ERNEST & CELESTINE



Based on a popular French book, ERNEST & CELESTINE is the story of an unbelievable friendship between a bear, Ernest, and a young mouse named Celestine.
Celestine, an aspiring talented artist, is a young orphan who resides in the thriving underground world of mice. At the orphanage where she lives, the warden, commonly referred to as the Gray One, tells terrifying narratives about the malevolent nature of the bears that inhabit the outside world, but Celestine, unlike the other orphans, is highly skeptical about the stories.
Celestine’s passion is to paint, but the authoritative adult figures in her life force her to study dentistry, which is the profession most of the mice practice. In order to prepare for the field of dentistry, she’s required travel to the outside world of the bears to gather bear cubs’ fallen teeth from underneath their pillows.
On one such occasion, a cub’s parents catch Celestine in the act of stealing their cub’s tooth and chase her into a trashcan where she spends the night. The following morning, Ernest, an impoverished and starving musician, finds Celestine and tries to have her for breakfast. She manages to successfully persuade him not to eat her and directs him to a basement full of sweets and goodies. This sparks an unlikely connection between the two. Sadly, Ernest and Celestine will shortly discover that the respective societies where they belong don’t accept their unprecedented friendship.
ERNEST & CELESTINE has a strong moral worldview. That worldview is mainly evident in the unlikely but genuine friendship between Ernest and Celestine. Their friendship teaches that differences in background are irrelevant when the friendship is grounded in mutual love and appreciation. Their friendship also teaches that friends should help each other become better people.
The genuine and loving friendship echoes the relationship between Jesus and his disciples. Like Ernest & Celestine, who were ostracize by their respective societies for having a relationship with each other, Jesus was also ostracized by the religious leaders for being friends with sinners. Matthew 9:9-13 says:
“As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And, he rose and followed him. And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples. And, when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ But, when he heard it, he said, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means. I desire mercy, and not sacrifice. For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.’”
Along with having a positive moral worldview, ERNEST & CELESTINE is a charming animated movie. The animation isn’t your typical cartoonish animation, but rather one that’s very artsy and artistic. The drawings are like early rough draft sketches, which make ERNEST & CELESTINE unique and set it apart from generic animated movies. The color of the animation isn’t flamboyant, but rather light and warm. This contributes to the heartwarming mood the movie successfully creates. The artistic animation, along with the central message, are reasons this movie was nominated for an Academy Award and a serious contender to win the most coveted award.
Overall, ERNEST & CELESTINE is a heartwarming movie that contains a moral worldview, which should inspire Christian moviegoers to develop and continue genuine friendships that imitate the kind of friendship Jesus had with His disciples.

THE FLUFFY MOVIE



THE FLUFFY MOVIE is a comedy concert movie that captures the comedy stand up performance of Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias, during his “Unity Through Laughter” tour, in the Bay Area in Northern California.
In the beginning, there’s an opening segment (or five-minute movie) depicting the meeting of Gabriel’s parents, his birth, his father’s absence, and his childhood. This short opening segment serves as the introduction to Gabriel’s comedy stand-up performance. During his stand-up routine, he openly speaks (or jokes) about his struggles with obesity, adoption of his stepson, and his first meeting with his father after being abandoned by him 30 years before.
THE FLUFFY MOVIE is centered on a biblical and moral worldview. The positive message is overall evident in Gabriel’s personal testimony of redemption, where he forgives and reconciles with his absent father and cares for his adopted stepson, who was also abandoned by his biological father.
The lesson of reconciliation and forgiveness in the life of Gabriel Iglesias serves as a reminder of Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:14: “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Also, Gabriel’s loving care for his adopted stepson serves as a reminder of how God the Father has adopted us into his family through the atonement of his son Jesus Christ, and now he lovingly corrects and cares for us.
That said, Gabriel’s use of foul language, some sexual gestures and potential insensitive jokes about obesity, race and sexuality derive from a culture of paganism.
In terms of aesthetic worth and value, THE FLUFFY MOVIE is entertaining and well made. It was really creative to begin the movie with a short segment about Gabriel’s early life in order to set the stage for the stand-up routine. It set the humorous/funny mood for the movie and the audience. The short movie or segment itself wasn’t shot well, but that was clearly intentional and self-deprecating.
The great comedic ability, and showmanship, of Gabriel Iglesias also contributes to THE FLUFFY MOVIE. His ability to make people laugh stems from the fact that he tells hilarious jokes and has great vocal impersonations. His great showmanship mainly stems from his proficiency to incorporate real and personal issues into his comedy routine, which allows him to connect with the audience.
Overall, THE FLUFFY MOVIE is a hilarious movie centered on a moral and positive message, but it’s marred by some foul language and lewd references. Caution, therefore is advised, especially for pre-adolescent children.

