Tom Might Have Some Issues, Part 1

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, January 31, 2019 7 comments

by Steve Risner

This week, I'm going to talk about a writing by another Christian. His name is Tom. Tom seems very passionate about Christ and spreading the Gospel and I think that's awesome. I pray his ministry, which I believe is primarily media based, reaches many. He has a great deal of resources on his page, but one of them was shared in a group I'm in that concerned me. He left something online about the age of the earth and Christianity that I initially was going to simply respond to on Facebook where I found it. However, due to the amount of content that I felt needed correction, it turned into this blog post. You can find Tom's writing that I am responding to here. I would encourage you to view the rest of his page as well as it has some good content.

As you can see if you read his post, I believe Tom has some issues. Here are my first impressions.

He begins his defense/explanation for old earth creationism by saying that we can determine the age of the universe. Of course, that's not really possible. He conveniently omits any of the alleged methods he claims have been used for a long time to determine the ages of things we can't possibly know the ages of. And a method's longevity has absolutely no bearing on its usefulness or accuracy. Many try to claim that we can date the age of the universe or earth, but it's all based on a great many assumptions and extrapolating back in time when we have no idea if that's the right thing to do or not.

He then goes on to explain how presuppositions should be tested against the Word of God... er, no, wait. He says we must weigh our presuppositions using the scientific method. What? Actually, that in and of itself is a presupposition, but that's beside the point. If science determines if our presuppositions are correct and not the Bible, he's lost already and that's too bad. This is especially true if his “science” is being used to uphold a philosophy or even a faith that is contradictory to the Bible. That “science” is not science but a worldview masquerading as science. It is a religion, simply put. It's been falsely labeled “science” for long enough. It's not observable, repeatable, even testable really, and no experiments can be done on the age of the universe or the earth. At best, these are historical concepts and should be treated as such. Far too many—whether laypersons or scientists—don't understand this.

He further states that if we're open minded to the evidence, we will allow it to change our presuppositions. His thinking is rather backwards, and he misunderstands how evidence works. Evidence is really another word for facts, right? The facts are what they are. How one interprets the facts is what makes it evidence for or against something. The evidence doesn't have a voice. It cannot make a determination on its own. The person looking at the evidence must make it say something. Your presuppositions will determine how you make that evidence speak or what it will say. This debate is not and has never been about “evidence.” That's absurd to me because if the Word of God can be trusted (and I think it absolutely can be), then “evidence” that suggests it's wrong has likely been misinterpreted.

It's like this: if you find evidence that I am not an American citizen or that I'm not 41 years old, that evidence has been interpreted incorrectly because I am a 41-year-old American citizen. There can be no legitimate evidence otherwise. The same is true for the Bible, in my opinion. Alleged evidence that contradicts the Bible is likely false evidence or partial evidence and therefore has revealed an incorrect conclusion or has been simply misinterpreted. This idea has been spoken of by creationists for a very long time. Answers in Genesis has repeatedly made the point that there is no such thing as “evidence for creation” or “evidence for evolution.” There is simply evidence. How one interprets it is based on their worldview or their presuppositions. Tom seems to not get this at all and has a large number of people in the same boat.

He makes some mistakes in explaining the scientific method. He actually states that, rather than do experiments to confirm or reject or otherwise alter your hypothesis, you “do research.” That is bizarre and only makes sense that a deep time advocate thinks such things. We must do research, sure. But we must also conduct experiments to confirm, alter, or otherwise reject our hypothesis. Tom has left this out completely which, again, makes sense if he's trying to make an unscientific topic appear to be scientific. Evolutionists and other types of deep time advocates have done this for a very long time. He's trying to support the idea that the age of the universe can be determined by science. You can't do any experiments to confirm, reject, or otherwise alter that hypothesis, so he's taken the foundation of the scientific method and changed it to fit his non-scientific topic. That's not a good start if he wants to be taken seriously about deep time, especially when from a Biblical standpoint, it's DOA. And science cannot under any circumstances (unless we perfect time travel) determine the age of the universe or earth. We don't know when it really happened or what conditions were there for it to happen (aside from what we read in Scripture).

