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.

READ MORE

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.

READ MORE

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.

READ MORE

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.

READ MORE

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.

READ MORE

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.

READ MORE

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.

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.

READ MORE

Perfect Doctrine

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, October 5, 2018 0 comments


by Charlie Wolcott

There is only one person who ever had 100% perfect doctrine: Jesus Christ. He was the only one who ever had it completely figured out. If we had it figured out, we would not need a Savior. Each of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. While we may have some things figured out, there are other things we get wrong.

One of my pet peeves throughout my life is hearing incorrect information. I have gotten much better at biting my tongue when I hear it than I have in the past, but it’s definitely not a mastered skill yet. As God has grown me extensively since joining Worldview Warriors, I have developed a strong sense of discernment for false teachings. For those who have followed me here at Worldview Warriors or seen me in action on Facebook, you will have seen my strong stance for truth.

However, while I admit fully and readily that I don’t have everything figured out, I am amazed at when I make a stand for what I do know to be true without question, other Christians will accuse me of the arrogance or thinking I have it figured out when no one else does. They want me to admit even the slightest bit of doubt or they call me arrogant and proud. That’s hogwash. Here is what is happening, and I will credit Eric Ludy and Voddie Baucham for helping to make it clear.

Eric Ludy has learned how to pray properly. That is something I have not mastered, even though I wrote a lengthy series on prayer two years ago. When Ludy prays, God answers and things happen. He is someone who reads the Bible, actually believes it, and pursues it with everything he has. Yet he is often surrounded by other Christian leaders who have not figured out “the secret.” Now get this: instead of encouraging him, supporting him, and seeking to learn his “secret,” they instead gather committees around him and ask him to stop praying. And yet when he gets his prayers answered, they still won’t believe and just say “that’s an exception.”

What is happening? Those who stopped believing are railing against those who still do because the faith of those who believe is convicting them of their sin of doubt and unbelief. Voddie Baucham also illustrates this point in modern churches. When a young man gets that fire and is digging into Scripture and church history and developing his prayer life, the church gets around him and says, “You’ve been called to preach” when they should instead be recognizing him as “This is what a Christian should be looking like.” The church will send this young man off to seminary so he gets his formal theology degree so he is separated from the rest of the congregation so they can remain in the mediocrity.

What is it that makes people dislike sound doctrine and actually pursuing Christ? There is a simple answer: doubt. They don’t believe it. And not only do they not believe it, they don’t want others to believe it because it puts them into a bad light. The lazy student has always hated the smart student who longed for the test. There is a constant pull to bring those above us down to our level, rather than taking on the challenge to rise up to their level. The same is true in Christianity.

I have people around me who long to have to knowledge that God has granted me to have. I have seen many others try to knock me down several notches for no other reason that speaking the truth that they don’t believe. How do I know they simply don’t believe it, rather than the message is unclear? Let’s take a look at what clarity means and entails.

C.S. Lewis had many famous lines, and one of them is this: “My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?”

Lewis was arguing the issue of what good and bad are, but I’ll apply this to the doubt of sound doctrine. How can we know if we are short or not have perfect doctrine, unless we know what the standard is? In a test, how do you know you did not get a perfect score unless you know what a perfect score looks like? This is precisely what the doubters are trying to get the believers to confess. They are trying to justify their doubt by saying the standards are not clear. In effect, they are blaming God for their lack of belief, for not giving them clear enough instructions. Is this not what the teacher of the law said when he asked “Who is my neighbor?” He knew full well what the law actually said, but he wanted to justify his shortcomings in meeting the law by trying to declare that it was not clear.

Sun-Tzu said this: “If the instructions of the general are clear and they have been clear, it is the fault of the subordinates that the army is routed. If the instructions are not clear, it is the fault of the general that the army is routed.” Again, the doubters are trying to pin their confusion and unbelief upon God, not themselves. They despise any who stand firm and demonstrate that the instructions were clear. In a basketball class I took in college, during one drill, I listened to the coach who described what he wanted done. The first half of the class did something completely different and I followed the directions correctly. Only two after me also followed. The coach called out the entire class except me and the two others for not listening to directions. The instructions were clear because I and two others got it. The rest got in trouble for not listening and not following.

