For Such a Time as This

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, October 17, 2018 0 comments


by Jason DeZurik

We are living in such interesting times. Back in 2007 when I decided to go full time with the ministry of Worldview Warriors, I was still leading a youth ministry that was quite successful. Leaving that position seemed rather foolish to some. Some friends and I realized that not only did the youth of our day need to be taught more about what a solid Biblical foundation is, but how to live out that faith in the real world. So, we set out on what we saw as a God-sized endeavor: the ministry of Worldview Warriors.

We believed God was calling us to reach out to youth, their parents, and their grandparents by equipping them with solid Biblical truth, and to encourage them to live out their faith in the public square. Much of this was done through events and conferences around the country for a time. We could already see at that time that the world was changing drastically, and that reaching more and more people consistently would become easier and easier as the internet grew and became much more stable in the world we live in today. Earlier on, the ministry struggled with finances so much that we couldn’t have our own land line and only had a cell phone for extreme cases to make calls. We paid for phone service through the Internet back then, even though it was not a tried and tested technology. We did this in order to save money and be wise with what we were spending. I even had some people I consider very wise men of the world and in Christ warn me not to use this new technology because no one knew if it would really get the job done, or if it would just fail and make things even more difficult on us and the ministry. Things have changed so much and our world is so different, even from just 10 years ago.

I am so thankful for what God had done in and through this ministry, and I am so thankful for those who choose to support this ministry financially and prayerfully. Without those people being involved and believing in this ministry, we would have failed so long ago. You have spurred us on and continue to spur us on to advance the Kingdom of God here on earth. For that we are thankful.

As we continue to take ground from the enemy, now is the time to keep moving forward. It is not a time to retreat or try and just dig a “foxhole” and hold ground. We believe it is time to continue the advance and we need you to help with that effort.

We are having a Celebration/Fundraising Dinner to be held on Monday, October 29, starting at 6:00pm. This event will take place at Trinity Evangelical Church located at 108 Malabar Dr. in Upper Sandusky, Ohio. This is a free event, and an opportunity to support the ministry financially will be given during the evening. The theme will be, “For such a time as this,” based off of the text found in Esther 4:14.

We are so pleased that worship leader Mike Sooy from Old Fort Church and his band “Hoopty Hoo and the Such” will lead worship for the evening. A silent auction will also take place, and we are currently taking donations for this silent auction. Available at the silent auction will be some matted and framed prints of the original art from Scott Harshbarger that will be found in Logan Ames’ upcoming book, “The Heroes of The Faith,” a look at the heroes we find in Hebrews 11. Please write us at info@worldviewwarriors.org if you’d like to make a donation to the auction.

A State of the Ministry address will be given by yours truly. Pastor and Worldview Warriors blogger David Odegard has agreed to share that evening as well. This is a great opportunity to meet some of our board members, radio volunteers, and bloggers.

The main meal will be served around 6:30pm. For the meal we will be serving sliced beef and glazed grilled pork with the following options for side dishes: cheesy potato casserole, wild rice, and Caribbean vegetable blend with broccoli, yellow carrots, whole green beans, red pepper strips. For dessert there will be an assortment of choices, including pies, cheesecake, strawberry shortcake, and pumpkin roll. I am excited to share that the meal will be prepared by Special Occasions Catering from Upper Sandusky, Ohio. I am so pleased that they have decided to help with this event and make it a reality.


This is a free event to anyone who would like to support or has supported the ministry of Worldview Warriors, or who would like to find out more information about what we do. Thank you so much to all of you who have supported the ministry up to this point. I really believe the best is yet to come! I hope you will prayerfully consider joining us at this exciting event. Now is the time to keep the supply lines moving as we continue to press on and move forward into enemy territory for the Kingdom of God, for such a time as this!

See you on Monday, October 29th. If you would like to attend this event, please RSVP no later than Monday, October 22nd by emailing me at jason@worldviewwarriors.org or by calling me at 419-835-2777. If you are unable to make it to the dinner but would still like to make a donation to the ministry, you can do that online here or send your donation to Worldview Warriors, PO Box 681, Findlay, Ohio 45839. We appreciate you so much! God bless!

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.

