Moral Revolution

Renewed Mind Church Worship Background

The Conditions of Our World:

We live in a fallen world where the power of the internet and social media has more influence than a parent, pastor and president put together.

We live in a fallen world where God allows Himself to be obscured by secular reasoning and permits false religions to lure hearts into counterfeit worship and to deceive the nations.

We live in a fallen world where presidents lie, pastors cheat, theologians compromise and the general population lives in varying stages of brain-washing.

We live in a fallen world where kids grow up on Adrenalin first-shooter games that desensitize them to the real dangers of hate and violence and then, through laziness and inactivity, they get bored and join a gang to feel accepted.

We live in a fallen world where governments serve their own interests and cause huge burdens to fall on the hard-working families that are the financial pillars of society.

We live in a fallen world where colleges and universities care more about political correctness and not offending focus groups than about giving a straightforward, practical education that will benefit their students.

We live in a fallen world where men are chained to the spirit of lust through pornography and the seduction of Hollywood, and cannot appreciate genuine beauty without their minds entertaining perverted thoughts.

We live in a fallen world where women don’t care what they wear and how their immodesty invites lustful stares.

We live in a fallen world where debt is a natural part of life and also where uncontrolled spending is modeled at every level. The rich are villainized and the poor are made heroes.

We live in a fallen world where the power of money continues to corrupt all who worship its influence and who ignore the needy.

We live in a fallen world where our sensual culture makes it acceptable for couples to populate without being married and then single mothers get all the help they need to raise the child that the single man abandons—and, unconsciously, we are encouraging out-of-wedlock pregnancies.

We live in a fallen world where mental health is rarely diagnosed with its direct connection to sin, Satan and selfishness, and its primary cure comes from prescription drugs.

We live in a fallen world where time is wasted on the unimportant and the valuable things of life are squandered away as disposable.

Chosen to Be God's People Worship Background

I Dream of a World Jesus Died to Make…

I dream of a world where Christians are humble, bold and live in continuous waves of Spirit-birthed breakthroughs serving the lost and loving each other.

I dream of a world where women only wear yoga pants in private or in gyms.

I dream of a world where drugs are not only illegal but unwanted and unused.

I dream of a world where men have eyes to bless instead of lust.

I dream of a world that protects babies from conception to adolescence.

I dream of a world where covenant marriage between and man and woman is the highest protected relationship in a community and children are born into this safe environment.

I dream of a world that honors each person as being made in the image of God and seeks the best interest of God and mankind.

I dream of a world where the spiritual veil of false religion and atheism is pulled from the eyes of everyone and God is at least feared, if not worshiped.

I dream of a world where every thought is taken captive to the obedience of Christ and time is redeemed through serving the purposes of the Lord.

I dream of a world where money is a tool and people are loved–not where people are tools and money is loved.

I dream of a world where lies are exposed and the truth is honored.

I dream of a world where peace comes from overcoming evil not accommodating it.

The True Believer and Ultimate Fulfillment

Post_3 Picture

“Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.”
– Psalm 63:3, NIV

“You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.”
– 1 Thessalonians 5:5-8, NIV

Our world is constantly looking for the next big thing; the next big trend, the next big product, the next big movie, the next big food sensation, the next big hero or rock star. In its quest for excitement and pleasure, the world raises its level for fulfillment to an unsustainable level. To add insult to injury, when the world is at its highest highs or greatest delights, these moments are not born out of God-honoring decisions—where the will of God is followed or where He is thanked as Creator and Provider. This leaves the pleasure-seeking masses feeling deeply hollow, deprived of lasting satisfaction and under the conviction of the Holy Spirit for their idolatry. For most of these pleasure-seekers, their only response is to immediately begin plotting a course for their next pleasure acquisition.

The believer, however, lives under the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit and experiences something totally different. When a true Christian (not one in name only) surrenders their appetites and pleasures to the Lord, God becomes their highest love, pursuit and pleasure. Clearly this is the drive of Psalm 63:3, “His loving kindness is better than life.” This shift to worship instead of idolatry releases the Lord’s pleasure over our lives and brings freedom from the guilt-ridden cycles of chasing endless self-gratification. Consequently, where the world pursues satisfaction and falls way short, the true Believer finds incredible satisfaction without the bondage of addiction or the voice of a guilty conscience.

Therefore, a Christian who is walking in obedience should be the most content, satisfied and thankful person in the world. They have the goodness of the Lord, a saving intimacy with the Father, and—when they do enjoy the pleasures that the Lord has created—they don’t elevate the creation above God and can righteously partake of these pleasures without guilt.

