Following Jesus 160
Following Jesus: The Progress of the Pilgrim.
What is meant by the phrase or title Vanity Fair? Vanity Fair is described in various dictionaries as the “vain and frivolous way of life especially in large cities,” and the “place or scene of vulgarity or empty, idle amusement and frivolity,” (trivial; unimportant; silly’ foolish). For John Bunyan, Vanity Fair is the world in all its gaudiness: alluring and seductive, offering merchandise of all kinds — some innocent enough in themselves but designed to misdirect the affections away from our love for God and our love for His kingdom.
Vanity Fair may also be defined as futility, conceit and a desire to be admired for one’s attainments and accomplishments.
First and foremost, Vanity Fair represents Bunyan’s attempt to warn every Christian of the reality of temptation and the need to resist it.
Believers are the special targets of the world’s hostility. Though “Beelzebub, Apollyon and their Legions” are involved in the allurement of Vanity Fair, they are not center stage here; here the focus is upon the first of the evil trio of hostility: the world, the flesh, and the devil.
Those who refuse to conform to the pattern of this world can expect to be taunted and ridiculed. He can also expect to be disgusted by and attacked when all the world’s offers are spurned. “Hell hath no fury…,” in this case, “like the world scorned.” Jesus said to his disciples “If they (Vanity Fair or the world) persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.” (John 15:20).
- Genesis 19. The men of Sodom in their hated for Lot. Genesis 19:1-11.
- John 15. The world’s hatred from Christ. John 15:18-25.
- Acts 14. The crowds at Lystra who initially worshiped the Apostle Paul and Barnabas and then stoned them and dragged them out of the city supposing them to be dead. Acts 14:8-19.
- Memories Pizza When Memories Pizza finally reopened everyone wanted a slice of the action! The Walkerton, IN restaurant became the biggest story of the Indiana religious liberty debate when its Christian owners were asked a hypothetical question about catering a same-sex "wedding" ceremony. When Kevin and his daughter Crystal O'Connor answered truthfully that they wouldn't, the tiny town was overrun by protestors. The threats from the "tolerant" Left were so vicious -- everything from burning down the pizza parlor to killing its owners -- that the O’Connor’s closed the store and went into hiding. Fortunately, informed people got a hold of the story and rallied tens of thousands of people to their side. Through a GoFundMe account, donations started pouring in to the family at a pace no one expected. In just 48 hours, supporters blew past the original $25,000 goal into an $842,000 explosion of generosity for the O’Connor’s -- stunning the mainstream media and turning the narrative of marriage and the notion of nationwide acceptance on its head.
- Aaron and Melissa Klein, the young Christian bakers who turned down a lesbian wedding cake order in Oregon -- and have been paying for it ever since. As prepared as the Klein’s were to hear their $135,000 fine had been finalized, nothing could have prepared them for the Bureau of Labor's second punishment: forced silence by Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian who decided to put his own stamp on the punishment by ordering the parents of five "to cease and desist from publishing, circulating, issuing or displaying, or causing to be published... any communication to the effect that any of the accommodations... will be refused, withheld, or denied to..."
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