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Commandment #1: No Other Gods

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, October 15, 2018 0 comments


by Katie Erickson

“And God spoke all these words: ‘I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:1-3)

As I wrote about last week, I’ll be spending the next couple months taking a look at each of the Ten Commandments and what they mean for us today. Today we’ll take a look at the first commandment, which simply put is, “You shall have no other gods.”

Growing up in the Lutheran church and going to a Lutheran school, I had to memorize much of Luther’s Small Catechism. Not only did I need to learn the commandments, but also their meanings according to Martin Luther. For this commandment, the meaning is simple: “We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things.” That may be simple to memorize, but it’s VERY difficult to live!

Having another god is not just bowing down to a statue of an idol or something like that; every time we put any little thing above God in any way, we’re breaking this commandment. If I trust in the government to take care of me rather than putting my trust in God, I’ve broken this commandment. If I spend more time focusing on my phone and social media instead of reading the Word, I’ve broken this commandment. If I consider another person (even my spouse) to be more important in my life than God, I’ve broken this commandment. Any little thing we put more importance on in our lives than God is breaking this commandment.

In the original Hebrew text, this commandment can be translated more literally as, “It will not be for you to have any other gods upon My face.” It’s a common expression in Hebrew to say “upon my face” instead of saying “before me” or “in front of me.” Last week, I mentioned a book called God’s Brushstrokes, written by my friend Preston Hunteman. I want to share a section of his analysis of this commandment, as it gives a great picture of how we break this one:

An example for this is a beautiful hand painted mural. A man looked at the mural and thought, “Surely I can put something there that is more pleasing to the eye.” The man then took a hammer and hit a nail into the mural. He proceeded to hang his picture upon the nail. The nail punctured the mural, but the new picture hid the face of the mural. Every time that man looked upon his picture he did not see the mural. That man admired his work more than the art that was on the mural.

The mural, in this allegory, is God’s face. The man is us. We all have the choice to hang a picture on the mural. We can hang as many pictures up as we want. Each picture is a ‘god,’ something we admire and worship instead of worshiping the only true God. The nail is our stubbornness, our ‘I know best’ attitude toward God. Our God is merciful and gracious. God never tells us to take down our pictures and to take out our nails. We have the choice to do so. When we take down the picture we have admitted that we did wrong. The nail is still in the mural until we fully repent, then the nail comes out. The nail is the hardest thing to pull out of the mural. When we pull that nail out we then must let go of that nail, before God can come and fix the hole. God fills all the holes with grace, and then we are truly forgiven of putting our gods before His face.

As you can see, this commandment is one we all break, many times a day. If you claim you don’t break this one, then you’re not being truthful (1 John 1:8). But fortunately for us, Jesus, who is God, came to this earth in human form, lived a perfect life including never ever breaking this commandment, died, and was raised so that we might be forgiven from all of our sin when we repent of it (1 John 1:9). We know that we will break this commandment, as hard as we may try not to. But praise God that because of our faith in Jesus and the grace that He gives us, we may be forgiven!

What kind of pictures are you putting up over the mural of God in your life? What things do you place your trust in, rather than trusting in God above all else? Consider that as you go about your day and your week.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.

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The Communion of Saints

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Sunday, October 14, 2018 0 comments


by Logan Ames

When I was twelve years old, I was still very much scared of roller coasters even though I knew that many of my friends had conquered those fears by that age. However, I remember one specific moment when I was at Hersheypark in Hershey, Pennsylvania and I was debating whether to try to conquer my fear by riding “The Sidewinder” or simply give in to the fear once again and sit it out. I have shared in past writings that what eventually tipped the scale in favor of conquering the fear was watching other people walking off the roller coaster with smiles on their faces. While I still had a small fear of heights and wrestled with it, I reasoned in my adolescent brain that if every single person was coming off the coaster smiling and with all their limbs still attached, why would I assume my experience would be different? I’ve related this to using good reasoning in the past, but I also think it shows the power of relating ourselves to others who are in similar circumstances and yet are succeeding in being overcomers.

In last week’s post, I talked about the fact that the catholic (universal) Church across the world, as well as past, present, and future, includes all who have come to know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. This week, I want to show you why it’s important that we recognize and utilize “the communion of saints," which is the next core belief that we find in the Apostles’ Creed. When we talk about “communion of saints," we are not referring to the Lord’s Supper, though it is one way that we practice and enjoy the communion we have with one another. The phrase actually refers to fellowship of any kind that we have with ALL brothers and sisters in Christ, whether they came before us or after us, whether we knew them personally or not, and whether they speak the same language or observe the same traditions as us or not.

