Your Respectable Sin Is Your Achilles Heel

Your Respectable Sin Is Your Achilles Heel

The author of Hebrews sounds like a track and field coach explaining the need for proper attire and the danger of unnecessary resistance as he writes, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Heb. 12:1). The Christian life is not a sprint—it’s a marathon. Who dresses in long jeans and bulky leather shoes for a marathon?

Not only is it essential to dress appropriately for a marathon or even a short race on the track, it’s imperative that Christians are properly clothed for the Christian life. Unnecessary baggage that clutters life can hinder us, harm our relationships, and create distance between Christian friendships in the local church. Much more severe than unnecessary baggage is the “respectable sin” that is often ignored because—after all, it’s not murder, child abuse, or embezzlement. Jerry Bridges, in his excellent book Respectable Sins, writes:

Those of us whom I call conservative evangelicals may have become so preoccupied with some of the major sins of society around us that we have lost sight of the need to deal with our own refined or subtle sins. [1]

What sin are you overlooking in your life that could be holding you back from a God glorifying pursuit of holiness? That one sin has become your achilles heel. Not only does it dishonor God, but it hinders you from shining for God, from serving God, and from pursuing holiness. Below are many respectable sins that often fly under the radar, but they should not be overlooked or ignored. Their poison is deadly too.

Respectable Sins of our Evangelical Culture

  1. The Sin of Neglecting God (lack of desire for God’s Word, for prayer, for worship, for the local church)
  2. The Sin of Flattery
  3. The Sin of Lust
  4. The Sin of Materialism (quickly runs to idolatry)
  5. The Sin of Overworking (workaholic, neglecting family and the local church)
  6. The Sin of Impatience
  7. The Sin of Anxiety
  8. The Sin of Pride
  9. The Sin of Doubting God (results in a lack of prayer and respect for God’s character)
  10. The Sin of Sloppy Doctrine (embracing false interpretations or being content in perpetual ignorance)

There are many different examples of respectable sins that we often overlook because they aren’t on the same level as open adultery or murder—but they’re just as deadly. Interestingly enough, the small venomous snake is often more deadly because they inject their venom without any restraint when they bite their prey. Larger snakes hold back some venom for additional strikes depending on the size of the prey. This makes the young snake more dangerous. When it comes to respectable sins, they can often be more deadly because they’re often overlooked for years.

Think about how many years you have considered eating better or getting more focused on a workout schedule. Those dreams never turn into reality. How many years have you continued to allow certain sins to remain comfortable in your heart and life while cautioning yourself, your family, and your church family against the “big evil sins” like homosexuality, murder, and adultery?

Beware of the respectable sins because they’re extremely dangerous and not very respectable at all. If you’re walking in the forest and you come upon a small venomous snake—remember the small snakes are dangerous too. If you ignore a small venomous snake—it could cost you your life. When it comes to the Christian life—don’t overlook the small sins. They’re full of venom and they can hinder you from running the race of life for the glory of God.


  1. Jerry Bridges, Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate, (Carol Stream, ILL.: Tyndale House, 2014), 9.
Confessions of a Selfie Saturated Culture

Confessions of a Selfie Saturated Culture

Open to the public in Glendale, California for the ticket price of $25 per person is the Museum of Selfies. According to the website for the museum, “The Museum of Selfies is an interactive museum that explores the history and cultural phenomenon of the selfie – an image of oneself taken by oneself – with roots dating back 40,000 years.” According to the dictionary, a selfie is “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and shared via social media.” While the term is relatively new, according to the Museum of Selfies, the first self photograph was taken hundreds of years ago by Robert Cornelius in 1839. Like it or not, the selfie is here to stay, but what does it say about our culture?

