Idolatry: No Gods

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, January 15, 2021 0 comments


by Charlie Wolcott

“Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.” -Exodus 20:3

It’s pretty easy to see how idolatry violates the first two commandments. Idolatry is the worship of other gods besides the One True God, and the first commandment is to put no other gods before the True God. Note, this is not saying the other gods don’t exist. It’s saying we are not to put anything in front of God for our center of affection, our praise, our attention, or in seeking our needs. Through this series, I’m going to look at what idolatry looked like in ancient times and how it looks today.

Who were the gods of the Ancient Near East? There were many of them. Baal, Astheroth, Dagan, Molech, Chemosh, Rimmon, Mammon, just to name the big ones. The Greeks had all their mythological gods, followed by their Roman counterparts. I’m not going to go into detail about each of these here except when addressing specific ones in regard to the worship and rituals related to them. But each of these gods have several things in common.

They are finite. They were limited to a physical location, and their “realm” was limited. This rang a bell with me when I read 1 Kings 20 and how the Syrians thought the gods of Israel were just gods of the hills, not the valleys. That sparked my post about the gods of the Ancient Near East a few years ago. The ANE gods were finite in location and reach, had physical needs, had to be carried around, and only served a limited area.

Many of the ANE gods were merely deified representations of the things they saw in nature. They had gods for the hills, the valleys, the rivers, the rain, fertility, crops, finances, you name it. Hinduism has some 300 million gods; I wonder how they keep track of them. Whatever you need, they had a god for it. The people wanted to make sure they appeased them all, because the last thing you wanted was to make one of the gods angry. I mentioned last week that Israel thought because they were God’s people that they would be exempt from His wrath, so they sought to appease the other gods in case they lost their crops, couldn’t have kids, or whatnot. They were very wrong about that.

There is a final thing in common all these gods had together. They were powerless to do anything. They gave no message of hope, no truth, did not miracles, never intervened, never gave anything they sought. But the people were clever. That which the True God gave, they attributed to the false gods. That’s why God cut off rain for Ahab, because he trusted in Baal to provide the rain and attributed it to that false god. Yet God silenced Baal by proving he could do nothing.

What was so wrong about this? We’ll get to the rituals later, which are how the other commandments are broken. But Israel put their trust in a physical object, a finite concept, a false idea, or even a person/group of persons to do what only God could do. They followed the rituals of the other gods to the letter, but hardly gave the Law, which they agreed to follow, a second thought. In reality, they didn’t give GOD a second thought. God did all sorts of things for Israel, and over and over again, they forgot Him and ignored His ways. In Deuteronomy 28, the people shouted blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience. It wasn’t hard. Choose life or choose death. Yet, sin was so strong in the people that they chose death time and time again. They kept putting the other gods, gods whom they knew nothing about except through their neighbors, before the True God, whom they did know. It wasn’t mere waywardness. It wasn’t a mere one-time failure. It was a repeated rejection of God from being God.

The people believed the gods were powerful, but they also knew they weren’t sovereign. I love how Voddie Baucham describes this. When you have a powerful god but not a sovereign god, you have the ability to manipulate that god to conform to your will. But the True God is both all-powerful and sovereign. And a sovereign God doesn’t let you have “your opinions” on the matter. He’s got His, and His opinions rule. That’s what Israel didn’t like. They couldn’t live however they wanted to live under the True God. That’s why they so frequently wanted to be like the other nations.

Is it any different today? How many times have we put another god before the True God? Most pastors/youth pastors will talk about sports idols, TV, video games, the gurus of our day, etc. While that is true and those are issues, but there are two primary “gods” that our American culture has adopted: 1) a god of our own making in our minds and 2) “science.”

In first case, there are so many teachings out there describing some god, but it’s not the Biblical God. The Prosperity Gospel teachings treat God as some kind of cosmic genie or divine butler. The Progressive Christianity teachings have a range of ideas about God from being a mystical energy, a supreme being that is the same god over all religions, and in all cases, it’s about love, generosity, and provision but never about righteousness, holiness, or purity. Paul Washer in one sermon addressed how he was approached by a pastor to speak about the Attributes of God. Washer warned him that it was a controversial subject and said when he started teaching on the righteousness of God, the holiness of God, and the purity of God, that pastor’s best members and best tithers will stand up and declare: “That’s not my god!” And this happens across the board. There are so many “other Jesuses” out there. Check out my three-post series on that (Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3).

