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Good and Bad Guilt?

Guilt can be a merciless taskmaster that drives us far from God. Or, guilt can gently lead us back to a right relationship with Him, more fully convinced than ever of the Father’s love. How we respond to guilt today can determine our success in life for years to come. It can even determine where we will spend eternity.

Listening to Our Guilt

The Bible says we are created in God’s image and His glory. This wonderful privilege of bearing His image also holds out the requirement that we live righteous lives. When we do something that conflicts with our sense of right and wrong, an alarming thing happens: we feel guilty.

If you are feeling guilty, then this internal moral compass is sounding an alarm indicating that you may have sinned. And sin separates us from God.

That’s why it is important to listen carefully to your guilt. Don’t just try to ignore those nagging feelings of moral ill. Listen to your heart. Then determine to find out what’s causing your guilty conscience.

Guilty as Charged

Even as you read these words, you may be coming to a realization of the source of your guilt. Perhaps you have offended someone. Or you have done something you know God did not want you to do.

Guilt can arise from things we say and do that directly violate God’s law. Even if we are not familiar with a specific Bible passage, God has given us a law that is written on our hearts and helps us know when we have sinned (Romans 2:15)

True guilt is God’s way of warning us to repent and turn away from our sins so He can forgive us, cleanse us and make us entirely guilt-free. The fact is, the Bible says “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Another passage says “the Scripture has shut up all men under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe” (Gal. 3:22).

Guilt is a fact of life because sin is a fact of life. And our sin has the consequences of death (Romans 6:23). But God does not leave you “shut up” under the emotional burden and deadly consequences of sin. He has made a way to break free from our sin and guilt.

God’s Answer for Guilt

God works through everything that happens in our lives, including guilt, to draw us to Jesus (John 6:44,45; John 14:6; Romans 8:28,29). No matter what you have done, God has made a way home – through His Son, Jesus Christ.

Jesus lived a perfectly sinless life, yet He was willing to die on the cross and receive the punishment we deserved. His death on the cross and triumphant resurrection secures for you all the blessings of God, including forgiveness. All you have to do is repent an turn your life over to Jesus (Acts 3:19).

This is what the Bible calls being “born again” of the Spirit of God (John 3:3,5). We enter into the born-again experience by repenting of our sin, yielding our lives to Jesus as Savior and Lord, and trusting in faith that He will forgive and cleanse us from all sin (Romans 3:23; Romans 10:13; 1 John 1:8-9; John 1:12).

Guilt-Free Living

God’s answer for sin and guilt accomplishes what no amount of human effort could manage. Thanks to the blood of Christ, we can “draw near” to God “in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water” (Heb. 10:22).

This cleansing is not just a one-time event. Every time the Holy Spirit prompts our spirit that we have sinned, we can return to His throne of grace to receive mercy (Heb. 4:16). If we fail to respond to guilt in repentance, we can expect God to continue to work in our lives until we come to Him in humility. For God desires children who can serve Him with a “clear conscience” (1Tim. 3:9).

Having a clear conscience also requires that we walk in humility and repentance towards those around us. Be sure to seek forgiveness and to forgive.

Taking On the Accuser

At times, the enemy of our soul, Satan uses guilt to keep us from the Lord. The Bible describes Satan as the “accuser of the brethren” who appears before God day and night with accusations against believers (see Rev. 12:10).

These accusations leave us feeling as if God has not forgiven – or will not forgive – us. We respond in shame, anger, bitterness, and depression – which further drives us from God’s presence.

This kind of guilt – a guilt that does not leave even after we repent and turn to Jesus for cleansing – is not from God. As we have seen, the blood of Christ fully satisfies God’s righteousness. Thus, “there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).

If you have repented of your sins but still feel the accuser lurking in the shadows, confront the accusations with God’s Word. As Jesus said, “If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:36). Walk in that freedom.

