Holy Judgment

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, April 3, 2020 0 comments


by Charlie Wolcott

Whenever the term “holy judgment” comes to mind, I actually often think of a powerful magic attack in a video game using a “holy element.” When video games are not the context, very often it is the wrath of God coming down to wipe out anything and everything it its path. However, this is only a partial image. The real reason so many people dread Judgment Day is because we are all sinners facing a perfect standard and every one of us will be found guilty before it. Yet, Judgment Day is the most blessed day for the righteous.

One of the things that always baffles skeptics is how God deals with man. God is not like any of us. His ways are not our ways. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. He is altogether “other-than” anything we can imagine. And He always seems to throw us for a loop. When we think judgment is due, He gives mercy. When we expect mercy, He executes judgment. Other times, He gives exactly what we ask for. And sometimes it is good; sometimes it is not.

God sent Jonah to preach to Nineveh and to warn them they had 40 days to live until judgment. Jonah ran away. Why? Because he knew God was a God of mercy and might spare Nineveh had they listened. God chose to spare them because even without the offer for repentance, they did anyway. He nearly spared Sodom and Gomorrah due to the pleading of Abraham, if only He found some righteous people.

God is extremely patient with people. It’s amazing how long He will let sin “slide” for a season. The primary reason why is found in 2 Peter 3:9. God longs that people repent rather than perish. Jesus said He came to save people, not to destroy them. He gave the people of Noah’s day 120 years’ notice before bringing on the Flood. No one except eight people listened until the day of. He gave Amalak 500 years to repent of waylaying Israel in the wilderness before sending Saul to finish them off.

But in other cases, God brought down judgment immediately. He immediately struck down Nadab and Abihu, the two oldest sons of Aaron, for burning profane fire. He squashed the rebellion started by Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. He had Achan executed and killed Uzzah on the spot for touching the Ark of the Covenant. Why? I believe one reason was because God was establishing His law and order and if He let those slide, it would have had devastating results. Sometimes God spares the many because of the one. Other times, God has to think of the many and deal with the one.

Sometimes, God deals with people in terms of generations rather than individuals. Solomon, Ahab, and Hezekiah were all kings whom God had to discipline (among others). Yet each had their judgment extended beyond their lifetime to be experienced by their children. Solomon turned to idolatry yet due to His covenant with David, the splitting of the kingdom would take place with his son, Rehoboam. Ahab was given numerous chances to repent, yet after murdering Naboth and stealing his garden, Ahab actually wept authentically over his sin, and God sent Elijah to tell him that his doom would not come in his lifetime. Hezekiah committed the sin of boasting by showing off his wealth to Babylon. Every last penny he had was shown, so God said that Babylon would get it all, but not in his lifetime, due to his faithfulness overall.

But God doesn’t just dole out punishments; He rewards the faithful. God’s holy judgment is holy. Judgment is not just to penalize the wicked; it is also to reward the righteous. When I referee at fencing tournaments, I have three primary duties: control the bout (including fencers and spectators), enforce the rules, and award points (determine if a fencer’s actions earned them the point for scoring). If I show mercy to one fencer by not penalizing him, am I being just for the other fencer? At the same time, if one fencer keeps doing the same thing over and over again, scoring each time, and the other fencer keep getting hit, I have to be a just referee and award that good fencer for each point he is scoring.

Albeit nowhere near a perfect analogy, God is the same way. When we are obedient, He will give us justice too. When someone wrongs us, God will vindicate us. We don’t need revenge. God will take care of it. When we do right, God sees it. He especially takes notice of doing the right things when no one else is watching. When a politician goes to serve a Thanksgiving meal, comes in with all his cameras, serves one meal, then leaves, and the media says he served for Thanksgiving, that is all the reward he will get (yes, that has happened). But what you do in secret, God will reward. We don’t know what that reward will be. For some it will be in this life but in the next life. If you get your reward here and now, it will not be for your pleasure and enjoyment, but for you to share with the rest of the body of Christ.

God’s judgment is holy. It is unique and “other-than” anything we can imagine. It is perfect and accomplishes precisely what God needs done. When a punishment’s lesson is learned, the punishment ends. When a righteous deed is done, a prize awaits. And in all cases, God gets the glory.

Next week, I’ll look into how we are to be holy as God is holy.

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Here I Stand

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, April 2, 2020 0 comments


by Jason DeZurik

On March 13-15, we held our Here I Stand Apologetics Conference in Findlay, Ohio. We were pleased with how things went and are looking forward to hosting another conference on Saturday, October 17, 2020. In these interesting times we live in as the world keeps changing and changing, it is very important to have a Biblical foundation not only for your own life and family but when engaging with others in this new world we find ourselves in.

Some things that have been said about our ministry and conferences from those who use our free online resources, read our books, and attend our conferences are as follows:

  • The conference just helped me re-affirm the truth of God’s Word. The facts of God are all around us.
  • It was good to be reminded that we can trust and rely the truth of God’s Word. We can be confident that what we confess is greater than the world and offers true hope to unbelievers.
  • The resources you offer have given me a better understanding of a Biblical foundation and the importance of the Bible so I can know how to answer tough questions of unbelievers.
  • I was encouraged and reminded that people must want to learn for me to speak and have dialogue about spiritual things.
  • It was interesting to learn about how so many cultures around the world have stories about a worldwide flood.
  • I loved learning about the importance of the Abrahamic Covenant. Very interesting.
  • I appreciate that I was able to ask questions after each talk.
  • I now have historic proof under my belt to be more confident in sharing God’s Word.
  • I loved the facility and the group was a perfect size. It gave me a “learning mindset.”

As you can see, our conference was a huge success. We plan to keep our free resources being available to the public. With all that said, I encourage you, even in this bizarre time in our nation, to get registered for our next conference coming up in October. You can register for this free conference at this link. We all hope to see you join us at this next conference in October!

1 Peter 3:15: “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect."

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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I'm Lighting a Candle

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, April 1, 2020 0 comments


by Steve Risner

Note: All numbers reflected here are as of March 30, 2020. They will certainly be different tomorrow and next week, but the point is the same. Thank you for reading.

Here’s the deal: there are 2600 dead in the US from COVID-19. That seems like a lot, but when we understand how the numbers work in the US, it’s actually not. That’s 0.0008% of the population of the country. In Ohio, the number of dead works out to 0.0002% of the population. There have been 162,000 who have died in 2020 from heart disease. There have been nearly 35,000 deaths from stroke this year so far. The flu season, being labelled “normal to low,” has claimed 22,000 Americans. The H1N1 (swine flu) of 2009 claimed 1000 Americans before the president made any declarations, and those were to stay calm, don’t panic, and stay open if you’re a business or school. That pandemic rattled the world, killing nearly half a million worldwide and 12,000 to 18,000 (depending on who you talk to) in the States. Almost 300,000 deaths have been recorded (about 3200 per day) due to motor vehicle accidents this year so far in the US. In Ohio, this works out to be about 250 deaths from crashes so far this year (based on averages and stats). Something around 325,000 have died worldwide from TB this year. It's estimated that there have been 10,000,000 deaths worldwide and just short of 200,000 in the US since January 1 due to abortion. Again, if statistical averages hold true, we have had nearly 40,000 die in 2020 from communicable diseases. Almost 7% of those are from COVID-19. Nearly 60% of those are from influenza. That is 20x the deaths from the flu vs coronavirus. Now, there have been 14 million deaths this year worldwide. This means that, if there are currently 27,000 deaths from the novel coronavirus so far, that is less than 0.2% of all deaths.