In the second case, we have “science.” This includes Darwinian Evolution and any Evolutionized position which includes a history of “millions of years.” In this situation, the Word of God can be questioned about its interpretation, but not the science. I confronted an Old Earth Creationist who claimed the geology supports millions of years, but he also declared that Adam was a real being who lived 6000 years ago and through Adam death came to all men. So, I asked him how he handled fossil evidence of humans dating 300,000 years ago. He questioned everything in the book from whether the fossils were human, to the understanding of the timeline of Genesis, everything… except the dating of those fossil remains. Again, what is idolatry? Putting ANYTHING before God. When someone believes “modern science” over the Word of God, they have put “science” in a position it was never meant to have. And it’s idolatry.

The atheists like to say they have replaced God with science. I completely agree, except for one thing. They didn’t replace the True God with science. They replaced the ANE gods with science. Remember how I said these gods represented what they saw in nature? Today’s “naturalists” simply replaced those gods with a “law of science” but still put it in the “God” position. It’s a form of pantheism and it is idolatrous. So I ask Christians who listen to these “scientific models” derived from atheistic/naturalistic philosophies, “Why are you listening to them about how God made everything? What’s wrong with His record?”

Idolatry is just as rampant today as it was 3000 years ago. For every problem, God has a solution. And for every solution God offers, man has a counterfeit solution to match it. Idolatry is putting anything before God, anything as priority over God. And there are many of us who have turned to God, but we still have our old gods tucked away. May God work on our hearts to expose it and deal with it. Next week, we’ll look at the physical objects of the idols themselves.

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Theology Proper: Who Is God?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, January 11, 2021 1 comments


by Katie Erickson

Last week, I wrote about why studying theology is important for all followers of Christ. As we begin digging deeper into the various areas of theology, the first one will investigate is known as theology proper: the study of God and who He is.

One thing that is very important is to realize that God cannot be fully described or understood by our finite human minds. He is the infinite God, and as His creation, there is no way we can completely comprehend Him in our fallen and sinful state in this world. Our human minds are unable to understand that which is larger than us, and God is much, much larger than even our greatest understanding. We may try to define God, but it’s not us who defines Him but rather He reveals Himself to us.

But, God has revealed a lot about Himself to us through both general and special revelation. General revelation is what we can know about God through nature and the creation He has given us (see Romans 1:20). While general revelation can tell us some about who God is, there are no specific saving truths communicated through it; that’s why we also need special revelation. Special revelation is God’s Word as revealed in the person of Jesus, the written form of the Old and New Testaments, and through preaching, teaching, and study. Special revelation tells us specific truths about God’s character and our relationship with Him.

God’s nature can best be described through His attributes, which are categorized into immanent and transcendent. Immanent attributes are ones that we can know through our reason and reading of God’s Word. Those generally include love, faithfulness, mercy, justice, wisdom, and goodness. Transcendent attributes are ones that can only be accepted on revelation since they are outside the scope of our full understanding. Those generally include self-sufficiency, eternality, omnipresence (all-present), omnipotence (all-powerful), omniscience (all-knowing), immutability (changeability), and impassibility (ability to suffer). You can read about some of those attributes at their links or in this blog series by my fellow author Charlie Wolcott.

We often try to define God in human terms, but God is definitely not a human. He’s not a created being as we are, so He does not have the same attributes as we do. We can only get a dim glimpse, at best, of who God is based on what He has revealed to us. Augustine of Hippo is attributed as saying, “If it is understandable, it’s not God.”

God can also be defined as Trinity - three distinct persons yet one God - though that is also a difficult concept for us humans to fully understand. Each person (the Father, the Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit) has its own function, but none of their functions can happen without the other persons and their internal relationship to one another. We see some of this interaction somewhat explained in the following verses, all of which are Jesus speaking:

“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (John 14:26)
“When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father —the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me.” (John 15:26)
“No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.” (John 16:27)

There are many analogies for the Trinity, but all of them break down at some point. One is an egg; the yolk, white, and shell are 3 distinct parts, but all make up one egg. Another is juggling with 3 balls; each ball is unique, and the whole of juggling can’t happen without one of them. But both of these analogies break apart in that the pieces of each can be separated, while God cannot be separated. Another analogy, used by Augustine, is a psychological one of mind, emotion, and knowledge; they are 3 distinct aspects of a human personality, and all are present to make up a human.

