A Board of Directors for Life

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, October 30, 2018 0 comments


by Jason DeZurik

“We can't have two sets of standards, one set for the dedicated young men who want to do
something ambitious and one set for those who don't.” -Bear Bryant



Years ago, I was blessed to be discipled by a man from northwest Ohio who taught me some very valuable lessons about life and how to become the man of God that God was calling me to be. I had heard many great things about this person and was told to get to know him for years but I just kept putting it off.



Years later, one day I decided to contact him and see if he would have time to teach and disciple me. After some time getting to know each other and meeting with each other, he said he could make the time. He told me to memorize all of 1 Corinthians 13 and then he would meet with me after I had accomplished that.

Once this was accomplished, he then told me to read a biography about General George S. Patton Jr. I must have had a puzzled look on my face because he asked me if I was confused. I said yes and he said, “Is it because I had you just learn about love and now I want you to learn about a man of war?” I said, “Well, yes.” He then asked me if I wanted him to disciple me or not. I told him I did and then he said, “You asked me to disciple you so you need to do what I am asking of you.”

That made sense to me, so I read the biography and also read about Germany’s General Erwin Rommel as well. The next time we met, this man who discipled me began asking me questions too because he had never read about Rommel and seemed genuinely interested in learning about the man. He then told me, “Now that you have learned about love and about Patton, you need to pick three people from the Bible that you think God wants you to emulate. Read all about them and learn to become like them in your decision making. Learn from their successes and their failures. Jesus Christ will not be one of your three but He needs to be the one you learn from the most. He is going to be the head of your Board of Directors for your life for your whole life.” So, I chose Nehemiah, Elijah, and the Apostle Paul. These are incredible men who not only did incredible things but made very difficult and sometimes not very popular decisions.



After I had read a bunch on these people, prayed for God’s direction, looked for wise counsel from Godly people, and learned from these men of the Bible and their successes and mistakes, my discipler directed me toward reading biographies of great men and women of history. He said, “You need to make your own Board of Directors for your life, choosing people that you want to influence you. You will always be expanding your Board the rest of your life.”



By doing this, he had seriously challenged me to grow up and mature and to become the man of God that He is calling me to be. In fact, I think it is something all of us can do.



My discipler even told me, “Sometimes you will have decisions to make in life that will require more from you than just a quick prayer or thinking about something. You’ll need to have a ‘board meeting.’” I asked, “What do you mean?”



He said, “There will be times in your life that you will need to sit down at a conference table or maybe even your dinner table and you will need to place all of these books onto the table and imagine these men and women are sitting down with you to help you make a decision. Place the Bible on one end of the table, you sit on the other end of the table, and place all of the biographies on each side of you in between the both of you. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide and direct you. Ask Jesus what would He do in this situation. Ask yourself what the three people you chose from the Bible might do if they were you in this situation. Then do the very same thing with everyone else represented at the table. When you come to Patton’s biography ask yourself, ‘What might Patton do if he were in my shoes?’ And so on and so forth. Have a ‘Board Meeting.’ After your meeting, make a decision and be confident in your decision. And it must all be saturated with love. If we get the love part wrong, what’s the point?”



I have needed to do this a couple times in my life, and I can tell you it has certainly changed my life for the better. I am also pleased to tell you my Board of Directors for Life always keeps expanding.



My Board of Directors for Life currently includes:


  • Board President, Jesus Christ

  • Nehemiah

  • Elijah

  • Apostle Paul

  • General George S. Patton Jr
.
  • Corrie Ten Boom

  • Mother Teresa

  • Lee Iacocca

  • Calvin Coolidge



These are just a few of them. It has been a blessing to get to know these people through these biographies, and I challenge you to consider making your own Board of Directors for Life.

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Commandment #3: The Sabbath

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, October 29, 2018 0 comments


by Katie Erickson

“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.” (Exodus 20:8-11)

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.” This is the third commandment in my series on the Ten Commandments. The meaning of this commandment according to Luther’s Small Catechism is, “We should fear and love God so that we do not despise preaching and His Word, but hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn it.”

First of all, what is the Sabbath day? We need to know what it is before we can remember (or honor) it. Fortunately, the text from Exodus 20 above gives us a good explanation of it. The Sabbath day is the 7th day of the week; we work 6 days, and then we rest for 1 day (verses 9-10). The Jewish people generally consider Saturday to be the Sabbath, but most Christians consider the Sabbath to be Sunday, to honor the day that Jesus rose from the dead. The specific day that is the Sabbath is much less important than the meaning of this commandment, so don’t get too hung up on exactly when it is.

Also in the text, we see the reason for this commandment: because God did it (verse 11). Genesis 1 tells us of all the work God did during the six days of Creation, and Genesis 2:1-3 tells us how He rested after it was all completed: “Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.”

When we observe this commandment, we are honoring God by imitating what He did. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery after all, right? We show God how much we love Him by setting aside a day for Him, so that we can rest from the labor of this world and honor Him for a day. The commandment is very specific too, in that it instructs all people to rest from their labors, not just the head of the household. Even the animals who work should take a Sabbath day!

