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A note from Pastor Unke

What's a good definition of LOVE?

“It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.”    -1 Thessalonians 4:3-8

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Hollywood released the much-anticipated movie “Fifty Shades of Grey.”  It was one of the biggest R-rated movie debuts in history, taking in nearly $82 million.  One reviewer said, “It had the whole sex thing going for it…so it was sure to be a hit over Valentine’s Day.  It’s a new kind of ‘dark romantic’ fantasy.”
Christian, do you see the perverse ignorance in that statement?  It seems to me that violent and abusive sexual practice has nothing to do with love—or St. Valentine. 
For the record, St. Valentine lived in a day when Emperor Claudius II outlawed marriage in the Roman Empire because he felt it would be better for his soldiers to not have such a distraction.  Many in the church, including Valentine, recognized that marriage is a blessing that God had designed for his people.  Valentine defied the Emperor’s order and married Christian couples who embraced God’s definition of marriage.  He was executed for it.  From there, the legend grew about Valentine and his role in promoting love.  That’s a far cry from today’s silly Cupid concept, and an even farther cry from violent sex in a movie.
It should not surprise us that a sinful world embraces the deeds of darkness—and 50 Shades of Grey is nearly as dark as this nation has ever seen.  What troubles me, though, is how many Christian people have read these books and have eagerly anticipated this movie.  “I just want to see…since I’ve already read the book—I’m curious” I heard one person say. 
God have mercy!  Curious?  About this?  Wasn’t Lot’s wife also similarly curious about her beloved, perverted home town?  Didn’t she also think, “I just want to see…”? 
Please read again the Word of God from 1 Thessalonians printed above.  Sexual perversion is not anything new, no matter how Hollywood tries to sell it.  But activity in such perversion, or even curiosity about such perversion, is what pagan people do.  They don’t know God.  The Lord will punish all who celebrate such sins.  God calls us to live a holy life.  Sinners make light God’s clear instruction at their own eternal risk!  The idea that we can “just take a peek” at it is rejecting God’s instruction on the very gift that he designed—sex.  This is no small “playful” matter!  God himself says so. 
Christian, isn’t it time for us to take a stand on things like this?  Whether it’s a blockbuster movie or a popular sitcom that celebrates every definition of sex imaginable, why is it so hard for us to stay away—or even look away?  When pagan “friends” invite us to take a peek at the passionate lust celebrated by a godless world, isn’t that the time for the Christian to say with Joseph, “How can I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9)   
What an amazing thing it is that God does have mercy!  Even when we, his own children, act like perverted pagans, he calls us to repent and take hold of the purity of his Son, our Savior.  If you want a definition of love that is perfect and eternal, don’t look to Hollywood.  Look to Jesus.  Do you see him carrying our perversion, lust, and abusiveness to Calvary to face the torment of the punishment that brings us peace?  Do you see the God of Justice unleashing his fury against sin upon his own innocent only Son?  Do you see how his blood is the only thing that can cleanse us of filthy sin and make us pure?  Do you see that we are now part of the body of Christ forever—the bride for the perfect Lover of our soul?  This is true love!
Christians, let’s take our stand for true love this Lent and Easter Season.  If the people who saw that dark, pagan movie would just “take a peek” at the love of Jesus, they’d see what their heart craves:  True Love.  Thanks to Jesus we know all about it—
and we live in it.  Never look away from it—even out of curiosity. 
Living in the Light of the Love of our LORD with you,  Pastor Unke
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