If all of this sounds confusing, it is. Even the great theologian Martin Luther struggled with describing the Trinity. He once wrote:
“To be sure, a threeness does exist in the Godhead, but this threeness exists in the Persons of the one Godhead. Not three Gods, not three Lords, not three Creators, but one God, one Lord, one Creator, or, as we are wont to say: One divine Essence and yet three distinct Persons – Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. I call this Being a Threeness, for threefoldness sounds strange. I cannot give this Being a fitting name.”

There is so much more that could be written about who God is, and a lot of theologians have spent many hours and many big words discussing and arguing over nuances of God’s character based on what God has revealed to us. There are a variety of beliefs that exist in the Christian world about specific characteristics of God where the Scriptures are not clear, but the most important aspect to remember is that God is God and we are not. We can never fully understand who He is, but we can be thankful for His general and special revelation to us and the ways He does reveal His character to us.

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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Idolatry: Introduction

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, January 8, 2021 0 comments


by Charlie Wolcott

For much of the second half of 2020, I spent a lot of time in Old Testament history and the prophets. The #1 charge against Israel was the crime of idolatry. Every king of Israel and Judah was labeled as a good king or a bad king depending on how they handled idolatry. In the Northern Kingdom of Israel, every king (except three, two of which lasted less than a month, Zimri and Shallum, and the last king, Hosea) was judged on their stance regarding Jeroboam’s two golden calf idols (see my post on this for details). Most of these kings merely permitted the worship there, but others actively participated in the worship of other idols. In the Southern Kingdom of Judah, the kings were judged by how the high places were allowed to operate. In both kingdoms, they were judged and sentenced by God to exile because of idolatry.

Why does God take idolatry so seriously? Is He that petty and that desperate for worship? My answer to that is “no.” God takes idolatry seriously because it is ultimately a root for all sorts of evil. Some may say pride is the root, or the love of money is the root, but if you pay attention, the love of self or the love of money are both forms of idolatry. It hit me recently that idolatry and idolatrous practices in some way, shape, or form violate all 10 of the Commandments. Some have said that the Ten Commandments were the “wedding vows” between God and Israel. So, to commit idolatry was a violation of wedding vows, and many of the prophets use marriage to showcase what idolatry was (Hosea 4 is one example). Israel turned herself into a prostitute, sleeping with every man she could find, and only giving lip service to her husband. This was a serious crime.

There are multiple facets to idolatry. I’m going to cover just the basics here, then for the next 10 weeks, I’m going to explore each of the Ten Commandments and how idolatry violates them, then give a conclusion on how to break free of idolatry. First, on the simplest level, idolatry is the worship of something other than the true God, in place of God. Man was created to worship God. That is part of being made in the image of God. Our primary purpose of existence is for the glory of God, which is why all we do should be for that purpose. Idolatry takes that glory that we give and attributes it to another. Man is meant to function as a person with God as his fuel. A human being does not function as he ought to function without God. This is why sin breaks us and we malfunction in it. When we seek a different fuel for our needs that only God can provide, it’s idolatry. What’s more is all these other sources are only temporary. None of them last, so when we worship idols, it’s never enough. There is always a need for more. You need more gods, more sources to fill your needs, or you need harder and “better” worship. And there’s never any way to know if you did enough or not.

Idolatry, especially for the case of Israel, was saying: “God, I don’t trust You. I don’t believe You.” When we don’t believe someone, it’s like we are calling them liars and saying they cannot and should not be trusted. It doesn’t matter who you are; when someone says, “I don’t believe you,” it’s insulting. There are a number of people who should not be believed, but when the person who has a long track record of being trustworthy is not believed, it’s insulting to that person at best. What’s worse is that especially regarding Israel, idolatry doesn’t just call God a liar; it makes YOU a liar. Here’s why. Israel had made a covenant with God. God laid out the terms on Mt. Sinai (the Ten Commandments) and Israel agreed to the terms. It didn’t take them long to break their vows and to break their end of the deal. God kept His, but Israel didn’t keep hers. It’s not different today. Many people claiming to be Christians, “signing on” to the New Covenant Christ gave us are breaking our vows and turning to idols today. Our idols take different forms than Israel’s, but it’s still the same key issue.

