Are You a Doer? Whose Feet Are You Washing?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, April 30, 2020 0 comments


by Steve Risner

Are you a foot washer?

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” James further drives this point home in the following verses, making sure we understand that the Word is of little use to us if we don’t actually apply it to our lives. Other translations say, “Be doers of the Word.”

A question I’ll pose today is: are you a doer of the Word? Or do you get your ears tickled on Sunday, agreeing with every word the pastor speaks, knowing God has revealed something to you that He wants you to either do or forsake doing and you then go home, not having changed a thing? That could be a point all by itself; in fact, I’ll leave that there for you to ponder for a moment. What has God been saying to you either in your prayer time, Bible reading time, or listening to your favorite pastor or discussing life’s challenges from a Biblical perspective with a friend that you’ve thought to yourself, “Boy, I really do need to ________. That was a great word.” But then you’ve walked away exactly the same as you were before you heard it? Move!

So, my reason for this intro is to apply it to something Jesus did and further commanded us to do along with His apostles. In the Gospels of Matthew and John, we see an event that I’m sure the Disciples had a hard time figuring out at first. In John 13, we find the following:

“So he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him… When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. ‘Do you understand what I have done for you?’ he asked them. ‘You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.’”

I’ll first point out that, again, Jesus tells us we need to be a DOERS of His Word. I’ll repeat what He said, “Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” Be a doer and not just a hearer.

Jesus served. A great way to serve the Lord is by serving others. The Word is replete with examples of commands and illustrations of how we are to serve others. In fact, James says that taking care of widows and orphans (serving them) is pleasing religion to the Father. So, my real question—the whole point of this blog post—is who are you serving? Let us take a closer look at some of the examples in the Bible of this other than Jesus washing the feet of His disciples:

1 Peter 4:10 says, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another.” But he further states in verse 11, "Let him who serves serve in the strength which God supplies so that in everything God will get the glory." It’s for the glory of God that we serve. The whole point is to point people to Christ.

Galatians 5:13b-14 says, “Serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” In loving your neighbor, you will certainly find opportunity to serve them. Service is an act of love.

Matthew 20:28 tells us Jesus came to serve and not be served. This goes along with His statement that it is more blessed to give than to receive. It’s better to serve than be served, although it takes both for the action to work, right? Are you looking for opportunities to serve those around you (whether you know them or not)?

In Mark 9:35 Jesus says, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” A servant is humble, and this is a hard thing to be, especially in today’s America. But humility is critical to having the heart of Christ.

Jesus and James seem to be in agreement with each other on being doers of the Word. Jesus says, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” James says, “What good is it… if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” It sounds like they’re both saying, “Be doers of the Word and not hearers only.”

John says, in 1 John 3:18, “Let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” John writes this right after asking the question, “If anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” Let’s be about the business of meeting needs. Let’s be the Church we were called to be—one that serves rather than criticizes or judges in pride.

Paul tells us in Philippians, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others.” This, again, goes along with humility and thinking of others AND doing something to meet their needs.

Paul further says in 1 Corinthians that in serving all, his goal is to win some to Christ. Here we see that service’s end goal is for Christ to receive glory and for Him to receive another person’s heart. He emphasizes this in 2 Corinthians by saying that “we ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.”

I’ve gone a little long this week, but I want to encourage us all, myself included, to seek opportunities to serve. We should serve those that are part of the family of God because we’re directed to but also those who are outside the faith so we might win them to the Lord.

Who are you serving? Are you pouring yourself into someone? Are you finding opportunities regularly to serve others, considering their interests and needs? Whose feet are you washing? Service can be a one-time thing with someone, or it could be something you do for someone for a season. Wash their feet and share His love.

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Ecclesiastes 7:15-22

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, April 27, 2020 0 comments


by Katie Erickson

The idea of karma is that if you do good things and are a good person, good things will happen to you; on the flip side, if you do bad things and are a bad person, bad things will happen to you. The idea of the Prosperity Gospel goes along with that - if good things happen to you, then it must be because you did the right thing, but if bad things happen, well that’s because you just weren’t good enough. But, all of that goes against what the Teacher shares with us in today’s passage of Ecclesiastes 7:15-22.

The Teacher shares in verse 15 that he has seen righteous people perish while wicked people live long lives. That’s essentially the opposite of karma; the good die young while the wicked are blessed with long lives! What’s the deal with that? We live in a world that is subject to the problem of sin, and bad things seem to happen to good people. Things aren’t as clear-cut as karma may make them seem.

Verse 16 instructs us, “Do not be overrighteous, neither be overwise—why destroy yourself?” The idea of being overrighteous was addressed by Jesus many times in His interactions with the Pharisees, for example in Matthew 23. They were trying to be overly spiritual to show their righteousness by doing and not doing certain things; Jesus warned them that no matter what their actions showed, they’re all sinners. Pretending to be righteous with outward actions is pointless if inwardly they are selfish and conceited.

Being overwise is the idea that knowledge is more important than wisdom. Knowledge is knowing a lot of facts, which is definitely a good thing. But wisdom is knowing the right way to use that knowledge. I’ve heard it said that knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit, but wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad. Similarly, having knowledge of God is useless if we do not have the wisdom to have a relationship with Him as well. We can memorize every word of the Bible or be able to quote hundreds of theologians (knowledge), but if we do not have saving faith in the work of Jesus Christ that we live out in our lives(wisdom), all of that is pointless.

