Tuesday, 31 July 2012
I know that I vehemently teach on the neutrality of masturbation in regards to sin, but there's a reason I do this other than that I'm zealous for sexual freedom, purity, and truth. Showing that masturbation is not a sin according to the Bible flies in the face of so much of what the modern Western church teaches, and it shows evidence of a much bigger problem in the church.
Not only is masturbation not condemned in the Bible, but there is a whole list of things Christians proclaim and live by that are not actually found in Scripture. Nowhere in the Bible does it teach to "ask Jesus to come into your heart" so you can be saved. If Christians realized that's not scriptural, and if they stopped using that as part of evangelism, the whole modern evangelical structure and belief system of salvation in the Western church would crumble. Nowhere in the Bible does it show people being "slain in the Spirit" or "falling out in the Spirit" as we know it in charismatic circles today, and yet today that's used as a major means of ministry or healing in charismatic meetings. (I'm not saying God can't or doesn't work through that way, but I question its importance and overemphasis today.) Speaking in tongues, while purely Biblical and encouraged, is given restrictions and we are told by Paul in 1 Corinthians 14:27-28 that only two or three should speak in tongues to the congregation and then only if there is an interpretation. And if there isn't an interpreter, then the speaker should keep quiet and pray in tongues quietly between him and God. How many evangelical, charismatic churches follow that teaching now? None that I've ever gone to. As you can see, masturbation is not the only matter that the church talks out of its butt to address. Christians make up all kinds of stupid crap and they call it Biblical, and then wonder why there is no revival, why their words carry no spiritual power, and then end up spending more money on new sound systems and lights and things to make their churches more appealing to the world around them and more seeker-friendly, because they have nothing else going for them and nothing else to offer the hurting and dying world around them except for fun songs and free donuts during Sunday school.
What would happen if churches stopped trying to be seeker-friendly? "Seeker-friendly" isn't even a Biblical concept. Jesus isn't hiding behind a bush. God doesn't play Hide-and-Seek like we're kids on a playground and then runs away from us when we find Him. If we stopped trying to lure people into our religion and instead spoke the truth to them and let God rock their souls Himself, His purposes working through us would be much more successful. But Christians are afraid to do that. They're unwilling to invest the effort and time into making disciples instead of just self-proclaimed converts who bear no fruit. What would happen if we spoke the truth boldly to our congregations and listeners, unhindered by the cultural expectations we live in? Why are so few addressing the fact that so much of what the church believes in is not in the Bible?
If a pastor or teacher got up in front of a church full of people and taught about masturbation and why it's not condemned in the Bible and how it can be redeemed in the Christian's life, he would be booed and ridiculed. He may teach exactly what's in the Bible, but people won't want to hear it because they're more concerned about keeping in-line with their culture and remaining comfortable. Prove me wrong. And yet in Deuteronomy 11:9, we are told to teach the law and truth of the Lord to our children, to the people under us, in every occasion.
In my late teens and into my early twenties, I wrestled with my faith, even to the point of rejecting the name "Christian" for myself because I thought that word had become so skewed and perverted that I didn't want anything to do with it. I am a Christian and I know it, but the word is still twisted in the minds of so many people that it's far from what it originally meant. In Acts 11 is where the word "Christian" is first used to describe the disciples of that time. Compare those disciples with the "Christians" you see today. Do they have anything in common at all?
God, help me. Don't let me be a Christian by today's standards, by what people think a Christian is, but make me an Acts kind of Christian. I do not want to bow to any cultural norms or to the false church's expectations. Do not let me succumb to fear, but speak bodly the truth that is in your Word, and expose the lies that are not in your Word but are being proclaimed from pulpits around the world as "scripture". You have healed me, you have redeemed my life, and now I give it all back to you for you to make me the kind of man, the kind of warrior you have called me to be. I am not afraid. I am not ashamed of what you have done in me. I will boldly tell people what you have done and teach what is in your Word. I am not afraid. I am not afraid. You are with me, I am your sheep, and I hear your voice, my Shepherd.