Extreme Narcissism and the Rejection of God

One thing that social media has unveiled to the public eye is the sin of narcissism. When you place a smartphone in the hands of sinners, often the love of self shows up rather quickly. In fact, over 93 million selfies are uploaded via social media every single day. As phones increase, so will the number of selfies. It should be noted that the sin of self-worship or self-adoration is not caused by smartphone technology. The technology merely unveils what has always been present. According to Jeremiah 17:9, the heart is deceitful above all things—beyond a full understanding. John Calvin described the human heart as an idol factory. If left untamed, it will produce wicked and insidious sins such as narcissism.

Our culture is swimming in narcissism. The danger with this sort of behavior, is that the image of self is not intended to be the object of our worship. We are created as imager bearers—and we are to be directing our worship upward—toward God. Paul warned Timothy of these last days—claiming that people would be lovers of self. Paul instructed Timothy to avoid such people (2 Tim. 3:1-5). We have been living in this period known as the last days since the arrival of the Messiah. People have been loving self for hundreds of years, so this whole selfie phenomenon is not a new sinful practice, but merely a new way of celebrating an ancient sin—one that worships the creation rather than the Creator (Rom. 1:25).

Ephesus Had Artemis

Ephesus was located on the coastal region of modern day Turkey. It had four main roads that came from different directions and due to its location – it became known as the “gateway to Asia.” The city was the de facto capital of the Roman province of Asia because the governor resided there. It was an important city because of the trade routes that intersected there, athletic competitions in their great theatre capable of holding upwards of twenty five thousand people, and their worship that focused on the great temple of Artemis—a multi-breasted goddess of fertility.

While the entire city was focused on Artemis and the trade of the city was fueled by her worship—today’s modern cities are engaged in idol worship through smartphones and social media. People are taking pictures of oneself in front of mirrors, historic landmarks, and in the comfort of their own homes. Self-adoration and the pursuit of praise and comments from others on hair styles, new clothing choices, and new eye glasses often fuel this rage. Ephesus had Artemis, but we have smartphones. We love to love ourselves.

However, apart from the gospel, the love of self is not really true love at all. It’s idolatry to put it bluntly. As Christians, we want to aim to avoid two dangerous ditches—the love of self and the hatred of self. Romans 13:9-10 speaks of loving our neighbor as we love ourselves. We don’t want to hate our neighbor or hate ourself, nor do we want to idolize our neighbor or idolize ourself. Self hatred turns to self murder and this is not only contrary to God’s design—it’s a slap in the face of the Creator himself. Self love is the elevation of the image of self above the image of God which should direct our attention, affection, and worship vertically—to God. Be careful that the imago Dei doesn’t get lost in the adoration of the image of self.

To be clear, anyone who engages in taking selfies is not necessarily committing a sin, but it’s certainly a practice that if not kept in check can lead to sin. When you look into your beautiful face—be amazed at the beauty of God and his creative genius. There is nobody else just like you in the whole world, but more importantly there is nobody and no deity like God. The next time you are tempted to be impressed with your face, remember the scene when John the apostle fell down on his face before the angel, and the angel said, “You must not do that! I am a fellow servant with you and your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God” (Rev. 19:10). John Piper has rightly stated, “In our proud love affair with ourselves we pour contempt, whether we know it or not, on the worth of God’s glory. As our pride pours contempt upon God’s glory, His righteousness obliges Him to pour wrath upon our pride.” [1]

Matthew 23:12 – Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.


  1. John Piper, The Supremacy of God in Preaching, (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2004), 28.

 

Depravity and Advent

Depravity and Advent

For centuries theologians have been writing and Christians have been debating the details of depravity.  Augustine took his cue from Paul and Pelagius went in the opposite direction.  Luther agreed with Augustine while Erasmus purported the aged idea that man was free.

Just how corrupt is the human heart?  Do people have a free will to choose God or is man’s will in bondage to sin?  That’s the question that has been the subject of debate for a very long time.  However, when you take a step back from the debate and read Scripture, it seems clear—man is by default a slave to sin and dead to righteousness (Ps. 51:5).  Therefore, God had to come to fallen man.