He also claims that we're making an observation about the age of the universe. I'm not sure how that works, I guess. How can you look into space and see its age? How can you observe the age of the earth? Looking at the earth, I would guess it's been ravaged by a global catastrophe, wouldn't you? The evidence for this is literally all around us. And wouldn't you think that would nullify any attempts or proposed clocks that would help us assign an age to the earth? He's either not explaining himself well or he's just wrong or both.

Next week, we'll finish this up. I tried to make this fairly light and short. Next week's will be equally light and short, to clarify some less-than-founded points by Tom. Stay tuned.

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Mark This!

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, January 29, 2019 0 comments

by Jason DeZurik

Well, enough is enough!

I have been pondering literally for years when to speak out publically on this topic and share what has been on my mind, and today is that day.

The term ”white privilege” really isn’t what we have been made to think it is, and yet there are some people who do behave badly. Today, it seems that many people like picking on white men because these “accusers” and “finger pointers” have bought into a lie. Do the majority of men behave badly though, as some seem to believe? Admittedly, I am unsure, but I can assure you that many men I know, who are true followers of Jesus Christ, strive to behave well and want to be good and right and true. They want to teach both their sons and their daughters how to become Godly. Admittedly, we run into resistance from those who want to deny God and His ways because it’s really not us they have issues with but with God and His ways.

Make no mistake my friends, the “Me Too” and “Feminist” movements are not about living out good, Godly ways and serving God or following His leading. They really are all about self, which is really cloaked in a form of godliness and denying God’s power. See 2 Timothy 3:1-7 to understand what to do with ideas like this. Focus in on verse 5 to really see how to deal with these sorts of things.

“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (2 Timothy 3:1-7)

Before you or someone you know accuses me of denying the fact that bad things happen in this world, I would encourage you to not read what I am not writing. I never claimed bad things don’t happen in this world. They do happen. We live in a world that is fallen. It has fallen from the perfection that God had planned from the beginning, and many seem to want to defy and even deny the God of the universe and His good and right ways. All the while, many attempt to steal their capital from God and attempt to claim the moral high ground for themselves. They really are doing nothing more than the warning that Paul has given us as believers in Christ in 2 Timothy 3:1-7 above. So please stay attentive, friends.

In fact, if you are really willing to see the truth, we are definitely living in a day and age with people like we see in verses 6-7: “They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.”

Please, not only keep your guard up but pray for your spiritual eyes to be opened to the truth of the matter.

Enough is enough, and it starts with you and with me. Get your spiritual “house” in order today. We need to speak out and live out the truth in love in all that we do. Do not keep silent! Friends, we have been raised for such a time as this!

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Psalm 9

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, January 28, 2019 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

Psalm 9 is 20 verses long so I’m not going to copy the entire thing for you here, but I encourage you to click that link and go read it. One reason I wanted to write about this psalm is that it’s a really neat one in Hebrew because it’s an acrostic, albeit an incomplete one. With a few exceptions, each verse beings with the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet, from aleph to kaph.

Many believe that Psalms 9 and 10 were once all one psalm, because Psalm 10 appears to complete the acrostic that was started with Psalm 9. Both psalms are individual lament psalms so they’re thematically similar, yet can also definitely stand on their own. Both are not quite complete acrostics, but it’s still an interesting feature of these two psalms.

The 20 verses of Psalm 9 also contain a pattern of parallelism, in that the ideas of the first 10 verses are repeated in the second 10 verses. Verses 1-2 (and 11-14) tell of praise, verses 3-6 (and 15-18) talk about judgment on the wicked, and verses 7-10 (and 19-20) discuss hope in God’s justice.

