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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Politics, Hollywood and Other Nasties

Originally published Oct. 26, 2010.  Edited.

Psalm 101:3 I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me. 4 A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person. 5 Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer. 6 Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me. 7 He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight.

This passage struck me as a good reason for Christians to stay out of politics, Hollywood, Nashville (meaning the music industry), and other worldly and ungodly professions or areas of life.  If you go down through the verses above and think about the things that go on in politics and Hollywood, etc., you can see how difficult and even impossible it would be for a Christian to work among and with these people.

How would it be possible to avoid seeing wicked things in Hollywood, for example?  In fact, that’s what Hollywood (and Bollywood) are largely about – making wicked things for people to look at.  And, being involved with those kinds of people would make it very difficult to avoid contact with it.
Politics is full of wicked people, but it requires those who are involved in it to treat these people with respect and to even “work deals” with them at times in order to get legislation passed.

Those with high looks and proud hearts are very common in Hollywood, politics, Nashville, etc.  It kind of goes with the territory.  If you don’t think quite a bit of yourself you probably won’t make it, especially in politics.  (In fact, I might be so bold as to say that it’s impossible to make it in politics if you don’t think a lot of yourself and your abilities.)

Those who walk in a perfect way are pretty scarce in these areas as well.  And, if one won’t hang around with liars politics is absolutely out.  Yes, I know that God is true and every man is a liar (Rom. 3:4) but politicians excel at it.  It is undoubtedly a necessary ability to “make it” in that profession more than most.

Although David was not always perfect in acting out these things, it was the desire of his heart.  I cannot imagine him condoning politics, Hollywood, Nashville, Bollywood, etc. in our day as a place for a Christian to find a profession or make a living.  I have to admit that I always kind of wonder about Christians who say they want a career or life work in one of those areas.  I have known of some who tried and couldn’t do it with a clear conscience, or were forced out because they wouldn’t run to the same excess of riot (1 Peter 4:3-4).  In some political cases I suspect they just couldn’t “get the votes” because they didn’t promote themselves enough – they weren’t proud.  A few actors appear to manage it, but more than one who appeared to have a "godly" image eventually ended up in some film which they really had no business being part of as a Christian.  (1 Thessalonians 5:22  Abstain from all appearance of evil.)

To be the friend of sinners in the way that the Lord Jesus was when He lived on this earth is one thing, but to associate and dwell among these sort of people or in these professions is something else altogether.  It reminds me of Lot who “pitched his tent toward Sodom” (Gen. 13:12) and ended up living among them and finally in a terrible mess.

Ephesians 4:17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, 18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: 19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

1Peter 4:1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; 2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. 3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: 4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:

It seems like it would be very hard to make it in Hollywood, politics, etc. and not do the will of the Gentiles, but to do the will of God.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Book Review - One Vision Only, the Biography of Isobel Kuhn

Girl Reading on the Lawn by James Archer

Once, a long time ago now, I started a book blog at The Home Maker's Corner.  It didn't get many entries, despite the fact that I'm a pretty avid reader most of the time.  Well, as a way to add content here without too much work since they are rather short bits, it seemed like it might be a good idea to transfer the few posts I have there to this blog now and, if time and interest permits, maybe put up an occasional new one later on. My reading interests are somewhat varied, so there should be a little variety.  Also, I read quite a lot of vintage books, so some of these will not be available from the local book store.  If you are interested, you may have to look up a copy through ABEbooks.com or Amazon's used book dealers. You could also check with your local used book dealer.  Some of them will try to find books for readers.

Today's book review is about one of my favorite writers.  Her book In the Arena has been a great help to me at various times in my life.


One Vision Only - Biography of Isobel Kuhn

By Carolyn L. Canfield
Out of print.

Rated: Highly recommended. An edifying and enjoyable read.

Here is a sweet biography of the beloved missionary/author Isobel Kuhn. Mrs. Kuhn, with her husband, was a missionary to the Lisu tribe in western China prior to and during the days of the Communist take over. She wrote a number of books which were well loved and read by many Christians over the years. This biography gives an account of her life from the perspective of others, as well as a large middle portion that is quoted from an unpublished manuscript by Isobel (it may have been published as a short book later). With quotes from letters and observations from friends, this book gives a different look at a life that was largely lived under the motto "God First".

For anyone who has enjoyed Isobel Kuhn's writings, this book is a must. For anyone who has not, it will be a good introduction to her and there are plenty of her helpful, edifying and sometimes humorous observations, as usual.

Too many Christian biographies glorify the subject far beyond measure. To the credit of the author, this book does not do that too much, perhaps largely because Isobel herself was so open and frank about her own faults and the author of this book knew her personally and consulted with her in writing the book. There is some bit of exalting in places, but it is not too thick to digest. Mrs. Kuhn's own keen sense of humor and honesty helped her see the ridiculousness of human nature and to admit to it's faults, both in herself and others. An honest author could not write an accurate account of her life and force a halo and wings where they would not fit! Mrs. Canfield obviously strove to be honest in her writing.

This book has a bittersweet ending as it closes with the account of Isobel going to be with the Lord. For those who have read her other books it is "the end of the story" which we can never get from her own writings. Anyone who has known and loved her through her books will probably feel like they lost a good friend when they read of her Home-going, despite the fact that she has been gone so long already (humanly speaking). But, as always, it is good to see a servant of our Lord "faithful unto death."

One plus in this book is that, as far as I remember, all the scripture quotes are from the KJV Bible. This is not true of Isobel's own books, so it makes this one a bit more enjoyable for me personally.

I also appreciated the author dealing with some of Isobel's early faults as a young Christian. One in particular was her tendency to use accusations and work on people's emotions to try to force them to do what she perceived to be God's will. She was rightly ashamed of this later when she had matured beyond this. There are many Bible believing Christians today who could do well to learn this lesson too.

A good verse for this book: Philippians 3:12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Thorn - By Martha Snell Nicholson

This is a very short poem, but it holds a profound thought.

The Thorn

I stood a mendicant of God before His royal throne
And begged him for one priceless gift, which I could call my own.
I took the gift from out His hand, but as I would depart
I cried, “But Lord this is a thorn and it has pierced my heart.
This is a strange, a hurtful gift, which Thou hast given me.”
He said, “My child, I give good gifts and gave My best to thee.”
I took it home and though at first the cruel thorn hurt sore,
As long years passed I learned at last to love it more and more.
I learned He never gives a thorn without this added grace,
He takes the thorn to pin aside the veil which hides His face.

by Martha Snell Nicholson

2 Corinthians 12:7-10  And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Evening Song - He Leadeth Me

Psalms 23:2  He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

Luke 9:23  And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.