As You Pray

God wants to free you from anything that would hinder your full life and liberty in Him. If you are dealing with guilt, choose the path that leads to life; repentance. Then stay on that path by fully accepting God’s forgiveness and cleansing:

“Father, I confess my sins to You. Thank You for forgiving me of every sin I have ever committed. And thank You for releasing me from the burden of guilt. Help me to continue living every day for You. Amen.”

God’s Word on Guilt

“Since therefore, brethren, we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is His flesh, … let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” (Heb. 10:19,20,22)

Scriptures For Study

Romans 6:23 — Wages of sin; gift of God

1 Timothy 4:2 — Effect of lying on our conscience

1 John 1:9 — God’s faithfulness to forgive

Jeremiah 31:34 — No remembrance of sin

John 1:12; John 5:24; John 8:36 — Belief in Christ delivers from sin

Romans 6:18, 22; Romans 8:1 — Freedom from sin and guilt

Unless otherwise noted, Scripture references are from the New American Standard Bible.

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America’s Declining Sexual Morality

March 8, 2020 By E. Jeffrey Ludwig

The decline in sexual morality we see in our era did not begin in the year 2000.  Today’s “sexual revolution” is expressed by our being told by the highest court in the land that homosexual marriage can and must be married and by women being encouraged to abort children as a “right.”  In today’s society, drag queens reading to little children in libraries is considered delightful by many.  Further, vast numbers of people consider one’s sex designation psychological and not biological, and, increasingly, parents encourage their little children to “choose” which sex/gender they want to be.  As additional evidence of the “sexual revolution,” the overall percentage of children born out of wedlock has risen from 5% in 1960 to about 40% the last three or four years (albeit much higher among black and Hispanic persons).

Tthese trends are the result of a series of developments that have been ongoing for more than 100 years.  Sexual fantasies and desires were depicted by Sigmund Freud as repressed, and in their repressed unconscious influence on the personality, these desires and fantasies were leading to neurotic and psychotic behaviors in society.  Deep sexual needs were being sublimated in creative activities, but many aspects of sexuality, being afforded no legitimate outlets or channels for expression, were wreaking havoc on personalities.

One of Freud’s patients, referred to as “the Wolf Man,” had a recurrent dream of six or seven wolves sitting on bare branches outside his window.  Although they were wolves, they had foxes’ tails.  Applying the method of psychoanalysis, Freud concluded that the Wolf Man had castration anxiety.  Freud claimed to reveal the deep, unconscious significance of the Pleasure Principle in our psyches, thereby freeing us from the excessive rigidity of late 19th-century Western Civilization.

For Freud, the individual decision-making agent exercised his so-called freedom with decisions made by the “I” or ego.  But the identity of the “I” was within the context of the rules of social living.  In Freud’s Vienna, those rules expressed Christian values (which included Old Testament prohibitions as well as virtues) integrated in the psyche by the superego.  However, both the ego and the operant rules of the superego were unaware of the unconscious dynamics that were significantly impacting the ego’s adjustments to society and to its consciousness of itself.  These challenges emanated from that vast unconscious tier of existence referred to as the id.  In the id lay the repressed memories, dreams, aspirations, needs, lusts, and even attraction to death.  Greater acceptance of one’s sexuality (i.e., the Pleasure Principle) was needed.  Further, the psycho-sexual implications of breastfeeding or toilet training also had to be factored into one’s makeup.  These influences were wholly unconscious, yet they are the most powerful influences in shaping our understanding of ourselves and our “adjustment” to society.  For Freud, religion conceals rather than reveals the true foundations of morality and our interactions with others.

Influenced by Freudian psychoanalytic theory, the post-WWI world of artists and writers unlocked the door to expression of the unconscious and to sexual license as the path of freedom and creativity.  Many notable literary figures did not maintain a married, monogamous, heterosexual relationship “’til death do us part.”   These included such notables as Henry Miller, a non-political iconoclast (married five times plus numerous lovers); Gertrude Stein (had a lifelong lesbian partner); Ernest Hemingway (married four times); Ezra Pound (he, his wife, and another woman had threesomes); T.S. Eliot (multiple affairs while his wife was in a mental asylum); James Joyce (had two children with Nora before marrying her); and Sherwood Anderson (married four times).  These great writers constituting the “Lost Generation” felt alienated from Western, Christian socio-political culture as being too bourgeois or too puritanical.  They were more comfortable in a European artistic climate marked by artistic freedom and burgeoning communism in the USSR with its anti-bourgeois rhetoric and policies.