I am not suggesting I have it all perfect and lived out in my life. But I want to emphasize there is a distinction between those who do not have it perfect and yet yearn towards perfection, and those who do not have it and prefer to stay in mediocrity. It is perfectly fine to be in a state of imperfection, constantly messing up but also constantly longing and yearning for more of Christ. It is NOT perfectly fine to stay in that state, however. It is NOT perfectly fine to make excuses for being in such a state. And it is NOT perfectly fine to say, “We are all sinners, just forgiven,” while living in a lifestyle of sin, however you want to live, and pointing any direction except towards Christ, even while claiming to do so. That is excusing the sin of doubt and it should not be tolerated in any of us.

I do not have perfect doctrine because I am not a fully redeemed Christian yet. However, I know what perfect doctrine is and I am not afraid to speak it and to pursue it. Many other Christians do not like me because I get it. The only reason I get it is because I believe God says what he says and means what he says. I stumble all over the place in trying to get there. I say things I should not say. I can get arrogant at times. I mess up on the “love part” all the time. But I am pursing towards perfect truth. I still see through a glass darkly, but the standards of what God wants and what he expects are crystal clear. We will be held accountable to it. It is not God’s fault we get them wrong; it is our fault. Let us stop blaming God for our shortcomings, confess our doubt to be the sin that it is, and repent, actually believing God and pursuing his perfect righteousness. We will have foolishness still in us, but let God draw it out and deal with it. Being conformed into the image of Christ includes being made perfect in doctrine and in deed. Let us pursue that and when someone gets it far better than we do, let that encourage and inspire us to press forward. I want nothing to do with mediocrity. Let God work with us to get it out.

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.

READ MORE

Solidarity

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, October 3, 2018 0 comments


by David Odegard

Christian solidarity seeks racial harmony, justice for individuals, equality of opportunity, and respect for all persons because they are made in the image of God.

Racial harmony occurs when we recognize our essential sameness. The human race is the only race. The differences in hair, eye, and skin color are only genetic traits and have nothing to do with humanity. From a Biblical perspective, humanity is universally fallen because of the failures of our common ancestor Adam (see Romans 5:12-14). This has affected every aspect of all human beings.

Harmony is further found in those who believe in Christ because of our adoption into a new family—the family of God. “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs — heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:16-17). We are saved from the death that Adam brought into this world through rebirth into God’s family: “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22). Therefore, Christians have a higher identity than our worldly nationality. Truly, we are dual citizens of heaven and earth at the same time, but our ultimate loyalty is to the Kingdom of God.

That is why the emperors of Rome killed our ancestors. We would not recognize Caesar as the highest authority. The worshipful phrase “Jesus Christ is Lord” became an act of sedition. People of every nation, tribe, and tongue were thrown to lions, lit on fire, or murdered in other equally creative ways because of their confession of Christ.

We are a multi-cultural, multi-lingual family; but, we are a real family. The more I personally identify with the reality that God has transformed me to the very core, the more solidarity I will experience with those who have also been transformed by the saving power of God, regardless of differences in surface traits (see Ephesians 2:1-10).

Contrast all this with Marxist ideology. Marxism seeks to divide people in as many ways as possible so that there will be revolution. Men versus women, rich versus poor, black versus white, or whatever other distinction can be made to divide people. Then these distinctions of race, class, and gender are transformed into one’s identity. Those who follow this theory of identity typically believe that these distinctions create an almost impenetrable barrier of misunderstanding.

This means that identity is a function of which group you belong to, not a function of who you are as an individual. In current Marxist philosophy, I cannot escape the point of view that comes from being in whatever race, class, gender groups I find myself. As a white male, I am inseparably part of the patriarchy and if I am damaged as an individual as other groups who have been historically treated unjustly, that is just too bad for me. Social justice for groups is more important in Marxist ideology that whether one individual gets trampled now and then.

Social justice is an attempt to secure justice for groups of people rather than for individuals, which stands in utter contrast to both historical Western thought and Christianity, its forbear. It seeks to create an absolute equality for everyone, even if that means everyone is equally poor and miserable. European reform movements sought to bring the aristocracy down to the common level so that they could all be the same. The English, but especially American, tradition sought to do the opposite. It sought to elevate even the most common to the same status as the aristocracy by recognizing individual rights. In a Christian worldview, rights are not observed because one belongs to a certain social group, but because of the inherent value of the human being who is made in the image of God. Justice is universally applicable to all persons, regardless of class, gender, or race.

