Monday, February 25, 2019

Goldilocks, Hotel California, and the Dangers of Liberal Theology

I recently charged myself to be able to answer the questions, “What is your blog about, what is the target audience, and what is the goal of the blog?” When I first started blogging in November I had already answered them for myself but I needed to be able to put them in words and I couldn’t. Ironic right? A writer who can’t put his thoughts into words! I began to pray and search for the words that described the questions at hand.

2 Timothy 4:2-4
Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; rebuke, correct, and encourage with great patience and teaching. For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will multiply teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear what they want to hear. They will turn away from hearing the truth and will turn aside to myths.

This small piece of scripture sums up exactly what my mission for this blog is. I believe we have entire generations who have gone without biblical discipleship, I mean the real deal, down and dirty, in the trenches, Paul and Timothy style discipleship. We have an abundance of Pastors, Elders, Deacons, Teachers, and Preachers sure but how rare is it to see true discipleship? I am talking about the biblical model to follow me, follow Him discipleship, transparent, raw, and uncut.

Our congregations are filled with lukewarm Christians; it is an epidemic. Baby Christians are born again on fire for Christ, we celebrate their salvation, and we make a big deal on Sunday morning when they get baptized… then what? We allow that fire to dwindle only producing enough light to be seen when the entire congregation is gathered together. We have leaders who live their lives in seclusion in fear of their sheep realizing that the shepherds are real people with real struggles. This, in turn, leaves the flock doubting their worthiness to lead. We allow the world to dictate our beliefs because we don’t want to come across as intolerant thus our good intentions quite literally pave the road to hell. We fail to recognize that true love does not hide the truth to spare feelings but rather reveals the truth accepting the cost.

Growing up we hear the story of Goldilocks and the three bears and the porridge that was not too hot and not too cold. A few years back my wife and I were blessed with a trip to San Diego California. We stayed at the beautiful Hotel Del Coronado and even though it was early February the temperature was in the 70s and the sun was out with a perfect blue sky. Asking around we were surprised to hear that this was not only the normal weather for February but that this was the year-round norm! What a perfect climate, just like Goldilocks porridge it was not too hot and not too cold! Although this lukewarm porridge may be suitable for young Goldilocks and this tropical climate perfect for tourists and locals alike it is not a suitable way for us to live out our faith.

Revelation 3: 15-16
I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of my mouth.

God calls us to be on fire for Him. He calls us to be a light unto the world. We are called to make disciples, and this includes the uncomfortable transparency that goes hand in hand with discipleship. We must once again learn how to lovingly rebuke one another, to correct each other becoming the iron that sharpens iron. We need leaders who are willing and able to step on our toes often. We must get back to the understanding that the Word of God is infallible and inerrant. As believers, we must be ready in season and out to defend our faith, and we must train up our young to do the same. We have to stop worrying so much about how full our pews are and be focused on how healthy our congregation is.

A.W. Tozer said, “It is better to have a small church that is real than to have a large church this is artificial.” What a true statement! We need to get back to being an authentic body of believers who genuinely believe in the Word of God. From Genesis to Revelation, cover to cover, each and every word. We need to get back to church discipline and recognize the fact that it is biblical to separate ourselves from those who do not believe God’s teachings. We need to get back to preaching and teaching truth even when it is uncomfortable rather than spreading sweet tasting myths that bear no fruit. The church of Acts flourished because they were authentic and they were on fire for God. They recognized the harvest was plentiful and that they did not need to spread manure over the fields because there was an abundance of the crop to gather all the while sewing seed for future harvesting. All these things we must do with the sole purpose of Glorifying God not pleasing the people.

In this blog, I have been tackling some biblical principles that culture frowns upon. My goal is to reach those who are already believers and reinforce those biblical principles, to reignite the fires of those believers who have become lukewarm, and to disciple those who feel inadequately prepared for the ministry. If there is a topic you would like me to consider, feedback on any posts, or general questions, please feel free to reach out via email:

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

50 Shades of Sin & the True Winner of the Game of Thrones

Hypocrisy has no place in the church, that being said we are all broken and will continue to struggle with our sin nature. We are called to hold each other accountable as brothers and sisters in Christ because of this very real truth that we are born again heathen.