Lara Feigel notes that in post-WWI Russia, “these ideals [anti-bourgeois and anti-family based sexuality] were enshrined in law in 1918 when the new Soviet government ratified its Code on Marriage, the Family and Guardianship abolishing the inferior legal status of women, eliminating religious marriage, giving children born outside marriage equal rights to those born within it, and making divorce an easy formality.  The author of the Code, Alexander Goikhbarg, looked forward to the time “when ‘the fetters of husband and wife’ were obsolete and love could be enjoyed freely.”  Fourteen years later, in 1932, Alexandra Kollontai, founder of the Soviet Women’s Department, wrote a book in which she insisted there was “neither morality nor immorality” in nature, and a sexual act should be recognized as “a manifestation of a healthy organism [much the same] as the quenching of hunger or thirst.”  Although the USSR formally reversed its anti-family and pro-abortion position in the mid-1930s, the distaste for the family conceived as a bourgeois institution first stated in the Communist Manifesto of 1848 remained as a steadfast pillar of extreme left-wing thought.  The USSR backing off from its anti-family agenda in the mid-nineteen-thirties was more of a practical decision than a change in ideological commitment.

Situation ethics came into being during the 1960s regarding Christian sexual morality with the writings of Joseph F. Fletcher, an Anglican theologian.  Non-marital sexual intercourse could be accepted if the parties believed in Jesus Christ and really loved each other, even if not married.  This view is generally held by liberal churches today, even if it does not appear on their websites under “Our Beliefs.”  When this writer attended a liberal United Church of Christ and Congregationalist seminary in the early 1970s, some of the ministerial candidates were shacking up with their girlfriends in the dorms, and no action was taken by the seminary’s administration.  Another friend, in the 1960s, pursued his lifelong dream to become an Episcopal priest only to find homosexuality rife in the seminary as the students goosed each other as they went down the stairs to meals.  He then dropped out of the seminary to protect his body, his morals, and his sanity.

The hippie movement with its counter-culture drug and sexually “liberated” mores presented yet another challenge to 2,000-year-old Christian morality.  However, while it attracted a lot of press coverage, this writer does not believe it had the destructive effect on the unity of sex, love, and marriage as did Freudianism, the left-wing assault on bourgeois capitalist culture, and the selfish examples set by some of the greatest creative minds of the post-WWI generation.

To say these developments are a cause for concern would be an understatement.  This breakdown in the moral order regarding human sexuality is not just a difference in values between some sectors of the population and others.  Rather, it is a difference in values between fallen mankind and the Author of the moral law Himself.  If it exists in what formerly was called Christian America, then judgment is likely to follow.  It’s as inevitable as the bite of a mosquito buzzing around one’s body on a humid day, yet the consequences are far more serious.

Moral Madness in the Mad City

May 30, 2019 By Bill Muehlenberg

I can fully understand any couples today who are seriously questioning whether they should have children. Not for some of the poorer reasons (the world is overpopulated; we just want to live for ourselves and not be encumbered with the burden of kids; etc) but because they are so alarmed at the spiritual and moral meltdown of the West.

Things are degenerating at an alarming rate, and it is our children especially who bear the brunt of this social and cultural cataclysm. Concerned parents really do fear – and justifiably so – that this world is lurching toward oblivion, and why should they inflict all this on any children they might have.

I am not saying all parents who worry about this should not have kids. I am simply saying I fully understand their thinking here. And there are some places in the world that are worse than others when it comes to the war on faith, family and freedom, and other values so many people hold near and dear.

Just a week ago I was in one of them. Don’t get me wrong – it is a beautiful city, built on four lakes, and it has many fine people. But it has long been known as a hotbed of radical leftism. I refer to the college town, Madison, Wisconsin.

