Personal Story of God Working in My Life

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, March 31, 2014 0 comments

This week, we’re taking a break from the tough questions we’ve been covering, so that we can share stories of how God is working in and through our lives.

In these first three months of 2014, I have had a few opportunities to speak at different events. My first opportunity was in January, and I was scheduled to be the speaker at the monthly meeting of Get Real inC in Findlay, OH, a mentoring ministry for teenage girls that I’ve been involved in for three and a half years. The meeting was on a Tuesday evening, and I had my talk prepared more than a week in advance. But, on the Sunday before the meeting, I came down with the respiratory flu. Needless to say I had to back down from being the speaker for that meeting. The local leaders of Get Real were able to fill in and still have the meeting so the teenagers could meet and be encouraged for that month.

I got better from the flu after a week or so, and my speaking at Get Real was rescheduled for the following month’s meeting, in February. The day before the meeting, I started getting a sore throat and some head congestion, and my first thought was, “Oh no, not again!” I really couldn’t bail on them two months in a row!

The day of my talk, I woke up with a terrible migraine. I am prone to both colds and migraines so these things are not unusual for me, but to have both happen at the same time, right before I’m supposed to share God’s Word with these teenagers? That seemed like more than coincidence, especially after my sickness the previous month. Normally my medication for migraines will knock one out in one dose. After taking the maximum two doses plus some over-the-counter meds, it was absolutely no better. I could barely function; how was I supposed to deliver a coherent talk?

With many people praying for me (and my own prayers), I was able to get to the meeting and give my talk - titled “How to Read the Bible.” While I was giving the talk, the migraine was basically gone! After my talk ended, it came back, though not as bad as before.

Fast forward a couple more weeks, to a Friday morning. I was scheduled to be the speaker for a junior high retreat at a church camp that entire weekend. All four of my talks (plus a workshop session) were all ready to go, and I was looking forward to the experience. That morning, my shoulder started itching. Then my chest was itchy, and kept getting worse. By the time I was supposed to leave home, my entire chest and stomach were red with spots and extremely itchy. I wasn’t wearing any unusual clothes, and I hadn’t done anything out of the ordinary. I’m not prone to getting rashes of any sort, and it’s not the season for any kind of bug bites. What was going on?

The itchy rash continued the entire weekend, with a vengeance. No anti-itch cream or anything else I could find would provide any relief. But again with my prayer, I was able to persevere through the weekend, and have a pretty good time too.

By this time, I’m pretty certain that I was being spiritually attacked with physical consequences. The devil was definitely trying to derail me speaking God’s Word on each of these occasions.

I had one more speaking engagement coming up, which was doing two breakout sessions at a weekend-long local women’s retreat. I have to admit I was a little paranoid of what would happen that day, and I was more than a little surprised when I woke up that morning with absolutely nothing wrong with me physically! My sessions went wonderfully and God definitely spoke through me. But on Sunday after the retreat ended, I came down with as bad of a migraine as back in February when I spoke at Get Real.

So what’s the point of me writing all of this for you? When you are following God’s will for your life and making Him known, the devil will try and stop you. I was definitely a threat to Satan’s hold on people, by sharing God’s Word with those who are eager to learn more about it.

Throughout all of this, I kept the following passage in mind, from 1 Peter 5:8-10:

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”

If you feel like you’re being attacked, stand firm in your faith! Others are right there with you in your trials. Know that God will restore you one day, and that your suffering is worth it to bring glory to God’s name. God will be glorified in every situation!

Christian In Name Only

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, March 28, 2014 0 comments

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’, will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but only those who do the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophecy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evil doers’.” Matthew 7:21-23 (NIV)

These are difficult words from Jesus that many of us would love to just skip over. What Jesus is saying here is very hard to swallow. That many who will claim to know and to follow Christ will never get in. Wait! To be a Christian, all it takes is believing in your heart and declaring with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord, right? Romans 10:9 makes it very simple, doesn’t it?

What I believe Jesus is addressing here is the Christian-in-name-Only, or CINO for short. The person who claims to be a follower of Christ, will boldly declare God’s goodness and his grace, will perform many acts in line with God’s commands, but will be lacking a most critical aspect: a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Our relationship with Jesus is best described as a marriage, which Katie and Logan discussed in February. However, the CINO is not a traditional marriage of a lifelong covenant between a Groom and his Bride. It is, as David Wilkerson describes, a marriage of convenience. It is a marriage that wants all the benefits that come with the marriage, but there is no commitment to a relationship. It is a claim for someone who wants the name of Christ so that their reproach from sin may be taken away, but they still want to do their own thing and live their own way.

Friends, Jesus will have nothing to do with this type of relationship. Those whom Jesus talked about, those who said “Lord, Lord,” are ones who truly think they are Christians. The use of “Lord, Lord” is an emphasis of holding someone to a position of very high esteem. But Jesus said he never knew them. They will say they believe in Jesus. But so do demons. This is just intellectual acknowledgement but we are required to dig a little deeper.

The CINO does not actually follow Romans 10:9 by believing in their heart that Jesus Christ is Lord. They may claim it verbally, but they won’t live it. How do I know? Because they only actually want Jesus as Savior and not as Lord. They want him for fire insurance from hell and nothing else. They don’t want him ruling over their lives and telling them how they should act and live.

How can I say that? Because of what Jesus said at the very end of Matthew 7:23. “Away from me. I never knew you, evildoers.” That was NIV. In KJV, it says, “Depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” But the New King James Version nails it. “Depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.”

What does all this mean? “You who practice lawlessness” in other words is “you who act as though I gave you no law.” 1 John 5:2 tells us that one of the evidences that we are Christians is that we will follow God’s commands. Yes, Jesus here is telling these people they lived their own way and did not follow his commands. Check out what the Message Version of Matthew 7:23 says.

“Knowing the correct password—saying ‘Master, Master,’ for instance—isn’t going to get you anywhere with me. What is required is serious obedience—doing what my Father wills. I can see it now—at the Final Judgment thousands strutting up to me and saying, ‘Master, we preached the Message, we bashed the demons, our God-sponsored projects had everyone talking.’ And do you know what I am going to say? ‘You missed the boat. All you did was use me to make yourselves important. You don’t impress me one bit. You’re out of here.’

I don’t know about you, but that is sobering. It is a wake-up call. In the Living Bible, Jesus said “You have never been mine.”

Friends, if any of this has convicted you, this post is not about judging you. There are times where I see this behavior in me and I must repent from it. But I know I am not a CINO. Not because I said a prayer 23 years ago, but because I know God has transformed me and changed me to think his thoughts and given me a desire to seek after him. I know I am born-again because I depend upon the Lord Jesus Christ for my every-day sustenance and because I have a relationship with him. He lives in my heart and I press onward towards the goal of giving Jesus complete and total dominion of every area of my life. I know Jesus and more important, he knows me, intimately.

Friends, whether you are an atheist, an agnostic, a Christian-in-Name-Only, or even an honest follower of Christ and have fallen to the desires of your sinful self, you do not have to stay that way. No matter where you are, Jesus Christ came to save you. Don’t try to make it on your own. It won’t work. Don’t try to set the terms. You are not in a position of negotiation. Come to Christ on his terms. And his terms are very simple: “Give me all of you and I will give you all of me.”

God is Holy - That's Why We Can Trust Him

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, March 27, 2014 0 comments

I want you to think back to a time in your life where you really had to trust someone to have your best interest in mind when you were unsure of how things would turn out. In reality, we all have to do that a lot more often than we think. The first time you get on an airplane, you have to trust that the pilots have your safety in mind, even though you likely don’t know them. When you order food at a restaurant, you have to trust that the preparers and servers do not want you to get sick and will do what is necessary to make sure that doesn’t happen. If you’ve ridden a roller coaster, you trusted that the park employees and even the engineers of the ride had your best interest in mind. These are all people we don’t really KNOW and we probably don’t spend much time thinking about the threats associated with their potential negligence.

I’m thinking more specifically of some times in my life when a gigantic unknown was staring me right in the face and the only way I could move forward from paralyzing fear to joyous freedom was to trust in someone who not only knew about the other side of that unknown but also knew and loved ME and did not want my destruction. I think about when my brother and I had to learn to swim. We were terrified, but our trust was in our dad who would not let us drown. I think about learning to ride a bike. Again, my trust was in my dad. There were many other firsts in my life for which I had to trust in my parents, as well as other adventures as an adult where I had to trust in the advice of mentors or Godly friends who I believed deeply cared for me. I’m sure all of you can come up with some such moments in your lives as well.

The practice of trusting in God is often compared to the way an innocent and helpless child trusts in his parents. While this is somewhat accurate, there are some differences. Despite all the times my parents did not let me down and did keep me safe, there are a few memories of times where I was hurt by their mistakes or poor judgment. God may allow me to go through some suffering to help me grow or to reveal himself to others, but he does not make mistakes or judge wrongly. Another major difference is that I can see my parents and my knowledge of their presence does not rely on faith. I cannot see God. I also have no reason to think that God favors me over anyone else in creation like my parents do, so my faith and trust can’t be in anything else but his good and holy nature.