But how do we observe the Sabbath in today’s culture? It’s definitely difficult, especially when our culture seems to be against this concept. Part of observing the Sabbath is what Luther referred to above: hearing the preaching of God’s Word and learning from it. Attending a church service is one way to honor God on our Sabbath day each week.

For many people in our culture, we have a 5-day work week instead of 6 days, so we get 2 days off from our paid labors. But what do we often do with those weekend days? We fill them with all the things we didn’t get done during the week, going to sporting events, running errands, cleaning the house, etc. While these things are not inherently bad, are we really focusing on God when we do them? Probably not. Are we resting from our labors and holding God as sacred in those times? Again, probably not.

What does a Sabbath day look like? It doesn’t mean you spend the entire day sitting around twiddling your thumbs and thinking about God, but perhaps it’s a time of fellowship with other believers. Perhaps it’s spending more time than usual in prayer, reading the Bible, or worshipping God through music. Perhaps it’s a day to just take things at a slower pace and do what energizes and relaxes you, so you’re less focused on the things of this world and more focused on God and what He created you to enjoy. Perhaps it means preparing extra meals or doing extra housework the day before so you don’t have to do those tasks on your Sabbath.

What would need to change in your life if you were to observe a true Sabbath day? Just as with all the commandments, we should desire to keep this one to show how we honor God with our whole lives, every day of the week.

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The Resurrection of the Body

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Sunday, October 28, 2018 0 comments


by Logan Ames

In the classic movie The Princess Bride, Billy Crystal plays a “miracle man” by the name of Miracle Max. There’s a scene where the main character, Westley, is thought to have died and his friends bring him to Miracle Max. They need him to bring Westley back to life. As Max is taking his time and going through his process, the men begin to get very impatient. Max reminds them, “If you rush a miracle man, you get rotten miracles." The comical scene is nevertheless a reminder to us that we must not expect God to operate and give us what we need in OUR timing. He is truly a God of miracles, but he will not be rushed. What miracles are you desperate for in your life, and how are you doing waiting on God for them?

When I preached a sermon on this topic some time ago, it got me thinking, which of God’s miracles in the Bible was the greatest miracle ever done? Was it creating the world in six days? How about parting the Red Sea or the Jordan River so millions of Israelites could cross? Maybe it was knocking down the walls of Jericho, keeping Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego safe in the fiery furnace., or Daniel being unharmed in the lion’s den. All of these were moments over the course of history were examples of God’s supernatural power. Yet, I submit to you that none of these are the greatest miracle that God ever did. Not even close. Each of these things has to do with creating life or maintaining what has already been created. But I think there is something that is a step above that. In my humble opinion, the greatest miracle ever done is taking someone or something that is dead and bringing them back to life!

There are examples from the Old Testament of people who had stopped breathing being brought back to life, but Jesus himself not only stopped breathing, but was confirmed to be dead by a spear into his side, was buried in a tomb for at least 40 hours, and then rose from the grave by the power of God. And when he rose from the grave, he didn’t become a ghost. His actual PHYSICAL body was raised and life was restored. This is one reason why Christians can universally say that we believe in the resurrection of the body.

However, it’s not the only reason. You see, this idea of the resurrection of the body is not actually about Jesus, but about you and I. In order to understand this belief more clearly and why it matters, we have to talk about both death and the hope we have in spite of it. The first time death is even mentioned in the Bible is Genesis 2:16-17, when God tells Adam the rules regarding eating from trees in the Garden of Eden. The one tree that is forbidden is the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and God states that the consequence of eating from said tree would be death. Adam had to be wondering what “death” is.

Then, we know what happens in Genesis 3:1-5. The serpent comes and deceives the woman and helps her question God’s word which was initially spoken to her husband, who should’ve accurately passed it on to her. Satan tells her that they’re not going to die if they eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and Eve likes the sound of that so she goes ahead and eats the fruit. Adam does the same. By the way, Satan doesn’t even believe his own lies. He knows they are lies and that’s why Jesus referred to him as “the father of lies” in John 8:44. Then in Genesis 3:6-10, we see the consequences of sin that begin to take form. After they thought, “What’s the worst that could happen?" they ate the fruit and discovered the reality of the consequences. They experienced fear, began to blame one another, and felt shame. Each of those things add stress to any human being’s life, which ultimately leads to shorter lives and death.

What would you do if you knew or believed you could get away with it? How far would your sinful desires take you? Many Christians still engage in sinful activities like porn, drunkenness, or abuse simply because they don’t believe or think about the fact that God knows. Adam and Eve would’ve never eaten the fruit if they truly believed it would lead to their death. You might think your sin isn’t hurting anyone because you haven’t yet seen the drastic consequences, but all sin breeds death. For example, if you’re engaging in pornography, you are directly hurting your marriage and family, or your future marriage and family if you’re not yet married. Such activities desensitize you to the problem of sin. We have to remember that our time on this earth is not guaranteed, and that death is the destiny of everyone (Ecclesiastes 7:2).