During the radical 60s the University of Wisconsin, Madison campus was right up there with all the student rioting and Marxist revolution, along with places like the University of California, Berkeley and Columbia University in New York.

I would often hitchhike there from my smaller conservative hometown during the days of my wild, non-Christian youth to be a part of the action. Of course since then I have had a conversion to Christianity and a move away from leftist radicalism.

But Madison is still much the same today. Now it is filled with a lot of ageing hippies and still tends to vote for leftist candidates and political parties. As my wife and I walked along the pretty streets of Madison just recently we noticed many homes had various signs proudly displayed in their front yards. One of them said this:


Hmm, that in itself is worth an entire article! Plenty of rather vacuous leftist rhetoric and clichés there, along with all the usual identity politics and hot-button causes of the left. But I write all this to provide some background to something I just received in an email.

It provides the perfect illustration of what I have been talking about, and would confirm the fears of every concerned parent in America in general, and Madison in particular. It has to do with an elementary school teacher who has decided he is no longer a he.

As Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of the Liberty Counsel explains:

If you want to see where HR 5, the so-called “Equality Act,” will take America, let me show you. What I’m about to share reveals why it’s so crucial that you and I oppose HR 5. In Madison County, Wisconsin, an elementary school teacher formerly known as Mark “Vince” Busenbark made a startling “transgender coming out” video that was shown to K-5th grade children at his school two weeks ago.

Busenbark, an authority figure, told these young, innocent and highly impressionable grade schoolers he is now neither male nor female but “transgender” and/or “non-binary.” And he made a “request.” He asked that students now call him “Mix” or “Mx. Steel” instead of “Mr. B.” or “Mr. Busenbark” (or even “Mr. Steel”). He did so in order to have the children endorse his claim that he is neither wholly male, nor wholly female, but a “mix” or “non-binary.”

Busenbark is effectively asking young children to endorse his sexual confusion (at best) or his sexual fetish (at worst). And Busenbark’s manipulation has already had an effect, based on a single video showing. One teacher emailed him that a kindergartner said, “I feel the same way at times” as “Mx. Steel.” Another teacher said that as a result of the video, other children “just accepted” a girl’s claim that “she is a boy now.”

Not only that, but Busenbark prejudiced these youngsters against people who respectfully disagree with him on transgenderism. Busenbark informed the grade schoolers that such people are motivated “fear” and “hate.” This is outrageous! Busenbark has no legal authority to force students to call him “Mx.,” nor to manipulate them with the idea that they must obey him or be seen as “disrespectful” or “hateful” or “not loving.”

Liberty Counsel is pursuing this situation. Last Friday, we sent a detailed public records request to the Madison school district. But here’s the thing. Busenbark will have the legal wind at his back if HR 5, the dangerous “Equality Act” becomes law.

That’s because this radical law directs K-12 schools and daycare centers to force children to obey adults who show up at work one day as a man and the next day as a woman. These children are at a highly impressionable age. When kindergarteners have seen such events in the past, many have gone home shaking and crying, worried that they could wake up with a different gender!

One more thing. There is no religious exemption to this bill. Busenbark–or someone like him–could do the exact same thing at any religious school under HR 5. That’s how extreme and revolutionary this law is. It will unleash unconstitutional chaos in America.

Let me make two quick qualifying remarks. There is no Madison County, only the city of Madison city in Dane County. And HR 5, or the “Equality Act,” most certainly is a terribly bad piece of legislation. I have written earlier about how very dangerous it is:

But everything that Mat has shared is shocking indeed. Pity the poor school children at this school, and others around the West who are being deliberately targeted by the radical trans revolutionaries. I have already written 177 articles on how bad this is, especially for our vulnerable and innocent children.

No wonder parents are having second thoughts about bringing children into this kind of world. Far too many adult activists have declared war on our children, and we are living in some of the darkest times of modern history. Lord have mercy on our children.

As seen here at Culture Watch. Posted here with permission.


Original here

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