by Veronica Benton
I am often asked, “When will I trust my husband again?” This is such a hard question to answer, especially for a woman who just found out her husband has been hiding a pornography addiction.
Trying to find herself in the shock of the moment and not seeing a light at then end of the tunnel is such a scary place.
I knew my husband was having an “affair with our computer” for a long time: the first year and a half of our marriage, to be exact. The problem was that I thought it was my fault. I thought I was not fulfilling my husband, so he would have to turn to the Internet. It was so hard to muster up the courage to call him out, but I knew I had to do something. I had fallen into an eating disorder, partly to have control of something in my life and because I felt that if I could look like the girls online, he would pick me over them. On top of that, we were leading worship at our church, wearing perfect masks, telling no one of our struggles. I had exhausted my efforts and had enough. He snuck into bed around 4am one night and I said, “I know what you’re doing.”
Let the recovery begin.
Thankfully, T wanted to change and was truly sorry. I am heartbroken on the road when I talk to women who tell me their husband says, “The only problem with me looking at porn is your jealousy problem.” Ouch.
One of the biggest factors in rebuilding trust in our marriage is accountability. We signed up with accountability software and the first two weeks in, I got his report in my email and realized it works. I had to call him out again, and told him this was his Get-Out-of-Jail-Free card. If it happened again, the Internet would be gone for good. Every time I get a “clean” report, it helps to build trust.
We always tell people that addiction is addiction, everyone just has their drug of choice. Porn happened to be T’s hardest habit to break. Now, had he secretly been addicted to cocaine, yes, I’m sure I’d have been devastated, but secret sexual sin personally affects the spouse in such a deep way. I know his addiction wasn’t my fault. It took a long time to learn that.
If you’re reading this and think your spouse’s addiction is your fault, please understand it is not. There is nothing you could have done or said differently to prevent the addiction. Trust me, I tried. I tried for a year and a half. Through marriage we become one, especially in our most intimate times. So in my mind, he was turning away from me, unfulfilled, which left me so offended and so disgusted. Once I truly grasped that his addiction wasn’t my fault, I was really able to take “me” out of the equation and we were able to focus on him and his recovery.
Through this entire process I learned a lot about my own faith and our marriage. January 19 will be our 9 year wedding anniversary. When we got married I gave my heart to my husband. He wasn’t very gentle with it, and so I took it back. Since that time, T and I have both truly given our hearts to Jesus. Truly. As long as Jesus is holding my heart, no one can break it. So really, part of rebuilding trust was trusting Jesus with our hearts.
I think I would be lying if I said I trusted my husband 100%. We as humans are imperfect beings; unfortunately, we let each other down. T and I have chosen to grow together and change together. We said, “Till death do we part,” and meant it. I do, however, trust Jesus with my heart, and as long as T and I are fully focused on Him we will always be pointing in the same direction, together. We have taken this addiction and turned it into our ministry. We are daily fighting the battle and daily choosing integrity. If we were in a solitary place, he and I would both be in a recovery group. There is so much healing in knowing you are not alone in your struggle. We are reminded of this daily through emails, texts and talking to people after our shows. It is so amazing to have a couple come up and say, “Thank you, that is our story and it needs to be heard.”
If you are struggling with a hidden addiction, please be honest about it. Get it off your chest by telling someone. Choose integrity daily. Who we are the good, the bad, and the ugly make up our ministry here on earth. Focus on what you are passionate about and use it for Gods purpose. Be the change you want to see, and most of all . . . just love.
. . . .
This is a guest post by Veronica Benton. In 2002, Veronica’s husband Tyler (TD) confessed his ongoing struggle with pornography. Since 2006, T and Veronica have been touring the country with their band, White Collar Sideshow, a group dedicated to helping people break free pornography addiction.
Great article! Wonderful testimony! We saw you at Ichthus this past June. We loved your music. We saw you and T walking around and thought oh my gosh, we have to see their show. And we did! Thank God for people like you that will give their heart felt testimony. We are planning to bring our youth group to see you at Liberty KY next month. Can’t wait to see you again.
In God’s love,
This poor woman. She thinks her husband has repented.
Poor Covenant Eyes, they say that White Collar Side Show is their friend.
How undiscerning and wicked. How tragic.
Have a look at this womans husband posing with his head inches from a female fan’s private parts who has pulled up her skirt so high we can see her privates, all so she can show off an image see has tattooed on her extreme upper thigh. The image is of the leader of WCSS, who obviously loves his image more than the soul of this poor fan. One of the comments from another fan on Myspace to this image is “yum yum, nice thigh”.
The time has come to wake up and repent of using the Lord’s name in vain.
There is no such thing as Christian Rock music. Rock music is all about rebellion. It comes from the drug culture. It mimics drug effects. The people who make it are often high on drugs.
WCSS: Who gave you permission to put the Ark of the Lord on a Philistine cart?
It is time to repent; no one is being helped by this trash. Even if WCSS removes this image, have a look at the poor young people caught up in this web of error on their Myspace page and weep! WEEP!
These kids are permanently defaced with images of horror (and images of this band). They are lost and think they are saved. They love to party, and Jesus is just another excuse to do so. And “church” leadership, drunk with the whore of this world is fighting for their right to party; even paying for it. Sick. This is very sick.
Who am I to speak like this to you? I was saved from the Rock and Roll drug culture only to be stumbled back into it by the “church”. Thanks for nothing modern “christanity”, CCM, and “Christian radio”.
Repent and turn to Christ, I beg you, or be cast into the lowest hell where you belong.
Matthew 7:13-23 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. 15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing (and now days even come openly looking like demons), but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. 21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
@Pulled from the Fire,
Thanks for the comment. A few responses for you:
First, the picture you posted is of Tyler Benton (of WCSS) posing next to a man’s leg, not a woman’s (the guy is a tattoo artist named Eddie). I’m not sure what “private parts” you are talking about.
To say a band that speaks out against pornography actually promotes pornography because of this photo is a fairly rash thing to say. At most we might say it reflects an insensitivity to the idea that the picture of a man’s tattooed thigh might cause someone to stumble. I’m sure you could ask WCSS to take it down if it offends you.
I’m not sure you can rightfully discern, by one photo, that Tyler loves his tattooed image more than the soul of the fan who bears the image (nor assume the man with tattoo is somehow a lost soul).
Last, thanks about your comments concerning rock music. What you are talking about is a polarizing issue that goes far beyond this blog or our ministry, but I will reply with a few comments. It is true much of rock music has some of its roots in drug culture, and it saddens me to hear that music styles played in modern churches somehow made you stumble. My questions for you are:
1. In what way did listening to rock music in church make you stumble? Were you sucked back into drug culture as a result of listening to Christian rock?
2. By “rock music” what do you mean? Do you mean any sort of hard music period? I more thought of WCSS as an experimental drum and bass sort of group, kind of industrial.
3. Isn’t every style of music rooted in some human culture? Aren’t those cultures rife with their own commonplace and demonstrative sins? In your opinion is it at all possible that Christ could redeem a style or flavor of music that has traditionally or culturally been associated with the promotion of evil behavior?
Just thought I would pick your brain a bit. Thanks for the comment.
I’m soo proud of my family!!! Thanks Roni for speaking from ur heart and just being real and honest!!!! Keep on doing what u have been doing!!! :)
Love and miss you guys. Thanks for this!!
pulled from the fire, you cannot be more wrong about Tyler. I have known him since he turned his life over to Christ and he and Roni are the real deal. They took a huge leap of faith and sold everything they owned to start this ministry.
I hope at some point, you will have the opportunity to spend some time with these wonderful people. They are doing great work for God, and throughout all of their success, they give all the glory to God and nothing to themselves.
I can only hope that someday I can be as faithful as these two people.
So proud of u guys for using such a hard and sure somewhat embarassing topic openly. To help other face their hidden sin and step out in repent (turn from) and find accountability. I believe the Lord is using WCSS in more ways than you could know. It has been such a blessing knowing you guys and seeing first hand the radical love you have for Jesus. Helping to reach the hurt, lost, and forgotten for his name sake. To see you are both so down to Earth n love ppl so much. You have lifted me up so many times through your love n u didn’t even know it. And u have challenged by you when haven’t triedbc you just live n love and reach out n watching you give up you home n everything to live out of a small RV n minister to ppl! you are inspirational and love you guys and I pray God continues to Bless your ministry.
With love, your friend,
@Pulled from the Fire,
As someone that has been in ACM/CCM for over 25 years what I see as truly tragic, sick and worth weeping about is the same religious spirit of fear and ignorance today that was evident when I first came on the scene.
I am more then proud to call WCSS friends, brethren and partners in bringing restoration, repentance and salvation to Christians and non-Christians alike and in making the name of Jesus famous throughout the land. Their testimony, gentle spirits and humility will do more to bring Truth to the darkness then the Pharisaical ugliness in your post.
You would do well to remember that when ADONAI comes to judge the earth, He comes to judge the earth rightly and the peoples fairly. (Psalm 98:9). That is His job and His alone.
Yes, scripture says that those of you that are spiritual, judge… but your post doesn’t fall under that scripture. Spiritual judges correct, build up, and restore. Always in and with love, not anger, bitterness or hate.
In Matthew 7:2 Jesus said, “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
A comment section can’t address the obvious issue’s that distress you.
I’m sorry that man has misrepresented the person of Jesus to you.
I’m sorry that the enemy has used music, music of any form, to cause you such pain.
Father, I pray for this person. I pray for wholeness, sound mind and spirit. Peace. Your Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation to permeate this person’s entire being. That they would know Your ways and Your love. That they would find peace in knowing that you are in control no matter what happens in this life. That they would come to trust you for justice and for truth. That You would make Yourself known to them, Father.
I would encourage you to pray for WCSS… no matter what your feelings towards them That is what Jesus told us to do…
Eddies Thigh… LOL
Thank you so much for the article and for the ministry! It was wonderful to get to know your whole group when you all came to the old gym in Indianapolis. Don’t let the haters get you down!
Yes, thank you Veronica. Your testimony is an inspiration to so many women.
I saw them at Ichthus Festival, and their message has changed my life. I’ve never met more genuine people in my life.
You ask “What private parts am I talking about?”
When I can see more than I would if the person was wearing underwear, I call that seeing private parts.
Luke said: “If this offends you, you can have them take the picture down”.
With this statement it seems like you paint me as the baby who can’t hack the cool stuff. If this is true, then it is typical of the current perversion of Christian Liberty.
What is happening is that we are being desensitized; systematically desensitized to wickedness by the culture we live in, not only to porn, but to all forms of perversion.
Now the “church” is pitching in with the world to kill souls; kill the souls of children who love to party. “They love to party, so let us help them party in the name of Jesus”. It all looks good on paper and in the minds of men; leadership gets the numbers, nickels, and noise it wants to look successful and the kids get to feel safe while they have a big time. Dandy, but be sure that there will be HELL TO PAY for all of this unless people repent.
As far as Tyler’s spiritual condition goes, I agree, only the Lord God knows for sure.
But one thing can be said: any man who would delight in his costumed image being tattooed on another person’s body is in a low state of grace.
Let us look at your three questions for me. They are in quotes with my response following:
“1. In what way did listening to rock music in church make you stumble? Were you sucked back into drug culture as a result of listening to Christian rock?”
What is being missed here is that the world is a satanic system. The idea of neutrality is a myth. Rock music is not a neutral media to be used as we wish. This stuff has power, and it is presumption to play with it. If you have no fear of God concerning evil, but think you are strong enough to handle and use whatever you want, you are the devil’s fool.
I was an insane biker tramp when I was saved; is that why I can’t handle this stuff? Am I too weak; too damaged?
In truth, I know what it feels like to look ugly, mean, and evil: it feels like POWER. Every biker is just an attention hungry rock star; a coward who is not man enough to stand on sheer, unobtrusive character, so he paints himself ugly to keep worldly people impressed.
“2. By “rock music” what do you mean? Do you mean any sort of hard music period? I more thought of WCSS as an experimental drum and bass sort of group, kind of industrial.”
I am over 50 years old. I was a Rock & Roll druggie at 11, a punk rocker at 19, and a renegade biker at 24. After I got saved I fell into all kinds of junk again with Vineyard worship, the 77’s, DA, and on and on. All this junk is the same: it is all about the thrills, it is the same as drugs. Tecno-Drum-Industrial-New-Wave-Alternitive… whatever. Let’s get real. Christians delight in truth, they don’t need drugs or bombastic music bombarding them to float a buzz. The truth of the Cross is enough to sustain the true Christian in this life and for all eternity.
“3. Isn’t every style of music rooted in some human culture? Aren’t those cultures rife with their own commonplace and demonstrative sins?…”
While it was no golden age would you dare to compare the age of the Puritans to our own?! Look at the music and art that came from that period. Compare their Bible version to ours. Have some faith! Listen to the hymns written in the 1600’s and tell me that these hymns were cut out of the same piece of wood as any CCM or Hosanna, Maranatha, and Vineyard junk if you can. It is not so! God has not left us alone in regards to music.
“3cont. In your opinion is it at all possible that Christ could redeem a style or flavor of music that has traditionally or culturally been associated with the promotion of evil behavior?”
Great question! Let me ask you a few.
1.What is more to the purpose and Glory of God, to save a sinner from his sin or in his sin? See Mat 1:21
2.What is a more powerful witness to the world: to see people doing the same things as they are, or to see people set free to love the things of God?
I know it’s real popular right now to “rock for Jesus”, but one needs to consider: what is it that you see? Is it a new way of speaking that our young people can understand, or is it a deadly, soul damning lie that you don’t have to give up anything to be married to Christ and be reconciled to God?
I am dismayed over the incongruence of an accountability software company’s promotion of a band like WCS. For the last 20 years it seems like every time I went looking for help from the church what I got was a stumble back into a hole.
@Pulled from the Fire,
Thanks for answering some of my questions. They really help me to wrap my mind around where you are coming from.
First, when I said, “If this offends you, you can have them take the picture down,” I am not trying to paint you as “the baby who can’t hack the cool stuff.” I fully admit the picture is, at the very least, bizarre. I personally don’t find it provocative but quirky, and if that means I am desensitized I know I should take a long, hard look at my heart. I will bring this to the attention of other in our ministry and get their feedback as well.
You said “any man who would delight in his costumed image being tattooed on another person’s body is in a low state of grace.” Why? I really want to know why you think that.
I wholeheartedly agree that nothing is neutral. The world is infused with sin. No media is truly neutral because all media comes with a message, a message that points to truth and life, or death and idolatry. I believe all music taps our emotions, regardless of style, and if left unguarded one can always use music to distract (not point to) the truth of the cross and the gospel of Christ. This is wrong, to be sure.
