Fatherly “Merman” Love

I know. Odd title to this weeks’ blog. Before I lose you, let’s jump right into it. Have you seen The Little Mermaid? If not, it’s a 1989 Disney movie about a mermaid named Ariel, who dreams of becoming human and falls in love with a human prince named Eric, which leads her to making a magic deal with the sea witch, Ursula, to become human and be with him. Pretty intense for a children’s movie, ain’t it?

While there’s quite a bit circulating this whole ordeal and many principles that can be learned and unlearned from the plot of The Little Mermaid, a striking truth unfolds when Ariel gets caught up with the deal made with the sea witch. I apologize if I am spoiling the plot for whoever hasn’t seen the movie, but here you have it. Ariel is forbidden by her father [merman] King Triton, the ruler of Atlantica, to have any interaction with humans. He warns her of the danger, he warns her of the evil but Ariel, in her matter a fact way goes against her fathers’ leading. After the destruction of all of Ariel’s pride possessions that crushes her, she rebelliously seeks the sea witch, Ursula. Ariel makes a deal with Ursula to have her transform her into a human for three days in exchange for Ariel’s voice. Within these three days, Ariel must receive the “kiss of true love” from Prince Eric. If Ariel gets Eric to kiss her, she will remain a human permanently. Otherwise, she will transform back into a mermaid and belong to Ursula. Seems doable, but you and I know that if you make a deal with the devil it probably won’t pan out the way we’d hope.

As fate would have it, on the third day Ariel is too late and Ursula wins. She now owns Ariel however, King Triton intervenes and initially tries to destroy the agreement, but to his surprise, Ariel signed a binding contract with Ursula. Ursula however, was willing to breach contract if the King would sacrifice his life for Ariel’s. In true fatherly love, King Triton, without hesitation give his life for his daughter.

A striking truth of Fatherly love or in this case, fatherly merman love is represented in this great exchange. Cheesy, I know. This Fatherly Love is one many of you may not identify with in terms of your earthly father. You may have grown up without a father. You may have grown up with a father that represents everything but what a father is. Your earthly father may have willingly given you up to the sea witch and gladly live his life without a care for you. Your earthly father may have lost his life. I don’t know what representation you have for a father, but what I do know is that while earthly fathers may not be the greatest, and while we may greive over the lost of this fatherly love you and I have a Father that represents and encompasses true love; an everlating and unconditional love. He has lived and forever will live. Like King Triton, He gave up his life for you and I so that you and I can truly live. While we may be like Ariel, rebellious, difficult and stubborn in our own lust of life and love making deals with the devil, our King, our Father, traded His life in order for us to no longer be captives.

Philippians 2 talks about what this Father of ours did. In His triune nature, he,

Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likenes. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! (6-8)

Making deal with the devil only leads to our demise. Dabling in sin, entertaining sin, condoning sin only leads to death. We see that time and time but in our lustful nature we tend to forget what we exchange for the quick fix and earthly gratification. Sin is nice. I will admit, but the consequences of sin is not so nice. It scars, it wounds, it destroys and it kills. Jesus however, He came to separate us from sin. He gave himself up as atonement, the greatest sacrifice in order for us to live clean and pure. This Fatherly love represents what love is. Love that sacrifices and cares deeper than earthly words can express and human minds can grasp in understanding.

This Fatherly love is readily accessible to you and I. All it takes is our hearts; a great exchange of our hearts tugging to the world and giving it up to a Father that is true and good. So my question to you is my dear friend, Ariel…. did you make a deal with the sea witch? Are you deep in sin drowning and grasping to escape? Your Father, your savior, whose name is Jesus is not out of reach. If you call on Him, he will and desires to save you. I plea to you… surrender.


Is Jesus the hypocrite?

When man fails, especially those who call themselves Christians, does that mean Jesus is the hypocrite? Should we challenge the integrity of Jesus because a follower of His failed? The answer of course is, no. We shouldn’t, but we do. We are quick to cast stones and blame God for the actions of man. We challenge God and His principles casting blame on Him because, if God was so good HE would have prevented the evil from happening.

Reality is, God has given us a choice. You and I get to choose. For the majority of us, we have the freedom of choice and our choices ultimately pay a price. Make good choices, the outcome probably is, good. Make bad choices, the outcome will be bad and ultimately, those bad choices affect those around us. Often those who are innocent.

The time is coming when everything that is covered up will be revealed, and all that is secret will be made known to all. Whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be shouted from the housetops for all to hear! - Luke 12:2-3

On December 9th 2021, Joshua Duggar, the 33 year old former reality star and eldest child of the TLC show 19 Kids and Counting, was indicted on child pornography charges. Court documents exposes that Josh used his work computer to download child sexual abuse material. Children under the age of 12 enduring sexual abuse were among some of the material found. If you’ve followed the Duggar family you are probably aware that this is not the first time Josh Duggar has made headlines.