Another thing to consider is the capacity of our health care system. We're told it's out of control and hospitals are being filled. I even heard a talking head on the news use the phrase, "People are dying in the streets." Is any of this true at the moment? Not at all. In the US, there are about 190,000 cases of coronavirus. Worldwide, about 5% require a hospital. This means about 9400 will require a hospital in this country over the last 3 months. This is fewer than 2 per facility. In Ohio, there are 2000 cases and just shy of 200 hospitals. At the 5% rate, that is 100 hospitalizations or 1 per every 2 hospitals. California is considered to be fairly bad; they have 8600 cases. About 430 should require a hospital over the 3 months thus far. There are over 300 hospitals there, putting fewer than 2 per facility in need. New York is considered the worst in the country as of right now; they are dealing with 75,000 cases or roughly 40% of the nation's cases. They may have trouble. That's 3700 critical cases or abut 17 per hospital in the state. But reports at those hospitals suggest many have 0 cases or only a couple. I realize more highly populated places will have a heavier case load, but the numbers aren't adding up to what we're being threatened with. And when the media puts up footage of hospitals in Italy but refer to the hospitals in New York City, I'm not sure why we should accept anything they're telling us.

Obviously, the number of cases in the US is going to go up very quickly. We knew this weeks ago because of testing. The previous president depleted our stores for dealing with this sort of thing 10 years ago and never put anything back into the pot. This has led to issues now, while the current administration is being blamed. But that’s not the real problem.

It’s certainly true that this novel coronavirus is a threat to some. When I say “some,” I mean a very small portion of the population. The mortality rate of REPORTED cases is 4.5% worldwide. Here in the States, it’s 1.4% of REPORTED cases. The mortality rate of the flu is believed to be around 0.1%. That seems like the flu is much milder than COVID-19, but that’s not comparing apples to apples. Influenza often kills up to 10% of known cases. The 0.1% comes from presumed cases. That’s a big difference. It’s very likely, when working this into COVID-19, we probably have 1/10th or even 1/100th of the total number of cases on record. It’s commonly known that this virus has been in the States since December (some reports say November). So, we have a few months of cases with no testing whatsoever, and most of these cases are mild to no symptoms. How many times of you heard of the flu having no symptoms or very mild symptoms? It doesn’t happen. The flu is terrible nearly every single time a person gets it. Not so with COVID-19. That’s because, for the vast majority of cases, it’s hardly even an inconvenience.

Yes, this is serious for some. No, it’s not serious for most. Yes, we should do what we can to make sure everyone is safe. No, we don’t need to destroy the economy and shut down the world, shaming those who still need and want to work.

People keep saying that this will inundate our hospitals. I’ve seen numerous articles on it, warning of predicted full beds and no equipment to help. But while this might be true in New York City, it’s hardly come to a realization in the vast majority of places in the US. Yes, hospitals are busier than normal (since there have been 22,000 deaths from the flu) but when the media saturates the airwaves with terrifying news coverage, insinuating that all of the inhabitants of earth will die from this plague (when we can quite easily see that’s nowhere near the case) anytime someone has a sniffle, they’ll run to the ER because they’ve “got the corona!”

In Ohio, fewer than 5% of tests come back positive. There have been issues with tests reading false positives and negatives, and they’re supposedly getting better at this. But still… less than 5%. We also know that the projections from the top people in the fields involved have revised their numbers down dramatically over the last few weeks (before “stay at home” laws were implemented). You don’t see this in the media coverage because it doesn’t fit the apocalypse narrative at all.

It’s fear mongering. The numbers are inflated. This is obvious and to deny it is to ask no one to take you seriously. If there’s a good story or some positive news concerning this, you won’t see it covered by the media. It doesn’t fit the narrative. And there are lots of good things: experts predicting the worst is over, experts saying the mortality rate is much lower than we thought, experts telling us how many have recovered, and reports of how mild the symptoms are for the vast majority. Only 12% of those claimed to have died from this virus in Italy actually died from the virus. The largest portion died WITH it, not from it. As an aside, it would be very interesting to know what actually causes it to be worse in some and symptom free in another. It’s not age or health level, it seems, as some young people have been bad and some older have been mild.

It’s way too easy in these situations to ignore the facts and run with emotion. That’s what the media thrives on. You see pictures or hear stories of people dying and how awful it is, and your emotions are pricked. But reality needs to be in view here. Emotional arguments and positions are fine if they’re based on reality or at least peppered with it. Saying this virus is so terrible doesn’t work. Compared to things that happen all the time—flu, heart disease, stroke, car accidents, whatever—it’s a drop in a very large bucket. Yes, we need to do what we can to stop it, but shutting down the world makes no sense.

Experts are suggesting the data doesn’t support shutting everything down. It seems like this is impacted in a bigger way with good hygiene and not spreading your respiratory droplets on people or surfaces. Isolation may, in fact, make the situation worse by prolonging the epidemic and reducing herd immunity, so we have a spike in the near future which will return again and again. This doesn’t sound good to me. Keeping the number of hospitalized below the capacity of the hospitals is good. It seems like that is easily the case in nearly but not quite all hospitals. Keeping it much lower is bad because, again, it reduces herd immunity and prolongs the problem. We’ll deal with it for several months or even years rather than getting it finished in a few.

I hope this at least helps you explore what some of us believe about the situation. You can poo-poo my opinion all you want, but you can’t deny the facts if you want to be taken seriously.

My hope in all of this is that the Church, and especially myself and my family, can be a light in a dark place. My hope is that we rise up to the occasion to bless others and care for their needs. We’ve been looking for those who need a hand—whatever that may mean—and filling the void when we can. The Church needs to be out there in the trenches, meeting physical needs to so we can earn the right to tell people about their spiritual needs. Rather than fill people with dread and fear, my hope is to be joyous and encouraging. I want to spread hope rather than worry. I guess I want to be the opposite of the liberal media. I’ll be a light in a dark place. B.J. Palmer once said, “Better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.” I’m lighting a candle.

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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Ecclesiastes 5:8-12

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, March 30, 2020 0 comments


by Katie Erickson

Power and money often go hand-in-hand, and that’s true for the book of Ecclesiastes as well. At the beginning of chapter 4, we saw the Teacher’s thoughts on power and its abuse, and how meaningless power can be in this life. In today’s passage of Ecclesiastes 5:8-12, we see the Teacher discussing money.

The Teacher begins in verses 8-9 by discussing the oppression of the poor: “If you see the poor oppressed in a district, and justice and rights denied, do not be surprised at such things; for one official is eyed by a higher one, and over them both are others higher still. The increase from the land is taken by all; the king himself profits from the fields.” There is a hierarchy in which anyone who is in authority over another has a tendency to lord it over them and oppress them in some way. This struggle for everyone to gain more power often brings oppression and poverty to those beneath them.

Verse 10 contains wise words for all of us: “Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless.” How true is that! It is rare to meet anyone who says they are completely satisfied with the amount of money they have. Even those who are considered rich are always looking for ways to make more money. We as humans are never satisfied with our income. We’re always wanting more; that is part of our selfish human nature.