That is not to say that injustice cannot be institutionalized, because it obviously has been with slavery being the most notable example, but it occurs wherever one group of people dehumanize (or deindividualize) another group.

The solution is still to guarantee life, liberty, and property to individuals, because to do otherwise means that the rights of groups must trump the rights of individuals, which is how the original injustice was created in the first place. Take one look at the history of the Soviet Socialist Republic and you will see that the subordination of the individual to the all-important needs of the State created the most twisted human rights abuses ever known. The same could be said for Maoist China and Nazi Germany—the common denominator is their ideology can be traced to Marx.

Marxist ideology does not protect individuals. It creates injustice by vengeance. If there is an undervalued group in society, Marxism exploits that rift by enflaming the underdog with revolution. It says we must destroy the oppressor. No individual belonging to the oppressor group can possibly be innocent because they were born into a different race, class, or gender.

Ernest Hemingway was a socialist himself, perhaps not red, but certainly pink. His novel For Whom the Bell Tolls is sympathetic to the Spanish Communist movement. But even he notes that injustice was done when the communists began killing off those in society they determined were the “haves.” Some of the good townspeople and shopkeepers were slaughtered because they were members of a higher class. Hemingway seemed to be torn by this injustice, but the characters in the book felt is was necessary to make their revolution pure.

The reality is that wherever Marxism is believed, injustice certainly follows. This is an intolerable evil. As the venerable Thomas Sowell once remarked, “The grand fallacy of the political left is that evil is localized in some set of ‘oppressors’ from whom we can be ‘liberated.’ That is also its great attraction, for it allows people to attribute their dissatisfactions to other people.” Unfortunately, an ideology built on theft and revenge will always produce murder and injustice.

Are we doomed then? Is there any alternative? Yes! The Bible teaches personal responsibility, value, and equal protection of individuals. Justice is secured for every individual regardless of whatever group he or she may be perceived to belong to. This is the great idea behind Harper Lee’s book To Kill a Mockingbird. Even though Tom Robinson was a poor, black field hand, he deserved justice because he was a human being, made in the image of God. Atticus Finch was honor bound to protect him because injustice to Tom was injustice to us all.

To be sure, injustice can be institutionalized and the world has never been without ready examples at hand. Nevertheless, we combat institutionalized injustice by guaranteeing justice for individuals, not groups. Furthermore, we cannot provide equality of results, only equality of opportunity. Imagine how powerful the State must become to guarantee equality of results? This is exactly the legacy of the USSR and all of the civil rights abuses—millions dead, enormous human tragedy, and people enslaved for nearly a century. Open your eyes, America; this horror-show is knocking at our door.

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.

READ MORE

Supreme Court Opinions and “Settled Law”

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, October 2, 2018 0 comments


by Bill Fortenberry

It is common today to hear Supreme Court opinions referred to as “settled law,” but is that really what they are? Of course, most of those reading this would say that the Supreme Court does not have the power to make law, but does the Court have the power to determine which interpretation of the law everyone must follow? This interpretation of the law by the Supreme Court is what is often meant when people use the term “settled law,” but that term is a complete misnomer.

The term “settled law” is actually a carryover from British courts at the time of the Revolution, and it was used primarily as a reference to those portions of the common law which had been adjudicated in the courts. This usage can be seen in the 1874 edition of the Albany Law Journal which contains this statement:



“Though the common law of England at the time of the revolution was adopted by us, none but the plainest principles were considered to be settled law until passed upon by the courts.”

This demonstrates that the concept of settled law is a part of the branch of law known as common law, but what does that tell us about the use of this term in the context of the Supreme Court in America?

Quite simply, it tells us that Supreme Court opinions do not establish settled law. Why not? Only the states can determine what is and what is not part of the common law. The federal government does not have a common law; it only has statutory law. This was expressly stated by the Supreme Court itself in Erie Railroad Co. v. Tompkins where the Court declared unequivocally:

“There is no federal general common law. Congress has no power to declare substantive rules of common law applicable in a State, whether they be local in their nature or ‘general,’ be they commercial law or a part of the law of torts. And no clause in the Constitution purports to confer such a power upon the federal courts.”