Idolatry was not merely a personal affair. It was a family affair. Jeremiah 7:17-19 describes how the whole family would work together for the idolatrous rituals. Now, the kids may only be doing it due to obedience to their parents, however, kids learn most from observing their parents, which is why generational curses persist. It takes a willful decision to break that curse. And some kids weren’t willing participants. Many were killed as a sacrifice to some of these idols.

The rituals in idolatrous practices were full of debauchery and in some cases sadistic. Many rituals involved drinking, drugs, and sex. Many of the shrines had prostitutes who worked for the temples (men, as well as women), and don’t think children weren’t sold to work the temples too. In India in the late 1800s to early 1900s, Amy Carmichael rescued 300 orphans, mainly girls, from such practices still going on in recent times.

Israel had a unique charge against them regarding idolatry that many tend to miss. In all their idolatrous practices, they STILL did the sacrifices and ceremonial laws that God had established. That’s why Elijah asked the people: “How long will you waiver? Either the Baal is God, or the Lord is? Make up your mind.” (my paraphrase). That’s why Hosea said: “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” Because it was ritual only and they were treating the True God like any other pagan god. They were just trying to cover all their bases, trying to make sure they hit all the religions possible, just in case one was wrong. They always had a Plan B.

The final thing I’ll point out here in my introduction to this series is the arrogance Israel had in their idolatrous practices. They knew they were God’s people. They knew that the True God had singled them out to be His people. They had the words from God Himself. As a result, they thought they were above reproach. Because God had saved them so many times in the past, despite their sin, they thought they were invincible, and that any trouble they were in was because they weren’t serving the “gods” well enough. They knew of God’s great acts of mercy, and His great acts of judgment upon their enemies, but it never entered their mind that God might turn on them because of their rebellion and treachery. It wasn’t as though they weren’t warned. This reminds me of many modern “Christians” who think because they are saved that they can believe whatever they want about God, doctrine, any secondary issue, or whatever but as long as they confess Jesus Christ, they are getting in. Israel though the same thing too. As long as they confessed Jehovah and did the sacrifices, they were in. I’m not calling for legalism or any work-based salvation here, but our faith in Christ requires more than mere agreement to doctrine. It requires a trust in Him and Him alone. There is no other name under heaven by which man might be saved.

So, over the next couple months, I am going to go into detail about idolatry and how it violates all ten of the Ten Commandments directly or indirectly and why God takes it so seriously.

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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Why Study Theology?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, January 4, 2021 0 comments


by Katie Erickson

What is theology? Isn’t that something the seminary students study? Why should your average Christian even think about studying theology? This blog post will look into these questions and give you a basic understanding of what theology is and why it’s important.

Most briefly, theology is the study of God using various study methods. The word theology itself is made up of the Greek word theos, which means God, and the Greek word logos, which most simply means word but also refers to Jesus (as The Word), and it can mean any sort of rational utterance or study. Most literally, theology is the study of God, but it also refers to the systematic study of the Christian religion as a whole. It is a way for those who follow Christ to attempt to learn more about God, even though He is ultimately unknowable by our finite human minds.

Theology can refer to knowing God through the Scriptures given to us as His Word, the faith traditions of those who have come before us, using our intellect to reason who God is, and our personal experiences of God. If those sound familiar, that’s because I wrote on these sources of authority a couple of months ago. We learn about various attributes or characteristics of God through Scripture, tradition, reason, and experience.

There are lots of ways to define theology, as it is a very broad field. Theology is not just an academic exercise but also a formational one. My working definition of theology is that it is studying beliefs about God and the practice of Christianity using particular methods, including academic study and spiritual reflection on God and His Word.

But why is studying theology even important? There are three main reasons: defining our faith, defending our faith, and seeking understanding about God.

Our faith must be defined in some way, or else we do not understand what we believe. I grew up in a Christian home, and for many years I believed certain things about God because my church, my teachers, or my parents told them to me. But to mature in my faith, I had to figure out not only what I believed but why I believed it.