But what about the content of this psalm? It starts out in verses 1-2 with David, the psalmist, praising God. Even though this psalm is ultimately a lament, we can and should still praise God no matter what! He is always God and is always sovereign, even if things aren’t going the way we might like them to go in our lives. He is always worthy of our praise!

The verbs in these first two verses are what’s called cohortative, which express David’s determination, depth, and intensity in praising God. Just look at the verbs: praise, tell, be glad, rejoice, and sing praise. Can you praise God that intensely when you’re about to express your sorrow? I know that’s a difficult thing for me to do.

Next, the psalm moves on to expressing judgment on the wicked in verses 3-6. David is praying that God will judge his enemies, those who have come against him and caused him harm in some way. He prays this in such a way that it almost sounds like God has already done these things, but David has that much confidence in the character that he knows God to have.

It is because David knows God so well that he can then move on to a confident hope in God’s justice in verses 7-10. The beginning of verse 7 sums this up: “The Lord reigns forever!” That is truly where David’s hope lies, in God’s eternal nature and His constant sovereignty over all of creation. The verb for “reigns” in the Hebrew can also be translated as to dwell or remain; God will dwell forever because He is the eternal God.

This belief that God is reigning forever is still true for us today as well, a three thousand or so years later. Because God still reigns, we can still place our hope, our trust, and our faith in Him! He has not changed and He will never change; He is still reigning over everything. Verse 10 tells us, “Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.” The verb for “know” here is the most intimate kind of knowing; it’s more than simply knowing what a person’s name is but more knowing who they are and what their character is like. When we develop a relationship with God and try to know Him more closely, we trust in Him, and we can have confidence that He will never forsake us.

Out of this knowledge, the psalm again turns to praise in verses 11-14. While verses 1-2 were more of an individual praise, in this section he invites the community to join him in praising God for what He has done. David asks God to deliver the people from the evil going on in their lives, so that they might praise Him even more.

In verses 15-18, we see again how God will judge the wicked. Again, we see David acting as if these acts already done even though he is asking for them; that is the confidence He has in God’s character and how God will punish those who deserve His punishment. He states that “The Lord is known by his acts of justice” (verse 16).

The psalm ends with strong hope in God’s justice and deliverance for His people in verses 19-20. The belief is that when God judges those who do not know Him, they will then recognize who He is and put their faith in Him. God must provide justice and judgment for all peoples because that is His character. Through delivering His own people by punishing their enemies, the hope is that all will come to know Him better.

But what does all that have to do with us today? As with all writings in the Bible, this was not written directly for you and me, but for the people of King David’s time. But the principles in it still apply to us today. Praise God through all things, expect that God will complete what lines up with His character, and put your hope in Him for deliverance from whatever affliction you’re dealing with. The God we can have relationship with today is the same God that King David had a relationship with, so we should still praise Him no matter what and put our faith in Him to always accomplish His good purposes.

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Posted by Worldview Warriors On Sunday, January 27, 2019 0 comments

by Logan Ames

Over the past year, I have separately preached a sermon series at my church and also written a series of blog posts on the various tenets of the Christian faith as stated in The Apostles’ Creed. Anyone who writes or preaches knows that you often get those “aha moments” when God shows you something you never saw before. For me, one of my favorite such moments going through those topics was when I was addressing the belief that we are “one holy catholic Church." We all typically think of “catholic” as the Roman Catholic church, but it’s important to recognize that the word “catholic” means something way beyond the specific Roman Catholic denomination. God showed me something through Google (God is not against using any source to share his truth). I searched for the definition of “catholic” and looked at the synonyms. At the time I researched it, one of the Google synonyms was “latitudinarian."