I have found that in the modern day church we often refer to salvation as believing in Jesus as our Lord and Savior; however we hardly ever talk about the other side of the coin. We must also TRUST in Jesus as our Lord and Savior; I believe that it was simplified in church language because in days past we had and understanding of what the words Lord and Lordship meant. In today’s culture and from what I have witnessed I do not believe we have an honest understanding of these words.

My Wife and I both grew up in church, and both had been convinced that we had our salvation experience in our teenage years. As we grew older, we drifted away from the church and every aspect of Christian living. It was not until our mid-twenties that we found our way back to church and what we believe to be our true salvation experience. So why do we believe that we had not had our salvation experience in our teenage years? There are many reasons, but the most prominent for myself is the fact that my heart had not changed on how I viewed sin personal or otherwise. I was quite comfortable justifying and making excuses for sin and sinners. I didn’t think twice about sinning or the cost of my sins. In short, I had not let Jesus be the Lord in my life; rather I had put myself on that throne.

About the time that we found our way back into the church, we had a leader in our church who held multiple roles who told a story of how her young daughter had written down the book title, “50 Shades of Grey” on her elementary reading list after seeing it on her coffee table. Let me be clear; she told this story as if we should find it humorous. Looking back at this I can’t help but wonder if she or the other women who laughed at this story would have found it just as hilarious if I had told them that my son had found a copy of, “Playboy” and drew a picture for art class using the magazine for inspiration?

My point to retelling this event is to bring light to a growing epidemic in our church. We have grown soft on sin… at least as long as it is our sin. This is not the only person that I know who has fallen lax in this area we have a growing number of leaders both men and women who find the 50 Shades series or Game of Thrones to be acceptable material to subject our eyes and ears to. So many verses of scripture warn us to guard our eyes, ears, and heart to such immoral behaviors with Jesus even going so far as to tell us to cut off our hand if it is causing us to sin as to spare the rest of our body. We sing songs to our children telling their ears, eyes, and mouth to be careful what they hear, see, and say.

The confession of sin is healthy, but we have become a church which tends to brag about our sin without a single ounce of repentance. I have heard women leaders in the church congratulate sisters in Christ on a divorce, older youth discussing the latest episode of, “Game of Thrones” and men of the church telling filthy jokes chock-full of profanity. Looking at the letter, Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus leaves me worried as to how many of my professing brothers and sisters in Christ have been convinced, as I was, of their salvation when they are still their own Lords.

Ephesians 5:1-5

Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children, and walk in love, as Christ also loved us and gave himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God. But sexual immorality and any impurity or greed should not even be heard of among you, as is proper for saints. Obscene and foolish talking or crude joking are not suitable, but rather giving thanks. For know and recognize this: Every sexually immoral or impure or greedy person, who is an idolater, does not have an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

The church and her leaders must return to a standard of holding each other and the congregation accountable. We must return to the fundamental truth that Iron sharpens Iron and get away from this Aluminum Foil accountability that bends so easily to the cultural norms. I fear we are sending more to hell with clear consciences than we are leading to actual relationships with Christ. Our failure to hold each other accountable and properly disciple has led us to a place where the blind are leading the blind, and then we wonder why we have come to a place where entire denominations are normalizing clear sin as ordained by God Himself.

When we justify and embrace our sin, we have made an idol of ourselves and placed ourselves upon the Throne which was created by the creator Himself for the true winner of the Game of Thrones, the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings, Son of God and Son of man, Jesus Christ.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Go and Sin No More

Jesus' Message Rings True Even Today as Pro-Choicers Call Out Christians for Their Pro-Life Stance!

Over the past few weeks since the new, New York abortion law has made headlines many Christians have taken a hard and vocal stand against abortion, a new awakening of the Pro-Life movement if you will. Many of these brothers and sisters in Christ have long since (myself included) been quiet on the issue even though they (we) held a Pro-Life belief. This now vocal stand has been attacked as being against Christian values even many professing Christians are arguing against this vocal stance, even going so far as to say that Jesus would not be vocal against abortion because He would not want to offend or hurt the women who have had abortions. This is a very bold and inaccurate accusation.