The Teacher cautions here that we will effectively be destroyed if we are either overrighteous or overwise in our lives. He builds on this in verse 17 by saying, “Do not be overwicked, and do not be a fool—why die before your time?” Being overwicked is not the idea that a little wickedness is okay as long as you don’t overdo it; we should truly strive to not be wicked at all, nor should we be foolish in our actions. Either one could easily lead to an early death, and neither will lead to full and abundant life.

Verse 18 shows us what to do with all this advice: “It is good to grasp the one and not let go of the other. Whoever fears God will avoid all extremes.” We need to act on all of this advice, not just knowing it but actually doing it. If we fear and trust in God, then we will not go to any of these extremes - we will not be overrighteous, overwise, overwicked, or foolish. When we put our faith in God and the saving work of Jesus, we have freedom; but that does not mean we have the freedom to sin and live our lives however we want (see Romans 6).

We see how important wisdom is in verse 19: “Wisdom makes one wise person more powerful than ten rulers in a city.” Having wisdom that comes from God is more powerful than any civil authority you may have. Mere power is nothing when compared to the wisdom we get from fearing God with our lives.

It is important for us to remember that there never has been nor will there ever be a person who never sins (verse 20). Of course, we know Jesus never sinned, but He was also fully God. We may not see obvious sins in another person’s life, and thus when we compare ourselves to them we feel inferior. But, know that even that person who looks like they’re living the perfect life is still dealing with sin of some kind. Everyone is guilty of sin, no matter what their lives look like on the outside.

Verses 21-22 continue with this idea. A person may look perfect in their public appearances, but those closest to them (such as a servant) will likely see their dark side. The Teacher reminds the reader to think of the times that they themselves have sinned in private. Just because other people don’t see our sin doesn’t mean we don’t do it.

We all sin, and in the Teacher’s time before Jesus came to earth to live His perfect life to restore our relationship with God, there was only the hope that people could be good enough or have enough faith in the coming Messiah that God would accept them. Now, however, we know what Jesus has done for us. While we will still mess up, we know that when we truly repent of our sin, we will be forgiven because of Jesus’ sacrifice that paid the debt for our sins.

Our lives will not be perfect, but we trust in the God who is perfect and who is sovereign over everything. Whether we sin or not is our choice, but the length of our lives is in God’s control. Live your life in such a way that honors God, so that while you’re on this earth, more people around you can come to the saving faith of a restored relationship with Him.

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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Holiness and Purity

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, April 24, 2020 0 comments


by Charlie Wolcott

Holiness and purity go hand in hand. To be holy means to be unique, separated, to stand out. If you are to be holy, you cannot be like everyone else. Plain and simple. The Christian life calls for separation. This is a central theme throughout the entire Bible: “Do not be like them.” When I call for a higher standard, I often get a response of “Who are you to be ‘holier than thou’?” Frankly, we SHOULD be “holier than the thous” out there. I’m not saying we should boast our chests out as we do so (though that’s easy to do), but that we should live a life that is unique, that stands out, and that models what Christ expects out of His Bride.

One of the ways we can do that is by living a pure life. Purity is something often related to sexual morality. If you are living sexually pure, that means the only person you will have sexual relations with is your spouse. Yet purity goes so much deeper than that. When many think of “living separate,” they think that you need to be isolated and kept innocent of the things of this world. That’s “living under the rock” mentality and sadly many people have this mindset. Stay away from the world, lest the world corrupt you. But that’s not Biblical either. Why? Because it shows how little faith you have in the God who saved you.

The other side of the pendulum of error is indulging in the world so you know what the world is like, so you know how to keep away from it. Some versions describe if you can control the worldly ideals, they are fine. If you can understand how that is supposed to work, please comment.

Purity is not innocence. Innocence comes with a connotation of ignorance - not being aware of what is out there and thus not being influenced. Innocence is a state of being. Purity, on the other hand, is a choice. Purity is the ability to see and recognize darkness or even to be in and among darkness and not partake in it. Innocence is: “I have no knowledge of that evil.” Purity is: “I will not touch that evil.” There is a difference. As we go out into this world, we can be among the heathen who smoke, drink, cuss, and engage in all sorts of vanity, but we are not to touch the profane thing ourselves.

So how can we live holy and pure lives? First, we should ask God, because we can’t do it ourselves. That’s what David did in his famous psalm of brokenness and repentance. He begged God to give him a clean and pure heart, because he knew how his sin was a violation of God’s heart and character. We too have to recognize our sin and our sinful nature. And I’m not talking about the “I’m sorry, please let me off the hook” recognition. I’m talking about the, “This was evil, and I deserve death for it, but I will follow you even if I go to Hell in the end” recognition. Start with that, then we can move on to the cleansing process. You can’t and won’t clean anything until you acknowledge it is dirty.

One thing God asks for is purity of mind. That means our minds are to be wholly submitted and devoted to thinking God’s thoughts. Many of our minds are NOT pure. Some of you may be thinking: “What bad things do you think about?” That’s none of your business. But I can safely say that very few of us regularly practice Philippians 4:8 which tells us what to think about and what not to. This deserves a whole series, but I don’t have time or space for that now.