Most of you probably learned way back in elementary school about lines of latitude, such as the Equator, and lines of longitude, such as the Prime Meridian. Longitudinal lines are vertical, while latitudinal lines are horizontal. Based on this reality, a group of people who would be referred to as “latitudinarian” would see themselves as equals across one long horizontal line, figuratively speaking. If they were longitudinarian, some would be placed above others. All believers are part of one, holy, catholic, universal Church because Christ is in authority over us and, compared to his glory and power, we are all on equal footing. As sinners saved by grace through faith in a great God, we are latitudinarian.

The Book of James explains this concept using our circumstances and the ways we view them. If you remember from previous weeks, James has been talking about how we should endure hardships and times when our faith is tested because God is using them both to develop maturity and bring about humility when we turn to Him for help. In James 1:9-11, he tells the believers that they should always view themselves as Christ views them. For those who are poor or “in humble circumstances," they should “take pride in their high position” in Christ. Those who are rich “should take pride in their humiliation” in Christ. A German-American pastor and theologian, Richard C.H. Lenski said, “As the poor brother forgets all his earthly poverty, so the rich brother forgets all his earthly riches. By faith in Christ, the two are equals."

What is it that makes each forget about his earthly lot? It’s the knowledge that everything that’s in front of us will eventually change when we get to dwell with God in heaven. In 2 Corinthians 4:18, Paul declares, “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." This doesn’t happen by chance. It requires a person to be intentional about guarding his own mind and taking his thoughts captive (2 Corinthians 10:5). The temptation will always be there to look at one’s circumstances in life and either complain or gloat. But Paul is telling us that we have to be willing to look beyond this life and see the big picture that includes eternity. Paul told the Christians in Corinth in earlier verses that “we don’t lose heart” even when things are difficult because “our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Corinthians 4:16-17). Paul understood that the more one suffers in this lifetime, the more opportunity he has to endure his trials by faith in Christ. It’s not that a poor person automatically gets to heaven, but a poor brother who remains steadfast in his faith despite his suffering receives eternal comfort that makes him forget about the life of hardship. Paul knew that being in humble circumstances presented an opportunity that being rich would not have presented.

So then, what about the rich? Since they have fewer opportunities to endure hardship by faith, how can they “achieve that eternal glory”? Well, that’s why James directs more of his words toward them. He reminds them that “they will pass away like a wildflower” (James 1:10). And just when we think that James is talking about the rich person’s wealth, he reminds us in the next verse that it’s not just the material things that will disappear. “For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business” (James 1:11). The rich PERSON will fade away just as easily as the RICHES themselves. James seems to be echoing his older brother, Jesus, who told the story of a rich fool who arrogantly focused on himself and assumed his wealth would always be there, only to have his life demanded of him and his wealth given to someone else to enjoy (Luke 12:13-21).

Jesus also told his disciples the story of a separate rich man who desperately wanted to have eternal life but wanted Jesus to tell him what he could DO to earn it (Mark 10:17-22). Jesus recognized that his wealth was standing in the way between him and God, so Jesus said he’d have to sell it all and give the money to the poor so that he would have treasure in heaven. But the man was unable to accept this and became very sad at the thought of parting with his great wealth (v. 22). Following that discussion, Jesus told his disciples that it was hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God - harder than passing a camel through the eye of a needle in fact! But, as the disciples then questioned how anyone could be saved, Jesus reminded them that it might be impossible with man, but all things are possible with God (Mark 10:23-27).

Friends, whether you have experienced much suffering in your life or you’ve had a relatively easy go of things, it’s important to remember that this is all going to pass away and we are all going to die unless Jesus comes back first, at which point our circumstances would become irrelevant anyway. Since this life is but a fraction of time in all of eternity, we all ought to consider what God wants us to do with what He’s given us. If He allows you to suffer, you have a great opportunity to overcome and endure by faith. If He blesses you with wealth or comfort, you have great opportunity to worship Him with it and give to those less fortunate than yourself. Either way, you should be asking God what He wants you to do with the circumstances He has given you. Because God is the same God over both the rich and the poor, we are indeed latitudinarian and we are ALL looking up at Him. Remember this the next time you let your circumstances define you, either positively or negatively.

