Hallmark of Sin

Today is a sad and grievous day
As news of Hallmark’s comprise with sin
Has been made known far and wide

It’s ironic that the definition of hallmark includes
Attesting to purity
A distinguishing characteristic

Instead of being part of our culture
Helping us celebrate the holidays
With cards, gifts and ornaments

Hallmark will now be known as an emblem of compromise
Conceding to the loud voices of political correctness
Approving of sin which God has clearly condemned

How is it that a channel once known as family-friendly
Is now putting on display
Applauding and approving same-sex marriage

While our culture and standards are ever-changing
On a slippery slope that approves and promotes sin
God’s Word and His perfect righteous standard will never change

What God in the Bible has declared sin
Remains sin today
How can one embrace and promote that which God will judge

As far back as I can remember
Hallmark has been a part of the Christmas season
But how can I spend money on a company that celebrates sin

Christmas is about Christ Jesus the Lord
A Savior was born, God incarnate
To redeem and save sinful man

It is particularly gross that at Christmastime
Hallmark embraces sin
Sin for which Christ died

Hallmark has bowed its knee
To the loud and vocal groups
That demand acceptance and approval of their sin

Forgetting about families
Trying to raise their children
In truth and righteousness

Disregarding religious groups
Christians and Jews whose standards come from the Bible
God’s Word, which is uncompromising and unchanging

Hallmark is on a slippery slope
Accepting and promoting sin
How long until it works its way into their movies and cards

Why would I now spend money on a Hallmark
It’s not just the TV channel I will turn off
It’s ornaments I will not buy, no more Hallmark cards to send

Though Hallmark has approved of sin
I must stand firm with God
Because at the end of the day

It’s about a human being created in God’s image
One who needs to hear the truth about sin
And forgiveness to the repentant sinner through Christ

By Susan Bunts Wachtel
December 16, 2019

I think Hallmark is shortsighted in giving way and compromising with the politically correct groups that demand acceptance and approval. Hallmark is not calculating that they have offended conservatives who believe that marriage is between one man and one woman and Christians and Jewish believers who believe the Bible is God’s inerrant Word.

It’s not just the Hallmark Channel or Hallmark movies that will be impacted. I won’t be buying Hallmark products, including cards and gifts. I hope that they will revisit this poor and wrong decision that they’ve made. But if not…Hallmark will no longer be a part of my life.

I did call Hallmark at 1-800-425-5627 and spoke with a representative. I asked her to relay that this will impact more than just the Hallmark Channel. She gave me the phone number for the Hallmark Channel, 888-390-7474, which I will also call. I will also follow up with an email to Hallmark (https://care.hallmark.com/s/contactsupport).

 

 

Costly Sin

It has been my privilege to participate in Bible Study Fellowship for nearly nine years. I thank God for BSF because it provides me the study and discipline that I would not achieve on my own.

I learn from the answers the other ladies on our group share. I learn from our Teaching Leader Terri de la Vega…who has a real heart for God and people. She is uncompromising in teaching the word of God and doesn’t duck when it comes to sharing hard truths.

I also learn when answering the question for our study each week. Some questions are straight forward and direct. Some cause me to think and mull over the question. In this week’s lesson we are studying Matthew 18 and the questions that really got me to thinking were about sin in the life of a Christian and how it effects the church. How sin reflects on Christ and the Gospel message.

Be it me or another Christian…sin infects the body of Christ and the church.

It’s all too easy to laugh at sin…especially as portrayed on sitcoms and movies. Shows that make sin and doing what God has declared sinful, the norm and common place. Thing like sex outside of marriage…both for singles and married people. What about homosexuality. Most shows depict homosexuals in a humorous way. To lie, cheat and steal is normal…and fails to shock people these days. Even when it comes from a respected leader.

The church in America today has become so influenced by our godless culture that we fail to see sin as sin…and declare it as such. When that happens…we are not effective instruments to share the Gospel. When I take it in stride when my friend is living with someone outside of marriage I will fail to confront them. There will be no reason to let them know that what they are doing is against God’s word…after all, “They aren’t hurting anyone, are they?”. Wrong! In fact they are. They are lost in their sin…perishing and will go to hell if they don’t accept God’s one and only acceptable sin offering…Jesus Christ and his atoning death on the cross. Part of accepting Christ is recognizing that I’m a sinner, repenting and turning away from my sin.

When a Christian steps across that line…when a Christian sins…we fail to be a useful and effective instrument in the hands of God. We buy into the lies of the enemy…who will later condemn us as a hypocrite.

As Pastor Philip De Courcy warned a couple of weeks ago, yes it is, “Once saved, always saved”. But he admonished… “Once saved, always saved…if you are truly saved.” If I say I’m a Christian, but can walk in sin, make excuses for it and not repent…I need to ask myself if I’m truly saved.

Below are some thoughts about the cost of sin to a Christian, the body of Christ and Christ Jesus my Lord.

