Strangers in a Strange Land

My friend Barry, who neither reads nor comments on this blog, sent me a link to a column by Michelle Malkin: Madonna and the children.

Up on stage for the raunchy performance of Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” was 6-year-old Lourdes Maria Ciccone Leon. Little Lourdes was dressed in First Communion white, decked out in lace gloves, a crucifix, and a studded belt with the words “BOY TOY.” Paving the way for the entrance of Madonna and her entourage of sexual exhibitionists, Lourdes tossed flower petals on the dance floor while a mosh pit of fans writhed in front of her and the porno soundtrack throbbed behind her.

Lourdes is Madonna’s firstborn child.

This inspired the following rant from me, which I’ll now share with all of you.

I didn’t know Madonna’s daughter was onstage at all. Malkin is right, that’s worse.

I know I’m a self-righteous legalistic Pharisaical judgmental fundamentalist, but may I suggest it’s time that Christians started being a bit less involved in the world and more of an example to it? Perhaps a city on a hill, or a lamp hung on a lampstand, would be an appropriate metaphor (Matt. 5:13-16) – something set apart, elevated, that gives light for all to see. Maybe we ought to read 2 Corinthians 6:17-18: “Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord. “And do not touch what is unclean; and I will welcome you. And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” says the Lord Almighty.

What if, for example, we stopped having anything to do with entertainment that contains profanity (even taking the Lord’s name in vain), glorifies violence, contains nudity, celebrates fornication, adultery, or homosexuality, demeans people for laughs – particularly teaching us that men are buffoons or parents are idiots, or otherwise promoted an ungodly lifestyle or worldview? We wouldn’t have anything to watch. Except VeggieTales, and they are bankrupt now.

What if we turned off the godless conservative political commentaries that we are hooked on and spent the time gaining a godly perspective? Is it surprising to realize that Jonah Goldberg, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, and Sean Hannity are not Biblically rooted Christians, yet are so popular among us? With all that time, maybe we could actually read and meditate on the scriptures and spend time in prayer.

What if we worried less about our careers, 401(k), bank accounts, 3/2/2 brick homes in the suburbs, nice cars, cellphones, broadband internet, fast computers, and so on, and glorified God with our money and our lifestyles? We might not have treasures on earth, but maybe we could see our way clear to store up treasures in heaven.

What if we honored Sunday as a day truly set aside to the Lord?

What if we worried less about our child’s social and educational development than about their spiritual and moral development?

What if we spent less time watching TV, going to movies, and reading fiction, secular political works, self-help books, books on dieting and weight loss and finances and other books that are all about _us_, and spent time reading some books about God?

What if we tried to build and maintain appropriate relationships with our neighbors with the goal of letting our light shine before them in such a way that they may see our good works and glorify our Father which is in heaven, rather than being content to wave at them while we’re mowing the grass. What if we were willing to risk our friendships and other relationships for the sake of the gospel? What if we weren’t so afraid of losing a relationship to talk to people about their spiritual life? What if we realized that there are offensive elements to the gospel? What if we remembered that Christ’s presentation of the gospel was sometimes offensive, and didn’t worry if ours was offensive, just if it was accurate? What if we remembered that a prerequisite to a man’s salvation is his realization that he is a depraved sinner who needs help?

What if we thought of the world in scriptural terms – two kingdoms at war – than in our worldly terms, like “one beggar telling another one where to find bread”? What if we acted like soldiers instead of spectators?

What if we took some risks? What if we risked our status, our friends, our amusements and worldly pleasures, our treasure, for the kingdom of God?

I dunno, just some goofy ideas I had.

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7 Responses to Strangers in a Strange Land

  1. Barry says:

    Do too!

  2. You’re only reading and commenting because we’re coming to visit and you’re afraid of my legendary temper.

  3. Barry says:

    What’s your point?

  4. Just read the blog and nobody gets hurt, OK?

  5. Cayenne says:

    Wow…that really made me rethink my priorities. Good post.

  6. Larry Gross says:

    Brother,

    Was it John Wesley that said if he could find 100 men who hated sin and feared God, that he could turn the world upside down? Well… he couldn’t and he didn’t! Our hearts, so very decietful! John Hyde, praying for the poor in distant lands, died of a broken heart. Few want to lay down in the infirmary bed of Amy Carmichale in the south of India. But here in this land of ours, even fewer still want to sit and have a meal at a skid row mission with some depressed tramp, doper or whore. And God forbid that they would even reach out to the homeless ‘SOULS’ (for that’s what they are) who wander the streets in fear of even entering the missions. After 12+ years of living and working in street missions I honestly believe that the church of Laodicea here in North America is going to have a hard time birthing a Bride. No ‘gold’ without ‘fire’, and it’s oh so much easier to love the naked savage that we can’t see, than the wino or gang-banger that we can see. Opprotunities everywhere, if we’ll just turn off the air conditioning. Psalms 27:4,13

    Sorry about the rant and the miss-spellings!

  7. James 1:27 (NAS)
    Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

    We’re doing neither – not keeping ourselves unstained, nor helping those in need.

    Jude 22-23
    And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

    I’m afraid we’re simply ignoring them all.

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