I’m not trying to defend Vineyard, Hosanna, Maranatha, or any other modern music developing industry, especially not over and above any great composers of the past. Personally rock or hard music aren’t my styles at all. I’m merely asking a question: If all music is rooted in sinful human culture, and if every style therefore has the potential to tap sinful emotional responses within us, what makes us think Christian can rightly use any style of music in our communal gatherings? I don’t see a need to pick on rock music in particular. I am a member of a church with a very traditional style of worship, and I know it is just as easy there for me to be distracted from the truth of God by getting lost in the a particular harmony, style, melody, rhythm, or atmosphere.
Personally I believe we can and should use music, and that every style, properly performed with skill, sensitivity, godliness, reverence, and right theology, can be used to move the heart towards truth, the gospel, and Christ as our ultimate source of life and only hope.
The question is whether WCS’s performances and media point people to the gospel or merely to the buzz they get from clanging metal and highly sensory video. Having seen their performance, personally I think they do the former, but maybe you saw them and got a different impression.
Your questions are very good. I really think I agree with many of your presumptions. I agree much of what we see today is Christian “entertainment,” rife with the damning message (implicit or explicit) that becoming a follower of Christ is merely about tacking His name on to your idolatrous life. I agree we must give our entire lives to love Him rightly and to advance the cause of the gospel.
Where I disagree with you is your assessment of WCS’s performance.
Hi Luke and All,
Thanks for the prayer “Eddies thigh”, I do indeed need it.
First, I admit that parts of my first post were rash. Upon some self examination I see that I did not find the image provocative, “just” horrifying. So I apologize for not being more honest and careful, and for being angry, and thus rash. I was lashing out. Please forgive me. My second post may have made it seem like I was stumbled as well, again I am sorry for this. What I meant was that the modern church has stumbled me with its humanistic psychology, and in other areas, not just music.
Also, to be clear about a point in that first post: I assume that all Christians know that they belong in hell. I belong in the deepest part, apart from the grace of God, even this very moment.
Many on this thread have said that I have been unloving and judgmental. To them I would say; please consider the following.
Human love is common to all, and is indulgent. We are indulgent with each other because we deeply desire to be liked and reinforced. This is related to “the fear of man” and it is a snare (Prov 25:29).
Christian love is always related to the truth, and is therefore often confrontational and unpopular. A Holy Spirit ministry is a convicting ministry. Have a look at these:
John 16:8 And when he is come (the Holy Spirit), he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
John 7:7 The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.
Ephesians 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
Luke 6:26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.
Acts 24:25 And as he (Paul) reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.
So, in light of the above, I hope you can see love in my concern.
Luke wrote: “You said “any man who would delight in his costumed image being tattooed on another person’s body is in a low state of grace.” Why? I really want to know why you think that.”
A person is in a low state of grace (or not a believer) to the degree that he is able to ignore God’s Word with little pain of conscience. So for several reasons it seems that any man who delights in his costumed image being tattooed on another person’s body is in a low state of grace.
1. God, in His Word, forbids His people from tattooing themselves (Lev 19:28).
2. As well, is not a state of Grace being set free from the World System, the flesh, and the devil to worship the living God in Spirit and Truth? So what is with the image of the Ring Leader? How does he relate to Christ? Does he not rather relate to the world, eye candy, and pride?
1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
I don’t know if the following passage applies perfectly to the issue at hand, but I find it interesting, and hope that you will read it: Romans 1:21-25
The article above is about rebuilding trust in marriages damaged by porn. I would like to comment on marriage and the example put forth by WCS.
I have come to understand that marriage is serious because it reflects the relationship between Christ and the Church.
One of my concerns with WCS is that a husband has his wife (who is young and good looking) on stage in a tight dress, dancing in a go-go cage with a guitar. Whether this symbolism is profound or not is not the point. What is clear to me is that this is not what a good husband would do BECAUSE this is not how Christ treats the Church.
Christ protects His Church; He covers her. He supplies all her needs; He does not publicly display her to make an ugly statement. I therefore don’t think Veronica will ever be able to give herself to her husband as she should, in trust and obedience, until WCS is disbanded.
I am concerned for you all. I don’t want you to suffer what I have suffered. I believed the “Church” when it said I could play and be saved. Granted I wanted to believe the lie, but I was encouraged to do so. Now I am old and have lost many opportunities to serve my dear Lord of Glory. I am also far behind in my sanctification. I am also scarred in conscience and in the eyes of my community and family. To be an old fool is a very shameful thing. Do you really think the World is impressed with us? I tell you that the Glory and Holiness of Christ is not coming through to this generation. There is no fear of God before their eyes. It looks more like we have given up and are just going to party to the end. I hope you all get to miss my sad experience. Christ refines people He saves, and any one who tells you different is tragically mistaken.
@Pulled from the Fire,
Apology accepted. God knows I’ve been rash before.
I don’t for a moment fault you for being confrontational. Christians ought to be when it comes to sin, beginning with God’s own house.
I don’t know that I would agree that Tyler is ignoring God’s Word, at least in the respects you mentioned.
1. The Law of Moses does forbid tattooing and self-laceration, as you pointed out (Lev 19:28). But I know many godly Christians who have a much different understanding than you have of the applicability of the Law of Moses. The same chapter of Leviticus forbids mating different kinds of animals, planting two kinds of seed in the same field, wearing clothing woven with two different materials, eating meat with blood, and cutting hair on the sides of one’s head and beard, and yet we find many God-fearing Christians with little conviction to obey any of these laws. For some this is because they believe the Law of Moses is no longer applicable to us at all, that Christ has become central to our relationship with Him, and that we follow a new law, the law of Christ. For others this is because they see the tattooing command (and others) as a part of ceremonial law, not moral law, and therefore not applicable for Christians.
I’m not trying to debate the relationship between law and gospel here. My main point for you to consider is that having tattoos, for many Christ-honoring people, is not seen as a sin issue in the least.
2. Seeing the show live, one does not get the impression that Veronica is being presented provocatively (at least to no one else I’ve spoken to who’s seen the show). Just last night my wife was telling me that had Veronica been portrayed in a sexual way on stage she would have had a real problem with us watching the show, but because the entire act was done tastefully my wife was delighted to see WCS using drama and symbolism to present their message.
I agree with all your statements about Christ and the church, I just disagree that Tyler is parading his wife to the world in an immodest or immoral way. Rather they are a family using drama to portray a message, and after their performance they are able to tell their story and pray with hundreds of people one on one about their addictions and temptations. I personally love it when the church can use drama to proclaim a message, as long as it is done with skill, honor, and godliness.
Luke, please tell me what kind of Church you attend.
@Pulled from the Fire,
I am a member of an Evangelical Presbyterian Church (that’s the denomination, at least). What sort of church do you attend?
Thanks, Luke. Sovereign Grace when I am able to.
I hope to have a reply posted later today.
Thanks, Pulled from the Fire. A quick question for you: I was a bit surprised when you said you attend a Sovereign Grace church given your very strong convictions regarding Christian music. Don’t get me wrong, I personally love a lot of Sovereign Grace music, but I would not have expected someone with your convictions to affiliate yourself with a church movement that produces it own line of “rock” music. Just so I understand where you are coming from, what are your thoughts on Sovereign Grace Music?
What a degraded, confusing age we live in.
SG churches come in all flavors, to be sure; many have become antinomian. Most I would not attend. Few I would join.
I have never seen this site before. If the music has a blues beat, I will not listen to it. I am done with it. I have been delivered from it.
Here is Hymn we read just last night from the Gadsby, I doubt the site you referenced has anything like it:
1 Beloved of the Lord most high,
Let praises be your sweet employ;
Ye sons of God, rejoice, and sing
The honours of your Lord and King.
2 Your heavenly Father ever lives,
And all his choicest treasure gives
To you, the favourites of his heart,
Nor will he ever with you part.
3 [Whatever be your lot below,
Though you through gloomy paths may go,
Your heavenly Father is your Light,
And he will guide your footsteps right.]
4 In every changing scene below,
’Tis yours by faith this grace to know:
Now are we sons and heirs of God,
Fast hastening to our blest abode.
5 In every trying, deep distress,
In poverty and wretchedness,
This truth sweet comfort should afford:
E’en now we are the sons of God.
6 Let worldlings know we scorn the toys
Which they so highly love and prize;
We must possess all real good,
Since we are sons and heirs of God.
7 Dear Father, bless us with this grace,
While travelling through this wilderness;
Our sonship still to keep in view,
And honour thee in all we do.
@Pulled – Thanks for the hymn lyrics. l love the verse that reads: “In every trying, deep distress, in poverty and wretchedness, this truth sweet comfort should afford: E’en now we are the sons of God.” Beautifully written.
Please understand, I love hymns. Few songs compare with the richness of many Christian hymns. I sing them every Sunday with my church family. I just also like other lyrical and rhythmic styles as well. Perhaps I just don’t understand why a “blues beat” is so intricately tied to sin in your mind.
Hi Luke, your words are in quotes and my comments follow:
“I don’t for a moment fault you for being confrontational. Christians ought to be when it comes to sin, beginning with God’s own house.”
“I’m not trying to debate the relationship between law and gospel here. My main point for you to consider is that having tattoos, for many Christ-honoring people, is not seen as a sin issue in the least.”
Please explain to me how a child of the Light would be drawn to permanently mare himself and others with evil images. Images of monsters, vampires, and the living dead as seen on WCS’s MySpace page?
This is indefensible. Is a Christian free to do evil? I don’t care what anyone’s view of the Law and Gospel is. It is simple: any person who is lawless is not of God. Any person who does not care about God’s law and holiness is lost and going to hell.
1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
Matthew 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Hebrews 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord…
The basic idea of holiness includes the idea of separateness from evil.
“2. Seeing the show live, one does not get the impression that Veronica is being presented provocatively…”
Please be honest and real; you use the pronoun “one”; do you speak for everyone? Veronica is a shapely young woman. A thin, tight film of fabric covers her body during the performance of WCS. I can clearly see the shape of her hips and her rear end. Look at the video clips! She wags and struts. Even if this was not arousing it would still be inappropriate. Those curves belong to her husband, Tyler, only. It is foolish, worldly presumption to put Veronica on display like this. Drama or not; this is wrong and indefensible. I am astonished we are having this conversation.
One of the things being missed here is the doctrine of the total depravity of mankind. One reason we have to be modest is because we are fallen.
Here is a free book on modesty that can be downloaded. It is written by a former rock star. it has helped me with this issue:
“I personally love it when the church can use drama to proclaim a message, as long as it is done with skill, honor, and godliness.”
I disagree; drama has no place in Church. Show me drama being used in the New Testament; all you have there is the “foolishness of preaching” being used to call the lost to repentance.
Why do we think we are smarter than God’s Word? Is it not because we have bought into the lie of evolutionary thought; that new is better? New is NOT better. The old path is the safe one. Ours is a sick, twisted, debased, crude, and lost culture. And WCS is poof that the so-called “church” has imbibed this culture, along with the dregs of it.
Thanks for bringing clarity to your tattoo comments. Before it sounded like you were using the text in Leviticus as your reason why Christians shouldn’t be tattooed at all. I personally don’t have much of an opinion about a Christian receiving those tattoos in particular (the one’s you pointed out). My question for the person with these tattoos is why they got them. I actually don’t know if these are Tyler’s tattoos.
As I did not see the show as provocative or immodest, nor have I talked with anyone who has before talking to you, I’d have to think more about what you are saying. I would hate for us to continue to support a group that was blatantly immodest in their approaches. After watching through more of their videos, I still fail to see where she is presented immodestly, but I’ll keep looking. Thanks for the ebook on modesty. I’m sure it will come in handy.
I think you and I will have to agree to disagree about the use of drama among God’s people. It’s one thing to talk about drama being used at the expense of preaching the Word; its another thing to think God’s people shouldn’t be involved in drama at all.
@Pulled – “New is NOT better”
How so? If you look into the history and the philosophy around in the time of Christ, His ideas were new – they were revolutionary. So to say that the old way is best is inaccurate. If we kept things going using old methods, then the would in it depravity would grow where we would stand still. How can we effectively to minister using trite methods? We need to be revolutionary to reach people. We need to be creative.
Am I saying that we need to break out of the Gospel? Not at all. But the common method, of standing on a street corner telling people that they are going to hell unless they repent, does not work. That is why there is a vast number of people that have build a hatred for Christians. Its not God, Jesus, or the church they hate, its the people.
Maybe my experience is limited to my youth, or the area I live in, but the majority of people that I talk to that are agnostic / atheists have had bad experiences with people that claim to be Christian but do not love. So when you say the old way is best, what are you referring to?
As for rock music:
I listen to metal. Does that make me a sinner? One of my all-time favorite bands have a whole album with lyrics you even will know. Its written from various Psalms, and a few verses from Galatians. Your hymn has some of the same words that I find in my music. Just that mine is to a different styling. So based on the way music is played, am I a sinner?
Also, a number of my friend have come to Christ from the music they listen to. They started to go to church after someone in a rock / metal band prayed for them after a show. So are we sinners because of that? Or how about the senior pastor at my church that listens to punk music? Is he a sinner too? To say that there is only one way music should be is ignorance. We are all individuals, and it is hopeless to hold us all to one expectation. It sounds that you have been throwing a lot of what you have been personally convicted about into the conversation.
Oh, and tattoos….
I believe those images were made evil by man. So again, its a personal thing. As for it saying that it is against Deut. Law, that’s up for debate. If I remember my hebrew (and history) correctly, it was a common things for people to cut themselves and mar their flesh for their god. I dont recall it saying anything about tattoos, that’s the wonder of the English translation. It was another way of the Jewish people separating themselves from the other religions in the area. That and the concept of a loving God. Probably blew a few people’s minds too…
TD, V, I love you both. Cant wait to catch a show again.
i generally try to stay out of conversations like these, mainly because i feel it is very hard to speak in love or be able to fully express my point.
i feel like there is great danger in writing off a style of music because of the history it was born out of. many of the hymns that we sing in churches today were Christian lyrics set to drinking songs so people could remember them. i agree with luke that Jesus can redeem any style of music and i know many people that have been introduced to Jesus because of a band’s stance for God. so many people in the world will never walk into a church and we are called to go into all the world to preach the gospel. when our church sends missionaries into the world they learn the language and culture of that people group. it is the same today with rock/metal/hardcore/punk, we need to reach out to these people who so desperately need Jesus but will never walk into a church or listen to hymns. i believe this is who WCS is trying to reach. i had a chance to hear their testimonies at unified underground as well as have conversations with them both. they truly love the Lord and even though some of the imagery might be controversial and thought provoking (and let’s face it, it is) it really made me search my heart and helped me deal with things that i was holding on to that Satan was using to pull me away from Christ.
