Mark S. Mitchell

Pastor, Writer, Follower of Jesus


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Tell The Truth

In the movie Liar, Liar, Jim Carey plays Fletcher Reed, a lawyer, habitual liar, and divorced father who builds his career on lies. This has come at quite a cost in his relationship with his son, Max because Fletcher continuously breaks promises to him. There is a poignant time in the movie where Fletcher tries to explain to Max why adults lie: “Sometimes grown-ups need to lie. No one can survive in the adult world if they always had to tell the truth.” If we were honest, deep down, many of us would agree with that statement. Arent there times when we need to lie? 
 
The ninth commandment says, “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.” (Deuteronomy 5:20) Basically, this commandment is telling us, “Do not lie.” A lie is any attempt to distort, shade or misrepresent the truth. But what is truth? Truth is an elusive concept that is misunderstood by many today. We live in a culture that often parrots this all-too-familiar mantra of postmodernism: “Whats true for you is your truth, and whats true for me is my truth. Whatever you do, just dont push your truth on me!” But for the follower of Christ, truth is important because it is intimately connected with a person— Jesus Christ. Truth is not an abstract idea; its an attribute of God. Because God is Truth, He can be trusted. Jesus claimed to be truth personified. His words are true and faithful. The Holy Spirit leads us into the truth. The Bible teaches us to know truth, tell the truth, and to abide in the truth. As we pursue the living truth found in Jesus and His Word, we also must remain committed to telling the truth.


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DON’T GO!

Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 1 Corinthians 6:18-20

I haven’t read the book. I haven’t seen the movie. I won’t be doing either. I’ve read a few reviews of Fifty Shades of Grey just to know what we’re dealing with, but for a follower of Jesus, this should be a no-brainer: DON’T GO!

When the apostle Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, he was writing to people faced with many of the same choices we face. Immorality was rampant in Corinth. Paul offers two commands to Christ followers. First, he says, Flee immorality.” He doesn’t say to stop immorality. He uses much stronger words—flee from it, run from it. I like what Wayne Wright says: The best companion against immorality is geography.” In other words, get as far away as possible. Our sexual urges are so great and so powerful that we can’t afford to hang in there and duke it out with temptation because if we do, we’re going to lose.

One of the ways we can flee immorality is to be very careful with the kind of things we allow ourselves to be exposed to. If we’re feeding the flesh in the kind of books we read, the kind of movies we watch, the kind of websites we visit, then we’re just setting ourselves up for failure in this area. To flee immorality certainly means we stay away from movies and books like Fifty Shades of Grey.

While the first command is negative, the second command is positive. Paul says, For you were bought with a price: therefore honor God with your bodies.” We should honor God with our body because our body has been bought by God with the precious blood of his Son. If you pay good money for a beautiful book, you won’t tear the pages out to make a shopping list. If you fork out $30,000 for a nice car, you won’t spray paint silly patterns on the hood. In the same way, we who’ve been bought at tremendous cost have to remember not to throw our bodies in the mud of immorality, but rather to honor God with it. Our body is under new management. Use it in a way that honors the one who owns it. It’s hard to imagine that the abuse depicted in Fifty Shades of Grey is in any way a God-honoring use of our bodies.

Have you ever known someone who didn’t bother to buy a screwdriver? Instead of a screwdriver, they use a knife. And for some things a knife works just fine, but the problem is it’s not good for the knives. The ends get bent and they get harder and harder to use for their intended purpose. Not only that, if you’re not careful and use it on a very stubborn screw, the knife-blade can snap and you might even cut your hand and have a bloody mess to clean up.

That’s what happens when we use something for the wrong purpose. We need to use our body in the right way. God created the beauty of sex to be enjoyed within the lifelong covenant of marriage. Beyond that, our body was made for the Lord. It will be raised up into immortality. It’s the temple of the living God. It’s been bought at a very steep price. Now use it for what it was made for. Do as God’s Word says: Flee immorality and honor God in your body

In other words, don’t go!


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At The Movies

I love going to the movies, but I don’t get to see many of them. This past Christmas season, I indulged myself and saw four of the biggest hits out there. They were all long films, but they all held my interest, and I left each of them glad I went. Here is my personal “take” on each, listed in the order of my own preference:

  1. Lincoln Abraham Lincoln is one of my heroes. I have a painting of him on the wall in my office. He reminds me of integrity, humility and humor. It’s hard to believe a story about the passing of the Thirteenth Amendment could be so exciting. I loved this movie. As far as the best performance by an actor is concerned, it has to be Daniel Day—Lewis.
  2. Les Miserables I never would have thought I could sit through a movie that’s almost all singing. But Victor Hugo’s story is just so compelling that it didn’t matter. To me, there’s no story outside the Bible that depicts themes of grace and redemption as well as this.
  3. The Hobbit Maybe not as good as the previous movies in the Lord of the Rings series but still worth seeing, especially if you’re a Tolkien fan. I’ve read all four books and I enjoyed them so much I practically needed counseling when I finished. I love the male camaraderie and sense of adventure that Bilbo, Gandalf and his friends share.
  4. Skyfall I’m a big Bond fan. I love watching these movies with my son. Great action and great cinematography. I think Daniel Craig rates right below Sean Connery as the best man to play James Bond. It has a really gnarly bad guy played by Javier Bardem.