Subscriptions
Wednesday
Oct182017

Hollywood and the Power to Influence

Luke 6:45 “A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.”

My question about the Harvey Weinstein scandal is: “why is this a big surprise to anyone?” Hollywood has been producing immoral garbage for decades and it is out of this cesspool that personal lives like Harvey Weinstein emerge. Hollywood is no different than Washington DC where power, influence, and money corrupt the human character. Harvey Weinstein is just one poster child for many such influential people in the entertainment industry. Don’t forget we had David Letterman, Bill O’Reilly, Bill Cosby and Roger Ailes, all who used their influence to seduce the women around them. This is no surprise, and these are just the ones who got caught. I would guess there are a lot more whose indiscretions have not yet come to light.

Men of power who do not have a moral compass will all live the same way. They will cheat on their wives and pursue sexual favors because they can, and often they get away with it. The environment in Hollywood is as despicable as one will find anywhere on earth. The writers and producers are continuing to promote their agenda of sexual freedom and when the product of that freedom happens to surface in one of Hollywood’s elite, they all act shocked. We now see over 50 women accusing Weinstein of everything from inappropriate sexual behavior to rape. So all of these women are now brave enough to come forward, but how many more are still hiding in the shadows? The only explanation of why it took so long for Weinstein to come to justice is that his power and influence was too great to accuse, and the cost was too great to the careers of those who spoke the truth. That is the nature of power and influence; you just don’t accuse those who entertain us with accusations of misconduct. These people are too powerful and have so much influence that it’s difficult to bring them to justice for their sex crimes. It is true that there are two sets of laws in this country. There are laws for the rich and politically powerful, and laws for the rest of us. To me this is illustrated by the health care plan for Congress vs. the common man - the elite in the land live by different standards than the rest of us. No one in Congress is struggling with the high cost of health care, and theirs is the best of the best and they have it for life. One of Hollywood’s elite finally got caught with his pants down, and now he has to go get treatment. Did he have an epiphany about his lifestyle, or was it because he got caught that he felt he had to make some kind of atonement for his sins? 

The Hollywood crowd will have to stand before a Holy God someday, and tell Him why it was so important they made immoral films that degraded women, and portrayed sinful behavior that promoted violence, murder, and immorality.

The power of influence will be judged someday by a Holy God.

Matthew 18:6 “But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea.”

“Hey Hollywood, your people will have to face judgment someday for every word and action that proceeded from your films. I hope you have an answer for Him!“

I have a friend who prays consistently for Hollywood all the time, and she has the right idea. God’s first choice for any person is that they decide to change the direction of their lives and find peace with Him. Yet, the wickedness of that industry keeps producing people like Harvey Weinstein. Let’s be honest, the wicked will continue to prosper and the powerful will continue to increase their influence, up until the day of the Lord. However as a word of encouragement to those who are determined not to succumb to their influence, know that God will bring justice to this world. There was great arrogance and ignorance prior to the flood in Noah’s day too, but justice did come.

I don’t condemn Hollywood for their actions, but I am hopeful that someone whose influence has been great in Hollywood would come to know the Lord and bring revival to the rest of Hollywood crowd.

Furthering this theme, Gretchen Carlson, former Fox News Anchor talks about sexual harrassment that goes beyond the rich and famous. 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/10/16/he-started-asking-me-how-i-had-liked-it-when-he-touched-my-breasts-gretchen-carlson-says-harassment-began-before-roger-ailes/?utm_term=.87dac763faae

Keeping it honest and truthful…….K

 

 

 

Tuesday
Oct172017

When You Push The Limits

I don’t judge people for making bad decisions, as I have made them all my life. As a Christian, I now have the guts to admit this statement and admit that many of my decisions were self serving and done to make me look innocent.

I don’t think God holds us accountable for things we do that displease Him, especially if we admit that our decisions were wrong and we seek forgiveness. What is wrong in any situation is that we cover up our wrongdoing with justification that we think exonerates the bad decision. I have friends who do that all the time. It is okay to get drunk, and flirt with the opposite sex as long as it doesn’t end up in the sack. All of this is just a ruse, God knows your heart and even if you appear like this Baptist minister to be sweet and innocent, there is never a reason to kill a human life. I do not want to condemn her for her decision but I also don’t want to accept the reasons she gave for not keeping her baby, which according to her was just an accident within her marriage.

http://www.lifenews.com/2016/10/13/baptist-minister-defends-aborting-her-baby-god-helped-me-make-the-best-decision/

For many years, Susan Chorley, a Baptist minister from Boston, Massachusetts, was one of the women who remained silent about her abortion in church. Chorley shared her story with The Daily Beast this week and urged churches to offer compassion, empathy and healing to women who have abortions.