God has really been putting on my heart lately how important this is when we face false accusations, when others misunderstand or misrepresent things we say, or when others spread rumors to damage our reputations. The prophet Habakkuk in the Old Testament was brought to a point of questioning what in the world God was doing. In Habakkuk 1:2, he asks, “How long, O Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen?” You have probably uttered those words to God at some point in your life. Habakkuk was confused because God had been allowing “wicked” nations to basically have their way with Israel, God’s chosen people. The prophet couldn’t understand why God would allow pagan nations to punish Israel when those other nations were even more sinful, at least in the eyes of the Israelites. When God assures him in Habakkuk 1:5-6 that he is still in control and that the Babylonians (possibly the worst of them all) will be used to carry out God’s punishment on Israel, Habakkuk has a choice to either give up on his faith or stand firm believing that God knows what is best. Rather than find hope in his own understanding of God’s plan, Habakkuk stands firm on God’s holiness. “O Lord, are you not from everlasting? My God, my Holy One, we will not die. O Lord, you have appointed them to execute judgment; O Rock, you have ordained them to punish. Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong” (1:12-13a).

Habakkuk went on to ask more questions, but when nothing else made sense to him he stood on God’s holiness. He accepted that God’s nature required him to punish Israel for their sin, but also trusted that it meant he would hold the Babylonians accountable for their wickedness. Habakkuk’s trust that God’s nature would prevail meant that he didn’t need to worry about making sure the Babylonians faced their due consequences. Do you find yourself getting defensive when others try to harm you, or say untrue things about you, or seem to be getting away with what they did to you? If you stand firm on God’s holiness like Habakkuk did, you can be set free from that need to control something that only God can handle. You can trust that God will never allow injustice (as he sees it) to win because his HOLY name is on the line!

Jesus was the best example of this. Read about his trial with the Sanhedrin shortly before he is killed in Matthew 26:57-68. The chief priests and the Sanhedrin try to find false evidence against him, but they can’t. Many other false witnesses come forward, but Jesus says nothing. Even when they misunderstand something Jesus did say and basically accuse him of terrorism, he still refuses to defend himself. When he does speak, he only testifies to the truth of his identity. When they physically attack him, he still does not fight back. In a parallel story in Luke 22, Jesus even heals the ear of the servant of the high priest after one of his disciples cuts it off with a sword (vv. 50-51). These stories not only show the remarkable holiness of Jesus as God in the flesh (they couldn’t find any legitimate evidence against him), but also his firm faith and trust as a man in the holiness of his Father. Because he trusted in his Father’s will and his holy nature, Jesus did not need to defend himself verbally or physically.

How can you apply the examples of Habakkuk and Jesus to your life? When you feel wronged by someone else and feel like they are getting away with it, admit to yourself and to God that you don’t know the big picture as he does and you don’t know the future. God does and his holy nature is not one of the things you can depend on – it’s the ONLY THING!

Let’s Be Honest About What Science Is

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, March 25, 2014 2 comments

What is science? The 2004 Encyclopedia Britannica says science is “any system of knowledge that is concerned with the physical world and its phenomena and that entails unbiased observations and systematic experimentation. In general, a science involves a pursuit of knowledge covering general truths or the operations of fundamental laws.” Linus Pauling wrote, “Science is the search for the truth.”

Does this fit with today’s use of science in many cases?

According to Paul Nelson, Ph. D., philosophy of biology, “A healthy science is a science that seeks the truth.”

It's been said many times that creation is not scientific because it has as part of its core a Creator—a supernatural being which forces the idea out of the realms of science. Is this true? Is science only concerned with natural processes? What if secular scientists are shutting their ears to the truth simply because it leads to a spiritual place? We're all familiar with the mainstream's attempts at silencing creation theory and anyone that seems to remotely support it. What if the only way to explain the universe and life is the very thing they've decided ahead of time is not true?

I personally believe the evolutionist will make claims like this simply because it makes it appear to the misinformed or unthinking to embarrass those who claim to believe in creation as naive or childish people. It says, “You're too stupid to discuss this with REAL scientists because your “theory” isn't even REAL science.” What’s interesting to note is that when you read articles about why creation theory is not scientific, if you didn’t know they were writing about creationism, you could easily assume they’re discussing evolutionism. You see, the two are similar in their weaknesses concerning science. However, the creationist is willing to let the evidence lead them to the truth while the secularist is unwilling to allow the evidence to take them to a place that leads to the supernatural. As Dr. Jason Lisle said, “As an analogy, consider people studying the construction of a car. Can you imagine one of them arguing, ‘We must assume this car came about by the forces of nature acting over time with no designer as we study how it works, even though we know this isn’t true?’ Such an approach would be absurd. Yet some people use effectively the same approach when studying God’s creation.”

So is the beginning of the universe something science can tell us about then? Well, I suggest that the entire category of “science” concerning origins is a philosophical one more than a scientific one. What about Darwinian evolution? Is this “science?” Many would say it's not only science but settled science. I suggest it's neither. It's a philosophically driven interpretation of the scientific data. We gather information and, based on our philosophical foundation, form conclusions. The evidence for/against Darwinism is the same evidence for/against creationism. They are both conclusions based on one's worldview. Ken Ham said in his debate with Bill Nye that we all use the same evidence—creationist and evolutionist alike but how we interpret that evidence differs. THAT is the debate—not the evidence itself but how it is viewed.

So can the origins question(s) be based on natural processes as the secularists claim? The origin of nature could not have occurred via natural processes since natural processes only exist in nature. If it is true that everything which has a beginning requires a cause and science has told us the universe and, therefore, nature, had a beginning, it also had a cause. This is similar to Aristotle's Prime Mover. If everything has a cause, if you go back far enough to the beginning of time, something must have initiated everything. This, by definition, is outside the scope of naturalism. Something had to start it all which means that something, by definition, is beyond nature which means it's not science if we hold to the secularist's view. Nature by definition could not have originated via natural processes because natural processes exist only in nature. Are you tracking with me?

“It is often said that science must avoid any conclusions which smack of the supernatural. But this seems to me to be both bad logic and bad science. Science is not a game in which arbitrary rules are used to decide what explanations are to be permitted. Rather, it is an effort to make true statements about physical reality.”—Dr. Behe

This statement by Dr. Behe is it in a nutshell. The evolutionist wants to make the rules up as he goes so as to make his argument the only one that is even allowed on the table. I feel that this sort of censorship, which is exactly what it is, is unhealthy for scientific discovery and stunts the intellectual advancement of a society. Many of the brightest minds science has boasted were creationists. In fact, nearly every major branch of science, including biology, was founded by a creationist. Science, to me, is a thirst for understanding how our awesome Creator made this place and how He causes it to function. I'm filled with awe at the idea of life. The complexity of the human body alone is something you could study your entire life and still know less about it than you don't know. What of the universe and its mysteries? To begin your study of life with the exclusion of the Author of it means you cannot find the truth. To search for an answer to how life began by stating unambiguously from the start that a Designer will not be accepted as the source is not science and, frankly, not honest. Evolutionism (the belief in a single common ancestor that changed over time to give us the current biodiversity of the planet) is not science. It excludes an answer prior to investigation—an answer which many believe is the correct one.

Science is the “search for truth.” Since adherents of evolution from a single common ancestor are not honestly searching for truth, it is invalidated as science.

“Come let us reason together...”---God

God’s Not Dead – Movie Review

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, March 24, 2014 0 comments

I have had many debates with atheists, agnostics, Christians, young-earth creationists, old-earth creationists, theistic evolutionists, and everything in between. In all those debates I have found one very interesting common thread. Every one of these people who have rejected the Gospel, who have rejected the Biblical accounts, do so for one of two reasons: moral or emotional.

When I say “moral”, I am not saying an atheist cannot be moral. Some are moral. But in these cases, I find there is one particular thing that these people who reject God really want to keep a hold of and that something is rooted in sin. And in many cases, it is simply the desire to rule one’s own life and to not allow a deity to rule over them. That is simply known as pride, or the idolatry of “I”.

The other reason is for emotional reasons. Many times, someone who grew up in the church had someone in their life get serious hurt or died. A loved one is killed in a wreck or is diagnosed with a terminal disease. In some cases, the problems are other Christians. Someone in my family was a deacon and he walked away from the church and at least mostly he faith when he was told not to bring his junker car to church for the sake of the church’s image.

So when we deal with unbelievers, we have to remember that many of them carry baggage with them. And this is something a young college student encounters when he enters a philosophy class in the movie God’s Not Dead. His professor with a wounded past, has a personal agenda to destroy the faith of any Christian and to deny God’s existence. And when the student cannot follow through on the first assignment by writing “God is dead” on a paper and sign it, the student must defend himself, prove that God exists, in front of the class, or fail the class.