Signs, Signs, Everywhere a Sign: Notes on Comic-Con 2014



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Signs, Signs, Everywhere a Sign:  Notes on Comic-Con 2014

By Dr. Tom Snyder, Editor

The first two days of Comic-Con 2014 may go down as a watershed sign of major new trends in American culture.

In fact, there were several such signs.

First, and perhaps most important, the Christian groups holding signs preaching the Gospel on the street corners here at the San Diego Convention Center have been met with even more pagan signs mocking them, saying things like “Bow down to Zod” and “Zeus is Lord.”

Interestingly, the pagan sign-holders seem even younger than the nice young Christian folks preaching the Gospel.

As one young Christian lady told me, however, the young pagans holding signs near her (they were gone by the time I talked to her) were just misguided young people who need to be told the Good News.

The young people probably don’t really believe the pagan signs they hold. They’ve just grown up in an increasingly secular country where evolutionary humanists, socialists and revenge-minded, hate-filled perverts have doubled down on their attacks against the freeing Grace of the Christian, biblical heritage that made America into the economic powerhouse that defeated Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, but that now seems trapped in impotence in the face of Muslim terrorists, illegal immigrants and the new Russian tsar, Vladimir Putin.

Clearly, we need a new Great Awakening in the United States, a new revival based on the Gospel of Jesus Christ, who sets the captives free from tyranny, corruption, deprivation, and depravity.

This brings me to my second important point.

Apparently, there’s a new TV series being made where the protagonist is a young female doctor who becomes a zombie cannibal and helps the police solve crimes with her forensics expertise. To survive, she has to feast on the brains of recently deceased crime victims and perpetrators in the morgue. By doing so, she also gets the memories and personalities of these people, which helps her solve the crimes for the police.

Thus, since the 1960s, Americans have gone from worshipping Jesus Christ, believing the Bible and turning cowboy stars into heroes to getting rid of Jesus and the Bible in the public schools, allowing abortion, making the southern border with the corrupt Mexican society meaningless, and turning witches, vampires and, now, zombie cannibals into heroes.

Concerning television, it’s also important to note that, at this year’s Comic-Con, TV seems to have overtaken movies as the entertainment medium of choice in the United States.

With Hollywood blockbusters hitting the financial doldrums at the box office this summer, the movie studious seem to have pulled back a little bit on their Comic-Con presentations while there seem to be more popular TV shows than ever before at the Con. These TV shows are getting much lower ratings, of course, than blockbuster TV programs of the past, like I LOVE LUCY or BONANZA, but there are a lot more of them, and their fan base is just as fanatic.

On a lighter, perhaps more hopeful note, there were several interesting, positive revelations so far at this year’s Comic-Con.

One of the directors of the new MADAGASCAR movie from DreamWorks, THE PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR, told Movieguide® they plan to have some uplifting songs with heart in the new movies, just like MADAGASCAR 3 and the Disney hit, FROZEN.

As Movieguide® readers know, FROZEN was named the Best 2013 Movie for Families at the 22md Annual Faith & Values Awards Gala and Report to the Entertainment Industry. It truly is a great, uplifting movie, which, even better, shows that sacrificial love is the greatest love of all, just like Jesus said it was.