It’s interesting that I’m writing this post as I sit here in a hotel in a country that borders Israel after I just spent four days in the Holy Land. As we walked around all the towns and locations where Jesus lived, preached, performed miracles, suffered, was crucified, and rose from the grave, there was one thing for sure: Christians most certainly do share a communion of saints all over the world. There were people from every tribe and tongue at each location hoping to pray, seek, and commemorate their Lord and Savior. As I put my hand on the Western Wall of the Temple Mount, as I stood at the stone slab where it is believed Jesus’ body was laid after it was brought down from the cross, and even as we entered into a bordering country to see Jesus’ baptism site, there were people from all over the world worshiping Jesus who is called “the Christ." Europeans and South Americans wept at the Western Wall. Middle Easterners and Africans knelt at the slab. People from India and other parts of Asia immersed themselves in the part of the Jordan River just meters from where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. These people have different colors, lived through different life experiences, and believe differently when it comes to politics. Yet, they are united by their love and devotion for Jesus.

Because we realize that so many all over the world believe and live as we do, we both have a responsibility and enjoy a benefit from this “communion." First and foremost, it is our responsibility to carry ourselves according to the grace we’ve been given and the faith we’ve professed, because we know that others are watching us. This is why Paul tells us how to live in Romans 12:1-2. He tells us to offer our bodies as “living sacrifices," then he tells us not to conform to this world’s patterns but to allow ourselves to be “transformed by the renewing of our minds." In other words, we must be separate from the ways of the world and must be giving ourselves fully to following Jesus, not just checking in with him when we need something or are desperate. We must be overcomers as we face hardships because we have the power of the Holy Spirit within us, and so many others around the world are aided by our example of strength according to our faith. We must know that the spiritual battle between good and evil is REAL and the devil is seeking to destroy us every day (1 Peter 5:8). We must resist him and stand firm because we know that so many other saints are being attacked in similar AND different ways (1 Peter 5:9).

On the other hand, we enjoy the benefit of this communion when WE are the ones feeling overwhelmed and desperate, unsure if we can continue in the faith. This is one reason why I wrote the almost year-long series that I did on the heroes of our faith as explained in Hebrews 11. They might not be people we knew personally and they might just seem like made-up stories, but they were real people who stood firm in their faith in God even against impossible odds. This week, I’ve stood in many of the physical places where they did and gained an even better understanding of what so many of them went through. The testimony of these saints, whom I have obviously never met, is a HUGE encouragement to me! They achieved victory by the power of our Creator, and you and I can do the same in our lives no matter what we face.

I’d like for you to take a look at a video and song here. It’s by Sara Groves and is called “When the Saints." It’s one of my favorite videos because it reminds me of not only what many of our Biblical heroes did, but what heroes did even more recently than them, such as Mother Teresa, those who are willing to knock down brothel doors to save human slaves, and Jim Elliott and his family members were able to overcome by the power of the Holy Spirit at work in their lives. When the writer of Hebrews talked about the “great cloud of witnesses” by whom we are surrounded (Hebrews 12:1), I think he knew that the cloud wasn’t going to end with those who came before him. The “cloud” continues to grow all over the world no matter what the news media tries to tell us. We must get rid of any sin that entangles us and anything else that stands in our way of being the saints that join that cloud as examples to others who are trying to run the race that has been marked out for them by Jesus, who is perfecting the faith that is ours and theirs (Hebrews 12:1-2).

What’s stopping you today? What’s holding you back? What fears or giants are staring you down and making you think that you can’t stand firm in your faith? First, find encouragement in the communion of saints that you enjoy with all of those other heroes. Then, as you grow stronger in your faith and are able to withstand the devil’s schemes, learn more every day about how to offer your entire life to Christ in any way that he wants to use it. There are other believers who exist now, and who will exist in the future, who are counting on you to set the example for them. Get rid of sin, eliminate other hindrances, and enjoy the communion.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.