In 2015 it was revealed Josh paid for two subscriptions for – a site known to “help” married men find others for affairs. His account revealed he was looking for someone who is interested in “one-night stands,” “experimenting with sex toys,” “someone who can teach me,” “open to experimentation,” and more. Further data, include his preference as “professional/well groomed,” “short height,” “high sex drive,” “natural breasts,” “girl next door,” “naughty girl,” and more. This comes after Josh admitted he molested 5 underage girls, four of whom are his sisters when he was 14 years old.

The Duggar family are known as devout independent Christian Baptists. They boldly take pride in living conservatively sharing their values and their individual relationship with God. Knowing this, it can be and should be unsettling knowing Joshua Duggars doing. How can a Christian, someone who says they serve God, do the unspeakable? More so, how can a good God allow this to happen? A hypocrite we say. And rightly so. Someone who says one thing and does the other. But does that mean Jesus is the hypocrite too?

Did Jesus commit the wrong? Did God force man to do evil? Did Jesus show in His example here on earth tolerance of any of the evil done today? Did God ever reward in the Old Testament literature good for evil? The answer to all of these is, no. It’s simple, we were each given a choice. A mans hypocrital actions does that translate to a hypocritical Jesus or God. While God is all powerful, in His powerful nature He granted you and I the freedom to choose between right and wrong. What we do with this freedom is not a reflection of who God is, rather a reflection of what’s really in our hearts.

Many will say they follow Jesus. Many will be able to quote versus and write songs of wonder. Many will preach with vigor and outwardly appear they serve God, but often we find that this is all a facade. What’s truly in our hearts, the sins we hide and have tucked away in the abyss of our hearts eventually air it’s ugly face. We know that love, true love, does the will of God. And those that love not God and His principles eventually are exposed.

Jesus is not the hypocrite. We are.


Sin – Not an opinion.

If the Bible calls it a sin. Our opinion doesn’t matter.


To some, that phrase may come across as a tad bit abrasive. I don’t believe the intent of the statement was to shut down personal opinions. It doesn’t mean your opinion is of no value. Rather, it’s more challenging the nature within us that tends to bend the truth in order to fit how we think or the lifestyle we choose to engage in. If the Bible calls it a sin, it’s a sin. Our opinion, while important, doesn’t remove the basis of what is sin.

Christian or not, we all do it. We find ways to justify how we choose to speak and live. We try to bend the gospel message or moral code in order to help us feel a little better about ourselves. We tell ourselves why what we say and do is justified. We become tremendously callused in the heart that we tell ourselves and anyone that challenges us that we owe no one an apology for how we choose to live. Christians in particular are quick to bend scripture. We pick and choose verses to side with our belief system. Ultimately, we are quick to hold others accountable, but when we are placed in the spotlight of scrutiny, we dare not be questioned or challenged.

Sin is not an opinion. Sin is understood from the foundation of the earth as a way of living that opposes the nature of truth. Today, sin is masked behind what looks good. It’s actually advertised as pretty and safe. It’s more enticing and appears harmless when in actuality is deadly. I believe it is safe to say that Christian or not, you and I both know what sin is. You and I both know the difference between right and wrong. Either way, aside from sin that’s understood and does not require gospel knowledge to know the difference, there are seven specific sins that are considered, deadly.

These seven deadly sins are known as lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride. This comes from Proverbs 6:16-19. Why exactly are these specific sins considered deadly? For starters, each deadly sin stems from a desire for more and the human want for excess. Now there’s nothing wrong with having “more”, but in each of these sins, an idol is created. God is no longer God, rather the grip each sin has on us becomes the new god. These sin opposes and rejects the root of Christianity that is built on love for God, love for others, and love for our bodies. These sins solely focus on self and when self is the focus we, in turn, make ourselves the god.

So, how exactly do we defeat these deadly sins? In order to defeat we must understand what cures…

Virtue cures lust. Virtue that bleeds morality that temptation when it comes, has no bearing. 
Abstinence cures gluttony. Abstinence is self-restraint. It's a strong mind that says no when everything within says, yes. 
Liberty cures greed. That is, confidence or even independence to no longer depend on things to satisfy needs, rather being content with what you have.  
Diligence cures sloth. Diligence is zeal and passion that can only be found when God enlightens and reveals our purpose.
Patience cures wrath. Patience extends grace and mercy. Patience isn't easily angered or disturbed. Rather, patience walks in a manner of love that often cannot be understood. 
Kindness cures envy. In kindness we learn to extend joy for others versus jealousy and a hardened heart. Kindness sees the good and lives the good.
Lastly, humility cures pride. A humbly living shifts attention from self to first Christ and then others. Humility literally means low and in living low it is dying to self.