But the teacher says that this, too, is meaningless! You may think that can’t be true as our society runs on money and the desire of all to gain more wealth. It is good to desire to have enough money to live. But when we are always desiring more and more money, we will have a strong desire to do whatever it takes to get it. That type of greed often involves a lack of care for our fellow human beings and oppressing others in order to get what we want for ourselves. This greed is not beneficial in any way.

When we have this insatiable desire for more money and material things, this can bring us frustration when we’re not able to get what we want. This frustration is not a healthy emotion, as it is driven by our greed, but we will also likely take it out on others and do things to harm them for our own selfish gain. We see this echoed in 1 Timothy 6:9-10: “Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”

Verse 11 continues on: “As goods increase, so do those who consume them. And what benefit are they to the owners except to feast their eyes on them?” It seems like the Teacher is speaking directly to our society today, doesn’t it? So many things that we yearn for and strive for just end up being things to look at that really don’t serve us any good purpose. We may spend many hours working to save up enough money for a big, fancy item, only to find it’s not what we expected. Now we have it, and all we can do is really look at it. The purpose of having material things should not be just so we can admire our collection of how many things we have amassed, but to obtain useful things that help us to live our lives and love others.

Finally, verse 12 concludes this section: “The sleep of a laborer is sweet, whether they eat little or much, but as for the rich, their abundance permits them no sleep.” If you labor enough to have a living wage, you’re able to sleep well and be at peace because you’re earning an honest living. But if you keep striving for great wealth and oppressing others to get it, then you’ll likely have so much anxiety over that that you won’t be able to sleep. A person who is content with what they have is able to live a life of peace rather than a life of greed.

The Teacher’s insights in this passage definitely ring true for our society today. Remember a few weeks ago when people began hoarding things like toilet paper, soap, and hand sanitizer because of the COVID-19 virus? Buying more than we really needed is a great example of greed. What benefit are these things to you when you don’t really need them? But if you only bought what you actually needed, making sure to leave some for others who would also need these items, then you would be content and at peace with the situation. If we love money (or even things like toilet paper), then we will never be satisfied, and we’ll keep chasing after these meaningless things.

While money is a necessary thing in our society, we must remember that everything comes from God. He is the only one who can truly provide for us, whether that provision is material things or the money to buy them. God can give us much, or God can take it all away; that’s His decision, and we need to trust God’s wisdom. Anything else is just meaningless.

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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Don’t Touch the Sacred Thing

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, March 27, 2020 3 comments


by Charlie Wolcott

One of the major problems in American Christianity today is an over superfluous and rather flippant view of God. Because as Christians we are under grace instead of the law, many have completely misconstrued this teaching into a form of antinomian thinking (that is, we are ultimately free to do whatever we want in some anarchy fashion and God will forgive us anyway). And it is not just in moral issues that we as a collective have done, but in the things of God. This is a lesson I’m only starting to realize how guilty I am, so please keep in mind I am keeping a finger pointed at myself in this post.

One of the repeated themes throughout the Old Testament is to not touch the sacred thing. There are certain places and certain objects that God calls “holy,” separated out for Him and His purposes. Whenever anyone did touch that which God said not to touch, bad things happened. When people listened to this, it was always with great reverence. American Christianity as a whole has lost any real reverence for God, though there are a few voices out there who still have it.

Moses was in the desert and saw a bush burning without being consumed. When he came to check it out, God showed up and told him to remove his sandals because it was holy ground. This spot was special and unique. It was the first time in 400 years that God has spoken to anyone in or from Israel who had been held as slaves in Egypt. There was nothing special about the ground itself except the fact that God was present. When Joshua faced Jericho, he met the Angel of the Lord and he too had to take off his sandals because he was on holy ground. Why? Because God was there. In both cases, both men bowed in awe, reverence, and worship, knowing they deserved death just by being in the presence of God.

But there are two men who heard the commands of not touching the sacred things and did not listen, and it cost them their lives. The first is Achan. God told Israel to sack Jericho but to not touch any of the spoils, because they belonged to God. Achan saw some silver, some gold, and a garment, and he took them, hiding them in his tent. That decision cost Israel its next battle at Ai and 36 men. God brought the problem to Joshua’s attention and exposed Achan. Achan and his family were executed.

The other was a man called Uzzah. David was so excited about finally bringing the Ark of the Covenant to his new capital city of Jerusalem that he built a new cart for it, instead of following the commands that it was to be carried on the shoulders of Levites. On its way, the oxen pulling the cart stumbled and the cart with the Ark on it began to tip over. Uzzah, in his zeal to protect the Ark from falling, reached out and touched the Ark with his hands. God killed him on the spot. Why? Because having the Ark tainted with earth was one thing; touching the Holy thing of God with sin-tainted hands is something entirely different.

You cannot treat the sacred things of God lightly. He means business and we need to as well. There is a reason God required Israel to worship ONLY at the Tabernacle/Temple but not at any of the high places: because He is holy, unique, separated. Israel often worshiped God at the same high places as they worshiped the other idols. God was not going to share His glory with a fake replacement. Yet, this notion of being able to worship God in whatever manner you want is rampant today, and it’s directly contradictory to what Scripture teaches. I have another set of posts I am “cooking” about these high places that I will get to later on.

As I have read biographies and listened to sound sermons about prayer, one thing I have picked up was that the secret closet of prayer is sacred ground. Paul Washer brought to my attention that of all the things the disciples asked Jesus how to do, it was to pray. It wasn’t on how to do a miracle or preach or even how to love others, but how to pray. And often, they waited until He was done praying to find out what was going on. What does that mean? It means when they listened to and watched Jesus pray, it was a sacred thing that you didn’t dare touch. When a person is truly in that state of prayer, when they are in that deep communion with God, there is an air about them that you simply will not dare disturb. I’ve only had glimpses of this. I’ve been in prayer meetings that are really just fluffy spiritual sounding chitter-chatter. Much of my own prayers have been little else than that. But on occasion, I’ve had glimpses and snapshots of the real thing and it’s something that when you are in it, you don’t want it to stop. And if you are on the outside of it, you leave it alone. You watch in awe or you leave it be, but you don’t mess around with it. Prayer is a sacred thing, a holy thing, and it is not something to take flippantly. We are not to touch it. We cannot violate that sacred thing with sin-tainted hands and expect to get God’s blessings.

That which God has called holy and sacred is not to be touched by that which has sin. If we are to approach God, we must be holy as God is holy. That is why we MUST appropriate the cross. Only by the blood of Jesus can we be washed clean and can touch the sacred things. Only by the blood of Jesus can we approach the throne of God and receive His grace. This is no excuse to let us sin at will because God will cover it. Instead of thinking as Achan or Uzzah who thought they could touch the sacred thing and being given mercy in the end, let us think as Moses and Joshua who treaded the sacred ground with reverence and awe and worship, knowing that at any moment, God could kill them and would be right in doing so. God is holy, and that which He sanctified is holy. Do not take it lightly.

Next week, I’ll examine how God’s dealings with man are holy.

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 Importance of Foundational Beliefs on the Bible

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, March 25, 2020 0 comments


by Jason DeZurik

As I continue my “The Founding Matters” series, I’d like to take a look at some foundational beliefs in our Christian faith that are throughout our society even to this date. I am not implying that everyone believes these to be true, but many knowingly or unknowingly realize that these are important in order to have a stable society, even though some of these beliefs are now being questioned.