Walking into this movie, I had a few questions primarily about the script and would it be too obvious about what is going on or would it be obviously set up. But I was overall impressed with the movie. We look into the lives of several people. A Christian freshman who can’t ignore the promptings of the Holy Spirit to make a stand for his faith. His girlfriend who he met at church and has their to-be upper-class lives planned out. A daughter of a traditional Muslim family but secretly is hiding her Christian faith. A businessman who is very successful and living the life of luxury. A blogger who wants to bash the beliefs of any public Christian figure, namely Duck Dynasty leader, Willie Robertson, and the Newsboys. A pastor hosting a missionary from Africa trying to take him on a vacation to Florida. All these lives interact with each other in some way and ultimately they all must come face to face with the question: “Is God real?”

The situation in the movie is not the stereotypical case in all college philosophy classes, but in reality the cases are just more subtle than the movie portrays. The movie was inspired by over a dozen legal cases in college universities across America where Christians or Christian organizations faced silencing or expulsion from the campus for whatever reason. The movie does not tell us the need to be ready to give an answer for what we believe. It shows us the need and it shows us one way we can do it. It is a great tool we can use to present the Gospel in an un-offensive setting of a movie theater. I strongly recommend watching this movie.

Is God Holy?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On 0 comments

Christians claim that our God is holy. But what does that mean, and why can we make that claim? As I’m sure you’ve been noticing from our recent blog posts, we at Worldview Warriors hold to the teachings of the Bible. It is from the Bible that we learn about who God is, what God is like, what God wants us to do, and how much God loves us.

First of all, what does it mean to be holy? Go read this post for a full definition. Simply put, being holy is being completely pure, blameless, and without sin. None of us as humans can measure up to that; we are all impure and sinful.

So what does the Bible say about God’s holiness? Here are just a few passages:
1 Samuel 2:2... “There is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.”
Isaiah 6:3... “And they were calling to one another: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.’”
Hosea 11:9b... “For I am God, and not a man—the Holy One among you. I will not come against their cities.”
Exodus 3:4-5... “When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, ‘Moses! Moses!’ And Moses said, ‘Here I am.’ ‘Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.’”
Revelation 4:8... “Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.’”

This last passage from Revelation is especially interesting, because it repeats the word “holy” three times. This is significant to note because repetition like this means the idea is being expressed with as much passion and force as possible. This shows the complete and supreme holiness of God.

But what if you don’t want to believe these verses and what the Bible says about God’s holiness? Well let’s think about this logically. We as human beings are sinful. The definition of a “god” is something or someone that we worship, and that we hold in higher regard than ourselves. If we are sinful (which we are), would you want a god who is sinful like you? Would you want a god who is as flawed as you? No! A god like that wouldn’t be a god at all. Simply because we are not holy means that our God must be holy, or He wouldn’t be greater than us.

What do you believe about God’s holiness? Why do you believe that He is or isn’t holy? Share your thoughts in a comment and we’ll discuss.

Dead Man Walking - Escaping Porn, Lust, and Evil Desires

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Saturday, March 22, 2014 0 comments

Like most young men who grew up in middle class America, during my teenage years, I was introduced to pornography. For those who get hooked, each has their own reason for why it captured them. Mine was curiosity initially, and then became the ability to see what was “secret” or hidden. Eventually, I found that it fed something in me as a teen. During those years of difficult adjustments to life, cliques among other teens, dating, etc. – porn became an odd sense of validation. And later in my 20’s it became something I no longer wanted, but still seemed to have a hold over me.

As I grew in my relationship with God and His validation of my life became more important, I found strength to overcome the hook of porn. But continued to wrestle. Freedom from porn itself was actually easy. Freedom from the triggers and desires it once soothed, was not so easy. As I have talked with other men, I realized that this sense of validation is really at the heart of the hook. And it’s the same hook for teens who cut themselves, for sexting, for lust, for drunkenness, and a host of other sexual and/or addictive behavior. The hook is not so much what the activity or desire is, but what we feel it gives us or satisfied in us. For example, teens who cut themselves often describe themselves as being completely numb about life, but when they cut themselves and see the blood flow, they are reminded they are alive. This coupled with the endorphin high from the pain, leads to a euphoric sense that they can live another day.

Colossians 3:2-5 says, “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you will also be revealed with Him in glory. Therefore, consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, and in them you also once walked, when you were living among them.”

Notice what this passage says – ‘immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire and greed, amount to idolatry.’ This was a HUGE awakening for me. Why?

Well what is idolatry? It is worshipping an image or a thing or an idea as if it were God. Another way of saying it is, idolatry is expecting something less than God to provide something that only God can really satisfy.

Any desire of the flesh, including the desire for money, that we attempt to satisfy by any means other than God is idolatry. Once I realized that I was expecting porn to fulfill something inside of me, and that even participating in viewing it was actively worshipping it for what it was “giving” to me, I was able to pull the “hook” out of my life and set it aside. That doesn’t mean it isn’t a temptation. ALL things that are idolatry have a strong temptation that we need to continuously and consciously reject. The desire to earn money – when money becomes what we focus on and try to continuously gain, we are chasing a lifestyle or materials things that we believe will “get” us something. It doesn’t have to be a tangible thing we “get” either. It can just be the feeling of relief or ease that comes with engaging in spending the money, or viewing our huge bank account.

The same effect happens to those who are obese or those who are anorexic. The idol of being thin, or the idol of being insulated from some hurt, or the idol of food induced endorphin rushes, are all the same. We are seeking a material activity or thing to provide a satisfaction that only God can. The worst part of idolatry is that it is “empty” gratification. In fact the word “idolatry” in the Bible carries the idea of worshiping what is empty or nothingness.

How do we break addictions/idolatry? Look at the very first verse in the passage above. We have to first set our minds on being satisfied by God. It takes an active resistance, and may even take us speaking it out loud when temptation is really strong. It takes friends who are willing to call our bluff, and help us get back on track when they know we have fallen short. It takes a firm stance that God alone will be our source of life and satisfaction. Even 12 step groups know this – the first step is to acknowledge we are not in control, and then to acknowledge we need (and need to follow) a higher power.

The next verse is a bit trickier. “For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ is God.” The simplest explanation of this, is that when we set our minds on being satisfied by God alone, we must treat the desires of our flesh as if they do not exist. We need to deny them, and treat them as if they are dead. If we are a follower of Jesus Christ, we have committed our life to follow him, and as such we declare our fleshly/selfish desires and goals are dead, and we now live the life God has prepared for us. We even physically demonstrate that when we are Baptized. We go backwards into the water, dying to the life we lived, and are brought up out of the water being raised to the life that Christ offers. We align ourselves with His death and resurrection, and make the public statement that we have given our lives over to His love, power and purposes.

Are you struggling with an addiction?

What is it you are trying to satisfy? What wound are you trying to cover or heal on your own?

No matter where you are, or how afraid you are, the addiction/idol only has power as long as you give it power. And as long as it has power it will suck the life out of you, your relationships, and your family. Stand up to the empty idol, show it that it has no power, by giving yourself to the one who is all-powerful.

Start with acknowledging you are not in control of your addiction, then seek God to be your higher power to dig out the roots of it.

Get some trusted friends who will call your bluff and help you take one step forward at a time.

As God begins to heal you, and bring freedom, He will also show you again and again that what He has for your life is amazingly satisfying, fulfilling, and guilt free. Best of all, he will position you to help brings others to freedom and get rid of their idols too.

The Life of a Christian

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, March 21, 2014 0 comments

What does it mean to be a Christian? The name “Christian” has become somewhat clich├ęd in American culture and many who call themselves Christians really don’t have a clue of what the name with which they identify actually means. This is something we are all learning more and more but in this post, I want to address what it means to be a Christian. Most people think that Christianity is just another religion. Just a set of beliefs and policies that we follow for the betterment of ourselves and our society. That is what it is treated as by the general world around us. The title “Christian” was actually a mockery when it was first coined. It literally means “little Christ”. It was meant as a derogatory term but it actually accurately describes what we are supposed to be: a “little Christ”. An image of Christ. An imitator of Christ.

To be a Christian requires that you recognize and admit that you are a sinner and to place your hope and your trust on the Savior, Jesus Christ. This can only be done in faith. Not blind faith which is a “just because with no real reason to believe it”, but a confident faith that enables you to move forward as though it is true. All the Old Testament saints could be called Christians, even though Jesus had not died on the cross yet. Why? Because they looked forward to the Savior. They placed their hope, their trust, on the Savior to come. We look backwards to our Savior for what he did on the Cross and we place our hope and our trust in him. It doesn’t take much. The thief on the cross just asked Christ if he would remember him. He leaned on Christ for his hope, his future after death.