While death is something we all deserve because it is the “wages of sin," we have been given the gift of God, which is eternal life (Romans 6:23). So, death is an end, but it is not THE end. You’ve probably heard people talk about the afterlife at funerals, but maybe you’ve never thought about what it might be like. Paul talks about it in 1 Corinthians 15:12-19. Evidently, some people were saying that there is no resurrection of the dead even while claiming to be believers in Jesus and his resurrection. Paul says they don't realize the ramifications of such a faulty belief. He's basically saying that changes everything. Paul viewed his life as something he couldn’t wait to get done with so he could go hang out with Jesus forever. He always had an eye on the afterlife, so it’s not surprise that he wrote, “If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied” (v. 19).

Paul was driven by his belief in not just the resurrection of Jesus, but the resurrection of all his followers into another life. I've seen those things on Facebook that say that if you live your life as if there is heaven and you turn out to be wrong, you've lost nothing. Paul says that's a bunch of malarkey! He's saying if he found out there was no resurrection, it'd be the biggest disappointment of all time. In 1 Corinthians 15:32, he writes, “If the dead are not raised, let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die”! Paul basically says that if our bodies will not be resurrected for a new life, we might as well get everything we can out of this body right now.

The knowledge of the resurrection can motivate us to keep going in the midst of terrible circumstances. Paul was constantly persecuted, yet he got to a point where it didn’t matter to him what happened to his body because he knew he’d be getting an upgrade. In the Old Testament, Job, who suffered as much as anyone, had a surprising revelation in the midst of his complaining to God. He says in Job 19:25-27 that even though his flesh is failing now, he knows his redeemer lives and that he will one day see him in his own FLESH! Like Paul, Job had an upgrade in mind, like going from a Kia to a Chevy Corvette!

Here’s the thing though: spiritually, the resurrection has already happened if you have received Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior. Paul says in Ephesians 2:1-7 that we were dead in or transgressions but have been “made alive with Christ” and are seated with him in the heavenly realms. Yet, Paul also says that God is going to reveal the “incomparable riches of his grace” to others through us. So, what does that mean for us? It means we live in this dual reality of having already been spiritually made alive from our spiritual death, while also knowing that our physical bodies are wasting away every day and someday, we’ll be given a new and better one. It means that our bodies are tools for the Lord to use to accomplish his work here, and we ought not focus on saving what will fade away anyway. Of course, we take care of our bodies so that we are more available to do God’s good work, but we don’t worry about self-preservation. Will you surrender your body to God today, allowing him to use it in whatever he wills? Romans 12:1 tells us this is true and reasonable worship. It makes the most sense. Christ gave his body up for us then received a new one. We can follow his lead by giving of ourselves and putting our faith in the promise of an eventual resurrection of the body.

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

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Truth Without Love

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, October 26, 2018 0 comments


by Charlie Wolcott

“If we get the love part wrong, what’s the point?” ~Worldview Warriors President Jason DeZurik

If I had one great weakness in how I share my faith and defend it, it may be this. A couple months ago, we had a guest speaker at church and he preached on 1 Corinthians 13, the famous “love” chapter. I had never heard a sermon on this chapter until then and he broke down each component to what love is. That sermon caught my attention and I realized this was something I need to work on. So to end my blog posts for 2018, starting today I am going to go over this fabled chapter. And I pray that you would pray for me, because when I deal with people who virulently fight against the truth, it is not easy to love them in truth.

Rob Bell, in his book Velvet Elvis, makes the claim that the Bible leaves more questions than it gives answers. To illustrate his claim, he cites the second greatest commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself” and says, “This is not clear. What does it mean to ‘love’? Who is my neighbor?” I was baffled by this. Did he not read the Parable of the Good Samaritan, where the teacher of the law asked the exact same question in trying to justify himself? Did he not read 1 Corinthians 13? A few weeks ago, I wrote about Perfect Doctrine and how some people try to make God’s standards ‘unclear’ so they do not have to be responsible for it. This is what Bell is trying to do. What about us? Do we know what it means to love? Let us dig into this famous chapter.

Paul opens up 1 Corinthians 13 with three verses about doing everything you can do for God’s kingdom, but if we do it without love, it is all worthless and we are nothing. This is a truth I have known intellectually, but not a truth always realized in how I talk, especially online. If I speak with perfect eloquence and flawless interpretation of what I say, but I do not love, it is ultimately little else than noise. If I can properly and correctly interpret every passage of Scripture and have such great faith it can move mountains, but I don’t love, then what am I really? I can give to charity, preach the Gospel to the poor, and sacrifice myself as a martyr, but I do so without love, it does me no good. That is 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, somewhat paraphrased.

