Jan 28 2012
Ask Mr. Moralism!

Welcome. My new book, due out this spring, is called, Victory: Living the Morally Pure Life.

Now to the mailbag:

 

Q:  Dear Mr. Moralism,

I was wondering if I should take a stand on this, since I know we need to take stands on other people's morality:

There’s this guy who says he’s a Christian, but he apparently thinks about his body a LOT.  He works out HOURS a day, and poses for pictures in his underwear, knowing they will be displayed publicly.

He works at this place where they have dancing girls, getting paid to do sexy dances.

And there’s TONS of drinking there. His salary comes from an employer who's made millions off alcohol sales!

Like I said, he says he’s a Christian.  Should I take a stand to show people I disapprove?

Sincerely,

Concerned

 

A:  Dear Wondering,

His job helps him profit from alcohol sales?  That’s wrong. It’s clear, biblically-speaking. (Gal 5:21)

All that working out, and pride of a body that won’t last?  Hard to escape this:  That's very shallow, self-focused, and, I’m sorry, that’s not what we’re supposed to be about as Christians. (I Tim 4:8)

He poses in underwear? No justifying that. It’s clear, biblically-speaking. (I Cor 10:32)

Sexy dancing girls where he works?  You can’t square that with the Bible. (I Thess 5:22) 

He may say he’s a Christian, but based on this moral behavior, I think we have to take a stand and disapprove heartily. (I Cor 5:11)

Being a Christian means rules.  Sure, there are those who say “It’s not about rules, it’s about the heart, and we don't know his heart, etc.,” but they are namby-pamby types who aren’t holding the standard.  I discuss this in my new book, due out this spring, called, Victory: Living the Morally Pure Life.

What do we need? More moral stalwarts, truly morally GOOD men, heroes of pure morality, to give us an example of victory through our personal moral purity. 

We need more men like Tim Tebow!

Taking a stand,

Mr. Moralism

 

Q:  Uh...actually, that's who I was talking about, Tim Tebow, and - 

A:  Thanks for reading, everyone.  My new book, due out this spring, is called Victory: Living the Morally Pure Life.

Jan 18 2012
"And She Will Have a Wedding"

(I wrote the following on my last trip to Kabul, Afghanistan. Please read this, and know that YOU can make this very thing happen. God lets US have a role in His Kingdom. Here's how you do it:  Click here.)

A Letter from Kabul:  Sending Out the Invitations

"She will grow up and never be married.  She will be ashamed.  She will not go to school.  She will live with her parents her whole life, and she will be shunned.  Her parents will be shunned as well.  She will not have a wedding, and will not be invited to other weddings."
 
Dr. Hashimi said this twenty minutes ago, as he hovered over her face -- her tiny face -- and threaded sutures.  "She" is seven months old, a baby with tape over her eyes.  We had asked him, "What will happen to her if she does not have this surgery?"

She will never have a wedding.  She will be shunned.
 
But today, she had this surgery.  I got to hover over her little face as well, and think, and then he suddenly finished, and looked up, pushed his chair back, and said, "Now...now she will go to school.  And she will have a wedding."
 
God loves little baby girls.  And God loves weddings.
 
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If you read the Bible in an honest way, you can't miss it:  God draws close to the broken-hearted.  And He draws near to the poor, the weak, the vulnerable, the powerless, the hurting, the outcast, and the shunned.  We, on the other hand, like to draw near to the powerful, the healthy, the popular, the seemingly whole.  We grant them status.
 
But the Kingdom of God turns it upside down.  The first are last.  And a little girl in Afghanistan, born an outcast with a deformity, called "cursed"?  In God's economy, she has status.  I watch her little chest move up and down, and her tiny mouth sewn together, and suspect I'm watching royalty.
 
This building, this CURE International hospital, is a squat, grey, concrete building, down the road from a former palace that's now rendered drab.  (Oddly: The only bright flash of color on a building I've seen here is at "Little Las Vegas", a very place with a neon sign out front.  It's just down the road.)  But forget the palace.  the King resides here now.  And -- Vegas would understand -- it's apparent the King hasn't left the building.

-------------
 
When I was a kid, we had posters up at school about brushing our teeth.  Here, there's the occasional poster to teach kids about the difference between real toys, and land mines designed to look like toys.  Land mines are here, there, and eveywhere. 
 