The concept of settled law has no application to federal laws because the federal government does not have any common law to be settled by the courts. Only the states can have settled law within their various common law jurisdictions. To speak of settled law on a federal level is literally nonsense.

But if Supreme Court opinions do not establish settled laws, what exactly do they do?

Again, the answer is very simple. Supreme Court opinions tell the parties to a particular case (the plaintiffs and the defendants) how the law applies to their particular situation. That’s it. The Court has no power to give its rulings any greater influence than that. Each individual determination by the Court applies only to the particular situation and to the particular parties that were before the Court at the time that they gave their opinion.

In support of this conclusion, the Supreme Court itself declared in Martin v. Wilks that:

“A judgment or decree among parties to a lawsuit resolves issues as among them, but it does not conclude the rights of strangers to those proceedings.”

And in Hansberry v. Lee, the Court said:

“It is a principle of general application in Anglo-American jurisprudence that one is not bound by a judgment in personam in a litigation in which he is not designated as a party or to which he has not been made a party by service of process. A judgment rendered in such circumstances is not entitled to the full faith and credit which the Constitution and statute of the United States prescribe; and judicial action enforcing it against the person or property of the absent party is not that due process which the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments require.”

And in Parklane Hosiery Co. v. Shore, the Court proclaimed that:

“It is a violation of due process for a judgment to be binding on a litigant who was not a party or a privy and therefore has never had an opportunity to be heard.”

There are many additional cases which could be cited as well. Over and over and over again, our Supreme Court has recognized that the lack of a federal common law prevents the Court from establishing settled law and that no opinion from the Court is binding on anyone other than those who were given an opportunity to defend themselves before the Court. Though many people still refer to Court opinions as “settled law,” the simple fact remains that the Supreme Court has no lawmaking power because we have no common law on the federal level of our government.

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.

READ MORE

What Does the Bible Say?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, October 1, 2018 0 comments


by Katie Erickson

For the past year, I’ve been writing on what the Bible says about various topics. We started out almost a year ago (here) with a number of our blog writers discussing the authority of the Bible and why we should put our faith in the words it says. From there, each week I’ve written on a different topic, exploring what the Bible says about it.

For some topics, the Bible has a lot to say specifically addressing it. These would include money, love, miracles, truth, and others. For other topics, the Bible is almost silent, including dinosaurs, aliens from other plans, or entertainment just to name a few. Even for the ones that the Bible does not address directly, we can still use the truths contained in Scripture to guide us on how to follow its teaching on any particular issue.

Personally, I have enjoyed writing this series, as it gave me good reason to dig deeply into what the Scriptures say about each one of these topics. I have had the opportunity to be well-educated on the Bible for basically my entire life, but knowing that the Bible speaks on a topic is different than looking into exactly where and how much it addresses that topic. I have been challenged at times with the topics that aren’t found as easily in the Scriptures, as well as being challenged on other topics with which of the myriad of passages to include.

As God often does things, some of the topics have been very timely in my life. We generally plan the topics months in advance, and sometimes God works in our lives so that a particular topic comes up right when I’m experiencing life that goes along with it. For example, my boss’s wife passed away around Memorial Day this past year, and that very day I was writing on what the Bible says about life and death.

So, to wrap up this series, I’d like to bring up again what the Bible says about its own authority, and why it is so valuable to speak into our lives in every season or issue that comes up.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “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.”

This passage reminds us that the Bible will “thoroughly equip” us for “every good work.” We’re not partially equipped for some things, but fully equipped for whatever life may throw at us. If you don’t feel fully equipped, I challenge you to keep studying! Keep reading the Word for yourself, and supplement that with good, Biblical teaching and study groups. Keep reading our blog posts here at Worldview Warriors, and feel free to connect with us if you have questions on any Bible topics, or even what the Bible says on a topic that we didn’t address.

If you have enjoyed these posts, I would also encourage you to watch in the coming months for the book I’ll be publishing through Worldview Warriors Publishing, called “What the Bible Says About…” Not only will it include every post in this series, but there will also be a bonus post not published online: What the Bible Says About Angels.

I do hope you have enjoyed this series and have learned new things about how the Bible addresses certain topics. Be encouraged to keep digging deeper into God’s Word; it really is the answer for everything.

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.