God Came in the Garden

When Adam and Eve fell, they hid from God in the Garden of Eden.  It was God who came to man.  As David makes it clear in Psalm 53, there is no one good, not even one.  There is not one person who seeks after God.  From the very beginning we see the pattern of God coming to man.

What did God do when He came to them after the fall?  Rather than leaving them in the shame of their nakedness, God clothed them (Gen. 3:21).  God has always sought broken sinners.  This is God’s pattern.  Sure, God rebuked and judged Adam and Eve, but there was provision made.  God came with grace and treated them with mercy.  From the moment of the first sin—man was not seeking God, but God was seeking man.

Emmanuel and Depravity

The prophets had written and promised that the Messiah would come to deliver His people.  Israel was waiting on this kingly ruler to appear on the scene.  In God’s time, God came.  The second Person of the Triune God was born in the city of Bethlehem.  Infinite God became a baby.  God had come to his people.  John Piper has defined Total Depravity as:

Our sinful corruption is so deep and so strong as to make us salves of sin and morally unable to overcome our own rebellion and blindness. This inability to save ourselves from ourselves is total. We are utterly dependent on God’s grace to overcome our rebellion, give us eyes to see, and effectively draw us to the Savior. [1]

Not one single person would choose to seek after God if left to his own will.  David longed for the coming salvation of Israel (Ps. 53:6).  The prophet Isaiah pointed to the future hope of Israel (Is. 9:1-7).  Jeremiah 23:1-6 promised the descendant of David who would rule his people righteously. As we turn to the pages of the New Testament, we find Jesus coming to his own people, yet his own people did not receive him (John 1:9-11).  Not only were they unable to seek God, but they were not even able to recognize him when he was there in their presence.  They did not have eyes to see or ears to hear.  Once again, it was not man who was seeking God, but God who came to man.

Our Hope in Jesus’ Return

Today as we celebrate Christmas, we look back at the coming of Jesus with great joy.  As we consider the long awaited Messiah who came, was rejected, and ultimately paid for the sins of his people with his blood—it reminds us of the reason we sing “Peace on earth.”

Today, we stand in a different place than David in Psalm 53.  We stand at a different place in history than Isaiah and Jeremiah.  We have a far different vantage point than Micah or Moses.  Today, we celebrate Jesus’ first coming while we await with anticipation his second coming.  How will the lawless be judged?  How will the brokenness of this world be restored?  How will all of the wrongs be made right?  It’s clear from the pages of Scripture, it will not be man going to God—but God coming to man.  One day Jesus will come again and we wait patiently on his return.

When Jesus came the first time, he brought peace to his people.  When Jesus comes the second time, only his people will experience peace.  The rest of the world will be judged.  From the very moment of Adam’s rebellion in the Garden to our present day—the need for God to come to us has not changed.  With John the apostle, we say, “Come, Lord Jesus” (Rev. 22:20).


  1. John Piper, Five Points, (Scotland: Christian Focus Publications, 2013), 15.

 

3 Reasons Why You Should Stop Saying “All Sin Is the Same”

3 Reasons Why You Should Stop Saying “All Sin Is the Same”

Over the years as a Christian, I have continually heard different clichés repeated.  Some appear on bumper stickers while others reappear in perpetuity on social media.  One such falsehood that continues to be passed on from generation to generation is the idea that “all sin is equal” or “all sin is the same.”  Not only is this a bad idea, it’s a very dangerous teaching.  Consider the following three reasons why you should stop saying all sin is the same.

All Sin Is Not the Same According to Biblical Teaching

The absolute best method of testing a theology or a popular catch phrase is by Scripture.  If any teaching will stand the intense scrutiny of Scripture, it proves itself to be a trustworthy doctrine.  This is true on all matters of theology—from bumper stickers to historic creeds and confessions.  The question that we must be asking ourselves as we build our positions is, “What does the Bible say?”