Some foundational beliefs we find in Genesis are:
* Humans are made in God’s Image and are not animals - Genesis 1:27
* The importance of marriage between one man and one woman - Genesis 2:21-25
* It’s okay for humans to eat meat - Genesis 9:3
* The reason for rainbows - Genesis 9:14-17
* The reason we have so many languages - Genesis 11:9

As you see these are all based in Genesis. There are many, many more. I hope you are at least beginning to see the connection of why returning to our Biblical beliefs and having these as our society’s foundational beliefs are so important. You may also be seeing how far from a Biblical foundation some in our society really have gone.

When Worldview Warriors started as a ministry, social media was still a very new thing, and the majority of society was still figuring out how social media all worked. People’s thoughts were now becoming public, not only to their friends but for all the world to see, including strangers that may have had a very different foundation for their beliefs in life. At the time, most of us were unaware of this though. In fact, I think it is very safe to say that many are still unaware of this fact, even though they may experience this on a daily basis.

It seems that many people want change for change’s sake these days. But it seems to me that a lot of people who think like that don’t seem to realize that if you get rid of something, something else is going to take its place, even if you don’t like it.

Ecclesiastes 1:9 warns us of this: “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”

I believe it is time to admit that this “fundamental transformation of the United States” is really about getting rid of the Biblically-based foundation and principles set forth by the founding fathers of our country.

Here are a few quotes from the founding fathers of the United States to consider:

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

“He who made all men hath made the truths necessary to human happiness obvious to all... Our Forefathers opened the Bible to all.“ - Signer of the Declaration of Independence, Samuel Adams

"The secret of my success? It is simple. It is found in the Bible. 'In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct they paths.'" - George Washington Carver

We also see this in official documents (in the following, the bold is mine):

Alabama, preamble of their state constitution:
We, the people of the State of Alabama, in order to establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish the following Constitution and form of government for the State of Alabama

Georgia, preamble of their state constitution:
To perpetuate the principles of free government, insure justice to all, preserve peace, promote the interest and happiness of the citizen and of the family, and transmit to posterity the enjoyment of liberty, we the people of Georgia, relying upon the protection and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish this Constitution.

Idaho, preamble of their state constitution:
We, the people of the State of Idaho, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings and promote our common welfare do establish this Constitution.

Ohio, preamble of their state constitution:
We, the people of the State of Ohio, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, to secure its blessings and promote our common welfare, do establish this Constitution.

Find more about these state constitutions at this link.

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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Ecclesiastes 5:1-7

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, March 23, 2020 0 comments


by Katie Erickson

So far, the book of Ecclesiastes has consisted of the Teacher trying to find meaning and purpose in this life, and finding that every aspect of life is meaningless from a worldly sense. Here, in today’s passage of Ecclesiastes 5:1-7, he takes that one step further and encourages us to experience God’s presence in order to find that true meaning and satisfaction.

Verse 1 instructs us to, “Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong.” In chapter 4, the discussion was about power, motivation, and authority; here the tone changes to quietly experiencing God’s presence. This verse invites us to examine our motivation for being in God’s presence. Are we there to be seen as when offering sacrifices, or are we going to experience God listen to Him?

In our world today, it’s so easy to get caught up in doing religious actions rather than simply being in God’s presence to listen to Him. We want to feel like we’re accomplishing something, to check off those items on our to-do lists, rather than simply experiencing God’s presence, sitting in silence to listen to Him. While doing things like reading the Bible and studying the Word are very worthwhile, our focus shouldn’t be on doing that for the sake of doing it, but for the sake of experiencing God and being in His presence in His Word. We should have a mindset of prayer that encompasses both talking and listening to God.

Verse 2 expands on this idea of prayer a bit: “Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.” How many of us are guilty of prayer being all us talking and allowing no time for God to talk? That wouldn’t work very well in a conversation with a friend, so why do we think it’s okay to do that with God? The Teacher encourages us to do less talking and more listening in our prayer lives. Check out Matthew 6:7-8 for what Jesus had to say about this, and these blog posts for what some of our writers have shared on prayer.

In verse 3, the Teacher compares our prayers to dreams. Dreams generally don’t have any real substance to them, and that’s how our prayers are when they are simply a lot of words. When we pray, we’re often so focused on ourselves that we lose focus of what truly matters - giving God glory and praising His name. When we talk too much, we’re foolish because the only thing that matters is God.

The Teacher discusses vows in verses 4-6. The focus is that if we tell God we’re going to do something, we really need to follow through with it. It is foolish to do otherwise. Whatever the promise is, it’s better to not make the commitment rather than to commit to something and not do it. This is echoed in James 5:12: “Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No.’ Otherwise you will be condemned.”

For an application of this concept, check out the story of Jephthah in Judges 11. Jephthah makes a vow to God that if God helps him win a battle, he will sacrifice the first thing that comes out of his house when he returns home. It looks like Jephthah wasn’t thinking clearly when he made that vow, but once he made it, he was obligated to keep it. Unfortunately for him, the first thing to come out of his house was his daughter! He told his daughter what he had done, they both made their peace with it, and Jephthah fulfilled his foolish vow.

This story is just one example of why we should not flippantly make vows or promises to God. As the Teacher says, “Do not let your mouth lead you into sin” (verse 6). If you make a vow that you end up not being able to keep, for whatever reason, you will be sinning when you break it.

The Teacher wraps up this section with these words in verse 7: “Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore fear God.” The way in which we approach God must be realistic. We should not commit to what we can’t follow through on. We need to remember that God puts the highest value on our heart’s condition and motivation. Spend time quietly being in God’s presence rather than praying with empty words. Listen to what God is saying to you, don’t just talk at Him in your prayers. Don’t make vows or promises that you may not be able to keep, but instead strive to spend time with God and discover what He has for your life.

As the Teacher says, everything outside of our fearing God is meaningless. Fearing God, acknowledging and praising His awesome greatness and power in reverence is what we are created to do.

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 Holiness of God

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, March 20, 2020 0 comments


by Charlie Wolcott

God is holy. This is a statement we love to say and sing about, but it is something we often don’t truly grasp. “Holy” means to be separated, to be unique, set apart. God is holy, and not just holy; he is holy, holy, holy. God is not like us. He is unique. He does not think like us, act like us, nor do things the way we think they ought to be done. What does it mean for God to be holy? What does it mean for man to be holy? I’m going to explore these questions and issues over the next few weeks.

Balaam was a Gentile prophet who knew the true God and was hired by Balak to curse Israel. While he refused to do it, he eventually caved and told Balak how to get Israel to curse itself with sexual immorality. But one thing Balaam revealed was how unique God is. God is not a man that He should lie. He does not say one thing and then go back on His word. If He says it, He will do it. He does not and cannot lie. Man is not like that; no one has to train a child to lie. He must be trained to tell the truth. God is not like us.

God is not like any other god man has contrived. A few years ago, I wrote a post called “The Gods of the Ancient Near East.” It was a study of 1 Kings 20 in which God told the wicked King Ahab that he would defeat the Syrian army not once but twice, simply because the Syrians thought the first victory was because Israel had the gods of the hills and not the valleys. This idea was a strange notion to the ancient near eastern cultures: a God that surpassed region, territory, boundary, physical effect, etc. God went out to prove himself not just to Ahab, but to the Syrians that He was not like the other gods.