  • I’m saying Jesus Christ saves me…but can’t deliver me from my sins.
  • That Jesus Christ is my Savior…but not my Lord and Master.
  • I put myself above God as I seek which pleases me, even when God has strictly prohibited it in scripture.
  • I don’t care that I give the body of Christ a black eye and bad reputation…and that my tainted sin casts a pall over every Christian.
  • I want my cake…and eat it too. To sin and enjoy it for a season…but not pay the price and consequences for my sin.
  • I don’t care if my sin causes another one to stumble, sin and go to destruction.
  • I’m saying to hell with you unbeliever who rejects the Gospel of Jesus Christ because you see me as just another hypocrite professing Christ but not walking in obedience.
  • I’m saying Jesus…let me let me drive another nail in Your hand. Let me add more of my sin upon You. Sin that You willingly, in obedience to the Father, took upon Yourself.
  • I’m believing the one who was a liar from the beginning. Taking him at his word and doubting God and His word.
  • I’m saying I want to belong to God…but not serve Him.
  • I stop seeing what God has declared wrong as sinful.
  • When I don’t see someone without Christ as dead in their sins…I won’t share the Gospel message.
  • When I’m sinning…I will be less likely to confront another Christian who is in sin. I feel guilty and don’t want to be confronted about my own sin.

Comfortable Sin

For some time now, God has laid upon my heart the subject of Christians and sin…and their influence upon unbelievers. As Christians we encounter unbelievers in many areas…from family and friends to coworkers and neighbors. I think we may be unaware of our influence and the impressions we make upon those who haven’t yet accepted Christ. Influence for both good and bad.

It’s always easier for me to see the error of someone else’s way…instead of my own. As I see other Christians and their interaction with unbelievers it’s very easy for me to point a finger and see what they coulda, shoulda, woulda done differently. Instead I believe that God would have me examine myself in the mirror of His word and see where I fall short.

One concern I see is when I take sin lightly and permit it to enter my life. Either something I’m actively engaged in…or something that is permitted on the peripherals without much notice or protest.

For example…something that seems to be not a big deal is what TV programs I watch. But in fact…it may have a bigger impact than what I first realize. If I’m watching programs in which characters regularly engage in sin, don’t acknowledged it as sin and there are no consequences to their wrong behavior…what am I telling an unbeliever who is watching that same TV show? What does it say about me…if I can stand around the water cooler and laugh about the latest episode of Joey employing all his antics and charm to get Rachel into bed?

Does it tell them that I believe in a set standard outside of myself that says what’s right and wrong? Does it tell the unbeliever that I take sin seriously because I know the cost of such behavior? That sin is not funny? That the suffering and punishment that Christ endured on the cross is a result of sin…including my own sins? That my un-repented, un-forgiven sin…sin that is not covered by the blood of the Lamb will result in eternal separation from God. That the wages of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. That first comes death, then judgment. That wide is the path that leads to destruction and narrow is the path that leads to life.

Or does it tell them that sex outside of marriage is okay? That the notion of premarital or extramarital sex being wrong is just an old fashion notion and is not relevant to today. After all I’m laughing about it along with them…and I’m watching the TV show along with them. Instead shouldn’t my conscience be pierced as I watch people engaging in what God has clearly declared sinful.

How exactly does that square with Jesus command to “Be holy even as I am holy.”? How do I reconcile that with scripture that tells me that I am to not even let a hint of sexual immorality, impurity or greed be a part of my life as a believer in Christ?

What does it say to the unbeliever who stands before me…living an immoral life. A lifestyle I just laughed about when it involved TV characters?

An unbeliever will not hear the truth of God’s word from the world. Instead they will hear man made truth and values that fluctuate with whatever way the prevailing wind is blowing. The world does not have one fixed point of truth or right and wrong.

However…as a Christian…I have the truth of God’s word to guide and direct me…to hold me accountable. It’s not Susan’s heart and Susan’s values that determine right and wrong…but the truth of God’s word. I can tell you many a time…my will…ran smack dab into the immovable wall of God truth contained in His word. When I hit that wall…I was broken and battered. The truth of God’s word does not budge.

Will I be molded to the image of this world….or conformed to the image of Christ? There’s no way to do both…it’s either one or the other. If I’m feasting daily on a steady diet of God’s word…I will find there no room for that which the world has to offer. Something that I use to find appealing or attractive now is disgusting and distasteful.

In the message of what’s right and wrong and what God declares sin…I must never loose the love of God in the parameters that He has set up. God in part hates sin because He knows what pain and destruction sin wrecks in people’s lives.

A sitcom that shows sex between an unmarried couple…doesn’t show you the ugly side sin. Consequences like an emotional attachment that is formed between those who are not committed to one another. The pain when one person wants to walk away and the other person has made the mistake of falling in love in the midst of an arrangement that was suppose to be mutually pleasurable without commitment or attachment. Being used and not cared for…only serves to deaden one’s heart. What about the consequence that we see in our bodies such as infertility or abortion or sexually transmitted diseases…diseases that may even lead to death.

That’s what God hates…He hates sin because He knows the consequences. He’s not a kill joy. He desires to give us His best. That which God gives us the enemy seeks to counterfeit. God offers a life long commitment of love and marriage between one man and one woman…and Satan offers a one night stand with whomever I want, whenever I want.

Is my Christian witness of God and His truth compromised by what I let into my life? Do I shut up and not say anything because of what I choose to do? Because I don’t want anyone looking too closely at what I’m doing? Am I walking a little too close to the line that I am judging another by? What use am I to God when I am living a compromised life and I’m comfortable with sin? Not much I’d say…that is until I go through the Refiner’s fire.