It had to happen

It finally happened. Though I’ve been surfing the net since it began, gotten endless solicitations, and some pretty clever trick messages, I’ve never gone into a porn site.

Until now.

Of course I have no desire to go to such places. My work with sexual addicts only enhances my strong repulsion for everything about them. I’m careful about ads and emails. I keep the search engines set on family levels. But it was almost inevitable.

In Sunday morning’s Oregonian great section on Gresham, there was a page on the diversity of churches. It talked about the Sulamite church, a Slavic evangelical church on Sandy Blvd., where the 2300 seats are typically filled with Russian speaking followers of Jesus. So I googled it, to find out more.

I quickly found the building highlighted in construction companies’ proud accomplishments. But nothing about the church itself. One link looked promising and I clicked on it. Suddenly my screen was filled with awful stuff. Almost as quickly, my Norton went nuts, screaming about virus attacks, naming them in red with high danger status. Almost immediately, I authorized Norton to stop the attack and clean my desecrated system. I was grateful for the safety of the automatic virus protection. I unplugged the network cable and wondered if the other machines on the network had been attacked already.

Then Norton asked me to authorize an Active X installation. I’d never seen it do that before. I noticed that the “do you trust” section of the notice didn’t say Symantec. Suddenly I stopped and pressed cancel. “Your system won’t be cleaned” it warned. I closed the warning, but it didn’t stop. Now I was suspicious. I couldn’t get the Norton to close. Finally I turned off the machine and restarted it, telling Norton Systemworks to run a quick scan.

Nothing. No infection at all. Extensive checking revealed no virus on any of my machines.

The porn site had deceived me by pretending to be my protector. And doing it quite well. Only my awareness of how Norton usually works kept me from allowing the Active X installation that certainly would have brought the deadly infection into my machine.

The parallel to what the devil does (2 Cor. 11:14) is evident.

As I reflected on the deception, I realize that there are all sorts of things that are not as they appear. Good people turn out to be evil doers. Pastors, like Ted Haggard, preach Jesus and righteousness only to turn up doing the very thing they preach against and then lying when they are discovered. On the other hand, godly people who live in integrity are accused of evil. Fearful people often see wrongness where it’s not. It seems the thing to do is to stop, reset, let the light shine in the darkness, test deeply, be patient with the time it takes, knowing that in the long run, truth will come out. Rushing the process may allow Active X to install devastation.

And pray a lot while the process goes on.

7 thoughts on “It had to happen

  1. Please keep Dottie Flanner and her husband in your preayrs. She is the Lebanon UMW Treasurer.She had a heart attack 3 weeks ago and is getting better but will be in the hospital for awhile.

  2. You are right on, Dean. I resonate with the picture of what might have happened and the truth you hear after you believe the lie!

    SO thankful for His grace. We sing, speak, and live it.

  3. “The porn site had deceived me by pretending to be my protector.”

    Excellent summation of the enemy’s scheme. I imagine that if the virus had installed, a sick laughing sound would have come out of your speakers followed by a voice saying “You Loser!” Followed by a very convincing explanation of how you destroyed your computer and you’ll NEVER be able to get another one.

    Like you, I’m so thankful for God’s grace.

  4. Excellent observations, Steve!

    Bible Works doesn’t have TNIV yet because of the high license fee. The NIV is still the evangelical standard and they don’t feel they can jack the price up enough to have both. There are other translations like The Message such that are not there either and for the same reason. In a package price you have to charge everyone for every translation. And it’s not possible to give it as an add-on since they only work on license fee, I understand.

    It’s true that Carson and Blomberg are complementarian, but they aren’t CBMW variety complementarian, so their vote doesn’t count among the more conservative folk. The translation wars are some of the least attractive parts of the Evangelical world.

  5. I’ve been encouraging people to use both the TNIV and the ESV. I use these two almost exclusively when I read the Bible in English. Perhaps I’m a bit of an anomaly because the ‘pro-ESV’ crowd often shows disdain for the TNIV, while the ‘pro-TNIV’ crowd has little time for the ESV.

    I love both, and yet both annoy me at times! I love how the ESV translates repeated terms consistently. Our western literary tradition, following the lead of the KJV, prefers to use synonyms when a term occurs a few times in the same passage. The first passage to which I turned when I purchased an ESV was Psalm 121. I shouted for joy (or something like that!) when I saw that the Hebrew term SHAMAR had been translated the same way (as “keep/keeps/keeper”) in all six of its appearances. Yet the ESV still resorts to archaic language at places. For example, why use “made manifest” instead of “revealed” in 1 Peter 1:20

    I love how the TNIV has followed the Greet text a bit more closely at places than the NIV, yet it still retains its highly readable style. In Hebrews 10:19-26, for example, the NIV translates with five “let us” statements. But statements four and five in Hebrews 10:25 are actually participles which describe how to carry out the third one. The TNIV (like the ESV, NASB, and NKJV) translates with three let us statements and two participles. My point is, I’ve noticed that the TNIV is more literal in several places than the NIV. Of course, there are times where the TNIV smooths things out in English so that some of the nuances of the Greek or Hebrew get lost (as you pointed out in Genesis 1:27).

    As you observed, Gerry, no translation can do it all! That’s why I like using a more literal one (ESV) and a dynamic equivalence one which still leans towards literal (TNIV).

    Here are a couple observations and a question:

    1. I notice that Mark Driscoll is now using the ESV.

    2. Those who fear that the TNIV is ‘pro-egalitarian’ should note that two of its supporters — D. A. Carson and Craig Blomberg — are complementarian. Blomberg’s review of Leland Ryken’s apologetic for the ESV (THE WORD OF GOD IN ENGLISH) is worth the read. It appears on the Denver Seminary web-site under ‘Denver Journal.’ Then, go to the ‘Volume 6 – 2003’ link and you’ll find it under ‘New Testament.’

    3. I wonder when the TNIV will be available on Bibleworks?

  6. The New American Standard has lost its place as the premier formal equivalence (word for word) translation. There are two version fighting for its place. The ESV (English Standard Version) has the early lead, but the Holman Christian Bible (CSB) has the backing of the very large Southern Baptist publishing house. The ESV is a revision of the RSV and still has a classic literary feel. The second edition corrected some early mistakes, but still has too many places “men” is used instead of “people” or the like. So John 1:4 “In him was life, and the life was the light of men.” CSB has many of those same mistakes and without the literary feel. I’m betting on the ESV.

    The NIV still dominates the more dynamic equivalence (phase for phase) slot, but it will probably give way to the TNIV in the next years. That translation improves the NIV in many places but chooses to avoid using “he” or “him” for persons of unspecified gender, using plurals or passives to avoid that. So Genesis 1:27
    So God created human beings in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.
    You see that the play between singular in the second line and the plural in the third is lost. This isn’t good translation, as I see it.

    All translations have their points where they have to make decisions, often guessing where the American language will be in a decade. So TNIV has bet on replacing “he” in singular sentences with plurals so it can use “they.” My guess is that American will morph into using “they” as the singular pronoun for persons of unspecified gender, with “he” and “she” for gendered persons.

    But who knows beside God.

  7. Gary,
    The deceptive poison of pornography over the net is so hard because once it gets in systems, it is hard to get rid of. What feedback could provide on the English Standard Version of the Bible. We never transitioned to the NIV. How does the ES compare to the NA version? Paul praised the Thessalonians for receiving the Scriptures for what it is, the Word of God, which performs it work in you, 1 Thess. 1:13

    Mark

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