God is not material nor part of the physical universe. He is transcendent to it all. Paul made an issue of this when he confronted the intellectuals of Athens at Mars Hill. God is not to be served by human hands as though He has human needs. He has no need for anything man has to offer. Anything man has is a gift from God, including every breath, every morsel of food, every drop of water, and everything man uses. As the joke goes, when scientists sought to reject God and said they could make life on their own without Him, God stopped them as they bent down to scoop up some dirt and said, “No, go get your own dirt.” God is holy. He is unique and separate from His creation.

But God’s holiness goes to something much greater than just being unique. God’s holiness is often linked to His righteousness and justice and why He is intolerant of sin. We often tend to describe sin as a violation of God’s moral laws. And while that is true, the Bible gives a much deeper picture of what sin really is. Sin is anything that is contradictory to whom God is or what He is like. The law was meant to give us something concrete to grasp so we would know that we simply don’t cut it.

The only way for man to be able to make it to eternity with God is to be perfect as He is perfect. We are to be holy as God is holy. We all know that we are not like that. In every religion, man has to do something to earn his way to “get in.” Why do they do that? Why is there a drive, an urge, to do things correctly and to fix what is broken? Every religion is never able to give a concrete statement of what the standard is or whether the standard is met or not, except one: Christianity. God is unique in that He made his standards clear, defined, and unquestionable. He is holy and we don’t cut it.

The plan of salvation is holy. Every religion has man trying to figure out some way to get to God. Christianity has God coming to man. Every other religion depends upon the merits of man. Only Christianity teaches that it is by grace through faith. It is unique, separated, and other-than from everything else. The Gospel is also known as the Scandal of Grace. There is a reason why the Jews stumbled over the cross and the Greeks called it foolishness, yet to the believer it is the power of God unto salvation. The idea of a crucified Savior, the hero who was executed as a criminal yet innocent, to justify wicked men is so foreign to man’s thinking it does not and will not register without divine revelation.

This is just an introduction. Over the next few weeks, I’ll look at other details about the holiness of God. How God deals with man is holy, and it is strange to how we think. There is a reason Isaiah said that God’s ways are not our ways, His plans not our plans. I’ll look at how what God identifies as holy is to be marked as holy, how we should live holy lives, and the idea of purity. The next few weeks should be fun and hopefully it will change your view of who God truly is.

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Here I Stand Apologetics Conference

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, March 18, 2020 0 comments


by Jason DeZurik

Apologetics. What is it?

I found this definition for the word: apologetics are reasoned arguments or writings in justification of something, typically a theory or religious doctrine.

1 Peter 3:15 is a great text to see why apologetics is so important to witnessing to people about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It states, “Always be prepared to give a reason for the hope that you have but do this with gentleness and respect.”

On Friday, March 13 through Sunday, March 15 Worldview Warriors hosted one of the first of many apologetics conferences in Findlay, Ohio. We are planning to host one more conference this fall. In 2021, we will move toward having one conference every quarter for those interested in being ready to give an answer for the hope that they have, encouraging people to do this with gentleness and respect.

We were blessed to have 4 speakers join us for the weekend, and 2 local worship leaders were able to lead attendees in worship as well. Some of the talks shared were, “How to Read the Bible,” “Why the Bible is Important,” and “Science and Thinking Biblically.” We are pleased to share that things went so well, we are announcing our next conference on October 17, 2020 at the same location – the Center for Christian Ministries in Findlay, Ohio. This will be a one-day conference for anyone 14 years old and up. More details about this event will be shared at a later date.

Over this past weekend, a great time was had by all, and we look forward to serving you more in this way in the future. When we decided to start these conference events, we chose to try and keep these as intimate gatherings with 50 people or less in order to dig deeper and grow in the Lord together. Some photos of the event are below.

Over 20 people joined us for this first event and we can unequivocally state that this first conference was a very big success. Some attendees shared with us the following:

  • “The setting was wonderful, and this group was the perfect size and gave me a ‘learning mindset.’”
  • “I liked that this was intergenerational. All ages need to learn.”
  • “I enjoyed it all.”
  • “It helped to reassure me to continue my journey.”
  • “The Table of Nations was so interesting.”
  • “This was intimate but not too uncomfortably cozy.”

As you can see, we had a powerful weekend, and we look forward to having our next conference on October 17.

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Ecclesiastes 4:9-16

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, March 16, 2020 0 comments


by Katie Erickson

In the previous section of Ecclesiastes 4:1-8, the Teacher talked about achievement and power, and how it’s all meaningless in the context of this world. In today’s passage of Ecclesiastes 4:9-16, we first see some encouragement to work together and then we see his discussion on leadership.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 shows us that it is better to live our lives in community with others rather than completely by ourselves. It says: “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

In the context of the previous passage discussing success and maturity, this shows that we can achieve more when we work together in our society. It begins with teamwork and working toward common goals. If something happens to cause difficulty with your mission, if you have a friend working toward that same goal, they can help you get back on your feet. This applies to all relationships - coworkers, friends, business partners, spouses, and fellow workers for God’s Kingdom.

We will do so much better when we have people around us to support us rather than trying to do everything on our own. Of course, there are times we need to do things by ourselves, but if we at least have someone cheering us on, we will be encouraged by that and have the motivation to keep moving forward.

If we remain isolated, we are more prone to getting our priorities out of whack and becoming selfish. Having at least one other person in your corner so to speak who shares your beliefs and goals will help keep you grounded and properly focused on what you’re doing.

The Teacher takes it one step further than just two people, and he informs us that a cord of three strands is not quickly broken. If two are good, three are better! This verse has often been applied to the context of marriage, where the three strands are husband, wife, and God. While this is true that a marriage with God in it is much stronger than one without Him, that is not the only context where this applies. Any relationship should have God in it to truly succeed, as success is not measured by the world’s standards but by God’s.

The Teacher goes on in verses 13-16 to say this: “Better a poor but wise youth than an old but foolish king who no longer knows how to heed a warning. The youth may have come from prison to the kingship, or he may have been born in poverty within his kingdom. I saw that all who lived and walked under the sun followed the youth, the king’s successor. There was no end to all the people who were before them. But those who came later were not pleased with the successor. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.”

Here, the Teacher is discussing the tension between older traditions and newer changes. Sometimes, a person who has been in a particular leadership position for many years may need to step aside for the good of the organization so that new ideas can be implemented. But, on the flip side, just because someone is younger and newer does not mean they are wiser; they may fall into temptation that the older, wiser leader knows to avoid.

The Teacher’s conclusion is that the power of being in leadership only brings frustration and does not give life true meaning and purpose. That true meaning and purpose can only be found in the things of God, not in the things of this world.

The church at Corinth in the first century experienced this very situation. They discovered that powerful leaders could divide the church rather than strengthening it. One of the overall themes of Paul’s letter of 1 Corinthians is the need for unity in the church. That church was experiencing a lack of order, rival cliques, and other internal problems brought about by a lack of unity. Read 1 Corinthians 1:10-17 for more on this. We know that Christ Himself is not divided but the church often becomes that way. We were all created to glorify God in different ways, but we still have a unified mission, brought about through our faith in Christ and His unifying death and resurrection.