Also, MADAGASCAR 3 has been showing up on Cable TV a lot, and it seems to get better each time I watch it. Not only that, but the two songs playing at the climax (“Firework” by Katy Perry and “Love Always Comes as a Surprise” by Paul Asher) are really joyful and inspiring.

John Malkovich, who plays a villain in the new MADAGASCAR movie, told the press, including Movieguide®, that, contrary to popular opinion, playing a bad guy is not more fun than playing a hero. He said it depends on how interesting the character is.

That said, he added that he truly enjoyed playing the new MADAGASCAR villain, who he called a “lazy psychopath.”

The cast and crew of SLEEPY HOLLOW, last year’s runaway hit on Fox TV, said redemption will be a major theme of the show in the second season, which premiers this fall.

SLEEPY HOLLOW has some strong Christian, biblical, moral, patriotic, and even conservative content, but it also has some strong occult content featuring villainous demons and scary violence, so it warrants strong caution.

Also, a panel featuring several STAR TREK fans who also live out their passion professionally, one of them as an author of a three-volume set on the original STAR TREK series and another as a professional actor playing Captain John T. Kirk on a fan-produced remake of the original series, discussed why the original series was so great.

One of the conclusions was that the character of Captain Kirk, as envisioned by William Shatner, is a truly great, iconic hero that strongly inspires viewers.

Thus, the original STAR TREK series proves Movieguide®’s aphorism that people want to see uplifting stories with great and good heroes who conquer evil and defeat the monsters within us and beyond us.

Also, the cast of the FALLING SKIES science fiction series on television expressed their feelings about the announcement that next season will be their last. They feel they are going out on top and promise to give fans a final season that won’t disappoint them.

FALLING SKIES is another show featuring a strong and positive hero, played by Noah Wylie, who played a heroic, compassionate young doctor on the old E.R. series.

Finally, one of the things I’ve learned from coming to Comic-Con is that the restaurants nearby are okay, but not great. In fact, a really good restaurant is hard to find. Even the McDonalds I finally found was really sub-par, and it was the only one around for miles!

 

MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT



MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT is Woody Allen’s light comic attack on the supernatural, with some thoughts on the nature of romance. It’s a really entertaining movie, but its humanist, atheist worldview doesn’t really deal with any of the real philosophical problems in such a worldview. To its credit, however, it does let one character ask a question of the movie’s atheist protagonist that he can’t answer. On the other hand, the movie has a lot of dialogue so one question or one argument really isn’t all that much.
The movie opens in 1928 in Berlin. British magician and committed atheist Stanley Crawford poses as his alter-ego, a Chinese magician, to amaze an audience with his tricks. After the performance, an old magician friend, Howard Burkan, asks Stanley to come to Southern France and expose a young medium named Sophie. Sophie and her mother are about to bilk a family out of part of their fortune. Also, the family’s young handsome but vacuous heir, Brice, is smitten with Sophie and wants to marry her. Howard tells Stanley that, despite his own knowledge, he was unable to determine how Sophie was accomplishing her occult tricks. Stanley, however, prides himself on being able to debunk any psychic anywhere and agrees to help expose Sophie.

