Monday, May 11, 2015

A Time to Speak

Hey, readers. So, I'm feeling a bit, um, tired today. Mainly because of my previous post, which was about magic. That post is by far my most popular post ever. I was not expecting that. And while I got a lot of encouragement, I also got a bit of disagreement. Which is to be expected of course—and I'm not by any means condemning those who disagreed with me!

Now, first off, I want to apologize if I ever sounded rude or careless. That was NOT my intention at all. I do admit that I felt hurt and frustrated sometimes, because it felt like some people were missing the whole point of my post.

Which was: Sorcery/witchcraft is sin. Portraying sin as "good" is wrong. Not only is that dishonoring God, but it's also making light of Satan's dark work.

I'm not trying to act like I know everything. I absolutely don't! I mess up! I say the wrong things sometimes. I don't have it all together. I fail. Many people had to point out, "Well, this or that isn't true about Harry Potter." And so I had to change some things and whatnot. I wasn't right about everything by any means.

But what I want to know is: what was wrong with the theme of the post? Is something about it Biblically incorrect? The Bible says sorcery is sin. So books portraying sorcery as "just fine" are kind of saying: "I know You said sorcery is sin, God. But ... whatever. It's not that important."

I mean, yikes! Don't you think there's a problem with that?

Why are we so stuck in our temporary lives? Guys, this world is going to pass away! Eternity is at hand! So why are we, as Christians (myself included), trying to get away with everything we can possibly get away with? We should be going to extreme lengths to glorify God and be holy.

As this guy named Joseph Solomon says:

"I'm not down with legalism. Being up-tight Christians who try to be really, really good does not save us. However, I am down with practical holiness. Being serious about being holy is not legalism. ...Not because it saves us, but because it glorifies Him."

"We're not saved because we do good things. We do good things because we're saved."

"Christians are called to do right because we want to glorify Christ in what we do, in light of the relationship that we have with Him."

"Christians should not always ask: Can I? But Should I?"

Here are some of Joseph Solomon's Youtube videos. (...which I have found hugely encouraging, convicting, enlightening, and just full of wisdom, and humor. *winks* [Not to mention, Biblical])

So while I'm not called to condemn anyone, I can "judge" them if God has already laid that judgement down. I can say: "Hey, lying is a sin, guys." Or "Adultery is wrong, you need to stop doing that." Or "God says sorcery is evil. We need to use discernment with what we read."

Now some sins are less easy to discern than others. So if you're reading books that you think might be portraying sorcery as "good", I would say to search the Scriptures to see what it says about that. Sincerely ask God to convict you if it's wrong for you to read those books. He will convict you if it's wrong. Or He will show you that it's not wrong, or whatever.

So there you are. No judging from me! You can't fault me for encouraging you to ask your Creator and Lord to show you what's wrong and right, can you? *smiles*

I, too, really need to do that. There are some books that I've read and loved that I suspect may have content that is not very glorifying to God. If He convicts me that they are dishonorable, then I'm just going to have to strive to give them up! :{

Again, not because I think God will love me more if I do. But because I love Him. I want to glorify Him because He redeemed me! Because He guides me, even when I mess up time and time again! Because He loves me, guys!

If someone has touched our heart with their beautiful love, we strive to honor and love them back, right? So why aren't we (me included!!!) doing that when it comes to God?

We tend to just make God our "religion". Go to church every Sunday. Pray when things get tough. But otherwise we just kind of do things the way we want. Walk on the line. Ignore the call to be holy. Blind ourselves to the fleetingness of life and the hugeness of eternity.

I am so guilty of this stuff myself. But we need to stop. Jesus Christ is not "fire insurance". Christianity is not just a "religion". It's ALL about relationship. When you give your life to Christ, you're surrendering your life to Him. You're saying: "God, I repent of my sins that are separating me from You. And I accept the gift of Jesus Christ's sacrifice that breaches that gap between us." Now teach me to be holy as You are, because I love You. I want to please You. I want to live my life the fullest for You! Because You are everything!

