Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Dark and Light

"What do righteousness and wickedness have in common?  Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?"  2 Corinthians 6:14

Yesterday, my 14 year old daughter, Mary Susannah, was restless.  She wanted to go somewhere, do something, have something new.  Never mind she's been on a trip with her brothers and dad and gone quite a few places over the last couple of weeks - yesterday was boring.  She came in the late afternoon and asked me to download a certain book we had seen in the newspaper as they reviewed several people involved in the 911 disaster.  It looked very interesting to both of us.  And they did have it as an ereader.  But I was worried because I could not flip through it first.  Mary Susannah is a pure work of art, as are all children, and as long as it is in my power, I will not defile her.  I don't want her to read a book that I had not checked first.
She was not real happy with me, but she's a good girl, and went to find something else to do.

So after I had taken my soon to be 18 year old son Beau out to a birthday dinner at TGIFriday's last night (after which we both had food poisoning - stay away from their mozzarella sticks), I suggested we head over to Half Price Book Store so I could surprise my pretty daughter with the book she wanted.  In between trips to the bathroom, I couldn't find that particular book, but I did find one by the same lady, written with her husband, and it did look okay for my girl to read, so I tucked it under my arm and headed over to the teenage/young adults section to see what else I could find for her.

Oh, my...

I knew the world was bad.  And the Bible tells us that it's only going to get worse and worse as the end draws near.  But I wasn't expecting what I found.  The shelves were full of almost nothing but vampire and occult books.  The covers were dark and scary looking.  Evil just surrounded shelf after shelf after shelf.  I was horrified, and thought I might cry as I stood there.  I grieved so HARD for the children trying to grow up in the world today.  No wonder they are struggling so.  And what parent in their right mind would buy this stuff for their children?  Don't they care?

Let me stop here and say that as a young adult, I loved horror stories.  Stephen King was my favorite, and I had invested in all his books in hard back.  I had every. single. one. of his books.  And even back then, most horror books (the old Dracula ones)  were not as graphic as they are now.  But still...

I was lost.  I was hell bound.  And I firmly believe my love of those books showed it.  There was a lot more in my life, too, I will admit.  These books were just one thing.  But it wasn't long before in my late twenties, and early 30's the fruit of my life hit, and everything went into a downward spiral.

Finally, FINALLY, I hit the bottom.  I remember the day, in the midst of sin, it was like I had an out of body experience, I could see how dirty I was, and I cried out "God, SAVE ME!"

From that very exact moment, things changed for me.  The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5: 17 that "if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come!"  Suddenly, all those books and magazines (among many other things, this is just what we are talking about right now) no longer held an appeal for me.  In fact, it kind of made me sick.  I wanted my mind to be clean.  So out went the magazines into the trash.  And those Stephen King books, hundreds of dollars worth of them...what to do with them?  For a second, I considered selling them or giving them away.  After all, they were in good condition, and I had spent so much on them...but quickly I knew - if they were not fit for me to read as the new creation I was, how could I pass them on and pollute someone else's mind?  So every time I opened a new trash bag, I threw a book inside.
A friend was pretty horrified at the change in me.  My love of Stephen King has always been "part of me", everyone who knew me well knew how I loved his books.  This friend begged me to let him store my books in his garage until I "got over this."  I smiled at him and said, "If I ever get over this, please just shoot me, okay?" 
I had no intention of going back...

It took two years to get my "shockability" again.  I remember being at someones house and the TV was on.  Someone on the screen yelled out the "s" word, and my head jerked around.  And then, I got chills, because I thought, I'M CLEAN!  Those words are not something I hear or see anymore.  Those words can shock me now.

That's not to say that we clean our minds and let it go at that.  There's a story in Matthew 12 about the man who "swept his house clean" of evil spirits, but left it unoccupied.  When the evil spirit came back and found it was empty, he brought seven of his friends along to move back in, and the final condition of the man was worse than it was before.  I often think of that story when people I know start out on the journey to be Christians, but soon turn back.  Did they clean their house?  Did they fill it with good, pure things?  Did they let the spirit of God fill their very souls?  Because otherwise, how could the old life hold any attraction anymore?

Recently, a good friend showed us an article written by a Mennonite publication that was praising Harry Potter.  They said that although, yes, it was occult, Harry Potter was, after all, a good guy, and it was refreshing to find good guys as the hero in today's world.
It made me sad to see this.  The Bible is so clear about these things.  2 Corinthians 6, in the passage I quoted at the beginning of this blog, goes on to say:  "What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?  What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols?...Therefore come out from then and be separate, says the Lord.  Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you."

In Acts 19:18-19, a number of people who practiced magic arts were converted.  And what happened then?  Did they decide to use their magic for good?  Did they turn it into "Christian magic", did they believe that sorcerers could be good guys, and the world needs that, after all?  No, in fact, here is what happened:

" Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed their evil deeds.  A  number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly.  When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas.  In this way, the word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power."

A drachmas was a silver coin worth about a days wage.  They burned up a LOT of money that day to the glory of the Lord, and that testimony caused His word to grow in power.  How many other people are in glory today because of that bonfire?  Are we so good, we are better than that?  Are we so good, we can cling to our Harry Potter and Twilight and Stephen King books, and not only that, but give them to our children to read?  Lord, have mercy on us...

Revelations 21:8 says "The cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, THOSE WHO PRACTICE MAGIC ARTS, the idolaters and all liars - their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur."

Jesus tell us over and over in the gospels that if we enjoy sin in our hearts, it's the same thing as if we have done it.  And that any of us who cause a little child to sin - well, it would be better if someone tied a rock around our necks and cast us into the water...
If we read these books and enjoy them, does that mean we are guilty of actually doing it?

Here is a good motto:  "Why would I watch or read for enjoyment, the sins that caused Jesus to die on the cross?

"Create in me a pure heart, o God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me."  Psalm 51:10



1 comment:

  1. the wilson family blogSeptember 14, 2011 at 1:51 AM

    Amen!
    There is so much of the world in the church today and we wonder where the power of God is!
    The false grace gospel (a flesh gospel) has a lot to do with it.

    We need to get on the narrow road and STAY on it!
    Psalm 19v9: The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.

    Good to see that there is a remnant left out there who are living a life "pleasing to God"

    We get called legalistic and bound up under the law!
    So does grace now give us the "freedom" to break the ten commandments if we are not under the law?
    God forbid
    We need to read all scripture and not take the bits that fit "our" lifestyle.

    Crucify the flesh...daily, hourly, by the minute/second, whatever it takes to get victory over the flesh and satan and to glorify God.

    Keep up the good work.
    Be blessed, Be strong!

    Colin Wilson (Maria' husband)

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