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Living Pure In An Impure World: Defense

DEFENSE…

NBC 1In football it means preventing the other team from scoring and getting the ball back.  Same in many other sports, and in many non-sport endeavors.

But, when I think of “defense” in terms of the moral impurities in this world I don’t think of sports.  I think of THE COLD WAR.

You see, I was a Cold War sailor, back when it was just the U.S. vs. the USSR.  One aspect of the Cold War was preparation for NBC warfare: Nuclear, Biological, Chemical.  At our level this did not include “don’t be there when a nuke goes off,” although that was a good idea.  When we dealt with NBC defense we were concerned with preventing and, if need be, responding to “contamination” from nuclear fallout, biological agents, and chemical agents.

There were four major aspects to our efforts:

  • Prevent exposure to NBC weapons
  • Have an NBC infrastructure to protect you (a ship, tank, NBC suit, etc.)
  • Have an immediate plan to deal with contamination
  • Have a recovery plan to deal with contamination.

We had to have this because we understood that, no matter how “tight” our systems were, if fallout, bugs, or chemicals were being used then there was no 100% way to ensure we would not be contaminated or injured.  But, we could limit the danger.  We had to hope for the best but plan for the worst.

This is where defending against impurity comes in.  We live in a Society that can contaminate us morally, mentally, and spiritually.  To live in our “contaminated” world we need to see how NBC defense can be a model for our ” purity defense”.  This model also has four parallel parts:

  • PREVENT
  • INFRASTRUCTURE
  • REACT
  • RECOVER

Porn Free Zone SignPREVENTION

To avoid contamination by sexual impurity we need to make sure that we avoid contact with it as much as possible.  Now, unless we become hermits out on an island,we will not be 100% protected…ever.  But, we can limit our exposure through our day-to-day decisions:

  • Not watching movies/TV shows/youtubes/etc. that are sexually explicit.
  • Not hanging out where impure activities will be: Wild parties, clubs, etc..
  • Not viewing porn or other sinful media.
  • Not buying or checking out books that are impure.
  • Staying off the topless/nude beaches in Cabo (if there are any).

Now, this does not mean that we eliminate anything and everything that involves sex and sexuality?  NO!  If we do that, we have to eliminate the Bible.  Remember, sex and sexuality are not wrong. They are God’s creations.  But, expressions and depictions of sex and sexuality outside of God’s Safe Zone are wrong.

Here’s the difference:

  • OK:  Attending a marriage retreat where there is a session/lesson/study on maintaining and spicing up your love life.
  • NOT OK:  Watching an explicit video on spicing up your love life that has human actors “demonstrating”.

We need to do our best to avoid “combat zones” where we might become contaminated by the world.

USS Reagan WashdownINFRASTRUCTURE

In Navy ship design there is the concept of the “Citadel”.  (No, not the school! <grin>)  The Citadel was that part of the ship that could be sealed off from outside contamination so that the crew could eat, drink, and get out of the bulky, hot, NBC suits.  To create this “Citadel” Navy ships had certain features:

  • A “Water Washdown System” that, essentially, gave the entire ship and all external surfaces a good hard shower. (This was impressive to see on an aircraft carrier!)
  • Seals on all external openings and fittings to prevent bugs and chemicals from coming in.
  • Filters on air/water systems to keep those vital elements pure
  • Detectors to warn when the system is compromised
  • Special NBC gear to where in contaminated areas when you were forced to leave the Citadel.

“The “Citadel” in our own lives is our home.  Our home is a place we should be able to retreat to for protection from sexual impurity and other worldly threats.  How do we model the Navy’s systems  in the Christian life?  Easy!

  • We “wash down” our homes.  We go through an eliminate all “contamination”.  Songs, videos, movies, etc. that can contaminate your thinking, your desires, and your beliefs.
  • We don’t allow “contaminants” into our homes.  We don’t bring them in, and we don’t allow others to bring them in, even family members.
  • We “filter” those systems that bring in needed information & services such as the Internet, smart phones, and Cable TV.  We install filters on computers, tablets, and/or routers.  We set the parental controls on the cable boxes and we “hide” channels that we don’t even want the kids (and us) to know about.
  • We monitor what is being surfed, bought, and watched. This may be through software for the computer or through discussions, etc., with adults and children in the home. We also keep foremost the need for a pure environment.
  • We can’t put on “purity suits” before we go out into the world.  But, we can cover ourselves with prayer and fill our minds and hearts with God’s Word.

Praying couple 2REACT

In the Navy, if we were exposed to a biological or chemical agent we had immediate steps to take.  First and foremost was to inject ourselves with an “antidote” or counter-agent.  Then we had to get to safety, get medical help, and repair our defenses.

How does that help us in our fight for the home?  Well, let’s say we’ve done our best to decontaminate the home and our lives, but we’ve still been contaminated by something in the world.  It might have been a display ad in a store at the mall.  It might have been an Internet ad.  Maybe it was a suggestively dressed young lady (if you’re a guy).  Somehow, a contaminant has hit you.  WHAT DO YOU DO?

  1. Recognize that you’ve been contaminated.  Be alert for sinful thoughts/images/concepts that are being viewed or elicited.
  2. Pray IMMEDIATELY.  Pray for your protection, pray for the source of the contamination and for their relationship with God.
  3. Leave the area that contaminated you.

Christians living in the world are always going to have to deal with contamination.  We need to be on watch for it, and react quickly to counter it.

Bible reading 2RECOVERY

OK.  We’ve been contaminated and have dealt with the immediate danger.  How do we recover from it?

Well, that will vary for each of us, in the particulars, but here are some steps to consider:

  • Re-examine your home, habits, and haunts for sources of contamination, and eliminate them.
  • Get into the Word to strengthen your spiritual defenses.
  • If the contamination is due to your own sin, then confess it, receive God’s forgiveness, and then forgive yourself.
  • Reinforce your defenses, if need be, by adding to them (Internet filters, accountability partners, etc.).
  • Get an accountability partner to help you in the battle!

The most important element in all of this, and one that is common to each of these four areas of defense, is your relationship with God.  Staying pure in an impure world is a battle, each and every day.  You have to suit up!  How?  Ephesians 6:10-18

You also have to stay “prayed up”.  That’s a basic skill.

The NBC Defense systems we had in the Navy were not there just to protect us.  They were there to enable us to operate in a contaminated environment and take the battle to the enemy.

Through Christ, you can not only have a successful defense system for living in an impure world, you can then go on the offensive and take ground for the Kingdom!
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