Christians need to be engaged in culture, not enslaved to it. Romans 12:1-2 tells us we need to be transformed by the renewing of our mind and in Jesus’ last prayer before He was led of to death He prayed for his disciples that they wouldn’t be taken out of the world but they would be protected (john 17:14-19). because of the Holy Spirit’s guidance and the Word of God we have the ability to discern what is God’s will and what isn’t. God is calling us to reach out to the puffed up rockstars and punkrockers and tattooed freaks and those who are trying to build up their image. Jesus hung out with some of the worst of society and loved them all and was able to speak truth into their lives. He went to them, where they were and if we sit back and say i want nothing to do with that style of music because it’s evil or art because it’s controversial then many, many people that need Jesus might never have the opportunity to come into relationship with Him.
All specifics of WCS aside, there are larger disagreements at work here. While I don’t agree with all his views, I think this is a prime example of Richard Niebuhr’s Christ and Culture observations. Niebuhr was commenting on how a perfect Christ can commingle with imperfect human-made cultures. He identifies 5 views of this question:
1. Christ against culture – In this view there is a clear line of separation drawn between the brotherhood of the children of God and the world. Christians are to come out of culture and oppose culture because all culture is infused with sin. This philosophy was seen in monasticism and some branches of fundamentalism a hundred years ago.
2. Christ of culture – In this view, Christians “hail Jesus as the Messiah of their society, the fulfiller of its hopes and aspirations, the perfecter of its true faith, the source of its holiest spirit.” This philosophy might be called “cultural Christianity.”
3. Christ above culture – This views sees culture as neither good nor bad because God sovereignly orders culture, but that we should bring divine law into culture around us in a way that synthesizes Christ and culture.
4. Christ and culture in paradox – This view is like “Christ above culture” except is does not see a possibility of synthesis. Christians are caught in a paradox between responsibility to culture and loyalty to Christ. In culture we see dualism, both sin and grace.
5. Christ the transformer of culture – This view believes Christ can progressively redeem culture. Human culture is fallen, but by God’s grace can be restored as people are redeemed.
While I think there is great overlap in these attitudes, these categories have been very helpful starting points for discussion for Christians over the last 60 years. All five probably find some basis in Scripture in some way.
For some, when they hear different music styles, modes of dress, or certain symbols, these are inseparably linked to a sinful world Christians are commissioned to come out of (Christ against culture). For others, these cultural features are indeed tainted by sin, but when Christ redeems individuals within that culture, Christ can transform old cultural practices to be used for His glory (Christ the transformer of culture). These questions go far beyond WCS.
I want to cry… I just want to cry! we are sitting here argueing ab\ doctrine and styles of music that are accepted. Saying they are going to hell when they r doing more to reach out to the enslaved than anyone engaging in religious arguement. They gave up their way of life to serve God, their church home, friends, and fam.. Not many manychristians sacrifice anything anymore. As christians we are suppose
to be encouraging loving, united as one body -Christ’s body. Yet we are’t united we are fighting against each other. How does God’s love shine through that? The light will shine brighter when we unite, wecan reach more people when joined together. We are fighting against a misical culture and not adressing the fact that satan has slithered in and dived us into denominations and and kept us from being more productive for Christ’s cause. We are quick to cast stones in the for form of The Lords Word. We call it love to get ia heated arguement on weather your beliefs are more Holy or theirs. Well it doesn’t matter we believe in the risen Lord and his finished work on the cross. No one is safe apart from his grace. The word says we live by grace daily, it also says our righteousneess is a filthy rags. Tyler, Roni, You,me and everyone else are not going to be more righteouss on our own. We just have to believe as the Word says with faith of a child. And remember on the cross he said, It is finished. Please w
ke up, forgive, and see who the al enemy is. Let God be judge. pray HE either show you the err of your ways or convicts them. He big enough to handle this without our hate and anger costumed in his Word and eloquent speech. Us fighting is just hurting others and turning them from Christ. The World has plenty of hate and anger. This is turning them off of Christ. They are hungry for something different and real the unconditional love and grace of God. God ble
My family and I attended a show with White Collar Side Show. We all were ministered to in such a powerful way. I find it difficult to think that anyone could look at them and not see the love and integrity that shines through their lives. We are all proud to call them friends and brothers and sisters in Christ. Thanks to them there are people who are coming to grips with their addictions and are taking actions to get back on the right track with God. Hallelujah. There were a few ways that Jesus told us that we would know each other….one was through love….and there is so much of that that flows through their message…and the other is through fruit…Well, my family and I are some of the fruit that has come from this wonderful ministry. If their music offends you, that saddens me. There are so many awesome people who share Christ’s love and sacrifice through a different mode of music…. Thank you, Jesus for diversity!!! We love you, t,v and P and pray for you daily. Thank you for your sacrifice to show the world a new way of purity!!! God bless you!!!
Wow, thats all i can say. I agree with Sara, All these previous posts have saddened me to think about how some people are more concerned about condemning the people within the church rather than lift them up and encourage them. I LOVE what WCS is doing and these are definitely the most genuine people i have met in a long time.
No hate guys, lets try to spread some love
You are right Sara, God is big enough to handle us all. Thank you. His Grace is enough, yes, Amen.
But uniting with error is not the answer, nor can we fight porn with porn, or drugs with rock and roll. (and FYI, I never said Veronica or Tyler was going to hell.)
My life has been spent on this stuff, and I wanted to think that maybe I could be used for some good; to warn you all. But it may be time to stop.
I will not trouble you any longer. Unless someone seems to really want to go over something new, I will stop posting.
Many of you agree with Luke. He seems to have all the answers, and he does make a lot of sense. and he has been very kind to me, to be sure. One word of caution though; Luke has a liberal perspective. Look at his education background on his profile. Liberal theologians pride themselves on being open, inclusive and balanced. They are often therefore very popular. But I submit to you that it was not so with Christ, or any of the profits. Read Jeremiah. Read Christ; He was a hated hell-fire preacher (read the bible to find out who this God is that you say you worship)
Am I projecting my experience? Maybe, but please keep in mind who you are conversing with. I am not a fundamentalist pastor, nor and angry parent, nor a young seminary student with a new axe to grind. I am an older man whose life was spent from age 11 on in the rock & roll-drug-motorcycle culture of California. And after I got saved I spent some more years in the so-called “christian” rock & roll motorcycle culture of the western states.
In God’s providence, I am invested in this stuff; and if I have no right to talk it, then no one does.
“But the common method, of standing on a street corner telling people that they are going to hell unless they repent, does not work.”
It does not matter what works, Neil. What matters is that what we do and HOW WE DO IT. All must line up with God’s revealed will (found in His Word), and we must leave the results to Him. Success is measured by fidelity to God, not by numbers nickels and noise. Modern leadership is gravely mistaken on this.
“That is why there is a vast number of people that have build a hatred for Christians. Its not God, Jesus, or the church they hate, its the people.”
You are seriously mistaken. We are ALL born into this world, in Adam, God-hating rebels. In your system people don’t need saving, they are neutral. Your perspective is humanism, not Christianity on this. We are born dead to God and alive to sin. That is why we must be born from above. Eph 2.1, Col 2.13
People hate Christians because they hate Christ. Christ is God, and we are guilty before God, therefore we hate Him. We hate all authority because it all comes from God (Ro 13), from our parents on up. Have a look at Romans 1.18-32. Not a nice picture. All people know more about God and His rightousness than they admit.
Friendship evangelism does not work. Worldly people are attracted to people who will reinforce them IN their sin. People who need Christ will be attracted to the truth, even if it hurts their feelings. Friendship evangelism has filled the church with dangerous chaff.
“Maybe my experience is limited to my youth, or the area I live in, but the majority of people that I talk to that are agnostic / atheists have had bad experiences with people that claim to be Christian but do not love.”
No one loves like they should. I don’t love like I should. But, what is love? Is it reinforcing people in their sin so that they go to hell with a false sense of security? People hated Christ enough to kill Him, and He was the most loving person who has ever been. People lie; they give all kinds of excuses to hate Christians. People hate God. We all do. We are all rebels to the core. Gen 8:20-21, Eccl 9.3, Jer 17.9, Psm 51.5, Prov 22.15, Mat 15.18-19, Lk 11.13, John 2.23-25, 1Cor1.18, 2.14, 15.21-22, Ro 3.9-12
Let me try a new tact:
The World is lost and dying.
WCS looks like it is lost and dying.
Its fans look like they are lost and dying.
What is wrong with this picture?
The lost love sin and the things that bring death; this is part of what it means to be a child of Adam and the devil.
So the world thinks you guys are cool; they even tolerate you talking about Jesus once in a while (because they want to feel better about themselves).
I tell you from first hand experience that this is not of lasting worth.
Get ready to morn; because if you are real, you will morn. How different is the experience of a broken-hearted child of God from the lightness, frivolity, emptiness, and worldliness of the multitude that only have a mere profession of Christ. How different is a mourning saint (broken over his base backslidings) from the RECKLESS professor who justifies his every action, who thinks sin is a light thing. Note that no matter how inconsistently the chaff acts, he never feels his conscience wounded.
If you are God’s child, at best, this is what you I think you will face: All these posers and music bands will fade away, and you will morn. You will morn that you had anything to do with their deception.
And you will morn and morn and morn. Morn over your broken idols, your lost youth, and your marred bodies. Even after you repent, your “music” tortured brain will echo for years with the sounds you wish you could stop, but cannot. Ask me how I know.
And God will have taught you some expensive lessons.
1. That you are not smarter than His Word and his ways
2. That modern Christianity is not safe, but has become fatally corrupted.
3. That God’s grace in Christ is sufficient to save a real sinner like you. A real sinner who even now struggles to love God after all He has done for you.
I would like to give one ray of light after all this. Here is a sermon I think will bless anyone, it is about the un-asked for grace of Christ. Go to this page;
And choose the sermon: Irresistible Grace
Thanks for posting me; it has been amazing and agonizing.
Thanks again for your kindness.
@Pulled – I agree with much of what you are saying here. However, your comments about me are quite incorrect. You said, “Luke has a liberal perspective. Look at his education background on his profile. Liberal theologians pride themselves on being open, inclusive and balanced.” While you are correct that I attended a state school with little regard for theological accuracy, to pin me as a liberal merely because of undergrad education is unfair. If you would read much of this blog you would find it not to be the case. I’m currently attending Reformed Theological Seminary to get an MA in Religion (not known for a “liberal” theology). I believe wholeheartedly in the full deity of Christ, the verbal plenary inspiration of the Bible, eternal heaven and hell, God’s utter hatred of sin, etc., etc.
amazing…. a house divided will fall… i have been truely enlightened…. truely and while reading all these posts i have had many emotions come to light. i want to start by saying may God’s undeserving grace be upon you all and i love you i’m talking the kind of love that paul speaks of in the letter to corinth. i love you all. i happen to know that T got those tattoos for many reasons. one reason which happens to be the most important is to glorify our Lord and Savior. How is that you ask? When getting a tattoo “one” has to ask himself ( if he is a real Christian) will this glorify God? well the answer is very simple. All throughtout the bible it speaks of God using the unclean to help the clean and therefore glorifying His Holy Name. Specifically … 2 kings where Elijah was fed by ravens. A black bird was actually significant in this story because they ate the dead ( read the old testement) so they were spiritually unclean. yet, they kept Elijah alive to do God’s will Praise God and all His Glory !! later a samaritan woman had faith in the words from the man of God (Elijah) and fed him and God used the unclean for the good of the Kingdom of God in that senario as well. You get the picture? Okay. so.. back to the point… If Tyler, getting those tattoos, stikes up a conversation about his tattoos with a person, mind you, one person that leads to that person truely repenting and that soul is saved then that tattoo has served its purpose in the kindom of God. amen? amen! 2nd reason… Christ suffered more than we can imagine… Tyler actually hates getting tattooed. i know this cuz he told me that today. but In a twisted way he feels an even greater kinship with Christ and all of our fallen saints by way of pain. He knows he is nothing without christ, as i do. but to suffer isnt vain indeed. It is a fraction of the the pain that Christ felt. and those so called monsters and demons are from the old black and white movies, which T is a great big fan of ( so old movie buffs alike will see that and feel that T has a common ground or an ice breaker if you will) but no one metioned the samari cutting the head off the snake on his other leg which represents him fighting his addiction thru his faith walk with Christ. If you have been to just one of his shows you would know he speaks of cutting the head of the snake using it as a metaphor for sin and addiction. but all this talk has lead us from the real issue at hand…. WSC… and their attemp at thinking outside the box to reach and feed the poor… poor in spirit poor in faith etc.. and i commend them for it. Christ sent us into the world to do such as that. Glory to Jehovah God and Christ OUr Lord forever and ever amen.
Just a couple comments to clear a few things up. It may be a little late in the conversation for this, but here goes.
The tattoo on Eddie’s thigh was done without T even knowing about it. It was done as a surprise to him from Eddie. He wanted to show his love and support for Tyler and the mission he is on with WCS. This is also why the tattoo has Tyler in his ringleader outfit.
As for Veronica’s outfit on stage. Her character represents the faceless woman. Hence the go-go cage, dress, mask, etc. The whole character is to represent how many men view the women that they look at in every day life as well as in pornography. It isn’t about flaunting herself to a crowd, it’s about representing that aspect of addiction in the same way that the pig represents how he felt inside. And, honestly, with or without some outfit Veronica is beautiful inside and out. You could put her in a paper sack and a mask and it would still shine through.
I hope this cleared a few things up. I agree with others on here that arguing and picking apart people who are trying to do good and bring people to Christ (which is everyone who is posting on here) is not productive for anyone.
@ pulled from the fire:
I think that you have several valid points, and it takes a lot to speak what you believe. Especially when it is not the popular opinion. I am sure Tyler and Veronica would love to talk to you about it. If they have a show near you, you really should meet them. They are amazing people, and extremely open to opinions. You may be surprised how much you have in common with them. Even if you choose to skip the performance part of the show, it may be worth it to meet the people behind it. Worst case, you still feel the same and nothing is lost. On the flip side, they may change your opinion of them or you may open then up to a new view on what they do.
Either way is better than arguing on a comment board. I hope this helps. I am in no way trying to start more debate.
So just a few comments. I Love Tyler, Veronica and Phillip. These guys do more for Christ and His kingdom than most. We can squabble about theology and who’s correct in their interpretation of Scripture all day.
God’s greatest command to us is to LOVE. Read 1 John 2. I’m not saying we should ignore sin in our lives or the sin in fellow BELIEVERS of Christ. But if we can use what God’s done in our life to present the Gospel then we’re following in His footsteps.