We need to be pure of heart. It cannot be divided with multiple masters. Jesus said we can’t serve two masters, because we are going to serve one or the other. David was known as a man after God’s own heart. David went after God’s heart with everything he knew and had. He had a pure heart, even though he was anything but perfect.

We need to be pure of lifestyle. We all have those buddies that after work want to go to the bar and party. We have those co-workers and classmates who tell the dirty jokes, insult the boss/teacher, and cheat the system. Do we join in with them? Laugh at the jokes, tell them something you know the boss/teacher did wrong, turn a blind eye to playing the system? Or are we going to be separate, living a life of integrity, even at the cost of the approval of those who really don’t care about you anyway?

What about your job or college choice? Why are you going to school where you are at? Why are you doing the job you are at? Is it because of the prestige and honor, or it is because it is where God has placed you? What are you doing with it? My parents stand out to me because they are constantly thinking about how their lives and their property can be used in ministry. We designed our lot so we can service the bus for the school my church helps to run. Who thinks that way? Not many. I am a teacher, but I’m not merely thinking about teaching physics. I’m thinking of how I can use my skill sets and my knowledge to further God’s Kingdom. I don’t have the opportunities I really want to have yet, but I am part of Fellowship of Christian Athletes and I’m preparing to lay down foundations for starting a fencing program. I want my thinking at my job to be Godly and to use what God has equipped me with.

Living holy and pure lives is perhaps the most difficult thing to do because it requires surrender of self. It means to do the hard thing. It means to go where others won’t go. It means being unpopular and it often comes with suffering. But it never comes without reward. Let us live holy lives. God is holy, let us be holy as 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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We Want a King

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, April 22, 2020 0 comments


by Jason DeZurik

Editor’s note: Due to the popularity of this post, we’re re-posting this one today for your enjoyment.

As I continue in my “little gods” series, I’d like you to consider the following. With all of the political banter and debate going on as well as our nation seemingly being torn more and more apart, I would like you to ask yourself the following question: Who do you put your faith, hope, and trust in?

In the book of 1 Samuel, we see Samuel not only seeking the Lord’s council in giving the people of Israel a king or not but also warning the people with God’s warning about what will happen if they do have a king rule over them. You can read of the whole story in 1 Samuel 8.

What led to this though? Well, we read in verse 3 of chapter 8 that Samuel’s sons, which he was about to make judges over the people, did not walk in the ways of God. They were not only dishonest men but “took bribes and perverted justice.” I’m guessing this made the people quite nervous and unsure of the future. So, instead of choosing liberty and God’s sovereignty, the people of Israel chose a different path of security and what they thought was safety, along with the shortcomings of a human being as their leader.

In a day and time in our nation where the cult of personality is “king,” believers in Jesus Christ need to really seek and search out who we are putting our faith, hope, and trust in. Who do you trust? Do you trust people who will absolutely let you down? Or do you trust in Almighty God and His ways that have not only stood the test of time but have stood before there was time?

Just like in Samuel’s day, I believe we are at a crossroads, not only in the United States of America but it is a crossroads that will affect much of the world we live in. Do I believe We The People in the USA need to lead? Absolutely, but we need to lead in the right way and be led by the right leader. We have a choice. We can choose the little god of safety and security, which will inevitably lead to bondage and slavery, or we can choose the God-given freedom and liberty that He so longs for, for each person that He has made. The choice is up to you, but it will affect others.

Liberty, which will inevitably lead us down a path of risk and adventure. Is it perfect? No, but you will be free.

or

Safety and security, which inevitably will lead us down a path of bondage and slavery. This looks so inviting at first, but the price to liberty is quite high.

Before you move on to something else, I’d like to challenge you with this thought: If you are only thinking about the political situation in the USA after reading this post, then you have partially missed the point. Partially. I encourage you to think about your own life, your life as an individual. Where have you as an individual given up liberty for the sake of feeling safe and secure? Perhaps, for you, this has been a great decision. Perhaps though you are thinking of something else that you could have made a different decision on and chose liberty over safety, and now you are realizing liberty would have been a better choice. Is this something you could work on to change? Is it possible that in this area of your life you could finally attain some liberty? Well, I encourage you to think about that and pray about it.

Take time to read Galatians 1 for more to ponder on this.

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 7:1-14

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, April 20, 2020 0 comments


by Katie Erickson

This section of Ecclesiastes 7:1-14 is a little bit different from much of the rest of the book, in that it contains a series of proverbs. These proverbs provide wise advice for daily living, both for the people of the Teacher’s day and for us today.

“A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of death better than the day of birth” (verse 1). A “good name” here is not just the name people call you by, but it refers to a person’s reputation. A good reputation is very valuable, as it means people can trust you and count on you, and they will want to have work with you, whether in business dealings or for friendship. At birth, we have no idea what we will accomplish in life, but at our death, we will have accomplished everything we’re going to in this world. Make your day of death better than your day of birth by leaving the world a better place than when you came into it.

“It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart” (verse 2). As the Teacher has discussed previously, every person who lives is going to die. Because of this, we need to remember what’s really important in this life. It may seem counterintuitive to go to a house of mourning rather than feasting, but when we mourn we are more likely to pay attention to the eternal things. When we are feasting, we’re only focused on the short term things of eating, drinking, and being merry.