It is important to note that Paul had just finished talking about the different ministerial gifts in chapter 12, describing how we all have different gifts and different talents which need to work together as a whole. He was telling Corinth not to fight over their different talents, not to be jealous over another’s skills and abilities, but that every person has a place and a role. Paul wrapped up by saying to earnestly desire the best gifts, but even in that he would show a better way. This better way is chapter 13. In these first three verses, he says it does not matter what spiritual gifts you have; if you do not love, you’ve missed the point. Hear me when I say I am preaching to myself on this one.

Some of you may not agree with his doctrine or evangelistic style, but I have utmost respect and honor for Ray Comfort. He has this issue mastered. I don’t always agree with Comfort on his apologetic answers in the heat of the moment (and I understand that pressure too where I don’t always say what I wanted to say in addressing a question and often think of a better answer after the fact), however I have not seen anyone else share their faith to the heathen and sometimes angry crowds and just pour out God’s love. He just recently released another video called “Crazy Bible.” In it, he had a video chat with a very vocal atheist who had hounded him and harassed him and thought he hated her. Instead, he gave her a $100 gift card with a note saying, “I don’t hate you.” He then had a good discussion with her and she could not believe how genuine he was, though she didn’t seem very receptive to the message at that time. He shared a true genuine love for her that can only come from Jesus Christ.

I cannot say I have that, at the very least not to that level. I know exactly from whom that love comes from: Jesus Christ; but my “dark side” which loves to refute anything someone says that is wrong usually beats me to the punch. When I get ‘squeezed’ like a lemon, I don’t always spew out Jesus. I am a work in progress, but since I heard the sermon I referenced at the beginning of this post, God has kept his finger on that issue with me. I want to learn how to love like Ray Comfort does. I want to learn how to love the unlovable. I can do it with the poor; I can do it with the elderly; but do I do it with the militant atheist? It’s not easy to showcase that love in an online discussion, where in person I can see the person and who they are: lost, blind, ignorant, and lovers of self.

Many Christians today have such a poor Scriptural knowledge that when these atheists come to them, they can’t give answers to their questions. Many of the questions are legitimate questions, but not all of them have intentions of getting the answers. It is critical when we engage these skeptics that we do so out of love. I am extremely fact-oriented and too easily, I fall into the “win the debate” mode, instead of the much more pressing issue: “This false teaching could lead them or someone else around them to hell unless they hear the truth.”

When we defend our faith, we are to be ready to give an answer for what we believe and why we believe it. But we are to do so with meekness and love. Our answers may not convince the skeptic, but that is not our job. Our job is to speak the truth and to love them. Let God do the convicting.

We must be genuine in our love. We can’t merely claim it. We can’t merely say we love them or care for their souls. We have to show it, and do so without compromising on the truth. For the next seven weeks, I am going to go through 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, taking two of Paul’s descriptors of love at a time. Then I will cover how love never fails before ending the year with how love is the greatest between faith, hope, and love. May this series not be merely informational but life changing.

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Creation Care

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, October 24, 2018 0 comments


by David Odegard

“God is not nature, and nature is not God.” -Gregory Koukl

In Christianity, you do not respect nature, for nature is not a person; you respect the Creator and therefore you do not trash His creation. This is Koukl’s great summary of the relationship of human beings to the earth.

With creation care, we come full circle in our hierarchy of ethical concerns, because care for creation is woven by God into the very fabric of our nature. It is part of our identity as persons made in the image of God, which a careful reader will recognize as the first item in our hierarchy.

In the very first chapter of the Bible, God gives man a job to care for the creation. “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground. So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:26-27).

Nevertheless, the chapter does not end with us as workers, but as worshippers. God institutes the Sabbath day of rest for us to worship God. Worshiping God is primary. God is not creation; therefore, we do not worship it. We do not worship Gaia, mother Earth. God is not the sum of His creation. He is over it, outside of it, and yet enters into it by choice. He does not need it, but it depends upon Him every nanosecond for its continuation. Human beings have a job to do, but that is not our highest pursuit. We are worshipers, primarily. Always above our work and our duties is our relationship with God—that is the main thing (Psalm 27:4).

To be sure, our relationships toward God, fellow humans, and the creation itself have been fatefully marred by the Fall. The Fall made our work much more difficult, for example it caused pain in childbirth for women and sweat and weeds for men (Genesis 3:16-19). Therefore, our descent into rebellion has placed incredible strain also on the created order. Romans 8:20 states, “For the creation was subjected to frustration…”

Human beings have been scrambling for power, dominance, and control ever since that rebellion. The Bible contains a tragic and bloody history—though the truthful one. Creation itself has been co-opted in humanity’s gory gambit for power. Everything that fallen man has dominance over suffers as a result of the fall. Look around, don’t you see the evidence of that?

John Stott reminded Christians of care for the creation in his last book before departing from this life, The Radical Disciple. He shares these twin insights: 1, that the Bible firmly declares that the “earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it” (Psalm 24:1-2), while at the same time that 2, “The highest heavens belong to the LORD, but the earth he has given to mankind” (Psalm 115:16).