We can totally give up temporary, earthly things if they don't honor our eternal, all-loving, majestic, and holy God. It might be hard at first. But it's worth it in the end.

I know, because I've given up things that brought me pleasure for a time, but were ultimately dishonoring to God. And let me tell you, those momentary pleasures, those "edgy" doings, those bits of earthly "happiness", that mortal excitement, is NOTHING compared to the JOY I get from knowing that those distractions and sins no longer muddle my relationship with my Savior. That I am even closer to Him (not because He was far away, but because I myself was putting distance between us). That I am glorifying the One who sacrificed for and loves me! Ah! There is so much true joy in practicing "practical holiness". In honoring an all-holy God.

I am NOT ashamed about my desire to be holy. To do what is right. I am not ashamed of my God. I am not ashamed to say what He says is sin, IS SIN.

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes..." Romans 1:16 ESV

Now, this is not to say that you who disagreed with me are "bad". I'm not trying to make you feel guilty. I'm not condemning you. I'm not tying to act like I'm better than you. TRULY.

I'm messed up. I fail. I sin. I do wrong. I'm no better than you.

But I just want to explain WHY I wrote the posts about sensuality and magic. I want you to know why I strive to stay away from books like that. I want you to know that I am not sorry for saying sorcery is sin. I'm not sorry for saying portraying "sin" as okay is wrong. I'm not sorry for encouraging people to pray and seek God. I'm not ashamed of saying those things! I will keep saying them! And I hope you will encourage me, likewise, to pray and seek God if ever you think I'm doing something wrong or dishonoring to Him.

When did we as Christians start skirting around important issues? Hiding our beliefs. Never speaking about controversial matters. Saying "Don't judge me". Trying to agree with everyone. Don't make anyone feel bad. Keep the peace, even at the cost of truth. I don't rebuke you—you don't rebuke me.

The Bible says that the world will hate us. The Bible says we will have struggles. We will be scorned for Christ's sake. Life as a Christian isn't meant to be "easy", "safe", "comfortable"...

“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you." John 15:18 ESV

"I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 ESV

“Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man!" John 6:22 ESV

"However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name." 1 Peter 4:16 NIV

"But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed." 1 Peter 3:14 NIV

"For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." 2 Peter 1:5-8 NIV

So. I'm not perfect. You're not perfect. I hope and pray that I'm not coming across as legalistic, rude, or arrogant. But I will say without fear that we as Christians should be seeking God and striving to practice "practical holiness". It's a given! *smiles*

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments." John 14:15 ESV

Are we always going to be perfect? Never going to sin? Never mess up? Never be wrong? NO. I believe we will struggle for the rest of our earthly lives. But, that doesn't mean we can't strive for holiness each and every day. And overcome by His strength!

"For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace." Romans 6:14 NIV

Because God loves us. And we want to glorify Him. And honor Him. And love Him back. And fight the good fight. Demolish darkness and evil in His name. Be a light. Draw others to Him. 

That is what's truly important, right? Loving God. And loving others. And "loving others" means you want what's best for them. It doesn’t mean that you should keep from offending them and support them in their sin. That is not love.

We want to be holy because our holy God offers and gives us LOVE, HOPE, and ETERNAL LIFE. And we want to share that with others also. Because that's the very best thing we can ever share with them. The very greatest love we can ever give them.

What is this earthly life? It shall pass away. But eternity is forever. Are we living in the light of someday living in heaven forever with God?

Blessings, dear readers. I hope you're not taking this as condemnation. God is LOVE. But He is also HOLY. May we all grow closer to Him each and every day together! ^_^

"For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves." Colossians 1:13


  1. Hi Shantelle!
    I've been watching your blog for a while now, though I've never popped in and commented, and it's been wonderful to see another homeschool graduate who loves books! I followed a little bit of your discussions over the last couple of days. It can be a challenge to handle those controversial topics, and you've been really nice in your responses. I hope you are able to get a deep breath now that some of the dust has settled! :)

    Anyway, in wanting to get to know you a little better, I thought I would pass on a Liebster Award that a friend tagged me with. :) I don't know if you like tags, but I thought of you when I was working on this one, and thought perhaps you might be interested!