I stand very strongly against abortion; I am outraged at the abhorrent laws that seem to be sprouting up in every blue state in this great nation allowing a woman to abort a baby all the way up until birth. This does not mean that I do not love a woman who has had an abortion, is contemplating an abortion, or even one who believes in abortion. Many scriptures have been misused in chastising those who have been vocal about their Pro-Life stance, one of them is Jesus' encounter with the woman who had been caught in adultery.

In the book of John Chapter 8, a group of men brings forward a woman who they had caught in the act of adultery. They asked Jesus if they should do as the Law of Moses stated and stone her. Jesus responds by telling them that the one who is without sin should cast the first stone and one by one the mend departed until only Jesus and the woman remained. Jesus asks the woman where everyone went, did nobody condemn you? She responded that nobody had. Jesus' response is that nor does he condemn her and that she should leave and sin no more.

It is easy to look at this and say see Jesus did not condemn the woman for her sin. This is true Jesus did not condemn her but this lack of condemnation is not the same as saying that He did not judge her. Jesus clearly judged her actions as sinful and against God's law because He tells her to leave and sin no more. He recognized that adultery was sin and she needed to stop. What we need to pull from this is that Jesus forgives all sin however He does not condone it. We have salvation in Jesus which is a get out of jail free card, but it is not a free pass to sin.

Another example that has been poorly interpreted and used inappropriately in defense of the Pro-Choice movement is that Jesus was not sent to judge the world so we should not judge people either. This is taking the verse John 3:17 "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him" and once again interchanging the word condemn and judge as meaning the same thing. Let us also not forget what is said about judging one another and holding one another accountable such as in Proverbs 27:17 "As Iron sharpens Iron, so one person sharpens another." We are called to make judgments on what is right and wrong using the Word of God to correct and lovingly rebuke one another, removing those who do not align themselves with the righteousness of God from our flock.

Although I do not condemn anybody, I am acting biblically on the authority of God to judge abortion and stand against it because the Word of God clearly states that life begins at conception and murder is sin. I personally took the stance that I would not be vocal on my thoughts about abortion as I was worried that I might scare a lost woman away from Jesus. However, the cost of my (as well as many other Christians) silence on this matter has become too great to ignore. I am reminded that if God believes that there is just one soul out of one hundred that can be saved he will leave the ninety-nine to save the one. With this in mind, I find comfort in speaking for the millions of children who can't speak for themselves that are being murdered each and every year that abortion remains not only easily accessible but legal.

As for any woman who feels guilt or shame for having an abortion, I would remind them that there is forgiveness in Jesus and that not only do I still love them but more importantly Jesus still loves them. If you have come to know Jesus as your Lord and Savior and are upset at your brothers and sisters for being vocally Pro-Life in fear of chasing other women like you away from God, maybe God is calling you into ministry for these very same women. Maybe He is trying to use a mistake you made in your life to glorify His Kingdom just as He uses many of us and our mistakes to do the very same.

Jesus did not come to condemn the world this is true, but He did not come to glorify or downplay our sin either. Jesus takes sin very seriously, and in His love for the world He paid the ultimate price for the sin we couldn't afford. So yes I am unapologetically and vocally Pro-Life. No this does not mean I love a woman any less for her choices. Yes, I am still following Jesus by taking a hard stand against the murder of innocent children. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Letting God out of the Box

The other night as we were doing a family bible study I fell into a very common trap. I put God into a box. By that, I mean that through my understanding, experience, knowledge, and feelings I unintentionally limited God’s power. I innocently took God’s omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent nature and placed Him into space with boundaries and limits. It started innocent enough with loving debate amongst my wife and myself regarding a video we had watched discussing covenantal theology. This lead to us both researching covenantal theology and its counterpart dispensationalism. That was when the conviction hit me! It was the same conviction I had felt a couple of years back when listening to two very close friends debate Calvinism vs. Arminianism (free will vs. predestination to be exact). In all of our calculations, word dissection, and verse searching we left out one very important factor. The limitlessness of God’s power, something that we as mere humans cannot fully comprehend. What may appear to us as opposing ideologies are not necessarily at their core conflicting.

