web analytics

Release the Pus

December 11th, 2017

Self-Righteousness is Cancer

I decided to take down yesterday’s blog post and start over. I have more more important things to write about than the saga of Al Franken and Roy Moore.

God has been giving me a lot of help lately. He has been helping me to see how screwed up I am, and how far I am from the person he wants me to be. It really started to hit home after my former pastor was jailed for child molestation. We all plant the seeds of our own destruction, and even if we don’t end up facing public disgrace, those seeds need to be rooted out and replaced with seeds of blessing. They do harm, even if they don’t become full-blown disasters.

During the last century or so, Americans have taught themselves to love sin and pride. As a result, we no longer fear punishment, and worse, we are no longer able to perceive our baseness. When you don’t notice your symptoms, you don’t know you have a disease, so you don’t try to get healed.

Sometimes I watch old TV shows and movies. I see grown men and women using separate twin beds. I see well-made movies about mature topics, in which the dialogue is completely G-rated. Then I see modern entertainment. Performers on broadcast TV–not just cable–joke about oral sex. Sometimes we actually see them having sex. We see them naked. We hear all kinds of filthy language. This happened within the span of one lifetime. Surely that’s unprecedented.

If you had been born in 1750, in 1825, you would have found yourself in a world that had not changed much. Prices would not be much different. Technology would only be a little better. People’s manners would be about like they had been when you were born. Consider the last century. When I was born, there was no Internet. There were no personal computers. Most Americans attended church and owned homes. Women wore slips. The only really dirty movies were illegal stag films shot in cheap motels. You could make it to college before finding out what the word “condom” meant.

Now the world is a locker room patrolled by sex-crazed, pride-crazed bullies. The filth of society commands our attention. We used to look up to people who at least pretended to have morals. Now we make the Kardashians rich. We worship illiterate rappers who tell our kids they want to kill the police. Public nudity is legal in many of our cities, and if you don’t want your kids to see it, you can just stay home.

We are completely jaded. Our consciences are seared. We have absolutely no fear of God.

We go to church, and preachers don’t tell us to repent. They tell us God is all for homosexuality, and that he creates homosexuals just as they are. We are told pride is a good thing. We are told to relax and stop feeling guilty, because Jesus (if they admit he was real) carried all that on the cross. Just enjoy yourself, scrupulously avoid criticizing sin, and give preachers your life savings instead of paying your just debts.

Preachers are cowards and pinworms. They don’t have the guts to tell people things that will save them. They only care about money and fame. They do their damnedest, perhaps literally, to avoid saying anything that might cause even one paying person to walk out the door. God will hold them accountable. They represent him to people who need him desperately, and they lie and keep them from finding him.

I feel like I know a little bit about God, but I’m like a pair of socks that has only been through the prewash cycle. The wash and rinse haven’t even started. No one around me knows enough to teach me. I have to go to the source–the Holy Spirit–because preachers are slime. The very best preachers I know of are hopelessly inadequate.

Last night, I suddenly realized I had wronged someone, and once God showed it to me, I did not understand how I could have missed something so obvious. I still don’t understand. Spiritual blindness is supernatural. It defies explanation. I talked to God about it for a long time. I know there must be other obvious sins in my life, thriving under my defective radar. How did I let this blindness happen to me? I adopted the standards of a world which is literally the ceiling of hell instead of thinking about the standards of heaven, which is my real home.

Pride is not okay. Sexual sin is not okay. Cruelty is not okay. Name a habitual sin. It’s not okay. But our culture praises sin so highly, we actually compete to see who can be best at it. We spend our lives tying weights to ourselves, to drag us down toward hell. How shocking it must be for a modern American to die and stand in God’s presence. It must be overwhelming to see how wrong we are about everything, and how beautiful life is supposed to be.

If you want to ask God for something, ask him for correction. Ask him to fix your roots, not your leaves and fruit. The apparent things will heal, once the hidden things are put in order. Forgiveness is great, but as Paul put it, it’s not an occasion to the flesh. It’s not permission to sin. Repentance and clean living are important. You need to be set apart, not just after you die, but right now.

You also need to know that God expects to do the hard work for you. You can’t fix yourself. You can’t even diagnose yourself. You have to have his help, and he allowed himself to be tortured to death so he could give it to you. Don’t be ashamed to ask for handouts. You can’t earn anything. You are too wicked and weak. Accept the fact that you’re a criminal and a charity case, and be willing to be given the things you can’t provide for yourself.

