Truth Frees; Lies Enslave

Among the most dangerous resorts for pleasure is the theater. Instead of being a school of morality and virtue, as is so often claimed, it is the very hotbed of immorality. Vicious habits and sinful propensities are strengthened and confirmed by these entertainments. Low songs, lewd gestures, expressions, and attitudes, deprave the imagination and debase the morals. Every youth who habitually attends such exhibitions will be corrupted in principle. There is no influence in our land more powerful to poison the imagination, to destroy religious impressions, and to blunt the relish for the tranquil pleasures and sober realities of life than theatrical amusements. The love for these scenes increases with every indulgence, as the desire for intoxicating drinks strengthens with its use. The only safe course is to shun the theater, the circus, and every other questionable place of amusement. There are modes of recreation which are highly beneficial to both mind and body. An enlightened, discriminating mind will find abundant means for the entertainment and diversion, from sources not only innocent, but instructive. Recreation in the open air, the contemplation of the works of God in nature, will be of highest benefit.

4 Testimonies, pp. 652-653
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How much more true is this statement today than then? Yet we, as Adventists, frequently indulge in it under such excuses as, “But there’s a lot of spirituality in it!” Or, “It’s a true story!” Or, “It’s only fiction, and nothing really bad happens in it.” Or even, “That really bad thing only happens once, and the rest is good, so it’s okay.” Beloved, all that comes from the world of entertainment has some lie attached to it, even if it is “based on a true story”. When will we learn the vital fact taught in the Bible that “no lie is of the truth”? It is the truth that makes us free; all lies make us slaves. The more entertaining they are, the more bound our souls become when we allow them into our minds. Let us take hold of the truth, dear brothers and sisters, with our whole hearts and minds, and let it set us free!

Then said JEHOSHUA to those Jews which believed on Him, “If ye continue in My word, then are ye My disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” They answered Him, “We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest Thou, ‘Ye shall be made free?'” JEHOSHUA answered them, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, ‘Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.'” — John 8:31-34

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Revelation 21:8

And there shall in no wise enter into it [New Jerusalem] anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the LAMB’s book of life.

Revelation 21:27

Blessed are they that do His commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

Revelation 22:14-15

“Our work may seem at times to be very discouraging, but if one soul is turned from the error of his way to righteousness, there is joy in heaven. The FATHER and the SON rejoice in the presence of the angels. The song of triumph and victory is sung and echoed and reechoed through the courts of heaven. Then why should we not be wise in this life and work for the glory of GOD.”

E.G. White, Manuscript 6a, 1886

Guard the Avenues of the Soul

On every hand there is that which would tempt the Christian to forsake the narrow way; but those who would perfect a character fit for eternity must take the will of God as their standard, separating entirely from everything that is displeasing to him.

E.G. White, Signs of the Times, 12/17/1896

Entire separation requires us to remove such things from our minds, as well. This is the most challenging thing of all; but I have experienced the power of the mind and can testify to this truth, that your mind cannot tell the difference between reality and imagination. What you see in your mind is as real to you as what you see with your eyes and your body and subconscious will both respond to it as if it is real.

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Let Us Be Filled With Light, Not Darkness

Because it is God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who shined in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 4:6 (EMTV)

Where the light shines, darkness flees. Light and darkness cannot dwell together.

Therefore, can we have our hearts filled with the “light of the knowledge of the glory of God” if our thoughts are dwelling on the dark things of this world? I believe not. That is why the Lord commands to think on “whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honourable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report” (Philippians 4:8 RV), which requires us to bring “every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).

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Blast from the Past

I used to have a LiveJournal account. Over a decade ago. I refuse to feel old over that.

I finally deleted it last week, but before I did, I found myself skimming over my old posts. There weren’t a whole lot; most of them were just short stories and poems that I had found and shared. But there was one post that stood out from the rest, one of the last I wrote. It was quite interesting to revisit. Clearly, simplicity is not a new interest for me! In fact, the name of my Livejournal was Ordinary Gold, which was a modification of a previous blog named Aureate Simplicity. Given the subject matter, I thought I’d share (most of) it here. And then I’ll share some additional thoughts afterward.

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More Sincerity and Consecration

We cannot be truly effectual in our service to God unless we are wholly consecrated to Him in all areas of our lives. Every task, every word, even every thought, must be for His glory and not our own. This is probably one of the most difficult lessons to learn, particularly for myself; after all, it takes great presence of mind and a concerted effort. We must be sincere in our desire to serve Him and not double-minded. This takes a complete retraining of the mind.

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The Fearful Impact of Sin

This is a powerful quote. It really made me understand something important! I thought this would be an especially good one to share.

The results of each day’s work are influenced by the days that have preceded it. Defeat today prepares the way for still greater defeat tomorrow; victory today insures an easier victory tomorrow. And God will hold us accountable, not only for our words and deeds, in themselves, and in their effect upon others, but for their effect upon our own character and life. For all these he will bring us into judgment.

E.G. White, Review and Herald, January 13, 1891

As I read this quote, I realized more of how much of an impact my former life as a gamer has had on me. I already saw a little of this before, but now it is much clearer. As an example, I am more prone to thinking that, if I mess up today, I will just try to do better tomorrow. Like how, if you fail to beat a level in a game, you can just try again, and the worst that will happen is that you’ll beat the game with fewer achievements, coins, rings, or whatever. You could even avoid these pitfalls by hitting “reset” and trying the level again as if you never failed it at all.

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