I officially turned in my last assignment of the semester yesterday, and I'm now completely done with school for over a month. As a result, I've got a double whammy for you this week! I can't tell you how weird I feel for saying "whammy." I promise, it won't happen again.
This Friday marks the release of the film "The Golden Compass." This movie has sparked an extreme amount of controversy due to its anti-Christian imagery and the fact that the author of the three book series, Philip Pullman, is a self-proclaimed athiest who has written the books to open people's eyes to the evils of the Christian faith. I personally think Pullman is a bozo, and could care less if he decides to adapt his books to the big screen, but several Christian groups have already called for a boycott of the movie among Christians, lest we support an evil endeavor and become indoctrinated with its lies.
But this post isn't about The Golden Compass.
In the late 90s, the Southern Baptist Convention began an 8-year boycott of Walt Disney Co. because of a so-called "gay agenda." Apparently Disney offers health benefits to homosexual employees and particular days at their theme parks are directed towards the gay community. Why don't we go ahead and boycott businesses that offer benefits to unmarried people living with their boyfriend or girlfriend? Or even a company that allows its employees to have a cigarette outside the building during their 15 minute break?
But this post isn't about Disney.
Last month at the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention in Arlington, TX, Messengers approved a bylaw change to replace the word “drunkenness” as it appears in several instances to “the use of alcohol as a beverage,” stipulating that such practice is unacceptable for employees and members elected to the executive board, committees and offices of the SBTC. Therefore, if you are an employee anywhere within the SBC in Texas, you now prohibited from partaking of any alcoholic beverage. I could go into a rant about the use of alcohol in the Bible and the fact that it's not a sin to partake of an alcoholic beverage . . .
But this post isn't about alcohol.
This post also isn't about Harry Potter, public school, the environment, or any other topic we could name that may cause controversy among Christians over what's right and wrong to be associated with. This post IS about the real issue:
We are not teaching our brothers and sisters the truth of what the Christian life looks like and are copping out by passing laws, rules, and boycotts to cover up for our failure to address what the Bible says we should be doing.
"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death." - Romans 8:1-2
What this means is, because Christ came to fulfill the law that we couldn't keep, we are now free from condemnation and set free from the law that once kept us from being who God wanted us to be. Jesus came and took our place by keeping the law, dying, taking our sins to the grave, and rising again on the third day, leaving us guiltless and righteous before God! Does this mean that we're free to sin? Of course not, but it means that we're free to live a life of joy and happiness as we enjoy the things that God has given us and share with others what it really means to be a Christian.
And being a Christian doesn't mean boycotting, shaking our fists, and adding laws that the Bible does not in order to make sure our Christian brothers and sisters don't "screw up."
The truth of the matter is, if we were teaching in our churches the truth of the Bible and helping our people understand what it means to be a Christian and how to live a life holy and pleasing to God, we wouldn't need to be scared that our friends might be indoctrinated with false truths from "The Golden Compass." We could actually smile and say "enjoy the movie!" Perhaps they might even be able to discuss it with their non-Christian friends after it's over and tell them why the way of Christ is better.
What do I know, though?
Stay tuned, because later this week I hope to be writing a new post about Rob Bell. Have I gone to the dark side? Have I gone off the deep end? Have I become *gulp* a liberal? You'll have to check back later this week. :o)