As humans, it is natural for us to read into things and we do it all the time in our everyday lives. Whether it is reading the body language of a coworker or anticipating our significant others thoughts, we take our knowledge, experience, and feelings and try to use it to benefit our current situation. However useful this is or is not in our everyday life is a debate for another day, but when it comes to studying scripture, we must be diligent to avoid doing this. Being objective in our study of God’s word is imperative. We must put aside our feelings, experiences, and worldly knowledge to fully benefit from our time in scripture. We must be careful to extract information from scripture and make our situation conform to it rather than trying to conform the meaning of the scriptures to fit our situation.

My journey to begin reading scripture objectively versus the all too natural subjective style began after reading the R.C. Sproul book Knowing Scripture. Sproul digs into the importance of reading scripture objectively in great depth, and I highly recommend reading it for yourself. Although this journey began a few years ago, I have come to realize that this is a skill which requires many years and much discipline to master. Even though objectivity is always at the forefront of my mind when studying scripture, it is very easy to fall into the trap and read through our worldly lenses as I did the other night.

I believe that the first thing we must keep in mind is that there is only ONE author. If there is only one author than there can be only one meaning, this sounds like a simple statement however even within the church body this is not widely understood. Yes, God used multiple men to pen His word but, scripture in its entirety is inspired by God or “God Breathed” in its literal translation. Therefore there cannot be conflicting opinions.

There is a great little comic that has a number drawn on the sidewalk in chalk and on either side of the number is a person looking at the number. Above their heads are two word bubbles, one reading “6” and the other reading “9”. Now from their perspectives they are both right, however, this does not make both of them correct. At some point, someone wrote the number on the sidewalk and to know what the meaning was you need to have more information. The only thing that is for certain is that there is only one correct meaning, right?? Yes & No. Overall there is only one meaning because there is only one author and this is what I believe the artist intended to illustrate. However, when we add into the equation that God has limitless power, knowledge, and is not attached to a physical and temporal plane in the manner that we are, there are some things that appear to be conflicting that are not necessarily conflicting — using the example of the comic what if the person who drew the number wanted to make a statement and fully anticipated the two opposing views? What if the artist was not finished and plans to return and we only see one piece of the work? There are so many alternatives to this train of thought, and that is just with the human perspective in mind. Once you add God’s limitless power to the equation, the possibilities are unimaginable, literally.

Going back to my friend’s debate of free will vs. predestination. These appear to be very conflicting viewpoints at surface level. However, if we take a step back from our understanding and accept that both viewpoints are represented in scripture by the same author as inerrant, then they both have to be correct. The fallible piece in the puzzle is us, we are unable to understand God fully and if you do not believe that just put ten theologians in a room and ask them to explain the Holy Trinity. There are just some things that we are unable to comprehend fully, and that is ok. What is not ok is when we try too hard to understand these things, and we limit God’s limitless power.  Energy much better spent following the very clear message in scripture to make disciples of all nations, an area we are falling very short.

My hope for the church body is that we would focus our battles on the things that matter, leaving behind the things that don’t. I pray that we would recognize the almighty nature of our Holy God which includes the areas that we as humans will not be able to grasp while still on this earth fully. That we are disciplined in our study remaining objective rather than subjective and using the scriptures to form our beliefs rather than bending the scriptures to fit our way of life. And that we would simply let God out of the Box!

Friday, January 4, 2019

Eating Leftovers from Genesis

As I am sitting here looking at the current abortion statistics for 2018 (23 percent), I can’t help but realize that we (humanity) keep eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. We continue to think that somehow we know better than God of what is right and what is good for us. Just as Eve was convinced by the serpent in the Garden of Eden, we continue to fall into the same trap time and time again. The lies and cunningness of the serpent are just as effective today to society (and even the church) as they were in Genesis.