When it comes to sin, the Bible is crystal clear.  Sin is an offense to God’s holy law.  Any action that misses the perfect bullseye of God’s holy law is a sin—no matter if it hits within a millimeter of the bullseye or fifty yards from the target.  Any deviation from perfection is a sin.  At this point, many people make false assumptions concerning sin.  They make wrong theological statements such as, “Well, all sin is the same.”  What does Jesus say about this subject?

In Matthew 10:5-15, we see Jesus sending out the twelve apostles to preach the gospel from town to town.  Jesus warns them that not everyone will receive their message.  Jesus then made this definitive statement, “And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town. Truly, I say to you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town” (Matt. 10:14-15).  Notice the choice of vocabulary Jesus employed.  Jesus never misuses words or throws around vocabulary without a specific intention.  He said that those cities who heard the gospel and rejected the message would receive a more intense judgment than Sodom and Gomorrah.

In a similar way, Jesus makes a statement about unrepentant cities who heard and rejected the truth of the gospel.  Jesus said, “Then he began to denounce the cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent.” (Matt. 11:20).  Jesus went on to call out Capernaum specifically.  He said:

And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you that it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you” (Matt. 11:23-24).

In other words, the central cities surrounding Jesus’ hub of earthly ministry had more light and heard more gospel than any other region on planet earth during Jesus’ preaching ministry.  Yet, as John the apostle recorded, “The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him” (John 1:9-11).

Jesus makes it clear that people who have heard the gospel and rejected it will be held to a higher and more severe judgment than those who have never heard the gospel at all.  God judges with perfection, and not all sin is equal.

All Sin Is Not the Same in Its Effect

Suppose you’re standing on the side of a mountain lake in the early hours of the a beautiful fall morning. As you watch the sun rising over the hills, your eyes behold the stillness of the water that serves as a mirror to the brilliant foalage surrounding the edge of the lake.  If you toss a rock the size of a quarter into the sill water, it will have a certain effect. A number of ripples will disrupt the stillness of the water.  However, if you decided to toss a rock the size of a softball into the water, a much different result would occur.  The same thing can be said regarding sin.

When a person murders another human being who is created in the image and likeness of God, it will have vastly different effects than the person who chooses to lie about their taxes in April.  Both are undoubtedly sinful, and both deserve the holy judgment of God.  However, both sins will leave different ripple effects in their wake.  Not all sin is the same in the effects that follow the decision to violate the perfect law of God.

The “All Sin Is the Same” Phrase Promotes Capitulation Rather Than Mortification

The devil is a created being, and just as all humans have a beginning—so does the devil.  Satan has lived and learned much over the thousands of years of his life.  He has learned how to increase in his craft of subtle temptations.  In a masterful way, he can make God’s children who have learned to hate the very things that God hates to lower their guard and capitulate on their choices of sin.

Like a person who has been trying to keep a strict diet, when they have a bad day, the next delicious temptation on that very day will be a little easier to accept.  People often compromise their diet in the afternoon hours after blowing it at lunch by telling themselves, “Well, I’ve already blown it today, so I will just start over tomorrow.”  Unfortunately, some people approach sin in the same manner telling themselves that they will start over tomorrow.

In addition, people who live by the idea that “all sin is equal” will be less likely to mortify the flesh and fight sin.  How many men have made the grievous error to enter into an adulterous relationship with a woman after lusting after her on social media?  After being reconnected through Facebook, the man falls into a lustful pattern of sin and when he physically meets with this woman, he makes the damaging choice to capitulate because he tells himself that he lusted after her and has already committed adultery in his heart.  While this is true, it’s not the same to lust after a person and actually commit adultery in a physical sense.  Both are sinful and both will have very different results in the end. Kevin DeYoung writes:

Here’s the problem: when every sin is seen as the same, we are less likely to fight any sins at all. Why should I stop sleeping with my girlfriend when there will still be lust in my heart? Why pursue holiness when even one sin in my life means I’m Osama bin Hitler in God’s eyes? Again, it seems humble to act as if no sin is worse than another, but we lose the impetus for striving and the ability to hold each other accountable when we tumble down the slip-and-slide of moral equivalence. All of a sudden the elder who battles the temptation to take a second look at the racy section of the Land’s End catalog shouldn’t dare exercise church discipline on the young man fornicating with reckless abandon.  When we can no longer see the different gradations among sins and sinners and sinful nations, we have not succeeded in respecting our own badness; we’ve cheapened God’s goodness. If our own legal system does not treat all infractions in the same way, surely God knows that some sins are more heinous than others. If we can spot the difference, we’ll be especially eager to put to death those sins which are most offensive to God. [1]

Any teaching that condones sin because “all sin is the same” is nothing less than a devilish trap.  Not all surgery is the same.  Having a wart removed is not the same as a heart transplant surgery.  Both are considered the cutting of the human body, but both are quite different in their effect on the body.  It would be wise to follow the teachings of Scripture and to avoid all sin.  When you hear people classify all sins as the same—remember the words of Jesus.  One day in the future, judgment day will prove in a definitive way that all sin is not the same.


  1. Kevin DeYoung, The Hole in Our Holiness, (Wheaton: Crossway, 2012), 72.
The Uncommon Practice of Killing Sin

The Uncommon Practice of Killing Sin

One of the most beautiful verses in the Bible is found in the opening words of Romans 8.  The first verse reads, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”  Unfortunately, many people use this as a license to sin.  Rather than killing sin, they keep sin as a household pet.

In June of 2010, Norman Buwalda, a 66 year old man from Ontario was killed by his Siberian tiger.  Many people in his community feared that the animal was a danger to Buwalda and their community as a whole, but what everyone else saw as danger, Buwalda viewed as his pet.  What was an ordinary practice of Buwalda interacting with the tiger turned deadly.  For some unknown reason, the tiger that he loved turned on him and killed him.

For many of us, to even think of keeping a massive tiger as a pet is a fearful venture that we are unlikely to pursue.  We are much more likely to have pet sins as opposed to pet tigers.  While we would not conceive of having a deadly cat as a household pet, we often do something just as dangerous, we invite sin into our lives, homes, families, and expect a different result than what Norman Buwalda received.  The Bible is not silent on this matter.  In fact, just after Romans 8:1 appears Romans 8:13 – “For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.”  Once again, the apostle Paul says similar words to the church at Colossae in Colossians 3:5-11:

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. [6] On account of these the wrath of God is coming. [7] In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. [8] But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. [9] Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices [10] and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. [11] Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.

The Greek word, “νεκρόω” is translated in the ESV as “put to death.”  In older translations, such as the King James, νεκρόω is translated as mortify.  The ongoing practice of mortification of the flesh and the evil deeds of the flesh is mandatory in the Christian life.  John Owen, in his famous work titled, Of The Mortification Of Sin In Believers, writes, “Do you mortify; do you make it your daily work; be always at it whilst you live; cease not a day from this work; be killing sin or it will be killing you.”  The idea of keeping a man-eating cat in your home may seem ridiculous, but how many of us keep man-eating sins as pets?  We must not use grace as a license to play with deadly sins.

What does this daily mortification of sin (killing sin) look like?  According to Paul in Romans 8:5, “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.”  In Romans 8:5-8, Paul explains that to “set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.”  He goes on to describe the inability of the unsaved man to submit to God’s law.  However, in Romans 8, the very next paragraph begins, “You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit.”  Paul is pointing out that the children of God have the ability to please God, and we must choose to do so by the power of the Spirit and the mind that is focused on obedience to God (Romans 12:1-2).