“Frustration is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart” (verse 3). This proverb continues the theme of verse 2, that it can be good for us to be frustrated and sad. Those are both emotions that we should experience and work through, rather than simply blowing them off with laughter for the sake of avoidance.

“The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure” (verse 4). Again, this proverb is continuing the theme of the previous two. We are wise if share our sorrows with others, but we are foolish if all we seek is pleasure in this life.

“It is better to heed the rebuke of a wise person than to listen to the song of fools” (verse 5). If we know what’s good for us, we’ll listen to those who have more life experience than us. If a wise person rebukes us and tells us we’re not doing something well, then we should take their advice because they know more than us. The song of fools may sound more pleasing to our ears than a rebuke, but in the long run, it’s more important to heed wise advice than foolish.

“Like the crackling of thorns under the pot, so is the laughter of fools. This too is meaningless” (verse 6). A foolish person may laugh at anything, and they gain no wisdom from it. All of this foolishness is meaningless and serves us no purpose. We do not gain any wisdom from it.

“Extortion turns a wise person into a fool, and a bribe corrupts the heart” (verse 7). This proverb clearly tells us not to extort money from others nor to give or receive bribes. This goes back to verse 1, where we saw how important a person’s reputation is. Extortion and bribery easily corrupt a person and can ruin your reputation in just one moment.

“The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride” (verse 8). This goes back to the idea of verse 2, where the day of death is better than the day of birth. It is important how we begin things, but it’s even more important how we complete them and see them through. Patience can be vitally important here, depending on what your task is. We often start things in the pride of thinking we can do it, and then we lose interest in them if we do not have the patience it takes to fully complete the task. Patience is essential so we don’t stop what we’re called to do because of some discouragements.

“Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools” (verse 9). This verse shows us what happens if we do not possess the patience recommended in verse 8 - we quickly get angry, whether with ourselves or with others. It is foolish to easily get angry when things go wrong.

“Do not say, ‘Why were the old days better than these?’ For it is not wise to ask such questions” (verse 10). Have you ever wished for “the good ol’ days”? Clearly, even the Teacher did, but he realized it is wise to not envy the past. Hindsight always makes things seem better than they really were, and if we did not live through a certain time period, we may not realize the full extent of the struggles that were experienced then. We do not gain wisdom from longing for the past.

“Wisdom, like an inheritance, is a good thing and benefits those who see the sun” (verse 11). Wisdom is what’s important here, and if we act wisely then it will benefit not only us but others around us. But, like an inheritance, we need to use our wisdom properly.

“Wisdom is a shelter as money is a shelter, but the advantage of knowledge is this: Wisdom preserves those who have it” (verse 12). Having money can give us financial security, but having wisdom gives us even better security than that - wisdom is more of a guarantee of having a good life. Money can be fleeting, but if you continually seek and obtain wisdom, then you will be more secure than having large amounts of money.

“Consider what God has done: Who can straighten what he has made crooked? When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, no one can discover anything about their future” (verses 13-14). The first 12 verses of this chapter give advice for living, even if a person does not believe in God. But if you do follow God, the Teacher goes one step further than the aforementioned wise proverbs. God is in control over all things; no person can change what God has done.

It’s easy to blame God for bad things and neglect to thank Him for good things, but we need to remember that God is in control over it all. We need to have hardships and difficult times in life, both so we appreciate the good times more and so we learn from them. We need to accept both good times and bad times from God out of the faith that we have in Him. We won’t be able to explain everything, and that’s okay, because we trust the God who can.

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 Narrow Path

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, April 17, 2020 0 comments


by Charlie Wolcott

Last week, I wrote about how if we are to live this Christian life, we must be outsiders, separate, ‘other-than’ this world. While we are in the world, but we not to be of it. Paul tells us not to conform to the pattern of this world. If we are to live holy lives, we can’t be attached to the world’s mode of operation. Jesus warned His people to come out from Babylon lest we partake in its judgment. For many of us who live in the United States, this is a very hard message to receive, because we are so entrapped into “The Matrix” that we’d almost rather have taken the Blue Pill over the Red Pill.

Jesus warned of a great “falling away,” and I can’t help but wonder if we are in such a time. Gone are the days of “social Christianity” where it was just the thing you did and society essentially frowned upon you if you were not “of the faith.” Today, there are two responses to any claim to be a Christian: either disgust due to the excessive fakes out there, or wrath due to “you are one of those fundamentalists.”

The world doesn’t like me. I’ve had people ask me if I knew what the secular scientific community thought of me as a Bible-believing Christian who believes the Bible’s account of Creation over the secular ideas of Deep Time. My response was, “Yes, I know what they think. I don’t care either.” I don’t get my value from what this world says or thinks. They don’t care for me now and they won’t care for me later. Why should I seek the approval of those who only see me for what I could give them anyway?

Yet many people, wearing the label of Christianity, have bought into the idea that if we accept what the world says about origins, they will be more likely to listen to us. Who ever thought that would be a good idea, besides Satan the deceiver? If they don’t like the Bible’s ideas about Creation, what makes you think they are going to like to what Christianity actually is and calls for? There is a reason why the gate is narrow, and the way is narrow. As one wise commentator said, the reason the way is narrow and the path to destruction is wide is due to the expected traffic on it.

