Julian Freeman

Freed to live through the death of another.

Category: Ethics

Three Reasons to Not Make Sexually Immoral Jokes

But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. (Ephesians 5:3-6 ESV)

This past Sunday I had the privilege of opening up Ephesians 5.1-21 at Grace Fellowship Church. In the verses above, Paul warns the Ephesians that they ought not to joke about sexual sins.

Why would he do that? Does God not have a sense of humour? Are we just supposed to be a bunch of prudes with out-dated morals?

I suggest that from the text, there are at least three reasons why you should not be making or laughing at sexually immoral jokes.

1. You cannot repent of something you find funny

Ephesians 5 4The essence and grounds of repentance is hatred of sin. How can you hate it if you’re laughing at it?

Crude joking can be active or passive. That is, jokes can be something you speak or something you hear. You pick this up in the TV shows and movies that you watch, and the conversations you engage in at your workplace.

We cannot find sin both humorous and repulsive at the same time; either we laugh at it or run from it, but we cannot do both.  How can you be serious about walking away from these sins if you’re laughing at them?
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Tough Words on Forgiveness

forgivenessIn his excellent commentary on Luke’s Gospel, David Garland spends some time thinking about forgiveness as he reflects on the Lord’s model prayer (Luke 11.1-4). He then cites C.S. Lewis on the topic of forgiveness and what Christians really believe:

We believe that God forgives us our sins; but also that He will not do so unless we forgive other people their sins against us. There is no doubt about the second part of this statement. It is in the Lord’s Prayer, it was emphatically stated by our Lord. If you don’t forgive you will not be forgiven. No exceptions to it. He doesn’t say that we are to forgive other people’s sins, provided they are not too frightful, or provided there are extenuating circumstances, or anything of that sort. We are to forgive them all, however spiteful, however mean, however often they are repeated. If we don’t we shall be forgiven none our own. 1

Garland then continues: 2

Though most people agree that forgiveness is admirable, it is not easy. Alexander Pope’s adage, “To err is human, to forgive is divine,” may explain why human so often fail to practice this divine trait. It has been said that some bury the hatchet but leave the handle sticking out of the ground so that it is ready to grasp when they want it. Others ask, “Do I have to forgive if the offender does not repent?” It may never occur to them to ask, “Can the offender repent if I do not forgive?”

 

Jesus understands that forgiveness is as important for the one who has been hurt as for the one who caused the hurt. Forgiveness keeps one from being clobbered again and again when the memories resurface. Harboring a grudge opens persons up to the danger of defining their lives by how they have been hurt. Forgiveness provides release. Smedes writes, “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” 3

It’s easy to understand forgiveness in theory. It’s another thing to be defined by it and display it. Forgiveness is one of the most costly things anyone can ever do. It always has been; especially at the cross. Forgiveness hurts. But it also heals.

May God give us grace to live this. Only the power of the cross can make it so.

Notes:

  1. “On Forgiveness,” in The Weight of Glory (London: SPCK, 1949; repr. San Francisco: HarperCollins, 2001), 178.
  2. From David E. Garland, Luke, ZECNT (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2011), 472.
  3. Garland is quoting from Lewis B. Smedes, Forgive and Forget: Healing the Hurts We Don’t Deserve (San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1984).

If Canada was Consistent…

If our country were consistent there would be no law about seatbelts. Instead we would proudly acknowledge that as defenders of human rights, we believe in a ‘driver’s right to choose.’ Why should life be valued more than the freedom of choice? Why should the governing authorities get to determine what the driver does with their own body?

In fact, we could take it even further. If we were really, truly consistent, we should argue that passengers in a car have no rights to seatbelts — unless, of course, the driver chooses to let them use one. After all, the passengers are not their own entities, but merely ‘attachments’ to the driver’s automobile. We should not hinder the driver’s freedom for the sake of the life of the passengers.

Really, the passenger should forfeit human rights. After all, they couldn’t live apart from the driver’s protection of them. If the driver chooses to, he or she can end the lives of the passengers at any moment (cliffs, posts, and oncoming traffic could all do the trick).

This should especially apply in the case of passengers who are unwanted, unliked, and make life more difficult for the driver. Of course, the driver could have just never picked up any passengers… but why would we talk about responsibility? We’re far too busy talking about rights to talk about responsibility.

People Are Dying… and No One Seems to Care

Can you imagine a scenario where people in some far off country are being systematically wiped out? Imagine millions of people being killed by the government and the news of it being hushed, downplayed, and spun by the media so that the massacre can continue.

It sounds tragic, right?

Now imagine that the conspiracy was uncovered, the statistics of death made public, and the ugly truth of the killing of innocent people in government run and funded processes was exposed…. There would be outrage, right? Calls to reform? We would storm in with vitriol, passionate to save the lives of the innocents and to restore justice for the weak who are being eliminated! Right?

You would think that would be the case. Unless the tragedy is happening in Canada and the people being killed are not really people… because they’re babies.

According to our country’s criminal code, unborn babies are not classed as ‘human’ and therefore anyone in our country can do anything they like to unborn babies. Any abortion, any time, any means. Even a bullet from a gun.

One brave MP, Stephen Woodworth, has brought forward Motion 312 in an attempt to evaluate that law (which excludes unborn babies from being classed as ‘human’) and possibly change it. Every major political party has denounced this action.

Our MPs need to hear from those who care that unborn children ought to be protected under law the same way we are. They need to hear from you. With the lives of millions of unborn children in the balance, silence is not an option and ignorance is not an excuse. We Canadians must speak up.

Here’s what you should do. Go to Pass312.org, sign up for their list, and get involved. All the information you need to join the cause is given there. You don’t have to do any research. You just have to care enough to sign up and make your voice heard.

Let’s not be those people who stand by passively or throw up our hands in defeat while humans are dying when it is in our power to do something about it. Jesus didn’t.

Silence is not an option PASS 312 from OpenEye Creative Lab. on Vimeo.

What location is this video describing? See if you can guess before the mid point.
www.pass312.org

CNN: ‘The Demise of Guys’

From the CNN Health Blog:

Is the overuse of video games and pervasiveness of online porn causing the demise of guys?

Increasingly, researchers say yes, as young men become hooked on arousal, sacrificing their schoolwork and relationships in the pursuit of getting a tech-based buzz.

Every compulsive gambler, alcoholic or drug addict will tell you that they want increasingly more of a game or drink or drug in order to get the same quality of buzz.

Video game and porn addictions are different. They are “arousal addictions,” where the attraction is in the novelty, the variety or the surprise factor of the content. Sameness is soon habituated; newness heightens excitement. In traditional drug arousal, conversely, addicts want more of the same cocaine or heroin or favorite food.

The consequences could be dramatic: The excessive use of video games and online porn in pursuit of the next thing is creating a generation of risk-averse guys who are unable (and unwilling) to navigate the complexities and risks inherent to real-life relationships, school and employment.

Read the rest here.

Okay, so now that they’ve told us what we already know, can we finally get back to a place where we admit that men & women are wired differently? For a while it seemed like we were supposed to believe that it was only social conditioning that made boys & girls different. So how do we explain why this problem is so heavily man-biased?

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Do You Know Hitler?

Admittedly, it’s a strange way to start a film. Particularly a documentary on abortion. But this movie is powerful. It speaks to a desperately important issue and it speaks with a much-needed voice. Check out 180 the movie, embedded below.

First, a warning: There are graphic images from the holocaust in this film. They are censored, but still graphic. I do not recommend children watch this film.

Please pass the word along about this movie. For more info on it, check out 180movie.com

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