Certainly if Norman Buwalda had treated the tiger like a wild animal he would not have died that day in 2010.  They believe that he left one common door open in the enclosure allowing the tiger to seize the opportunity to kill Buwalda.  How many people today will be overtaken by the sin of adultery, pride, materialism, or evil passions of the flesh because they will leave one door open to their pet sin?  Rather than keeping the sin as a pet, it should be put to death.  Your pet sin is not your friend.  Kill it. Killing sin is hard work.  Killing sin requires time in prayer.  Killing sin requires time in God’s Word.  Killing sin requires submission to the Holy Spirit.  Killing sin is not an option to consider, it’s mandatory.  Either we are to be killing sin or our sin will be killing us.

These words by Owen should serve as a warning and helpful reminder as we make decisions today that will impact the rest of our lives.  We must choose today to stop feeding our pet sins.  What seems small, harmless, and fun today will eventually gain size and strength and kill us.

The Wilted Flower Syndrome

The Wilted Flower Syndrome

Today, multitudes of teenagers are walking through life in the shadows.  They wear dark clothing, paint their fingernails different shades of darkness, dye their hair dark colors, and seem to always have their faces toward the ground.  I refer to this pattern as the “Wilted Flower Syndrome.”  There are even Barbie-like dolls with an appearance of darkness currently on the shelves of major retail big box stores being marketed to your daughter. Statistics inform us that a large number of teenagers are seeking medical help for depression and anxiety issues with suicide as one of the top five causes of death for teenagers.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “About 11 percent of adolescents have a depressive disorder by age 18 according to the National Comorbidity Survey-Adolescent Supplement (NCS-A). Girls are more likely than boys to experience depression. The risk for depression increases as a child gets older. According to the World Health Organization, major depressive disorder is the leading cause of disability among Americans age 15 to 44.”

In many cases, these teenagers come from stable homes with caring parents who seek to show them attention and provide a good home for them.  What is the cause for the great numbers of teenagers who seem to be wilted rather than blooming?  While I am not scientist or medical professional, I do think the link may be related to the information teenagers are consuming each day through a variety of media outlets.

The Garden of Eden and Modern Society

The book of Genesis begins with the beauty of God’s expansive creation.  The commentary of God’s creation was that God saw that it was good.  It was paradise on earth.  Yet, in the midst of the Garden, the devil approached Eve in the form of a serpent and tempted her.  If you take a close look at his attack, it was truly brilliant.  Satan attacked Eve through the “eye gate” and the “ear gate.”  He attacked Eve through the eyes by causing her to look at the forbidden tree.  He didn’t want her to look at it in the same way.  He was twisting her perspective.  Satan also attacked Eve through her ears.  Not only did he direct her eyes, but he lied to her through her ears.  He spoke a lie and twisted God’s word about the forbidden fruit.  Eve at the fruit and gave it to her husband and he likewise disobeyed God.

As we read Romans 5:12, we see the New Testament commentary on that horrible event of sin.  As we go back and revisit Genesis, we see that what started off as good in the eyes of God ended badly!  The book of Genesis started with creation and ended with a curse.  It began with divine blessing and ended with decadence, depravity, defiance, and death.  All of this was the result of a massive attack of Satan that came to Eve through her eyes and ears.  As we consider the “wilted flowers” of our society, could it be that Satan is attacking the teenagers through the eyes and ears as he once did Eve in the Garden?

Modernity is both a blessing and a curse.  We can be thankful for comfortable automobiles, medical advancement, heating and air, and a multitude of other blessings that we can attribute to modern technology.  However, like anything good, Satan will attack it.  We see that through the information technology that we have come to use on a normative basis.  Consider the following statistics of media intake in America.

——————————————–

Child Television Statistics
Number of minutes per week that the average child watches television 1,480
4-6 year olds were asked to choose TV or fathers – this % chose TV 54 %
Hours per year the average American youth spends in school 900 hours
Hours per year the average American youth watches television 1,200
Number of violent acts seen on TV by age 18 150,000
Number of 30 second TV commercials seen in a year by an average child 16,000
Source: BLS American Time Use Survey, A.C. Nielsen Co.