When they get there to the family’s estate on the Riviera, however, Sophie is able to escape all of Stanley’s “rational,” scientific attempts to reveal her alleged fakery. Could Sophie be real? Is there really an afterlife? If so, it would upset everything this hardcore atheist believes. Making matters worse for Stanley is that he seems to be falling for this beautiful, interesting younger woman, even though he’s romantically involved with another hardcore, “rational” atheist like himself.
MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT is extremely well done and often funny. It also has some fun twists and great dialogue that will captivate most viewers. Admittedly, however, the second act seems to drag a little bit. The twists at the end make up for this problem. Or, at least they seem to do so.
At any rate, MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT has some interesting, entertaining debates concerning atheism versus religion and mysticism. In the end, however, since Woody Allen is himself a committed atheist, the movie comes down firmly on the side of atheism. Thus, in the end, it eventually rejects all religion, not just the occult. This atheism is tempered by the movie’s contention that, although materialist science is the ultimate truth, there’s a mysterious “magic” in romantic love between a man and a woman. Humorously, Stanley’s hardcore atheist materialism doesn’t let him really understand this magic, but he comes to accept it nevertheless.
Despite the movie’s ultimate endorsement of a hardcore atheist worldview, one piece of dialogue undercuts this worldview and gives hope to believers in God. At one point, Stanley is encouraged to start praying for something. In the middle of his prayer, he stops and rejects the whole idea of praying. Later, however, Sophie points out to Stanley that, although he stopped praying, another person went through with their prayer for the very same thing, and the prayer was answered in a positive way. So, she points out, there’s really no reason for Stanley to believe that prayer doesn’t work.
Of course, as any intelligent God believer knows, although God may answer a prayer request with a big fat “No”, praying to God for something is a positive end in and of itself because it gives us an attitude of being dependent on God. Thus, Jesus Matthew 6:9-13 encourages us to ask God for “our daily bread,” as well as to ask Him to “deliver us from evil.”
These basic points of Christian, biblical theology, which are perfectly rational and reasonable, are, apparently, lost on atheists like Woody Allen. In fact, most atheists the MOVIEGUIDE® staff encounters appear not to seem familiar with such arguments. Certainly, however, this new movie by Woody Allen, for the most part, seems to stack the deck in favor of hardcore atheist materialism. Strangely enough, MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT accepts the mystical, mysterious or “magical” quality of romantic love. It accepts this as a human truth even though the movie’s atheist materialism clearly can’t account for it. Christianity, however, has a broader view of logic and truth. This view, which comes from the Bible, teaches us that a Rational Creator created man and woman as helpmates for one another. Thus, romantic love isn’t a totally mysterious, irrational event but a perfectly logical, and even scientific, part of God’s rational plan for mankind.
Because of its rather pat endorsement of atheist materialism, MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT ultimately is abhorrent, despite its high entertainment quality and lack of any really crude or lewd content.

AND SO IT GOES



AND SO IT GOES follows the transformation of Michael Douglas playing Oren Little, a hard-nosed grouchy realtor who lives alone.
After his wife dies of cancer, Oren retreats to a small house as a temporary residence while he waits for his old house to be sold. Living alone in a temporary house lends itself to Oren’s tendency to be cantankerous and generally unpleasant. In his stage of life, he cares little what his neighbors might think of him. All he wants to do is sell his house and retire.
As he patiently waits for the right buyer, his estranged son Luke turns up to ask his father for a favor. Luke wants his father to look after Luke’s daughter, Sarah, while Luke’s in prison. Oren knows of his son’s past struggle with drugs and hasn’t forgiven him for his wild and rebellious adolescent years. So, taking care of his granddaughter, especially on the verge of selling his house and retiring, is out of the question.
A few days later Oren awakes to the sound of his son dropping off Sarah in his front yard. The commotion also brings Leah, Oren’s charming and beautiful next-door neighbor, to the yard, where she immediately accepts the child under her nurturing wings.
Over the next week, while Leah looks after Sarah, Oren tries to track down Sarah’s mother, intent on finding her to relieve himself of his responsibility to the child. When he does find the mother, a very unstable drug addict, Oren has a change of heart and begins to love and care for his granddaughter. When the real reason his son was imprisoned is revealed, Oren is spurred to fight for his family, but is it too late?
The acting in AND SO IT GOES is very good, but this is by no means one of Director Rob Reiner’s best. It does have enough humor to keep the audience’s attention and the Michael Douglas/Diane Keaton combo is sure to help those from the Baby Boomer generation reminisce on the movies of another era.
Regrettably, this movie is not in the least bit original and is sometimes excruciatingly predictable. That being said, the movie doesn’t even try to be either of those things. One can’t help but wonder, if instead of trying to make an autumn romance, the filmmaker should have focused on the much more compelling story about the father, son and granddaughter relationships.
Another negative feature of this movie is the all too candid discussions about sex, and a brief fornication scene is certainly unnecessary to create conflict between the two leads. In addition to these crassly themed conversations, there’s frequent profanity from multiple characters and a number of lesser obscenities often used in a comedic context.
All in all, AND SO IT GOES is a fun, if predictable, movie for an older audience. Younger generations probably won’t relate to the characters and it certainly isn’t an acceptable movie for kids.