Today, however, too many churches treat being a Christian as just saying the “Sinner’s Prayer”. I am not against saying the Sinner’s Prayer, but I am against using the proclamation of saying that prayer as the key evidence that shows that you are a Christian. James 2:18 tells us that faith will be shown and demonstrated by works. If we believe that Jesus died for our sins, if we truly believe that Jesus did that, we will live our lives or strive to live our lives to reflect that belief.

In 1 John 5:2, we are given one evidence we can use to see if we are Christians. If we are born again: if we follow Christ’s commands. It’s simple obedience. Abraham believed and obeyed. It was credited to him as righteousness. God’s commands are not hard, according to 1 John 5:3. But they certainly seem hard. Why? Because we have an enemy.

Jesus warned us that to follow him means more than partaking in his blessings, but also partaking in his suffering. Jesus had moments of popularity, but he wasn’t popular for his messages. He was popular for his miracles. After one sermon in John 6, many left Jesus and quit following him because Jesus did not hold back what it would take to follow him. Jesus is not about winning a popularity contest. He does not care about the opinion of others. He even turned to his disciples and asked if they wanted to leave too. He only cared about the will of his Father. He only did what he saw his Father doing and he only said what he heard his Father sayings. And as a “little Christ” that is what we are supposed to do. We are to only do what God is doing and only say what God is saying. We are to follow Christ no matter what the cost or how others will treat us.

To be a Christian is to rock the boat. Jesus rocked the boat of the world he lived in. He disturbed the peace. What do I mean by that? Jesus came to establish a new Kingdom, a new way of thinking, a new way of living, a new identity. His Kingdom is not of this world. It does not act like this world does. It is not ruled by kings and emperors, but by servants. It is not glorified by the proud and by the media, but by the meek and the humble. God cannot increase his Kingdom by our increase, by our fame. Not that trying to reach out to the masses is wrong, but God’s Kingdom increases the most by us decreasing. When we draw attention away from ourselves and reflect any that comes our way towards Christ. We are to be mirrors of Christ. When people look at us, they should see a reflection of Christ. When we go about our daily lives, we need to keep in constant contact with our source: Christ.

Jesus is not interested in setting us free from the death sentence our sins deserve alone. He wants us to die to our sin. Paul, in Romans 6:1 asks of if we are freed from sin, if we should continue in sin so that grace may abound. NO! We are to die to our sin. We are to not react to it. Not respond to it. To not give it any space. It does not mean we won’t fall. Our sin nature, as a Christian, is beaten, but not yet destroyed. There is a difference between those two. God is in the process of cleansing us and purifying us so that sinful nature is bit by bit weakened and drawn out like drawing poison from a wound. As a Christian we are a work in progress. God is not done with us yet. But let us strive forward and press towards the final goal of being a pure, spotless Bride by laying our lives before the Cross, dying daily to our selfish desires and wishes, but live wholly and purely for the man who died to save our souls from both the Pit of Hell and our own evil. To be a Christian means to no longer live for your own wishes, desires, or dreams, but to lay them all down at the feet of Jesus Christ. And in return, Jesus will give you his wishes, his desires, and his dreams. And they are far better than anything we could ever hope to have.

Is Homosexuality a Sin? Only Because it Misses the Mark

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, March 20, 2014 0 comments

I had a very telling experience earlier today. As lead pastor of a small congregation, I’m the one who gets called to go and visit those who are even loosely associated with our church body when they are in a hospital or nursing home. Today, I was visiting a younger man who is in a nursing home and rehabilitation center for at least the next month. His mother has been by his side every time I’ve been there and today, her cousin came by as I was preparing to leave. This man was probably in his seventies and as soon as he heard that I was their pastor, he began to share about his ministry experience. I only talked to him for less than ten minutes, but because of his forwardness I heard a lot of judgments and opinions in that very short time. He said he was a deacon at his church and asked me if I had talked to the man in the nursing home “about his soul” yet. I said I had and the elderly gentleman went on to talk about how “God doesn’t like sin”. Eventually, he brought up homosexuality and said he didn’t understand how many can say they are born homosexuals because “God don’t make no junk”. When I quickly responded that I do not consider homosexuals or anyone “junk” and that I don’t believe God does either, the man was suddenly nodding his head in agreement. It seemed to me that his hurtful and strong condemnation of homosexuals was only because it was what he thought I would want to hear.

This experience was just the latest reminder to me of just how divided Christians are on the issue of homosexuality. Many speak words of condemnation almost because they’ve been falsely taught that is how Christians “should” address sin. In response to that condemnation or simply to justify their own sins, many other believers have declared that homosexuality is not a sin. I’ve heard some people declare recently that simply calling homosexuality “sin” is “hateful”, “condemning”, or “judgmental”. I’m not sure how we got to that point. I get that there are those out there who call themselves “believers” who express condemnation toward other sinners. The man I referenced above would be one such man, whether he knows it or not. But that should not mean that expressing truth from a Biblical worldview gets treated the same as someone referring to another human being created in God’s image as “junk”.

Because of the strong feelings brought on by this discussion no matter what belief you have, I feel it’s important to explain what we mean when we call ANYTHING “sin”. Too often, we try to determine what is and is not sin based on what other people say. That defeats the whole purpose of the meaning of the word! In the Old Testament, there are three different words for “sin”, with some different variations of those words, according to William Mounce. One of those words is a verb that actually means “to miss the mark”. You can find it in Judges 20:16, where the writer says there were “seven hundred chosen men who were left-handed, each of whom could sling a stone at a hair and not MISS” (caps mine). The same exact word is used more figuratively in Joshua 7:11, where God says that “Israel has SINNED; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep” (caps mine). When you or I sin, it’s like we have a target placed in front of us and we miss it completely. Once you take that shot and miss, you can’t undo it. It’s done. All you can do is take another shot!

So, why is this important for understanding homosexuality as sin? First of all, if you do not believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord, it’s pointless to try to understand what is and is not sin. If you have no relationship with Jesus, there’s no reason to try to please him or to follow him as the way, the truth, and the life. So it has to start there and once you’ve chosen to follow him, his Holy Spirit “will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13). If you do believe in him and follow him, the Holy Spirit is still your guide! One of the primary ways in which he guides us is through his Word. At the very beginning of Genesis, God specifically unites a man and a woman as “one flesh” (Gen. 2:24). In Romans 1:26-27, Paul refers to homosexual relations as “unnatural” and “indecent”. These words sound hurtful and maybe even hateful and probably stir those emotions in many of us, but the point I believe Paul is trying to make is that they are MISSING the mark God had set before them. He’s not condemning any one sinner more than another. In fact, he goes on to list more than twenty additional ways that human beings miss God’s mark in the following five verses. Just to be clear that he doesn’t condemn one sinner over another, Paul sets the record straight in the very first verse after he lists all the sins. “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things” (Romans 2:1). Wow!

Friends, we all miss God’s mark for us. We can’t rely on how we “feel” because we didn’t create ourselves. God created us and that is why he gets to set our target. Our target is doing his will because that is the best and most abundant life we can possibly have. If you struggle with feelings of homosexual attraction, that is not from God. But that doesn’t make you a horrible person. It certainly doesn’t condemn you. That feeling is something the devil is trying to use to pull you away from your target the same way he tries to use my feelings of anger, lust, or pride to pull me away from God’s will. When I have those feelings, I MUST surrender them to Christ, the only One who can set me free from their entrapment. I don’t always surrender them. I miss the mark. But even then, my choice to surrender to God or not is in whether I repent and move forward. I love the way the Apostle John puts it. “If we claim to be without sin (meaning we try to say our actions or feelings are within God’s will and plan for us), we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8-9 [addition mine]). That’s God’s promise to ALL of you, including anyone who has had homosexual feelings or even committed homosexual acts. You are no worse than me and you are certainly not “junk” in God’s eyes or in mine. He wants to put you back on target just like he does every day with me!

Radical Ministries

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, March 19, 2014 0 comments

We were almost halfway through the week and I was still conflicted about where I was going to be attending church on Sunday. Trinity was friendly but I really did not feel the Spirit of God calling me there. One of my dilemmas was that Bible 101 shuttled people to church on Sunday mornings but it was so far away that I did not want to spend half of my Sunday off campus when I could be studying or doing homework. Fortunately, there were many campus ministries around, maybe one of them had a solution?

I had just been attending a study hall session (as was required for all athletes) and I happened to come across a flier that read, “Radical Ministries: Food, Friends, and Fellowship with our Lord.” It met multiple times a week and there was a meeting tonight! I decided that after I was finished with class and practice I would stop down and check it out.

Later that night, while I was half exhausted and ready to fill my stomach, I decided to stop by Radical instead. One of the neat things about this place was that it had its own building. The meeting was set to start at 7pm and I arrived at 6:45. I walked in to discover that this building doubled as an art gallery. It was definitely something I did not expect, but it was an interesting twist. I could smell coffee brewing in the back.

“Hello!” I called out. I did not immediately see anyone. A thin gentleman with a mustache poked his head out around the corner.

