[forthright] Beautiful Miss Piggy! / Why Am I Afraid of Truth?

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Thu, 4 Mar 2010 08:28:46 -0800 (PST)
Forthright Magazine 
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Straight to the Cross

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COLUMN: REALITY CHECK

Beautiful Miss Piggy!
 by Stan Mitchell

"Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a beautiful woman
without discretion" (Proverbs 11:22).

For a number of years, I lived ten miles from
Hollywood. There were several times when locals would
see a stretch limousine pull up at the curb, and out
would come a famous film star to enter some business or
restaurant.

The first time it happened to me, it was Larry Hagman
of "Dallas" fame. There he was, inside the Malibu
pharmacy, good ol' J.R. Ewing in the flesh!

Funny thing: When he spoke to the clerk, he didn't have
a Texas accent.

It made for great conversation pieces. "Guess who I saw
today! Boy, old so-and-so is a lot shorter in person
than he seems on film." Or, "That makeup artist must
have performed a miracle on her! She looks much older
in person."

Solomon's image of a "gold ring" in a "pig's snout" is
startling because it's so thoroughly out of place.

Beautiful women in ancient times did wear nose rings --
Rebekah, Isaac's bride did (Genesis 24:47) -- and I
notice the practice is coming back among some of our
young women today. But can you imagine a priceless gold
ring, shining in the light, placed right on the, er,
delicate snout of a pig?

You know why Miss Piggy's brave efforts to appear
glamorous are so funny, right? It's because she's a
pig!

Hollywood stars are undeniably beautiful, drop-dead
gorgeous, in fact. But their lifestyles show no
discretion. They cheat and betray, fornicate and get
drunk, are self absorbed and thoughtless of others.
Most mock and deride Christian teachings on principle.
They are no one's role model.

Their ugly actions and words seem out of place with the
beauty they so carefully cultivate. Why do television
cameras follow them everywhere? Why do magazines cover
them so breathlessly?

Some are air heads, and immoral ones, at that!

Admiring them is as out of place as a gold ring on a
pig's snout! 

----
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COLUMN: FIDELITY

Why Am I Afraid of Truth?
 by Mike Benson

Martha and Mary urged the Lord to check on their
brother's welfare (John 11:3). Instead, Jesus tarried
for two more days before leaving for Bethany (11:6) to
check on his ailing friend.

When He finally did arrive on the scene, Lazarus had
been "grave-yard dead" for four days (11:39).

The Lord made His way to the tomb where Lazarus had
been buried. He asked that the stone be rolled aside
and then shouted, "Lazarus, come forth!" (11:43).

Scripture records wondrously, "And he who had died came
out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face
was wrapped with a cloth..." (11:44).

Some of those who witnessed this awesome scene reported
the event to the Pharisees (11:46). What is striking to
me is that even the avowed enemies of Jesus admitted
His miraculous works. They pondered, "...What shall we
do? For this Man works many signs" (11:47).

Did you catch that? The truth of the resurrection was
so self-evident and undeniable that even those who
hated Him couldn't deny what He had done.

What is especially telling to me is the fear and
concern that the Pharisees experienced. They said, "If
we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in
Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our
place and nation" (11:48), so they conspired to murder
Him (11:53).

Let that rattle around in your brain for a while. Why
would folks want to kill a Man with the ability to
raise the dead?! Why were the Pharisees afraid of
Jesus--the embodiment of truth? The answer to these
questions also explains why many people fear truth
today.

1. Truth threatened their POWER base. The Pharisees
said, "If we let him alone like this, everyone will
believe in Him..." These men realized that if folks
kept seeing what Jesus could do and hear His message
then they would forsake their oversight and follow the
Lord.

2. Truth exposed their ERROR and SIN. "...From that day
on they plotted to put Him to death" (11:53). If there
had been no corruption within the Jewish leadership of
the day, they would have welcomed Jesus as the Promised
One. One of the reasons the Pharisees rejected the
Truth was because they were living in a state of
unrepentant sin. These "religious" men had murder in
their hearts! Had they been living within the will of
God they would have had no reason to fight against what
the Lord taught and practiced. .

3. Truth threatened the STATUS QUO. "...The Romans will
come and take away both our place and our nation." The
Jews were afraid that the excitement from the news of
Lazarus' resurrection would incur Rome's heavy hand
down upon them and lead to the loss of what national
life still remained in their possession. They weren't
ready or willing to change. Note the phrase, "...Our
place..."

Good reader, how do you feel when truth of Jesus Christ
is taught and practiced? When the preacher urges you to
die to self and "walk in newness of life" (e.g.,
resurrection-- Rom. 6:3-4), do you get upset? Do you
feel threatened? Are you worried that your sin may be
discovered? Do you feel the need to fight and keep
things "as they are"? 

Give it some thought.

----
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