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The Effects of Sin

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, January 25, 2019 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

“It’s my choice what I do. It only affects me.”

This is one of the most common excuses made to defend sin and likely one of the most oblivious statements to reality that one could make. There is absolutely nothing you can do which does not somehow affect someone else down the road, if not immediately. This has been a deadly trap by the enemy, and for many it has worked well.

One of the clearest Biblical examples of someone who very likely thought what he did would have no effect on anyone else would be Achan. The entire story is found in Joshua 6-7, but to give the context, Israel was preparing to face their first battle after crossing the Jordan River. Jericho was not the only fortified city of the area, but it was perhaps the biggest and most powerful. Walls were so thick that chariots could race on top. God gave Israel a most unique strategy to conquer the city: march around the city, then after marching the prescribed times, shout, then the walls would fall.

However, there was one special command: Take absolutely no spoils from the city. They all were to belong to God. No women, no children, no animals, no money, nor clothing, no goods, nothing. Everything was to be utterly destroyed. One man did not obey: Achan. He saw some clothes, some silver, and some gold and he took them. He very likely thought, “No one is going to see it and no one is going to be bothered with it.” He hid the goods in his tent and went about his business.

Then the consequences came. Joshua sent out a small raid force to take out the tiny town of Ai and they got wiped out, losing 36 men and the other nations gained some courage. Joshua wept and pleaded before the Lord wondering why, and God told him there was sin in the camp and to deal with it. God began to reveal who did the deed by narrowing it down from tribe, to clan, to family, and then finally to Achan. The nation lost a battle because of one man’s sin. But that wasn’t it. Achan thought he might get a slap on the wrist with confessing the sin, but instead he and his entire family were stoned to death, and all he had was burned. One man who thought it only would affect him cost 36 men, a loss in battle, and an entire family their possessions and their lives.

Some will say that is an extreme example, but it is a clear example of how devastating such thoughts can be. The number one sin that people use this excuse for today is pornography. They think that watching other people perform sex acts, or even merely looking at naked or scantily clad women or men is something that only affects them. That is hogwash.

There are two major side effects of pornography. It affects those around you, and it directly affects those in the industry. Many articles have been written about the effects of porn on a person’s mind and how people truly are addicted to it like drugs. It poisons the mind and the person hooked on porn begins viewing others not as people but as meat. Wives, as they age, cannot compete with the digital women on a screen. Men who get their ‘arousing’ through digital viewing soon are unable to get aroused by the physical flesh. It destroys marriages, devalues women (or men or children, depending on what is watched), and like any drug, it always has to escalate in order to get the same high. It leads to darker and darker sex, BDSM, violence, and that’s without getting into doing the physical acts. It never satisfies, and like a starving beast, it never stops consuming.

The other danger is to those on the other side of the screen. While many adult porn sites have disclaimers that the participants are willing adults, that is not always true. Because there is such a high demand for the product, there is high demand to produce it. And because such acts are so devastating to the body, each person can only do it for so long before it literally kills them. So there is a high demand for newer and younger bodies. Sex trafficking is perhaps the biggest illegal businesses in the world. More money is made from this than drugs. Child pornography is also rampant. I read one article a while back which indicated that a large percent of child porn is produced by the victims themselves due to social media pressures. They take pictures of themselves and give it to a “private friend,” and said person shares said pictures to the dark web. This barely scratches the surface of what this evil entails, but it by no means affects just the viewer.

But pornography is not the only area I see this sin in: I also see it in many professing Christians who have no problems embracing false doctrines. When corrected they will often say, “It doesn’t affect my salvation.” It’s actually the same argument and the same line of reasoning. I don’t understand how anyone is fine with being a Christian and not living as God desires nor believing what He says. As a Christian, I hate being wrong about something regarding Him or in how my life doesn’t line up. I have a long way to go, but at the very least, I want to keep pointing towards that perfect standard, even if the only thing I can do is face towards it and fall flat on my face.