READ MORE

I Believe in the Holy Spirit

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Sunday, September 30, 2018 0 comments


by Logan Ames

When we think of the word “comforter," most of us probably think of that thing that some spouses have to fight over every night once the weather turns cooler like it is right now as we approach fall. But the comfort such a blanket provides only lasts for the night anyway and then you have to find other ways to keep warm throughout the day. When I think of the true Comforter (with an intentional capital C), I’m reminded of the Holy Spirit. Jesus was talking about the Spirit and the work he would do in John 14:26 after Jesus himself was physically gone from the disciples’ presence. In addition to specifically identifying the Spirit, Jesus also referred to him as the “Advocate," according to the NIV translation, or the “Comforter," according to the KJV. Other versions of Scripture choose to translate the word Jesus used as “Helper” or “Companion."

Anyone of those words would be accurate as we look at the Greek parakaleo, the word written to record what Jesus said. Parakaleo comes from para, which means “beside” or “with," and kaleo, which means “I call." Therefore, a correct way of explaining what Jesus is saying is that the Holy Spirit will be the One who comes alongside us in life whenever we call on him, which those truly belonging to Christ must do each and every day. Jesus told his disciples in that same verse that the Holy Spirit would teach them all things and remind them of everything Jesus had already said to them. Jesus knew his time on earth was coming to an end and he wanted them to be assured that he “would not leave them as orphans” (John 14:18). In my post titled He Ascended Into Heaven from just a few weeks ago, I described what it must have been like for the disciples as Jesus, the One in whom they had put all their trust and for whom they had abandoned their previous lives, was telling them he would be no longer with them. Jesus understood their anxiety and promised them that the Comforter would come and assist them.

It is because Jesus made this promise, coupled with the actual coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost when the believers were all gathered in one room waiting for it just as Jesus had told them to do (Acts 2), that Christians universally can say, “I believe in the Holy Spirit." Jesus also said in John 14:26 that the Holy Spirit would be sent by the Father and in Jesus’ name. These words of Jesus reveal that anyone who does not believe in the Holy Spirit cannot be a true follower of Jesus. Thus, this belief is one of the tenets that we find in the Apostles’ Creed. As we have done with all of the other tenets, we will answer the follow-up question of, “So, what?”

To understand the importance of the Holy Spirit to the Christian, we must go back to the Old Testament when it was first prophesied. The prophet Joel was writing to the people of Judah during a time of prosperity and peace, but he calls their attention to some events in order to warn the people to stop ignoring God. He tells them of a plague of locusts that literally destroys much of their land and calls for their repentance and lamentation. He tells them that after they have repented and turned back to God, he would repay them for what the locusts have taken (Joel 2:25). But then we see his prophecy regarding the eventual coming of the Holy Spirit. In Joel 2:28-29 he says, “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days." The disciples of Jesus, being Jews who knew the Scriptures, would have been familiar with this passage, but they wouldn’t know exactly what it means or when it would take place. In Jesus’ promise of the Holy Spirit coming to them, they could now connect those dots.

For a Jewish man who had abandoned everything about the previous life to follow a rabbi who claimed to be the Son of God, the impact of knowing that the Creator who sent him would also send the Holy Spirit after him could not be understated. As Jesus told them he was leaving them, they likely wondered if this had all been a waste of time and would lead nowhere. They may have even doubted it all the way up to the point that the Holy Spirit actually came to them. But once that coming happened and once they were filled with the promised Spirit, Peter stood up with the other disciples and declared that the Holy Spirit is proof that God had made Jesus “both Lord and Messiah” (Acts 2:14-36).

While the acceptance of Jesus as both Lord and Messiah is the beginning of the Christian faith for any true believer, the impact of knowing the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives continues far beyond that initial salvation moment. It reminds us that no matter how difficult life can get, we still receive the help and comfort we desperately need in times of trouble. This is why Paul could confidently address this with the Christians in Corinth, as recorded in 2 Corinthians 1:3-7. He declares that the God we worship is the God of ALL comfort and that he provides us with the comfort we need in our suffering so that we can share that comfort with others who are also enduring hardships. Christians can be fully obedient and trusting in God even in pain and darkness because we know who provides what we need to continue on.

