Selfies are all the rage today. By definition, a selfie is a self-portrait photograph, typically taken with a hand-held digital camera or camera phone.
But selfies are not a new invention by the so-called nameless, faceless generation. They’ve been around a long time.
Early Selfie (known back then as a ‘Hero’ or ‘Brag’ shot), that I snapped back in The Cold War at 35,000 feet while courageously defending North America. (Well, not all by myself.) Kindly note the total concentration and animal alertness in the eyes as they scanned the sky for enemy bombers, which blessedly never came, thanks in part to the wonderful concept of mutual self-destruction; and then later on, to President Ronald Reagan. Taken on a Vivatar 35mm slide camera (Steve Jobs had not yet invented the iPhone).
Enough already. I want to talk about self; about the Me, myself and I.
To some extent, we’re all selfish, starting out in our lives needing others to do everything for us. Then, depending on all sorts of factors, we develop (or don’t develop) an ‘others’ awareness. This can range from an amazingly unselfish laying down of personal needs and wants in the helping of others, to extreme narcissistic self-love.
We all know people at both ends of that spectrum, even in the church, where selfies also abound.
*Selfie-worship: It seems to me that in our worship, a high degree of ‘self’ and introspection has crept into the way we express ourselves in supposedly honoring God. God, whom we all set out to worship, often gets left behind and we miss the “heart of worship,” as Matt Redmond put it.
*Selfie-grace, and other easy teachings. Dean Sherman tells us that grace is free, abundant and sufficient. We especially love the ‘free’ part, but tend to forget the price that Jesus paid to redeem us: everything. In some teaching, grace becomes the ‘way out’ instead of the ‘way in.’ The grace that saved us (through faith) . . . the grace that is designed to keep us from temptation, often seems to only be the means of digging us out after we have failed to resist that temptation. It’s like a “Get out of Jail Free” card we can keep in our spiritual wallet.
*Selfie-prayer—our shopping list of wants and needs has run amok; whatever happened to intercession and praying for the nations?
*Selfie-friendships—click! you’re not my friend anymore, I’ll take you off like a dirty shirt.
*Selfie-rights. Rights are demanded for this, that and whatever crowds out one’s freedom to do anything that is contrary to many societies’ long held traditions and biblical principles and just plain common sense. Rights not considered are those of babies in the womb and the elderly when they get feeble and need care. To lay down one’s own rights has become a foreign and unthinkable concept. Selfie—responsibility is not a consideration.
*Selfie-gratification. We won’t go there.
The selfie craze has gone crazy. Anything goes now. Young—and not-so-young people—post on their social networks whatever they please . . . and I mean ‘whatever.’ There is no shame. Yet one of the most prized possessions that we can own, is our reputation. Not any more, it would seem.
Jesus “made himself of no reputation” in order to serve us with with salvation [Phil 2:7 KJV]. When I was growing up, losing your reputation was pretty much a ticket to failure in life. Yet a good reputation seems to mean little anymore. In fact,
-the more outrageously you can portray yourself,
-the more you can display your private life in public, then . . .
-the more your conduct contributes to the overall watering down of morals and those things that are decent, honorable, lovely, excellent, of good repute and worthy of praise. [Phil 4:8]
Digital devices have become anatomical transplants—extensions of our digits. Handy as they are, and as helpful as they can be, they leave the user literally one click away from all that is anti-Christ. What pressure that puts on our young people! What confusion and terror that places on parents whose children are constantly inches from temptations that they themselves never had to deal with.
Parents really need to make an early commitment to disciple their children in purity issues. Sadly, these—and other moral issues—are seldom discussed in church meetings. But there’s help available if you’re in need. Ministries exist that will aid parents and their children to walk through these immoral minefields with minimum or no damage.
Selfies, even—‘innocent’ ones—may just be the tip of the ‘immorality iceberg’ representing the lawless day in which we live. But that icy metaphor falls flat: icebergs are are 90% hidden. Immorality no longer is.