I asked a knowledgeable person today:  "So who's responsible for all these mines?" and the answer was, "Pretty much everybody."
 
Pretty much. 
 
To study Afghanistan's history (and good luck making sense of it, the string of wars and takeovers is unending) is to sigh and scratch your head.  Think about it:  This country has been invaded from the north, the south, the west, and the east.  It has been bombed from above and, as little kids even learn, below.  Left and right, up and down, from without and, unceasingly, from within.
 
And little kids, for centuries, have been collateral damage.  I look at her, and I think, No, sweetie, I would not want to be you.  I would not want to be a baby girl in Afghanistan.

But this one is in CURE International's hospital, a place that's here because some people love Jesus, and love how he loves little Afghan baby girls.  And I start crying, because I'm hovering over her face, and this little one is not collateral damage.  She is knit together with a seam. 
 
They called Jesus the great physician.  CURE's tagline made sense then and there, it makes sense here and now:  "Healing changes everything."
 
The Doctor is in the house. 
 
And He loves weddings.

Jan 13 2012
Shouldn't We Take Care of Americans, First?

(Picture was taken at a church in Rwanda, where Air1 listeners have now given these girls' families access to clean water, for the first time in the their lives. Thank the Lord.)

 

"We've got poverty right here in America.  Let's take care of those people, first, then worry about someone way over there."

 

I've heard this before.  A lot.  When we tell people about needs elsewhere, desperate, crying needs elsewhere, we hear we shouldn't even really be talking about it. Look around!  Let's take care of Americans first!

Problem is, for the Christian, it doesn't make sense.

----------- 

First, and most obviously:  Why can't we help people both near and far?  Why is this an either-or choice? You've got a burden to work with the homeless, here? GOD BLESS YOU. You want to provide clean water, there?  GOD BLESS YOU.  You want to do both?  AWESOME.

And secondly:  Where's the Biblical justification for prioritizing, as a church, American people over non-American people?  Good luck on that.  It's an open-book test.

Seriously, I loves me some America.  Serving in the military wasn't an option for me (turns out you have to be able to see straight) but my brother served, and my step-dad, and my grandfather, and so forth.  I've initiated and led community-wide "support the troops" efforts in my radio career.  I root for the American hockey team in the Olympics.  And don't even get me started on the founding fathers -- I'll extol their unique genius for hours, or until you're bored into a coma, whichever comes first.

America is a beautiful, brilliant, and God-blessed experiment.   

I love America.  I have an allegiance to America. 

But it's not my highest allegiance.

My highest allegiance is to a Kingdom that exalts the humble, and humbles the exalted.  It's a Kingdom that's given to the poor in spirit, the meek, the merciful, the peacemakers.  Its laws are above American laws, its borders beyond American ones, and its people -- the Church -- are not even at home here.  They are aliens, themselves, and they are strangers.

While you're looking in the Bible for "our nation first" commitments, you might want to clear a few days.  It will take you awhile, because "nations", as we now know them, have been around only a few hundred years. (Interesting, challenging, and stunning: Sometime check out where the collections from New Testament churches went. Not fractions of them, but the entire collections were sent elsewhere, to poor believers in other lands, or the border-less work of traveling apostles.)

If it seems... unsettling... to say these things, to question the centrality of American nationhood in God's plan, to question our government's ultimate authority, please know:  It's always been unsettling.  It's always been subversive to say, "Jesus is Lord."  Always was, is, and will be.

"Jesus is Lord", means Caesar... isn't.  And "Jesus is Lord" means America... isn't.  He's the King above kings, and if you are a citizen of His Kingdom, you are to see His will is done.  He's not subtle about this.  Check out Amos 5 (The Message), where He talks about a people who ignore the plight of the poor, but still give Him religion:

"I can't stand your religious meetings.  I'm fed up with your conferences and conventions.  I want nothing to do with your religion projects, your pretentious slogans and goals.  I'm sick of your fundraising schemes, your public relations and image-making.  I've had all I can take of your noisy ego-music....

Do you know what I want?  I want justice -- oceans of it.  I want fairness -- rivers of it.  That's all I want.  That's all I want."

Like I say, not subtle.  

I say we give Him what He eternally wants, and we don't stop at our -- very temporary -- national borders.  If we are truly citizens of the Kingdom, let's let our borders be His borders, and not an inch closer.

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