But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
I Peter 1:15-16
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
My husband and I have a number of ministries with the youth of our church so when an advertisement for a "youth rally" comes in the mail, the Pastor directs it to us. Almost without fail, I find something wrong with each one. Some may call me negative, but according to Hebrews 13:17, when you are in a discipling ministry, God calls you to watch for the souls of those under your care. Each of us will give account for how we looked out for them. The writer of Hebrews (I believe it's Paul) is speaking to the disciples:
Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account...
The ad: Youth Alive! Sensational Summer '97
The Music Group: East to West
The Comment: Group member, Jay DeMarcus, is quoted in the ad saying, "Neil and I made a commitment from the start to be transparent. As an artist and in my personal life, I'm through with trying to live a life that says to everyone, 'hey, I'm holy, and I'm good'. I just want to let people know that we're no different from anyone else. No matter how frail we are as humans, we know our strength lies with Jesus Christ."
What rebellion to the Word of God! God said, "Be holy" and "have good works" and Jay says, "I'm through with trying to be holy and good."
There are many scriptures that tell us we've got to be holy. People act like it's an option. The Lord didn't say, "Be holy if you feel like it." He said, "Be ye holy"! People have no fear of God anymore and think He's just so pressed for our lip service and not our obedience. Remember to obey is better than sacrifice.
Let's take just a moment to meditate on the Old Testament where we really see what God thinks of disobedience to His commands.
A lesson from Uzzah: God told the people, "Don't touch the ark." Well, one day the ark was on a cart driven by two men. The oxen stumbled and the ark shook, and one of the drivers, a man named Uzzah, put his hand on the ark to steady it. He was doing a good deed, right? No! God had warned him not to touch it and as a result of his disobedience, the man was killed on the spot.
II Samuel 6:6 And when they came to Nachon's threshingfloor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it.
6:7 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God.
A lesson from the sons of Aaron: Look what happened when Aaron's sons disregarded the LORD's instructions and offered a strange fire before the LORD:
Numbers 3:4 And Nadab and Abihu died before the LORD, when they offered strange fire before the LORD, in the wilderness of Sinai...
People need to stop kidding themselves about the impact of sin and willful disobedience. Just because God doesn't communicate with us the same way (pillar of fire, audible voice, etc.) that He did with Old Testament Israel doesn't mean He has changed. In fact, He can't change:
For I am the LORD, I change not.. Malachi 3:6
...with whom [the Father] is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. James 1:17
No, God ain't changed. James said, "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." Many people read their Bibles but refuse to do what it says like our musician friend. Know ye not that rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft? (see I Samuel 15:23)
Read the article, Who Are You? for a small collection of Bible verses concerning what God expects from us. Saints, II Timothy 3:16-17 tells us that the scriptures are written for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness, so the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. Let us therefore "observe to do according to all that is written therein".
In conclusion, there is no way I'd take my kids to hear somebody that said that in their music and personal life they're not trying to be holy and good. They are a bad example and will pass their bad example on to the people that I'm watching (and responsible) for.