Stott says that “the earth belongs to God by creation and to us by delegation.” This is another way of saying that the earth belongs under the stewardship of mankind. Human beings do not own the earth; we are merely entrusted with its stewardship. This is not unlike the way a parent owns the home, but gives a room to the child. It is considered his or her room, but obviously he or she does not own it.

Christians believe that Jesus inaugurated the Kingdom of God and began a recreation of the world and all who live in it, which will be consummated at the final judgment and subsequent making of a new heaven and new earth.

This means that in Christ’s salvation of humankind, He will also remake the earth and its beings too. But it also means that part of our work in the spread of the Gospel and the Kingdom of Jesus is to cooperate with God in his remaking of all the aspects of creation as far as possible. If we can cure a disease, by all means, let’s cure it. If we can change societal structures to make them secure life, liberty, and property, then let’s enact those changes.

Constant reader, we have entered into a partnership with God in creation care; it is our job, but it is not our purpose. Our purpose is to worship God. But part of the way we worship God is to do our job well.

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

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New Worldview Warriors Resources Coming

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, October 23, 2018 0 comments


by Jason DeZurik

Worldview Warriors was only an idea back in 2003, with a few friends moving things forward in our own youth and groups with some of our own conferences held in Ohio, Minnesota, and later in Michigan. We began to provide events all over the country once we became an official non-profit in 2006.

The leadership of Worldview Warriors knew early on that conferences would not be the only thing we could offer, and we knew we needed other avenues to promote what God was calling us to do in equipping students to impact this generation for Jesus Christ. So, we started our own podcast called, The Worldview Warriors Podcast (pretty original, huh?) and began to blog shortly after that. Since then, thanks to one of our dear friends and allies of the ministry, New Vision FM out of Upper Sandusky, Ohio, our podcast turned into our current 2-hour weekly radio show Do Not Keep Silent. We were also encouraged by our friends at New Vision FM to create a 30 second radio program that we could offer other stations around the country to help us get our foot in the door of other ministries. That program is now our one-minute radio program, the Worldview Warriors Fastcast. Our fastcasts are heard all over the country via radio and the internet. These programs are still available today and can be found here on our archive page.

Worldview Warriors will now be getting into the publishing world! We have been blessed to have so many talented and passionate writers become a part of this ministry over the years. I am pleased to announce that Worldview Warriors will be publishing three new books in January 2019. This has been a dream a long time coming for me personally and the ministry of Worldview Warriors. In fact, I think some people thought we’d never get this project done. These books will be written by three of our bloggers, Katie Erickson, Logan Ames, and Charlie Wolcott. Charlie will be releasing his book under his pen name, C.A. Wolcott.

Katie Erickson’s book will be titled, “What Does The Bible Say About…” and will be covering more than 50 different topics including heaven, hell, addictions, miracles, authority, and more.

Logan Ames’ book will be titled “Heroes of the Faith,” covering the heroes we see in Hebrews 11. Samson, Moses, Abraham, and many more will be in there. Our friend of the ministry, Scott Harshbarger from The Art of Harsh, will be making the cover art for this book as well as a few more illustrations inside the book.

Lastly, C.A. Wolcott’s book will be titled, “Biblical Foundations: Basic Christianity and the Reliability of Scripture.” This will be Charlie’s second book released to the public and his first with Worldview Warriors Publishing.

We are all so excited for what this endeavor will look like for now and in the future. So, keep your eyes open for more details about these exciting projects to be released this coming January.

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

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Commandment #2: God's Name

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, October 22, 2018 0 comments


by Katie Erickson

“You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.” (Exodus 20:7)

This week, we’re looking at the second commandment in my series on the Ten Commandments: You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God. According to Luther’s Small Catechism, this commandment means that, “We should fear and love God so that we do not curse, swear, use satanic arts, lie, or deceive by His name, but call upon it in every trouble, pray, praise, and give thanks.”

But what does that mean? As we’ll see in the coming weeks, Luther’s meanings for these commandments basically all start with “We should fear and love God so that…” When I had to memorize the commandments and their meanings in grade school, I appreciated that part because it was always the same! Now, however, I see the meaning behind that: all of these commandments are not simply to control our behavior, but rather so we can express our fear (awe or reverence) and our love toward God. By obeying these commandments, we show God how much we respect and love Him.

This is especially notable with this particular commandment, regarding not misusing the name of God. A person’s name is linked closely to their reputation, so a name is very important. Have you ever met someone with the same name as a celebrity? Even before you get to know that person, you may think they’re just like that famous person with the same name, whether that’s good or bad. We name so many things in our lives because it helps us organize them, categorize them, or refer to them. We name our pets, and we even name our vehicles in my family (my little yellow hatchback is named Tweety, for example).

Names often tell us something about the identity of a person, especially in the Bible. God has many names in the Bible, and His names tell us about who He is. The first name for God that we see in Genesis 1:1 is Elohim in Hebrew. Elohim is the majestic name for God, since He is our majestic, awesome Creator. This particular name for God tells us something about who He is. In Hebrew, Elohim is a plural noun, but it’s always used with a singular verb, which doesn’t happen anywhere else in the Hebrew language. This shows us the triune nature of God - He is three persons in one God.

