Tuesday Tea-ology is here, about the grace and compassion of God.
One of the most noted features of the Golden Globes ceremony last week was the speech by actress Michelle Williams, who used her acceptance speech–as is now frequently done by entertainment elites–as an opportunity for political advocacy. Specifically, Williams decided to promote abortion.
From The Christian Post:
Williams, who won Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie for her role on “Fosse/Verdon,” told the crowd Sunday evening that she was “grateful to have lived at a moment in our society when choice exists, because as women and as girls, things can happen to our bodies that are not our choice.”
“I’ve tried my very best to live a life of my own making and not just a series of events that happened to me, but one that I could stand back and look at and recognize my handwriting all over it — sometimes messy and scrawling, sometimes careful and precise, but one that I have carved with my own hand.”
“I wouldn’t have been able to do this without employing a woman’s right to choose,” she added.
The reality behind these euphemisms is that Williams seems to be indicating she killed one or more babies, that she wouldn’t have been able to achieve the success she has as an actress without doing so, and that she thinks it was a good trade.
The fact that such statements are unsurprising and supported by a large percentage of our society is a telling demonstration of the moral degradation of American civilization.
But look also at how central the framework of choice is to the way Williams presents it. This is just one piece in a life lived by her own self-determination. She’s made a concerted effort to live “a life of my own making”, she wants to be able to “stand back and look at it and recognize my handwriting all over it”.
That’s what sin is about. We do not wish to live according to God’s good design, to be what He has created and called us to be–we wish to be our own masters, and to remake ourselves in the image of our choosing. The terrible irony is that self-determination is only disguised slavery to sin.
And the way of sin is the way of death. It is no surprise that the desire to lead “a life of my own making” can involve taking away the lives of innocents. And the way of self-determination brings no fulness to those who follow it. A Golden Globe is a hollow thing; fame and fortune are fleeting. In the end, all that matters is whether you have served yourself, and given your life to Christ and found in Him life eternal.
As sinful men and women, we cover our lives with our own handwriting, in lines of sin and guilt; but Christ can wash it all away, and give us the true and abundant life.
I saw an article the other yesterday on a liberal news venue, pushing back against a conservative church’s attempt to influence their community. Several observations might be made, but one will suffice for the nonce.
One of the reasons this church’s influence is so objectionable to some is the church’s promotion of Christian sexual ethics, particularly their opposition to homosexuality. Christian sexual ethics are considered intolerant to secular society. But, interestingly, another objection cited in the article was that the pastor had officiated the marriage of a man who had a different area of sexual immorality in his past, of which he had repented.
That is to say, part of what some people find so offensive about this church is that it does not approve of sexual immorality (of the kind society presently approves), and another part is that the church believes in restoration for people who have engaged in sexual immorality (of the kind society does not [presently] approve).
I think this is an interesting observation, that can be seen in society at large, at least to some degree. Tolerance is aggressively (intolerantly?) promoted by de-stigmatizing of numerous immoral behaviors. Acceptance is the order of the day. But there are still numerous things that are not tolerated, not accepted; and for these things, forgiveness and restoration for the repentant can be in very short supply.
The Christian church calls sin what it is, but preaches that anyone can be forgiven their sins if they will repent and place their faith in Christ. It should not be surprising that the secular world, which finds the conviction of sin offensive, sometimes finds forgiveness offensive as well.
It would be far too easy to laugh off the First Annual Christian Witches Convention. Their syncretism of Christianity with paganism is absurd, their justifications for their understanding of Scripture are farcical, they’ve chosen to maximize irony by meeting in Salem, MA, and the ‘Reverend’ Valerie Love even has the hat. It’s as though they’re trying not to be taken seriously.
But I think they are serious. The evil they represent is serious. The seriousness with which God regards it is shown in His words to the Israelites: “Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD” (Deut. 18:10-12, NIV).
We live in a culture where the pagan practice of sacrificing sons and daughters is widespread; it should be no surprise that other elements of pagan spirituality show increasing acceptance and popularity. The farce of this vaudevillian episode is the basic absurdity of idolatry, the grotesque folly of worshipping a statue made of wood (Isa. 44:14-16). Such foolish beliefs seem plausible to the mind darkened by rejecting God (see Rom. 1:21-23).
But let no Christian be deceived. The new heavens and new earth belong to the faithful in Christ; “But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars–they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death” (Rev. 21:8).
Now is the day of repentance. The cross of mercy still stands. For those who have followed the way of paganism, who have sacrificed their sons or daughters, who have practiced sorcery, there is yet one hope: repent, believe the gospel, and be saved. The Savior’s arm are still outstretched to you. There is no hope in sorcery; there is forgiveness and life in Jesus Christ. But you must choose one.