    Happy reading--and writing!


    1. Hi Schuyler!
      Great! It is wonderful to meet people with the same upbringings and interests!! :) Aww, thank you!! I'm so glad to hear that! And yes, I have been able to just let it go for the most part. Like my mom said, "It's okay. You did what you felt God was calling you to. Now move onto the next thing!" :) So yes, thanks for the encouragement!

      Oh, that sounds like fun!! Thank you! I will definitely try to find a time to do it! I'm thinking this month might be a little busy, but I will get to it sometime!

      Likewise to you! :) :) Looking forward to getting to know you better! Blessings! :)

  2. "We're not saved because we do good things. We do good things because we're saved." I love this. What a beautiful reminder!

    I hope I did not upset you by my comment yesterday, and I apologize for narrowing in on Harry Potter when you wrote about so much more. I could tell that your heart was really in that post, and I truly and greatly admire you for standing up for what you believe in and writing about such a controversial topic. It was a very well-written post supported by many different sources. You inspire me.

    I understand that you were not trying to judge or condemn anyone, and I certainly did not get that feeling from reading your post. In fact, I found it very interesting and compelling! It definitely made me think about what I read (and do not read) and why. I've always been wary of violence and sexually explicit material, but magic never really brought up any red flags for me. Yours is the second post on the issue of sorcery in books that I've read in the past few months, and it certainly has helped to shine a new light on the subject for me.

    I also was not trying to judge, nor to exude a "better than thou" attitude, only to bring my perspective to the table as you had brought yours -- though perhaps not so eloquently. And you're right; it all comes down to this: sin is sin, and God's Word is Truth.

    I second that Liebster Award nomination. :) Keep up the great work! And may God continue to bless you with a strong heart and the gift of words.

    1. It is an awesome reminder, hey? So simple, yet so profound! <3

      Aww, thank you so much, Serena!! That really means a lot! And no; your comment was not written in a mean way or anything! I think it was just kind of everything as a whole that was making me feel a little anxious...and then a lot to do with the hateful tones of some youtube comments I was in the midst of! O.O I notice a lot of people on youtube don't mind saying really nasty things!

      That's really encouraging! I'm so glad that it didn't have a condemning feel, because yes, that was not my intention at all!! And I'm glad it was interesting and helpful! :) My whole studying of magic and sensuality is also making me step back and take a closer look at what kind of books I'm reading! Because sometimes I just don't realize what's actually in them. So yeah, these posts have been for myself as much as for anybody else! :)

      Yes, I understand! I'm sorry if it felt like I wasn't letting anyone else get their perspective in! I feel like we should all listen to each other's opinions, and then, (repeating again!), go back to God's Word and see what He has to say! :) So yes, glad we can agree on that! :)

      Aww, thank you so much for you kind words!! <3 I will definitely get to that Liebster Award at some point! :)

      Blessings! :)

  3. I hope I wasn't one of the people who caused you any stress. I quite liked your post, and could tell you have done your homework on the subject. I also felt that you dealt with topic and people's feelings on it very delicately, but without any moving in your own opinions and beliefs, and I think that is commendable. I want to thank you for writing it, because it helped strengthen me as a Christian, and made me want to make the right decision for some things I had been unsure about.So thanks for that, it's nice to know there are other Christians fighting against complacency, and willing to take a stand. :)

    1. No, I didn't feel your comment was mean-spirited at all! :) But I do tend to read into people's comments; and I think I did that with yours, Serena's, and a few others! I just start to worry, "Are they kind of mad at me...?" and all this crazy stuff! ;p But I usually do realize later that that's probably not at all the way you guys meant your comments to come across! Like I said to Serena, it was just everything as a whole causing me to get anxious! And I wanted to make sure that everybody knew that I never meant to come across as rude or arrogant as well! :)

      So thank you for all your encouragement!! I'm so happy and humbled whenever my posts help somebody, so if they have helped you in any way, I'm truly glad! :) That's wonderful!!