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The Pride of Humility

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, October 12, 2018 0 comments


by Charlie Wolcott

Another of the tactics doubters use to try to justify their doubt and silence believers is to boast about humility and call believers arrogant. Here is how the tactic can look: “I really don’t know if I am right or not, but here is an idea… We are all trying to find the truth here.” The idea is often some form of “Did God indeed say?” This attitude is very calm, quiet, and scholarly. It usually comes with gentleness and compassion, treating the Bible as a weak book which needs their help of modern knowledge and/or science. Then they will ask, “Isn’t it humble to say, ‘I don’t know?’” I encourage you to ask yourself, “Is this really humility or is this arrogance disguised as humility?”

Paul warned the Colossian church to be aware of false humility. The enemy has used these tactics of subtlety, scholarship, and the appearance of humility to instill doubt into the Word of God since Creation and the Fall of man. His very first words were “Did God indeed say…?” and he has been asking that of God ever since. He has been using false teachers who claim Christianity and yet do nothing to uphold the Word of God or defend it but rather question it.

If you pay attention, these false teachers will also appeal to emotion and insults. They will claim to be humble and do what they can to show it, but if you stand up and say, “Hey, that’s not what the Bible says,” then suddenly you are closed-minded, bigoted, arrogant, cocky, and whatever other insult they want to hurl. Sometimes they will be ‘nice’ and just say, “That’s your opinion,” and ignore whatever else you say.

If you admit, even for a moment, that you are not certain about your position as a Christian, you will find many will readily embrace you because you no longer bring a message which threatens their way of life. I have seen some apologists state that mathematically, they cannot prove with 100% certainty that the Bible is true, even though they are 99.999999% sure. While that may be true from their particular angle of apologetics, why say that? It is an appeal to a false humility. When dealing with the Word of God, I believe that it is not humble to say, “I am not sure.” That is doubt, not humility, and when dealing with the Bible many do not know the difference between them.

Now, many people will go through doubts, and they come in many forms. I am not knocking nor taking lightly the very real struggle with unbelief. But I cannot stand here and say that is okay question the validity of Scripture, especially when it comes to any clear statement in Scripture. It’s not okay to doubt when Scripture is clear; it is sin. It is real and it is a struggle, but it is still sin, the sin of unbelief. The attitude we should have with doubt is not, “I don’t have it all figured out and that’s okay.” The attitude we should have is, “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.” There are passages of Scripture we do not understand clearly, but there is a difference between not understanding and disbelieving it to be true.

Those in academia who cannot or will not stand with absolute confidence that what they are speaking is 100% true are not exercising humility in saying this, but doubt. And if they do not have the confidence that what they proclaim is true, I have good reason to question what they are doing standing behind a pulpit and speaking. All it takes is a slight opening for doubt and it completely removes the ‘sting’ to the message and there is nothing left but an intellectual discussion. Discussions are fine if that’s all you want, but no Christian is ever called to have merely a “discussion” with the heathen, but to proclaim truth.

So what is true humility? I’ve given numerous examples of what it is not. What does the real thing look like? Humility does not point to self. This is especially hard for speakers, authors, and those giving the message. As a speaker, author, Bible teacher, and apologist, it is an easy trap for me to fall into with seeking attention and seeking approval of those listening to my message. Humility recognizes that I do not have the intellect, the eloquence of speech, or the knowledge to give the message I have been given its due justice.

Humility recognizes that you do not have the skills necessary to do what you need to do in your own strength, and you need the power, the wisdom, and the character of God to flow in and through you to get the job done. God has given me a brain that can hold an immense amount of knowledge and access to the true knowledge to preach it. But I still have lessons in true humility to learn because I don’t always recognize that I only know what I know because God in his grace granted it to me. He could have given it to anyone else to use and proclaim.


Both Moses and Jesus were prime example of living in humility. Moses was a political leader, not merely for Egypt but also for the traveling nation of Israel of at least 600,000 men. He had every right to boast and to look at his standing as the most important man. Numerous men challenged him, particularly Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, and yet Moses never lorded authority over them. He sought to reason with them rather than make them submit to him, yet they refused to even give him ear. And despite his standing, all Moses wanted was the presence of God.

