As I think about my resolutions for this year, my thoughts keep
circling back to one key charge—be a Truth speaker. Sure I’d like to
shed a few pounds, stay more organized, eat better, sleep more…but, if
I am going to commit to focus my efforts in a direction that truly
matters, I want it to be in the area of knowing and proclaiming God’s
The end of December means a wrap up of our focus on discernment (if
you've missed that discussion, check it out in the archives). But Nancy Leigh DeMoss will continue this conversation with a two-week series starting later this month.
January 26 – February 6 Nancy will be discussing the topics of discernment and deception on Revive Our Hearts radio. You can listen online here. Since this is such an important topic, I will be putting excerpts from those broadcasts here on the blog.
So, mark your calendars and make plans to listen. Then hop back to this blog so we can talk about it!
Are you heading somewhere fun for Christmas break? Maybe you’re off to
the mountains to ski, or on your way to grandma’s for some yummy food
and family time. Why not take us with you?
If you’ve been tracking our conversation on the blog this month, you
know we’ve been talking a lot about discernment. More specifically,
we’ve tried to hone in on how to discern truth from lies in the media
we watch, read, and listen to.
This can be a difficult task. It isn’t always obvious when a media choice is feeding us lies and it can be difficult to walk away once we realize we’ve been deceived. What’s more, there are so many books, and movies, and shows available to us that finding worthwhile material can seem a bit like searching for a needle in a haystack.
If you’re looking for an online tool to help you discern whether a particular book is a wise read, check out www.discerningreader.com. You can find book reviews, recommended reading lists by people like John MacArthur, and author interviews. You can even get the scoop on upcoming releases. Very cool!
Here’s another segment from Nancy’s series on A New Earth. Pay close attention to how Dr. Whitney encourages us to respond when we discern an imposter of Truth.
Twilight certainly isn’t the first book, series, or movie to desensitize readers toward Truth. Many of today’s hottest media choices are laced with harmful contradictions to God’s Word.
Nancy recently tackled one such book on Revive Our Hearts radio. As part of a two-day series, Nancy examined the best-selling book A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. She was joined in the studio by Dr. Erwin Lutzer and Dr. Don Whitney. That conversation contained great insights for those of us who are learning to discern, especially in the area of our media choices.
Admittedly, I have not read Twilight or seen the movie. I want
to walk the talk and avoid this series since I’m campaigning hard for
you to do the same. But, since many of you have read these books and/or
seen the movie, I thought it might be helpful for you to hear from
another Twilight reader.
My friend, Jessica has read all four books and seen the movie. She is a college senior and a volunteer in the youth group my husband pastors. As we started talking about this issue in our youth group, Jessica started to re-examine her opinions on the series. I asked her to share them with you.
As part of our focus on discernment, we’ve been talking about “Twilight” all week on the blog. If you’ve been following that conversation, you know that I’ve been upfront about the fact that I think this is a series you should stay away from. But, I don’t just want you to take my word for it. An important part of learning to discern, is listening to trustworthy voices, especially those individuals who are committed to pointing you toward God’s Truth. Dannah Gresh is one of those voices.
Dannah is the co-author of Lies Young Women Believe. With two teenage girls at home, and lots of contact with young women through her ministry, Dannah is no stranger to Twilight. Here’s her take.
I struggle to make wise choices when it comes to the media I watch, read, and listen to. With so many ways to plug in, tune out, and be entertained it can be really tough to discern which shows, books, and movies are okay and which ones I’d be better off to avoid. Can you relate?
As part of our month-long series on discerning Truth from lies, we’ve been examining the best-selling series Twilight. With over 17 million copies sold and a growing fan base of young women worldwide, it seems that this is a series that many, many young women have given their stamp of approval.
But should they? Should you?
I’ve already given you two reasons why I think we should choose not to read these books or see the movies. Here’s one more—as Christians, it is wise to stay away from “dark” themes.
It is possible to argue that the first book is harmless. The plot stays relatively clean and the storyline is pretty simple. But, this certainly isn’t true in the subsequent books. In the final book “Breaking Dawn” there is an increasing focus on horror and the occult. Bella dies and is transformed into a vampire. How? Edward transforms her by biting her all over her body. The scene is sexually charged and violent. But, it gets worse. Bella soon gives birth to a half-vampire/half-human baby that rips its way out of her womb. This is obviously scary and violent. But, by now readers of the series are so hooked that it seems they are desensitized. This is dangerous indeed.
Here’s one of my beefs with this series…it seems that focusing on Bella and Edward’s romance can lead to an unholy fantasy life. I’ve personally witnessed what can only be touted asvEdwardmania among many of the young women I know. Edward (the story’s vampire protagonist) is admired by young women as the ultimate standard for a boyfriend.
“Twilight,” is one little word I can’t seem to escape these days. I’m sure you’ve heard of the four book series written about a teenage girl and her vampire boyfriend. Many of you have even written on this blog that you’ve read the series or seen the movie. And you’re certainly not alone. To date there are over 17 million copies of these books in print. The movie based on the series opened last month and garnered over $70 million dollars opening weekend. The announcement of a second movie seemed to be the most exciting entertainment news in weeks. There are hundreds of fan sites, and opening parties, and loads fan gear available in every mall. All of this amounts to a little more than your average best-selling novel. These books have created a cultural phenomenon. But, just because everyone’s reading (and watching) this, should you? Is Twilight something that Christians should avoid altogether?
I am thrilled to announce that we will be exploring the topic of discernment for the remainder of December. The Bible has much to say about discernment and if you are to be Truth speakers to your generation, discernment is a critical skill. But, what is discernment exactly?
Ninety percent of the girls we surveyed for LYWB said they are or have been plagued by the lie that they have to perform to be loved and accepted. Some of them felt that their value was tied to their ability to be star athletes or students. Others were striving to earn the approval of their pastors or youth pastors by being super-Christians, involved in too many church activities. Many, many of the young women we talked to admitted that they felt the need to be good enough to earn God’s favor. Believing this lie left them feeling exhausted and like they were constantly falling short.
God’s Word douses this lie with a serious dose of Truth! Listen to Ephesians 1:3-5. “ Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as He chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will.”
According to these verses, when did God’s love for us begin? That’s right! He loved us before the foundations of the world were set. Before we were born. Before we could even breathe in and out, much less do great things for Him. His love for you is not based on your ability to perform.
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