CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Are You Really a Christian?

Oct 5, 2019

This is a shocking case of a believer’s walk not matching their talk:

Often a divinely-appointed confluence of events will lead to a new article. Last night two things occurred at roughly the same time, and the result is this piece. I was reading (yes, not surprising) a famous Christian preacher and came upon an important quote which I copied into a document.

At the same time the tele was on in the background. An ad for an upcoming television show offered a very powerful contrast with what I had just read. That which was found on the ad was a perfect illustration of what the writer was warning against. It was as if the timing of the two events was well beyond coincidence – much more likely a God thing.

So I better speak to each, and clue you in. I had pulled out the five somewhat thin volumes by the great Welsh preacher Martyn Lloyd-Jones: Life in Christ: Studies in 1 John. Like so many books bearing his name, this is a collection of his sermons. The volumes, published in the US by Crossway in 1993-1994, feature a number of sermons he preached around the late 1930s or early 1940s.

In volume one, Fellowship with God, we find chapter eight, “The Holiness of God,” which deals with 1 John 1:5. There we find these vitally important words:

[I]t is right and essential that we should start with the holiness of God because actually, in practice and as a matter of fact, it is the only way that leads to true joy. There are false joys, there is a false way of finding peace. You know those great, profound psychologists of the soul, the much maligned Puritans, used to write at great length on what they called a ‘false peace’; there was nothing they were more afraid of than having a false peace with God. The most dangerous thing is for people to persuade themselves that all is right with God and then not to find Him in the moment of agony. There is such a thing as a false spirit; that is why the Bible tells us to ‘try the spirits’ (1 Jn 4:1), to examine ourselves, whether we are in the faith (2 Cor 13:5). There is only one way to true and lasting joy, and that is to start with the holiness of God. If I start there, I shall be delivered from every false peace, from every false joy. I shall be humbled to the dust, I shall see my true unworthiness and that I deserve nothing at the hands of God. I shall come to the only one who can deliver me, the Lord Jesus Christ, and anything I may receive from Him is true; if I receive joy from Christ, it is a true joy, a real and lasting joy.

Powerful words indeed. As to the television ad that I saw that so greatly jarred with what I had just read in Lloyd-Jones, it was about a new show coming soon to Australian TV: Love Island Australia. This is yet another sleazy and salacious ‘reality TV’ show in which beautiful and hormonally-charged young people live together looking for love and excitement.

In the same vein as shows like Big Brother, it features very scantily clad young people sharing a very close life together, even sharing beds together I believe. It is typical pagan sleazeball programming: nothing but titillation, near-nudity, and soft-core porn.

Nothing surprising there. But what shocked me is one of the gals appearing on the show said that Jesus is her real lover, but she is also looking for love elsewhere. I groaned when I saw that. Really? A Christian who claims to love Jesus is going on one of the more perverted, degrading, and sexually explicit shows around? Really?

I forgot exactly what she had said, so I did a quick google search just now, and sure enough, you can see it for yourself. Here is another but similar version of this promo: www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrXr7VSycSE

Oh good grief. There is nothing wrong with Christians prayerfully and carefully seeking a life partner, but this is obviously NOT how you go about it. Appearing on such a vile, disgusting, and sexually-charged show is not something any follower of Christ would even consider doing.

Simply dealing with all the diabolical temptations and pressures that would daily be there would mean no Bible-believing Christian would even dream of going near a show like this. We as believers are to avoid all temptations to sin, not place ourselves directly in the path of the greatest temptations around.

Moreover, as we are told in 2 Corinthians 6:14, Christians are not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers – that certainly would include things like marriage. So if she is looking for a life partner, I take it there would not be too many Bible-believing Christian guys on a show like this. So she is looking for love in all the wrong places.

Given what I had just read by Lloyd-Jones, to see this ad was just such a glaring juxtaposition. This gal seems to be a good example of the very thing he was warning about. And of course we have many such warnings in the New Testament. Countless people who think they are Christians because they may have raised their hand at an emotive meeting years ago will find themselves rudely awoken when they stand before Christ one day.

Image of Fellowship With God: Life in Christ (Studies in I John, Vol 1)
Fellowship With God: Life in Christ (Studies in I John, Vol 1) by David Martyn Lloyd-Jones Amazon logo

Consider one such dire and frightening warning as given by our Lord: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” (Matthew 7;21-23).

This gal may say that she loves Jesus – I hope she does. But Jesus made it perfectly clear that if we love him we will keep his commandments. And that includes the other commandments found in the New Testament. Must I really remind her of some of these? Consider just a few:

-Matthew 5:28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
-1 Corinthians 6:18 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.
-Galatians 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality,
-Ephesians 5:3 But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints.
-1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God;
-Hebrews 13:4 Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.

