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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...




Vantage Point: Set the Standard

By Ken Horn
Sept. 15, 2013

The church in America is facing an epidemic of worldliness.

When Christians become worldly, they often start spelling holiness l-e-g-a-l-i-s-m. The cry of “Legalism!” becomes a battering ram against standards of biblical holiness. If you call holiness legalism, you can rationalize almost anything.

In Galatians 5, Paul indeed pointed out that legalism could be “a yoke of bondage” (v. 1, NKJV). But he also said, “Do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh” (v. 13).

Case in point: It is in vogue for some Christians to use coarse language and vulgar slang terms in an attempt to be culturally relevant. Use of certain distasteful words has become common. I do not believe God is pleased with this. Some Christians have become so culturally relevant there is virtually no difference between them and the world.

The Bible says, “Rid yourself of ... filthy language” (Colossians 3:8, NIV). “Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place” (Ephesians 5:4).

When we tolerate profanity, it seeps into our souls. We should not be surprised when it comes out. “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of” (Luke 6:45).

Hanging out with people who use bad language — including those on television or in movies — is unhealthy spiritually. Yes, God wants us to be witnesses to our nonbelieving friends, and we certainly need to be with them — for the right reasons. If our closest companions are people without Christ, their lifestyle is bound to rub off on us, no matter how strong our faith is. (See Romans 12:2.)

Holiness and legalism are two different things. Freedom should not make you worldly.

Some say you need to talk the language of those to whom you minister. But you don’t need to use gutter language to reach people in the gutter. The point of ministry is to get people out of the gutter. The true disciple’s language becomes more Christlike with nearness to the Lord. We don’t need “culturally sensitive” Christians lowering the standards or the reputation of the church.

Let’s set a standard, not bow to one.

Ken Horn
Editor

 


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