Criticism over what many considered a “scandalous” Halftime Show by Jennifer Lopez and Shakira, prompted me to chime in on the subject. I hope you’ll entertain me just a little bit with probing thoughts on this subject… First, why are we judging unbelievers? Second, WHY ARE WE SO SURPRISED? When we decide to watch a Halftime Show full well knowing we are engaging in secular worldly entertainment, why would we be so shocked to see over sexualization, provocative dancing and immodest costumes? Maybe I’m alone here, but I would be more surprised if I DIDN’T see these things coming from the World.
We have heard it all, “I am so disappointed in the Halftime Show this year, shame on those women for being an example to our young women. They danced like a strippers!” Yada, yada. The Christian community being the loudest to cast judgement and ridicule anyone who God forbid might have actually enjoyed it. Some dared enough to admit they enjoyed the Latino cultural influences and the art of dance. Others mentioning the point that women’s figure skaters often wear similar amounts of fabric! Only to be labeled, “liberals” with a roll of the eyes. Where will all this condemning and shaming get us? How does this bridge the divide, and make unbelievers want to hear the truth of the gospel? Where is the love of Christ?
Where Does My Righteousness Come From Again?
Can we all agree on something? If it is ONLY by the Holy Spirit that we become “holy”, that there isn’t any GOOD in us naturally (Romans 7:18) and Holy Spirit alone purifies us and conforms us to be more Christlike – why would we expect an unbeliever who does not claim to have the Holy Spirit to act in a Christian manner? Maybe you are actually ascribing your own holiness to your own ability? Perhaps, you have mastered the outward ability to “act” in a Christian manner, and you now expect others to act with the same decency? In that case, who exactly is getting credit for your godliness? Do you just want an “act”? You actually want secular TV to start conforming and acting more Christ-like? How? Could what your expecting be unreasonable knowing they do not have the power of Christ in them to transform?
It is the Holy Spirit that transforms us from within. Helps us avoid seeking the approval of men, by sex, fame, money or any other means. That reassures we are loved and wanted by our Father and frees us from sin.
Can you love them where they are and stop expecting the World to act any different than the World?
Worldly people will act Worldly, is that such a surprise?
Was Jesus Surprised?
Was Jesus surprised by the scandalous history of the Woman at the Well? Or the Woman caught in adultery? Did he Judge them? NOPE, Negative. Until anyone has an encounter with Jesus Christ there is no feasible reason why they should act any different. Let me tell you what the heart of God looks like today. I have a friend that despite his pleading with his brother not to hire a lap dancer for his bachelors party, he did it anyway. My friend didn’t have the heart to send her home. He found out she was a single mom. She was saving to fulfill her dreams of becoming a real estate agent and this was the last thing she really wanted to be doing. Instead of judging her, he had compassion and his heart broke for her. He gave her $500, the amount of money she would have made if all the men had participated, if she agreed to go home and hug her kids. Tears in her eyes she took the money and left. In the following weeks she came to church with him. You see, that is the beautiful heart of Jesus.
How You Respond Is Heart Revealing
If watching women who perhaps don’t value their body as the Temple of God it is, doesn’t sadden you to tears but angers or agitates you more than anything, check your heart. Just flip the channel. No one ever forced you to watch it. You can always refrain. Return watching grown men thrashing each other around, threatening to cause permanent bodily injury to their Temple of God in 30 minutes. I hope you see that oxymoron.
The Biblical challenge is clearly to focus on those within the Church acting in ways that need addressing in Grace and Truth. When was the last time we saw the Church following through with this?
I Corinthians 5:11-13 MSG
” I wrote you in my earlier letter that you shouldn’t make yourselves at home among the sexually promiscuous. I didn’t mean that you should have nothing at all to do with outsiders of that sort. Or with crooks, whether blue- or white-collar. Or with spiritual phonies, for that matter. You’d have to leave the world entirely to do that! But I am saying that you shouldn’t act as if everything is just fine when a friend who claims to be a Christian is promiscuous or crooked, is flip with God or rude to friends, gets drunk or becomes greedy and predatory. You can’t just go along with this, treating it as acceptable behavior. I’m not responsible for what the outsiders do, but don’t we have some responsibility for those within our community of believers? God decides on the outsiders, but we need to decide when our brothers and sisters are out of line and, if necessary, clean house.”
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