The wisdom we gain from today’s passage of Ecclesiastes is twofold. First, strive to live a life of community rather than isolation as having people working with you and encouraging you will help you more fully complete the mission that God has for you. Second, pray for discernment for yourself and for your leaders, that they would always seek unity in Christ and what’s best for the groups they’re leading. When we live our lives in the context of God’s glory and for His purposes, then none of this will be meaningless.

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Question Everything

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, March 13, 2020 0 comments


by Charlie Wolcott

Many professors in universities today, especially in the philosophies and sciences, tell their students to question everything. But do they really mean that? I have seen many times that the only time they actually want anything questioned relates to any God-established authority: parents, the church, government, and ultimately God himself. While on occasion they will tell others to question them, it does not take long to reveal that they don’t like their own position and authority challenged as they tell their students to challenge other authorities. This teaching to “question everything” is not a “go investigate what you are hearing” teaching, but rather a “defy authority, except me” teaching. In a Facebook group, I came across the following meme (original source unknown), which perfectly summarizes how to question things according to these professors.

I see this mentality everywhere and it’s not just the common cults of Mormonism and Jehovah’s Witnesses. It is well-seen throughout academia and in the Creation/Evolution debates. All you have to do to see this meme in action is to bring up a Creationist resource to an origins debate with a non-Young-Earth-Creationist. The knee-jerk reaction is that we must cite “peer-reviewed” papers from “science journals.” However, they aren’t talking about a paper that goes through rigorous investigation to get published, but rather those that only adhere to the Evolutionary paradigm, purposefully trying to keep anything out of the ring that would consider questioning Evolution itself.

John Woodmorrappe was the first to articulate this clearly to me in his book The Mythology of Modern Dating Methods. He revealed something I knew but couldn’t put my finger on. The scientists will explore and question everything in their models, except the models themselves. While a thorough investigation on radiometric dating methods deserves attention to see this in action, I am going to use the recent discoveries of soft-tissue and biological material as the case study.

In this article I found that was published literally just two weeks ago, scientists found cartilage, chromosomes, and DNA in dinosaur bones dated 75 million years old. While most of the article is about the discovery, take notice of the comments asked at the bottom:

"These new exciting results add to growing evidence that cells and some of their biomolecules can persist in deep-time. They suggest DNA can preserve for tens of millions of years, and we hope that this study will encourage scientists working on ancient DNA to push current limits and to use new methodology in order to reveal all the unknown molecular secrets that ancient tissues have," Bailleul says.

The questions they asked were, “How could this be preserved for so long?” when every hint of known biology reveals that it cannot last more than a million years. No one ever asks the more pertinent question: “Is this really 75 million years old?” Such a question is banned from the “scientific investigation” list. It is not on the “approved list,” because it doesn’t lead to an “approved conclusion.” Those who do ask such questions find out what peer pressure and blacklisting is like in academia. It usually leads to firing, non-renewed contracts, no publications, and ultimately, you will be out, for no other reason than questioning the paradigm.

What is the point of this? A critical thing about false teachings, namely cults, is that they cannot allow anyone to investigate anything outside of their own circles. If anyone did that, the searcher will find they really don’t have what they claim to have. That is why Evolutionists have to completely dominate the scientific community and silence any who questions them. They’ll never admit it, but it’s a tale-tell sign of a cult-like group.

Now, Young Earth Creationists often get accused of being cult-like as well, but what for and why? We who believe what the Bible teaches claim only one truth. That is it. It is a charge coming from the post-modern paradigm of relativism that no one has the actual truth and to claim to know any truth is to be arrogant, foolish, and cultish (but question Evolution and watch them claim that is absolute fact). But YEC is NOT a cult teaching for two reasons, among others. 1) We do not define our standards from within ourselves. We hold to a standard outside of ourselves, which is the Bible. We simply agree with it. 2) We encourage people to check things out and to investigate them. We do not insist that people look ONLY at our sources, but rather offer them for investigative purposes and to dig deeper.

The Bible-believing Christian should not fear the questions of an honest seeker. God is not afraid of those who don’t believe but who want to find the truth. The mere fact that they want the truth is evidence that God is drawing them to Himself. He is the Truth. But the dishonest doubter is not questioning because they sense something is wrong. He is questioning because he does not like what the authority is saying or who the authority is. It is a spirit of rebellion, not a spirit of examining and validating.

Yet, what the world says will free you will enslave you, and what will enslave you will free you. What the Bible says will enslave you, enslaves you. What it says will free you, frees you. When these people follow the advice to “question everything,” they actually only question a few things and swallow without question all sorts of poisonous thoughts and ideas. They never question the very things they are being fed. I see this kind of hypocrisy so frequently – people who do not practice what they preach and often accuse those who speak the truth of doing the very thing they practice. When I read The Grand Canyon: Monument to An Ancient Earth, this issue stood out. I have a hard time thinking of an accusation they laid out against those who believe the Flood account of the Bible as written that they did not actively practice in the book.

The world says to question everything in defiance of God-established authorities, but never question the world’s system or its professors or its ideals. The Bible teaches to question and test the validity of what you hear against a concrete, objective, outside standard: the only valid one, which is Scripture. I have read a lot of books and heard a lot of teachings, but I check them out with Scripture. I will not “broaden my horizons” as that is just code for having an open mind to false teachings. I do read those I don’t agree with, but for the purpose of knowing what they say firsthand so I can expose the false teachings to the church. And many such teachings are so ingrained in the church that when questioned, people will rise up to defend them against those who want to bring the standard of truth back. I have some trolls who like to stalk me regarding these blogs posts and I half laugh and half cry out of pity as they not only don’t refute me but often actually showcase precisely what I am talking about in their attempt to do so. They question “everything” that God directly stated but refuse to question what their own side says.

Last summer, I wrote a post titled Trust God, Not You, then I preached on it at a couple of churches in July. Trust Him, but not blindly. Christianity is the ONLY teaching in the world that actually teaches to not take what you hear without investigating it. We are called to give a reason for why we believe what we believe. That means we have to not merely repeat what our position is but give reason why we stand for it. Few people can do that, Christian or not. We must question everything by validating or refuting it. However, when doing so, we must not question the position of the authorities that God has established. We can certainly question what is said, but not the position. And God has only one standard for those who question Him: that you be honest about it. He is a faithful rewarder for those who diligently seek Him. But He has no obligation to give anyone who rejects Him any further evidence.

What are you questioning and why? Seek the truth and be willing to be changed when you find 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.

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Honor God’s Choice and Grow

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, March 11, 2020 0 comments


by Jason DeZurik

A hard lesson of the tough narrow path that Jesus Christ speaks of in Matthew 7:13-14 is the lesson of allowing those in leadership positions the honor and freedom to do as they want. Romans 13:1-4 is very clear about who puts who in authority regarding government and that those under that authority are to honor the leadership of said person. How should we handle that when dealing with a leader at work or even when volunteering for something?

If you are interested, I have written on this Romans 13 passage regarding our government here in the USA and how it may apply. Check out this post or this post.