 

She wrote:

I was serving in a congregation in New England at the time I realized I was pregnant. I was far away from family and friends. I had always imagined I would have a second child and I knew that it would be a struggle on our family financially as well as add to the stress of our marriage, which was starting to fall apart. I didn’t want to bring a baby into the world that would feel it was a burden—and I prayed to God to help me make the best decision I could in a situation that seemed impossible.

I worked with a post abortion ministry for many years, and I understand compassion and forgiveness, yet we cannot let people live in the lie that God is okay with killing babies. Here is an article from Care Net a non-profit organization that works to bring healing to women who have had abortions:

More than 4 in 10 women who have had an abortion were churchgoers when they ended a pregnancy, researchers found in a survey sponsored by Care Net, a nonprofit organization supporting more than 1,100 pregnancy centers across North America.

 

But only 7 percent of women discussed their abortion decision with anyone at church. Three-fourths (76 percent) say the church had no influence on their decision to terminate a pregnancy.

The results point to a church culture that often lacks grace, McConnell said. Among women who have had an abortion:

  • Two-thirds (65 percent) say church members judge single women who are pregnant.
  • A majority (54 percent) thinks churches oversimplify decisions about pregnancy options.
  • Fewer than half (41 percent) believes churches are prepared to help with decisions about unwanted pregnancies.
  • Only 3 in 10 think churches give accurate advice about pregnancy options.

In part I think churches don’t have adequate information about abortion services, nor do they talk about abortion from a Biblical worldview, and when they do talk about it, it might sound rather judgmental.

The bottom line is everyone needs compassion and forgiveness; no one reading this blog is exempt from sinning, so we all come to the Lord for the same dose of grace. However, at no time can we say God was okay with my sinful behavior.  God never gave me a license to sin and then looked the other way when my sin found me out. People need to come to grips that it is God who we sin against, and He will never accept an excuse that puts Him in the position to okay it.

God’s way of dealing with sin is always three fold:

  1. Repentance
  2. Forgiveness
  3. Restoration

 

We like to skip number one, because that is the step where we have to be honest with ourselves.  That is the hardest part of living life - to be self aware and honest with ourselves. May God have mercy on us all.

Keeping it honest and truthful…K

 

Thursday
Oct122017

Reckless Theology and Ideology

Theology: the study of the nature of God and religious belief.

Ideology: here is the list of things that define ideology from the dictionary: beliefs, ideas, ideals, principles, ethics, morals; doctrine, creed, credo, faith, teaching, 
theology, philosophy; tenets, canon(s); conviction(s), persuasion; informalism.

As Christians we are in a battle every day against the secular ideology that dismisses godly principles and promotes a lifestyle where human expression is the highest order of living. That human expression can take the shape of any kind of immoral attributes and nothing is off limits. Many Christians are silent about many controversial issues because they have been taught to turn the other cheek. This turning of the other cheek does not mean we don’t stand up for godly principles that are under attack today. Turning the other cheek means we don’t react in ways that would harm others, or cause us to degrade others in the same manner they may degrade us.  However, our job is to be the voice - the body and the mind of Christ - in our world. I often use the examples of Matthew 23 where Jesus was very poignant about the Pharisees and their teaching. He used very strong language to identify their positions on issues and was not afraid to call them out. Then there was the incident of over turning tables in the temple because they were misusing the sacrificial system in order to make money from this religious observance.  In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus was very clear about the issues of His day and addressed them directly. He never was shy about what He believed – he was very vocal about it! Jesus did not let the religious or the cultural ideology stand in the way of teaching the truth of God’s Word.

When Jesus was about to leave His disciples and follow His path to the cross, he spoke to His disciples about the Holy Spirit and His role in the life of believers.

“But now I am going away to the one who sent me, and not one of you is asking where I am going. Instead, you grieve because of what I’ve told you. But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment.”