When we look at the cultural norms of today, it is hard not to see the similarities between our cities and those of the infamous cities of the Old Testament. From the sexual immorality of Sodom and Gomorrah to the pride and arrogance of Babylon we see all these characteristics and more in society today. Long sheltered by the cultural Christianity that our country was founded on, we have begun to see our society become indignant towards the Holy God at exponential rates.

In the past 50 years, we have legalized the murder of the unborn, normalized divorce, legitimized homosexuality & transgenderism, and redefined sexual orientation. Freedom of religion has been perverted from its original ideology and transformed into a weapon to be used against the followers of Jesus Christ. The church has been infiltrated and rebranded as an idol representing the misnomer that humanity knows what is best for themselves rather than the beacon of light that guides the world to a Holy God.

Satan is a master at deception, throughout scripture we see how humanity falls into his traps over and over again. New characters in new settings, however, the story remains the same, humanity is given free will and always chooses self over God. I used to ponder how the people who God walked among could sin so freely, but lately, I am more baffled by our rebellion against God. We not only have the written historical account of past failures to grow from and a manual on how to live righteously, but we have the unimaginable ability to have the Holy Spirit dwelling inside of us! Yet we continue to eat the fruit.

Today as I read headlines in the news it’s as if I am reading headings to stories in scripture. “Atheist in the Pulpit” “Same-sex marriage views threaten to split the church” and “New Yorkers allowed to choose a third gender on birth certificates” all representing humanity choosing once again to follow their own belief of right and wrong rather than yield to the all-knowing God. If we take time to speak with fellow professing believers on these hot topic issues, I don’t think there will be any confusion on why we are in the situation we find ourselves. Lack of discipleship and accountability within the church have left entire generations with a false understanding of who God is.

While talking with professing followers of Christ on these issues, I have found that many of them do not believe the fundamental truth that scripture is inerrant. This revelation makes it obvious why so many professing Christians can so easily justify things such as abortion, same-sex marriage, divorce, and evolution. A recent study shows that the majority of the church does not even know what the Great Commission is!!! How have we become so ignorant of God’s Word in an era that has such availability to it?

We went from a “Fire and brimstone” approach to the “Prosperity Gospel” in under a hundred years with the Holy Bible being the top-selling publication every year in between. So how is it possible for us to have such a wrong understanding of who God is and where our identity is found? I believe this is because Satan is patient and fully understands that to eat an elephant you must do it one bite at a time. It starts with a simple misguidance, “Did God really say, ‘You can’t eat from any tree in the garden’?” that grows into the little lie that is the slippery slope of his deception, “No! You will not die.”

I also believe that many Christians (myself included) have from time to time been deceived by good intentions and false understandings. Something as simple as failing to understand what love truly is for example. Love is honest even in tough situations; when asked about our beliefs many times we bend what we believe in an effort not to run people off. This is not loving. In a knee-jerk reaction to not appear the same as the bigots of such groups as the Westboro Baptists, we become accepting of sin instead of standing up against it. We do this to appear loving when in fact we are simply leading people to hell with clear consciences.

The Gospel message is simple, yet it goes against most ideologies the world teaches us:

God created us, and we are accountable to Him. We are all sinners. God cannot be in the presence of sin. There is nothing that we can do to erase our sin. Out of His love for us, He sent Jesus to pay for our sin. Only by trusting Him as our Lord and Savior can we be in a relationship with God.

If we truly believe that we are accountable to Him, we must stand on His Word and live for Him, not ourselves. We must rely on His understanding and not our own. We must trust Him and not the world. To understand what His will is we must become intimate with His Word. We must know it and trust it. We have to take seriously the responsibility to disciple others and get away from the misunderstandings of the Gospel. We must preach truth even if we must suffer persecution. We must hold each other accountable. And we must stop eating the proverbial fruit!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

The Stratification of Submission

How feminism, broken homes, new age parenting and the multitude of other cultural home structures go against God’s plan for a healthy family unit.

Submission has become a dirty word in today’s cultural climate. As with many things, when we take a word or concept out of biblical context and view it through a cultural lens, we pervert the true meaning. This is the case with the word submission. When we hear the word submission, many of us think of things like being a doormat or the slavery of the early years of this country. In church life, we typically go to the scriptures which tell wives to submit to their husbands. However, there is so much more to biblical submission than just wives submitting to their husbands.