Till next time,
Wisdom from Dr John White
“My definition of Western materialism might appear to exclude Christians. No Christian would agree (that is, if the matter were put to him or her as an abstract proposition), that matter is all that matters, for our faith negates the assertion. Yet if our behavior (as distinct from our verbal profession) is examined, many of us who call ourselves Christians begin to look more like materialists. We talk of heaven, but we strive for things.
“Yet we Christians are rarely happy as materialists. Heaven tugs at us too vigorously. We find ourselves apologizing for our new cars or larger houses. This tug of war renders most Christians ill at ease and at times ineffective.” From his book, “The Golden Cow.”
[Donna and I had the great honor of knowing John White, whose residence now, is heaven; his widow Lorrie, is still our close friend.]
A Heap of Mail
Last month we discussed todays declining morals. It seems we struck a chord, and there was a veritable avalanche of responses—too many to show here. So, we present a few tidbit teasers and if you would like to follow on and see how others responded, follow the link.
Thank you and AMEN. We need to remember to keep speaking, teaching and LIVING the TRUTH, while loving people as God loves them! Kelly Cohoe
This is one of your best works that I have seen so far! You have not taken the easy road nor the eisegesic “feel good” road. Viva Doraisingham
[From Ed: ‘eisegesic’ was a new one on me. eis·e·ge·sis: an interpretation, especially of Scripture, that expresses the interpreter’s own ideas, bias, or the like, rather than the meaning of the text.]
So where does that leave me? Waiting, but still not willing to compromise. But in all honesty I can manage the secular world by simply saying no. It is the Christian world, full of judgement and compromise that is the hardest as I feel I am always needing to justify why I am single and to also say no I am not a lesbian, and nor do I want to be. Name withheld
No need to apologize for your article on morality in the Sheep2Sheep section. The evidence is patently obvious, and reformation and conversion needs to begin where we are: in the church! David Cohen
To read all the letters, click here.
Past and present YWAMers can further their ministry training through Providence University College and Theological Seminary Providence will transfer credits from YWAM DTS and other coursework.
The Renee Dueck Memorial Scholarship of $2500 each is offered to 3 new students and 2 returning students annually, with preference given to those with YWAM (or similar) discipleship training combined with a passion for ministry in communicative or performing arts.
Click here to contact Providence University | website: www.ProvidenceSeminary.ca
From Eyesight to Insight (part 2)
As we continue our journey from last month, I am personally seeing more and more clearly, following my cataract surgeries. I still need glasses for reading small print, in the same way that we always need each other’s help on this journey through life. Not one person has all truth—nor insight (revelation)—so we need each other.
Neither does any denomination, culture, generation, nor age group have all truth; we simply need each other and what is of God, we’ll recognize, as we walk with Him and include Him in our conversation.
Let us be aware of the days we’re living in. Much of what is happening has been prophesied, so don’t be surprised by what you are going through. God wants to open your spiritual eyes and ears like never before. He wants you to trust Him, and to never forget that the righteous walk by faith, not fear.
Perhaps you remember from last time, the two who were walking on the road to Emmaus with Jesus, how they treated Jesus as if He didn’t understand the events that had been happening in Jerusalem; and then how He spoke the truth to them, and still they didn’t understand. Until finally when He broke bread with them, their spiritual eyes were opened, they suddenly recognized Him, and then He was gone. And they said, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as He talked with us?”