How could Jesus be humble despite claiming to be God? This is a key thing to understand. Jesus did absolutely nothing of his own power or his own will. He only did what he saw his Father doing and only said what he heard his Father saying. Yet he spoke truth with power and authority. To the people and to the Pharisees he sounded very arrogant, but there was no arrogance in Jesus.

Let me say this very clearly. It is not arrogant to speak the truth, to stand on it, and call out any false teaching that would say otherwise. It is arrogant to say, “Look at me. I have the answer,” especially when you don’t. When I speak the truth, I don’t want people looking at me for the answers. I want people to turn to Christ and the Bible for their answers. I strive not to speak my opinions unless I explicitly state them, but what the Word of God actually says. But I must also speak humbly, not as though I’ve figured it out, but with the understanding that only God has the answers. Joseph and Daniel each got to interpret dreams of kings and neither of them dared say they figured it out. They only gave glory to God for the revelation of the interpretation.

Let us not fall for the trap of false humility. Let us not confuse doubt with humility either. Instead, let us know that truth comes from God and God alone, and it should greatly humble us to be asked to give a message no person is worthy to give nor capable of giving it its proper justice. But when we speak the truth to this fallen, wicked world, we will look like fools. That’s next week.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.

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Worldview Warriors Celebration and Fundraising Dinner

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, October 10, 2018 0 comments


by Jason DeZurik

You are invited! Yes, you!

I am pleased to announce that this year the Worldview Warriors Board and I have decided to have a Celebration/Fundraising Dinner to be held on Monday, October 29, with appetizers starting at 6:00pm. This event will take place at Trinity Evangelical Church located at 108 Malabar Dr. in Upper Sandusky, Ohio. This is a free event, and an opportunity to support the ministry financially will be given during the evening. The theme will be, “For such a time as this,” based off of the text found in Esther 4:14.

We are so pleased that worship leader Mike Sooy from Old Fort Church and his band “Hoopty Hoo and the Such” will lead worship for the evening. A silent auction will also take place, and we are currently taking donations for this silent auction. Available at the silent auction will be some matted and framed prints of the original art from Scott Harshbarger that will be found in Logan Ames’ upcoming book, “The Heroes of The Faith,” a look at the heroes we find in Hebrews 11. Please write us at info@worldviewwarriors.org if you’d like to make a donation to the auction.

A State of the Ministry address will be given by yours truly. Pastor and Worldview Warriors blogger David Odegard has agreed to share that evening as well. This is a great opportunity to meet some of our board members, radio volunteers, and bloggers.

The main meal will be served around 6:30pm. For the meal we will be serving sliced beef and glazed grilled pork with the following options for side dishes: cheesy potato casserole, wild rice, and Caribbean vegetable blend with broccoli, yellow carrots, whole green beans, red pepper strips. For dessert there will be an assortment of choices, including pies, cheesecake, strawberry shortcake, and pumpkin roll. I am excited to share that the meal will be prepared by Special Occasions Catering from Upper Sandusky, Ohio. They always do an amazing job for us. I highly recommend them!

This is sure to be a night to remember. Thank you in advance for those of you that can attend, and to those of you who not only support this ministry with financial gifts but with your prayers as well. We hope you will continue in this effort and perhaps some of you can begin to join us now to keep the supply lines moving as we continue to press on and move forward into enemy territory for the Kingdom of God. This ministry has been created for such a time as this!

See you on Monday, October 29th. If you would like to attend this event, please RSVP no later than Monday, October 22nd by emailing me at jason@worldviewwarriors.org or by calling me at 419-835-2777. If you are unable to make it to the dinner but would still like to make a donation to the ministry, you can do that online here or send your donation to Worldview Warriors, PO Box 681, Findlay, Ohio 45839. We appreciate you so much! God bless!

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.

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The Ten Commandments

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, October 8, 2018 2 comments


by Katie Erickson

The Ten Commandments, given by God through Moses to the people of Israel, are a foundational piece of the Old Testament and the history of Israel. Even though they were given a few thousand years ago, these laws that God wrote for His people are still very much applicable today. Over the next few months, I’ll be taking a look at each individual commandment, what it means, and why they are still important to followers of Jesus today.