We must live holy lives, which means living on the narrow path. It is not an easy path to walk. It will often be lonely. There will not be great crowds to go along with. In fact, there will be countless calls to come off the high path and join the rest. And they’ll offer cookies too. But why settle for cookies and chew toys when you can get real food of the most delectable kinds? God offers the real stuff, and the day is coming that we will get to enjoy it. Yet to get it, we must walk the narrow road, and the narrow road will make us stand out and put a target on our backs and our fronts.

Young Earth Creation is most certainly a stand-out position to take. If you hold to this model, you know what I am talking about. You suddenly become “one of them.” You suddenly lose respect among the academic circles. You suddenly find people trolling your social media accounts, searching for any possible mistake you can make. I’m not playing a “victim card” here. I’m just stating the facts of what comes with the territory. This alone is a primary reason why so many people refuse to step this way. It is why many pastors refuse to address origins and refuse to host Creationist speakers, even if they sympathize with the position. If you believe in a young earth, you are “holy.” You are separate. Unique. You stand out. That alone does not make YEC correct, but it does separate it from every other origins model, thus it is a candidate for being the only correct origins model. Since God is holy, unique, and separate, He will not do anything in mundane ways that “scientists” could figure out. So any model in which their primary mode of operation is “natural methodology” can easily be ruled out. All old earth models are of this world. They are not “holy” and thus are not of God.

But many churches operate in worldly ways too. They run like a business, where the bottom line is the number of people in pews and dollar amount of offerings. There are many churches which were founded based on polls of what people wanted. From the music to the type of sermon to the message length, to the coffee bar, and to the color of carpet, it all was determined by popularity polls. To find Christ and the message He gave is more difficult than the clich├ęd needle in the haystack. This is another angle of the “church-growth-movement”: appeal to the world to attract the world, then preach the Gospel. The problem is when you use carnal means to attract carnal people, you will never preach the Gospel because the moment you tell them their carnality is sin and they must repent, your church will be empty. Why not just start with the Gospel and let God built His Church His way?

Now, we are in this world. I am not saying we must abandon our homes, our cell phones, our cars, our refrigerators, etc. However, as the fear of outbreak is going on, we are starting to see who is in this world and who isn’t from another angle. I’ve seen a lot of Christians panic over this thing and I’m thinking, “My chances of dying from a crazy driver here in town is greater than the corona virus. If I am to fear death, I’d worry about that first.” But I don’t think like most do (and I mean that in more ways than one). My faith is in Christ, not the government, nor the media to tell me what is happening. Because of this, because I know that my God is sovereign over EVERYTHING, I will respond in light of that knowledge. Those in the world will operate out of fear and the unknown.

Let us live Holy lives. Lives not driven by fear nor popular opinion, nor by the ‘wise of this world.’ Let us live lives driven by the fear of God, the knowledge and love of Him, and in the pursuit of Christ. You will stand out. You will feel alone. You will be mocked and hated. But you will also be rewarded for believing God in a world that does not. And if you are faithful, you will hear the only complement worth hearing: “Well done, good and faithful servant.” How can we live holy lives? Next week, I’ll wrap up my series on holiness and get down to very practical things.

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God’s Patient Love

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, April 15, 2020 0 comments


by Jason DeZurik

In 2015, my family and I were blessed by God and finally to be able to move to the country. In 2016, we were able to get a little puppy, who we named Caspian. We were super excited to finally have a dog of our own!

About one year later, another dog started coming around our place and began to coax our dog away from our home almost on a nightly basis. This dog was living at the local quarry and was obviously a stray that someone had probably dropped off in our neighborhood. We tried for a long time to convince the dog we were trustworthy by giving it food now and then but this dog has serious trust issues. Any time we would get near it, it would either cower and run away or just run away. Because we didn’t know anything about this dog, we just called it the Stray Dog. It became obvious after a while that this dog was a female and after searching for quite a while no one could find her puppies anywhere.

For 18 months we tried to convince this dog that we were friendly, and we were not going to hurt her. Finally, one day my wife was able to actually get near enough to pet this dog for a very short time. She still ran off. Even though she now knew we weren’t going to hurt her, she still wasn’t sure.

Then, it happened. After all that time running away and us trying to convince her we were not going to hurt her, after a long time and much patience, she started not just trusting my wife but she also started trusting our daughters enough to not only pet her but to feed her on a daily basis. My wife named her Saidee because Stray Dog just wasn’t a very good name. It was really quite an incredible transformation to witness. Saidee not only would hang out with Caspian, but now she would allow my wife and daughters to pet her more and more. She was still very leery of men and especially of me. If I didn’t have anything in my hands I could get closer to her, but it was very obvious she had been beaten as a puppy. It was very sad to know this. When trying to approach her, I would try to talk very softly and not make quick actions and have nothing in my hands. Time and time again, I would only get so far before she couldn’t handle it anymore and she would just get up and start walking away from me.

It was very time consuming and I had to be very patient in trying to win her over. After a while, though, she actually let me approach her and even pet her for short spurts. A lot of times she just couldn’t handle it anymore and would walk away while I was petting her. Now, I can pet her for a very long time, and she trusts even me, though she still can get a bit skittish or cower if I approach her with something in my hands. The thing is though, she really is an amazing dog. She helps keep the rodent population down around our house, that is for certain. I can’t believe someone would basically just throw her away.