“O, hey, you’re early. You must be new around here. I’m Pastor Doug, the campus minister.”

“Cool, I’m Ryan, it’s good to meet you.”

“Come in, come in, don’t be shy. Hey would you mind helping me carry a few things over to the table?”

This building was bigger than what it looked from the outside. The back of it was a kitchen and a small living area with a TV. As we neared the back I smelled more than just coffee, there was also food!

“I hope you like German food. That’s our theme for tonight.”

Inside the kitchen waiting for us were plates of sausage, cabbage, and cream puffs. It looked and smelled incredible.

“I don’t know that I have ever had authentic German food before, but this looks good to me!”

“Great. This will be a good night.”

Thus far Radical Ministries is looking, well, radical! What does God have in store for Ryan through this ministry? Find out next time as he becomes familiar with the radical crowd.

Is Homosexuality a Sin?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, March 17, 2014 2 comments

I want to start this post with a very important truth: God loves you. He made you in His image, and He carefully knit you together in your mother’s womb.

There are multiple Bible passages I could quote here that say homosexuality is a sin. But I want to make something clear up front: there is a difference between the act of homosexuality, and the struggle of dealing with it. This is similar to other sins; for example, the act of lying is different than the struggle of dealing with lying. The act of killing a person is different than the struggle of dealing with murderous thoughts. Keep that thought in mind as you continue reading this post.

Leviticus 18:22 says, “Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.” If you go read the entire chapter of Leviticus 18, you’ll see that it’s pretty specific about all sorts of sexual practices that God does not allow - not just homosexuality as in verse 22. I wrote a two weeks ago about how sexual sin is different from other sins because it happens in your body rather than outside it. Perhaps that’s why God devotes the entire chapter of Leviticus 18 to variations on this topic? The desire for sex is also an innate urge within human beings. God created us with that desire so we could experience its pleasure, but the sin of mankind has corrupted that.

Is homosexuality a sin? Yes. Are there plenty of other sins a person can commit? Yes. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 gives a fairly extensive list: “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

Have you struggled with being sexually immoral, or being an idolater, or being greedy, or any of the other things on that list? Guess what - you’re human! Every person struggles with sin, because we’re all born with original sin.

They key thing to remember is this: if you realize that you’re committing a sin, then you can ask God to help you through the temptation. If a person realizes they have a problem with lying, they can ask God for help to recognize that trap and avoid it. If a person realizes they are a homosexual, they can ask God for help to recognize that and avoid falling into sinful acts because of it.

Is there hope for a person who is a homosexual? Of course - Jesus loves people unconditionally! We all commit sin, and that is exactly why Jesus came to live on this earth, die, and be raised back to life again. Remember the hope we have in Jesus, through John 3:16-17: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

When the Mormons Came Knocking

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Saturday, March 15, 2014 0 comments

In my previous blog I mentioned that I tried to take Jesus seriously about hospitality, even to those who come to “sell me” their religion. And I shared briefly about one major departure from the Truth that the Jehovah’s Witnesses believe.

We often feel ill-equipped to have a discussion, because we don’t know our Bible, we don’t understand Jesus, or we don’t know what others believe. (I shared some resources at the end of that Blog that will help you understand the Bible better.) Let’s unpack another conversation I had with two young Mormon men who came to my door one afternoon. My hope is that it brings some clarity to the differences between Following Christ, and what Mormons believe.

These two young men came to the door, on a day where I was particularly well rested, clear minded, and hospitable. I know that, because like most of you, that is not normally how I feel toward the end of a work day. J It was a warm day, but comfortable, so we sat out on the porch and I thanked them for stopping by. They asked me if I knew the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to which I responded, “yes, I do. It is really good news isn’t it?” They were energized and began to talk to me about Bible passages. We had rousing discussion and enjoyed hearing about each other’s lives and faith journey. We hit a couple of points where we began to disagree on the interpretation of passages, but they remained energized and excited, as did I. It was like having a great theological discussion with friends. The red headed young man, then asked me if I had heard of the further testament of Jesus Christ. I told them that I did, and that I had a copy. He was shocked and asked if I was Mormon. I light heartedly said, “No, but I figured if I was going to have discussions like this, I should at least know a few points about where you are coming from.”

After another few minutes of conversation, I knew we had to start wrapping things up, for their sake and my family’s sake. They wanted to move toward evangelizing me, and I wanted to leave them with something to think about. So, I said this, “Look guys, I totally respect the effort you are making, and how difficult it is to face rejection all day long, in order to have a chance to share your faith. I applaud your boldness and your courage. I appreciate the amount of studying and preparation you have undergone, and the psychological conditioning you have been brought through – you probably have identified at least six different psychological perspectives that I have presented in my conversation with you by now…” They both nodded and smiled. “Let me level with you, neither of us is going to convince each other in one day, on my front porch. We clearly all believe strongly what we believe.” Again they nodded.

I said, “Here is where I get stuck with Mormonism, and please hear no attack or disrespect, I am just sharing from what I have studied also. I know the book of Mormon says in the book of Nephi that non-believers will say, ‘my bible, my bible’ and not listen to you and the prophets. But I hope you know I am not trying to just throw scriptures up to avoid talking about Truth.”

They said, “Please go ahead, we want to hear what you think.”

I continued, “When I read about Joseph Smith (the founder of Mormonism), and I dig into his story, I see a young man who was heartbroken over the Christian church he attended and the corruption he apparently saw. I see someone who very much wanted to be a revolutionary when it came to fixing what was wrong with the church. The problem is, studies of the “Egyptian tablet” he found prove it doesn’t say what he claims it did. The further revelation he claims to have received from Jesus directly counters much of the Bible’s teaching (when understood through its own context). The idea that God is having endless celestial sex to populate the earth, that Father-God took on physical form to impregnate Mary, that Jesus and Satan are brothers who fought over how to fix humanity’s sinfulness, and that we will one day become gods over our own planets if we live well enough is more mythological than anything. With the Bible, I see historical, archeological, or supernatural evidences that are well documented in world history. With Mormonism, I hear a lot of personal testimonies, but nothing more substantial. I do take the Bible on faith, but I also see God’s activity impacting and changing the world in line with what the Bible teaches. I do not see the same evidences with Mormonism or the Book of Mormon. At the end of the day, I am saddened by Joseph Smith’s story, because I see a man who could have had incredible potential to reform the church, but in his bitterness and frustration was lead astray into experientialism and good works. Again, that is my perspective, and I certainly don’t mean it as an offense against you. You are brilliant young men and I respect your efforts.”

They affirmed that they were not offended, and thanked me for being honest and transparent with them. Of course they didn’t agree with me, but they admitted they had many questions themselves. And they affirmed their testimonies (which is Mormon speak for – my experience is why I believe).

I asked them if I could pray with/for them. They said yes. I asked God to take their hunger for Truth and to lead them into His Truth. I prayed for them to never settle on what a “prophet” says but to settle on the Word of God. I asked God to lead them by His Holy Spirit to continually have their eyes unmasked and that they would see Jesus for who He really is. We shook hands, they thanked me, and we parted ways.

2 Timothy 4:1-5 says, “In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.”

I wish I could say that I am always ready for these conversations. But I am human, and often want to duck and cover, or just not be bothered with taking the time. That day, I did what Paul charged us to do. And I trust God will take those young men’s open hearts and minds and lead them away from the mythological beliefs of Joseph Smith, and the personal experiences of others that do not reflect who God really is.

Embracing deep conversation with those who disagree with us, and not losing hold of God’s Truth can difficult if we are not prepared. Jesus took the time to engage the Pharisees and other religious leaders of the day. He loved, corrected and prayed for them – as did Paul. Jesus was prepared, and had to spend time preparing. Are we?

Will the religious salesman, or anyone, who comes to your door, see the real Jesus?

Telenomy: Design or Chance?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, March 14, 2014 3 comments

How did life get here? There are two major competing theories and ideas about it: Evolution and Creation, namely Biblical Creation. There really are not any alternative options. Life was created intelligently or it came about without it on its own. I’ve been reading a very interesting book called “The Natural Sciences Know Nothing of Evolution” by A.E. Wilder-Smith, a brilliant scientist with 3 PhDs in Chemistry. In his book, Wilder-Smith talks about a very critical aspect to life that Evolution cannot account for: telenomy, also known “know-how” or intelligence.

This is something Wilder-Smith really emphasizes in his book and it is something no one should just pass off easily. Telenomy is described by Wilder-Smith as the imputing of intelligence onto a machine to perform a useful function. Every piece of technology or tool or device we use today was designed with telenomy. Last week, I talked about how energy is always destructive unless there is a mechanism that can control and direct that energy. Every such mechanism requires telenomy for it to work. We can take the energy from the sun or from the wind or from fire and direct it into a mechanical use to create electric power or run a motor, or weld etc. We can create a myriad of metal or plastic parts and put them together to create a working car. There is no question that a welding torch, a light bulb, or a car was designed. It carries telenomic properties.