To start this series, I’d like to give some background on the commandments. The commandments are found in the passage of Exodus 20:1-17:

And God spoke all these words:
“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
You shall have no other gods before me.
You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
You shall not murder.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

The commandments are also repeated nearly verbatim in Deuteronomy 5:1-21, with some additional intro text. If you’re curious on the differences between these two passages and other analysis of the commandments, I’d highly recommend you check out the book God’s Brushstrokes, written by my friend and a former student of mine, Preston Hunteman.

When I was growing up in the Lutheran tradition, I learned the commandments in this way:

  1. You shall have no other gods.
  2. You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
  3. Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
  4. Honor your father and your mother.
  5. You shall not murder.
  6. You shall not commit adultery.
  7. You shall not steal.
  8. You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
  9. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.
  10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

It wasn’t until I was attending seminary about ten years ago that I learned how other Christian traditions number them differently. Some combine what I knew to be #9 and #10 together, while adding in a different #2: “You shall not make for yourselves any idols.” The same ideas are still present, as having no other gods implies not making any idols. At the time, I was surprised to see that traditions disagree on the numbering, but at the same time it’s also not a surprise given the variety of other disagreements between denominations and such. As I go through these, I’ll be using the order listed above.

When the Israelites received the commandments, they had already been wandering in the wilderness. They were camped at the base of Mt. Sinai, and Moses went up on the mountain to speak with God (Exodus 19). While Moses is relaying the commandments to the people in this passage, he’s sharing what God told him, so these commandments are from God.

In the Hebrew text, this passage is less than 200 words - pretty amazing when you consider that this is God’s foundational law that united a nation! Prior to this, they were related through family lines, but their nation didn’t have much unity. They had left Egypt as a freed people, but without any real structure to their nation. These commandments defined their morality, gave them unity, and provided a way of living that would help them live together as God’s people.

But what about us? Most of us reading this post today would not consider ourselves part of the nation of Israel, and our nations already have laws that govern what we should and should not do. You’ll notice, however, that many of our nation’s laws are based on these commandments from God. As followers of Jesus, we’re called to live at a higher standard than the world. While some of the laws overlap (to not murder, for example), others such as having no other gods call us to a higher standard of living. We are called to follow God first and foremost, and these commandments are great guidelines to follow in doing that.

The other important factor is that we are living under grace, not the law. The people of Israel were required to follow these laws, and their favor in God’s eyes was based on that to some extent. We, however, recognize that we will break these laws, and we have faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ who died so that we can be forgiven when we mess up and are unable to follow all of God’s laws. Because we love God and desire to follow Him, we desire to follow these laws, but Jesus’ sacrifice has offered us forgiveness for when we can’t.

I’m looking forward to digging into these commandments with you in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.

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The Holy Catholic Church

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Sunday, October 7, 2018 0 comments


by Logan Ames

If you’re familiar with the movie The Land Before Time, you may remember a scene in which the young dinosaur character Littlefoot wants to play with another young dinosaur named Cera. The problem is that Littlefoot is a “longneck” and Cera is a “three-horn." Ignorance is bliss for Littlefoot and all he cares about is having fun with a new friend. Cera seems okay with it at first, until her father, Daddy Topps, says, “Come, Cera; three-horns never play with longnecks." Cera then sides with her father and repeats what he said. Littlefoot is confused, so his mom grabs him and separates him from the three-horns. As they walk away, he questions the segregation, and his mom tells him they all just “keep to themselves." The more Littlefoot keeps questioning, the more his mom just tells him not to worry about it.

The interesting thing about that scene is that it almost perfectly portrays what happens in the Church. I’ve had several times in my life when I told someone I was a Christian and their response was, “Well, what are you?” They saw the confusion on my face and then clarified, “Like, Methodist or Lutheran or something else?” If you grew up with a very specific religious tradition that was ingrained in you, you might be used to identifying yourself as such. Stop and think about how many times you’ve had an opportunity to befriend those from other faith traditions; it’s probably a small number. I have personally founded and coached softball teams at two previous churches where I worshiped, and one of the motivating factors for me was that I realized those local church leagues were just about the only avenues for Christians from a number of different faith traditions in those towns to interact with one another.

