Refusing to Just Sing Louder

In his book, How Do You Kill 11 Million People?, Andy Andrews shares a story from a church attender who lived in Nazi Germany during the Holocaust.  Here is a portion of that story:

“We heard stories of what was happening to the Jews, but we tried to distance ourselves from it, because we felt, what could anyone do to stop it?  Each Sunday morning we would hear the train whistle blowing in the distance, then the wheels coming over the tracks.  We became disturbed when we heard cries coming from the train as it passed by.  We realized that it was carrying Jews like cattle in the cars! ……………………………….. We knew the time the train was coming and when we heard the whistle blow we began singing hymns.  By the time the train came past our church, we were singing at the top of our voices.  If we heard the screams, we sang more loudly and soon we heard them no more.”

Before I continue, I want to make sure you hear that in no way am I comparing the evil of the Holocaust to the evils we face today.  The only comparison I make is that we too face evil in our culture, and we must respond with something more than just “singing louder”.

Edmund Burke lived in the 18th century and was an Irish political philosopher.  His quote seems fitting to me.  He said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

There are many evils we face in our culture, and I believe God has called us to confront them.  What is the role that God has called you to in confronting the evil that seems to triumph?

God has called me and my family to confront the evil of internet pornography, sexting and other kinds of sexual sin.  Like the church in Nazi Germany, I am disturbed by all the evil that is happening around me.  I am not content to just sing hymns more loudly.  We must confront evil!

Let’s take internet porn and sexting for example. (Maybe you don’t know what sexting is.  Sexting is when one sends nude or semi-nude pictures of oneself to someone else via a text message.)

According to covenanteyes.com:

  • There have been almost 1 billion searches for pornography since the start of 2014.
  • The porn industry generates $13 billion dollars each year in the United States.
  • 50% of all Christian men and 20% of all Christian women are addicted to porn.
  • 90% of boys have been exposed to porn before age 18.
  • 60% of girls have been exposed to porn before age 18.
  • 30% of 17 year olds have sent a sext.
  • 19% of 18-24 year olds have sent a sext.

These statistics are alarming!  What is my point?  My point is simple: God has called me and my family to confront how this evil has penetrated American culture, and even worse, the American church.

What evil does God want you to confront?  Maybe God wants you to help confront internet porn and sexting.  You might ask, “How would I go about doing that?”.

  • Maybe you contact your church or church leaders and ask them to address this evil.
  • Maybe you contact your child’s school or school leadership and ask how they are addressing this significant issue on their campus.
  • Maybe you email this blog to everyone in your contact list.
  • Maybe you send out a tweet about joshproctor.com or post about joshproctor.com on facebook.
  • Maybe you decide to get a group of friends together and pray and fast over this issue, as well as other issues of evil that our culture is facing.

I don’t know what God is calling you to do, but I know this.  God is not calling us to just sing louder, and He is certainly not calling us to do nothing.  We must do something, and the something we must do is stand for God, His Kingdom and His righteousness!

 

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A Broken Leg, A Men’s Breakfast, App Advisor, and a Moms Blog on Porn

I know it is a weird blog title, but there is no rhyme or reason to my post this week.  This is just what is going on in my world as well as great links that have been emailed to me.

First of all we ask that you pray for our 20 month old daughter, Anna Kate.  Due to a pretty freak accident, she has broken her right leg.  She will be in a cast for four weeks.  Doctors expect a full recovery, and praise the Lord that her growth plate was not impacted at all.  Here is Anna Kate at Cook Children’s on Tuesday:

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Kelly is holding her, and Anna Kate is desperately trying to hold her baby doll and 2 blankets.  She was very brave!

On another note, I will be speaking at Lake Arlington Baptist Church this coming Saturday at 7:30am at a Men’s Breakfast.  If you can make it, I would love to see you there.  Feel free to invite other men to come, and please pray that Christ crucified will be proclaimed.

Also, there are two links I think you should check out.  One is a link to a great family friendly web site. This particular link is a great app advisor for parents to look at regarding their children/students.  Click on link below:

Zewster App Advisor

Finally, I thought you might want to check out this blog link that a pastor friend sent me.  It is a mom’s perspective on how to get her elementary son to say “no” to porn.  Check it out:

Moms Blog On Porn

I would love to hear your feedback on these links.  Please be in prayer for Anna Kate and for Saturday morning.  Thanks!

God’s Goodness, My Choice to Forgive

Forgiving others obviously can be very challenging. This is exactly what Joseph encounters in the book of Genesis when he is faced with the issue of whether he will forgive his brothers or not. If you read Genesis 42-45, then you will see that Joseph put his brothers through a series of tests. I do not think that his forgiveness of them was based upon how they handled those tests. I think he was trying to see if he could trust them or not. Forgiving someone is letting them off the hook and blessing them, but it does not necessarily mean you trust that person again. The fact that Joseph did not brutally punish his brothers but instead blessed them shows me that he forgave them.

The question we must answer is this: How do we forgive?

I believe a person must understand the forgiveness they have in Christ before they are ever able to truly forgive others. God is holy and glorious and Romans 3 tells us we fall short of His glory. We are all sinners. I think we forget at times that David committed murder and adultery, and he was a man after God’s own heart, and I think we also forget that Paul persecuted Christians before coming to Christ. He wrote half the New Testament.

Psalms 51 tells us we are all sinful the moment we are conceived. Luke 7 shows us a woman who is probably a prostitute who in her brokenness places her faith in Christ. What is my point? We are all in desperate need of Jesus. We are all the prostitute. We all fall short of God.

But what does God do? He sent Christ to bear our sin and drink in God’s wrath. Because of that act, when one surrenders their life to Christ, they are completely forgiven. They are declared new! God reconciles us to Himself through Christ. Are you ready for the coolest part? As Christ died and rose again, He glorified Himself. So get this: It brings glory to God to make sinful people right with Him. Wow! This is what Christ has done for me! He must really love us!

So what is my point? My point is this: If Christ bore my sin, drank in God’s wrath and forgave me, then I need to let Him empower me to forgive those who have wronged me. Forgiveness is not necessarily choosing to trust the person who hurt you again. Although that trust my come over time. Forgiveness is letting them off the hook. It is saying I no longer hold that sin against them.

This is what Joseph did in Genesis. He did not hold the sin of the brothers against them any longer. What an incredible story of forgiveness!

If you want to listen to my thoughts on the cross, our forgiveness and choosing to give it away to others, then click on the link below. It is a podcast of me preaching at a church in Louisiana on 2 Corinthians 5.

Josh at FBC Moss Bluff, LA

May we know Christ’s forgiveness! May we give it away! May we tell others about the good news of Jesus!