To begin, we must understand and believe in the core principles of the Gospel message; that we are created by God, created for God, and accountable to God. We must also have a belief and an understanding that the holy scriptures are inerrant and profitable for teaching.  If you reject these fundamental principles, then there will be no foundation for the truths in which I will be discussing and the family design that I will be breaking down.

To fully understand and appreciate God’s design of the family unit we need to go all the way back to Genesis and take a look at creation. “In the beginning” as many of us can remember from our childhood Sunday school classes God created all things. He created them one by one, he reviews His work and finds that it is “Good.” In Genesis 1:26-31 we find ourselves in the midst of the sixth day of creation:

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock, the whole earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth.” So God created man in his own image; He created him in the image of God; He created them male and female. God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. Rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and every creature that crawls on the earth.” God also said, “Look, I have given you every seed-bearing plant on the surface of the entire earth and every tree whose fruit contains seed. This will be food for you, for all the wildlife of the earth, for every bird of the sky, and for every creature that crawls on the earth – everything having the breath of life in it – I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. God saw all that He had made, and it was very good indeed.

We have just witnessed the first of the three principles we discussed earlier, that God created us. We also see the bibles first depictions of submission and dominance, as God gives man, whom He created, dominance over all the living elements of His creation. Digging a little deeper we can see that in this creation the Holy Trinity is already being introduced when the Father says, “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness.” Even the Godhead has roles of dominance and submission which we will discuss later in this article.

Skipping ahead a little we witness the very moment of the first temptation of sin and the fall of man. Eve is persuaded by the serpent to eat the forbidden fruit and also feeds it to her husband, Adam. I believe that two things are often overlooked here. First is that Adam is present while Eve is being tempted as scripture reads, “…she took some of its fruit and ate it; she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it…” and he did nothing to stop her.

Second, we see God directly holding Adam accountable for both his and his wife’s sin. Genesis 3:9 “So the Lord God called out to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” It is important to note that God did not need to ask any of the questions that He did in Genesis 3 because He already, being omniscient, knew the answers. I believe it is important to recognize that God first approaches Adam not Eve regarding this first act of disobedience even though it was she who initiated the act that led to the fall of humanity. This begins to build the case that scripture dictates the wife is to submit to the husband as well as to God because the husband is accountable to God for not only himself but also his wife and children. God further clarifies Adams authority over Eve in Genesis 3:16: “He said to the woman: I will intensify your labor pains; you will bear children with painful effort. Your desire will be for your husband, yet he will rule over you.” Looking ahead into the New Testament in the book of Ephesians Paul touches heavily on the roles of wives and husbands. Paul begins in chapter 5 verse 22 as follows: “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord, because the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of the body. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives are to submit to their husbands in everything.”

Before we go any further, I want to point out that it is what Paul says next that disassembles the cultural misinterpretation of submission. In verse 25 Paul writes, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her to make her holy, cleansing her with the washing of water by the word. He did this to present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and blameless. In the same way, husbands are to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hates his own flesh but provides care for it, just as Christ does for the church, since we are members of his body. For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This mystery is profound, but I am talking about Christ and the church. To sum up, each one of you is to love his wife as himself, and the wife is to respect her husband.”

Paul also pens these words to the church of Corinth, “But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of every wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.” To relate the submission of a wife to her husband as being a doormat we would then have to relate the submission of man to Christ as such and even the relationship between Christ and God in this very same way. Going back to Paul’s description in Ephesians we see a deep and unconditional love being described as Jesus submits to God for His love of humanity and as husbands, we are told to have this same love for our wives and wives are told to have this same submissive attitude toward their husbands. To recap before moving forward, so far scripture has laid out that wives are to submit to their husbands. Husbands are to submit to Christ. And Christ submits to God.