      Your welcome, and thank you again! Blessed to know you guys stand by my side! :) :)

      Blessings! :)

  4. Hi Shantelle!

    Wow, I really love your blog. It's really inspiring how strong you are in your faith, and I really admire that! Thank you.

    I read your magic post, and honestly, I completely agree. My mom never let me read Harry Potter when I was young and my friends were reading them, and now I have absolutely no desire to read books such as HP (and others that are "wichcrafty" haha). I was really encouraged that I'm not the only one that feels this way! I didn't feel like it was condemning, just promoting discernment which I believe is of utmost importance. Thank you!

    I really enjoyed this post also. Thank you for taking a stand for holiness! God bless!

    Amanda Beguerie

    1. Hey Amanda!
      Well, thank you so much!! I'm so glad you enjoy my blog, and humbled by your admiration! I myself was particularly touched by your post on grace! :)

      Aww, your welcome! Thanks bunches for the encouraging words! It really blesses me so much to hear this, so thanks for taking the time to write a comment!! ^_^ Happy to know that you understand what I was trying to say! :)

      Wonderful! I will keep striving for holiness! And likewise for you! :)

      Thanks for stopping by!! God's blessings! <3

    2. Agh! Did my reply comment go through??

    3. Which one? I received a reply to my contacting you about the liebster award, if that's what you're talking about! :)

  5. No, sorry. I wrote a comment (in response to your response :P) last night using my Google account, but somehow it got lost in the World Wide Web and now I totally forget what I said. xD

    1. Aw, too bad!! That's the worst when that happens! :(

      Oh well...what can you do? I guess if you remember what you wrote someday, you can comment! ;D

    2. Hahaha! If I remember someday (though I doubt that it was important), I'll be sure to write it again. xD

  6. Well said, Tellie. I love the quote by Joe. Isn't it crazy how people sometimes look at one's genuine desire to glorify God and be serious about holiness as legalism?!

    I love your reminder about eternity. It is so easy to lose focus of the fact that the spiritual world and eternity is so much more real than the physical world that we live in now. I know I fall into the trap of justifying sin in my life (no matter how small!) and no matter how much one convinces themselves, argues, or twists Scripture, Truth remains the same! One day we will all stand before our Almighty God, the one who determines truth. Praise God that we are covered by the blood of Christ or we'd never be able to stand in the holiness and perfection of His truth. We'll never live it out perfectly but it is a joy to live striving for truth that we may bring glory to our King. Truth is not relative-- not just what I want to hear-- and understanding this has made me plead with God to clearly reveal His truth in different areas no matter what my flesh wants the answer to be. It's hard, but it gives peace.

    Well, the more I read your posts, the more I look forward to sharing my song, "For a Kingdom" (the song that God wrote through me, that is) with you. Tony and I officially recorded it the other day! :)

    "Though we're walking in this place day after day, the world we live in will on day fade away/There is a world more real than what our eyes can see/Don't lose focus of eternity...

    "We are working for an eternal Kingdom/We are living for a Kingdom unseen/We belong to a kingdom that can't be shaken/ Awaiting the day when that Kingdom we'll receive." :)

    1. Thank you, Talitha!! :) Yes it is!! I was just momentarily speechless (haha) when I heard Joe Solomon say that, because it just made so much sense. Like it explained things clearly, when I couldn't quite say what I was trying to say! :D

      It does give peace!! And much joy in the end! :) Yes, eternity is so much bigger than our petty little wants and sins! Life is a gift, especially, somehow, in the light of eternity. We need to strive to live our lives out on this earth with holiness, joy, peace, and LOVE! :) God is good! May He keep drawing us closer to Him. From there flows the holy living, :)

      Thanks so much for your comment and reminders! I can't wait to see you and hear more about your song!! :) It sounds awesome! And that's great that you and Tony got it recorded!!! :D Yay!!

      Blessings, and see you soon! ;) <3