There was recently a soft-porn movie that got way too much hype and publicity both from the giddy, fan-girlish pop culture and from the scolding, furrowed brow evangelical world. I refrained from commenting, or blogging about it, because it seemed that the internet was already too congested with content about this movie; and I, personally, was tired of seeing the pictures and silly spin-off titles for articles. If youâ€™re wondering which movie it is, it has something to do with the number 50 and the gradients between white and black.
The one comment I made on Facebook was this: I’ve resisted commenting until now: #50shades is a symptom, sin is the disease. Let’s start talking about the disease, not just the symptom.
This raised a few questions and I wanted to answer some of them here. Someone pointed out that we live in a culture that doesnâ€™t believe there is a â€œdiseaseâ€ of sin, nor do they see the symptoms as problematic. So, what are we to do in contending for the faith and for a culture built upon the purity and holiness of Godâ€™s word, when our culture is continuing to show more and more symptoms of the disease of sin at its last stages?
If they donâ€™t believe they are sick, they wonâ€™t understand their symptoms are evidence of a lethal disease. The disintegration of our cultureâ€™s understanding of marriage, the slaughter of unborn babies, the irresponsibility of our financial practices, and our degraded entertainment industry are all symptoms of a greater disease. But our post-modern culture doesnâ€™t seem to see these as symptoms at all. They are like a colony of lepers who have never seen the world outside their disease infested community; they donâ€™t think it strange when someoneâ€™s limb falls off.
However, when a healthy individual walks into their midst, the reaction could very well be disgust and repulsion. They might think that the healthy fellow is the strange fellow. They might even call him puritanical, judgmental, legalistic for enforcing his prudish views on the rest of society. Our Gospel responsibility is to share the news that â€œGod hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions (Ecc. 7:29).â€
The need for the hour is to preach about manâ€™s sinfulness in light of Godâ€™s holiness, and we are promised by God that this is what He will bless. The result will be, Godâ€™s Spirit will convict not merely of the outward symptoms of sin (a movie like 50 shades), but it will pierce to the heart of unbelief that has forsaken Godâ€™s authority for manâ€™s. The only remedy for our culture is red meat Gospel preaching!
Paris Reidhead understood this principle, which is why he once wisely said, â€˜If I had my way, I would declare a moratorium on public preaching of “the plan of salvation” in America for one to two years.Â Then I wouldÂ call on everyone who has use of the airwaves and the pulpits to preach the Holiness of God, the righteousness of God and the Law of God until sinners would cry out, “What must I do to be saved?”Â Then I would take them off in a corner and whisper the Gospel to them.â€™
This is precisely what we need. We need to address the symptoms, by removing the root cause. If the culture doesnâ€™t believe in the root issue, we must use the means God has commanded: jet-fuel, black coffee, thunder-fisted, meat and potatoes Gospel. God is holy, man is not, God will judge, man will be condemnedâ€¦but God sent His Son to be the Savior of the World: repent and believe! And God has promised to bless this!
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