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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A little piece of self-examination


            I had this afternoon free, and, somehow, I wandered over to a Christian TV station, which, honestly, I rarely do, just because what I see all too often I feel is so extremely shallow, and in some way motivated toward expansion, usually financial, of the sponsoring organization.  I fully well understand that that is somewhat par for the course.  The organization cannot keep up a program without gifts being significantly greater than production costs.  Anyway, there was a famous female author speaking.  A few weeks ago, it occurred to me that, in spite of her being famous, I knew nothing about what she presented information on.  Therefore, having nothing better to do, I stopped and watched.  I was under the impression that she came from a background in which women couldn’t be considered preachers, and so she was a supposed expert on Bible studies for women.  I still haven’t looked up whether I am right or wrong on that impression.  I will say that what I heard this day sounded to me like an inspirational message.  The first thing that caught my ears was her mentioning being women of the New Testament church immediately after quoting a verse in Psalms.  In the fifteen minutes that followed, she quoted five other scriptures from the Old Testament.  She was speaking about looking to God to escape depression, which is OK.  Since she was quoting a psalm of David as an example of being able to look to God to overcome evil circumstances, I couldn’t help but think of the life of David. 

            He is an example of faith, and is one of the men who appear in the lineage of Jesus.  He also was a man who, as a king, lusted after the wife of one of his generals, got her pregnant, and then decided to cover it up by ordering the general to be in a place where he would get killed in battle.  He would have gotten away with it, except for God supernaturally telling the prophet.  By what I am saying, I am in no way defending Jimmy Swaggart, but given what he did, and his consequent unofficial ban from the Christian media and even some of the secular, what chance to be considered a man of faith would David have in today’s Christian media culture?  That is one reason why we have distortions in the larger church today.  If I had done some horrible act, and was infamous regionally to worldwide for it, but was somehow legally free, I cannot reasonably hope, apart from God setting up miraculous circumstances in my life, to ever be seen as a person who lives to honor Jesus by people who will never personally know me.  Among the few people who do know me, it is totally reasonable that, although it might take a significant period of time, I could eventually show myself as a person of honor because of what Jesus has done in me.

            Going back to the message I heard, this famous Christian woman presented what she had to say passionately, and she says that she could feel every time she presented this message how the women listening to her could relate to what she was saying.  She delivered this message excellently, but that is almost to be assumed, as she’s had years of practice.  The problem for me is that I’m not certain of the verses quoted are being used in context.  Given the inspirational nature of the message, in certainly wasn’t a Bible study in any sense of the word.  My question is:  Am I being too picky?  I think I could defend both sides of that question. 

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