However, when it comes to life, where the functions are significantly more complex, and require far more precision, many people have no problem saying these came out completely by itself. You see, what Evolution stipulates is that everything we see today, all matter, all life, all everything came about without the aid of any outside intelligence source, or without any telenomy. A frequent analogy Wilder-Smith uses fits perfectly. Even if it were possible for nature to come up with the conditions to generate the chemistry of life, it would be no different than chemistry completely randomly coming up with the pages of a book, with the text included. This alone requires natural processes that are simply never observed to ever happen. But for sake of argument, let us suggest that it were possible. We are then forced to ask the question: Can the book (literally) write itself? This is to the average person simply preposterous. Everyone knows that no book can write itself. It had to be written by someone. Yet, chemically, DNA behaves just like a book, only far more complex.

You see, the English alphabet consists of 26 letters and using those 26 letters, we can create endless combinations of words and letters. I am an author on top of a blogger here with Worldview Warriors and I have the first book of a trilogy I am writing being released pretty soon. That 425-page book uses the same 26 letters that your textbooks and your English Bible use. In order for any language to work, it must have a grammar, a structure, and it must be understood by two parties who agree to use said grammar and structure. I will never forget doing ministry in Juarez, Mexico and we had a young man from Holland who spoke 5 different languages with us. He was translating from English to Spanish, or supposed to be and suddenly found himself going off in Dutch. No one understood him. Dutch was a totally useless language in this situation, even though one person understood it. We needed the same language that both sides understood in order for anyone to get anywhere.

DNA behaves like a language. It is in a different structure (a double-helix) and it uses only four letters: A, C, G, and T, named after the four bases. And the organelles and the proteins which read the DNA perform their functions based on these four letters and their order. DNA behaves exactly like computer code. The computer code itself means nothing. There is not a single person today who can take a series of 0s and 1s in computer code and tell you what it means without a given context. Yet, we can do so much with just a bunch of 0s and 1s. Every computer program did not write itself. It was written for a specific purpose to perform a specific function. And we can use the exact same sequence of 0s and 1s to determine a color of a pixel for your monitor, for performing a mathematical operation, for storing data in memory, or for communicating with another computer. DNA behaves the same way.

Evolution must postulate that the computer program not only wrote itself, but also the ability to read the computer program wrote itself as well. Evolution cannot consider intelligent intervention into the origin of life. Though some try, via Theistic Evolution. That is for another post. Evolution must assume that only natural causes are involved and yet there is not a single example of raw material being able to auto-organize itself. Information Theory is very clear that every piece of information had to originate from an intelligent mind, regardless of the medium through which that information is transmitted. The absolute best that Evolution can provide is the medium of information itself: a book, computer code, radio waves, or bumps, or knots on a string. The medium of information is not information. Information must be imputed onto the medium. This is what telenomy is.

Life is full of telenomy and even if man is able to create its own living forms down the road, it will only be due to telenomy or “know-how”. Even if man could create possible conditions for the origins of life, all said conditions and experiments are a result of telenomic processes, or knowing how to do it. It could never prove that it happened without intelligence. If life did originate on its own, we should be able to see this process taking form today in various stages. We don’t.

The Creation account explains all this. We believe in an all-powerful, all-knowing God who possessed the telenomy, the ‘know-how’ on how to design and create life .And the more we learn about biology and bio-chemistry, the more we learn this could not happen by any random chance but only by the mind of a very intelligent being. There is a book out there that explains precisely how this came about. And its first line says, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Trust this Book. It knows what it is talking about. Because it was imputed with supernatural knowledge by its supernatural Author and it reflects the mind of its Author, as does every work of creation or art reflects the mind of its creator.

Adultery - An Act of Two, But Defeated by One

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, March 13, 2014 0 comments

As a man, I feel it is important to address something in this writing that is a ridiculous falsehood that has been commonly accepted for far too long. It struck me a few months ago when a good friend of mine at work had been having a discussion with several other co-workers and decided to bring it to my attention because he knew me as the “pastor” at our agency. I was speaking to my supervisor about actual work when this man came up and asked if he could interrupt for a minute. He then said, “Hey Logan, who was the ho that was about to get stoned by the well in the Bible?” I want to make it clear that his use of the derogatory term for a woman who has been promiscuous is not to be accepted. However, I feel it is important to give you the exact quote that he said because it shows just how much we have tolerated the view of adultery or promiscuity being the problem of a woman. I was able to share with this man and my supervisor that he was combining two different Bible stories – the woman caught in adultery in John 8 and the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4. I was also able to share that the identity of the woman caught in adultery is not revealed and that the point of the story is not who she is, but who Jesus is and the freedom and victory over sin that he offers to her.

In thinking about that conversation this week as I prepared for this writing, I remembered that my friend mentioned nothing about the man who was involved in that act of adultery. That got me thinking about how many times I have read the John 8 passage and have rarely given even a passing thought to why the man was not present on the scene. I began to realize how serious of a problem this is, going all the way back to Genesis 3:12 when Adam first blamed the woman for his own sinful choices. The blame game has been played ever since that day, and it’s no more obvious than with sexual sin. The woman is blamed for what she is wearing when a man can’t stop lusting. If a woman has multiple children out of wedlock, even other women say something like, “She just has to learn to keep her legs closed”. The actions of the man or men who impregnated her are written off as “just doing what men do”. In the book and movie “The Scarlet Letter”, who has to face public ridicule and wear the shameful letter? Hester has to face that punishment all alone while the cheating minister experiences his consequences privately.

I’m certainly not excusing women from their part in this sin, but am simply making the point that the physical act of adultery requires TWO people, not just the woman who is often blamed. Regarding the adultery of the heart that Jesus addresses in Matthew 5:28, you can look and see that he refers to a MAN who lusts! The more I think about it, I can’t think of any place in the New Testament where Jesus actually mentions adultery and he is not talking to a man or a group of primarily men. In John 8, it is the men who say they caught the woman in an act of adultery. Jesus never mentions her specific sin, but only urges, “Go now and leave your life of sin” (v. 11). He acknowledged that she was a sinner, the same as everyone else who was there and everyone who watched as he handled the situation in truth and love. The self-righteous Pharisees who prided themselves on being followers of the Law failed to adhere to a very important component of the specific law they cited. Leviticus 20:10 clearly says, “If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife – with the wife of his neighbor – both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death”. I guess their strict adherence to the Law only mattered when it suited their interests and biases.

The other important truth the Pharisees missed was that Jesus has the power over sin. Regardless of whom they wanted to accuse and what they thought the just penalty was, Jesus came to defeat ALL sin. He didn’t do this through condemnation and public humiliation, but through urging people to repentance. He told the woman to “leave” her life of sin. Friends, this is the essence of repentance – to turn and go the opposite direction in your life. Jesus offered the same opportunity and urging over and over again to the Pharisees throughout his ministry on earth. Because they failed to see their own need for a Savior, they usually rejected him.

Later in John 8, Jesus speaks to the Jews who were listening to him about one of the most important truths in the entire Bible. In vv. 31-41, he talks to them about being set free by the truth as they hold to his teaching, but they can’t understand what he means because they understand freedom only from a political standpoint. Even in that, they were wrong because they had been slaves of several other nations in their history and were controlled by the Romans politically even at that very moment. But Jesus assured them, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin” (v. 34). However, there would be no hope if that were the end of the teaching. Because he was the only one there who was not a slave to sin but the actual Son of God, he declared, “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (v. 36).

Are you walking in that freedom? Are you the woman who has been somewhat shunned by others because of your mistakes while the men involved seem to face no consequences? You can simply cry out to Jesus right where you are today. He has set you free if you believe it and is inviting you to leave your sins behind and start your new journey with him. Are you the man who knows deep down inside you are an adulterer regardless of whether others see your sin or not? You must first humbly recognize that you are a slave to your sin and that you desperately need Jesus. I promise you, he has already set you free from what you are hiding from others if you believe it. It’s time to walk in that freedom and leave your life of sin. Whoever you are, claim the victory in Jesus today!

Ice Cream with Megan

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, March 12, 2014 0 comments

Ice cream, such a simple treat, but I knew that for me it was not about the ice cream, but the ice breaker. She actually wanted to talk to me! Shortly after receiving her message I hurried downstairs to the cafeteria. She was already down there waiting for me, looking preoccupied with her cell phone.

“Hey Megan!”

“Hey, what’s up?” was her reply as though she barely noticed I was there.

We walked into the cafeteria and got our ice cream. The beauty of college cafeterias is that ice cream is serve yourself and unlimited servings. I got chocolate for myself and Megan picked out strawberry. We sat down at a table in awkward silence for a few moments before we started to talk.

“So,” said Megan, “I still feel bad about how I snapped at you last week.”

“Well, again, it wasn’t a big deal and you don’t have to explain.”

