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Pursuing God While Breaking Bad

The television series Breaking Bad ran from 2008 to 2013 on the AMC Network.  This popular drama starred Bryan Cranston, a high school chemistry teacher named Walter White who is diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer.   The plot thickens when White turns to manufacturing and selling methamphetamine in order to secure his family’s future.  Sometimes when your motives are pure, souls can become lured away, distracted by temptation, resulting in the spiritual version of breaking bad.

As it is written and forever remains written,There is none righteous [none that meets God’s standard], not even one, Romans 3:10.

The apostle Paul expands upon this concept in a letter to the church at Rome.  The context of the passage above refers to legalistic religious leaders like the Pharisees who attempted to be holy without God’s help.  Paul corrects anyone who thinks otherwise by stating that no one meets God’s standard of perfection.  Thus, when individuals seek to pursue God without leaning on the power of the Holy Spirit, becoming bad can happen to anyone.

And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose, Romans 8:28.

The passage above contains a promise.  However, as people go through life, there are accidents, bad breaks and unfair circumstances that don’t make any sense when they occur.  These unforeseen events make embracing this promise from God difficult.  The human mind struggles to grasp the purpose of heart breaking moments, painful experiences and gut wrenching trials.  Nonetheless, as Christians pursue God’s will for their life, don’t be surprised by periods when you are not yourself.  These troubling stretches are marked and stained by immaturity when demons, selfish ambition and worldly desires result in breaking bad until repentance occurs.

by Jay Mankus


It Seemed Pretty Innocent at the Time

Hollywood story lines attempt to produce a few basic responses.  Comedies seek to provoke laughter, dramas hope to gain your attention and genres somewhere in between try to imitate life through the art of entertainment.  Despite getting this down to a science, projecting which film, series and program will flop or succeed hasn’t been perfected.  Thus, the concept of pushing the envelope continues, stretching further and further each year.

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! – Isaiah 5:20

The idea of a poor school teacher dying of cancer turning toward drugs to provide for his family seemed pretty innocent at the time.  The backdrop to Breaking Bad was original and made sense.  Why would a hard working man want to leave his family with the debt of countless medical bills.  Yet, as chemistry teacher Walter White begins manufacturing and selling methamphetamine, a cult following began during this shows five year run.  Like anything in life, this concept influenced some to produce and experiment with meth.

For he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer, Romans 13:4.

My wife flew to Chicago on Wednesday for a funeral of a family member who became enslaved by meth.  While Bryan Cranston was able to evade the law in Breaking Bad, my nephew wasn’t as fortunate.  In real life, most behavior seems relatively innocent at first.  Yet, as you move from the light into darkness, evil stimulates further immoral acts.  By the time most people come to their senses, addiction has already arrived.  While I’m not blaming this hit show for Brandon’s drug overdose, I’m merely warning anyone on the verge of breaking bad.  May God send the Holy Spirit quickly to those who need divine intervention to escape darkness by finding the light.

by Jay Mankus

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