I have no words. Of all the things Cheez-It could have chosen to picture in celebration of an anniversary, this celebrated drag queen is what my Cheez-it loving and innocent grandchildren will have to see if they see the “celebration” boxes. The celebration is all about the thirtieth year of reality TV–an entertainment venue that, for Christians is not celebration-worthy, in the first place.
The word “celebration” is often associated with the most base aspects of our national thinking. The celebration aspect of sin more often envelopes the people of God than the actual participation aspect. We are not drag queens, but we look the other way when members of our congregations become involved in homosexuality and/or transgenderism. We fail to really help the teens who come to us acknowledging temptation and/or asking questions about bi-sexuality or homosexuality. We attend gay weddings or excuse the support of family members who continue to post their support of sexual sin (whether in general fornication or marriages that are adulterous) on social media. It’s not that our congregations are filled with malicious people or deceivers. It’s more often that the one who is malicious or deceptive is not approached with meekness in search of restoration. It’s that we never progress to the point of purifying the body from sin. In short, it’s not always verses 20-31 that we violate. We usually violate verse 32 first:
Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
I’m just saying we should know His judgment and restrain from nodding acceptance to those who are the actual participants in malignity, homosexuality, backbiting, deceiving, etc….In the Lord’s church, if we fail in our practice of seeking restoration and guiding through discipline that culminates in withdrawal of fellowship when all avenues to urge and facilitate repentance have been taken, we are nodding the acceptance. We become, by default, a part of the celebration. It’s easy to become very relaxed about sin when society around us is pushing and celebrating the very things from which we have been washed (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
In 1 Corinthians 5, in the very context of a discussion (command) about withdrawal of fellowship, we see a metaphor about the old covenant’s Passover feast…the celebration. The text is rich in its comparison. If we want to celebrate, as God’s people the passing over of our sins—our gift of life and salvation through His blood—we must cast out the leaven of sin. It’s not just about personal avoidance of sin. It’s about keeping the body free from the world’s celebration of it. That’s a huge challenge in 2023. It’s an especially huge burden for shepherds.
Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
Let’s celebrate this way!
(And also, though those extra toasty ones are in the amazing category of snackables, I can’t bring myself to buy Cheez-Its right now. I just can’t.)