What is clear is that we are to honor God in all we do. If it is true that God is the one who places people into authority positions, then we are to honor that leadership and even their style of leadership. Now, don’t read what I am not writing. I am not saying that at a job you should just do everything exactly how your boss may want you to do something, or to simply fall in line with some volunteer position. No; you have a choice, as does the leader and/or boss. You are not a slave at your job or at some volunteer position. You have a choice, as does the leader. If you don’t like how something is being run or you feel as if your gifts and talents aren’t being fully utilized someplace, you can honor the current leadership by keeping your mouth shut and moving on to some other place. In fact, God may be allowing this to happen in your life because he wants to not only teach you something but perhaps the leader and those under the current leadership as well.

Don’t take offense or undermine the person in leadership. Perhaps bite your lip, keep your mouth shut, and allow them to learn and grow without you being there, while you grow, learn, and mature throughout the process of life too. It can be very difficult, but the tough narrow path is not the easy wide path that Jesus Christ said most people take. The wide path leads to destruction and immaturity.

Keep in mind that you are only responsible for you. You are not responsible for someone learning what you are wanting or hoping they will learn. Only they are responsible for that. So, allow them to make their choices and even mess up! Lovingly be there for them if they need to discuss something. Keep in mind they may not want to learn as quickly as you want them to learn. Remember, this is their journey, not yours.

By leaving a place and honoring the leadership there, you are now allowing them to lead as they please and honoring God’s choice and plan in the process.

Can it be hard for you? It most certainly will be, but that will probably be for your own good in the long run too. If you desire vindication or justice, know that it may not happen in this world. Just stay on the narrow path and grow.

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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Ecclesiastes 4:1-8

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, March 9, 2020 1 comments


by Katie Erickson

At the end of Ecclesiastes 3, the Teacher reminded us that we are all mortal and we’ll all die someday, no matter what we accomplish in this life. Now in today’s passage of Ecclesiastes 4:1-8, he begins to talk about ambition and power.

While we are all mortals and going to die, some people are obsessed with having power over other people. In verses 1-3, the Teacher laments over being alive in such awful, oppressive circumstances. He implies that it would be better to have not been born than to see the awful abuse of power that was going on.

There are many types of oppression that we see in the Bible. Kings oppress their subjects, masters oppress their servants, the rich oppress the poor, society oppresses widows and foreigners, merchants oppress their customers, etc. We don’t know what type of oppression the Teacher is specifically referring to here in these verses, only that it was an awful situation.

The Teacher seems pretty depressed and that he feels there is no hope, even in eternity, for those who are oppressed. The Teacher likely didn’t have a good understanding of what would happen after this life, and this book is written from the perspective of “under the sun” - the things that happen in this world.

The Teacher reaches a conclusion in verse 4: “And I saw that all toil and all achievement spring from one person’s envy of another. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” He is implying that the only reason people ever achieve anything is that they’re trying to be better than someone else. While that can be a motivation, we should also be motivated to achieve goals simply because God has created us to do so. He has created us with drive and ambition to accomplish great things, not only for our own good or the good of humanity but, most importantly, for His glory.

But if all achievement is meaningless, does that mean we should just sit back and do nothing? Nope. Verses 5-6 give us two proverbs. The first tells us that being idle is foolish, and the second tells us that we need to balance our drive and achievement with peace. It’s all about being at peace and balanced, rather than being too driven out of envy or selfishness or not having any drive at all.

In verses 7-8, the Teacher shows how this excessive ambition can turn into a miserable life. If we are driven by greed, we’ll accumulate more money and possession than we really need. We can easily become obsessed with our stuff. That can give us a feeling of power over others when we have nicer/bigger/better things than they do. This is not what we’re called to as followers of Christ. God didn’t create us to accumulate material goods; see Luke 12:13-21 for more on that.

The two overall themes of this passage are oppression and ambition. While they may seem unrelated, both are actually connected to the idea of power. If you oppress someone, you are showing that you have some form of power over them. If you are being oppressed, you are experiencing being under someone else’s power. Any ambition is a form of power - having the power to do or create something meaningful.

But is all this power really meaningless, as the Teacher suggests? It may appear meaningless in the context of this life, but it is definitely not meaningless in the context of eternity, especially eternity as a follower of Jesus.

Oppression is not a good thing and not ordained by God, but an oppressive situation can be used to bring people to Christ. If all is going great in our lives, we’re a lot less likely to see our need for a Savior. But if times are difficult, then we by nature want to make things better. If we are unable to do anything in our own power to better our circumstances, then we’ll likely begin to look outside ourselves - hopefully, right toward our Savior, Jesus. While oppression and the abuse of power are not good things, our good God will use them for His glory.

What motivates you and gives you ambition? Are you motivated by striving for more power - whether the power for money, possessions, or the ability to be in control over your fellow humans? All this is meaningless on this earth when compared to eternity. In a perfect world, all of the things we do would be motivated by bringing glory to our God who created us, loves us, and saves us. But, we don’t live in a perfect world.

Are you working at your job simply for a paycheck, and you feel that your work is meaningless? Every job has value, not just monetary value. Whether you create products or provide a service, both of those are valuable. Nearly every job is done in connection with other people. What relationships are you building in your workplace? Even if you are currently unemployed or not able to work for whatever reason, we all have people around us in some form of community. What opportunities do you have every day to share the love of Jesus with those around you?

I encourage you this week to take a look at the concept of power in your life. Where are you exhibiting power over others that you shouldn’t? What is your motivation for how you spend your time? Remember to put everything in the context of eternity to get a correct perspective on the only power that matters: God’s.

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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Reconciliation

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, March 6, 2020 0 comments


by Charlie Wolcott

A few weeks ago, my church simulcasted the XO Marriage Conference hosted by Jimmy Evans at Gateway Church in the Dallas area. During the conference he revealed a very interested, well researched statistic. In studying a multitude of marriages, for marriages that reported to be unhappy or very unhappy, the ones who chose to stick it out and not divorce reported just 5 years later to have a very happy marriage.

While not an intended main point of his message, the word “reconciliation” stuck out to me, sparking this blog post. The entire point and purpose of the Gospel message is to reconcile God and mankind. Christianity is living out the restored relationship between God and mankind. It’s not a religion indistinguishable from any other religion; it is God stepping into this world to make peace with a rebellious, treacherous, and sinful people.

When Paul describes us as ambassadors, he had the Roman ambassadors in mind. Because Rome dominated the known world, there were only loose tribes scattered around the borders of the empire. The ambassadors did not have to negotiate with other nations of power. Instead their job was to negotiate terms of peace because the Roman army was coming. If negotiations were successful, the tribe would become subjects of Rome, but they enjoyed freedom within Rome’s reaches.

This is the job of the Christian when it comes to evangelism. We are to reach out to people to make peace between them and God because they are totally unaware that God’s judgment is on its way. If peace has not been made when that day comes, it will be too late. Every person has broken God’s laws, crimes punishable by death, and God is a just and good God who will see that every crime is paid for. The only reason He holds back His judgment is because He knows how final and complete His wrath is. It will destroy us. It is His mercy and incredible patience that holds that judgment back. But that mercy and patience has limits. That limit is because He must execute judgment. The difference between making peace with Rome and peace with God is that Rome allowed their subjects to practice their own culture within Rome’s boundaries, and God requires a change of lifestyle in following Him, forsaking the old life for the new.

We have a limited time to present God’s terms of peace. We cannot take it lightly, and I sadly have been. Another thing God has been talking to me about is to love my enemies. I deal with apologetics and defending the faith and I get all kinds of rude, arrogant, mocking trolls who have no interest in truth and no interest in finding out that God will crush them if they don’t repent. As a result of this, I feel like Elijah did after his epic win at Mount Carmel, frustrated that no one wants to listen to the truth anymore. With this is a tendency of not bothering getting to the most important part of the message: that God came to save sinners.

