“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.” Psalm 51:1-4.
King David, a man “after God’s heart”, sinned grievously. But when confronted with his sin by the prophet Nathan, he repented immediately. In writing Psalm 51, he showed his understanding that his sin was against God, even more than against Uriah or Bathsheba. William Carey, British missionary and Baptist minister and social reformer, in the same spirit of humility directed in his will that the following inscription and nothing more should be cut on his gravestone:—William Carey, Born August 17th, 1761: Died – -“A wretched, poor, and helpless worm. On thy kind arms I fall.” Charles Spurgeon says, “Only on the footing of free grace can the most experienced and most honored of the saints approach their God. The best of men are conscious above all others that they are men at the best. Empty boats float high, but heavily laden vessels are low in the water. We have need that the Lord should have mercy upon our good works, our prayers, our preaching, our alms-givings, and our holiest things. If mercy be needed to be exercised towards our duties, what shall be said of our sins? How sweet the remembrance that inexhaustible mercy is waiting to be gracious to us, to restore our backsliding, and make our broken bones rejoice!”The vessel of humility is the fittest place from which the true lover of Jesus Christ should imbibe, in which they should bathe, and into which they should pour their fame, or the favor of the world. Instead, in many cases, pride “goeth before the fall”, and eventually they apostasize, fall away, renounce “my Christianity.” Can you renounce what you never had? You might think, “Who are you to judge someone else’s faith, or their heart?” Didn’t Jesus Christ himself say “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.”- John 10:27-29.
From the Vancouver Sun: Esther Yuen has friends who are angry they once took so seriously American author Joshua Harris’s celebrated advice to avoid kissing your partner until marriage. One of them blames Harris’s “purity culture” for his singleness. Harris’s book, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, which sold 1.2 million copies, was “must-reading for the devout Christian teenager in the late ’90s and early 2000s,” says Yuen, a Christian in Vancouver. “I remember girls in my church passing copies of the book around, using it to encourage each other as they waited for their future husbands.” Yuen, a communication specialist who has attended Anglican and evangelical churches, says many Christians have been taken aback because I Kissed Dating Goodbye, an evangelical classic published in 1997 when Harris was in his early twenties, had made him an intimate source of biblical relationship wisdom. “His separation and supposed de-conversion has got to be one of the biggest announcements I’ve seen lately in Christian circles. My cousin, a pastor’s wife, contacted me shortly after she learned of the news, was shocked. Growing up in the church, many of us assumed that Harris did things ‘by the book’ and thus, would forever and ever have a blissful, perfect marriage,” said Yuen. Like many, Yuen in part owes the evangelist’s changes of heart to the decision to move to Vancouver, “a city that prides itself on inclusivity.”
No, fame does not a Christian, “an intimate source of biblical relationship wisdom”, or even a wise person make. When Jesus “holds you in His hand”, can you have a mere “change in heart”? Pride = Apostasy, unless you truly repent.