The only question for each of us, then, is, “Where are we going for comfort?” I preached a recent message at my church called, “A Tale of Two Gods." You can watch it here if you’d like. The two Gods both claim to provide us with comfort when we are in trouble, but only one is the Creator of the whole universe who promised and then provided a Comforter called the Holy Spirit. The other is a false god (with an intentional lower case g) of comfort that comes in many different forms. Who or what do you turn to? Drugs or alcohol? Unhealthy and improper relationships with others? The riches of this world? Anything else that kills the pain? Unfortunately, every false god of comfort there is only lasts temporarily, until you have to try something else because it only brought more brokenness ultimately. The God of all comfort who created you, molded you, and prepared you to face the challenges in your life will not leave you broken and alone. His Spirit will continue to comfort you each day as you call on him. Make his presence a reality in your life and stop chasing after false comforts.

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.

READ MORE

Belief in God

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, September 28, 2018 0 comments


by Charlie Wolcott

When I come across someone who constantly questions the meaning and authority of Scripture and I question where they really stand, many times their response is: “I believe in God. How dare you challenge my beliefs?” One of the false teachings that has been going on around the U.S. in particular (but it is by no means limited to here) is the assumption of salvation. Now I do believe that once you are born again, saved, and transformed by the grace of God and supernatural work of the Holy Spirit, you cannot lose it, because he who began a good work in us will continue it to completion. However, that is a different issue than the assumption that we are saved to begin with. Scripture is loaded with warnings to constantly evaluate yourself to see if you are indeed in the faith.

One aspect of this false teaching of the assumption of salvation is how it is achieved. In many churches, conservative and liberal, a pastor may preach a good sermon but when it comes to the response and the altar call to receive Christ, it usually involves leading someone into a confession of 4-5 doctrines, saying a prayer, and that’s it. That is NOT salvation. I grew up in that environment where that was the message preached, mostly likely due to ignorance because that is what those around me grew up with. I know I made a proclamation of faith when I was seven years old, but as I’ve been writing for Worldview Warriors, God has been showing me there is far more to this thing we call Christianity than mere “belief in God.”

There are two major caveats of this statement “belief in God” I want to address in this post. First, when most people say, “I believe in God,” they really have little clue what that means. They usually are referencing a mental acknowledgement or agreement to the statements, but said statements have little to no influence on how they live their lives. To “believe” is the verb form of faith. It requires action and it requires dependence upon that which is believed being true; otherwise I would not call it belief. For example, I can acknowledge and agree that airplanes can fly. I can study the physics and watch them do it. But none of that is belief in a Biblical sense. Belief is actually getting on the plane and taking off.

The other caveat is the distinction between “belief in God” vs “believing God.” Many may suggest the two are interchangeable, however I believe they are vastly different. Anyone can believe in God, including the heathen. James tells us even the demons believe in God, yet they tremble. Most people who say “I believe in God” don’t even make the trembling part. I wrote on the fear of the Lord a month ago and it is largely missing in our lives, let alone society. It is easy to say we believe in God, but unless we have a proper fear of God, it is not as easy to believe him. If we do fear God, we will certainly believe him.

Often, when I hear “I believe in God,” I also have to question which ‘god’ they are talking about. Most people, including Christians, have concocted a ‘god’ made in their own interests and own liking. The god they worship on Sunday is often not the One True God because if they were truly worshiping him, it would be reflected in their lives Sunday afternoon through Saturday evening. The typical images of such a god these people have are that of a divine butler who is there to come to serve them at their desires, but is subservient to them. Such gods generally like what they like, hate what they hate, supports what they support, will judge that they don’t support, and ultimately sound a lot like them, or how they would be if they were God. That is not “belief in God.”

We use “belief in God” so frequently it has become cliché, so I want to give a different angle here: believing God. To believe God is actually what we generally mean when we as true, authentic, born again believers say “we believe in God.” It means we submit ourselves to God’s authority and his message to us given in the Bible. It means we take God seriously and take what he says to be true, and we live as though it is true.

When we believe God, we do not ‘interpret’ what he says based on what we know or think. We listen to what he says and if disagrees with what we think, we change what we think to what God says. If we do not practice that, we do not believe God because we think God is wrong in that area. The typical way doubters try to get around that is to suggest that the given passage is not clear. Why are they saying that? The answer is simple: they don’t believe it, but they don’t want to say it. So when they argue about things like “what is a day in Genesis?” I have to laugh. Why? Because instead of being honest and saying “I don’t believe that,” or “I struggle with that one,” they instead throw their reading comprehension out the window and hide behind illiteracy. Yes, I mean that. It totally baffles me how someone can claim to understand “salvation” and “sanctification” and not know what a “day” is. The moment anyone brings in “interpretation” in any context other than looking for the straightforward meaning of what is expressed and then says, “I believe the Bible,” they are lying or greatly misinformed. They do not get their understanding from the Bible; they get their understanding from themselves or someone else who should spend more time reading their Bibles in prayer than in academic books. And the moment that happens, they cease speaking God’s message and instead are speaking their own.