Preachers tell us fear of the Lord isn’t really fear. They say it’s reverence or awe. That’s misleading. Read an interlinear Bible. The word translated “fear” means “terror.” No one wants to admit that God is dangerous, but he is. He is the most dangerous being there is. He, not Satan, created hell, and he is the one who puts them there to burn. He allows bad things to happen to sinners who don’t repent. His love is the best thing there is, but his enmity is a horror that defies description. There is no defeating it. There is nowhere to hide. There is no shelter. No one can hold him back. We have to be afraid to do evil, instead of seeing God as someone who changes our filthy diapers once a week and then sends us home to continue sinning.

The filthier you are, the more you will suffer as God’s enemies gain power in America. The disciples were stronger than common people, and Jesus was stronger than the disciples. You can’t complain if you don’t change, and then you find that you’re the tail and not the head. That’s how things are supposed to work. It doesn’t mean something went wrong. It doesn’t mean bad things happen to good people. You will have brought it on yourself, and accusing God of letting you down will just make it worse.

Ask for the ability to see what’s wrong with you, and don’t be a wimp about facing the discomfort. You can’t fix an abscess without ripping off the scab and cleaning out the rot. We put scabs on ourselves. We put thin skins of denial over our iniquities. It’s like shoveling dirt over a seed. They continue to grow. The demons that live in us keep getting more powerful. We need to confront our faults and our denial and have our inner illegal aliens torn out and driven off.

Repentance brings new power. Denial blocks God’s power. Don’t be discouraged by the need to repent, because it will open a channel to great strength and peace. You’re not beating yourself up for nothing.

This world is really nasty. Try to snap out of your trance before it destroys you.

5 Responses to “Release the Pus”

  1. alternate906 Says:

    “If you had been born in 1750, in 1825, you would have found yourself in a world that had not changed much. Prices would not be much different. Technology would only be a little better. People’s manners would be about like they had been when you were born. ”

    I’m afraid I have to disagree with you here, Stephen. You’ve chosen two years that almost perfectly span the industrial revolution. Sure, it was mechanical rather than electronic, but the changes during that period were vast and arguably equal to, if not greater than, those during the last century.

    This is the period when the majority of the populace shifted from life in small towns that revolved around the local church to endless labor in the cities in pursuit of material wealth. The number of brothels increased tenfold during that time, and women started working outside of the home en-masse. Manufacture and use of narcotics took off like wildfire and it was very common for women to drug their children with “patent medicines” in order to keep them quiet while working long into the night. Or “working”. Broken families and fatherless children were rampant, something that had previously only happened regionally during periods of war.

    Many scholars argue that the period you cited was the beginning of the breakdown of the Christian family.

  2. Ruth H Says:

    This brings me to thoughts of the Pope bothering to worry about the wording of the Lord’s prayer. He should be worrying about other things not the words, but the spirit. Of course, I’m not catholic so why do I care what he says. Because, he misleads so many.

  3. Steve H. Says:

    Let’s not go off on tangents that are distracting and not helpful. I know about the Industrial Revolution, and if you like, you can substitute 1650 and 1725 for a better contrast but the changes we have seen over the last century are far greater.

    To underscore the difference, let me point out that between 1750 and 1825, we did not go from a society in which pornography was illegal to one in which the vast majority of children had access to unlimited porn, as well as the ability to create it and send it to whoever they like. We didn’t go from a world of limited libraries to a world where every kindergartener has the Internet. We didn’t suddenly slam up against the end of free will. Total surveillance did not suddenly become possible.

    Not the same. Not nearly.

  4. Steve B Says:

    Great word, Steve. I’ve often said that God’s greatest punishment is to let us have what we think we want.

    I sometimes think that God doesn’t punish us, so much as remove his protection, and then the filth we are wading through all the time, and of which we are unaware, comes crashing in on us. I suspect that we have no idea how many things God protects us from day to day, how many spiritual attacks are thwarted that we never know about because they don’t get through. I also believe that God’s protection is strengthened and deepened the farther we keep ourselves from sin.

    The other day, in my wanderings through Isaiah, God brought to me the reminder that we can be held accountable for what we DON’T tell people, and that if they die in their sin, their blood is on our hands.

    We aren’t doing anyone any favors by soft-coating the hard truths. We may lose a friend or a parishioner, but we have to be faithful to what God calls us to do.

    “Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following the same pattern of disobedience. For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it pierces even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight; everything is uncovered and exposed before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.…”
    Hebrews 4:11-13

  5. Steve Says:

    Steve,

    Thank you for continuing to write the truth. I have recently found myself losing some of the awe I had in our Lord and need to renew that sense. Your reminder to keep the vision and the faith is very timely for me. I gain renewed strength to keep my focus to our Lord through with your writing.

    Steve
    Morrow, OH