Another name for God is Yahweh, which is not really a word at all in Hebrew (see this post for more on that). When reading in Hebrew, the word we see as Yahweh, we generally pronounce as “Adonai,” which means Lord or master. This name of God is unpronounceable, because God is so amazing we can never fully understand Him or fully know His identity. Many Jewish people would pronounce that name of God as “Hashem,” which literally means “the name” in Hebrew (but always sounds like a sneeze to me).

So, God commands us to not misuse His name because His name is so important. We show our respect, love, and reverence for Him by treating His name with the utmost respect. Slandering a person’s name will harm their identity and their life, and the same is true with God. How we treat His name is how we treat God. When others see us treating God’s name with respect and not misusing it

But what exactly is misusing God’s name? Some examples are given in Luther’s explanation of this commandment above: “we do not curse, swear, use satanic arts, lie, or deceive by His name.” Yes, saying “God d*mn it” or even saying “Oh my God” (unless you’re praying to Him) is misusing God’s name and breaking this commandment. Swearing on God’s name is too. Even lying or deceiving someone else with God’s name attached to it is misusing His name.

Swearing may not seem like a big deal in our culture today, but just because many people do it doesn’t make it right in God’s eyes. If you truly desire to follow Jesus Christ with your life, I encourage you to stand out from the crowd and honor God by honoring His name in your speech.

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The Forgiveness of Sins

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Sunday, October 21, 2018 0 comments


by Logan Ames

One of the greatest poems of all time that exemplifies a foundation of our Christian faith is “Do It Anyway," which has been attributed to Mother Teresa. You can find it in its entirety here. I want to focus on the first line and the last line. At the beginning it reads, “People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway." The world asks why this should happen. Are they sorry? Did they ASK for forgiveness? Have they made the necessary changes in their lives? Have they suffered enough? These are the questions we might even ask if we are not focused on what God has done for us and the mercy he has shown us. After multiple similar lines in the poem it ends with, “In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway."

As we continue this series going through the roots of our Christian faith as stated in the Apostles’ Creed, we arrive this week at a critical point for those who either call themselves “Christians” or want to know what it is that sets our faith apart from all others. The creed states that we believe in “the forgiveness of sins." We believe in refraining from seeking vengeance or getting even with those who have hurt us. To further understand what this means for us, we must accept a few things about ourselves.

First, we must accept that we NEED forgiveness. Forgiveness always involves wrongdoing of some sort. We can’t understand forgiveness or receive it if we don’t understand why it’s necessary. We must understand the problem of sin. In 1 John 3:4, the Apostle John tells us that sin is actually “lawlessness," and that everyone who sins breaks the law. But it’s not necessarily about driving over the speed limit, cheating on taxes, jaywalking, or even more serious and violent crimes. If we relied on man’s law alone to determine what is right and wrong, we’d be pretty confused. In my home state of Pennsylvania, there are dumb laws like the law that states ministers are not allowed to perform a wedding when either the bride or groom is drunk, and the one that says people are not allowed to sleep on a refrigerator outdoors. Clearly, human beings are not completely reliable in determining right from wrong. So, the law that John is talking about is not the inconsistent and sometimes absurd standard of man, but the holy and perfect standard of God.

The Apostle Paul talks about sin multiple times in Romans. In 3:23, he reminds us that ALL have sinned and fall short of God’s glory. Then, in 5:12, he tells us that sin entered the world through one man (Adam) and that the result was that death came to all people because death comes from sin. The Greek word used there for “sin” is hamartia, which is an old archery term that means “missing the mark." Take a look at the image to the right. It does a wonderful job of illustrating what sin really is like for us relative to the bullseye that is God’s perfect standard of holiness. As you can see in the image, we’re not missing it by just a little bit. We’re actually not even hitting the big target! We’re coming up way short of the target that God has for us.

When God created Adam, Adam was perfect. He also had a mark to hit with the way he lived. God gave Adam and Eve everything they needed and more. He only gave them one rule, and that was for their own benefit – stay away from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil! It might look good, but it leads to nothing but destruction. But the devil came in and enticed them, and they chose to go against God's way, deciding their way was better. That's the essence of sin, deciding our mark is better than God's. It reminds me of the song “Long Black Train” by Josh Turner. You can find the full set of lyrics here. It’s a song about temptation and how wonderful and appealing sin looks, but its only destination is the middle of nowhere. Satan is driving the train and he wants to destroy you, so he tempts you in the most difficult ways.

Sin promises to make life better, but it actually dehumanizes us. How often do you hear someone brush off their sin by saying, "Well, I'm only human"? Many of you have even said it yourself, like being a human being gives us the right to sin. Let me tell you something, God created humans WITHOUT sin. So, to sin does not make a person more human, it makes you less human. To sin is not human, it's FALLEN. This is why we've got to stop hiding or justifying sins in our lives. Sin is dangerous and very deceptive. Ravi Zacharias reminded us, “Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay."

