Yom Kippur, of course, is when we as the worldwide people of God come corporately before him, humbling ourselves and repenting of our sins as a whole. I like to use the Beatitudes and the rest of the Sermon on the Mount when I look at the "State of the Body" year after year in terms of image-bearing and how we are either growing or backsliding away from what I call the "Kingdom norms" that set us apart from the "Kingdom of the Beast." Last week, I talked very frankly about pornography and how I believe it is one of the invisible Marks that sets us aside as being allied with the oppression and perversion of the Beast Kingdom. This week we are going to talk about how we are doing with the Kingdom commandments in general. Are we all that and a bag of chips or are we representing the wrong kingdom entirely?
As we are heading into Yom Kippur, I want to talk about something I have been very vocal about for many years--namely, pornography use and the fake repentance that keeps believers from just saying no. I pull no punches here. This is not for kids unless you listen first and decide to expose them to this. According to Barna Group, 68% of church-going men and over 50% of pastors view porn on a regular basis. Of young Christian adults 18-24 years old, 76% actively search for porn.
This puts users firmly in the camp of the Beast, as we not only neglect the least of these, but oppress and victimize them further. This is going to be an ugly broadcast to listen to but then it is an ugly reality that all too often leads into serious forms of marital and child abuse.
This week we have two more growth parables about Kingdom growth which I am going to supplement with one of my favorite teachings--the very uncomfortable "Galatians sandwich." This is our second to last week in Mark chapter four and it only took us twenty-one weeks to get here!