Perhaps I have missed something, but I fail to see how a true disciple of Jesus Christ could ever go on a show like this, in the light of passages such as this – and there are many more just like them. How does holiness, purity and single-hearted devotion to Christ square with the lasciviousness and immorality of Love Island?

Now I know full well that at this point there already will be some angry Christians – angry not at her, but at me – for daring to even point out the marked inconsistencies between her walk and talk. They will drag out the old ‘you are not supposed to judge anyone’ baloney and seek to condemn me for even discussing this.

Um, of course we are to judge. We are under biblical obligation to do so. We are to counsel and warn those who claim to be Christ’s to live a life worthy of those claims. Our walk must match our talk, otherwise we are just deceiving ourselves. And no one wants to hear those frightening words of Christ one day.

And let me say it once again – this is not a case of me picking on one individual. Sadly there would be countless others just like her. Indeed, given that I am not a reality TV watcher, there may well have been other folks claiming to be Christians going on rubbish shows like this over the years. So this gal is simply a representative figure. Folks like this are not helping the cause of Christ in my books.

It goes without saying that we should pray for her. The first thing we should pray for is that she will wise up and pull out of this disgusting show. She brings no honour to Christ by being there. And if she thinks she is somehow going to be a witness for Jesus there, or be some great testimony for Christ while in that sexualised hothouse, she is just kidding herself.

She is as unwise as she is doing damage to the cause of the Kingdom. Pray that she soon sees the light and makes a quick exit. This sort of thing simply drags the name of our holy Lord through the mud. Shows like this are bad enough – but we don’t need clueless Christians dragging our Lord’s reputation down even further as well.

[1591 words]

11 Responses to Are You Really a Christian?

  • I actually agree with all said in this piece Bill.

  • Right on, Bill. Every time we turn around, reality TV or “sitcom” serial, we run into this, or some form of it. It is sensually tantalizing temptation, and we are all continually bombarded with it.

    The media is bent on desensitizing us, and this is their pathway. It has been going on for years, little by little, placing us, as frogs, in the proverbial pot.

    What is most disturbing is that it is working. We must watch, lest we, too, if it were possible, be deceived.

    Perfect mix of Law and Gospel, even if you did not intend a sermon.

  • Thanks Bill. I wonder if this young lady is part of a local church community or one of those ‘lone ranger’ christians? I would be a tragedy if she is part of a local church community and no leader warned her of not participating in such a sleazy show. It would be a severe indictment for such a church.

  • A TV news item recently reporting (well celebrating rather than reporting) the demise of abortion laws showed the woman celebrating her abortion victory being congratulated by another woman wearing a prominent fish (ICHTHUS – Jesus Christ God’s Son Saviour in Greek) badge indicating she claimed to be Christian.

  • Well said Bill,
    I just wonder if this is a set up by the producer to be as controversial as possible. How do we know she is a real Christian? She could be paid air head like they do with the “sensational” GAY person they always put on these Reality shows. Maybe that’s the next episode. I remain very skeptical. Satan is alive and well, operating on many fronts undermining and whiteanting purity and righteousness. God bless,
    Phil

  • Our walk in the Lord has nothing to do with Justification once your saved. You get born again first then AFTER you are born again God starts to work in your life, but not to get you saved, you are already saved, once you believe in the death burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

  • This article has set me thinking: Recently I have been delving into Revelation 22:14-15. The Authorised Version reading for the passage (one of two readings offered by the ancient witnesses to the text) says in verse 14:

    Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

    To understand this reading of the verse in a way which seeks to teach salvation by the grace of God and not “Keep the rules to earn your pass into Heaven”, recourse must surely be had by examining the use of the term “commandments” not only in the the book of The Revelation but also in the Gospel of John and in the Epistles of John…

    Revelation 22:15’s use of the word “dogs” as a euphemistic metaphor for proponents of a type of abomination is also reminiscent of 2 Peter 2:22 and Proverbs 26:11…

  • I gave up watching much tv some time ago, a combination of lousy programs such as the aforementioned, bad reception and trying to save on electricity costs.

    In the meantime, try to help on this:
    https://www.citizengo.org/en-au/rf/174115-stand-religious-freedom-australia

  • I’d take it a step further and suggest that not only is a person doing Christ a disservice by claiming to be a Christian and appearing on such filth, but that Christians who watch this type of program are sinning, as you mentioned Mat 5:28 already.

    I do wonder how much their ratings would suffer and whether these types of shows would be cancelled if Christian viewers would take a stand and make sure that they were not supporting them.

  • Worth flooding the tv station with snail mail to inform of the dangers to viewers. Snail mail is in their hands, it has to be read.

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