If you are going to claim to believe God, believe him. Don’t believe what you think about him or what you like about him; believe all of him. That includes admitting that we are sinners in need of a Savior. That means submitting all of our academic learnings and knowledge to the authority of Christ. That means acknowledging that we as man do not have it figured out and we cannot and will not ever understand who God is or what he does without submitting ourselves to him and listening to him. While we never will have perfect doctrine while on earth here, we can know what it is and point that way. At the same time, knowing we do not have perfect doctrine should not stop us from preaching the standard. That should keep us humble. And with that, as we preach the truth, recognize we are going to be deemed fools for believing it. I will cover all three of those things over the next three weeks.

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.

READ MORE

What Does the Bible Say About Science?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, September 24, 2018 0 comments


by Katie Erickson

The topic of science and the Bible, and the agreement or disagreement between the two, often comes up in the context of the origins debate of creation vs. evolution. I’ll leave that discussion to our blog writers who are much more experienced and knowledgeable in it, but I will take a look at what the Bible says about science.

First of all, what is science? While there are lots of areas to science, simply put it is observing, studying, experimenting, and learning about the world around us and how it works. Today we have biology, chemistry, physics, etc., but these were all named long after the Bible was written, so there is no direct mention in the Bible of science. But the Bible still talks about the concepts of science.

There are many passages in the Bible where we see the writers observing God’s creation. Psalm 111:2 says, “Great are the works of the Lord; they are pondered by all who delight in them.” Psalm 19:1-6 tells of the wonders God has created in this world for us to observe: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun. It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is deprived of its warmth.”

The Bible also has passages that refer to scientific concepts that we have since proven to be true. For example, Isaiah 40:22 indicates that the earth is round, Job 26:7 tells how the earth seems to float in space, Ecclesiastes 1:6 tells about wind currents, and Psalm 8:8 and Isaiah 43:16 indicate that there are currents in the sea.

The Bible has a lot to say about knowledge, and science is really just the search for more knowledge regarding how our world works. We know that God has all knowledge, and as we seek out God we will be seeking more knowledge of Him and of how our world works. Proverbs 25:2 says, “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.” Colossians 2:2-3 says, “My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Job 38-40 tells about all the mysteries of God’s creation that mankind will likely never know.

King Solomon ponders the idea of science and knowledge in Ecclesiastes 1:13-17: “I applied my mind to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under the heavens. What a heavy burden God has laid on mankind! I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind. What is crooked cannot be straightened; what is lacking cannot be counted. I said to myself, ‘Look, I have increased in wisdom more than anyone who has ruled over Jerusalem before me; I have experienced much of wisdom and knowledge.’ Then I applied myself to the understanding of wisdom, and also of madness and folly, but I learned that this, too, is a chasing after the wind.”

The Bible is not a science textbook; it is a book that tells us all about the God who created science and everything that we can observe and even many things we can’t yet observe. We humans are curious by nature, so we’ll continue seeking out answers to the mysteries of this world. But more importantly, seek out a relationship with the Creator who made it!

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.

READ MORE

From There He Will Come to Judge the Living and the Dead

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Sunday, September 23, 2018 0 comments


by Logan Ames

At the end of the movie The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, which is an allegorical depiction of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for our sins, the little girl, Lucy, and her friend, Mr. Tumnus, are standing and watching as the lion, Aslan, walks off into the distance. Lucy is upset and wants to know when they’ll see Aslan again. Tumnus says that Aslan will be back in time, but that we cannot press him because, “After all, he’s not a tame lion." Those who are familiar with the book from which the movie was created know that this statement refers back to an earlier conversation that Lucy had with Mr. and Mrs. Beaver. They were shocked that Lucy and her siblings hadn’t heard of Aslan the lion. They understood that they needed to go and meet him and Lucy was scared about meeting a lion. So, she asks if the lion is “safe." Mr. Beaver is flabbergasted since they are talking about a lion and responds, “Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he is good. He’s the king, I tell you."

