution.

This week, Thirteen-three is posting some blogs about why persecution isn’t a social justice issue as some have claimed it to be. I encourage you to check them out:

  1. Following Jesus is about dying
  2. Jesus promised that his followers would be persecuted
  3. God grows His Church through persecution.
  4. We are not trying to stop persecution.

Please pray for the persecuted Church today.

Updated | 2.3.11

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Josh Cousineau

Yes, that’s right, Josh Cousineau has a new blog!

Josh is the Youth Pastor for EABC where Tim and I serve as Interns (i.e. Josh’s slaves) ministering with the teens at Atmosphere

Here is an excerpt from his first post:

I hope to write a couple of times a week on everything from parenting and marriage, to adoption and ministry. Much of what I post will be in an effort to help equip and encourage people to understand the Gospel and how it is applied to our lives. I will also get very practical recommending books, blogs, conferences, videos, social media tools and much more.

In other words- it’s going to be great. So follow his blog, subscribe to it, do whatever you do! And if enough of you click over there from here, maybe it will convince Josh to put Death Nor Life in one of his promotional boxes on the upper right hand side of his blog! Tim and I would love that!

So why are you still reading this? Go over there now!

Are we too safe?

I have heard it said that God cannot comfort those who are already comfortable. That means us. Us, in the safety of America. Many times throughout the Scriptures we are told not to trust in the world or worse, in ourselves. But we do so often. Why? Why aren’t we trusting in Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith; the God of the universe; the holy, sovereign one; the provider?

Consider Jared Wilson’s message on this from the Calling. Here, he encourages the Church to be cleansed from the “Christian” version of the American dream.

We aren’t suffering

Stephen Altrogge offers this insight into our human desire for safety and comfort:

Jesus didn’t promise me ease and prosperity. He commanded me to take up my cross and promised that each day would have enough trouble of it’s own. Discontent begins to ferment in my heart when I expect something else.

Read the rest, here.

We have been blessed and many of us don’t suffer. We should consider it a blessing that God protects us, but still be mindful of others who are dying. As a missionary to Haiti puts it:

…the thankfulness of blessed and protected people has not changed very much for the hurting, sick, hungry, lost, abused, and afraid.

Be thankful, but prayerful. There are many in need, let’s look beyond ourselves.

The Glorification of Sin

I know, I know, so much for consistency already right? My apologies, but the semester is coming to an end and I am pretty much freaking out, as most students do every year at about this time.   Anyway, to the post!

If any of you know me, you would know I’m not really one for politics, arguing yes, politics, not so much. But like most Americans at election time I pretend to know all the issues and all the answers.  The truth is though, morality tends to get the better of me…

And yes, I mean morality.

Funny thing about morality is that as Christians we seem very fond of doing the right thing, fighting social injustice and what not. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done my fair share of  good deeds. I’ve tried to be free with what money I have and I’m a veteran short-term missionary.  I even single-handedly saved the galaxy by destroying the death star… oh wait…scratch that.

I’m not saying that good works are bad. Jesus makes this clear in Matthew 5.16

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

The real issue though, lies on the other side of this spectrum.  Sin.

Christ has freed us from the bondage of sin.  As believers we recognize this, appreciate this. But we seem to forget that those not following Jesus don’t have a concept of this, or what sin truly is for that matter.

We must stop thinking of sin just as political and ethical division. Sin offends God, it only irritates us, and only when we think it affects us.  The issue takes yet another turn, in regards to our outspoken nature.

We preach against Gay marriage, against the legalization of Marijuana, against all that God despises. Don’t misunderstand what it is I’m saying. I am most definitely NOT advocating an easy believe-ism. I simply want to  point out that people will not be drawn to our condemnation of them. Paul states it perfectly in 1 Cor. 5.12-13. How much more will Christ be glorified if we purge the malpractice within the Church? If we bring to light the shadows in which we hide? How brightly will our light shine if we are a people who declare that there is

no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus

Romans 8.1

So as the Church, what does this look like? It looks like we need to preach the gospel to each other, impact each other with the gospel, call out each other with the gospel. Then when those people who don’t know Christ see how we treat each other with a love only He can supply. Then they will see how beautiful Christ really is

Some good thoughts

In my daily blog reading, I ran across some post by some smart people and rather than linking them all individually to my facbook or twitter, I decided to post them here together. Enjoy!

  • The Resurgence posted about the condition of the heart and how we should not be too quick to listen to what our hearts say. Why? God says that the intentions of a man’s heart are evil, why listen to the evil?
  • On the topic of homosexuality and gay marriage, Mike Wittmer (author of Don’t Stop Believing) posted about the gay marriage effort and equal rights. He has some great points about what these rights mean for Christians.
  • Trevin Wax posted on one of my favorite topics: Church Membership; asking the question- “What are we expecting from our Church members?” Even if your Church doesn’t embrace a post like this, what if you started to embrace these ideas? I could see a more effective Church come from this.
  • Jon Acuff (of Stuff Christians Like) raised over $30,000 in 18 hours through his blog. Why? Go find out! This makes me wonder… if Christians can get together and raise that much money for a noble cause, are there other, greater things that we can do together? Maybe look past some secondary issues that the Church has and (just maybe) actually spread the Gospel for a change? You know, rather than spend time bickering? Congratulations Jon, I’m happy for you and the Kindergarten fund!

Posters

If you enjoyed yesterday’s picture that supported the post on the Church, you may enjoy these other posters about the Emergent Church. They really do a good job of pointing out some flaws of reasoning behind that (non)movement.

http://www.spurgeon.org/~phil/posters.htm

They are all pretty great (and sad at the same time) but my favorite would have to be this one-

http://www.spurgeon.org/images/pyromaniac/TeamPyro/e-s_050.jpg

Or this one-

http://www.spurgeon.org/images/pyromaniac/TeamPyro/e-s_067.jpg

And maybe this one-

http://www.spurgeon.org/images/pyromaniac/TeamPyro/e-s_054.jpg

And, yes, this is Driscoll– not sure why he’s in here- maybe from before he realized that the movement was headed the wrong way (He is emerging evangelical, not emergent liberal- there is a difference)

Anyway, enjoy!