Thanks WCSS and for all you do for the lives you’ve changed and are changing.
Why can’t we just make amends, forgive and just LOVE each other instead of talking bad!!! Thats all I’m saying and sticking 2 it and that I’m very proud of my WCS family!!! :)
God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.
“In your system people don’t need saving, they are neutral. Your perspective is humanism, not Christianity on this. We are born dead to God and alive to sin.”
What is my system? I said that people hate Christians, not Christ. I know of a handful of people that hate Christians, and the church because of the people, not Christ. the majority of Christians have a “I’m better than you” attitude. I’ve been on both sides. I use to hate Christians, and have nothing against Christ. I did not know Him. and I know people that have the same mindset. We have to show them Christ as His Word depicts, with love.
“Friendship evangelism does not work. Worldly people are attracted to people who will reinforce them IN their sin. People who need Christ will be attracted to the truth, even if it hurts their feelings. Friendship evangelism has filled the church with dangerous chaff.”
Since when does it not work? Worldly people are attracted to things that make them happy. If they see someone always full of joy, they will want that themselves. If one of my worldly friends asks why I’m always in a good mood, I’ll tell them what Christ is doing in my life or what I learned in His word. Many people that I know in the church are there because a friend reached out to them and showed them Christ’s love. Not because a random street preacher told them to go or else they will burn. And if you are implying that they are ‘chaff’, then I’ll take up that insult as well.
1 Corinthians 13:1-3
If you have love, you are nothing. What was it that Christ said was the greatest commandment? Love.
Love is: 1 Corinthians 13:4-8(1)
Looking at how you write and what you say, it seems that you have forgotten this. Am I preaching a “hippie-lovefest”? No. But I am saying that you must not forget to love, because He loves you.
And to be honest, I dont agree with everything Luke says. but we should not judge one another on where we stand with Christ. The kid you hear cussing may be the same one that God is working on to break drug or alcohol addiction. God works in us all differently.
And the personal attack on his education was childish. I’m sure you do not know him, so to say something like that makes you out a fool.
My name’s not Neil :)
Oh, left out a word…
1 Corinthians 13:1-3
If you -dont- have love, you are nothing. What was it that Christ said was the greatest commandment? Love.
Sorry we are not communicating well. I think the differences in our systems could best be seen in this comparison:
We still disagree; people don’t want to know the real Lord Jesus Christ; the One on a throne, God of very God, the One with rights to everything and every body, the Judge who is coming back with His garment dipped in the blood of His enemies Rev 19:11-13. The Lord Jesus Christ is THE KING. He has the power of life and death in His hand. He is to be worshiped, not pitied. He is not in glory crying over the lost hoping they will “give him a chance”. This modern idol needs to be pulled down.
About ten years ago I started to ask some questions; what is the gospel, what did Christ do on the cross, and what is a Christian?
Do you want a wake up call? If you ask your friends, pastors, or parents these questions what you likely get is this: “the gospel is that if you ask Jesus in your heart you will be saved”, “Jesus died on the cross so that everybody can get saved if they want to”, and “a Christian is some one who has asked Jesus in their heart”. All this is modern error; and if anyone cares not whether he has these questions right or not, he proves that he is lost and as cold as ice.
A real Christian knows a little about the true nature of God, sees Him as his King, reads and loves His word, and makes an effort to obey what he reads and comes to understand.
Dead_light, have you ever read the Bible? I hope you are better than I was. To my shame I was a Christian over 7 years before I did. This plan is the way I first read the Bible and continue to read it. It is interesting way to read; one reads from four different books at the same time!
By chaff I mean the false convert, the one who is trusting in his works and not Christ. This work may be a decision he made, a card he signed, his baptism, or even his repentance. I don’t pretend to know who they are in your circle. The problem I have is more with modern leadership that has created systems that make lots of chaff, like decisionism. Read about it here:
“1 Corinthians 13:1-3
If you have (not) love, you are nothing. What was it that Christ said was the greatest commandment? Love.
Love is: 1 Corinthians 13:4-8(1)”
Love to God first, right? If we don’t love truth, we don’t love God. And our love to God better eclipse all others completely according to the words of Christ. Luke 14:26
“Looking at how you write and what you say, it seems that you have forgotten this. Am I preaching a “hippie-lovefest”? No. But I am saying that you must not forget to love, because He loves you.”
Since I have covered this protest in previous posts I will not repeat myself here. I will just say this; when people say they are serving the Lord Jesus while in front of them a man with a pig’s head, banging his head and beating on a drum, I am prone to get upset. I think God is angry at this.
Jer 8:19b…Is not the LORD in Zion? is not her king in her? Why have they provoked me to anger with their graven images, and with strange vanities?
“And to be honest, I dont agree with everything Luke says. but we should not judge one another on where we stand with Christ. The kid you hear cussing may be the same one that God is working on to break drug or alcohol addiction. God works in us all differently.”
He calls us all to repent and believe, right? Acts 20:21
“And the personal attack on his education was childish. I’m sure you do not know him, so to say something like that makes you out a fool.”
It was a mistake to point out Luke’s education, but it was not an attack.
I wanted to warn you all, because to me, Luke clearly was coming across as a liberal in his posts. It would have been plainer to just say that; my mistake. This whole thing has been a mind bender for me. I am shocked that anyone of Luke’s caliber would defend WCS. I thought it was only base fools like me that got caught up in stuff like WCS.
As far as your comment that I have judged Luke, I disagree; I don’t know where Luke is with the Lord, and honestly, I never spent any time wondering if he is a true believer or not. He is obviously highly educated, intelligent, and thoughtful. I hope to be forever different in my approach with posting in the future because of my contact with him. This is all a bit new to me. I have never done anything like this before. I had doubts that I would ever get to post a second comment; that is one reason I hit so hard on the first one. I would like to be more disarming, like Luke has been.
As far as looking foolish, I am getting used to it. I take it to be a step in the right direction given how smart the world and the modern church have evolved to be. 1Cor 1:18-32
My name’s not Neil :)”
Sorry. Dark_light, can I call you DL?
@Pulled – Thanks for the helpful links. I, for one, agree with everything you’ve written here. I think I’m in full agreement with your Reformed theological framework (as far as I can tell). I am also very saddened by how the gospel has been reinterpreted around man-centered thinking. Decisionism is unfortunately rife in the church today.
My question is why someone with our theological framework must necessarily believe God dislikes (or hates) WCS’s approaches.
I am not going to get into any theological debates with anyone, I’ve been following this comment thread since it started, and think it is wonderful that everyone has felt compelled to share their thoughts on this.
I do think that there are a lot of people here who have put limits on what God can do through a band like WCS, or through any of us for that matter.
Personally speaking, I don’t think our minds can possibly comprehend the extent of God’s love, and His power to change lives. Everyone has their own theology that they believe is what is right, I am not going to argue that.
I will say that there is not a single person commenting here, myself included, that can fully understand God’s love for us. We can read about it in scripture, but who do we think we are that we can decide how God should work?
The devil has a lot of people right where he wants them, I can see that from reading through these comments.
God is bigger than the ideas of everyone commenting here. I love you guys very much, and its great that we can share our opinions or our convictions with each other. But how many of you have really read what Veronica is saying here?
This website is devoted to a ministry of helping others with their struggles with pornography. Her story is about sharing their struggles with that, in hopes that someone will relate to that, and know that they are not alone.
She is asking that we choose integrity daily. For some of us, who have struggled, and are struggling, it is a choice that has to be made daily. For the ones who have never struggled with it, that may be commenting here, please do not judge us that have struggled, because you don’t know how devastating it can be to your life, and how hard it is to overcome. We can’t do it on our own, but only through the power of Christ.
Please don’t put limits on what God can do in the lives of someone, or what He can use to reach out to others to bring Himself glory. There are many here that have already limited what God can do.
“He is to be worshiped, not pitied”
No argument here. But strictly communicating that He is wrathful is not truth. You forget about all the acts of compassion, of the agape love. Living as a light, and loving people (showing God’s love through how you live your life) is the greatest way to live. He is to be feared and loved, and we must show that in our own lives.
To be a Christian is to love Christ, and follow Him. To follow His teachings and make every effort to understand what He says. A Christian is someone that lives it (the gospel). Not simply saying, quoting, or instructing others. they must live it.
Yes, I’ve read the Bible a number of times. I am currently studying Proverbs. As of late, I’m in an Old Testament class, and try to take one class (3 credit hours) a semester. A class on The Book of Romans has been my favorite (though very in depth when learning the Greek). I study scripture daily, with at least 2 different translations. Oh, and I’m going through C.S. Lewis’s “Mere Christianity” book.
Then your definition is right when you say chaff. By what you said earlier, with regards to chaff, you implied that anyone in church because of a friend’s love was a false Christian. I still hold that friendship-evangelism works. It gets people (friends of mine) so start to ask the same questions you did (what is the gospel, what did Christ do on the cross, and what is a Christian? ). They begin to search for their answers, and through that learn and start to live the Gospel.
“I will just say this; when people say they are serving the Lord Jesus while in front of them a man with a pig’s head, banging his head and beating on a drum, I am prone to get upset. I think God is angry at this.”
“A real Christian knows a little about the true nature of God, sees Him as his King, reads and loves His word, and makes an effort to obey what he reads and comes to understand.”
How do you know that this is not right then? Do you know the will of God for these people? I believe that God is using them in that ministry to reach people that many churches have forgotten. Talk with them sometime when they are in your area again. You’ll see that they do love Christ, and are very zealous for Him. They go through a number of Bibles a year simply giving them out to people that they pray with. People that other churches / ministers / Christians ignore and consider too far lost.
Yes, DL is fine.
I appreciate what I think you are tiring to express, and I can at least understand your annoyance with me, given your perspective. I am challenging what I see to be unfounded and dangerous modern traditions. This has never been well received in any age.
“Please don’t put limits on what God can do in the lives of someone, or what He can use to reach out to others to bring Himself glory. There are many here that have already limited what God can do.”
Witt, here are some questions to think about:
If the Spirit told you one thing and the Bible another, what would you do?
Can the Word and the Spirit ever disagree?
Just because God uses something, does that mean it is right or safe?
“For the ones who have never struggled with it, that may be commenting here, please do not judge us that have struggled, because you don’t know how devastating it can be to your life, and how hard it is to overcome”.
Friend, try asking questions and speaking directly; something like this: “mister, I wonder if you belong on this site. This site is for people who struggle with porn, do you struggle with porn? I think WCS has helped me, so if you are just here to make trouble, please quit posting”.
“Everyone has their own theology that they believe is what is right, I am not going to argue that.”
Oh Whitt, please understand. I was out of control and near the bottom when I got saved, and the modern church put a band aid on my fatal wound and I began to rot again. My struggle to understand truth from error is a life and death one.
It seems like you may be asserting something like this “one man’s opinion is as good as another, and no one can know for sure; so let’s move on”.
If this is what you are tiring to say I would only say this: My dear friend Whitt; be careful, one day you may NEED to understand things like how salvation works in order to carry on.
I am very grateful that it seems like we are starting to dialog. This is grace!
“but strictly communicating that He is wrathful is not truth. You forget about all the acts of compassion, of the agape love.”
I see Christ giving grace to the humble, and law and warnings of wrath to the prideful. What pattern do you see in His dealing with people in the New Testament?
I don’t strictly talk about God’s wrath, but I do discern what is needed. In this superficial, fat cat, complacent, and prideful generation I tend to talk about God’s wrath.
As far as AGAPE love goes, be careful what you teach! What would have happened if the prodigal son would have come home drunk with a whore? Where would the modern churches’ doctrine of unconditional love be then? Besides, all of God’s love to the sinners He saves is CONDITIONAL upon the finished work of Christ. And God demands repentance (abandoning all alliances; Christ must now come first), faith, and obedience from all who profess to be His.
God is not going to send people to hell while He has agape love for them. Think about that. Too many people (professors included) think God is a God of slack. He is not. All sin is dealt with in hell, or on Christ. And God is not playing games. It is not an age of love and then an age of wrath. Life AND death are held out to all NOW; God commands all people everywhere to repent and believe in His mercy in Christ, under the threat of eternal hell fire. Please, DL, don’t ever set one attribute of God against another. This is a very bad habit of the modern Church; don’t learn it.
DL also wrote:
“WCS reaches out to…people that other churches / ministers / Christians ignore and consider too far lost.”
Well, I also have not forgotten my native people, as a matter of fact, I prefer to reach out to the roughest people I can find. Funny thing is that it is had to find one sinner even among the down and out; everybody is doing just fine with the Lord. Same goes for “Christians”, most are too found to be lost, too saved to be really saved. In this sad time I hate the company of most professors of Christ. I will take the company of saved sinners any day, but they are hard to find.
As one old grace preacher once said “The problem is not getting people “saved”, the problem is getting them lost”. This is the challenge of our day. Any fool can get decisions for Jesus, but it is another thing to be used of God when He gives birth from above to a person dead in sin.
“My question is why someone with our theological framework must necessarily believe God dislikes (or hates) WCS’s approaches.”
I believe I can show that any CCM ministry is unscriptural, but it might take a while. I will get to work!
Hope to talk with you all again soon.
@Pulled – I assume by “CCM” you are talking about Contemporary Christian music as a whole genre? Would it be any musical group featured in CCM Magazine? Just want to make sure I understand what you are talking about.
Sorry to be so vague, Luke,
I aim to use scripture in a future post to show that WCS is not a valid ministry.
I also hope give clear testimony on how Contemporary Christian Music (CCM), as a whole, aggravated my struggle with porn.
By CCM I mean any MIX of religious words with a modern, country, blues, rock, alternative, industrial, metal, stadium rock, speed metal, punk, gothic, hip-hop, or course type of beat (you get the idea, maybe we could call it MBRAIMSRSMPGHHCTOB for short).
Pulled from the Fire,
From the Bible God uses a lot of things that may not appear right or safe from ‘Man’s’ perspective, but He uses them in many ways. One could argue that war is not right or safe, but God has used war time after time in the Bible.
Have you ever struggled with an addiction to pornography?
The reason I choose not to debate theologies is simple. Everyone from different denominations believe that their beliefs are the only true beliefs one can follow. Take a Baptist or Catholic discussion about their beliefs and you will see a big difference between the two. Most of the people who claim ‘their way’ is the only way are simply being self-righteous and trying to ‘prove’ their point.
I think the Gospels speak for themselves. I am not asserting that one man’s opinion is as good as another, and no one can know for sure, so let’s move on. Your statements however make it appear that you are the only one with the ‘right’ answers which in turn, makes your statements appear to be self-righteous. I pray that is not the case, and we are simply misunderstanding what you are saying.
