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BELIEVING IN ANYTHING
G.K. Chesterton once said, "It is often supposed that when people stop believing in God, they believe in nothing.
Alas, it is worse than that. When they stop believing in God, they believe in anything."
Without God the only standard of TRUST - of right and wrong - is what appeals to you. And that's a shifting standard. It all depends on what I want, what I like, what I accept, what pleases me.
But scripture says: "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God" My standards are all warped. My morality is riddled with impurity. And if I base what I TRUST on that warpedness/ impurity, then I'm going to embrace whatever gods allow me to do what I want to do.
It's insanity. When I stop trusting in the God of Scripture... I'll believe in anything, and eventually that will lead me to destruction.
But now, by contrast, if I trust in the God of Scripture I'm no longer led by MY righteousness and holiness. Instead I'm trusting a God who is so holy and so righteous that my tendency will be to build my life around Him (rather than Him around me).
I'll use His standards of right and wrong -- not mine.
I'll build on His morality in my life -- not mine.
I'll build on His expectations for me... not mine.
AND I know if I trust in Him in these matters... I will be blessed.
Pornography Addiction has a deadly progression says Tom Buford a converted porn addict, “Our thanks to Morality In Media for the use of the following information from Healing Sexual and Pornography Addictions by Dr. Victor Cline.”
1. FIRST STEP - ADDICTION - "The first change that happened was an addiction-effect. The porn-consumers got hooked. Once involved in pornographic materials, they kept coming back for more and still more... The pornography provided very exciting and powerful imagery which they frequently recalled to mind and elaborated on in their fantasies."
a. "Once addicted, they could not throw off their dependence on the material by themselves, despite many negative consequences such as divorce, loss of family, and problems with the law (such as sexual assault, harassment or abuse of fellow employees)."
b. "... many of my most intelligent male patients appeared to be most vulnerable—perhaps because they had a greater capacity to fantasize, which heightened the intensity of the experience and made them more susceptible to being conditioned into an addiction."
c. "... It is difficult for non-addicts to comprehend the totally driven nature of a sex addict. When the "wave" hits them, nothing can stand in the way of getting what they want, whether that be pornography accompanied by masturbation, sex from a prostitute, molesting a child, or raping a woman. These men are consumed by their appetite, regardless of the cost or consequences. Their addiction virtually rules their lives."
2. SECOND STEP – ESCALATION- "The second phase was an escalation-effect. With the passage of time, the addicted person required rougher, more explicit, more deviant... sexual material to get their "highs" and "sexual turn-ons." It was reminiscent of individuals afflicted with drug addictions. Over time there is nearly always an increasing need for more of the stimulant to get the same initial effect."
a. "... Their addiction and escalation were mainly due to the powerful sexual imagery in their minds, implanted there by the exposure to pornography."
3. THIRD PHASE – DESENSITIZATION - "The third phase was desensitization. Material (in books, magazines, or films/videos) which was originally perceived as shocking, taboo-breaking, illegal, repulsive, or immoral, in time came to be seen as acceptable and commonplace. The sexual activity depicted in the pornography (no matter how anti-social or deviant) became legitimized. There was an increasing sense that "everybody does it" and this gave them permission to also do it, even though the activity was possibly illegal and contrary to their previous moral beliefs and personal standards."
4. FOURTH PHASE - ACTING OUT SEXUALLY - "The fourth phase was an increasing tendency to act out sexually the behaviors viewed in the pornography, including compulsive promiscuity, exhibitionism, group sex, voyeurism, frequenting massage parlors, having sex with minor children, rape, and inflicting pain on themselves or a partner during sex. This behavior frequently grew into a sexual addiction which they found themselves locked into and unable to change or reverse—no matter what the negative consequences were in their life."
The Bible defines worldliness by centering morality where we intuitively know it should be. Worldliness is the lust of the flesh (a passion for sensual satisfaction), the lust of the eyes (an inordinate desire for the finer things of life), and the pride of life (self-satisfaction in who we are, what we have, and what we have done). Worldliness, then, is a preoccupation with ease and affluence. It elevates creature comfort to the point of idolatry; large salaries and comfortable life-styles become necessities of life.
Worldliness is reading magazines about people who live hedonistic lives and spend too much money on themselves and wanting to be like them. But more importantly, worldliness is simply pride and selfishness in disguises. It’s being resentful when someone snubs us or patronizes us or shows off. It means smarting under every slight, challenging every word spoken against us, cringing when another is preferred before us. Worldliness is harboring grudges, nursing grievance, and wallowing in self-pity. These are the ways in which we are most like the world.
Dave Roper, The Strength of a Man, quoted in Family Survival in the American Jungle, Steve Farrar, 1991, Multnomah Press, p. 68.