Christians can be some of the most opinionated people, especially when it comes to faith traditions that are not their own. If we find it difficult to play, work, worship, or even exist in the same space as others who are not like us, we’re struggling with something that Jesus prayed for shortly before he was arrested to begin his suffering and sacrifice on our behalf. In John 17:20-21, Jesus prays that all of his followers would be “one” in him so that the world would know that he was indeed sent by the Father. He goes on to pray that all of his followers would be “brought to complete unity” (v. 23). If Christians are divided and segregated as much as the rest of the world is, how does the world have any reason to believe Jesus is real?

In the Apostles’ Creed, we find the statement that we believe in “the holy catholic Church." The first time we hear or see that, we might instantly feel the need to point out that we are not Catholics. However, if you look at the statement from the actual creed, you can see that only one of those three words is capitalized, and it’s NOT “catholic." We have to first understand that when we use the word Catholic in most circles today, we are generally referring to the Roman Catholic tradition, who, while often claiming to be the one true church instituted by Jesus and Peter, is still only one tradition. The word “catholic” in the creed has nothing to do with Roman Catholicism. The word actually means “including a wide variety of things; all-embracing." When I searched for synonyms, Google tells me they include “universal, diverse, wide, broad, and latitudinarian." The last one is my favorite. Think about what “latitudinarian” means. When you were a child, you likely learned about lines of latitude and longitude. Lines of longitude are vertical while lines of latitude are horizontal. That means that for something that describes a group of people (the Church) to be “latitudinarian," we can say that everyone in the group is on the same horizontal line. We are universally looking UP at the glory of Jesus.

Our belief that we are part of the universal Church means that the faith tradition is irrelevant. The Roman Catholic is not above the Pentecostal. The Lutheran is not above the Baptist. The Methodist is not above the non-denominational. All are sinners who fall short of God’s glory and are freely justified by Christ’s sacrifice (Romans 3:23-24). This sums up what it means to be part of the universal (catholic) Church. We recognize that we fall short, we accept that Jesus became the atoning sacrifice for us, and we receive his grace. Nowhere in the Bible are we told that we must belong to a specific faith tradition. So, when you hear that at a local church, you can be sure that it didn’t come from Scripture.

We can be sure that not everyone who claims to be part of the Church truly is. It’s not based on tradition, but on our faith in Jesus as that sacrifice that we desperately needed. In 1 Peter 2:4-10, we see that Peter refers to the Church as a group of “living stones who are being built into a spiritual house” and also a “holy nation." This is a true sense of “one nation under God” and it has nothing to do with America. It is a “nation” of people from all over the world - past, present, and future - who were chosen by God and have received Christ’s sacrifice. The ONLY thing that separates people in God’s eyes is Jesus. Those who come to him through Christ universally make up a holy nation, and those who don’t are separate. The rest of the separating that’s been done within that holy nation has been done by us.

In the days of the New Testament, the two groups of believers were basically grouped into Jews and Gentiles. They had been raised by traditions that taught them to dislike one another. The Apostle Paul knew this, but he also knew he was sent to preach to both and maybe even bring unity between them through Christ. In Ephesians 2:11-16, he spells out for both of them that even Gentiles, who “once were far away," have been reconciled to Christ. He also says that Christ is “our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility," then later declares that Christ used the cross to “put to death their hostility." So anytime Christians are still hostile toward one another, they’re actually working AGAINST Christ.

Most of us would say we aren’t hostile toward other believers, and we certainly don’t have issues with Jews or Gentiles. But, in what ways do we still allow division and even hostility? Do you complain about the music in church because there are either not enough hymns or too many hymns? Do you come to church and try to stay away from people who either annoy you or who you don’t know? These are subtle and not volatile, but they are still ways the enemy divides us. I think the biggest division tactic he uses nowadays is politics. The church should be no place for it, yet many of you who are strict conservatives believe that liberals cannot be Christians simply because they have incorrect views in your OPINION and they relate to Jesus differently than you do. Likewise, many of you who are strict liberals hold the same OPINION of conservative Christians. Is it possible that you all worship the same God and just see the world differently? So you think the other side is “wrong." So, what? Being wrong about how we view things in the world doesn’t keep us from being part of that holy nation of believers.

If you are part of the universal, holy, catholic Church and there are still other Christians who you have completely written off as unfaithful because they don’t fit into the box you’ve created for them, I encourage you to let those walls be broken down. Welcome the brother or sister who is different than you into the holy nation. Look around at the diversity God has built into his Church and be amazed.

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