Many of us know the truth of that statement from Ravi, but the good news is that sin is not the end. A solution to the problem has been put forth. In Matthew 26:28, Jesus is having his last supper with his disciples and when he gives them the cup of wine, he says, “This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins." That was quite a radical statement in Jesus’ day. In that pagan culture run by the Roman Empire, forgiveness was not virtuous. To forgive was to show oneself to be weak. This created a mentality within the early Christians that one could not be forgiven unless they were trying to make some sort of amends for their sins. That’s the difference between those who accept Christ’s sacrifice and those who don’t. If you don’t, you are still 100% responsible for atoning for your own sins. Stop and think about that. How long would it take for you in your life to get to a point where you could no longer atone for your own sins? I’m guessing it’d be a matter of hours, if not minutes.

That is why we can be thankful that forgiveness has nothing to do with how sorry we are or how much we can make up for it. 2 Corinthians 5:21 reminds us that “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." Jesus had never missed the mark. He hit the target every time and you could even say he was right in the middle of the bullseye every time too. Yet, he became the missed marks all across the world and throughout all time so that he would be the one to atone for our sins. The penalty was moved to his shoulders and he was pierced and wounded so that we could be healed. Jesus became what we were so that we could become what he was - righteousness.

What is your response to God’s forgiveness through Jesus? Some people arrogantly assume that God will always forgive them, so they might as well keep living in sin. If we truly understand what God has done for us, we would never assume it. If you assume it, then you don’t really WANT forgiveness, because a person who truly wants forgiveness knows just how deadly sin can be and knows they have no other way out of it, so a position of humility ought to ensue. Another possible response, especially if you’re struggling with guilt and shame, is to say that you know God has forgiven you, but you just haven’t been able to forgive yourself. If that’s you, let me just make sure you are aware that the reason you haven’t been able to forgive yourself is because you CAN’T forgive yourself. You don’t have that power and authority. Don’t give yourself more power and pressure than you actually have. Jesus has already paid the penalty in full and your only choice is to either walk in that reality or reject it and be responsible for your own sins.

Finally, some respond to the forgiveness of sins they’ve received by refusing to turn around and give it to others. Jesus makes it clear that if we want to be his followers, that’s not even an option. Matthew 6:14-15 tells us that our forgiveness from God is directly impacted by whether or not we forgive others. Quite simply, it’s arrogant to think God will forgive us even when we won’t forgive others. And here’s the thing, like Mother Teresa said, it’s not really between you and them anyway. It’s between you and God, and their sin is between them and God. You can choose to hold bitterness in your heart toward someone, but it will only affect YOUR standing with God, not theirs. No matter how much you hold a grudge, if that person has repented and asked God for forgiveness, they’ve received it. Living as if you have control over that would be just as arrogant as assuming God’s forgiveness for yourself. Believing in the forgiveness of sins means humbly receiving it and freely giving it. Today is the day to start both if you haven’t already.

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Fools for Christ

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, October 19, 2018 3 comments


by Charlie Wolcott

I had an Old Earth Creationist with a PhD in geo-chemistry ask me, “Do you know what the scientific community thinks of you (referencing Young Earth Creationists)?” My response was simple, “Yes, and their opinion has value why?” My other response, should I get asked that again, will be something along the lines of, “Yes, I know what they think. Welcome to Christianity. Get used to it.”

There has been a big push in Christendom the past view decades to win people over to your churches with names, prestige, entertainment, activities, and other things. What used to be known as the “Emergent Church,” but now known as “Progressive Christianity,” is the big pushing movement on this. The idea is to get as many people in the churches, making confessions of faith, looking good to the world, and by all means NEVER being counter-cultural. Any such notion or flavor of this is nothing more than an attempt to have a form of godliness but denying the power thereof. It is an outright farce and it rightfully deserves to be a laughing stock from both God and this world.

As Christians, we are never called to appeal to the world or its way of thinking. Jesus repeatedly stated that his kingdom was not of this world, so why do so many church leaders insist on appealing to the world’s interests and way of life to “connect” with them? Yes, we must speak to them in a way they can understand, but we are never to embrace the world’s philosophies or ideas in doing so. You do not need to drink and get drunk to reach alcoholics. You do not need to go to an “adult night club” to ‘understand’ and reach prostitutes. Yet many people have this mindset in order that the lost might listen to us.

Christianity is meant to be counter-cultural. Martin Luther King Jr. stated in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail, “The church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the moral of society.”

We are meant to change culture to the norm that God has established. God never authorized to try to change it via political means (though participation and voting are most certainly proper responsibilities) but through spiritual means. We can set up our protests and petitions all we want, but it will never do anything. What is greatly missing in Christianity is POWER, and you will never find the power necessary to actually live the Christian life in the way of life, and particularly the way of thinking, of this world. In fact, you often will only find it after you make a complete and total fool of yourself in obedience to Christ.