One thing I enjoy about this dog is that our relationship makes me think of how God never gives up on anyone. Having Saidee around has made me even more thankful for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I think about what He has done for each one of us and how He made the way back to the Father, even though we may not realize how wonderful the Father really is. Like Saidee with my family, if each one of us would just give in to our Heavenly Father’s plan for our lives it could be oh so good. No matter where you have been or what you have done, God wants to be with you. He wants to love you and give you good gifts. His plan is so much better than you can ever imagine. Turn to Him today.

For some encouragement, go read Hosea 14:1-9.

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Ecclesiastes 6:1-12

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, April 13, 2020 0 comments


by Katie Erickson

At the end of chapter 5, the Teacher was discussing money, employment, and material things. Here in chapter 6, he continues his discussion of evils that are difficult for mankind. The theme of this chapter is summarized in verse 2: “God gives some people wealth, possessions and honor, so that they lack nothing their hearts desire, but God does not grant them the ability to enjoy them, and strangers enjoy them instead. This is meaningless, a grievous evil.”

In chapter 5, the focus was on a person who has worked hard in their life and still strives for more. Here in chapter 6, the focus is on a person who wants to have the good life and can afford it because of his status in life. In this case, it’s tragic when the person cannot enjoy the things that God has given him for whatever reason. It may be that he dies too young with no children to inherit his possessions, so a stranger takes over the estate. It may be that he loses his property due to war, violence, or some other injustice in society.

Having all the possessions we want can appear to make us happy for a short time, but there is nothing sustainable about the situation. So many things can happen to take away the worldly wealth that we do have, many of which could be out of our control. Recently, our economy has become severely strained because of the COVID-19 virus. The stock market took a big hit, and millions of people have become unemployed because of it. If you were counting on that material wealth for your happiness, it’s now gone, through no fault of your own. In this context, material wealth is clearly meaningless.

In verses 3-6, the Teacher discusses having children and how that relates to wealth. In the Hebrew culture, having many children was seen as a sign of great prosperity as they were a sign of God’s blessings on your life. But even having many children will not guarantee happiness in this life. Some even say that having many children will cause you to remain in financial poverty because of all their expenses, so you won’t be able to enjoy the financial riches of this life.

The Teacher compares one who cannot enjoy their riches to the life of a stillborn child, that they are both equally meaningless. He implies that a life of misery is no better than never having lived at all. Even if we get to live for 1000 years (verse 6) but all those years are miserable, we’ll still die and we all go to the same place. There is no more meaning in a long but miserable life than in one that never even began in this world.

Verse 7 gives us some wise words: “Everyone’s toil is for their mouth, yet their appetite is never satisfied.” We do need to work to live, and God has created us to do work, but we always seem to have an appetite for more than cannot be satisfied. It doesn’t matter whether you’re wise or foolish (verse 8); this applies to all of humanity. Some people are incredibly wise and they use that knowledge to make more money for themselves, as they are always yearning for it. Others may not be so smart and use dishonest means to try and get more money for themselves. Both are always greedy for more.

We should strive to live by the words of verse 9a: “Better what the eye sees than the roving of the appetite.” We should be content with what we have (“what the eye sees”) rather than having this insatiable appetite for more. God has truly blessed us if we even just have enough to get by, and we should be content in this. We will never be satisfied when we’re always longing for more. Otherwise, “This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind” (verse 9b).

Verses 10-11 go on to say: “Whatever exists has already been named, and what humanity is has been known; no one can contend with someone who is stronger. The more the words, the less the meaning, and how does that profit anyone?” We are not necessarily free to choose our lot in life, as God is supreme and stronger over us. We do have free will, but many circumstances that determine our amount of material wealth are outside of our control. If we complain about it (“the more the words”), that won’t profit us anything and will simply make us frustrated with our situation, rather than being content in what God has given us.

Verse 12 addresses morality in all of this: “For who knows what is good for a person in life, during the few and meaningless days they pass through like a shadow? Who can tell them what will happen under the sun after they are gone?” Even if you live a good life according to society’s moral standards, you don’t know and can’t control what will happen in this world. Perhaps if you are moral, you may live a better life than one who is immoral, but perhaps not. That is for God to decide, not us.

Life is short and the future is uncertain; that is a fact. But it is not all just meaningless! We know that God is certain, God is consistent, and God’s love for humanity will never waver. People who don’t know God will get swept up in the allure of material wealth, but those who do know and strive to follow God should set an example by being content with whatever it is that we have. It’s not a sin to strive for more, but what is our motivation? Are we simply not satisfied, or are we striving after what God has for us?

Material wealth is not meaningless, but our attitude toward it is what is important. Do you praise God for what He has given you? Or are you continually seeking more for your own selfish gain? Consider what your heart desires, and ask God to turn your heart more toward His desires and less toward your own.

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Be Holy as He is Holy

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, April 10, 2020 0 comments


by Charlie Wolcott

What is the requirement to get into heaven? There’s really just one: be holy and perfect as God is holy and perfect. That’s it. No special arrangements, no impossible journey to complete, no special blood line, no special ability, nothing. Just be holy as God is holy and you are in. However, there is something in the fine print that everyone knows: no one except God can do that.