When a false teaching goes out, it affects how you relate to everyone, and it affects any you teach it to. Few are affected more than the next generation. Any time someone opens the door for false teachings even ever so slightly, the next generation following that teaching will take it and open it wider. Here is one example of how a false teaching can have devastating effects and it comes from the “Prosperity Gospel” or the ”Word of Faith” movement. My pastor told the story of how a couple in his church lost a child. A well-meaning couple who believed that false teaching came up to them and said, “If you had more faith, your child would not have died.” That false teaching devastated that grieving couple. Many people have been disillusioned or rejected the faith because someone embraced a false teaching, thinking it would not affect them, but then it destroys those around them.

No sin affects just you. Nothing you do merely affects you. Every decision you make, for good or ill, is going to affect someone else. Let me turn this post around as I wrap it up. While every sin you do or every false teaching you embrace affects someone else, so does every righteous deed. While every sin may have lasting effects to three or four generations, the righteous acts can have lasting effects for thousands. Is there an area of sin in our life have excused away? Let us deal with it and end the curse which will affect our children and all around us. Let us instead sow righteousness and then see how God will spread it around beyond our dreams.

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


What's the Deal with Millennials? Part 2

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, January 24, 2019 0 comments

by Steve Risner

Last week I began a brief look at the generation we refer to as Generation Y or Millennials. We discussed that this group, being born between the early 1980s and the mid to late 1990s, is the most medicated (primarily for depression, anxiety, or behavioral disorders), the most depressed/stressed, and the most suicidal generation in our nation's history, as well as the least religious and least dedicated to a political ideology or even to patriotism.

Many have speculated as to why this generation is so depressed or anxious (which, of course, can lead to suicide). Some suggest it's their financial stress—Millennials commonly believe they've been dealt a bad hand. Some say it's that they're perfectionists and that standard is too hard to live up to. Some say they're not getting married, or married as early, or having children and this plays a role. Others even say maybe it's because careers have forced many of them to be on the road a lot, moving frequently so they don't have time to develop roots in a community. Still others say that technology is a major part. Millennials spend a great deal of time (like many others but they seem to be winning the prize for this) with their faces glued to a screen. Studies show that more time with electronic devices actually increases social anxiety and feelings of isolation. Screen time is also related to activities that teens feel are actually less fun or less happy. Still, we all search for our time to spend checking social media or playing some mindless game. You can see there are a host of reasons many have suggested for Millennials' depression and feelings of hopelessness or anxiety and their increased suicides compared to other age groups.

However, that being said, I don't believe financial stress or any of these other reasons are the real cause of the Millennials' unhappiness. There are many things contributing, but the primary reason I've eluded to above and more so last week. It's not that Millennials tend to be perfectionists, or they move a lot, or anything like that which has been suggested. There are a number of contributors, but the biggest overall is the fact that they have, in general, rejected their Creator and Savior. Is anyone surprised that the generation that rejects God the most also experiences the most anxiety and depression? It doesn't shock me at all.

One issue with Millennials, and for that matter more people these days, is that they've bought into postmodernism. Postmodernism asserts that reality is unknowable and meaningless. As a result of attempting to overthrow morality and traditional values, postmodernism rejects objective truth and transcendent truth that allows people to see reality for what it is and know how to function in it. Not surprisingly, postmodernists view the world of people as two separate classes: victims and oppressors. Have you heard of the victim mentality? Have you heard of people who feel entitled? These are symptoms of postmodernism.

