Greg Linscott

Some Random Musings…

Category: Christianity and Culture

Everyone Looks

There is a story making the rounds at the moment about several celebrities whose privacy was compromised by computer hackers. Revealing photos were illegally acquired and made available publicly. While decrying the theft of these images, one popular actress justified why she had photographed herself by explaining that either her boyfriend would look at pornography, or he would look at her. This statement sadly reflects a conclusion that many in our society have reached: young men viewing pornography is both inevitable and acceptable.

Sooner than I care to admit, my own daughters will be nearing the age when they will think of men and marriage. As both their pastor and their father, I want them to know they cannot ever hope to gratify the appetites of any man who tries to satisfy himself by viewing pornography. When a man looks in that direction, he is looking to selfishly satisfy his own appetite. Such gratification takes place in a shameful, secretive manner that will trap him in an endlessly repetitive cycle. The hunger he seeks to feed will not and cannot ever be appeased. This is why we are instructed in 1 Peter 2:11 to “abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul.” The damage of such behavior can extend to the very core of a person.

That isn’t to say that anyone who has ever struggled with pornography must be considered permanently disqualified from any future consideration. I want my girls to find someone with character—whose honesty they can trust; someone who is not given to unrestrained anger. I don’t expect them to find someone who has never told a lie or who has never lost his temper. In the same way, I also want each of them to find a man who has learned to discipline himself and keep his body under subjection (1 Corinthians 9:27). Current statistics seem to suggest that their prospective husbands will have had some kind of exposure to pornography. However, a faithful husband will be the kind of man who has learned that he must delight in and “live joyfully with the wife” he loves (Ecclesiastes 9:9).

When confronted with the stark reality of society’s corrupted morals, some might conclude that the best way a Christian woman can respond is to be as plain and unattractive as she can be! However, in 1 Timothy 2:9 Paul establishes godly expectations for attire. Clothing choices need to be made in a way that shows respect for self and others—modestly, as opposed to inviting attention. At the same time, he does say a woman is toadorn herself. A sense of beauty, style, and grace can and should enter into the process of clothing choice.

Just as a young man has appetites that cannot be satisfied by pornography, our daughters need to be careful to recognize their own appetites. A young woman’s legitimate desire for love and acceptance cannot be fulfilled with the attention that exposure and dressing provocatively can bring. The damage done to one’s soul is as real for the woman seeking illicit attention as it is for the young man seeking improper gratification. The response to each desire is clear: flee!

While a godly woman should choose her clothing in a way that accents her beauty, Paul makes clear that a Christian woman will make her mark by her behavior. First Timothy 2:10 says that the proper way the godly woman will be noticed is by “good works.” The demonstration of character—things like honesty, integrity, kindness, being quick to forgive and slow to take offense—will establish attractiveness and appeal in a far more enduring way than a few provocative images will ever accomplish. The satisfaction derived from a life lived for God’s glory is something that cannot be duplicated.

Parents, don’t let your daughters be deceived into thinking they can win a boy’s affections by appealing to his appetites. Help them resist the lie that exposing their bodies to anyone but their husbands will in any way secure lasting love. Teach them of genuine beauty, and putting that beauty on display through Christ-like conduct. Everyone looks . . . so let’s make sure we’re helping people see the right things!

Note: Originally published at garbc.org

Rudeness and Religiosity

I Want To Believe” (Just Not Too Much)“-

Atheists constantly remind us that they cannot be elected president. But what about the deeply, openly religious, those who express their religious devotion through anything more than anodyne ceremony? Yes president Bush can ask the country to pray. But we cannot picture Eugene McCarthy, who led his supporters in the Catholic rosary, winning office either. Atheists may complain that Americans think it rude to say, baldly, “There is no God.” But Americans find it just as rude to say, “There is only one true, holy, and apostolic Church, outside of which there is no salvation.” Or, “there is no God but God and Muhammad is his prophet.” Time magazine once asked, “Is God Dead?” and responded with a vague, non-committal answer. But even today, in supposedly religion-soaked America, Time would never use its cover to ask, “Was Calvin Right About the Doctrine of Total Depravity?” Most Americans, even those who attend church, believe in beliefs — not traditional religions.

HT: Rod Dreher

Marshwiggle Wisdom For Those of You In Mourning

This seems appropriate for those of you, like myself, who have considered yourself conservative and yet awaken in the world in which we find ourselves each day…

“Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things– trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in this case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important that the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that’s a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We’re just babies making up a game, if you’re right. But four babies playing a game can make a play world which licks your real world hollow. That’s why I’m going to stand by the play world. I’m on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Aslan to lead it. I’m going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn’t any Narnia.”