One of the accusations I have seen skeptics make against Christianity is that the standard for “getting in” is too high that no one can make it, and therefore God is setting us up for failure. So instead, they complain about the standards, not willing to address the fact that they don’t cut it. In baseball, every pitcher is judged on his ability to get a ball over a 19 square inch target, and whoever cannot hit that target isn’t qualified to be a pitcher. The rules don’t change because a bunch of people who want to play ball cannot hit that target. The same concept is true with Christianity. Just because no one can hit the target of perfection and holiness, that doesn’t mean the standards are unfair or unjust. God makes the rules. He is the Creator. If we took the time to study how holy God is and what our sin truly is, we’d understand why God must set the bar so high.

Yet, God commands us to be holy as He is holy. How can He do that, knowing we are still in bodies corrupted by sin? The answer is simple: we aren’t meant to even try. This is one of the greatest things about the Gospel, and yet one of the most difficult things for any of us to put into practice. We don’t cut it, nor were we ever meant to try. What makes the Gospel work is not man reaching a standard to get to God. Even if anyone could do it, he’d be so proud of his accomplishment that it would wipe out all of it in his pride. What makes the Gospel work is Jesus Christ living out His life in and through us.

Yet while God gets all the credit for getting the work done, there are still commands we must follow that enable God to do His work. Something completely missing from most churches today is a doctrine of separation. I cannot spell this any simpler than this: We cannot claim to be a Christian and look like the world, talk like the world, live like the world, and think like the world. There MUST be separation. Most people don’t like this idea. Why? Because the more you show yourself to be “other than” in this world, suddenly you become a target. Peer-pressure doesn’t go away after you graduate from the school yard playground; it only gets worse, and God calls every Christian to stand out like a sore thumb. In fact, the church is meant to be the conscience of the society, which means we are to be a nuisance to this world. Now, don’t hear what I am not saying. I am not saying we are to be annoying. But we are also not to capitulate to the world’s thinking and world’s progression away from God. We are to be a light in the darkness, but when people prefer the light to be off because of their evil deeds, they will do everything they can to shut the light off. We are to light the world and save souls, and we cannot save souls if we are too much like the world.

I write fiction as well as blog posts. In my time around writing circles, one of the great myths of storytelling is the “monomyth” made famous by Joseph Campbell and his study The Hero with a Thousand Faces. In this study, Campbell examined all the great stories that withstood the test of time and found many commonalities. One of the is the nature of the hero. The great hero of each story is an outsider. He doesn’t fit nor belong. Think of Luke Skywalker in Star Wars or Neo in The Matrix. While in the world, they definitely were not of it. They stood out.

Another character in these stories is the anima, often known as the “Damsel in Distress.” This is the Hero’s equal but opposite gender. Think of Princess Leia or Trinity. The anima has a problem: she is the best of the best the world that needs to be rescued has to offer and she can’t do it. She can’t make it, nor can she rescue her people. She is too associated to the system that needs to be rescued. She needs the hero, who is outside the system, to do it for her.

All of man’s religions is little different the anima of a story trying to save their own from within their own system. It does not and cannot work. It takes someone outside the system, who is Jesus Christ, to save us. Then when He does save us, He sends us back into the world to fill the role of the hero and save people. Now we aren’t the HERO, but in each of our own lives, we are the hero (small letters on purpose), the protagonist. If we are to complete the “Hero’s Journey,” we must be outsiders, holy, separate from this world.

How do we do this? Here are some Scriptures to get started:

Proverbs 3:5: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” [emphasis mine].

Romans 12:2: “Do not conform to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…”

We cannot think, act, or operate as the world does. Next week, I’ll dig deeper into this with some practical solutions and warnings on what not to do.

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What is Your Mindset?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, April 8, 2020 0 comments


by Jason DeZurik

Over the past few weeks, we have seen two very different mindsets rearing their heads in public. It’s really easy to post cute and positive quotes from great people in history or some encouraging and uplifting song and think that we are living our lives in that way, but one has to think… are we really?

It’s easy to share or talk about living a life without fear, but once the rubber hits the road or the fecal matter hits the fan, how are we really living? Do we get anxious and fear, or do we choose to rejoice in the difficulty? We know that things are going to be difficult, but what is our mindset throughout the trial? Are we willing to face a difficulty head on, knowing that bad things could happen but trusting in God that no matter what the trial brings, we will rejoice in the Lord? If our plans are changed and we don’t know why or how this could happen, how do we deal with this outcome? What is our attitude?

For instance, if you are a follower of Jesus Christ and work in retail and you are worried about getting sick, I would ask, why are you worried and what are you worried about? Believe me, I am not judging you; I am trying to encourage you in your faith in Christ. Are Christ’s words true or not? You have to decide.

Jesus said, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:25-34)

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Pandemic Response

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, April 7, 2020 3 comments


by Chad Koons

Where is God in the pandemic? Is it judgment? Will God stop it?

The virus has greatly impacted Italy, Spain, China, the United Kingdom, the United States, and many other nations on the earth. Personally, I do not believe that the virus is the judgment of God. I believe that the Lord is right where He always is, that He is listening to our prayer and moving with His Church when they move. And I do believe that it will be stopped. But this is not a post on “why do bad things happen,” nor is this is a sermon about surrounding topics. I’ve been listening to how we have been responding to this crisis, and now I’m going to speak.

We are in a CRUCIAL moment in the history of the world, especially for the Church. How do we respond?

Christians have been saying quite a lot about the pandemic. Some good, a lot of bad. Let’s see if any of the following sounds familiar.