                                                                                                              -John 16:5-8

Some versions will use the term counselor instead of advocate as it describes His role among us. Jesus knew that humans like to invent their own theology, and practice their own ideology because the human heart is in rebellion against God.  The role of the Holy Spirit is to teach us the heart of God’s kingdom where there is only one foundation upon which to build your life. His advocacy begins by convicting us of sinfulness. He reminds us that our ideology and theology apart from Jesus is simply pious, self-serving, and humanistic at its core. As good as we may believe our belief structure may be, the Holy Spirit reminds us of the sinfulness of the human heart which refuses to surrender completely to God.

Once the Holy Spirit convicts us of sinfulness, He brings us the solution in the message of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the righteousness of God and He is the only one who can forgive and remove sin from our lives. The Holy Spirit doesn’t support any theology or ideology that doesn’t begin and end with Jesus Christ. Many people use Jesus like a lucky rabbit’s foot, He is good to have in the mix of theology or have a part in the ideology of the day, but like the first commandment says: "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" 

That means our theology or ideology cannot become an idol in our practice or our beliefs.

Lastly, He begins to remind us of the day of reckoning. The Day of Judgment is when we will interact with God to hear His assessment of how we lived our lives. For some it will be pleasant, while for others it will be the worst day of their lives. Have you ever wondered why we don’t hear about judgment, repentance, and sinful living? It is because we have shut out the Holy Spirit from working in our lives. When eternity is thrust into your face at the point of death, we had better be prepared to face either heaven or hell, because these are the only two choices in life after death. The Holy Spirit today is trying to prepare us for that day.

Okay so lets come back to the recklessness of our theology and ideology for a moment. Many theologies today have a stand-alone premise that makes them unique in Bible teaching. They pick a theme and then go to the Bible to try to find a verse or two that may be used to support their thinking. Cults have done this for years, but so do some evangelicals who hold to prosperity, dominion, and replacement theologies. Even people who believe in cessationism (some gifts of the Holy Spirit have been removed) are guilty of fitting a theological theory into scripture. People who have reckless thinking as they teach their version of Biblical truth have created most of the fracturing and separation in our churches.

Beware of theology and ideology that is reckless.

Keeping it honest and truthful…K

 

Wednesday
Oct112017

When The Standard Is Missing

10 Go through, the gates, Clear the way for the people; Build up the highway, Remove the stones, lift up a standard over the peoples.  -Isaiah 62:10

Our standards are being replaced (or updated as some would say,) to reflect the godless society. I spoke with a pastor today whose education taught him to be socially oriented, at the expense of being Biblically based. What has your education taught you? What has your church taught you? Are you more Biblically oriented today than you were ten years ago? Are you finding more satisfaction in your spiritual life today than you did when you first came to Christ?  Most messages on holiness, consecrated lives, and yielded lives have all been replaced with upgraded themes of preserving a social awareness. The messages of the living and dying for the cross of Christ have long escaped the lips of the Sunday morning preacher. As I engaged a local pastor today, I was made aware that his experience with God is through the reading of books and in the pursuit of an intellectual God.

It is not a bad thing to pursue a more intellectual path to understand God, but that will never get you to the heart of God. It will broaden your foundation for conversation about God, but it will never get you closer to God. God wants a standard of holiness as a path to really know Him.

These are the standards God expects from those who want to come close to Him:

1Lord, who can dwell in Your tent?

Who can live on Your holy mountain?

The one who lives honestly, practices righteousness,
and acknowledges the truth in his heart—
who does not slander with his tongue,
who does not harm his friend
or discredit his neighbor,
who despises the one rejected by the Lord
but honors those who fear the Lord,
who keeps his word whatever the cost,
who does not lend his money at interest
or take a bribe against the innocent—
the one who does these things will never be moved.

-Psalm 15:1-5

What we use as a standard in our lives is important to God. If our standard falls short of what is listed here, you will be religious, but never spiritual.