Aslan represents Jesus Christ, who stepped out of heaven, willingly gave up his life, and became obedient to death on a cross (Philippians 2:8) as an atonement for OUR sins. Jesus came the first time as a suffering lamb (Isaiah 53:7), but when he returns he is coming back as the conquering Lion of Judah (Revelation 5:5). The unsafe, untamed Jesus isn’t the one we typically like. There is in fact only ONE Jesus, but many Christians treat him like they can pick a version of him that suits their feelings and needs best. They can reject the things about Jesus and his teachings which bother them and accept those which make them feel comfortable. This would be the “Burger King Jesus” where you can have him your way.

C.S. Lewis, who wrote The Chronicles of Narnia, also wrote Mere Christianity, in which he describes who Jesus is. He says, “A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic - on the level with a man who says he is a poached egg - or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon, or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to." This means that we can’t just accept Jesus as we want him. He’s a great teacher and also our Savior, but we must accept him as Lord as well. And that changes everything. If Jesus is my Lord, that means I CANNOT reject his attributes that I don’t like. I’m not allowed to sin just because it’s how I “feel” and I can’t say, “I was born this way” as an excuse or reason for sinful activity. I also can’t use my past or “the way I was raised” to justify disobedience.

Since Jesus is Lord, that means he has some authority, as we learned last week from 1 Peter 3:22. The Apostle Paul mentions one of Jesus’ authoritative roles as he gets ready to pass the torch of ministry onto Timothy. In 2 Timothy 4:1, Paul announces, “In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge." This verse is where this week’s core root of the faith in the Apostles’ Creed comes from. Jesus ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father, and he’ll come from there to judge the living and the dead. We don’t like the word “judge” and we definitely don’t want to think of Jesus as someone who is “judgmental," at least not according to the context with which we generally understand that word. But a closer look reveals that Jesus is completely unbiased and fair and that he’s already told us what we need to know in order to pass this test.

Jesus as every right and authority to judge you and me RIGHT NOW. Yet, both the Apostles’ Creed and Paul describe a FUTURE judgment. When will it happen? Well, if he’s going to come “from” the right hand of the Father, then it’s safe to say that’s going to happen when he returns to the earth. We don’t know when that will be, but it’s interesting that Paul told Timothy, “In view of his appearing." That means that some 1,950 years ago when Paul wrote those words, he considered the return of Jesus to be imminent. Of course, no one knows the day or the hour (Matthew 24:36), but we should all live like Paul, expecting the return of Jesus and his judgment to come at any moment.

This should make us want to do whatever Jesus says all the more. The great thing about Jesus is that he didn’t choose to leave us on our own to try to figure out what he wants and how he will judge us. He tells us in Matthew 25:31-46 exactly what the criteria will be. He will come in his glory and separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep and goats. He goes on to explain that this separation will be between those who are willing to serve and love “the least of these brothers and sisters” of his, and those who are not willing. The specific areas of ministry that Jesus requires of those who truly follow him are listed as feeding the hungry, giving the thirsty something to drink, welcoming strangers, giving clothes to those who need them, caring for the sick, and visiting those in prison. Jesus is strikingly clear about his judgment plan: If you do these things for the least of his brothers and sisters, you’ll be welcomed into his kingdom; if you don’t, you’ll be sent away.

Martin Luther once said, “Faith alone saves, but the faith that saves is never alone." Too often, Christians live and act as if those commands from Jesus to love and serve others are optional. The sooner we come to grips with the criteria for Jesus’ righteous judgment, the sooner we can get on with doing what he commanded us to do. Jesus told his disciples and the teachers of the law that the two greatest commandments, in short, are to “love God” and “love others” (Matthew 22:37-40). How many Christians out there say they love God but have absolutely no evidence to back it up? We can SAY we love God all we want, but the best indicator of whether we really do is looking at how we treat those that God has placed in our lives all around us. The one literally can’t happen without the other. It is impossible to love God and not love those who have been created in his image. I pray that, as you consider that the Jesus you say you love will come back to judge you someday soon, you will follow his commands and experience the joy of serving “the least of these." May God bless you as you get to work!

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.

READ MORE