Condemned, Condoned or Confused? Timothy J Cross, ISBN 095472053-9


The contemporary world in the light of God’s Word

Published by: Twoedged Sword Publications, Trade Paperback, 108 pages

ISBN 095472053-9





  • CHAPTER NINE : THE STATUS AND ROLE OF WOMEN : What society says, what Scripture says






The final authority for the Christian Faith is the Bible, the Word of God. All belief and behaviour is to be tested against this touchstone. To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them (Isaiah 8:20). The ‘laissez faire’ – that is, ‘anything goes’ attitude of the world is thus not an option for the Christian. Christians are exhorted to be not conformed to this world but . . . transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12:2). Anything which is condemned by the Word of God is to be utterly rejected, and everything which is commended and commanded by the Word of God is to be received and obeyed.

1 Thessalonians 5:21 exhorts us to Prove (or test) all things.  By what criterion and standard though do we test everything? By what God says in His Word.

In the following pages we will look at some prominent features of our contemporary society in the light of God’s infallible Word. When we do so, sadly, we will see that it is often weighed in the balances, and . . . found wanting (Daniel 5:27). This being so, is the situation hopeless? The answer is a resounding ‘No!’. For the same Scripture . . . given by inspiration of God  which is profitable for doctrine  and reproof  is also profitable for correction  and for instruction in righteousness that the man of God may be perfect . . . (2 Timothy 3:16,17). In other words, the same Bible which teaches us God’s way also teaches us where we have strayed from God’s way and how we can return to God’s way and stay and progress on God’s way until we need the Bible no more, that is, until we reach heaven itself, eternally saved by God’s grace and in no further need of reproof, correction and instruction.

Let us then now consider some prominent aspects of our modern world in the light of God’s Word. In doing so, we have nothing to fear, for God’s way is always best. It has been well said: ‘For best results, follow the Maker’s instructions.’ God, our Maker’s way, as revealed in His Word, is the only way to true happiness, peace and eternal life. Only the Bible can make us truly wise, as only the Bible can impart the wisdom of God. Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold . . . Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retained her (Proverbs 3:13,14,16,17).


Timothy Cross, Barry, South Wales







A celebrity is a person who is famous and widely known. The rise and rise of the mass media – TV, newspapers, films, magazines etc – has simultaneously seen a rise in the phenomenon of ‘the celebrity.’ A minority of people achieve and receive mass fame, notoriety and a great ‘following’ which borders on worship. The reasons as to why some people receive celebrity status are various: The celebrity of some is due to a special ability which they have, whilst the celebrity of others is due more to the fact that they are ‘pushed and plugged’ by those who control the mass media. And so we have those who receive mass adulation, adoration and idolisation because of their ability to kick a football or strike a golf ball. Others receive the same because they can sing and dance, whilst others receive public acclaim because of their supposed good looks and ability to act a part in a film. Some celebrities become famous then because of one particular – if narrow and limited – ability. Others though become famous for no ability at all – they are just ‘famous for being famous.’ One thinks here of the recent rise of so called ‘Reality TV.’ Reality TV, very unsubtly, just puts hidden cameras into a house or a work place and follows people’s every day lives, warts and all. Those subject to this treatment achieve mass fame and celebrity status – even though they have not actually ‘done’ anything, but rather have only been captured on camera.

Those of us who have never known life without the all pervading influence of the mass media may take the cult of the celebrity for granted as just the way things are – part of the status quo? But is the cult of celebrity right in the light of the Bible. The Bible exhorts us to Prove (or ‘test’) all things; hold fast that which is good (1 Thessalonians 5:21). The answer, sad to say, is a resounding ‘No, not at all.’ The cult of the human celebrity is another instance where the world as we know it is at total odds with the Word of God. How is this so? Consider the following:-


  1. God alone is to be worshipped


That God alone is to be worshipped is a basic, Biblical axiom. Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve (Matthew 4:10). God alone is worthy of – and God alone can demand – our total worship, allegiance, obedience, praise, adoration and devotion. Paying such to anyone or anything else is dreadfully misplaced at best and gross idolatry at worst. Hence the first and foremost commandment is Thou shalt have none other gods before Me (Deuteronomy 5:7). According to the Bible, idolatry is one of the most heinous sins. Idolatry refers to the worship of a false, man-made god. In Old Testament times we read that Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands (Psalm 115:4). Modern day idols though would be the pop idol, the sporting idol or the screen idol, each of which receive mass adulation which is due solely to Almighty God.

According to the Bible, God alone is to be worshipped for He alone is God. Know ye that the LORD He is God (Psalm 100:3). His alone is the glory and the greatness, and so to Him alone belongs our heartfelt praise. Whilst earthly celebrities may – arrogantly – make great claims for themselves and get an exalted sense of their own importance, due to having their egos constantly flattered, God alone can say: I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like Me (Isaiah 46:9). The fleeting glory of earthly fame is relative. The unsurpassing glory of Almighty God though is absolute. To whom then will ye liken God? Or what likeness will ye compare unto Him? The workman melteth a graven image, and the goldsmith spreadeth it over with gold, and casteth silver chains (Isaiah 40:18,19). It is He that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers (Isaiah 40:22). The God of the Bible is beyond compare. He is the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth (Isaiah 40: 28).