I think for you to make the statement that I may need to understand things like how salvation works in order to carry on, tells me that you are under the assumption that I do not know how salvation works.
Granted I don’t know you, and you don’t know me but I do not make any assumptions about where anyone’s walk with Christ is at because in all honesty I do not know.
What kind of music do you listen to out of curiosity?
I’ll be praying for you, I would ask that you pray for me also, but my part of the conversation ends here. I think the debate that has occurred because one woman has decided to share her heart about their struggle with pornography is now shaping into a debate for one man to prove that everyone else is wrong and he is right. I no longer wish to be adding fuel to the fire here.
“I see Christ giving grace to the humble, and law and warnings of wrath to the prideful. What pattern do you see in His dealing with people in the New Testament?”
Doing things that were revolutionary in His day. Teaching those that were ready to listen. Healing peoples that others saw as lost causes. Rebuking those that lived hypocritical lives. Having compassion on people that others forgot. Et tu, Brute?
Its great that you talk about a wrathful God. Preach a message about hell, fire, and brimstone to a youth, and they will just shrug it off. I’ve talked with kids that are okay with going to Hell, because no one has shown the gospel. Teach a youth that there is a God that loves them, about Christ, and their lives will begin to change. Teach them what love is and how to love as He loves us. That, in said love we must be obedient (to scripture) and that His love never fails. At least, that’s a short version.
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him.” 1 John 4:16-17
-it is not fair to simply go up to someone and tell them that they are a sinner and going to hell, rather, we must, in a loving way, help THEM come to the logical conclusion that there is a problem, and that they are in need of the Saviour Jesus.
“In this sad time I hate the company of most professors of Christ. I will take the company of saved sinners any day, but they are hard to find.”
“Any fool can get decisions for Jesus, but it is another thing to be used of God when He gives birth from above to a person dead in sin.”
By what method are you judging people? How do you determine someone that is living for Christ versus someone going through the motions? Are we all not sinners even though we have been reborn in Christ?
Earlier you said “No one loves like they should. I don’t love like I should.” And with the scripture I inserted earlier, “Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. ” What is love? I believe I posted that earlier (1 Corinthians 13:4-8(1)). So I guess in the end we’re all saved sinners, right?
I’m curious to see the CCM thing…
@ Pulled from the Fire and dead_light,
I wanted to pick your brains about something.
In your conversation there’s been a lot said about God’s wrath and love. I can see there is disagreement over some of this. I don’t think anyone on this thread is denying that God hates sin or that Jesus was a true friend of sinners. But I believe each attribute of God can only be understood in the light of His other attributes. In other words, His love can only be understood in the light of His wrath, and vise versa.
God not only hates sin, he also hates sinners (Ps 5:5). He calls those who do unrighteousness “abominations” to Him (Deut 18:12; 22:5; 25:16; Prov 3:32; 16:5; 29:27). Our sin is an affront to His majesty and that makes it ugly and offensive to God. Yes, it is also true God loves the world he made (John 3:16) in the sense that God has been tremendously patient with sinners (2 Pet 3:9), showering them with many common mercies (Matt 5:45). Above all He shows His love by continuing to give a rebellious world clear revelation of who He is, first in nature (Rom 1:18-20; Acts14:16-17), and second in the ultimate revelation of His Son (Heb 1:1-3). Nonetheless, God does not suffer someone’s rebellion forever. God will send rebellious sinners to hell, a place of eternal, conscious torment (Luke 16:19-31).
The gospel is the incredible message that Jesus is Lord of the world (Rom 1:1-4; 10:9), the promised Messiah and rightful King. He is a King who has come once to this earth to offer sinners gracious pardon, offered to those who repent of their sin and confess Christ as Lord. But the gospel is not merely an invitation to be accepted, it is a command to be obeyed. When the King returns, he will come “with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might” (2 Thess 1:7-9).
The glorious truth of the gospel is that this King bore our sins in his body on the cross (1 Pet 2:24), that God made His own Son a guilt offering (Is 53:10), and there He was wounded, crushed, and forsaken by His Father (Is 53:5; Matthew 27:46). There He bore the Father’s curse for our sin (Gal 3:13). Instead of the blessing of God’s face shining on Him (Num 6:24-26), the Father’s face was turned against His own Son (Ps 34:16).
When we preach a message of love to lost souls, God’s wrath against sin must be mentioned, otherwise it is a distorted view of love. The apostle John says this much. Right after stating “God is love,” he writes, “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:9-10). To understand love, we must understand “propitiation”—the radical truth that God wrath was turned aside to His own Son on the cross. If we downplay wrath, we downplay the true definition of God’s love.
CS Lewis said as much in his famous essay, “God in the Dock.” Lewis points out that one of the main differences between modern and ancient man is that ancient man believed that the gods were his judges, and that he was at their mercy. Modern man rather believes that he is God’s judge; God is on trial. This is one reason why sin is a lost word in our culture today: man simply doesn’t believe he will stand before the Judge.
When someone is truly converted from rebellion and idol-worship to obedience and God-worship, the cross not only convinces him of God’s incredible love, but of God’s vehement hatred of sin. The ugliness of Jesus on the cross should be a glaring picture to him that his sin is ugly. Martin Luther said this when he wrote, “You must be overwhelmed by the frightful wrath of God who so hated sin that he spared not His only begotten Son. . . . The whole value of the meditation of the suffering of Christ lies in this, that man should come to the knowledge of himself and sink and tremble.” John Calvin wrote, “When we behold the disfigurement of the Son of God, when we find ourselves appalled by His marred appearance, we need to reckon afresh that it is upon ourselves we gaze, for He stood in our place.”
To downplay someone’s sin or the reality of hell is one of the most unloving things one can do. At the same time, to downplay the joy of being forgiven, the joy of His fellowship, is also a gross injustice to God’s glory. Belief it or not, so-called “hellfire preaching” can be done lovingly and enthralling way. This video with John Piper says it very well.
We should contend for these hard and glorious truths, but we should also contextualize those truths for every culture and subculture. Here’s a really good message from the 2006 Desiring God Conference about how we should both contend for true theology and contextualize it for a variety of cultures. Its lengthy, but very informative.
Do you both agree or disagree?
On the matter of music, this article by Tim Keller is quite good: “Evangelistic Worship.” The context about worship services and evangelistic gatherings, so not directly applicable to WCS performances per se, but I thought the perspective was refreshing.
I only read about 1/3 of these posts, but it is making me very sad.
“These men and women were ready to live and die for Love; yet somehow they had gone from fighting the enemy to bickering and fighting each other. I thought through what I could say to encourage them again. With all the strength of my voice and my heart I commanded: “Unified diversity! Functioning as one body. Every part encouraged by the other. No one independent of another….Beautiful bride, body of Christ. One flesh abiding, strong and unifying. Fighting ends in forgiveness, unite and fight all division, Beautiful bride.”
Luke, that was a major post; much of what you say runs counter to modern Christianity, and took me years to comprehend. I now rejoice in these truths, and rejoice to read them from your keypad.
“But I believe each attribute of God can only be understood in the light of His other attributes. In other words, His love can only be understood in the light of His wrath, and vise versa.”
Amen, and the same goes for us, if I say I LOVE children and I don’t HATE abortion I am a liar.
“God not only hates sin, he also hates sinners. He calls those who do unrighteousness “abominations” to Him (Deut 18:12; 22:5; 25:16; Prov 3:32; 16:5; 29:27). Our sin is an affront to His majesty and that makes it (us?) ugly and offensive to God.”
A very sobering truth lost to our culture. It is a dangerous lie that God loves the sinner but hates the sin. God will not send those he loves to hell. God is not a failure who looses part of His beloved bride to hell.
“Modern man rather believes that he is God’s judge; God is on trial.”
What a shocking, devastating, and insightful statement. This seems to be the attitude of those who give more value to sentiment than God’s word. I think in many ways the errors of the modern Church are born out of this attitude. It is like we know better than God’s word what is fair, right and good. This is proof that we are all born in Adam insane God-haters! Look at how we discount His word.
My web connection is too slow for video, so I will skip Piper for now, but I did listen to parts of the Mark Driscoll link you gave for the 2006 DGM conference. In my book, the guy is a reckless wolf. He jokes in the beginning of this sermon that we should repent if we don’t have cable TV, and seems to endorse the Simpsons. There is porn on cable TV, and this is a dangerous and reckless endorsement. The fact that it was a joke does not help (Prov 26.19). I used to like the Simpsons until the Lord broke my heart about scoffing at things that should make me weep. I think his attitude is typical of worldly Christians: reckless, indulgent, and a stumbling block to the unwise.
I read the paper by Tim Keller. It is a very interesting work. One faulty assumption I saw that I will mention now is this: that all cultures have the same value, worth, and insight. Does God’s grace not ebb and flow? Does He not show favor to one and leave another alone?
I need to look at it more. It seemed a little academic and cold, but it is a interesting work.
Anyway, thanks for the post, Luke, amen for the most part.
@Pulled – Thanks for the agreement on many theological issues. Amen to that.
As for Driscoll, I personally would never try to defend or denounce him as a person or minister in one small comment on a blog. I don’t even think he would want to do that. As for his use of sarcasm, I don’t believe he used it inappropriately here. As for the Simpsons, I think you are confusing Driscoll mentioning the Simpsons with endorsing them.
As for Keller’s article, you are right that he doesn’t tackle the subject of all cultures having or not having the same worth or value. I don’t believe, however, it is an underlying assumption. He calls for discernment on the part of church music leaders, but doesn’t get into what that discernment looks like as it pertains to style. I find no faulty assumption, just an article with a limited focus.
I really do want you to develop your thoughts on why you think certain styles of music are inherently unbiblical. You mentioned modern, country, blues, rock, alternative, industrial, metal, stadium rock, speed metal, punk, gothic, hip-hop, and all “course” rhythms, and in one foul swoop denounced them as irredeemable styles. I really find that fascinating and troubling. Perhaps you could simply explain for us why you believe God-honoring music and these styles are mutually exclusive.
“To downplay someone’s sin or the reality of hell is one of the most unloving things one can do. At the same time, to downplay the joy of being forgiven, the joy of His fellowship, is also a gross injustice to God’s glory.”
Agreed. As well as the rest. But these were by far the best lines.
Pulled – I am also curious to hear your thoughts on MBRAIMSRSMPGHHCTOB as ‘irredeemable styles”.
@dead_light – Thanks for compliment!
Pulled from the Fire has been talking about the concept of the “weaker brother,” and that certain music styles have been a stumbling block for him. In light of texts like Romans 14, what do you think a church should do about guys like Pulled from the Fire? I’m asking because I genuinely want figure out how we might work out clear biblical principles when we run into people with clearly different convictions than us.
I was vague on Driscoll; I count him as a wolf for lots of reasons besides this sermon, and have for some time. Many notable and honorable pastors publicly deplore him for his harsh ways. His inclusion at this 2006 DGM Conference was controversial, and was the begging of many pulling back from Piper.
I marvel at Driscoll’s (and your?) insensitivity for the weaker brother (if that is what you would like to call me, go right ahead (Ro 14)).
Cable TV is dangerous. Regular TV is dangerous.
Even if were true that some people can handle TV without sin, it is clear that many cannot. My battle with the TV was a fierce and bloody one over the course of 20 plus years. I REALLY don’t find this something to be joked about, and I am deeply offended.
Leadership is supposed to be serious, sensitive, and worthy of respect.
1 Timothy 3:8 Likewise must the deacons be grave….
Driscoll was in this sermon grossly irresponsible and insensitive to the weaker brother in making this joke: that God’s people need to repent and get cable TV if they don’t have it. Why do you back him up here? Where is your sensitivity? I find you troubling here.
What is with modern leadership? Where in the Bible is it taught that everything is open game for a joke? Is this not marginalizing and mocking? Is it not a sign of a hard heart? Is everything just a mere joke, an intellectual exercise?
To me it looks as though modern leadership just wants to have a big time in the name of Jesus Christ and does not care who gets trampled.
Have you experienced being delivered from the gutter only to get stumbled back into it?
I will tell you what it feels like: it feels like a sucker punch in the face from a trusted father figure. I don’t find it funny, and I don’t think the Lord does either; He has special care for the weak ones of the flock, and special hatred for those who stumble them.
Matthew 18:6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
Romans 14:21 It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor ANY THING whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.
Concerning 1 Timothy 3:8, yes deacons are called to be “grave” (KJV), or otherwise translated, dignified (ESV), men of dignity (NASB), men worthy of respect (NIV, HCSB), or reverent (NKJV). Mark Driscoll isn’t a deacon, but I get your point. I suppose it would be fairly easy to dig up dirt on him that would lead someone to believe he is not a person of venerable character. Like I said, I wouldn’t want to defend or denounce Driscoll as a minister or a person in simple blog comments, so I won’t even try.
I pointed to his sermon because it clearly articulated how we need to contend for truth while being culturally contextual. As for his comments about cable TV, I have very little to say. I don’t personally have cable TV and find TV-watching to be a big time-waster. I took his comment to be sarcastic, or at least tongue-in-cheek. Of course, I have no desire to “back him up” on a joke.
Yes, I have experienced being delivered from the gutter only to get stumbled back into it. Porn addiction was one of my biggest downfalls, but there have been plenty of other habitual sins in my life I am not proud of.
You’ll have to excuse me but never in my 30 short years have I met someone who would hear a joke about cable TV, or a remark about the Simpsons, or who would listen to any modern type of music, and stumble into sin as a result. Never. I obviously have a lot to learn about the so called “weaker brothers” out there in the universe. I heartily desire to pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding (Romans 14:19), and we all have a lot to learn about what that means in our global church context, especially since the Internet has made so much of our lives public.
On the matter of the “weaker brother,” would you consider yourself that? Is that how you would identify yourself when it comes to these issues?
I do understand the concept of the weaker brother very well. We are treading on the issue of personal conviction now.
I’ve been convicted to give up TV, video games, music that does not glorify God, and am a vegetarian. I have fasted and prayed about all those decisions (and more), and believe that Christ has been leading me. Still I hang out with my brothers and sisters in the faith, that do not hold the same convictions. It is simply because that Christ is working somewhere else in their life. Just the same, I talk to people that are further along than me, and I do get the sense of not being where I need to be.
“I’m no longer blind, but I cant yet see. I’m not the boy that I once was, but I’m not the man I’m yet to be”.
I come from ministering to youth (teens) and am active in the local music scene. Many of the bands I listen to have a punk / rock / metal sound to them. The individuals in the band are there because of Christ. They are using their talents that He has given them to reach others. The Lord can use anyone. If you imply that He cannot, you’re ‘putting God in a box’ – as they say.