Theology helps us understand the boundaries of our faith, and therefore we can defend the faith better to those who do not believe or who may not believe the same things we believe. One important aspect to remember in defending our faith is the difference between dogma, doctrine, and opinion. Dogmas are truths that are the foundation of the Christian faith, such as the fact that Jesus was fully God and fully man, and that He came to earth, died, and was raised to provide salvation for all of humanity. Denying a dogma is considered heresy. Doctrines are significantly important to the faith, but not as important as dogma. Different churches hold to different doctrines of baptism; they are important, but not as important as the dogma of salvation through Jesus. Finally, opinions are issues that don’t really matter and don’t have a strong basis in Scripture. The Greek word for these matters of opinion is adiaphora, which refers to the stuff that doesn’t really matter for salvation. The particular style of worship used in a congregation is a matter of opinion or adiaphora. Theology is important to help us distinguish what matters are dogma, doctrine, or opinion, and to defend the ones that are important.

Theology is also important for us to seek understanding about God. We don’t study theology for purely academic reasons; we study theology because we want to know the God we believe in. Our God is a relational God; He wants to be in a relationship with us. We desire to know those with whom we are in relationships. This aspect of studying theology deals with the way we practice our faith and experience God in our lives.

Studying theology gives us understanding so that our practice of Christianity is well-grounded and useful for ourselves as individuals and the community around us. When we grow in our knowledge and understanding of God, we are able to grow in our faith and our personal spiritual formation. However, we also need to look at theology from a somewhat neutral perspective; we need to be open to new ideas if that’s where the study takes us. We should not remain stuck in previous beliefs if they are not the Truth of God’s Word. Just because I believed something for many years doesn’t make it the truth; Truth is defined by God Himself and how He has revealed Himself to us.

The first step to studying theology is to believe in God’s Word as absolute truth. Reformation theologian Martin Luther said, “When a person desires to become learned in spiritual and divine matters, the beginning is made by simply believing the Word of God.” Luther’s method of studying theology was to first remember that the Scriptures are of supreme importance over human reason, to meditate on the Word to gain insight from the Holy Spirit, and to prepare to be tempted by the devil as we grow in understanding of who God is.

We need to understand what we are believing in so that we can truly believe it and live it out. If we only pursue studying theology for academic purposes, it will have no meaning in our lives. We need to pursue theology so we can know more about the God who created us.

Theology is studying beliefs about God and the practice of Christianity using particular methods, including academic study and spiritual reflection on God and His Word. This study is important to define our faith, defend the faith, bring knowledge and understanding into the Christian world, and to experience personal formation as a Christian.

Join me on this journey over the next couple of months as we look into each main branch of theology. Join me in learning more about who God is, discovering who we are as His creation, and experiencing growth in our faith.

“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:14-17)

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Sola Gloria Deus

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, January 1, 2021 0 comments


by Charlie Wolcott

Happy New Year! 2020 has ended and many people are hoping the end of the madness of this last year has been is over. There is good news and bad news to each new year. The good news is the bad things from the previous year have passed and there will be good things coming this new year. The bad news is the good things from the previous year have passed and there will be bad things coming this new year. Guess what? No matter how crazy 2020 has been, this is the pattern of every year. There are good years and bad years and there are good parts to bad years and bad parts to good years. But what we as Christians can say throughout it all: God is good and everything that takes place is for His glory.

This post will conclude my series on the “Five Solas.” This week’s is “Sola Gloria Deus,” that is, “For the Glory of God Alone.” This is likely the least known of the Five Solas and at the same time, it’s likely the least practiced. While it is the least practiced, it is also the most directly taught. All that takes place is for the glory of God. Our very purpose and existence are for the glory of God. The creation is for the glory of God. The fall of man was allowed for the glory of God. The worldwide destruction of the Flood was for the glory of God, as was the preservation of Noah and his family. The separation of Abraham to start a new people who would be called by God’s name is for the glory of God. The enslavement in Egypt, the plagues, and the exodus were all for the glory of God. The conquest of Canaan was for the glory of God. The judges and the kings and the captivity were all for the glory of God. The four empires of Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome were established for the glory of God. Jesus came to this earth to die for our sins for the glory of God. He rose for the glory of God. The persecution of the church for 2000 years has been for the glory of God. The establishment of the nations from Rome to England to the U.S. to China to Iraq to Saudi Arabia and Brazil and Australia etc. has all been for the glory of God. And Jesus will return to bring judgment upon the wicked and to rescue His bride, all for the glory of God.

