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I ran across this interesting article by Beth Spraul (read it here), regarding the nature and potential dangers of “chick flicks.” Anyone who knows me well knows that I enjoy a good one, even sitting tirelessly with a satisfied grin on my face while watching the five-hour BBC version of Pride and Prejudice numerous times. How’s that for true confesiions.
Regardless of my own tastes, I have often reflected on the ways these films can shape our views of romance and marriage in a way that is unbiblical, and therefore potentially harmful. She draws a careful (but guarded) comparison of chick flicks distorting a woman’s view of romance similar to how pornography can distort a man’s view of sexuality. She then discusses what she calls “three powerful lies communicated to and believed by women through this genre.” I appreciated her main points (and think it can just as easily distort men too):
After explaining these points, she then shares her own personal experience in meeting and getting to know her husband. In the process she exemplifies some good principles to consider in dating, or in discipling our own older children in how to think as they get to the age of dating and courtship. Her recommendations at the end are very similar to the principles taught in “Holding Hands, Holding Hearts,” by Richard & Sharon Phillips.
I recommend this article for your edification, and welcome any comments.
We have been considering the topic of stewardship and money in our ABF, in particiluar regarding how our generosity with time and money ought to impact our relationships. Here is a great quote from C. S. Lewis regarding sacrificial giving, which is very convicting. He made these comments in reference to the widow’s sacrificial gift of 2 copper coins, which was all she had to live on (Luke 211-4).
“I do not believe one can settle on how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. In other words, if our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, amusements, etc., is up to the standard common among those with the same income as our own, we are probably giving away too little. If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small. There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot do because our charitable expenditure excludes them.” – C.S. Lewis
Those are challenging words, but I am convinced they are true words. Chew on it, meditate on that truth, allow it to effect your conscience, and allow God to us that principle for good. And then stand back, in the midst of your sacrifice, and see how God will bless the giving.
This was the latest post on a very good website of brief articles on important topics. I wanted to reproduce it here in part because in a few months we are going to do a study on the topic of discernment in our ABF class. We will be using a book titled The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment by Tim Challies. I have referenced some articles by him before. He is a very gracious writer, who reviews books and conferences online for the Christian community. He is also the founder of the website DiscerningReader.com.
I hope it is an encouragement, and that it whets your appetite for a study of the topic in a few months.
(By John MacArthur)
In its simplest definition, discernment is nothing more than the ability to decide between truth and error, right and wrong. Discernment is the process of making careful distinctions in our thinking about truth. In other words, the ability to think with discernment is synonymous with an ability to think biblically.
First Thessalonians 5:21-22 teaches that it is the responsibility of every Christian to be discerning: “But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil.” The apostle John issues a similar warning when he says, “Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1).
According to the New Testament, discernment is not optional for the believer — it is required. The key to living an uncompromising life lies in one’s ability to exercise discernment in every area of his or her life. For example, failure to distinguish between truth and error leaves the Christian subject to all manner of false teaching. False teaching then leads to an unbiblical mindset, which results in unfruitful and disobedient living — a certain recipe for compromise.
Unfortunately, discernment is an area where most Christians stumble. They exhibit little ability to measure the things they are taught against the infallible standard of God’s Word, and they unwittingly engage in all kinds of unbiblical decision-making and behavior. In short, they are not armed to take a decidedly biblical stand against the onslaught of unbiblical thinking and attitudes that face them throughout their day.
Discernment intersects the Christian life at every point. And God’s Word provides us with the needed discernment about every issue of life. According to Peter, God “has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence” (2 Peter 1:3). You see, it is through the “true knowledge of Him,” that we have been given everything we need to live a Christian life in this fallen world. And how else do we have true knowledge of God but through the pages of His Word, the Bible? In fact, Peter goes on to say that such knowledge comes through God’s granting “to us His precious and magnificent promises” (2 Peter 1:4).
Discernment — the ability to think biblically about all areas of life — is indispensable to an uncompromising life. It is incumbent upon the Christian to seize upon the discernment that God has provided for in His precious truth! Without it, Christians are at risk of being “tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14).