Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
March 8, 1962

Twisted Values

Lloyd Moyer, El Cerrito, California

"For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? of what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Matt. 16:25)

"By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.

These passages point up the fact that there are two sets of values. On the one hand there is the "world," the "here and now," or "the pleasures of sin for a season," the present and pressing desires of the flesh to be gratified immediately. On the other hand there is the future, the abiding, the lasting or as the writer expresses it, "the reward."

It is to man's present and eternal detriment that he has not recognized these two sets of values. Or, if he has, he has gotten them twisted. Because of the physical nature of man, and his living every day in a world of physical gratification, he is prone to become materialistic. Because of strange and pulsating urges young people are led to experiment in gratifying these desires. Thus the warning of the Holy Spirit, "Flee also youthful lusts...." (2 Tim. 2:22) Also, "Be not deceived, evil communications (companions) corrupt good manners."(1 Cor. 15:33) To many young people (even members of the church) the pressing desires and longings of the present are all important. The JR.-SR. Prom, this dance, that particular date, to please a certain person means all to the materialistic minded young person. Stop, and think! While yielding to the desires of the present you lose your soul. What have you profited? An unguarded and fleeting season of physical pleasure may well bring an entire life of remorse and regret and eternal damnation. Truly. "What shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" Beware, young people; do not get your values twisted.

As we grow older we become involved in the business of providing the material things of lie for our families. It is all too easy for us to become so materialistic that we forget the spiritual side of life entirely. Many a husband and father is too busy to be concerned with filling his God ordained place in the family as Head in spiritual affairs. Jesus warns, "Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth." (Lk. 12:15) This great fact is demonstrated all about us. Look, if you will, at those who have spent their time amassing fortunes of material things. See the broken homes, unhappiness, neglected and deserted children. Let us have "respect nub the recompense of the reward." Twisted values? Yes, indeed.

Because of the carnal desires of man and the modern craze to gratify the fleshly appetites, the church of our Lord has allowed her views of values to become twisted. The church is a "spiritual house" to offer up "spiritual sacrifices." (1 Peter 2:5) The church has a spiritual work. Preaching and teaching the gospel. (1 Tim. 3:15; Eph. 4:12) (Many other passages could be given.) Only in cases of emergencies, the church, out of her treasury, renders material assistance to the "saints." (Acts 3:32-35; 6:1-4; 11:29-30; Rom. 15:25-26; 1 Cor. 16:1-2; 2 Cor. chapters 8 and 9) Any time, any where the church takes money out of her treasury to gratify the appetites and fleshly desires of man, except in cases of emergency to care for the poor saints, she has prostituted her purpose and shows by her action that her view of values has become twisted. Suppose that the church gains members (?) through appealing to the material desires of man; by parties, banquets, entertainment of all sorts, youth meetings mountain camps, etc: what does it profit? Not one or all of these things can save a soul. The Church gains only materialistic members. She becomes a "sister denomination. She is regarded as a glorified U.S.O.

Because of twisted values, the church has lowered the standard of preaching and living. To preach the gospel in its purity as it is revealed in the teaching of Christ, is to condemn sin in every form. But because of the general tendency toward moral decay and loose living, many have "watered-down" the gospel so as not to offend those who desire to continue their sinful ways. Social drinking, dancing gambling, sharp (crooked) business dealings, un-wholesome language, and general neglect of spiritual life is the order of the day in many churches today. The denominations (most of them) have long since given up trying to change people's way of living. They allow their members to do all these things. In order to compete with the denominations for members, the church of Christ (?) in many places has so lowered the standard of living that it is difficult to distinguish a member of the church from those who are not members. Yes, twisted values have hidden the true church under the rubbish of modernism and materialism until those in the world cannot find her. False pride on the part of the church, in seeking dignity and a place of recognition in the community is simply a case of twisted values. God help us to realize that even though we gain the whole world and lose our own soul, we have lost all. May we have respect unto the recompense of reward.