That’s world history. Let’s make it more personal. Your existence is for the glory of God. Your purpose in being alive is to give God glory. But there is a big question: how? How do we give God glory? The fact remains that God is going to get glory out of our lives no matter what we do. God is sovereign and is in control of every situation. He does not make our choices for us, but He sets up every situation and lays out every consequence for our choices. Let me boil it down to the ultimate outcomes: We will give God glory throughout our lives through our reception of His free gift of salvation and our walking in His paths, or we will glorify God as we burn and suffer in Hell under His wrath because of our sin. We will glorify God one way or the other. There is no choice in that matter. Every knee will bow, it’s just a matter of when. We will glorify God, it’s only a matter of how.

Many Christians will readily agree with this, but let’s make it more personal. Are we giving God ALONE the glory? It’s easy to say, “Give glory to God” but in reality, you aren’t give Him alone the glory. The are MANY people out there who try to share God’s glory. I have done this too, and in some areas I still do. What does this look like? There are many athletes who have a great platform and when they get the mic, they say: “This is all for the glory of God.” But is it really? I know for Tim Tebow it really was, because when he was snuffed unfairly from the NFL, he didn’t make an issue about it. He wasn’t concerned about his own platform. He wasn’t concerned that he wasn’t going to be the next Peyton Manning or Tom Brady. But how many others choose to share their platform for their own glory while “sharing” it with God?

The popular preacher has much to worry about in this issue. In an interview, Paul Washer stated that his greatest fear is that when his popularity as a solid preacher dims and he’s no longer followed, would he still be as passionate about preaching the truth and saving souls and making sure God’s name is glorified in his life without the fans as he is now? News flash! God is not going to share His glory with your kingdom, your ministry, your writing, your speaking, your teaching, your science, etc. If it is going to be for the glory of God, it had better be ALL for the glory of God. Hear me; I’m preaching to myself here. One of my greatest passions is that the integrity and the authority of Scripture is upheld, and I utterly despise hearing teachings, especially from other Christians, that undermine it. But when I go to defend Scripture, a battle rages within: whether I am doing this for God’s glory or for my own. How often do I pride myself as being a “champion of the faith”? Way too many times. I often tell myself that any and all that I know about Scripture and how it came about and why we can rely on it is a gift from God. Why? Two reasons: 1) If I don’t, it goes to my head too easily, and 2) I know how susceptible I was to false teachings if someone told me that person was trustworthy. What does this mean? It means any defense I can offer about God and His Word is from God and meant to go back to God.

I’m not alone when I say this: if our top priority is to “win souls,” we’ll miss the point. Our top priority is the glory of God. That means any evangelism we do is not to win souls to our faith, but to proclaim the kingdom of God where His flag is denied from flying. We cannot win souls for Christ if Christ is not our end goal. Paris Reidhead learned this the hard way. He went to Africa so the poor, suffering people there could have hope where they had none. He found out they wanted nothing to do with God, and Reidhead thought he had been tricked. God got a hold of his heart and gave him this message which Reidhead paraphrased: “I didn’t send you to heathen for their sake. I send you there for Me. Am I not worthy of the reward of My suffering?” It totally changed his perception. He no longer went to evangelize and seek the lost so that they might go to heaven; he went out so that God might receive that which He is due. That is what it means to give God the glory. I strongly recommend you check out his sermon “Ten Shekels and a Shirt” because he blasts modern day humanism as it’s crept into the church and now all but taken it over in full force to where everything of Christian doctrine is preached for nothing but the happiness of man. And God is just a means to mankind’s end. He blasts such teaching out of the water, and so will I.

2021 is a new year. We are about to install a new president here in the U.S. (though as of the writing of this post, the election wasn’t fully decided yet). We will have a new set of challenges and a new set of blessings. Every one of them, while for our benefit, will be for the glory of God. However this year goes, let us stand out among all that we’ve seen or done in the past and let us use this year to give ALL the glory to God. Not merely lip service, but let us give him the true praise that we can possibly offer, not caring what we get out of it or what any other person gets out of it. As far as we are concerned, let 2021 be the year in which in all we do, we give the glory to God alone.