HERCULES (2014)



Brett Ratner’s HERCULES stars Dwayne Johnson as the mythical Greek hero and demigod Hercules. It twists the mythic legend into a more human tale.
The movie begins with his legend being told. Born the son of the Greek god Zeus and a human woman, Hercules is feared by all, but the gods look unfavorably upon the demigod. As he grows, they decree his strength must be tested by battling the greatest beasts. As legend has it, Hercules conquered each of “twelve labors” put before him and became the greatest, most fearsome warrior the world has ever seen.
Now, Hercules travels with his small band of fellow warriors, fighting as mercenaries to whoever will pay and living up to the heroic tales most people believe to be true. What the people don’t know, however, is that the tales are merely stories, conjured up and exaggerated to help spread fear of Hercules and his name.
The king of Thrace and his beautiful daughter summon Hercules to help defend their kingdom from a ruthless army supposedly pillaging villages and killing men, women and children. With promise of payment, Hercules agrees to train Thrace’s weak army into a deadly force.
Hercules is haunted by a past involving a dead wife and three children, who were murdered by an unknown assailant. The mission for which he is being rewarded and the circumstances surrounding it become more and more mysterious and unclear.
HERCULES has three things going for it, a unique take on the mythical tale, some campy humor that works in its favor and entertaining action. Otherwise, this movie is a big miss. Instead of focusing on the fantastic mythology surrounding Hercules and the great beasts he defeats, this version avoids the unexplainable for the most part. Yet, it still shows the pagan Greek religions as a backdrop embedded in Greek culture. The movie has some moments of redemption where Hercules and his men (and a woman) fight for the innocent and are willing to lay down their lives for each other and other people. In the end, however, it has a ridiculous message that states, “If you believe you are a hero, then you are.” Dwayne Johnson brings little to the legend other than his massive physic. Also, the writing is, for the most part, canned and unimaginative.
Thankfully, the violence is more action-oriented than titillating, but the movie’s pagan worldview and some brief foul language still warrant extreme caution.

Mendacity and Perfidy



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Mendacity and Perfidy

By Dr. Ted Baehr, Publisher

The news media, whether consciously or unconsciously, by commission or omission, has supported the transformation of the United States from the Land of Freedom to the Land of Socialist Tyranny.

As Paul Johnson points out in his classic work MODERN TIMES about the 20th Century, the sea change in the intellectual community occurred in the 1930s when the press was supporting Joseph Stalin, who was killing millions of peasants and farmers in the name of Marxist, socialist communism. When Stalin opposed Hitler, who was doing his worst in Germany too, the press opposed Hitler. When Stalin switched and signed a treaty with Hitler, Duranty at the New York Times and other communists elsewhere supported the fascist communist axis until Hitler invaded Russia, and they flipped back again, calling for the United States to support Russia at all costs. In fact, the United States ended up giving more aid to Russia than it did to Great Britain!