So what about a husband who does not love her as Christ loves the church? Is she released from this biblical submission? I believe we find that very answer in Peters first Epistle. In chapter 3 Peter writes, “In the same way, wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, even if some disobey the word, they may be won over without a word by the way their wives live when they observe your pure, reverent lives.” Our culture has created this attitude and false belief that respect must be earned which often leads us down a very dangerous and slippery slope especially when it comes to our family life. Divorces become acceptable, children’s bad behavior justified, and a husband’s duties and responsibilities to his family become unnecessary. This all becomes possible when we focus on what we think we are deserving of rather than the reality which is that we all deserve hell and everything we receive above that is by the grace of God. Now I feel I need to clarify that these things are not unforgivable as Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice for our sin. However, we do need to recognize that these things are sin and stand in opposition of God's will.

Just as wives are to submit to their husband scripture also tells us that children are to submit to their parents. From the book of Exodus in the Old Testament, “Honor your father and mother…” to the book of Ephesians in the New Testament where Paul says, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, because this is right.” God is clear that children are to submit to their parents and not the other way around. In today’s cultural climate we see an epidemic where children are running households rather than parents. This new age parenting style where not only is it appropriate but necessary to give your children free rein over their decisions. Where their privacy is a right and punishment is non-existent and where their feelings are held as the utmost of importance more so than their safety or future. Where raising happy children is the goal rather than godly children who are taught to serve the Lord. Many parents, even those in the church, are more concerned with being their child’s friend than their parent. We also see a cultural belief that has crept into the church that the child is the most important part of the family. This is not biblical, and many marriages crumble because the emphasis is placed upon the children rather than the marriage.

When we look at the biblical model of submission, we can clearly see that when you break a link in the chain of submission devastating effects can occur. If Jesus had not submitted to the Father, humanity would be doomed and in similar, although much less severe, fashion if we do not submit according to scriptural models our family units are also set up for failure. Fatherless and/or motherless homes, same-sex parents, wife dominant households and children run homes are all examples of deviations from the biblical model that God has set forth for a healthy family unit. Does this mean that God cannot work in these situations, absolutely not! I grew up with divorced parents one of whom was married three times the other seven, my grandparents also played a huge role in my upbringing, even living with them for a couple of years. However, children who grow up in a biblically modeled home, that is one man and one woman in a monogamous union with a dominant God-fearing father and a nurturing and submissive mother, have far fewer obstacles in life and a much healthier upbringing.

In conclusion, submission is simply an act of obedience and reverence to God and not the bad word society would like you to think. We must not allow the world to form our views on the things which belong to God. While unpopular in today’s cultural climate we must stand firm in scriptural doctrine. We must remember it is God whom we are accountable to and not the world. We as the church focus on so many things that Jesus would say belong to Caesar yet the things that are His we allow the world to dictate our decisions and beliefs.

In The Pursuit of God: The Human Thirst for the Divine, A.W. Tozer wrote, “Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow.”

Is this not true of the church, or a family unit as well? If each member is devoted to drawing closer to God will they not be unified amongst themselves? Through the proper execution of the biblical chain of submission, we are aligning ourselves to God thus bringing ourselves closer together simultaneously.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

From Transfigured to Transgendered

How the modern day church has let progressivism transform the definition of morality.

To begin, I believe it is crucial that we understand the biblical definitions of a few important words. To biblically define morality we must first biblically define ethics and to do that we must first believe and understand fully that we are created by God and that because of this we are accountable to God. From there we must also understand that we are created in the image of God and that as born-again Christians the Holy Spirit lives within us thus making our bodies a temple of God.

By secular definition, ethics is defined as, moral principles that govern a person’s behavior or the conducting of an activity. Therefore by biblical standards ethics would be the moral standards of the Holy God and morality would be conducting ourselves in a way that glorifies a Holy God through righteous decision making and actions. If we look to Colossians 3:1-11 we see Paul addressing this type of living:

 “So if you have been raised with Christ, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Therefore, put to death what belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire, and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, God’s wrath is coming upon the disobedient, and you once walked in these things when you were living in them. But now put away all the following: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and filthy language from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self. You are being renewed in the knowledge according to the image of your Creator. In Christ, there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all.”