-Puddleglum the Marshwiggle in C.S. Lewis’s The Silver Chair

Some Summer Reading- Evangellyfish

Evangellyfish is a novel by Douglas Wilson that is being released online, chapter by chapter, on a weekly basis. The synopsis:

John Mitchell is the pastor of a small, modestly successful Reformed Baptist church in a city in the Midwest. Chad Lester is one of the most successful pastors in North America, and he is the leading light at Camel Creek Community Church in the same city. He is, speaking in theological terms, a dirt bag. And yet, his quasi-secret sexual misbehavior leads only to church growth success followed by publishing success, followed in turn by ever more church growth. John Mitchell hates everything that Lester stands for and yet, unbeknownst to him, envy of Lester’s success has him secretly by the throat. He thinks of it as indignation, or righteous concern, or something, but the real issue is that he is peeved that Lester appears to be blessed by God for being a creep, and he, Mitchell, struggles in obscurity for being faithful. But of course, Mitchell is faithful, and Lester is a creep, and the reader is not surprised that Mitchell can’t see it. None of us would if we were in his place.

When Lester is falsely accused of the one rotten thing he didn’t do, and his ministry starts to implode, John Mitchell is dragged into it much against his will, All this said, Evangellyfish is not really a dark comedy, but rather a medium brown comedy. In some sense, it is a satire on a world that defies satire.

A Notable Day…

So long, Bob!While they have not been viewed for quite some time, today was the day we finally disposed of every single one of our VeggieTales videos.

Who will join me?!

Laboring in the Land of Lily-Whiteness

Skowhegan Demographics

The SBC has just released a very good tool at http://www.peoplegroups.info/. This information comes from this site. I always knew my own community of Skowhegan, Maine, was very white- but it was interesting to see just how white it is.

“Homeschoolers” vs. “Homers”

Tim Challies quotes Douglas Wilson:

Homeschoolers, he says, are “people who have carefully considered all the options available to them in the education of their children, have prayerfully weighed them, and have decided to provide their children with an education at home.” Homers are extremists who “have a completely different attitude toward the process of homeschooling. No longer an instrument or means of educating their children, homeschooling has become, in their hands, a very modern manifestation of home as ideology. In this thinking, home is a defining principle to which everything else must conform. Even the church is brought into the service of the home. Father is no longer a father; he is a prophet, priest and king. Any home is capable of doing anything that is worth doing. A radical home-centeredness takes over, insisting that the home can not only replace the school, but also the church and the civil magistrate, not to mention Safeway and General Motors.”

How Did This Verse Get Eliminated?

Today these lyrics by Isaac Watts are often sung as the hymn we know as I Sing The Mighty Power of God.

1. How did this verse get eliminated?

2. Should we try to get it back in?

In heaven he shines with beams of love,

With wrath in hell beneath:

’Tis on his earth I stand or move,

And ‘tis his air I breathe.

His hand is my perpetual guard,

He keeps me with his eye:

Why should I then forget the Lord,

Who is for ever nigh?

I also found it interesting that this was in a book intended for children.

An Irrelevant Quotation

Without any foundation in historical awareness, churches will view everything through a contemporary lens alone in a never-ending search for the ephemeral goal of “relevance.” We must heed the truism that “he who is married to the most recent trend is sure to become a widower.”

-Paul Hartog, “Economic Wisdom as an Analogy to Prudence of Separation

On Skowhegan making the headlines

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SKOWHEGAN, Maine May 9, 2006 (AP)— A 43-year-old woman is charged with helping her daughter and two other teenage girls bake cookies laced with a laxative that were then given to a teacher.

Julie Hunt appeared in Skowhegan District Court on Monday and pleaded innocent to a charge of misdemeanor assault.

Hunt was arrested Friday after a police investigation into the attempted prank at Carrabec Community School in Anson that sickened four seventh- and eighth-grade children.

The cookies, which were baked with Ex-Lax, were left on the teacher’s desk on April 10 with a note saying, “We made these cookies just for you, hope you enjoy them.”

According to a police affidavit, Hunt told the girls how to crush the laxative pills and mix them in with the cookie batter. The girls, who are 13 and 14, used an entire box of pills, the affidavit says.

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Full article here.

Lovely.

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