“No, really, I’m sorry. It’s just been a rough week for me,” she breathed out a deep sigh as though decompressing, “for whatever reason my parents decided that they would wait until the week that I moved out to college to finalize their divorce. Really awesome, huh?”

“Wow, I am really sorry to hear that.” I was kind of left speechless.

“Ha! And now you are apologizing to me. How ironic.” She paused for a moment. She clearly knew what she was going to say next, but she knew that she could add emphasis to her point if she paused for a moment. “There is a lot about me that you do not know.”

At this point I’m wondering what it is that she wants to tell me, because a girl doesn’t just say that, she wants to tell you what you don’t know whether she is going to or not. “Well, if you feel comfortable talking about it, go right ahead. If not, that’s okay. It sounds like you have been through a lot lately.”

“Maybe for another time.” She spoke up so quickly that she already knew she was not going to tell me. “But you know what has bothered me lately? Derkins.”

“For real, me too!”

“Yeah, I mean, I’ve learned about evolution before but this guy is intense. He is really convinced that there is no God.” “Ha ha, I know, he seems pretty certain. But don’t let it bother you.”

“But did you hear what he said about his past and his parents? Why would God let that happen to them...and him!”

“Do you believe in God, Megan?”

“I was brought up Presbyterian, but we never talked about these sort of things at church. Is it wrong that I have my doubts?”

“It’s okay to ask questions, Megan. But there is a lot that we are not being told here. For instance, I just found a book online that is all about faith and science. I actually ordered it right before I came down here.”

“Derkins is really smart. And there is this other book that I heard about called Michelangelo’s Secret. It’s all about how Michelangelo hid messages in his art that disprove the Bible.”

“Are you sure that wasn’t Leonardo-“

“It was Michelangelo!”

“Sorry, sorry.”

“Anyway, Ryan, I have never had to think this hard before about my faith.”

“Me neither.”

“If God isn’t real it would totally change my life. But at least God would not be punishing my family.”

“Whoa, whoa,” I was kind of stunned, “What do you mean by that?”

“You know, I’ve said too much. I should probably get going.”

“No, it’s okay, Megan. You can tell me.”

“Now’s not the time, but thank you for joining me. It was fun and I appreciate the company. I hope that book you ordered is helpful. I like knowing that there is someone out there looking out for me.”

“Are you talking about me or God?”

“Figure it out genius.”

I did not learn as much about Megan as what I wanted to, but she seemed to enjoy talking to me...I think. Little by little, the mystery of this girl is starting to unravel. She has a lot on her plate and I am hoping that I can be a good witness to her and also learn more about how my faith and science work together.

Hallmarks of Design

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, March 11, 2014 0 comments

Life, in all its diversity, actually boils down to only a few basic things that EVERY living organism shares. In some of these cases, the shared traits are so exceptionally specific when compared to the possibilities it leads one to realize the specificity of a Designer.

All living things use DNA and/or RNA to pass on species specific genetic information to the next generation. The shape of these structures (based on their chirality) can have a large number of variations yet every one of them known has the same chirality. For example, there are at least 16 different ways RNA can be organized, yet every living creature we know of has the same structured RNA.

Proteins are the same way. While a “left handed” protein is essential for life, “right handed” proteins can destroy it. How is it that this happened? Sugars, on the other hand, are “right handed.” These complex structures can be built or formed a number of different ways, yet are always the same. Such universal traits seem to suggest a common design rather than random, undirected processes.

Suggesting design in living things does not immediately remove it from a scientific discussion, as many would contend. Generally, my experience is that this type of argument (that creationism is not science while evolutionism/Darwinism is science) is used only because it appears on the surface to make alternatives to evolutionary dogma inferior when it, in fact, is simply a false notion altogether.

We can look at a thing and know, in many cases, for certain it was designed. Find something as simple as the head of an arrow made by a Native American and you will know that this rock did not take this shape naturally. It was designed. Something this simple and yet we know it has the hallmarks of design. In this case, we can note that a particular shape was dictated for a specific function and that the uniformity and nature of the shape would likely not be the result of random, undirected, unintelligent processes. Now what if we found a message on a piece of stone in the ground that consisted of the message “We were here?” Would we not conclude this message (which is a series of symbols that are built to represent a thought for a purpose) had an intelligent source? Take this to something a little more similar in content to a DNA strand—say we found a library worth of books in the ground. This would be more similar to the amount of information stored in our DNA. Would we conclude such a large amount of specified information was the result of natural processes that were blind to what they were doing or would it make sense that an intelligence organized such a huge amount of highly specific and complex information? Obviously, the latter is exceptionally more likely.

Intelligent design proponents look at living things and see clear signs of design or intent. Indicators for design are a high information content and irreducible complexity. High information content can be referred to as specified complexity. Dr. Michael Behe stated, "Our ability to be confident of the design of the cilium or intracellular transport rests on the same principles to be confident of the design of anything: the ordering of separate components to achieve an identifiable function that depends sharply on the components.”

Our human experience demands the conclusion of design when viewing life in its various forms. We understand cause and effect relationships and, thus, must conclude that life is far too complex and has far too many commonalities within its diversity to be the result of random, undirected processes that no one has yet to explain naturally. Our human experience tells us things that appear to be specifically organized and fashioned purposefully are, in fact, designed. Intelligence is necessary for these things to happen and intelligence is something the religion of Darwinism cannot account for.

Job 12:7-10 “But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; 8 or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. 9 Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? 10 In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.

Revelation 4:11 “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”

What is Adultery?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, March 10, 2014 1 comments

Exodus 20:14 says, “You shall not commit adultery.”

Well that pretty much sums it up, right? But what exactly is adultery? You may hold to the common notion that adultery is when a man and woman are married, and one partner has sexual intercourse with somebody else. That is a true definition of adultery, but there’s more to it than just that.

Read what Jesus has to say about it in Matthew 5:27-30: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.” Ouch!

Guys, have you ever looked at a woman lustfully? That could mean checking out a hot babe you see walking down the street, or enjoying a centerfold in a magazine, or even looking at seductive photos online. All of those count as adultery in the eyes of Jesus.

Ladies, have you ever looked at a man lustfully? That could mean enjoying the tight pants of football players, or paying extra attention to a TV commercials with a half-naked man, or dreaming what will happen when that guy with a cute Facebook picture finally asks you out. All of those count as adultery in the eyes of Jesus.

But you may be thinking, what if I’m not married? Yep, it’s still adultery. That person you’re checking out, is he/she your spouse? No? Well then it’s adultery, because you aren’t married to them.

The Hebrew word used Exodus 20:14 literally does mean the act of sexual intercourse outside of marriage, but it also has a figurative meaning of committing idolatrous worship, or worshipping something (or someone) that is not God. That definitely fits the situations listed above - you’re worshipping somebody else’s body rather than God.

Where in your life have you committed adultery already? What steps can you take to prevent that from happening again?

Ding Dong - They’re on my doorstep!

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Saturday, March 8, 2014 0 comments

Saturday morning, you sit down for breakfast, have a cup of tea or coffee, and just when you are about relax into your day, the doorbell rings. You didn’t have guests coming, so you curiously walk into the foyer and peek out the window. And then your moral and ethical struggle begins.

On the porch are people you have never seen before, but you know who they are. They either are wearing white shirts with black name tags, or dressed somewhat conservatively clutching a “watchtower” magazine. Do you answer? What if they saw you? If you let them in, you know they are going to talk about the Bible, or their bible, or something what?

We have all had these feelings when members from a local Jehovah’s Witness or Mormon community come to evangelize us (Yes, I know Christ Followers do this too – I respect the reason and the courageous faith – I disagree with the methodology because of its “retail sales” like results). First of all, I want to give everyone permission to not open the door. It may be inhospitable initially, but the greater evil is allowing someone who is loaded to the gills with psychological sales tactics and twisted teachings about the Bible to have access to you when you are not prepared. Make no mistake, like any door-to-door sales pitch, this is a “sales” call they are making.

Jesus challenges us to be hospitable – and to welcome strangers – in order to share the Gospel (HIS Word) with anyone. JW’s and Mormons are included in that challenge. So, how do we prepare? What should be our attitude?

I had an experience a number of years ago, where a JW approached me in a local supermarket – he worked there. We struck up conversation, and when he found out I was a seminary student at the time, he started to quickly twist and turn through the Bible. It turned from conversation, to control. I was very keenly aware that I was scrambling for my metaphorical snorkel. Then he tossed out the question – “Did you know that the Catholic Church declared that the Trinity, is a non-Biblical concept?”

That quick little comment was designed to throw me off, and it did. He didn’t know my background, but somehow he supernaturally (demonic) picked the one topic that would sidetrack me. Then by the time I scrambled back into the conversation he had already wrapped up his point. He stood there asking me how I could believe Jesus is God, and probing me to consider what the JW prophets teach. Embarrassed for my Jesus, and disappointed in myself, I excused myself from the conversation – finished my shopping and made my way to my mentor’s house. We debriefed the encounter, and he showed me the exact moment I was overrun by a clever (but deceptive) argument.