God’s way of doing things is totally opposite of how we do things. He had Joshua march around Jericho in silence 13 times over seven days and then blow horns. He had Gideon shrink his army from 32,000 to 300 against Midian with a much larger army. Jehoshaphat led his army against three nations with singers and worshipers. Over and over and over again, God chose to do things the foolish way for the explicit purpose of not allowing any man to take glory from him. If we are going to be obedient to Christ, this world is going to think we are fools and idiots. Yet, when we are obedient, watch God move.

The label “fool” may not strike much meaning with us, so let me give some alternative insults we can expect to receive. Idiot! Dolt! Stupid! Uneducated! Primitive! Bigot! Liar! Science-denier! Insane! Child-Abuser! Blockhead! Ignorant! Moron! Dunce! Let me stop at that one because that’s actually a complement.

In one of his sermons (around the 20:00 mark), Eric Ludy explains the origin of the “dunce cap.” It was named after John Duns Scotus who lived in Scotland around the time of William Wallace. He wore the famed pointed hat which he said pointed to the One Way, Jesus Christ. He was also considered one of the most brilliant and most intelligent men who ever lived. Yet because of his bold stance for Christ, the dunce cap was named after him.

Rees Howells had to go through the foolish route. In the late 1800s to early 1900s in England, it was not only typical but expected to wear a hat in public. God told Howells to go hatless into London. It was a life-changing experience. He said this in response to this incident:
"The hundred and one excuses the flesh made! But the Holy Ghost would have none of them. He had planned all this to prove whether I would obey Him rather than man. People say very flippantly sometimes that it is an honor to be a fool for Christ's sake--but it is quite another thing actually to be called to do it by the Holy Ghost!" ~Rees Howells, Rees Howells: Intercessor, pg 107

Richard Wurmbrand, who started The Voice of the Martyrs, would not deny Christ in Communist Romania when all other pastors around him cursed the name of Jesus while guns were pointed at them. He spent 14 years being brutally tortured to the point where he could not wear shoes in prison. William Booth, founder of The Salvation Army, would march through the East End of London, the most decadent place on earth at the time, and would have rotten vegetables, bricks, bats, and even feces thrown at him as he marched through to his destination. He often arrived bloodied and bruised and with a great smile on his face. These men were the laughing stock of their areas, but something followed them: the power of the Holy Spirit. Lives were changed and society changed with them.

As a young-earth creationist, I get mocked and ridiculed online quite frequently. I understand that it comes with the territory. So does being an authentic Christian who does not cave nor cower to the world or the world system. While I do not like being insulted, I am growing to appreciate it. After all, what greater complement can we get from the greatest fools of this world? Yes, I am saying all those educated scientists, philosophers, psychologists, politicians, teachers, etc. who reject the Word of God are the biggest fools of the world. That’s not my insult. That is from God himself: see Psalm 14:1, Psalm 53:1, and 1 Corinthians 1:18-25 just for starters.

Paul himself was labeled a “babbler,” a crazy-talker, for preaching Christ and Christ crucified in Athens. He was brought to Mars Hill not to give a message but so he could be made a public spectacle. And what did Paul do? He told the experts of the experts of the world at the time they were all wrong, and he directly attacked the very heart of their worldview. He did reference their beliefs, but he never embraced them nor sought to include his message into what they thought. He instead directly challenged everything they knew. The Old Earth PhD I referenced at the start of this post is not only preaching a false message of an old earth, but he has repeatedly demonstrated that he cares far more about the knowledge and opinions of secular man than he does about the Gospel he claims to promote. To be honest, he is ashamed of the very name he claims to follow, because the actual message God gave embarrasses him before his peers.

What about me? While I am certainly unashamed of preaching the Gospel as it fully is, how often am I preaching it in circles outside social media? It’s easy to speak out there behind the cloud or even on these blog posts. But to speak in public where people can see you always seems to come with an extra level of dread. I grew up on the mission field, and even then I recognize I tended to avoid being the speaker out on the streets in Juarez, Mexico. As Rees Howells said, it is easy to talk about being a fool for Christ; but it is something else to be called to be a fool by God himself.

Ray Comfort has learned how to be a fool. He recently released a video of how he has responded to some of the leading atheists out there singling him out for being a “fool.” I have not watched it yet, but it has my attention. Are you willing to be a fool for Christ? To do something which will completely embarrass you in front of your peers? For the Christian, that is part of the territory. If we don’t want that, perhaps we should examine why we claim the name of Christ. Let the world call us fools and idiots and any other insult. If we stay faithful and obedient to Christ, he will vindicate us and all those curses will return back to them. We don’t need to defend ourselves (I know it’s hard.) We just need to be obedient.

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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!

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Commandment #1: No Other Gods

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


by Katie Erickson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Communion of Saints

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


by Logan Ames

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Pride of Humility

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


by Charlie Wolcott

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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Worldview Warriors Celebration and Fundraising Dinner

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


by Jason DeZurik

You are invited! Yes, you!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Ten Commandments

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


by Katie Erickson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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