Charles Finney (who was an effective, yet controversial, evangelist in the mid 1800s) always said, in effect: “Mankind doesn’t necessarily receive a change in his constitution as much as he receives a radical change in his heart. Any new power he receives is the power of the Holy Spirit to motivate and properly order his life according to the will of God. However the Christian’s constitution is the same as when he was unconverted; he simply surrenders those powers and actions that were previously used for selfish ends to the Lord for His will and purposes.”

Consequently, if a man was an alcoholic before he became a follower of Christ, then afterwards he would consecrate that power of his old appetite under the control of the Holy Spirit and drink only in a way that is pleasing to God (or not at all). Again, a person who was a womanizer and who lived a sexually loose life would now consecrate his sexuality to God and become celibate or married and covenanted to his wife. Furthermore, a millionaire who lived only for his money and portfolio would repent of his idolatry and use his resources for the glory of God instead of his selfish pre-conversion materialistic obsession. Therefore, a Christian does not receive a new constitution that automatically sets him free from carnal desires but he simply receives a new heart that changes him into a pleaser of God.

Once more, the world’s pleasures—outside of Christ’s plan—always come with collateral damage and consequences because they are not consecrated to the Lord. Outside of obedience to Christ, sexual sins may be extremely pleasurable. However, they are guilt-tainted and the true satisfaction that comes from pleasing the Lord is missing. For example, many live-in couples may have awesome sexual lives but, behind the façade of pleasure, they are unsure that their partner will remain committed to them. This leads to a lot of mutual mistrust and manipulation in these relationships.

True, many Christian marriages suffer the same fate. But they do have the potential to be satisfying and healthy because they are founded on pure relational foundations in Christ and have the blessing of the Lord. “The blessing of the LORD, it makes rich, and he adds no sorrow with it” (Proverbs 10:22, NKJV). A Christian couple has the potential to enjoy their sexuality without guilt, without condemnation and with the full confidence that God is working in both of them to be a couple who loves according to 1st Corinthians 13. Let me repeat it again: a true believer should be the most fulfilled and happy person on earth. Their life is founded on the eternal purposes of God and they have more lasting rewards than the best pleasure the world has to offer.

The Psalmist says: “Let not my heart be drawn to what is evil, to take part in wicked deeds with men who are evildoers; let me not eat of their delicacies” (Psalm 141:4, NIV). This sums up the passion of a Spirit-filled believer. The world sets its sights on the “secret delicacies” of hidden pleasure; better sex, better highs and more extreme pleasure. But the Christian allows the power of the Gospel to cut off ungodly lusts as they humbly acknowledge that, without the Holy Spirit to motivate and govern their appetites, they would undoubtedly fall into this alluring black hole.

The primary excuse—for those in the world who laugh at a surrendered relationship with the Lord—is “they don’t want to be a Christian because they will have to give up all their fun.” They love to party. They love to sleep around. They love to get high. They love cool cars and lots of money. Following Jesus would be boring to them. They would have to give all these things up…and they don’t want to.

Now there is an element of this statement that is definitely true. Jesus will require a full surrender of our sins at the Cross. Jesus does call us into holiness and obedience. But there is a part of this statement that is completely wrong. Following Jesus doesn’t mean that we live without any pleasure. It simply means we consecrate, or surrender, our pleasure to the will of God.

What the world doesn’t understand, since it is without a life-giving relationship with God through Jesus, is that a follower of Christ ends up experiencing as much pleasure as those making ungodly pursuits, except a follower’s pleasures are more satisfying. The life of a follower of Christ may be full of pain, testing and persecution, but it is also full of God-pleasing pleasure, richness and contentment.


The Improvisation of Our Sexuality is Idolatry

Post_2 picture_Edited

“For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him.” – 2 Peter 2:18-19 (NIV)

“Do not move an ancient boundary stone set up by your forefathers.” – Proverbs 22:28

When Christian leaders redefine a clear scriptural commandment which prohibits sinful behavior into something that is no longer sin—a darkness that is greater than before the compromise took place begins to pervade that community. To not love our neighbor—no matter what his or her sexual orientation—is truly a great darkness. But, to remove the ancient boundary stones and legitimize that which God declares as idolatry, is an even greater darkness.

In an effort to build bridges into the lives of the hurting, many Christian leaders are removing the ancient boundary stones of truth and are redefining Scripture. They like to tell us that most Christians are Pharisees and don’t love the lost the way they should. This may be a true statement. But, when God clearly says something is an offence against His righteous standard for godly living and that He will judge the wicked who persist in sin, it does not give us permission us to remove these truths from Scripture because our culture is offended.

