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Religious Reflections

What's the message we're getting

by Pastor Larry Mays

Katie is coming to town to have a talk with our kids, and us. And we need to listen.

Katie Koestner, a college freshman, had been going out with a fellow student for several weeks. One night, after dinner at a restaurant, they went back to her dorm. The dispute over what happened next goes to the core of an emotional national debate, date rape.

I do not know exactly what Katie has to tell us and educate us about, that is why we need to go and listen to what she has to say. She is coming to Sunnyside March 21, 22, and 23 and is being sponsored by the Sunnyside School District and Sunnyside's Promise. She will be speaking to our children, to our teens and to us, parents, aunts and uncles, grandmas and grandpas and friends. Be watching for notices in this paper, posters and perhaps radio spots.

This morning I watched a report on NBC-TV about the effect popular rock music is having on our youth today. It's music which is full of vulgar, sexual specific words accompanied by violent expressions of behavior portrayed on DVDs. Teenagers are shown carrying out violent acts against other young men and girls. Girls are portrayed performing lewd, sexual overtures geared to incite men's passions. The researcher of this phenomenon said that our children are thought to finish their education at school and then come home for entertainment. But entertainment is itself educational and the music CDs and DVDs they listen to educate them to behave accordingly. Thus, because of the violent lyrics and sexual messages, we are seeing more violence and sexual crimes in our society, especially among youth. Read the paper, for those of you who think we are immune from the sins of the big city, it is happening right here in Sunnyside.

Katie is coming to town, take time to go and listen to what she has to say.

Well, this article is supposed to have "religious reflections," isn't it? I have two scriptural thoughts for us to ponder. One is a spiritual principle: It is found in II Corinthians 3:18. The principle is this: "By beholding we become changed." If we behold the things of God, we will be conformed into His image. (Romans 8:29) But if we behold the things of the flesh, it results in decay and death. (not only with individuals, but of society) Romans 8:5, Galatians 5:16-21.

The second thought is a prophecy that tells us about the times we are living in. 2 Timothy 3:

1. But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.

2. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy,

3. unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good,

4. treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,

5. holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.

6. For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses,

7. always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Unfortunately, there are those who profess to be followers and teachers of God that are included in that prophecy. But we are living in the times when all of that prophecy has come true. It is also reflected in our current music and our emerging culture. We need to do something about it. First and foremost we need to draw closer to God. He is the author of moral values that we know as the Judeo-Christian ethic.

Second, we need to express, uphold and teach strong moral values of mutual respect for men and women and boys and girls, in our community.

By the way, Katie Koestner is coming to town to have a talk with our kids, and us. And we need to listen.

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