Practice righteousness

  1. Knowing truth
  2. Does not slander
  3. Does not harm anyone
  4. Does not discredit others
  5. Does not despise the outcast
  6. Honors and fears the Lord
  7. Keeps his word at all costs
  8. Does not lend money to profit
  9. Does not take a bribe against the innocent 

These are the standards in a person’s life that will build a foundation upon which God will be honored, and those who practice such standards will be allowed to dwell next to Him. (verse 1)

There are no excuses for not drawing closer to God. Going to church doesn’t cut it anymore. I think there was a day when we would tell people to go to church if you wanted to draw closer to God. That is not true in many cases today. I thought I would never say what I am about to say, but it needs to be said. Many churches are spiritually bankrupt, and have little to no understanding of the Biblical God. They preach a hybrid that is part Bible, part sociology, and part public relations.  Older people who once knew how inspiring church could be understand how things have changed. Telling someone to go to church is risky business today, because you are recommending a person get indoctrinated into the thinking of a denomination, or into the philosophy of a preacher. We are not here on earth as Christians to promote a denomination or uplift the ego of the local pastor. I have met many Christian couples that no longer attend church. Their reasons vary, but most of them state that there isn’t much that they can draw from church, so why should they attend? I don’t want you to get defensive at this point; I don’t care if your church is different, because the majority of churches are not what God has called the church to do. I am not advocating not attending church; I am advocating that we bring changes to the Bride of Christ. A bride doesn’t concern herself with the things that do not honor her future marriage. A bride doesn’t go off script from what she knows is best for preparing for her wedding. If the Church is His bride, then how should we live as we wait for Him to return?

I think the bride strengthens her standards, and removes any stone (obstacle) that prevents her from stumbling before her wedding. There is something missing in our churches, and I think it starts with revisiting who we are in Christ. Then compare that to how we have committed our lives to Him.

Keeping it honest and truthful….K

Sunday
Oct082017

Stay Hungry and Stay Foolish

Steve Jobs once gave a speech where he talked about how the mishaps in his life were some of the best teaching tools for his direction in life. He concluded his speech by saying, “stay hungry and stay foolish”.

I think Jobs was on to something. Hunger is a great motivator to achieve dreams and goals you otherwise may never attempt to achieve. I think the greatest way you can fail in life is by giving up on yourself, your dreams, or your aspirations. Be the best at what you do! So many people give up on too early in life and lose the hunger for a more fulfilled life. Jesus told us to always stay hungry.

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” -Matthew 6:33

Seeking’ is the staying hungry for God. Staying satisfied with what you know about God is living beneath what God would want for your life. Many Christians, who have been in the Church for some time, get comfortable with what they know about God. They have read the entire Bible a number of times, and they have been to church thousands of times in their lifetime. This of course is a good thing, yet it’s a bad thing if all it has done for you at the end of the day, is make you complacent in what you already know. God doesn’t want us to stay stagnant in our understanding of Him - there is always more to learn and more to know about this God we serve. Staying hungry means we pursue God - just Him and only Him. Christians love to read, go to conferences, and listen to their favorite preacher. All are good practices, but that is still not enough. God does not want a relationship with us via a primary mediator who tells us about Him. Relationships with teachers, preachers, and media communicators are all great aspects of inspiration, yet it is not enough. Reading books about God can inspire you, instruct you, and help you redirect your life, yet it is not enough.

Staying hungry for God is a state of mind and heart that will not let others be the only source of your relationship with God. Staying hungry means you set the course of your life to know God again and again and again. From the time you rise up in the morning to the time you go to bed at night, always thinking about how God will show up in your day, is a great way to live out the expectancy of knowing God and being ready for His return.

The second part of staying hungry is staying foolish. Now that doesn’t mean you become as a fool, it simply means you are willing to trust at all costs. The great stories in the Bible are about people who did not give up on knowing God was in control. Some in the world would call that foolish, trusting in someone or something that you cannot touch, taste, or see. Steve Jobs saw this as an opportunity to live in a dimension that brought his wildest ideas into reality. For the Christian it is our trust in God that brings us the assurance we are not alone in living our lives. That assurance that God is with us helps us to realize that with God, nothing is impossible. I have to constantly remind myself that God is the God of the impossible, not just the possible. If all we know about God is that He is love, and that He forgives us, we fail to realize that He lives in the realm of the impossible. That might seem to be irrelevant and foolish to some, but in times when you face the impossible aspects of life you need to know that God is equipped to handle it.

To me I often have things in my life that are in the realm of the impossible, so I need a God who lives in that realm.

So staying hungry and foolish is a great message for all of us.

Keeping it honest and truthful...K 

Facebook Twitter Vimeo Rss
Connect with Larry Kutzler