Brazen

Brazen, unrepentant, and in grave danger.  In Revelation 2, Jesus speaks directly to the seven churches in Asia Minor. Each one is evaluated; some are steady, others are wavering, and a few are in horrible shape. The churches in Pergamos and Thyatira were arguably the worst. Their congregations had permitted cultural norms to shape their behavior and had quickly succumbed to sexual immorality. They were perverse, and brazenly so! Jesus, who loved them well, was outraged. These are his words.

But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality. Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works, and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works.” (Revelation 2:20–23, ESV)

Such a reprimand stings, and we should be squirming. In recent days, I have been increasingly alarmed at the growing ambivalence towards immorality within the church. The battle for purity is a perennial one for men, and I am accustomed to ministering to those who have succumbed to temptation. In spite of the regular, public scandals that erupt around us, too many men continue to toy with pornography. Beware! Your conscience is being deadened, the Spirit grieved, and your lives are nearing calamity.

And to our women, the modern permissiveness that has been granted you is no gift. Fifty Shades of Grey and Magic Mike may be wildly popular, but they are ungodly. For too long we have been fooled into thinking that the war against impurity is fought solely against unruly men. Not so! Immorality may have a different appeal for men and women, but both have an appetite for it. Beware! Your conscience is being deadened, the Spirit grieved, and your lives are nearing calamity.

This is not a matter of personal persuasion or individual tolerance—it’s about honesty and obedience. Jesus himself searches our minds and hearts, and He is not fooled. He knows that our excuses and exceptions are weak ploys to avoid the tawdry truth.  These titillating distractions are sin. We should be grieved by them, repent of them, and then distance ourselves from them.

At this point, I am supposed to insist that I am no prude, but I have no energy for such disclaimers.  I am a saint who struggles with a body of sin, and while I am committed to mastering the flesh, it is a daily battle. All I ask of you is that you put on the armor of God and fight with me.

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6 thoughts on “Brazen

  1. “In recent days, I have been increasingly alarmed at the growing ambivalence towards immorality within the church.” Although I do not agree with pointing out the sins of others publicy, I do, however, would like to see accountability of fellow Christians instead of choosing simply to “look the other way” for 1) fear of being considered judgmental or 2) possible uncomforable resulting self reflection be. Think the latter is most likely the case. God hates sin not the sinners. But he still, nevertheless hates sin. We, as Christians, have embraced the worldview of tolerance to mean we must accept everything, even when we know it is sin. And in doing so, we now have come to condone much of what we know to be sinful as being “tolerant”. I thought we were to strive to be set apart, Christlike. Not perfected this side of Heaven, but continually striving to be less flesh and more spirit as we journey towards our permanent home, Heaven. Thank you Rev. Brandt

  2. Two of my heros are Bobby and Jack Kuhn. Our high school football team would stand behind the gym after school for 10 minutes or so, eyeing the cheerleaders, cracking ‘off color jokes’, and waiting for the coaches to come out before taking the field for practice. Not Bobby and Jack, they were always the first dressed and immediately took the field to start their workout. They always had a good cardio-sweat going before the rest of the team tied their shoes. The rest of the team would redicule them for their extra diligence. It got worse when Jack graduated, leaving Bobby to workout on his own. I wanted to join him/them but did not have the courage to stand out, to be an object of ridicule. The Kuhn brothers were not satisfied to do the minimum, or to bend to peer pressure. Of course, their striving for the highest standards did not start or end with athletics. (Of course, my willingness to stoop to the world’s lowest standards also did not begin or end on high school athletics.) We need to be brave enough to stand for what is right and pure. This is especially true with our cultural slide into depravity. Unfortunately, if we take a stand against our culture and in favor or God’s standards, we will not only be ridiculed by the world, but stabbed in the back by our fellow Christians.

  3. Let’s not forget the devastation it can do in a marriage.The aftermath of energy with forgiveness and the long road of healing. We live in a world where the microwave is now too slow, and the internet of just one moment……..
    Relationship with Christ is daily, purity is daily, forgiveness is daily, it all must be sincere.

  4. Thank you for addressing an uncomfortable issue. Pornography makes the battle for men particularly difficult, but the purity battle is one fought by us all on a daily basis. Modesty in clothing seems non- existent everywhere we look and shop. Our girls struggle with being fashionable while not showing skin in all the wrong places and strutting in too high heels, and I see my son and husband working hard not to ogle all the girls and women with so much on display. I may be branded as a prude and old, but so much of what I see in trendy fashions was once only seen in places that sold sex for money. We are all fighting this battle and swimming in a sea of “slime” from the music, media, internet, and even our associations and friendships.Some days the assaults come from all directions! The battle seems to get harder, but if we encourage each other and accept correction when it is needed, we can be standard bearers against a culture that continually demeans and degrades all that is good and pure. Soldier on, Pastor Eugene, and may God strengthen you and bless you!

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