In Colossians 3 Paul says: “So kill (deaden, deprive of power) the evil desire lurking in your members [those animal impulses and all that is earthly in you that is employed in sin]: sexual vice, impurity, sensual appetites, unholy desires, and all greed and covetousness, for that is idolatry (the deifying of self and other created things instead of God)” (Colossians 3:5, AMP).

Although, this verse is not an all-inclusive list of actions and sins which describe idolatry, the Amplified version gives powerful insight into human manipulation and selfishness. We see how easy it is to elevate our sensual passions and greed above God’s standard of holiness—to stake out a place of self-imposed morality where we worship our money, sexuality and pleasures above God. This is what God calls “idolatry.” Sometimes it is difficult to take a spiritual term like idolatry and find a clear, practical definition that helps us understand the full implications of its meaning. But let us try to dig a little deeper.

We know that the Bible declares God as the Originator and Owner of all creation. Therefore, He has the right to be honored and worshipped as such. Some argue that God is egotistical in that He demands our worship. However, the Scripture is clear that God is loving, and His requiring our devotion and worship above anything else is actually what is best for us. Yes, it comes to us as a command; but it also comes to us as loving guidance as well. This love is like a father commanding his son or daughter to listen closely to him when they cross a street. He is not demanding something from his children in an egotistical restrictive way; he is requiring their obedience to protect and bless them. God requires our worship because He knows our weakness is to forget about His reality and replace Him by elevating things on this earth over Him.

As we look deeper into this word idolatry, first Samuel is very helpful. “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry” (1 Samuel 15:23, KJV). Samuel—Israel’s High Priest—is rebuking King Saul for his selfish actions (he made up his own agenda and offered unholy sacrifices to keep his men from deserting him on the battlefield). This passage offers a powerful insight into the definition of idolatry. Here we see that rebellion and stubbornness are directly linked to it.

Idolatry is not just worshipping an ancestral god at a God-despising altar. It is cobbling together a personally improvised standard of rebellious living that ignores God’s clear will. King Saul cobbled together the Holy covenant sacrifice of animals on a spiritual altar with his governmental kingship to get the voice of God to speak. He did all this so that he would have the confidence to go into battle with his demoralized and diminishing army. He was not a priest and was not authorized by God to sacrifice. His role was to lead; the priest’s role was to hear. He was mixing and matching God’s will for his selfish agenda. He was improvising the perfect will of God into something unholy because of his impatience with God’s servant, the High Priest.

This account reflects our current Christian generation. We improvise the Word of God to fit our generation because we are impatient with God to truly convert the sinner. We make the standard something the sinner is comfortable with hoping he or she will accept the Gospel. But we forget that the Gospel is an “equal opportunity offender.” The Gospel offends everyone—including the Christian Pharisees, the social standard manipulators and the improvising theologians.

It is the last of these that grieves the heart of God the most. There are those who “stake out” an unbiblical position concerning sexuality and look for Scriptural nuances to support their position. These most dangerous improvisers lead many astray while promising freedom.

Therefore, anyone who chooses to improvise sexuality by changing the will of God from covenant marriage between a man and a woman is manipulating God’s will and is committing idolatry. This includes heterosexuals who live together, those who have multiple partners, those who are bisexual, those who are homosexual and those who are transsexual. Every sexual expression that is lived outside of covenant marriage between a man and woman is an improvised lifestyle and falls into the category of idolatry.

Here is an even scarier truth. Just because you are married in a Biblical, covenant marriage doesn’t mean you won’t still manipulate your partner and turn your sexual relationship into idolatry. Paul says that we are not to treat our Christian partners the way the unsaved do their partners. “That each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-6, NIV).

Finally, when we look at Romans 1, it is easy to forget that Paul is linking the issue of idolatry with the improvisation of sexuality. Those improvising theologians who are defending homosexuality forget that Paul is talking about worshipping the “created” over God (he is not just singling out homosexuals). Sexuality is merely where the greatest battle has always existed in regards to false worship. Man wants to improvise regarding his sexuality on all kinds of levels—and God is clearly saying this is idolatry.

Paul says: “Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator–who is forever praised.” (Romans 1:24-25, NIV). We don’t have to go any further. There is a dangerous game afoot; it is improvising the holy standard of God’s Word to fit our generation’s selfish agenda. Don’t let anyone fool you. Guard your hearts against this idolatry.