“I was talking to a homeless man at the laundry mat recently, and he said that when we reduce Christian spirituality to systems and math we defile the Holy. I thought this was very beautiful and comforting because I have never been good at math. Many of out attempts to understand Christian faith have only cheapened it. I can no more understand the totality of God than the pancake I made for breakfast understands the complexity of me. The little we do understand, that grain of sand our minds are capable of grasping, those ideas such as God is good, God feels, God loves, God knows all, are enough to keep our hearts dwelling on his majesty and otherness forever”
To say that one variant of music is not biblical is interesting. A (very) jewish friend of mine says that the only mitzvah dealing with music is in regards to festivals. God loves creativity, look around in nature, its evident. Making music that glorifies His name, using the talents that HE has given to create. Rhythm does not matter. If its your conviction not to listen to it, then that’s where you are with Christ. That’s something that you need to work on. We are all individuals, and Christ will work differently in everyone.
Temptation (sin) is there, it always will be. But its how we handle it that is key. You are not to put a stumbling block in your brother’s path and you are to build him up as he grows in The Lord. But that brother must also forge his own path, and grow with Christ at his own rate. He cannot be a hinderance to others growing.
“I know now, from experience, that the path to joy winds through this dark valley. I think that every well adjusted human being has dealt squarely with his or her own depravity. ”
We cannot judge our brothers based on where we stand with Christ. Whether we are the weaker or stronger.
I found this sermon by John MacArthur very interesting in regards to music in our culture and how it relates to worship.
“I pointed to his sermon because it clearly articulated how we need to contend for truth while being culturally contextual.”
“You’ll have to excuse me but never in my 30 short years have I met someone who would hear a joke about cable TV, or a remark about the Simpsons, or who would listen to any modern type of music, and stumble into sin as a result. Never.”
Let me get this straight.
You ask me to listen to a PASTOR of a mega Church preach on being culturally contextual. Part of his message is that we need to be in contact with the culture. He says that Christ has been on the Simpsons many times. He then chides God’s people about getting cable if they don’t have it (in a joking way), so that they can watch the Simsons.
Will you now contend that no one could easily be stumbled by this very popular preacher to get a TV who should not have one?
Luke, your lack of sympathy is stunning.
@Pulled – I am sad to hear you think this relates to a lack of sympathy. I would call it ignorance. Perhaps they are the same thing. Either way, I really have never run into anyone even remotely like you in your sensitivities. It has honestly never crossed my mind that posting a sermon with that joke would cause anyone to doubt their convictions about TV. Please, forgive my ignorance.
You and I have reached many impasses in this conversation. Praying this morning over this blog post I recognized that the Lord has had much for me to learn in our conversation. Clearly, you have so many sensitivities I never knew existed. Much of this whole blog is probably an affront to you. I’m officially stumped. I am at a loss of how to effectively apply any teaching about the “weaker brother” when our differences are so dramatically pronounced.
I’ve taken these comments to my superiors who will help me know how to weigh these matters properly. Thank you for all your comments.
Luke, thanks for looking into this. I know this is hard.
But, you misunderstand me. What I see as a lack of sympathy (sympathy being related to imagination) is this:
How is it that you cannot imagine some person who looks up to Driscoll not being stumbled into looking at TV by his remarks in their context? How is it that you do you not see him as reckless?
That’s all. My anger is at modern leadership that has lost its ability to discern between art and entertainment; and now a step further, entertainment and ministry.
I am deeply offended by Driscoll. I am horrified by this man’s insensitivity, but I am not stumbled by him. Why? I know what he is. Same as CCM. Early this year I came to see the truth after years of struggle; musicians are largely entertainers. This should not have been a big surprise, but because they had been sold to me as “ministers” by the modern church, it was a surprise.
I saw a web site that quoted many CCM artists praising secular bands, then I noticed many of my CCM bands doing secular songs. Like the 77’s doing the Led Zeppelin song Nobody’s Fault but Mine on their album Pray Naked. Facts about Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page: he was a full blown Satanist. He bought Alistair Crowley’s mansion. These people are my enemies, I do not admire them, nor will I ever allow my ministers to do so. My large collection of CCM is now gone, along with many secular CD’s I had collected simultaneously.
Life is sweeter with my Lord now that I am not trying to defend the indefensible. And the spirit of play is leaving me. Play. It is OK to play. That is the message I get from modern, reformed, popular leadership.
When I went looking for help with internet porn in early October I came to this site, and I saw an earlier article for WCS. As I thought about it I saw that WCS was a special case. Over two weeks I got angry thinking about Covent Eyes and WCS. And when I came back to the site there was a new article. So here we are (and thank for posting me).
Follow me for a moment: What is a WCS concert? It is clearly some kind of celebration or entertainment. How can a ministry dealing with such a vile sin as porn be remotely involved with celebration and entertainment? Is this not insanity? Have we not been here before?
Jeremiah 11:15 What hath my beloved to do in mine house, seeing she hath wrought lewdness with many, and the holy flesh is passed from thee? when thou doest evil, then thou rejoicest.
Sin is a reason to morn, not rejoice. More so the covenant breaking sin of porn.
Another question for you: Why is Veronica teaching when God’s word forbids a woman to teach (1Tim 2.9-15)? Look at her teaching, it is full of error. She says we need to “choose integrity” everyday.
Hogwash. Before my conversion I spent time on the street with a man who I saw pick up a used syringe from the gutter. The needle was broken off so he dug out the broken stub out of the plastic case and pulled it out a bit. He then tried to shoot up some meth and made a bloody mess of himself in the process.
When you tell a real sinner to chose integrity, Jesus, or even two cents worth of bleach to sanitize his needle, you show that you know nothing of human nature or the gospel.
A sinner wants his sin no matter the cost. He will have his bowl of mush at the cost of God, bliss, glory, family, friends, and physical safety. What put me on the path to reformed doctrine was tiring to tell an addict on the street to “chose” Jesus: what a fool I looked like! What a fool modern leadership made of me! Veronica you need to repent of this pitiful message of choosing integrity.
Why do we look at porn? Simple, we don’t love God.
We don’t love God, and don’t love the Church, and we don’t love anybody enough not to do it. And to marginalize it to an “addiction” is wicked; just another way to excuse it and keep dong it.
It is the love of God that leads us to repentance; and if that love does not break our hearts, shatter our hearts, humble our hearts, and calm our hearts; we have never tasted it.
The time to morn has come, and the time to dress as demons and have a big time and say you are in a ministry against porn has ended.
Entertainment is not art.
Entertainment is not ministry.
Our culture has infected us, it has deluded us! Beware!
Some books that have helped me:
Amusing ourselves To Death, by Neil Postman
All God’s Children And Blue Suede Shoes, by Kenneth A. Myers
Losing Our Virtue, and
God In The Wasteland by David F. Wells
The Total Depravity of Man, by AW Pink, (free from Chapel Library)
These sins I stand against are MY sins. I have lead people astray with a casual attitude, and I have promoted CCM as ministry. Please don’t get me wrong here.
Thank you for clarifying. At first I thought you were saying you are tempted to stumble into sin by listening to Driscoll’s comments. Rather, you are saying you offended at his recklessness. This makes much more sense to me. Thank you for clearing that up.
I don’t personally know of anyone who has stumbled over Driscoll’s words (in the sense of being tempted to sin) because they hear him speak (or joke) about specific subjects. Because I do not know anyone like this, I am not inclined to think he is being reckless with his words, but then that is probably based on my lack of interaction with such people. I know many people who are offended by Driscoll’s style of preaching and teaching, but usually they are legalists looking for stones to throw. I will certainly look more carefully into Driscoll’s ministry for the future.
I think you would agree your overall views about “entertainment” are the beginning of your specific problems with WCS. Because Christian entertainment is an oxymoron to you, WCS cannot be good from the outset (aside from the specific problems you have with their response to tattoos of their image, the way Veronica dresses, the fact that she is a woman who teaches, and the style of music that you believe is inherently linked to drug culture).
WCS is a multimedia presentation with a live-music backdrop. It is certainly “entertaining.” But does it celebrate the sin of pornography. No. Far from it. It exposes it for the dark, dangerous, addictive sin it is. It is a form of drama used to illustrate a truth. I see good storytelling and drama having the same potentially redemptive function as me captivating my 5-year-old son’s imagination with a dramatic Bible story, or someone using a parable to grab someone’s attention and cause them to think, or a preacher using a good illustration.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Secularism and bad theology permeate much of Christian music today. Entertainment is often not redeeming. But I do not assume, given that observation, that all Christian musicians who utilize a modern sound are therefore engaging in unprofitable entertainment.
Perhaps the word “entertainment” is part of the problem. I can be “entertained” by a lot of things, even godly things, in the sense that I am amused or engaged by them. Good hymns can be engaging. I’m sure the new heavens and earth will be thoroughly entertaining. But if by entertainment we mean something that is an unhelpful diversion from truth, then yes, we should all look into how Christian music might be that for us. And musicians should ask themselves with what spirit they perform. I agree Christians should definitely be more discerning about all aspects of their life, including what entertains them. Far too few Christians even ask whether certain kinds of entertainment are deadening their souls. But I do not think something that is “entertaining” is inherently bad.
On matter of Veronica being a woman: God’s word forbids women to teach “with authority,” which I take to mean usurping wrongful authority that male church leaders have to shepherd their flock with truth. I see nothing wrong with a woman publicly speaking to the church in the right context (1 Corinthians 11:5; 14:26).
Concerning WCS’s message: Asking an addict to “choose integrity” or “choose life” (in the language of the Law) either drives a person toward legalism, drives a person to the despair of failure, or leaves them craving the gospel of grace which alone trains us to be godly. If that were WCS’s only message, they would certainly be wanting. But that is not where their message stops. They point people to Christ in their testimonies. Much of the time WCS stays to pray with many of the people who attend their shows.
I am a friend of Roni and Tyler and I can tell you that you would be hard pressed to find 10 people in your lifetime who are equally devoted to Christ as they are. They are true lovers of Christ and live a life that shines His Glory.
Reading the opinions of some on here only confirms that. Jesus was the Messiah without sin and people were right on that band wagon to kill him weren’t they? “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me” (Jesus said that).
Also, found this write up about people who are easily offended (DL Moody)
NOT EASILY OFFENDED
In the 119th Psalm and the 165th verse, we find “Great peace have they who love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” The study of God’s Word will secure peace. You take Christians who are rooted and grounded in the Word of God, and you find they have great peace; but it is these who don’t study their Bible, and don’t know their Bible, who are easily offended when some little trouble comes, or some little persecution, and their peace is all disturbed; just a little breath of opposition, and their peace is all gone.
Sometimes I am amazed to see how little it takes to drive all peace and comfort from some people. some slandering tongue will readily blast it. But if we have the peace of God, the world can not take that from us. It can not give it; it can not destroy it. We have to get it from above the world; it is peace which Christ gives. “Great peace have they which love Thy law, and nothing shall offend them.” Christ says “blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in Me.” Now, if you will notice, wherever there is a Bible taught Christian, one who has the Bible well marked, and daily feeds upon the Word by prayerful meditation, he will not be easily offended.
Such are the people who are growing and working all the while. But it is these people who never open their Bibles, these people who never study the Scriptures, who become offended, and are wondering why they are having such a hard time. They are the persons who tell you that Christianity is not what it has been recommended to them; that they have found it was not all that we claim it to be. The real trouble is, they have not done as the Lord has told them to do. They have neglected the Word of God. If they had been studying the Word of God, they would not be in that condition. If they had been studying the Word of God, they would not have wandered these years away from God, living on the husks of the world. But the trouble is, they have neglected to care for the new life; they haven’t fed it, and the poor soul, being starved, sinks into weakness and decay, and is easily stumbled or offended.
I met a man who confessed his soul had fed on nothing for forty years. “Well,” said I, “that is pretty hard for the soul – giving it nothing to feed on!” And that man is but a type of thousands and tens of thousands today; their poor souls are starving. This body that we inhabit for a day, and then leave, we take good care of; we feed it three times a day, and we clothe it, and take care of it, and deck it, and by and by it is going into the grave to be eaten up by the worms; but the inner man, that is live on and one, and on forever, is lean and starved. http://www.worthydevotions.com/dl-moody/not-easily-offended.php
I apologize I don’t remember the name of the fellow that is against TV, but I couldn’t help noticing that you don’t have a problem with the internet. : ) …but that’s none of my business.
are you thinking about neil postman? :)
* * * * * * * *
how beautiful it is that we have a Father who loves us fiercely and is jealous for us. a God who sent His son as a human baby, born in a barn to a virgin girl to die on a cross.
the same God uses broken people. clay vessels. He’s the master potter.
He used prostitutes, adulterers, liars, thieves, cheats.
Thank goodness perfection is not a prerequisite for our being used by Him and that His grace doesn’t run out when we make mistakes.
He knows we are human yet loves us -Psalm 103:13-14- and loves us enough to not let us stay where we are.
We are all on the journey to holiness.
Thanks, everyone, for your honesty and vulnerability.
Thanks, T and Veronica, for everything.
They will know we are disciples by our fruit. (John 15:5)
I notice that many seem to think that this is an attack on V & T. To them I would offer the following quote from Mathew Henry:
“Note, It is a common thing for unhumbled sinners to call and count reproofs reproaches. It is the wisdom of those who desire to have their sin mortified to make a good use of reproaches that come from ill will, and to turn them into reproofs. If we can in this way hear of our faults, and amend them, it is well: but it is the folly of those who are wedded to their sins, and resolved not to part with them, to make an ill use of the faithful and friendly admonitions given them, which come from love, and to have their passions provoked by them as if they were intended for reproaches, and therefore fly in the face of their reprovers, and justify themselves in rejecting the reproof. Thus the prophet complained (Jer. 6. 10): The word of the Lord is to them a reproach; they have no delight in it.”
Have I been 100% faithful and friendly? No, but please take heed, for your own happiness sake, and for the glory of God’s sake.
“I don’t personally know of anyone who has stumbled over Driscoll’s words (in the sense of being tempted to sin) because they hear him speak (or joke) about specific subjects. Because I do not know anyone like this, I am not inclined to think he is being reckless with his words, but then that is probably based on my lack of interaction with such people.”
Does everything just boil down to relationships and experience for this generation? Sure seems like it. I will let this go, but I find the lack of imagination here stunning.
“I know many people who are offended by Driscoll’s style of preaching and teaching, but usually they are legalists looking for stones to throw.”
What is a legalist, Luke?
“I think you would agree your overall views about “entertainment” are the beginning of your specific problems with WCS. Because Christian entertainment is an oxymoron to you, WCS cannot be good from the outset (aside from the specific problems you have with their response to tattoos of their image, the way Veronica dresses, the fact that she is a woman who teaches, and the style of music that you believe is inherently linked to drug culture).”
