An Appetite for Abomination
If you have lived with someone who has a severe allergy or some havoc-wreaking malabsorption condition, then you know what it means to be concerned about most everything you touch. Hopefully you do, at least, or you probably have paid many visits to the hospital. Having a Celiac spouse is one of those things that demands such increased conscientiousness. Most days, I am concerned about everything I touch. Is it safe for her, or is it contaminated?
When contemplating contamination, I cannot help but think of Israel and the law, of the directives about what constituted cleanness and uncleanness. Deuteronomy 14:1–21 details dietary restrictions that stem from God’s regulations about cleanliness in the Law of Moses. Can you imagine facing such restrictions? Can you imagine having to ask about every piece of meat you were served and about the state of everyone who prepared the meal, in addition to making sure that you and your whole household were clean as well? Often, I have thought that picturing such a life is exhausting enough.
But then I had to ask myself: do I care this much about sin? I know what God still calls unclean. I know the corrupting influence of the world’s ways and its ideas embedded in most everything around me. And I know what God has said about it: “But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints.” (Ephesians 5:3 ESV)
But we invite that filth into our living rooms! The houses that we speak of as sanctuaries from the corruption of the world are really foul nesting grounds for festering sins that infuriate God. And I am concerned that many of us have spent so much time viewing and listening to the filth of the world that we might not even realize that we are entertaining ourselves with the very things God calls an abomination.
How often have we let the exposed bodies of men and women wash over our eyes as we soak in the sexualized scenes of a modern drama? How often have we “filtered out” profane word after profane word for the sake of finding out what happens next in the recycled plot of the latest hit television show? How often have we listened to the sermons of our age—the call for us to do whatever makes us happy—and excused it as harmless scripting? How often have we ingested what is unclean?
Where did we get the idea that it is only our kids’ minds that we need to protect? Is innocence unimportant after a certain point? But what else can we possibly communicate when we restrict our children from internalizing what God calls an abomination—only to receive the same things heartily? Is this not the definition of hypocrisy? And perhaps therein lies the problem: kids grow up seeing the hypocrisy of their parents and learn very early that certain areas of our lives are impervious to God’s word. Maybe, before we snap at a younger one for asking to flirt with sin-filled entertainment, we should ask ourselves if we have been part of the problem.