In our own day and age, the press has not only whitewashed but commended heinous acts of the government such as: the IRS scandal, the lies about the 2012 murder of four Americans in Benghazi in Libya, ATF “Fast and Furious,” Sebelius demands payment, Solyndra, and I’ll pass my own laws. Now with the surge of illegal aliens and drug dealers, including thousands of unaccompanied children, at America’s southern border, the press has either taken the tack that this is a humanitarian cause or that the President was ignorant of the situation. In the first instance, the media falls into the hands of the Marxist socialists like Cloward and Piven who think the best way to destroy the United States is to appeal to the kindness of the Christian American base to such a degree that the country is bankrupted. In the second instance, the media lets the President and his minions publicly deny all responsibility, something that Hitler and Stalin did frequently. Either tactic is either an amazing act of mendacity (deceit) or perfidy (treachery and disloyalty).

What’s happening in the current border snafu is quite plain, however.

What prompted this new border invasion the President ordering the federal government not to deny immigrant children residence in the U.S. and even government funding. He aided this action with extensive pre-planning by giving charities millions of dollars to house and teach these children, some of whom are gang members in their late teenage years. This follows the Cloward and Piven goal of bankrupting the social welfare system and the federal budget. Then, if there’s a strong enough reaction against this goal, then the President can call for tyrannical controls and even more consolidation of power, including getting rid of his enemies through legislative devices such as IRS regulations or The Justice Department’s “Operation Choke Point”, which kills off any business that opposes his imperial reign.

It’s interesting that some of the people who’ve been speaking up against the President’s policies regarding the southern border are the homeless. They and other poor people are asking why they haven’t gotten homes while these illegal immigrants who’ve broken the law are getting homes. Also complaining are some towns and communities headed up by liberal potentates who don’t want the tax flow being redirected from their smarmy pockets into the federal government.

The answer to all this mendacity and perfidy is to always proclaim the Truth that sets men and women free. The Truth starts with the facts in spite of the deluge of misinformation from the useful idiots in the press. It continues onward to the Ultimate Truth, which is Jesus Christ, who sets us free from bondage to our personal addictions as well as bondage to tyrannical idolatry.

One of the best expressions of a sound immigrant policy was Teddy Roosevelt. Teddy said we want people to be part of this great country, but we must always teach them what it means to be an American. The beginning of that education means teaching them that freedom only begins with Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

The Swine in Church



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The Swine in Church

By David Outten, Production Editor

A popular expression is to say there’s an elephant in the room. The implication is that there’s a huge problem right under everyone’s nose that no one wants to address.

The church faces just such a problem. Surveys show that almost 50 percent of men in church have a problem with pornography. All too often the pastor is one of them.

I was one of them. I came to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord, in large part because I was drawn to pornography, even though I knew in my heart it was wrong. I wanted help. I was in a battle that I wanted to win, but kept losing. At risk was my marriage. At the time I had a son. I dreaded a life of child support and visitation. I knew my desires were getting uglier. They were going in directions I felt no control over.

When I accepted Jesus, I would love to say the problem ended. That would be a lie. I did make progress. Over a period of time my failures diminished. Today, I can work in a room alone on a computer with a 27 inch monitor and never go to a pornographic website. I’ve been married 40 years, have two children and three grandchildren. I thank God every day for my freedom, for my marriage and for my family.

Two recent news events have brought me to write this article. Elliot Rodger, a young man obsessed by the idea girls should have wanted to have sex with him, killed six people in Santa Barbara. His mind was warped by pornography. The other involved a young woman who died while a boy took pictures of her naked, hanging in a noose.

These tragedies make me sick. My heart goes out to the victims, their families, and to the perpetrators and their families. While I never came anywhere near such depravity, I battled the swine that would gladly have taken me there.

One of the Scripture verses that helped tremendously in the renewal of my mind was Proverbs 11:22. As I used to quote it to myself, it went like this:  “A beautiful woman lacking in modesty and discretion is as a gold ring in a swine’s snout.” You can’t walk through a mall without seeing posters of women lacking in modesty and discretion. You can’t watch a football game without seeing women lacking modesty and discretion. You can’t even read news stories on the Internet. What’s important is that you see past the woman to the swine. You need to see lust as a demonic swine out to destroy your life.