A man wrote: "Dear Abby, I am in love and I am having an affair with two different women other than my wife. I love my wife but I love these other women too. Please tell me what to do, but don’t give me any that morality stuff." Signed: Too much love for only one.” In this case Abby’s answer was classic. She wrote: “Dear Too much l...
Sermon Central Staff
A BANKRUPT NATION
John MacArthur in his book “Can God Bless America” states that "America wants God's blessing but not God. Our nation has systematically pushed Him out of the national consciousness--rejecting biblical morality, ignoring His Word, and relying on the political and entertainment arenas for moral guidance."
The result is that we have become a bankrupt nation--financially, morally and spiritually. As politicians, economists, and sociologists scramble to find a cure for the nation’s woes, God has provided America with His prescription in His Word.
(From a sermon by Gerald Flury, A Bankrupt Nation, 8/9/2011)
A man sent a letter to Ann Landers. He wrote, "This is for the woman who was distressed about her son. I would like to ask her some questions about the boy. Is he disrespectful? Has he been arrested for drunk driving? Has he been kicked out of college for cheating? Has he made his girl friend pregnant? Does he get failing grades? Does he steal money from your purse?"
"If you can answer `No’ to all these questions, stop complaining. You have a great kid." It was signed, "Ralph N., Oakland, CA."
I don’t always agree with Ann Landers, but I do appreciate how she answered him.
She replied, "Your letter showed just how much times have changed. You said that if a kid today isn’t on drugs, doesn’t get failing grades, hasn’t been arrested for drunk driving, or kicked out of college for cheating, hasn’t made his girl friend pregnant, or stolen from your purse, that he’s great. But you make no mention of achievement. There’s not a word about integrity, a sense of responsibility, decency, morality or service to others."
Then she went on to add, "What a sad commentary on our times. Good Lord, where is our nation headed, & who is going to lead us there?"
President Clinton named Kristine Gebbie, a lesbian, as the new AIDS czar. Four months later she spelled out her perceptions on traditional morality. She said, [The United States] “needs to view human sexuality as an essentially important and pleasurable thing. [Until it does so], we will continue to be a repressed, Victorian society that misrepresents information, denies homosexual sexuality, particularly in teens, and leaves people abandoned with no place to go. I can help just a little bit in my job, standing on the White House lawn talking about sex with no lightning bolts falling on my head”
Associated Press, October 29, 1993
Pornography now nets over $40 billion a year selling 400 porno magazines openly.
The 3rd largest grossing industry in the US is illegal drug sales.
15 million alcoholics cause over half of our traffic deaths, and that number increases by 1500 every day.
Shoplifting losses net over $30 billion a year which is 400 times the amount stolen in all bank robberies.
Since Roe vs. Wade, America has seen over 40 million abortion murders of our children. We have only recorded 1.2 million deaths in all wars since the Revolutionary War.
Barna surveys report that 66% of all born-again Christians believe there is no such thing as absolute right or wrong. Rather, their decisions are based on what’s best for them. That percentage grows to 75% of all college students today.
Dr. Martin Wiles
Norman Wright describes four changes that have taken place in family life in recent years. One is the move toward a nuclear family. This is the mother, father and children. In the past, it was common for families to involve the extended members as well. The second change is the selection of the mate being left up to the individual. The mate at one time was selected for the person. Third, the parents are now desiring fluid rather than fixed roles. Finally, there has been a change in sexual morality, specifically the lack of it.
NO TRUE FREEDOM WITHOUT GOD
According to Mark Parsec, Independence Day "celebrates America’s Declaration of Independence from the tyranny of England under King George." The Declaration of Independence of 1776, he says, was not intended to declare war with England, nor did it actually establish our country’s independence. The Revolutionary War which was fought for our country’s freedom did not end "until a treaty was signed seven years later on September 3, 1783."
Parsec says the purpose of the Declaration of Independence for the colonists was to declare "to the world their belief in a personal, infinite God - their Creator - who endowed them with certain ’inalienable’ or absolute rights...To the men of that time it was self-evident...that if the inalienable rights they were urging were not seen in the context of Christianity, then they were without content - illusions, and nothing but dreams. To have absolute rights our forefathers had to acknowledge the Absolute Authority of God."
You see, there is no true freedom without God and His authority to determine the morality upon which the laws of our land are based. In God we find the basis for physical freedom; however we also find in the Lord the basis for our spiritual freedom. God’s provision for our spiritual freedom is found in His one and only Son, Jesus Christ. Therefore, on this Independence Day Sunday we are going to view the freedom we have in Christ.
(From a sermon by Damian Phillips, "Freedom in Christ" 7/1/2009)