Sometimes revelation from God is as simple as…”that felt icky.” Have you ever felt that way? Or…please just gag me with a spoon! On the outside your feeling is wow, what an amazing thing but inside you’re thinking…that’s just not right.
I love that our churches have come so far and they celebrate the Word of God with rich vibrancy, music, art and drama. This is one of the ways God’s Word lives in our culture and in our time. We could not have a rich culture if we were fighting wars with our neighboring countries or trying to survive daily persecution, because you need peace and time to develop those skills. Praise God that we have such talented artistry in the senses world. It reveals our inner joy and freedom. But what happens when someone brings forth an object, piece of artwork, music or drama and it doesn’t build life and edify the believer? What happens when what they think is a “Christian” piece of art, is in fact a devilish pursuit.
Here’s an example: I saw a shirt that really caught my eye. It was a beautiful lime green with black and gray variegated designs on it. It had a bold black cross in the upper right shoulder, with curving leaves going down to the bottom left hand side. Each line was embossed with silver outlines and was very eye-appealing. Then, I noticed the bottom left side had a vacant-eyed skull with a dagger’s hilt rising from the top, as if the blade had sunk down into a human brain. There was no blood, but the scene depicted a violent and gruesome death. God is not the author of confusion. It says in 1 Cor. 15:26 that, “The last enemy [that] shall be destroyed [is] death.” Death is the opposite of Life. I do not feel the cross represents God’s love and the life of Jesus Christ. Instead it is a symbol glorifying the moment of Jesus’s death and the devil’s victory. It does not take me to the moment of freedom and salvation, like say, a dove would. This shirt depicts the murder of Jesus Christ with the cross and then takes it a step further with the dagger embedded deep inside a dismembered human head. Now how do you feel about this t-shirt art? Does it edify the integrity and accuracy of God’s life-giving Word? Does it make you want to sing for the joy that God brought us salvation and freedom from bondage? As I said before, it leaves me feeling icky. Unfortunately, I’ve seen these types of shirts available in Christian Book Stores.
Here’s our verse today.
“Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.” Philippians 2:16
How can we hold forth the Word of Life? The previous verses give us clues. In Phil 2:13…for it is God which works in us. God inspires us. We should do those things He asks, (the nine manifestations, walking in love and power) without complaining or arguing with Him. Then we’ll be blameless and harmless sons of God in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation. We’ll shine as lights among men. We’ll hold forth the Word of life.
Okay Terri, how?
Ask Him these kind of questions.
God if you were me what would you wear today? God if you were me what shirt would you design and sell? God if you were me what image would draw or paint or take a picture of? What music would You listen to Father? What music would You sing or compose? What television show, movie, game show, reality show etc. God is not our warden. He wants us to REJOICE in the day of Christ. He wants us to run and not be weary. He wants the best for us. The shirt I described above has a sneaky motive. It steals our joy, robs our peace, and depicts a killing, which then kills our motivation. These kind of visual disruptions unsettle us. They distract and disturb our peace. They are an attack on our renewed mind.
I said before that we could not have edifying Christian culture if we were in war with our neighbors or battling persecution. I’d like to point out that in our country we ARE at war with our neighbors, look at politics, reality shows, your local news or even in the pews of our churches. And persecution…the devil renamed it “political correctness”. Folks, that’s just not right.
Where is there a group of people living in the peace and truth of the Word of Life in all it’s accuracy, integrity and splendor? In a day and time when the Word is so readily available, we are being starved of truly edifying and refreshing Christian culture.
I hesitate to tell you this… but I stopped listening to Christian radio. I felt too condemned, depressed and unmotivated after listening for a while. I stopped reading Christian literature like fiction and non-fiction books written by contemporary authors. I was too confused and felt unworthy and, most of the time, didn’t finish the books. I stopped watching Christian television, I felt too weirded out by it. The sad thing is, there are people in these fields with truly refreshing ideas and an incredible love of God’s Word, but they are smothered by the same controlling forces that control the mainstream medias out in the world. We live in this world. But how can we shine as lights among men if we conform to the same culture as they do?
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;….
vs 5. This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” 1 John 1: 1,5
The Word of Life is a precious cargo. Will you carry it forth? Will you shine that light in the darkness? Let’s go out and help God make things right again.
God bless you today!