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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Unity! It’s What the Church Needs Right Now

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, December 31, 2020 0 comments


by Jason DeZurik

In the past, we have used the phrase “For Such a Time as This” (from Esther 4:14) as our ministry theme. We used it in a way to help our prayer and financial supporters to be encouraged that we have been encouraging and equipping youth and their parents at that current time, and also that we were preparing for the future to lovingly engage people with the truth of God and His good and right ways. Then, 2020 came upon us. We truly believe, as a ministry, that we have been raised up for such a time as this. Literally, for this very moment! More than ever, people are seeking and searching for truth, but many are also seeking and searching for their own way and not Almighty God’s way.

We have been preparing for this very moment in time, and now we need your help more than ever before. We have done the hard work of preparing for this moment and building up what God has called us to do. Worldview Warriors started a blog and a podcast many years ago before they were the “in” thing to do. We stayed faithful to the work by staying faithful to the Lord and trusting in Him that the day would come when what we were offering would be so sought out by many that we eventually could be overwhelmed by people’s responses. Though we have not been overwhelmed, because I fully believe we were wise in preparing for this moment, the amount of engagement we are now receiving is very encouraging. Not only are we receiving inquiries from people about how to be in a right relationship with God Almighty, we are also receiving many comments like the following from those engaging with the ministry:

Your stance for the Word of God is encouraging. It strengthens my faith. -JH from North Carolina

I believe the Lord is telling me to contact you regarding discipling my children. Share what you did or are doing. -CK from Pennsylvania

Great message I heard from you about accountability. -KC from Ohio

Keep on keeping on. When you are discouraged. Don’t give in. I appreciate your boldness for the Kingdom of God. The work you are doing is so vital and important. You are a great encouragement to all of us. -PA from Ohio

Jason DeZurik’s passion for the Lord and his willingness to seek and engage with the truth in love is unparalleled. Your faith in Jesus is very encouraging. -IW from Michigan

You sir are, and will continue to be, the villain of this story. Because you speak against the new virtues (of the world). You are the crazy one now. But, continue, there are still some crazy people left that are seeing what you see. -A message sent to Jason DeZurik from TC in Ohio

God has been so good to us, and we thank you for being such a faithful partner in allowing us to do God’s work and to do His will in this way. We are all moving into a new year; 2021 starts tomorrow. Many of us now have seen the Church and our foundational beliefs being shredded, not only in the public square but even by those many of us may have learned from and followed in learning about Christ in the past. I know this is a hard truth to swallow, but I truly believe we need to be open and honest with each other more than ever before. I believe God is wanting His people to be unified right now. He wants us to come under His banner and proclaim truth in love. He is looking for those who are not only standing on the Word of God through prayer and petition, but also to those who are willing to act on His Word in love as well.

As Scripture states, “As far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12:18). Please keep in mind, peace doesn’t mean without difficulty. I think many of us have thought that peace means being without difficulty or without disagreement with one another. I believe God is calling those in His Church to dig even deeper into His glorious and wonderful ways all in the mighty name of Jesus Christ. He wants us to grow and become mature and complete, not lacking anything. More than ever, we need to be as iron sharpens iron.

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Would you please prayerfully consider giving Worldview Warriors an end of the year financial gift? We are very grateful for all of your support and love in our effort to advance the Kingdom of God here on earth! Please help us Encourage and Equip the Saints to impact this Generation for Jesus Christ. You can give online at WorldviewWarriors.org. Thank you!

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Important Quotes to Consider

“If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.”
C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

"Resistance to tyranny becomes the Christian and social duty of each individual… Continue steadfast, and with a proper sense of your dependence on God, nobly defend those rights which heaven gave, no man ought to take from us."
Resolution from the Massachusetts Provincial Congress, 1774

“I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.”
Thomas Jefferson

"A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on."
Winston Churchill

"Liberty is not collective, it is personal. All liberty is individual liberty."
Calvin Coolidge

"Providence has been given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation, to select and prefer Christians for their rulers."
John Jay, First Chief Justice of the Supreme Court

“My only hope of salvation's in the infinite, transcendent love of God manifested to the world by the death of His Son upon the cross. Nothing but His blood will wash away my sins. I rely exclusively upon it. Come Lord Jesus! Come quickly!”
Benjamin Rush, Signer of the Declaration of Independence

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The Sovereign Love of God

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, December 29, 2020 0 comments


by Eric Hansen

Control, power and surrender. When we play sports, we all want to be the champions. At work, we strive for that promotion or raise. We want to be liked by our peers. But what value do these add to our lives, when obtained by our own will? Once that gold is won, we have to keep fighting to keep it. Getting that promotion only drives us deeper into greed and lust. Pleasing our peers only keeps them around for so long.