Here’s what Christians are saying:
Let me give you positive thoughts and encouragement!
You don’t have enough faith… so I’m going to criticize you for it!
This is the judgment of God!
Trust God, it’ll all work out.
Build your faith, here are some Scriptures…
Take this more seriously and protect the weakest among us, you idiots!
Be wise, wash your hands, and practice social distancing.
Wisdom is a code word for fear, ignore restrictions and have more faith!
Let’s do a prayer chain!
Be informed: here are the facts and statistics as theY play out…
Take it easy everyone, don’t panic!
This is horrible, I’m panicking!
We are in the end times!
I don’t know what to do so let’s joke about it!
This is all government-planned… have you heard my latest conspiracy theory?

Look at your Church, Jesus! Aren’t You proud of us?! If you can’t say “amen,” at least you can say “ouch.” Christians, what have we become? Or what have we already been? This crisis has not made us this way, it has simply revealed who we actually were. I suspect that many of us will eat our words if we haven’t already, yet I also suspect that we will learn a great deal from this whole disaster, if we are open and teachable.

To those with ears, let them hear.

Our response matters. More than any other voice, your voice as a follower of Christ matters and carries much weight. The world doesn’t need our commentary unless it is the cure, the very words of life.

We need comfort in this time, but we also need building up. We need strength. We need faith. Here are some key points that I am remembering in this crazy season that we find ourselves in:

1. Jesus hasn’t changed – Do you deeply understand that Jesus is STILL the same? There isn’t a passive version of Jesus, and there isn’t a denominational version of Him, either. He is the same as He is described in the Word of God. How does that impact your expectation of Him and His power in your life? Acts 10:38. And I’ll just say it: John 14:12.

2. The Lord is not shaken – Just read this and tell me what you think: He remains your very able help and rock of salvation. Read this a few times and build your faith for real.

3. Healing and protection are still in the Lord – Do you pray? Tell the Lord that you remember Psalm 91 and read it aloud before Him in prayer. Make your home in Him. Do not be afraid to have faith in the Lord for protection and healing.

4. We have been through this before – There is nothing new under the sun. Pandemics have come and gone, and this one will pass, too. See above!

5. There is work for you to do – Take courage. Stand up, Man of God! Stand up, Woman of God! You are NOT defeated. The Kingdom needs you, go look in the mirror and remind yourself that you are the Ambassador for Christ to the world surrounding you! Now go do something about it.

Beloved, DO NOT BE AFRAID. See who God is and say what God says. Will you be the most wise and mature version of you that you can be? Do not spread division. Do not spread fear. Do not spread conspiracy. In this season, you have been given the unique platform of being the light of the Lord to a people in the grip of social, economic, and personal terror. What will you do with this opportunity? I know what I need to do.

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Ecclesiastes 5:13-20

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, April 6, 2020 0 comments


by Katie Erickson

In last week’s passage of Ecclesiastes 5:8-12, the Teacher began discussing money and how it is meaningless in the context of eternity. Check out last week’s blog post for more on that. He continues that discussion in today’s passage of Ecclesiastes 5:13-20.

The Teacher first goes on a little rant about the first “grievous evil” he sees regarding money in verses 13-15. This has two parts: either a person hoarding wealth or a person losing wealth because of a great misfortune. Both of these situations can cause harm to people. If a person hoards wealth, he will become very greedy and never be satisfied. If a person loses great wealth, they will also be dissatisfied and it may cause great difficulty in life for that person or their children.

If the father has wasted his life being completely driven toward accumulating wealth and the son expected to receive all that wealth, when something happens and wealth is lost, both are greatly disappointed. We come into this world with nothing, and we will leave it with nothing; therefore, what’s the point of amassing so much more than we really need?

We don’t earn anything from our work that we can take with us into the next world. This world measures success by a different standard than God does. The Teacher shares this as another “grievous evil” in verses 16-17. In the context of eternity, our labor in this world really doesn’t amount to anything substantial. Yes, our jobs help the economy function and the world go ‘round, but what purpose do they have for all eternity? When our focus is on the things of this earth, it’s like we’re living in darkness and frustration all our days.

But, the Teacher does share with the reader some good news in verses 18-19. We should find satisfaction in the work we do because it is what God has given us. When God does give us an abundance of possessions, we should enjoy them because they are a great gift from God. Work is not all meaningless, but it gives purpose to our days. Money and material things are not all evil and should bring us enjoyment, as long as we’re not being greedy and selfish regarding them.

If our hope is in God, then work and possessions are good things for us to enjoy. We should strive to find meaningful work that both gives meaning to our own lives and brings hope to others. If the tasks of our jobs don’t do this, then our attitudes should do so. Our attitudes should glorify God no matter what the actual work is that we are doing (Colossians 3:23).

The summary of this section of Ecclesiastes comes in verse 20: “They seldom reflect on the days of their life, because God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart.” We should not be depressed about the past or worry about what is to come when our joy and trust are in God. When God is our focus, nothing else will be of high importance but to serve Him in whatever way He calls us to.

What are your thoughts on money, employment, and material things? How do your views on these things line up with the Teacher’s perspective? Are you focused on trusting in God for all things, or are you worrying about the things of this world that are meaningless in the scope of eternity?

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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 1 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.

READ MORE