At one point in the conversation on the road, Jesus had rebuked his two friends, and said, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all the prophets have spoken! Did not Christ have to suffer these things then enter his glory?” [John 16:12-16] In just the same way, the Holy Spirit wants to have communion with you to share what is on our Father’s heart. He wants to remind you of what has been spoken and written in His Word. Listen to Him. [John 10:27-30]
Dr Bruce Thompson wrote in his book, ‘From Eyesight to Insight,’ that, “Jesus gives us permission to be ignorant. Those who acknowledge their ignorance and ask the right questions are the ones who will discover truth, wisdom and life. Man and his knowledge have taken the place of God. Revelation of truth opens our spiritual eyes. Our identity has been in our knowledge about God, rather than His love and our relationship with Him.” (Click on the book to order)
I encourage you to read this small booklet that Bruce and his wife Barbara, have written. They have been walking this journey a long time, having founded the College of Counseling and Health Care (of which he is Dean Emeritus), one of the Colleges of University of the Nations. We have been on this journey with Dr Bruce and Barbara for almost 40 years and we’re still learning, as we wait on God.
U of N is a ‘university of the Spirit.’ There, students receive excellent information, but more importantly, is the revelation they get directly from God. Many of the ‘fathers and mothers’ of the mission have written books on subjects dealing with . . . how to listen to and hear the voice of God; how faith and obedience are so important in our walk with God, and much more.
Read these books – we want the next generations to stand on our shoulders; we want them to be more effective for the Kingdom that we have been. You will see further and go further; but you can also learn from us, from our mistakes, and from God’s faithfulness to us. As you walk in humility you will receive more revelation.
Have our hearts become hardened? In Mark 16:14 – after his journey to Emmaus, Jesus appeared to the eleven as they were eating. He rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. Are we refusing the Holy Spirit who He has sent, to lead us into all truth? Do we recognize His manifest presence? Are we hungry for His presence and more revelation? In His presence there is such rest . . . the rest of faith that He has heard our prayers and our requests.
Believing truth is a major key to unlocking revelation. Revelation comes on the heels of obedience.
I encourage you to read books of truth and faith written by YWAM ‘fathers and mothers.’ Loren Cunningham, Dean Sherman, Bruce and Barbara Thompson, Joe Portale, John Dawson, Joy Dawson. my own husband Peter, just to mention a few. They walk what they talk, but remember we’re all on a journey.
Let’s continue to ask God to open our spiritual eyes and ears.
Come to an Camp in Europe this Summer
July 06-12: Sweden, YWAM Restenäs, with Mariette Louw
July 20-26: Romania, Prod near Sighisoara, with Donna Jordan
July 21-26: Norway, YWAM Skjærgårdsheimen, with Al & Carolyn Akimoff
Aug 03-09: France, YWAM Champagne, speaker Edwin Fillies
Aug 17-23: Switzerland, YWAM Châtel, speaker Dan Baumann
Aug 24-30: Italian Alps, Piemonte, near Turin, speakers Mike & Ros Oman, Ireland
Registration for all the 2014 European Camps now open at www.intouchcamps.net
and Finally . . .
A Fundie? Me?
‘Fundie’ is a name mockingly pinned on a person who believes the Bible is God’s inspired Word—and that the wisdom and moral guidelines for life that are found in its pages, are true and relevant today. Yes, even today. A fundie is uaually seen as a simple ignorant person.
When pictured, he is a simple, naive, ‘living in the the past’ sort of guy, uncompromisingly unprogressive. Very unhip.
The word, ‘Fundie’ of course, comes from ‘Fundamentalist,’ which in turn derives from ‘fundamental’ or ‘basic.’ And that dear reader, stems from ‘basis’ or ‘foundation.’ End of word study!
The Bible is divinely inspired, and is the basis and foundation of our belief in God and His son Jesus. The Bible is our Handbook-for-Heaven-on-Earth. It explains how to live—and how not to live—and if something is not there in its pages, God the Holy Spirit is here and ready to guide us into all truth. So I guess that makes me a fundie.
Fundamentally, the fundamentals to be found in the Bible, have been brushed away in many cases, swept aside and tipped onto the trash-heap of seared consciences . . . even by our so-called ‘Christian’ society. Why is this? How did it happen?
I guess we already started the discussion on this at the top of .
What do you think?
Till next time,
The Small Print
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