Sin is not an opinion. The reality is, whether we like it or not, sin places us in a death trap. Our mind and heart space become detrimental when we allow any of the seven sins to have a place in our lives. Lust leaves us wanting more and will do whatever it takes to have more even if it means violating our bodies or someone elses. Gluttony keeps us dependent on food that appears to fill avoid when we turn right back to it each day because the void was never filled. Greed keeps us hungry for what we don’t have and fights even if it’s to tear others down to get there. Sloth keeps us living the same day each day for years. We have no drive to become and be. Wrath controls our hearts and mouth. It tarnishes our character and only brings out the worse inside of us. Envy has no friends. Envy remains the rut of insecurities and shame for the lack of want. And then there’s pride. Pride is found in each deadly sin. Pride never asks for help. Pride cannot admit when wrong. Pride cannot see the need for change within. Pride remains and pretends until all it can do rot in its stronghold grip.

There’s a reason why God referred to lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride as deadly sins. Each of these removes God and places itself as the god. Each of these opens the door of experimentation that it becomes easier and easier to lose ourselves. Each of these draws us further away from dependence on God to dependence on the sins to gratify our wants and needs.

I will leave you with this. Of these deadly sins, have you noticed any in your life that you have allowed your opinion to sway your conviction on it? Have you given any of these deadly sins a “pass”? Maybe you’ve convinced yourself your opinion holds more bearing than God’s truth?

I challenge you… be honest with yourself. Sin is not an opinion.


Permissible Sin

Are there sins that are permissible? We’d like to believe there is, right? We’ve simply created the idea that there’s such a thing as permissible sin. We’ve convinced ourselves that there are sins that qualify as acceptable. We’ve come up with clever “loopholes” and explanations as to why some sins are justifiable. Christianity is no longer authentic in continual striving to be more like Christ. Christianity is more blending to become like the world and liked by the world. There is no set-apartness within us. So what do we do? We’ve deemed these as permissible:

  • over-sexualizing the up and coming generation
  • validating impurity consumed through our eyes and ears
  • feeding the sensual appetites of the body
  • idolizing politics, social media “likes,” status and fame
  • justifying enmity and hostility among those who think differently
  • refusing the release from the grip having on anger and bitterness
  • supporting the retaliation in fits of anger
  • teaming up on jealousy and envy among the body of Christ
  • affirming unhealthy competitiveness that lead to division
  • support, approval and glorifying the state of intoxication
  • accepting and engaging in orgies and sexual indulgence promoted in TV shows, movies, songs

If you’ve been following along this year, you’ve probably caught on that I have belabored on several of these permissible sins. My over-emphasis on these topics ties greatly to this up-and-coming generation. It’s frightening, honestly. No, it’s not a matter of controlling and censorship of free will, rather it’s revealing the reality that we’ve lost our understanding of Christianity. The church is skillfully becoming the modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah convincing generations past that progressive Christianity is biblical. We are told you simply need to do and be good to make it to heaven. The gospel of salvation is diluted. We’ve emphasized moral code diminishing Christianity to moralistic religion. A religion that subliminally promotes permissible sins.

Children, pre-teens, and teenagers alike are over-sexualized by their parents. TikTok, Instagram Reels, and Stories appear harmless on the surface. When we dig a little deeper into these playful videos we see children dancing to songs that glorify sexual indulgence, profanity, drugs, and alcohol. We’ve convinced ourselves that songs promoting adultery, fornication, idolatry, hatred, wrath, murder, and drunkenness’ are “okay.” The “beat hits different” somehow grants a pass to the gate of our ears and hearts.

These seemingly minor passes have led Christians to become open to liberal ideologies. We’ve taken the mission of Christ reaching those who are lost to becoming like the lost. We go to clubs, drink in drunkenness, dance the dances, and have mirrored the imagery of those who we are called to witness. We’ve become salt that’s trampled on, and are dull lamps slowly losing our purpose to shine. Churches and Christ-followers are appealing more to culture than they are to biblical truth.

There is no sin in having fun, but if having fun compromises our eyes, ears, mouth, body, and heart then we’ve lost what authentic Christianity is. Authentic Christianity practices truth. It sows into God’s word and kingdom. Authentic Christianity requires being set apart. What you and I have failed to realize is every sin that we entertain builds on each other. The likelihood of having a guilt conscience disappears as sin becomes easier and easier and our hearts become less aware of what we are doing, saying, listening to you, and entertaining.

Here’s what the Bible says,

Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. - Galatians 5:19-21

What we’ve consumed through social media, the conversations we engage in, the music we listen to, and the shows we binge watch eventually become who we are. We live out what we’ve consumed. The more we are comfortable with little passes of idle talk and profanity the easier it gets to continue into the hole of sin. Galatians 6:9 says,

For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.

I will leave you with this. There is no harm in having fun. There’s no harm in living a great life. There is harm however when we dilute Christianity to push personal agenda, self-gratification, and our narrative of rightness. If you are a Christ-follower, have you made an allowance of sin? Are you simply saying you are a Christian only to look like the rest of the world? God’s fire within us changes our longings. Those longings should be the desire for greater purity and purpose.

What are you sowing into? What do you spend your time doing? What have you allowed yourself to believe are harmless permissible sins(s)? What are you encouraging those around you to believe are passes in Christianity?