It’s also easy to fall into a fallacy that if we want something done right, we gotta do it ourselves. On what premise does something truly happen by our own means? Circumstances are an interesting element of this world, where we like to think that something happened because it was in the right place at the right time. Consider how “the right place at the right time” is determined, though. We do not know prior to the event happening that it will in fact happen; we can only assume or infer. Both good and bad situations have consequences and benefits, but we can only map that out so far, if at all really.

The truth is that God loves us, and He is in control of what happens in our lives. This doesn’t mean we don’t have any say in what happens. But it does mean that regardless of whether we wear a red or blue shirt, for example, us reaching our destination or not is in God’s will, not ours.

Personally, I struggled many times this past year with spending moments with the Lord. I kept feeling like I had to control aspects of my life that I had no way of even trying to. A prime example of this is COVID. Back in June, when it really started hitting hard in the northwest Ohio area where I live, I was afraid of doing much of anything. Fear had an extremely tight hold on me, and the only control I felt I had was whether I could get out of bed or not. During this time, my wife had to go to Michigan for family business, and my pastor at the time asked if we could meet up for lunch. Initially I said yes, but later on that day I called him back and declined due to fear.

But not even 30 minutes after that, I felt like I just needed to go for a walk. Part of me was afraid, but another part was telling me to do it and to trust. If I stepped outside I had no control over what would happen. But, I stepped outside and went for a walk. A few times I stopped and just looked around, understanding there was nothing I could do or say that would fix any of this and that I had to surrender my trust to God if I wanted to be set free from these chains. Almost instantly, I felt like I could breathe, smile, and laugh again. Trusting in God’s sovereign love really did set me free.

There are 3 areas of the Old Testament I love to look at when I need a reminder of God’s sovereignty. Deuteronomy 7 gives insight on this when it comes to being His people (believers) or not. Specifically, verses 7-11 summarize the idea pretty well. Another area is the whole book of Job, where we see God’s control is through all suffering and blessing. Even Satan himself seeks permission, knowing how much in control God is in with everything. Lastly there’s the book of Ecclesiastes, where we see a constant theme of “X is meaningless.” X being things from wisdom, toil, pleasure, folly, et The author of the book highlights elements where regardless of what they did, God’s love and sovereignty was what happened. (Check out Katie Erickson’s blog post series on Ecclesiastes, starting here, for more on that book.)

As Christians, we do often speak of God’s love for us, but the true belief of what that love is exactly is quickly revealed when things out of our control happen. Young and old, weak and strong alike in both body and spirit can have the same experiences surrounding this. There are moments in our lives where we realize that whether we fret about things or not, it really doesn’t matter, and worrying about them won’t change the situation. We stare in awareness but also frustration as we watch a loved one die in front of us. In these moments, we can curse out to God in frustration, selfishness, or pity. Yet, not even a day prior we can go around to all of our neighbors and friends praising God and telling everyone just how great He is.

We should never forget how grateful we should be for His love, but also that His love is perfect, unlike ours. There’s no way we could equally love a homeless stranger and our husband or wife the same. We aren’t engineered to truly hold both to the same value. God is, though. That love does come at a price, and that’s control. To truly witness and experience His perfect love in our lives, we need to surrender control. Let go of what we can and cannot control and trust in Him to resolve it all.

Surround yourself with like-minded Christians and seek guidance whenever it’s needed. For me, this meant finding a Christian therapist. As this has been a constant theme between our times together, she once provided me with this saying on a bookmark I like to keep around for when I forget God’s love is in control: “By surrendering ourselves to quiet communion with God, by resting for a while from all our thinking and acting and serving, by leaving all things for once in our Heavenly Father’s hands, secret wounds are healed, gathering unbelief is dispelled, and displaced armor refixed.”

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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