With this, we must understand that sin is simply a rebellion against God. You can further break that down, but often in doing so, we unintentionally add to or subtract from that basic principle of rebellion against God. We must then understand that God is Holy which means He is perfect and completely righteous and is deserving of our complete devotion. Anything short of perfection is a rebellion against the Holy God which we are incapable of achieving thus the need for a savior who we find in Jesus Christ. The gift of salvation through Jesus Christ does not, however, relinquish us from striving to live righteously.

So now that we have some things defined, we can dig into the very “UnPC” topic to which this article is about which is “transgenderism.” Notice I put that in quotes, I did this intentionally because this is a relatively new term for a psychological condition called gender dysphoria that has been around for a very long time. I believe that it is important to recognize that this is a psychological, medical condition just as is depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder, or substance dependence, etc.

By failing to acknowledge the fact that gender dysphoria is a mental illness we take away any accountability to both the individual and society. By normalizing this condition, we not only avoid encouraging treatment, but we also demonize it and label it “Transphobic.” More importantly, we discontinue the study and research of the disease which could lead to potential treatments and cures.

As the church, we do not and would not normalize a suicidal person’s disease (depression) and say that they have the right to end their own life because that is what they feel inside. We encourage them to seek treatment and get professional help. As the church, we classify suicide, not the root cause (depression), as a sin because it fits the definition of rebellion against God. Similarly, gender dysphoria, the root cause of the transgender lifestyle, is not sin in of itself. However, the manifestation of the disorder, the lifestyle that is now socially acceptable, is a rebellion against God and therefore is a sin. I believe the saying, “Hate the sin, love the sinner” although it is easily perverted, is very relevant in this situation. We are called by Christ to be loving to all people and all sinners, just as he loves us even as we are sinners. However, just as it is an unloving and hateful attitude to not share the gospel message of salvation with the lost, it is also hateful and unloving to help a sinner justify their sin away rather than lead them gently to repentance and in this case medical treatment.

Currently, we are seeing the transgender movement explode reminiscent of the sexual revolution in the 60s and in a similar fashion to the sexual revolution we see many young people falling into this movement who are simply following the popular trend who do not actually have gender dysphoria yet are living out the transgender lifestyle. If we consider the “Free Sex” agenda of the sexual revolution in the 60s as birthing the homosexual movement of the 80s and 90s, then we must recognize it as the grandparent of the transgender and gender fluid movement we see today, and the great-grandparent of whatever sexual movements are yet to come. All of these ideologies are simply rebellion against God and thus sin. God created us with two distinct sexes, man and woman as described in the book of Genesis. Scripture also tells us He created us to be in monogamous opposite-sex relationships designed for reproduction.

I believe it is abundantly clear why God describes sexual immorality as abhorrent in scripture when you recognize that these types of sexual revolutions oppose everything that God has created and challenge not only our identity in God but the actual identity of God. If we are created in God’s image as scripture says, then by identifying as anything other than what God has created us to be we are redefining who God is and opposing His authority over us. Any time we go down the path of believing we know what is best for ourselves over what God has laid out for us, we are rebelling against Him and making an idol of ourselves.

The church has continued to allow our definition of morality to be watered down by way of progressives. Many of which probably have good intentions, however, there is another old saying about where good intentions lead. When we began accepting and justifying divorce and unwed lifestyles in fear of chasing away members of our congregations and family members rather than lovingly rebuking and leading them gently to repentance, we laid the groundwork for doing the very same for homosexuality, transgenderism, and anything else that is headed our way. We have to replant our feet firmly on scripture and call sin exactly what it is, rebellion against God. We must stop sugar coating sin and justifying sin away for these are the tactics of the Father of Lies as Satan is described in the Gospel of John. We must stand firm upon God’s word when defining sin. We must treat sinners as Jesus commands with love and gentleness. We must be faithful in prayer, trusting God to work in their lives. If we do these things, I believe we will see many more examples of Prodigal Sons instead of the multitudes of brothers and sisters going to hell with a clear conscience because we have justified away their sin for them.

Goldilocks, Hotel California, and the Dangers of Liberal Theology

I recently charged myself to be able to answer the questions, “What is your blog about, what is the target audience, and what is the goal...