Thanks for trying to understand me, and for keeping track. Luke, you are a brick. (if but a misguided one)
I would say my biggest problem is with modern undiscerning leadership. This culture is a tricky thing to play with. It is insidious. I don’t pretend to understand it, but I witness to being delivered from it to some extent by the grace of God.
“On matter of Veronica being a woman: God’s word forbids women to teach “with authority,””
You misquote scripture, Luke. Please give it another read:
1 Timothy 2:11-14 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
Paul says “NOR” to have authority, not “WITH”, as you say. And he links the issue to the creation order of God, and with the fall in the garden, so good luck trying to get around his argument. Looks like a dangerous move to me.
Is it not also interesting that Veronicas’ message is false given that Paul points out that the woman was deceived? I think so. I think the word “silence” is clear here as well.
“Concerning WCS’s message: Asking an addict to “choose integrity” or “choose life” (in the language of the Law) either drives a person toward legalism, drives a person to the despair of failure, or leaves them craving the gospel of grace…”
Your imagination seems to work just fine here. You think that “choose integrity” sounds like the thunders of Mount Sinai to most people? I think it sounds misleading; like it is something that I can do if I want to.
To be frank, I think it sounds like a pitiful, deceptive, man-centered, will-worshiping, graceless message to be repented of.
talitha_koum made a reference to fruit. That got me thinking: I maintain that you all are getting ripped off by modern leadership; and I offer this wake up call:
Can you give a coherent and true recollection of the gospel message so that it would match the ones preached in the book of ACTS?
Can you show that you understand how a person is saved (the doctrine of Justification)?
Can you tell anyone the difference between justification and sanctification?
Can you quote any Bible verses to back up your doctrine?
Can you do the above without the web or books, right now?
You will know them by their fruits. Mathew 7:13 to the end of the chapter includes doctrine on false teachers and their fruits. The fruit of a ministry is its converts. And it is likely that most of you all (V&T included) don’t know the gospel or how a person is saved.
bummer eh? Or maybe no big deal?
What do you all think?
I say that you all should be concerned and a little angry at your leadership for this. I say you are getting eternally ripped off while they use your money for the Big Top.
You said, “Does everything just boil down to relationships and experience for this generation?”
Not sure why me saying what I said Driscoll’s preaching invoked that comment. Perhaps you can elaborate.
I agree with what you said about undiscerning leadership. Not sure what it has to do with your thoughts on entertainment, unless you’re talking about entertainers as leaders. Is that what you are getting at? How was my take on the entertainment concept?
On the matter of 1 Timothy 2, I was not quoting it, but rather trying to draw out the applications and implications. I believe 1 Timothy 2 means women cannot be in the leading-teaching role Paul speaks of in 1 Timothy (specifically seen in chapters 3 and 5). Paul is commanding women to learn in a spirit of submissiveness and not take an up the authority or teaching position of an elder. It is clear from many other passages in the Bible, including Paul’s letters, that an absolute silence of women is not being promoted here. I firmly believe women are not to be pastors/elders. Veronica is not, nor does she try to act like one.
Concerning WCS’s message, you heard me right: the language of choosing integrity is like the language of the law, the tutor that prepares us for Christ. Add to that their testimony of how the grace of Christ saves us, and it points people to Jesus as their only hope for transformation and forgiveness. Again, not sure why this is a problem.
I have been following this blog for a long time, and every time I check up on it again, I smile, because fifty million more things have been posted…
@ Pulled From The Fire… is it even about God and faith and and what is Christlike and whatever else anymore, or is it just about being right? Are you seriously insinuating that a person that struggles with porn “does not love God”? Because that’s what you said – verbatim. Does that mean that you didn’t love God “back in October” when you sought help for your internet pornography addiction? I mean, if the love of God leads you to repentance, but you’re stuck in a pornography addiction that causes you to lack all love for God or his church, then where did that conviction come from? Why did you seek help? I mean, you yourself called your pornography problem an addiction, and then said that “addiction” – the very word itself – is a “wicked, marginalized” word, void of any love for God… isn’t that self contradictory? What about all of the pastors and all of the men and women that are living out their lives to the glory of God, but they’re struggling with porn, and they’re struggling with lust – does that mean that their ministries are null and void? What if your pastor is addicted to pornography? He might be. A lot of pastors are. You know what?! I’ll bet the people that started these awesome accountability software sites for people like you and I struggled with pornography. I wonder if that means that their ministries aren’t doing anything for anyone? I wonder if Covenant Eyes is causing people to stumble. I mean, I hear it’s really helping relationships and mending marriages and providing practical help to overcome addictions, but it’s probably not true, because the dudes that started these sites might be addicted to the pornography that they’re trying to steer clear from. Does that mean that they are not vessels that God can do anything he wants with? And if it does, what makes pornography such a special sin? If all sin is equal in the eyes of God, then could it be possible that if there is just the smallest hint of judgement in your tone, you are subject to the same folly that you speak of? Because the last I heard, all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Well, I guess that means we’re all inexcusably wicked and all of our ministries are – what was your wording? – “not valid” – just like White Collar Sideshow’s. It might be a bit rash to single out a specific failing, because if the whitest lie is equivalent to the most violent of rape and murder (as far as separation from God goes) then nothing is valid, nothing is Christlike, and nothing holds meaning, let alone hope.
What lovely trees we all must have in our eyes.
You’ve used the word “foolish” several times in your descriptions of T or Veronica or Phillip or White Collar Sideshow… well I glory in the fact that my God “has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;” – 1 Corinthians 1:27
Look, I’ll readily agree with the fact that the way we view creation is reflective of the way we feel about the Creator, but to say that if someone struggles with porn, they do not love God… well, @Pulled From Fire, I just don’t know how that’s possible, and I don’t know how that’s Biblical. Is there a verse that you can give me that supports that? Is there a single place where Jesus says that all is hopeless for the adulterer? For the man or woman who struggles with lust?
You know what’s crazy to me? Thinking about David. God loved David. God called David a man after his own heart. David was a crazy guy. See, he was really digging on this girl, killed her husband, and took her as his own. Solomon did some pretty crazy stuff, too. He had a lot of wives and a lot of money and a lot of concubines and everything you could ever want and he didn’t deny himself a worldly pleasure. It’s pretty crazy that those kind of people – those kind of sinners – are the sinners that have books in the Bible. They’re the people that Jesus came to earth to chill with. White Collar is a pretty dramatic band. You know who else was pretty dramatic? Jesus. Jesus did a whole lot of things that people didn’t like at all. Jesus hung out with all of us sinners, and he called sinners to live for him, and sinners to die for him, and sinners to bring other sinners to him, and sinners to do crazy, oftentimes unconventional things for him, just like he did crazy, oftentimes unconventional things for sinners. Of course, we’re made perfect in Christ, but, I mean… you still sin, right? You’ve sinned in the past, right? I’ll bet that God uses you. I’ll bet that you struggle with things, and I’ll bet that Jesus loves you and is using you in his kingdom. I praise God for that. Just because we disagree on things does not mean that God does not hold power to do marvelous things through each of our lifestyles and viewpoints.
It is hardly justifiable to attack WCS on their methods simply because yours are different than theirs, and as T says at almost every show, and as the Bible clearly states: we all make up the body of Christ. And the Bible is firm about how we are not to cause division in it, but unity. Some of us might be the dirt underneath the body’s toenails, but we serve a purpose, and I am willing to be that WCS is fine with being the dirt underneath the body’s toenails if that is where God has them, and they are content in knowing that God is in control. Not every man’s ministry is going to appeal to everyone, but that is hardly a reason for the persons who disagree to criticize a beautiful ministry that the Lord is building in his name. Find me a place in the Bible where God says he’s as angry with a man in a pig mask as you say he is, and perhaps I’ll change my mind. But as of now, God’s ways are not man’s ways, and God’s design is infinite and flawless, and I do not believe that you have a right to speak with such authoritative condemnation upon a group of people that have devoted their entire lives to sharing the Gospel in a unique, passionate, bold manner, with the zeal and fervor that Jesus lived out as a gracious example for what our lives should look like.
But hey: “Students are to be like their teacher, and slaves are to be like their master. And since I, the master of the household, have been called the prince of demons, the members of my household will be called by even worse names!” – Matthew 10:24
I suppose stuff like this is to be expected if you’re going to take up your cross daily and follow the Lord with all that you are. I mean, good Lord, if we crucified God for bringing us grace and hope in an unconventional way, it only makes sense that we’ll “have enemies in our own household (Matt 10:36)” if we follow in his footsteps, right?
The harvest is great, but the workers are few. I have not met many people that are more devoted, loving, accepting, caring, appreciative, trusting, harder workers than the members of this project. I know firsthand that they are flawed and unworthy just like the rest of us, and I know firsthand that the Lord has used these flawed, unworthy people as a vessel to dramatically pour out his loving, caring, just and forgiving spirit on the people that they have come into contact with. What a beautiful thing! That there is hope in Jesus for sinners like us! Praise God for that.
@ Pulled From The Fire, thank you for thought provoking conversation.
@ Luke, thank you for supporting WCS, for Covenant Eyes and the freedom and accountability it has provided countless struggling individuals and couples, and for allowing Veronica to post this blog, and for your words of wisdom.
@ White Collar Sideshow, thank you so much for everything that you do. Please never, ever, ever stop.
Really should not read this after midnight. Let alone one in the morning….
@ Pulled – Pretty sure I can answer all those questions with a yes. The ones about “can you….”
Oh and you said: “I say that you all should be concerned and a little angry at your leadership for this. I say you are getting eternally ripped off while they use your money for the Big Top.”
Dude, I go to a church with 60 people tops. There is no “big top”. And the youth I help with? Pretty sure that building is held together with duck-tape.
Now for the fun stuff, translations:
1 Timothy 2:11-14 is a fun one that I struggled with for a while. Now if I remember my Greek correctly, it roughly translates to ” but I do not suffer a woman to teach or have authority over man”
The use of the pronoun “I” indicates that Paul does not desire to have that in his ministry within the church. And quite frankly, I’m not a huge fan of women being pastors. It conflicts with other parts of scripture in the New and Old Testaments, and says that women are not to be elders within the congregation.
1 Corinthians 14:34 says that women should be silent within the church, and ask questions within the home. No problem there. But what do you do if the woman does not have a husband, and her father does not have any relationship with the Lord? Not that its relevant, but I’m just a little curious. However, its much of the same, a woman is to trust her husband. And I believe that even the prophetesses of old (and recent, if you will) are permitted to speak within the church, but not with the authority of a man (elder in this case).
I’m a little puzzled about what this has to do with Veronica. She does not teach (as described in scripture, to the best of my knowledge), at least not in the 3 or 4 times that I’ve been to a show. She gives her testimony, and how she has come to know the Lord and the struggles. And she is under T[D]’s authority, and has that as a base of the relationship. Ever read Proverbs 31:10-31? That’s the kind of relationship I know them to have. Check out line 26.
“She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue. ”
Oh and: “Is it not also interesting that Veronicas’ message is false given that Paul points out that the woman was deceived? I think so.”
Seriously? That’s a bit of a stretch, even for you.
and Morgan – Be blessed!
what’s so freaking cool in all this: is no matter what we believe or where we come from, Jesus loves us all the same. when we go to be with Him all these questions or judgments we had with people, laws, religions ect… none of this will matter when we are with our Lord. A-freaking-MEN!
I talked with the senior pastor at my church today about it. And I forgot to mention the context in which the verses are put. But I’ll save that for later.
Luke I never said that WCS celebrated porn. My point was that a show or celebration (people dancing, etc) is in incongruent with a porn ministry.
Luke said: “You said, “Does everything just boil down to relationships and experience for this generation?” Not sure why me saying what I said (about) Driscoll’s preaching invoked that comment. Perhaps you can elaborate.”
Because you said the reason you could not relate was because you had never MET someone stumbled by Driscoll. The issue of Christian liberty takes some sympathy and imagination to obey.
Romans 14:21-22b It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak. Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God…
One has to understand that when people see us do something it is like an endorsement. So when a charismatic person like Driscoll chides God’s people about needing to get cable if they don’t have it (in a joking way), while preaching a message about being culturally contextual, and the need to be in contact with the culture, I think the potential to stumble is certain. Here he clearly implies that HE HAS cable and LOOKS at secular shows, and is clearly endorsing such a practice from the pulpit. To me this is radical. To obey this command of God we are to avoid DOING something others think is wrong (like drinking wine) IN FRONT of them, but what is to be said for some one who endorses something as dangerous as TV from the pulpit? To me this is a clear case of recklessness. (I assume you know that ALL of TV is full of porn [the definition of Porn includes things intended to cause sexual arousal, not just naked or fornicating people, look it up]).
In regard to Liberty I see this progression:
It is one thing to indulge in pop culture in private; it is another to promote it as safe entertainment; and it is monstrous presumption to promote it as Christian ministry.
Luke asked “How was my take on the entertainment concept?”
I agree with you for the most part; I think my thoughts on trying to separate art and entertainment were too simplistic, as you pointed out.
We need to understand pop culture and traditional culture. I don’t have the time to go into in detail, but this post is a small taste. I beg you to read the book All God’s Children and Blue Suede Shoes by Kenneth Myers. He is a director for radio and TV shows, and has masterful insight into these issues, and how they relate to Christians. This book is not an attack on pop culture, but an attempt to understand pop culture.
In short, I see Pop culture as insidious scheme turning people into savages a step at a time.
The lowest common denominator is the aim of pop culture; it is formula over substance, sentiment over lasting attributes.
The response of the modern church is to cater to the savages. I read the book The Celtic Way Of Evangelism years ago, and that is what it was up to: evangelize the emerging savages. But this is silly.
Why are we the ones involved with producing the savages in the first place?
What we need to be about trying to elevate and refine, instead of loosing all sense of propriety to reach the lost.
I say ministry as entertainment discomfits people for the real world of Christianity. A relationship with Christ takes WORK. Prayer, study, and meditation are WORK.
A concert is easy; you pay your money, you see the show and you’re done. The buzz of excitement wears off and your wallet is a little thinner, but YOU are the same.
Pop culture is easy, popular, relativistic, sentimental, and the spectacular. High culture takes investment, effort, and work. It demands submission to standards, invokes reasonable emotions, and focuses on timeless, transcendent ideas. It can seem dull to those who are uninitiated.
One really can’t just understand the gospel in his guts or his mind overnight. It is not an easy teaching. It takes years. And Justification, the heart of the gospel, is a very alien concept to fallen mankind. So to stoop down with stuff like WCS is in itself teaching the wrong idea.