The Catholic Church had recently made a statement that the word “Trinity” was not a Biblical word. However, they affirmed that the concept of Trinity or Tri-unity of GOD (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) was DEFINITELY Biblical. I had been duped by my lack of knowledge of current events, and by a slick and deceptive sales pitch. Once he saw he had distracted me from the Bible, this JW had me where he wanted me.

We went back and looked at John 20:24-29. Please take a moment to read it in context – I am going to paraphrase the encounter. This is one of the moments where Jesus returns to His disciples after the resurrection and shows them he is risen from the dead. This is the moment where the Disciple Thomas has just finished saying, “I will not believe (He is risen) until I can touch the nail holes in his hands, and put my hand in his side (where Jesus was pierced by the guards to ensure he was dead).” At that moment Jesus appears among them and says to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

To which Thomas replied, “My Lord and My God!”

This is a verse that is troubling for the JW’s because they deny Jesus as GOD and say he had an honorary title because he lived a good life. They try to say that Thomas was looking at Jesus to say, ‘my lord’, and then up to heaven to say, ‘my god.’ There is no way in the context of this verse that Thomas was talking in two separate directions. And Jesus responds directly to Thomas’ statement, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

I thanked my mentor for sorting that out with me, and then went home and started praying for another encounter with this man. Years passed. And I would see him occasionally in the store, but the minute I would start to walk toward him, he (without seeing me) would scurry off in another direction. It was like something unseen was keeping him from having another conversation with me. Several more years passed and I had the opportunity to counsel former JW members who broke free from the cult, and were recovering from being controlled and abused. (Again, I know there are so called “Christian” groups that are abusive and controlling.) I learned a great deal from these hurting people, and some of them were former teachers and evangelists in the JW church. My point is once they learned to read their Bible and understand the context without the “prophets” interpreting everything for them, they, like Thomas, came face to face with the Jesus who IS God.

God has a tremendous sense of humor. One Saturday morning, as I finished a cup of coffee, there was a knock at the door, and the doorbell rang. I peeked out, feeling all the feelings I described at the beginning of this blog. As I looked out, it was not the Morman young men I had spoken to before (that’s another story), it was the Jehovah’s Witnesses. And in particular – it was THAT guy from the store. I prayed, then I opened the door and greeted him warmly. I walked out on my porch and sat down on one of the chairs. He started almost the same exact progression of scripture and doctrines he had lead with at the store 8 years earlier. I sat quietly for a few minutes and listened. When he finally took a breath, I said, “you don’t remember me do you?”

With a shocked and puzzled tilt of his head he peered through his tinted eyeglasses, and stammered, “no…no I guess I don’t.” Then as he opened his mouth to start back into his rant (as if I had never said anything), I said, “you work at [name of store], we met 8 years ago and talked in the automotive section. You asked me if I knew the Catholic Church had declared the Trinity a non-Biblical concept. “ A look of panic swept over him, and he started looking around for the fastest exit. I warmly tried to calm him down, and said, “I am so glad you are here, I have been looking forward to continuing that conversation.” His ears perked for a moment and he re-engaged.

I said, “ I did some studying, did you know the Catholics declared it a ‘non-biblical word’ but affirmed that the tri-unity of God is Biblically accurate?” He went from his renewed calm to almost fearfully agitated. I was sitting back in my chair inviting him to continue listening. I said, “I would like to have the chance to ask you some more questions. Can we talk about John 20:24-29 – Where Jesus appears to His disciples and Thomas says, ‘my Lord and my God’?” For a brief moment he started to sputter out parts of scripture references, parts of concepts from scriptures. I said nothing, waiting. He looked like a computer that just had a complete meltdown and was displaying random letters and numbers (and sounded like it to). He started to lose all composure and cohesion, and then he just stopped talking, froze for a brief moment, and then darted off my porch. Three other people were with him, knocking on neighbors doors, and when they saw him bolting for the car, they started rushing back too.

I stood up, now annoyed that he would run. I talked loud enough for all my neighbors to hear. I said, “Where are you going? I thought you wanted to talk about Jesus? You knocked on my door on a Saturday morning, and invited me out to talk, and when I ask a few simple questions you are running away? Why? I want to talk with you about Jesus. I want to explore the Bible with you and dig into the meaning that comes out of a Jewish context. Why are you running away? “ And with that they were in their car, and literally sped off out of the neighborhood. Maybe I enjoyed that a little too much. ☺

When Jesus said, “ you will know the Truth and the Truth will set you free,” he meant it. And He said that verse in the context of encouraging the Disciples to hold to HIS teachings, and not the teachings of other “prophets” or cultic leaders. I was able to be hospitable. I was free to let the man speak about his faith, and I was able to be non-threatening in my invitation to continue to the discussion. I was able to extend an opportunity for relationship with a man who only saw me as a target, and who never remembered me. What made him afraid, what made him and his friends run, ultimately, was walking closer to the Truth.

So, if your doorbell rings, are you ready to be hospitable? Are you ready to discuss Truth? Or are you running because you do not know the Truth of God’s Word? Maybe you know the True theology of the Bible but are not walking in the Truth and see people as “targets” also?

If you don’t know what the Bible teaches, or you read it and don’t understand it – get a translation that is easy to read, and a commentary that interprets Scripture in context. And if you have religious sales persons come to your door, pray first, then let God’s Word help you freely be hospitable.

Some resources I think are good for starters:

- “365 Day Devotional Commentary” – by Lawrence O. Richards
- Life Application Study Bible

The Laws of Thermodynamics

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, March 7, 2014 3 comments

The First Law of Thermodynamics states that matter or energy cannot be created or destroyed in a closed system.

The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that there will always be a general tendency from order to disorder in a closed system.

What is this talking about and how is this relevant? Both of these laws scream in the face of the naturalistic account of Evolution. How do we make sense of it all? Let us dig a little deeper here. With the First Law, we cannot suddenly have new matter or loss of matter, nor can we have new energy or loss of energy. It all has to go somewhere. Yes, the sun heats the earth, but we notice the earth is not continually getting warmer and warmer. It cools down at night. The energy the sun provides has to either be converted into useful energy, which plants do well, or it has to escape the earth. This makes the sun part of the system.

Evolutionists will often say that because of the First Law that there could be no creation. But wait? If God could not create because of the First Law, how could matter and energy get there in the first place? Some will go as far as saying that matter and energy are eternal because of the First Law. That is not what Scripture says. Scripture is clear that God created everything from nothing except his voice. Many references point this out like Genesis 1:1, Hebrews 11:3, and John 1:3. The Creation was a miracle. It cannot be explained by science. Science can show what pieces God used to put the universe together and how they are used. But it cannot explain how the pieces got there. We have to take that by faith, as Christians or as Evolutionists. We can only know that God created the universe because God has revealed it to us. He told us he did it. It’s not what science says either. The Second Law demonstrates there had to be a beginning of the universe.

The Second Law also provides a lot of havoc for the Evolutionist position. Why? Because every observation we have of our world shows a trend for order to disorder. From organization to chaos. I have seen many times where a believer in Evolution will try to save their position by describing how the earth is not a closed system and that adding energy is the answer to it all. However, this does not help them when you really think about it. It actually makes it a whole lot worse. Energy is always destructive. Always, unless you have a well-designed, purposeful mechanism that can control and direct that energy. Let me illustrate.

We added a lot of energy to Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Did anything organized or beneficial come out of that energy? In 2005, Hurricane Katrina added a lot of energy to New Orleans and the area. Anything organized come out of that? Energy always is destructive unless there is a mechanism to guide and direct it. Chlorophyll is an amazing machine in plants that converts sunlight energy into plant food and oxygen for us. The parts of chlorophyll are so intricate and complex that the most advanced factories and plants we have today still cannot compare. And we cannot see chlorophyll with our naked eyes. We need a microscope to see it.

Now here is the kicker. No matter what mechanism we have, there is not one that is 100% efficient. Not one that can take every bit of energy provided and use it completely for something beneficial. There is always a loss of energy due to heat or other waste in every energy exchange. Remember, 100% efficient just breaks even. For Evolution to be true, each mechanism would need to be greater than 100% efficient because they predict a gain of function that was not there before. And before life began, there were no such mechanisms in nature because life did not exist yet. Every mechanism is less than 100% efficient and so it is all going towards decay and destruction. This is also evidence that there was once a perfect state of the universe. Because we are going from order to disorder, and we still have order today, that means that there had to be up to perfect order in the past.

Evolution is impossible because of this realization. The Natural Sciences do not reflect what is expected for Evolution to be true. In fact they can only make sense in light of Biblical Creation. Why is that? That will have to wait for another post. In all my studies on this issue, I am running out of natural laws that God instilled during the Creation Week that Evolution and its natural consequences do not violate. But they are in perfect alignment with the Biblical Worldview that we need to adhere to.