Dealing with false teachers is worse. I’m not merely talking about those who believe false teachings, but actively promote them, after having been told the truth. I have no patience for a false teaching in my presence. I totally understand how Paul felt when he saw the idols of Athens and his spirit was provoked. But unlike Paul, I don’t often feel the pity he had for the lost and the desire to see them saved. God is stirring in me that pity, but my zeal for truth to be preached no matter who hears it, and no matter whether it chases someone away, has often stood in the way. Voddie Baucham describes “Bad Voddie” as the old-self’s attempt to defend Christ and the Biblical accounts. I can well related to that. Baucham says when he hears these arguments like I face, he has to grip “Bad Voddie” with all he has before he goes off and often he fails. I am the same way.

But God is stirring in me a need to love these lost people, knowing who they could be if they encounter Christ. A friend of mine, Charles Jackson, preached at my church nearly four years ago and he made a statement about praying for Richard Dawkins, an evil man who truly hates God and any of His followers. If he were to be saved, it would be like Paul and the world would have no response to it. It would be even worse than when Trump won the presidential election in 2016 and for months the media and the politicians were just stunned. If Richard Dawkins became a believer, he’d be the greatest evangelist we’ve ever seen.

Ray Comfort is an encouragement to me in this area because he is the most genuine person I have seen who truly loves the lost. When a heckler from his street preaching hounded him for days, including making sexual remarks about his wife, he thought Comfort hated him. Instead Comfort bought this guy lunch, then a new pair of shoes. I know I don’t have within me the ability to do that. Only Christ has that skill and it showed through Comfort in that moment.

When we reach the lost, one thing we must never do is change the message so that they might hear it. Sound doctrine is a primary issue because if we are not preaching God’s message the way He gave it, we are not being His messengers but playing our own game. The message of God is the most precious thing we have and yet it is the very thing we either hide, distort, or use as a hammer to bash those who reject it. James and John wanted to call fire down from heaven for rejecting the message and Jesus said, “I came to save them, not to destroy them.” But at the same time, whenever people walked away from Jesus, He never chased after them. He never backed from the truth, and often He presented the truth so hard that only those who really wanted the life Jesus offered stuck around to hear it. Peter said only Jesus had the words of life. Where else would he go?

I’ll never forget David Wilkerson’s statement that cut me to the heart: “There are some preachers who’d rather see people dead than saved.” Because I am so strong and convinced about the truth where I truly am unmovable, I can easily fall into the trap of if someone wants to reject the truth, I’ll let them have it or move on. Paul pled with people that they might repent. This is true of the majority of the well-known preachers like Wesley, Finney, Spurgeon, Whitefield, Edwards, and others. They plead and wept that people would repent, but they never made that decision to be the end goal. Their end goal was that God’s Word be preached and that it was God’s terms upheld. They never changed the terms so they might be accepted.

We must go to call for peace between God and man, because the day of Judgment is coming. The only way we can convince anyone of the judgment is to get them to see the weight of their sin. And we can only preach on the weight of sin if we know and grasp the weight of God in His full character. Let us get to know God and who He truly is. Then we will feel His heart and His burden for saving the lost before the day of their doom arrives. Let us be ambassadors to make peace between God and men that there may be reconciliation and that relationship lost by Adam be restored.

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Get Your Mind Out of Your Phone

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, March 4, 2020 0 comments


by Jason DeZurik

I am going to take a quick break from my “The Foundation Matters” series to just touch on something that has become quite a problem throughout our society. It seems many of us have learned how not to be “present” right where we are at for the moment. I encourage you to please be open minded and be open with your spirit and prayerfully consider the information in this post. Oh sure, our physical bodies are where they are at for the moment, but our minds and even perhaps our spirits are seemingly somewhere else.

Let me give you an example of what I am referring to. I have been blessed to coach high school sports as an assistant and a head coach for many years. Things have seriously changed from the past. Change isn’t always a bad thing, but in my opinion, this is one that needs a serious remedy. It is just surprising to me how much a person’s phone or technological device can rule their life in so many ways. For instance, after a game is played on the field or court, after the traditional handshakes are made with the opposing team, I am amazed at how many new players almost immediately start looking for their phones. This is even before the coach gives their final words of encouragement or their talk after a game on the sidelines or the locker room.

Sometimes while a game is going on, other coaches and I wonder why a certain player of ours is playing so terrible or seems distracted on the field. Many times, after the handshakes this player is immediately on their phone, going somewhere else, or worried about what is about to happen in the future. (It seems many of our youth today are worried and anxious. We need to teach them that this is not godly. Read more about this in Philippians 4:6-7.) When this happens, it is very obvious to most of us coaches that the player likely had a bad game because they were possibly consumed in their own mind with something else even though they were on the field playing the game. Unfortunately, this seems to be a very serious and real problem in our society today. This is not just with sports but with marriages, families, friends, and even work environments.

Here are some images to consider before reading the rest of this post.

As a young man, I was taught by my father, grandfathers, and other male role models in my life about the importance of looking people in the eye when you are having a conversation. When you shake someone’s hand, you give a firm grip while looking them in the eye, so they know what kind of person they are dealing with and to show that you care about them and being with them. Today, many people “fist bump” in order to help stop the spread of germs and I respect that reasoning greatly. We can still look each other in the eye though, can’t we?

Some of you might be wondering, how does this fit with something in the Bible? Well, the Bible is a great resource in learning how to be in a right relationship with God and people. There is also great information in God’s Word about staying away from some people and understanding that some people have a different calling than you. This doesn’t make those people bad and you good, or vice versa, it just means God has different paths for each one of you.

We are able to find a lot of great advice in the book of Proverbs about being wise in our relationships with others as well as what kind of people to stay away from. So, I would encourage you to be wise with your personal media devices. Perhaps for some of you it would be advantageous to put your device away by 7pm every night in order to actually spend some time with the ones you love and allow them to spend some time with you too. I encourage you that when you’re in a room with another person, unless you are working on something within good healthy boundaries, to put your device away and give that person your undivided attention. Let them know that they are important. Show them love.

Let me give you an acronym I learned when I went through youth ministry training with Tentmakers that I think could be a very good tool for you to use in your relationships. You need to LVV (Love) them:

Look at them
Give them Verbal approval
And Visual approval

LVV (Love) them

* Look at them. Don’t just look someone in the eye but actually look at them with your body language as well. What do I mean? Face them not just with your face but with your body turned to them in their direction. Give them your undivided attention.

* Verbal approval. Repeat back what someone is saying to you. You can say things like, “Yes, that is a good idea.” Or, “Yes, that makes sense.”

* Visual approval. While doing the things above, nod your head up and down in a positive manner to let this person know you are hearing them and that you care. Again, let your body language speak positivity to this person as well. Shift your body in a way that it is clear you are giving them your attention. Show them that they are important.

Most importantly, put your phone down! It’s okay; the world will go on without you. Like it or not, you don’t need to know everything going on in the world. That job is taken by Almighty God.

Some more Scriptures you could dig into: Proverbs 1:8-33 Proverbs 2 Proverbs 3

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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