Reconciliation with God is not gotten at a party or a rock show. One has to step out of the popular into a strange place like the Church and LEARN some things from serious people; people who are not super-fun-time-Charles (like your typical so-called youth pastor is).
I am upset knowing that most of the people involved with WCS and probably WCS themselves don’t know or understand the gospel. How can people believe what they don’t even know? How can WCS share a gospel they don’t understand?
How did we get here? In pop culture popularity rules, so leadership stooped down, hoping to catch the people up later. Now the people will not put up with sound teaching, so they are stuck. What a mess!
Luke said: “I firmly believe women are not to be pastors/elders. Veronica is not, nor does she try to act like one.”
What are V&T if not leadership? They have the stage for the evening, often in a church building; are they not leadership? What are their scriptural qualifications? I don’t see how you can get around this problem. I find it odd that as I look on the web that this is the only site that has any of their teaching, and besides an interview that includes Tyler, it is all from Veronica. However, in terms of their being actual ministers of Christ, I see no doctrinal statements, no church affiliation, no blogs on porn, nothing on their social sites. Kind of a crypto-ministry I would say. I also have read blogers who like WCS who know nothing of the porn ministry angle. Objectively, from looking at the web, it looks like V&T are common music celebrities.
Luke wrote “Concerning WCS’s message, you heard me right: the language of choosing integrity is like the language of the law, the tutor prepares us for Christ. Add to that their testimony of how the grace of Christ saves us, and it points people to Jesus as their only hope for transformation and forgiveness. Again, not sure why this is a problem.”
This seems like another case of a low and high culture mix up; the message of Oprah and the message of Moses being put forth as equals. Relativism tends to flatten everything out, and I think this is a good example. I think you would have had a hard time selling this idea 60 years ago. Of course today things are mixed up; one can do his doctrinal thesis on an old TV program like The Honeymooners. I still wonder if you would not shudder at many of your peers or Profs scrutinizing your connection of the law and WCS’s message here.
Let’s think about ministry for a moment. Ministry is high culture; it is about eternal things, morals, and values. How is it that a person looking at a WCS concert would see anything of these objectively? How is this not a complete contradiction? And how does it not teach the wrong message for V and T to talk high culture after acting and looking like a bunch of crazy drugged out rockers? Is the message of WCS not clear? I think it is. “You can have the world and Jesus too”.
1 John 2:15-17 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
The contrast of high and low culture can be seen in this passage as well. The world, with its eye-candy and prideful displays, is passing away: this is low culture. The eternal will of God is high culture, which abides forever.
Dead_light: By Big Top I was referring to the qualitative as well as quantitative aspects of a carnival; shallow, easy, accessible. This is how most churches are today.
I know I am a buzz kill dead_light, but please don’t call me “dude”. Let us keep in mind Titus 2.
Dead_light, I am not comforted that you are “pretty sure” you know what the gospel is. Even if you do, how many of the people at a WCS show do you think might know? Your training is most likely of little value here. Most seminary trained people don’t know the gospel or the doctrine of Justification. Beware. You are alive to see an evangelical disaster of monstrous proportions. Better wake up to this soon. This is no day to sleep.
Dead-light wrote “Now for the fun stuff, translations: 1 Timothy 2:11-14 is a fun one that I struggled with for a while”
A while eh? How old are you? My dear boy, you are a perfect example of what I am talking about. You treat the sacred as though it were casual fun. And what is with your name “dead-light”? Is this not a wicked mix of words? Light is life, not death.
John 1:4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
Dead_light wrote: “I’m a little puzzled about what this has to do with Veronica. She does not teach…”
Have you noticed the blog at the top of this thread? She looks like a teacher to me. What would you call her?
Brandii said: “what’s so freaking cool in all this: is no matter what we believe or where we come from, Jesus loves us all the same. when we go to be with Him all these questions or judgments we had with people, laws, religions ect… none of this will matter when we are with our Lord. A-freaking-MEN!”
Thank you brandii, for being another perfect example of a pop-church-culture casualty. Your answer is relativistic, trite, vulgar, and dangerous. These are the core attributes of pop culture.
Brandii said “…no matter what we believe…”
2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not THE LOVE OF THE TRUTH, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
2 Corinthians 6:6-7 By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,
brandii spoke about Judgments about religions. Do you think any other religion is valid besides Christianity? If so, you are lost.
1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
Brandii, Jesus does not love us all the same.
John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
John 17:9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.
John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
1 Corinthians 16:22 If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema (accursed).
James 1:27p Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this…to keep himself unspotted from the world.
Yes, Titus 2.
Pulled, By the statement: “Your training is most likely of little value here. Most seminary trained people don’t know the gospel or the doctrine of Justification. “, are you implying I’m a seminary student? I hope that is a compliment, but I am not. I enjoy studying His word, and talking with knowledgeable people, elders. You mistakenly generalize when you say that most seminary students do not know the Gospel. Again, what grounds are you basing this discernment on?
“A while eh? How old are you? My dear boy, you are a perfect example of what I am talking about. You treat the sacred as though it were casual fun. And what is with your name “dead-light”? Is this not a wicked mix of words? Light is life, not death.”
Is it wrong of me to delight in studying scripture? I talk with people, read, and research for fun. Its been apart of my life for as long as I can remember. Ever experience the joy when you finally understand a piece of scripture that you’ve been wrestling with for weeks? That is what I enjoy about this. I love to learn.
Dead_light is short for a word God gave me a long time ago. Dying to self in order to live as a light. Is that wrong of me?
I see the post at the top as an interview, her story. If you see that as teaching, maybe there is something for you to learn within.
@pulled from the fire
Reconciliation with God is not gotten at a party or a rock show. One has to step out of the popular into a strange place like the Church and LEARN some things from serious people; people who are not super-fun-time-Charles (like your typical so-called youth pastor is).
Jesus said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6).
How can you say that someone can’t ask Jesus to come into their life anywhere! Where in the bible does it say that you have to be in a church to become a believer in Christ? You’re thinking is severely flawed here. Once a person has become a believer-then they step into the church to learn to be come more like him-discipled. But my Jesus accepts us where we are.
Invitation to the Thirsty
1 “Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
2 Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.
3 Give ear and come to me;
hear me, that your soul may live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
my faithful love promised to David.
4 See, I have made him a witness to the peoples,
a leader and commander of the peoples.
5 Surely you will summon nations you know not,
and nations that do not know you will hasten to you,
because of the LORD your God,
the Holy One of Israel,
for he has endowed you with splendor.”
6 Seek the LORD while he may be found;
call on him while he is near.
7 Let the wicked forsake his way
and the evil man his thoughts.
Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him,
and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
12 You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands.
13 Instead of the thornbush will grow the pine tree,
and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.
This will be for the LORD’s renown,
for an everlasting sign,
which will not be destroyed.
I am upset knowing that most of the people involved with WCS and probably WCS themselves don’t know or understand the gospel. How can people believe what they don’t even know? How can WCS share a gospel they don’t understand? (cathy side bar…knowing really? did you say knowing?!)
But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. : )
Morgan, I did not see your post until last night.
Have a listen to this sermon: The Worst Sin I Have Ever Committed; it has helped me in my fight with porn and address some of your concerns with my post. Over 2100 people have downloaded it: http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=417081452501
Dead_light wrote: “You mistakenly generalize when you say that most seminary students do not know the Gospel. Again, what grounds are you basing this discernment on?”
Do I? Are these not just the plain facts? Most pastors in the western world do not know what the gospel is. How do I know this? Because most professing Christians do not know what the gospel is. You know a tree by the fruit it gives. Why do you think I am wrong? Has this been an issue that you have spoken to people about?
Maybe in your talks with Christians you could start to bring this topic up. You will be shocked if you do! Ask this question: “what is the foundation of your hope?” It will alarm you what they say. First, they won’t like to talk about it (which is strange if it is the center and hope of their life!), and will think you rude for asking. Bad sign! Try it! When professing Christians can’t give an answer for the hope within them you know something is wrong. And the answer they give will often be dead wrong: many will recount an experience, or a decision, or their works! Red Flag!
1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the HOPE that is in you with meekness and fear:
Or try this question: “what did Christ accomplished on the cross?”. Again, they will hate this question for two reasons, 1. because the cross of Christ is manifestly NOT the center and treasure of their life! and 2. they don’t know the answer.
Most will go on to tell you that Jesus made a WAY for us to be saved by our efforts, works, or will-power of some kind.
(Try and help them if you can! Most will be offended! Oh God have mercy on this deluded generation!)
This is a good wake up call, I highly recommend it. I have been doing it for years now and it SHOCKING what a mess we are in. Christianity is not much better off now than many of the cults.
“Is it wrong of me to delight in studying scripture? I talk with people, read, and research for fun. Its been apart of my life for as long as I can remember. Ever experience the joy when you finally understand a piece of scripture that you’ve been wrestling with for weeks? That is what I enjoy about this. I love to learn.”
This sounds good dead_light, push on. You just came across a bit crass in that post, and I was responding. And yes I have had that joy.
“Dead_light is short for a word God gave me a long time ago. Dying to self in order to live as a light. Is that wrong of me?”
Thanks for explaining your name, dead_light, I had it wrong.
“I see the post at the top as an interview, her story. If you see that as teaching, maybe there is something for you to learn within.”
Nonsense, dead_light, if you believe what you just wrote there is something for you to learn about words and meaning. The word “teaching” is a word you can look up in the dictionary. Here is some of Veronica’s blog:
“Focus on what you are passionate about and use it for Gods purpose. Be the change you want to see, and most of all . . . just love.”
This is called teaching or instruction by DEFINITION.
Just an aside, what is it that you find so profound with Veronica’s teaching and testimony?
Cathy wrote: “How can you say that someone can’t ask Jesus to come into their life anywhere!”
First tell me this: Does the act of asking Jesus to come into my life make me a Christian?
When was the last time you saw a person at a show or party broken and calling out to God for salvation? Not likely, is it? That was my point; the two don’t go together.
“Cathy said: “knowing really? did you say knowing?”
Yes Cathy, I said knowing. How can you believe what you have never heard and don’t know?
Romans 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
Cathy, can I ask you something? Do you think you are a good person?
it’s time to stop! you guys r obviosly not going to convert one another to your own belief system..
Is that all you think this is about, just “Belief systems clashing”? Is that all we have? One as good as another?
The gospel starts with the fact that God has not left us alone. He is a good God, and He has spoken in a way that we can understand.
And somtimes we have to duke it out:
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
Have some hope in Truth, solid truth, the kind you need on a death bed.
Don’t be ripped off by the relativism of this pop culture.
1 Corinthians 15:19
If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
1 Corinthians 15:13-17
But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
Another key gospel point: Christ is risen from the dead indeed!
Pulled – I’ll keep praying for you.
I’ve been praying about what to do with this conversation since Luke asked. And in the past few days, the Lord has told me to simply pray for you. And with that, this is my last response.
Matthew 18:3 – “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless
come on guys, it seems to me like all you guys are here for is to argue your point so that you can come out on top..
For me reading this it just looks like one selfish post after another
Dark_light wrote: Pulled – I’ll keep praying for you.
Matthew 18:3 – “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
What is your prayer for me dark_light, that I would loose my convictions? Is this your idea of childlikeness?
My whole point has been that you are getting ripped off. If you are a Christian, and you grow, this is what will happen to you naturally; you will let go of mixed up junk like WCS and CCM all together. Why? Because these inferior things will be replaced with greater joys; like knowing and believing the gospel.
1 Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
Jake wrote: “come on guys, it seems to me like all you guys are here for is to argue your point so that you can come out on top. For me reading this it just looks like one selfish post after another”
Jake, you are like some others on this thread who what to shut me down with an argumentum ad hominim (an argument against the person, not the issue).
This just goes to show that my previous post were right on target: You manifestly have no convictions about the gospel!
Why is this? Simple, to begin with you manifestly don’t know what the gospel is!
One reason the gospel is not precious to you and why you have no convictions about is that it is not the center of your life. This is a very serious state to be in my friend, beware! You have been led astray.
People of the world think they are superior because they have no convictions. They therefore tend to put energy into relationships and activism, not truth. When you love truth, your friends will be few. Many in our day who say they are Christians are just deluded social activists.
You will LOVE the gospel if God ever grants you eyes to see it. May it be soon, according to His Grace, Amen.
The Church promoting CCM (and thus WCS) is akin to supporting people in their native blindness and ignorance. I can clearly see this manifested on this thread by the remarks of the young fans of WCS. Can you? Do you care?
Did you notice that this is the first post in two weeks? I threw down the challenge in previous posts with no takers! These children don’t know what the gospel is! Nor do they seem to care. Do you say that they are just like most Christians today? I agree they are, and this it is no comfort to me.
@Pulled – I have resisted responding because I don’t feel like this discussion is going anywhere productive, so I will try to make this my last comment on this thread.
I read through your comments and I find a great amount of agreement in many areas, especially your beliefs about the true gospel and the need for churched men and women to really understand and embrace it. I also agree with much of your sentiments about the way church undiscerningly embraces elements of pop culture and thus elevates form over substance. We see this especially in the area of popular music.
The key difference for me is I do not believe that merely because this has been a trend that we should swing the pendulum to the opposite extreme and believe that therefore every expression in pop culture or modern music should be rejected or denounced by the church as if every instance is an example of form over substance. I take Acts 17 as an example of this: Paul could in one hand be poised like a classic Greek orator, could quote from the Greek poets of his day and use them to contextualize the gospel (even quoting from idolatrous literature that praised Zeus), while on the other hand issuing a strong message that denounced idolatry, Stoicism, and Epicurianism, a message that flew in the face of their deeply rooted dualistic thinking, a hard message about repentance and the final judgment. This was a form they could recognize and understand, but with a Christ-centered, gospel-filled substance. This, I believe, is a classic example of Paul becoming all things to all men that he might win some (1 Cor 9:22).
Yes, WCS should always been examining their methods and forms. They should be continually striving for a more precise understanding of the gospel and continually exploring how best to explain it to others. But as far as I can tell, their use of modern music and style is not an example of form over substance. Audiences are continually captivated by the substance of their message, the way they expose pornography for the bottomless pit it is, and their strong call to repentance.
I do find your comments about savagery and “traditional culture” very interesting. If by savagery you mean “loosing all sense of propriety” (as you said), I would agree this is a bad direction for the church to go to reach the lost. But if by savagery you also include tattoos or experimental drum and bass music, I see nothing evil or wrong about that sort of so-called “savagery.” Yes, these forms may fly in the face of classical European notions of refinement and civility, but I see no biblical reason to cling to those notions as they have been traditionally expressed in the West.
I wish you the best, Pulled from the Fire. Thank you for stirring such a thought provoking discussion here.