——————————————–

These statistics and others among similar studies point to the potential source of depression, anxiety, and discouragement among the children of our culture.  After all, why would teenagers who don’t buy their own food, clothes, transportation, furniture, television (and other media devices), or pay rent – fall into a massive depression?  Could it be that they have been listening to Satan?  And how would they be communicating with the devil?  No, it isn’t through Ouija boards or a cultic séance.  The medium of this contact could very well be the technology that has become commonplace in our lives – television, iPad, iPhone, iPod, and other screen devices.  Before you think this is an article written by some angry alarmist, keep reading and consider the connection between the attack of Eve in the Garden and the way our culture uses technology.

Through devices such as an iPad or an iPhone, teenagers can receive many images through the eyes.  Some of these images can be good, but as we are honest with ourselves, many of the images the teenagers are receiving in rapid fire succession are not for their good.  They show them images of success that they are to live up to.  They provide them role models to follow.  These images provide standards of waist sizes and skin tone.  The image is a powerful tool, and Satan knows it.  Remember, he pointed out the image of the forbidden fruit to Eve many years ago.

These devices also have long surpassed the Walkman and Gameboy devices from the 90’s.  The point is, these HD devices provide stunning imagery alongside great sound at the touch of a button.  While Satan provides images to view, he also speaks lies into their ears.  Satan hates the truth and is known as the “father of lies” (John 8:44).  Our generation is a connected generation with wires coming out of ears and fingers on screens the majority of an average day.  Satan carefully weaves his lies into popular music and it he delivers his message with power, privacy, and proficiency.  Before long, like Eve in the Garden of Eden, teenagers have the forbidden fruit in their hands and soon thereafter they feel entrapped by their sin.  This pattern causes their beautiful minds which are gifts from God to become a dark wilted flower.

The Responsibility of Parents

Deuteronomy 6 provides us as parents with the responsibility of caring for our children.  It is our duty to protect our children from culture.  It’s time for us to realize that we must protect the eyes and ears of our children from this present evil age.  We must address this issue and place boundaries on who can and cannot speak into the lives of our children.  Rather than just providing tablet devices with open Internet capabilities to children, we must create filters and actively manage their intake of movies, music, and written forms of media.

Furthermore, it is our duty as fathers and mothers to teach our children to know God through His Word.  In times of distress, doubt, discouragement, and defeat – we should teach our children to find their hope in God through Jesus Christ.  As the Psalmist rightly declares, “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:11).  As statistics tell us that 70-88% of all college students by the end of their freshman year walk away from the faith of their parents, we must take our role seriously.  It must be known to our children before they leave our homes that Jesus is more than a suit and a tie on Sunday to us. We must live out our theology in the home and provide substantial evidence to corroborate our faith in Jesus.  If our children see a disconnect between our doctrine and duty – they will likely grow disconnected from the church.

I can’t promise that media management will cause all wilted flowers to bloom.  What I can promise is that consistent media management will honor God and seek to accomplish Proverbs 22:6 – “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”  Satan will use media intake to accomplish 2 Corinthians 4:4 – to blind the minds of children to the gospel.  It is our duty as parents to shine the light of the glorious gospel of Christ into the darkness that our teenagers often dwell in.  As we think about media and the influence it has on children, we must ask ourselves a really important question.  Who has the right to influence my child?  Remember, if we neglect to influence our children, Satan is waiting at the curbside.  He is interested in connecting your child to other teachers of neopaganism, secular humanism, atheism, and most of these teachers are found through the door of postmodernism.

Don’t just sit back, stand up!  Don’t remain silent, speak up!  Don’t surrender, move up!  Your child is worth it.  God has entrusted you with your child and you must honor Him.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Pastor Josh Buice