Search Me, O God
by Brett Barry

Christ-follower, best-selling author, and business leader Dale Partridge posted to Facebook the following piece written from a Biblical perspective regarding the passing of Hugh Hefner - founder of the Playboy empire.

The world mourns for a man who made millions reducing the public status of women. A man who invented the industry of female objectification. A man who stands behind the pornography industry pocketing cash at the expense of families, marriages, and homes.

This is who we're celebrating!?

It was this man who labored to convince your daughters and nieces and sisters that their value was not in their moral character but consisted of their sexual availability and attractiveness to men.

Hugh M. Hefner was not a "good" man. He was a man who built an empire on exactly what God condemns.

The only tragedy about this man's death is that he didn't live for Christ. God desires that that ALL would repent and come to know him. This truly is a very sad day for Hef. Not because of his death, but because of his eternity.

It’s amazing the assault he’s received from so many who profess to follow Jesus - some even filled with vitriol and outright hatred.

Heart Check: How did his perspective strike you?

Responses of this nature reveal what's really in a person's heart, as well as a lack of Scriptural understanding, and, beyond that, an inability to discuss perspective for the purpose of learning and growing. (How something is said, while it can help reception of a point, is irrelevant to whether it is true.)

Truth is, most people don’t actually read Scripture, and of those who do, few are sincerely endeavoring to find out what it really says - studying it, wrestling it, yielding to it. Most professed followers of Jesus instead absorb their theology (understanding of God and related topics such as sin, salvation, forgiveness, judgment, right and wrong, etc.) in bits and pieces from their pastor or others. Everyone has a theology, though not everyone knows what it really is until someone says something they don’t like.

Heart Check: Do you read the Bible? If so, do you approach it with the goal of finding out what it really says?

So, if we're going to defend our view of faith or Scripture (and actually honor God with our lives), it's imperative to ask ourselves: How much of what I believe about God truly aligns with what He has actually said, versus, how much is simply my opinion and preference speaking? Otherwise, in the name of defending what we believe is true and right, we can end up attacking those who actually are (it happened with prophets like John the Baptist, Jesus, the Apostles, disciples, and many, many martyrs since).

May our defense of truth be done respectfully of others, and may it begin with first wrestling our own perspective into submission to the holy absolutes of God Almighty.

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." PS 139:23-24