It is not very often pointed out that the God of the Bible is ‘jealous.’ Jealousy is as much an attribute of God as is His love and mercy. The Bible reveals that God is jealous of His Own glory, and will not share it with anyone or anything else. I am the LORD: that is My name: and My glory will I not give to another, neither My praise to graven images (Isaiah 42:8). Whilst we are to give respect to our fellow men – Render therefore to all their dues . . . honour to whom honour (is due) (Romans 13:7) – we are entering upon an infinitely different category when we come to Almighty God. Truth be told, our place before Him is prostrate in the dust. Men are mere creatures. God is the uncreated, self sustaining Creator. When we gain a glimpse of something of God’s unsurpassed glory and greatness, we would do well to make the praise which David gave to Him our own: Blessed be Thou, LORD God of Israel our father, for ever and ever. Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is Thine; Thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and Thou art exalted as head above all (1 Chronicles 29:10,11).


  1. The best of men are men at best


The adoration and adulation given to men is misplaced, for the best of men are men at best. The Bible teaches that every one who has ever lived – with the notable exceptions of the Lord Jesus Christ, and Adam before the Fall – is a sinner. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us (1 John 1:8). As sinners by nature and by practice, we all fall far short. The media though is manipulated falsely. It is able to paint and portray a picture of people which is idealised. Ratings would not be achieved by the reminder of the truth that even a celebrity is a sinner, and so a false image is given. The reality though is that we are all sinners. For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not (Ecclesiastes 7:20). No human is perfect. All are in need of the saving grace of God in Christ at Calvary.

Interestingly, the Bible portrays all its human characters ‘warts and all.’ It would have us look to God alone,  and not even to the best of His professed followers. Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of? (Isaiah 2:22). Hence we read of Noah’s drunkenness (Genesis 9:21), Abraham’s – the man of faith – lack of faith (Genesis 16), Moses’s murder of an Egyptian (Exodus 2:12), ‘Great’ David’s adultery (2 Samuel 11), Solomon’s apostasy (1 Kings 11), Peter’s cowardly denial (Matthew 26:69 ff.) and Paul and Barnabbas having a major argument and ‘fall out’ (Acts 15:39). Such is not exactly ‘pretty’ reading, but it is designed to make us Cease from man and look to God alone. Our allegiance is due to Christ and not to His followers. Lord, and what shall this man do? . . . What is that to thee? Follow thou Me (John 21:21,22). Christ was and is vastly unlike any of the best of His disciples. He was sinless. He alone could lay down the challenge: Which of you convinceth Me of sin? (John 8:46). He knew no sin (2 Corinthians 5:21). He did no sin (1 Peter 2:22) and in Him is no sin (1 John 3:5). Celebrities eventually will disappoint us, for they are only flawed human beings. Jesus never fails. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes (Psalm 118:8.9).


  1. Earthly glory does not last


The fame of even the greatest of human celebrities does not normally last beyond a generation. Usually, it is much shorter than that. Fame can be very fleeting. A sportsman is only an injury away from retirement, and is often past his peak by the heady age of thirty! The music industry is subject to much change in fashion. Good looks do not last, so one celebrity is replaced by another, and a ‘star’ of today becomes ‘yesterday’s news’. Earthly glory is transient because we are all mortal. To be blunt, the future for even the richest and most famous person on earth is, ultimately, a coffin. All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: The grass withered, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass (Isaiah 40:6,7). Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity (Ecclesiastes 1:2). The death of a celebrity, whilst sad, often brings a healthy dose of realism in its wake:-


Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day

Earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away

Change and decay in all around I see

O Thou who changest not, abide with me.


There is an immeasurable contrast between the fleeting glory of man and the enduring glory of God. His is the enduring praise. Even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God (Psalm 90:2). The eternal God will have eternal praise. One generation shall praise Thy works to another, and shall declare Thy mighty acts (Psalm 145:4). Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and Thy dominion endureth throughout all generations (Psalm 145:13). Even earthly kings are not eternal. They come and go. But the LORD is the true God, He is the living God, and an everlasting king (Jeremiah 10:10). Earthly fame then is very fleeting and subject to change. Our true allegiance though is to One Who does not change. For I am the LORD, I change not (MalachI 3:6). Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever (Hebrews 13:8).


  1. The goal of history is the glory of God


Men have their moments – their ‘fifteen minutes of fame.’ But according to the Bible, the goal of all history is the manifest glory of God – the unsurpassed, unsurpassing and unsurpassable glory of God. He will, in a coming Day, be recognised, acknowledged and honoured as the truly great God that His is. The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day (Isaiah 2:11). Even the greatest of earthly celebrities will take their proper place before Him. God Himself has pronounced: I have sworn by Myself, the word is gone out of My mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that unto Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear (Isaiah 45:23). And what is true of God the Father will be equally true of God the Son – He Who is coequal with the Father and the Holy Spirit in the undivided Trinity. The Bible also teaches that the goal of all history is the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him (Revelation 1:7). When Christ comes again in power and great glory He will be universally manifested and acclaimed as the King of kings and Lord of lords without any doubt or argument. That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:10,11).

Jesus foretold of the Day when they shall see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory (Luke 21:27). When that momentous event happens – and happen it surely will – all earthly fame and celebrity will be put into its true perspective and be revealed to be the sham that it truly is. On that Day, Christ will be all in all.


Our Lord is now rejected

And by the world disowned

By the many still neglected

And by the few enthroned

But soon He’ll come in glory!

The hour is drawing nigh

For the crowning day is coming

By and by


The heavens shall glow with splendour

But brighter far than they

The saints shall shine in glory

As Christ shall them array

The beauty of the Saviour

Shall dazzle every eye

In the crowning day that’s coming

By and by


O the crowing day is coming

Is coming by and by

When our Lord shall come in ‘power’

And ‘glory’ from on high!

O the glorious sight will gladden

Each waiting watchful eye

In the crowning day that’s coming

By and by.