Mar 28, 2013
3:30am came quickly this morning. My wife and I went shopping for an Easter outfit yesterday evening. Looked in 6 different stores for a pair of yellow jeans to match my son Liam on Easter Sunday. Didn’t find any. Went home, defeated, exhausted, frustrated. Thankfully, Liam went to sleep by 8:30, and we were in bed by 10.
At 3:30am, as he has been doing routinely for the past week or so, Liam woke me up with a series soft cries that eventually turned to loud cries. The night shift belongs to me, so I stumbled out of bed, threw on some sweat pants, got a bottle ready and went to feed the little booger.
After he finished his bottle, I laid him down and much to my delight he went right back to sleep. I walked back downstairs to my room, and as I usually do following the 3:30am feeding, I jumped on Facebook from my phone. I have no idea why I do this. Reading the several statuses of my friends and some people who I’m quite sure I’ve never met always seems to wake me up more than it relaxes me. Yet, rather than go back to sleep, I continue to do this night after night.
Last night though, I came across a status that I kept reviewing in my mind over and over, and I’m paraphrasing, but it went something like this:
“Marriage was designed for one woman, and one man. It’s time that we, as Christians, take a stand for what we believe in!”
I’ve seen several statuses similar to this one over the course of the last few days. While I’ve never really thought much about it before, I found myself pondering over this one. It wasn’t that this particular status was any more radical or out of the ordinary than any of the others that I’ve read, it’s that this particular time as all of my general distractions were removed and my household was asleep, I thought deeply about those two sentences.
I broke it into two parts – “Marriage was designed for one woman, and one man.”
The first part I knew that I completely agreed with. I know that God made man, and then he made woman. God knew that one was incomplete without the other, so he made them complete. Marriage amongst one man and one woman is Biblical. It’s hard to argue any other way.
Then I examined the second half of that status: It’s time that we, as Christians, take a stand for what we believe in!”
I found myself pondering over this sentence. What exactly does it look like for Christians to take a stand against gay marriage, or for that matter anything that goes against our beliefs and principles? I can say I’ve seen this done the wrong way often, and very rarely done the right way.
Christians (and really all people) like to use Facebook and Twitter as a platform to voice their opinions, and rightfully so. After all, it is your personal Facebook profile, your Twitter profile, you are free to post whatever, whenever, to whoever you would like. The problem is that it’s probably safe to say that most Facebook users have at least 2 or 3 non-Christians friends on Facebook who see their updates. As Christians, one of our main missions on Earth should be to share Christ with others who do not know him, to show his love through our actions. If that’s not one of your missions as a follower of Christ, I think that you should review your priorities.
Let me ask you this – when was the last time your Facebook status changed someone’s personal outlook about anything at all? In fact, it always helps to put yourself on the opposite end of the spectrum. What happens when you see a status that belittles, diminishes or denies the name of God or the things that you believe in? I can tell you how I feel. I feel offended, upset, and I often become defensive. This is natural if someone trashes on something you are passionate about. Almost like it sets a fire inside of you. Yet, rarely (in my case I can say never) does it ever sway your belief or opinion.
Now go back to the gay marriage supporter, or atheist, or whoever it may be that sees your radical status, or “Tweet”. Do you feel that you have a great chance to change their outlook, especially after you put yourself in that position? The answer is ultimately no. This brings me back to the reason we put these kinds of things on the internet for all to see. If our mission on Earth is to love Jesus and tell and show others of his great love, how does posting things like this, or saying things like this from whatever platform you have, work toward that mission? In my opinion, it actually goes against it.
So the only logical reason people post these kinds of things is for personal gratification, to which I say this: gratify yourself offline. The gay and lesbian community, they already know that Christians don’t support their lifestyles. They don’t need us to repeatedly tell them over social media.
What is the right way to do it? Obviously, I don’t believe we should be silent. A common misconception amongst many Christians is that Jesus simply dwelt among the sinners without ever discouraging their sins, and this is not the case. In John 8, Jesus stands up for a woman caught in the act of adultery. You probably know the story:
John 8:6 They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. 7 They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” 8 Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.
9 When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman.
We remember this story, yet we often never examine the end of the story:
10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” 11 “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”
Jesus stood in the gap first, and confronted last. This is the model that we should live by, yet often times we do things in the opposite order. We condemn first, wait and hope that person accepts our words and turns from their ways. Then we decide we can have a relationship with them. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen very often.
When you show the love of Christ by loving someone even though you disagree with their views or lifestyles, you build a level of trust and respect with that person, thus opening the door for you to reach them with the message of Christ. This is what Jesus did, and this is what we should do.
Thanks to all for reading!
May 23, 2012
Feb 1, 2012
Today I choose to write about something that makes most people very uncomfortable. More specifically – most Christian men. I choose to write about this because it becomes a barrier between those who struggle with it and the ones they love, and more importantly, God.
Of course I am talking about pornography, and of course I am speaking from experience. I’ve struggled with this ever since I was a young teenager, but it didn’t really take off until I turned 18 and got my first laptop computer. I’ve never struggled with many temptations outside of pornography. Many teens struggle with alcohol and drugs amongst other things, but those things never tempted me. To me personally, no beverage could taste better than an ice cold Dr. Pepper (I still hold steadfast to that opinion). Pornography, which I will from now on abbreviate as “P”, was the one thing that I really struggled with as a teenage Christian. For years I was a leader in the church, standing on a stage singing worship songs, putting my closet sins on the backburner and refusing to acknowledge them as sins. I knew it was wrong, I always felt bad when I did it. For some reason though, that wasn’t enough to make me stop.
I remember thinking that when I got married, the temptation would cease to exist any longer. Marriage would be my key to freedom, as my wife would be able to satisfy my needs whenever I wanted, thus making the temptation to look at "P" disappear. Then I got married, and I found out that my temptation with “P” was not linked to my gratification in the bedroom with my wife. It instead was a tactic from the enemy to separate me from my wife, my ministry, and God, and as long as I kept the door open to be tempted, the enemy would always come against me. I had blockers on my computer, I had my wife disable the internet on my phone, I went through several methods of prevention that would assure me of escaping this. In the end though, I could always find a loophole. I felt trapped, like no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t escape the temptation. Then I remember discovering this verse:
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” - 1 Corinthians 10:13
It dawned on me that while I had admitted these sins to my wife and my accountability partners, I had never really admitted them to God. For the longest time I felt like it was unnecessary, like I could conquer my struggles on my own. The verse above says that “HE” will provide the way of escape, not anything or anyone of this world. In order for him to do that, I had to lay my burdens at his feet and acknowledge that without him, this is something I could not master. I saw that verse as a promise from God that if I committed to purifying my life, he would provide an escape for me.
If you are like me and this is something that you constantly battle with, I hope and pray that you make the decision to give it to God. He has provided you with an escape, you just have to make the choice as to whether you truly want to escape or not.
There are a few resources I’ve provided towards the bottom of this blog. Some websites that will help you to install accountability software on your computer, phone, tablet, etc…My email address is also included, and if you need to chat with someone about your personal struggles, my door is open. Last I've included a link to a song that I wrote called “Hero” about my struggle that is on my latest album. You can download this song free of charge through this link.
Thanks for reading,
X3 Watch - http://www.x3watch.com
Free download on Noisetrade: http://noisetrade.com/devindean