Lust is a very cruel slavemaster. It can be like hunger. When you’ve had a meal and you’re full, you’re satisfied. A few hours later, you get hungry again. Pornography feeds lust. The more you look at, the bigger your appetite grows. The bigger your appetite, the more you want variety. The stories above are of people whose hunt for variety had deadly results. These are very rare cases.

More commonly you get what happened to me. Your wife is not variety. She looks the same every day, and may even put on a pound or two. She’s not enhanced with Photoshop software. She becomes less desirable. Your eyes and thoughts wander. Marriage becomes a sexual disappointment. She knows. It’s a disappointment to her that she’s not as desired as she should be. It’s grounds for jealousy. It’s a path to the destruction of marriages and the breakup of families.

God healed my marriage. He renewed my mind and enabled forgiveness.

The swine is in the church. There are men who have not finished the renewal of their minds. There are men who have not started the renewal of their minds. I used to bring the swine to church with me. My heart aches for those who still do. Freedom is possible.

We are all born sinners, selfish, envious, rude, and disrespectful. We are born to have hormones kick in at puberty. We are born susceptable to lust. What comes natural is not always healthy. If everyone grows up to live by their sinful nature there would be no civilization. We would be brutal animals fighting for food and sex. Controlling lust is as crucial for a civilized society as controling theft. It’s crucial to the church. It was so crucial to the early church that it gets mentioned in several letters of the Apostles.

These letters give the solution. Of course, the first step is salvation. Asking God’s forgiveness and accepting Jesus Christ as Lord. Jesus referred to this as being “born again.” Baptism symbolizes your commitment to die to your human nature and be raised in a new life led by the Spirit of God.

This commitment is like a marriage vow. It’s amazing the day you make it, and it comes under assault thereafter, by sticking with your commitment and weathering storms, your marriage grows stronger and stonger. By sticking with your commitment to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and weathering storms, your mind is renewed and you become more and more like Jesus himself.

Prayer, persistence and perseverance lead to freedom. The cartoons of someone with the devil speaking in one ear and an angel speaking in the other isn’t so silly. They’re real. The Spirit of God will speak to your heart every time the demon of lust demands that you seek gratification. You will choose whose leading to follow. Sometimes you may make the wrong choice. Satan will tell you, “See, you can’t stop. You’re hooked. Even God can’t help a case like you.”

I’m here to tell you God can. I stumbled, I struggled. God did not give up on me. Today, I’m a free man. I would rather be locked in an actual prison, and be free of lust, than live free to go where I wish and be enslaved by lust.

Using the logic of the sexual revolution, I could claim I was born to be a pedophile. By that same logic, I could claim I was born to be a thief. Some could claim they were born to be alcoholics. Rather than focusing on whatever evil we were born to enjoy, we should focus our minds on what God wants us to be. When we accept Jesus Christ, and are born again, our future is in righteousness, not sin. Our goal is to love, to be kind, to be honest, to be hard working and charitable. When one’s mind is renewed, you can become a model husband, father and citizen.

Lust, be it heterosexual or homosexual, leads to disaster, not just for individuals, but for society. Faithful marriage – God’s design for human sexuality – has tremendous personal and social benefits. Lust is the driving force behind the sex slave trade, child molestation, rape, abortion, and all the horror stories like those mentioned above. Lust celebrates human suffering. It throws a party when priests become pedophiles. It rejoices with every rape. It rattles the chains of those in Hollywood who everyone fears exposing. Lust is one of the greatest enemies of mankind.

Jesus Christ came to set free those held captive. On the cross He defeated lust. As the body of Christ, the church is called to proclaim this victory and to live it. We are called to chase the swine out of the church and then go on a rescue mission to free the slaves outside the church.

Not all of lust’s slaves want freedom. Some revel in their slavery. But, there are a lot of men out there who know in their heart, like I did, that pornography is wrong. They want freedom. To them I say, don’t give up. God can, and will, help those who earnestly seek Him.

 

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