Surveys seem to indicate that Millennials tend to have a lower opinion of truth or right and wrong. Fewer than half believe right and wrong do not change, meaning the majority of people under age 35 do not believe in objective morality. Only 4% of Millennials have a Biblical worldview. The consequences of this are all around us. As a Biblical creationist, I as well as others have said this for a long time: if you teach children that they are smart apes, how can you be surprised that they begin to act like an ape? If universities are teaching the postmodernist worldview where right and wrong don't exist, morality is an illusion, and reality is unknowable, how can we be surprised if people have no sense of right and wrong and depression and suicide run rampant? This belief—this worldview—is one of hopelessness and despair and it's painfully clear that it has no grounding in logic or reason.

There is hope, however, that the generation known as “Y” or Millennials will turn around in their thought processes. As they age, hopefully, like previous generations, they will see how obvious the existence of God is and how philosophies and worldviews based on other ideas rather than the Bible are irrational and internally inconsistent.

That's the crux of it: no worldview actually even makes sense or be consistent except the worldview based on the Bible. God's Word is a perfect manual for right living, and most importantly for eternal living. If you find yourself struggling with anxiety or depression, or if you're sure that feeling dissatisfied with life or feeling hopeless is a normal part of aging, please talk to an authentic disciple of Christ who can point you to Him. It's certainly possible for a believer in Christ to still deal with these things, but it's a far smaller percentage and generally to a lesser degree.

It's easy for older or even younger generations to criticize Millennials for their issues, but let's face it: we all have issues and every generation has problems. However, our society, and more closely parents, have made this generation what they are to a great degree. We can't just point a finger at them and complain about their problems. We've invented these problems. We should, instead, try to help them heal by showing them the love of the Lover of their souls—Jesus Christ. We should patiently and respectfully train them up in the ways of the Bible. There's hope for us all! Thank you for reading.

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


Stay the Course, Godly Men and Women!

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, January 23, 2019 0 comments

by Jason DeZurik

I have been trying to put my thoughts together about the hubbub going on about this Gillette Commercial people are discussing.

While yes, the content of the ad isn't really terrible, the quiet message given throughout is troubling. It knowingly or unknowingly makes the assumption that the majority of males are pigs or war mongers and cannot control themselves. It also says that most men today are unwilling to stand up for a woman anymore, to be a knight in shining armor, or perhaps to hold a door open for a lady.

Actually, people like myself have been raising not only our sons to respect women, but also our daughters with the idea of the importance of respecting themselves. Why? Because they are made in the image of God. Fathers like me have been trying to instill this into our children for literally years and years. Hopefully some of it has taken to be in our children.

Unfortunately, what seems to be happening in society all the while is people like myself are being blamed and ridiculed for being old-fashioned or too staunchly Biblical in our stance, teachings, and beliefs. For instance, I believe to my core that, “We can't have two sets of standards, one set for the dedicated young men who want to do something ambitious and one set for those who don't” (Bear Bryant). When I have posted this in the past, I have been ridiculed by some because they say that is just too difficult. Well, living God’s ways are not easy. If it was, more people would do it!

This photo is just one reason why men like me are actually sick and tired of being lectured at from those who are, dare I say, hypocrites. We are already striving to teach our children good and right Biblical teachings, only to be ridiculed in public for our efforts by many who are against God and His ways. Unfortunately, this is to be expected.

Well, I for one will keep teaching my children that we are all made in the image of God and that we should respect everyone as a person. I will also continue to teach my children the importance of living out Godly ways in this world. When they choose to sin against God, I teach them to take responsibility for their actions and accept the just and natural consequences that come their way. Why? So they will continue to grow and become mature and complete, not lacking anything.

People of God, we need to stay the course, for such a time as this!

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Psalm 8

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, January 21, 2019 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

“Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory in the heavens. Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?
You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet: all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild, the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.
Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”
(Psalm 8)

This psalm is one of praise. While it focuses on creation, it does not represent praise to the creation itself, but rather praise of the creation because of who the Creator is.

This psalm starts out addressing God first and foremost. In English, we see the word “Lord” twice; but that’s not how it is in the Hebrew. The first word is what’s known as the tetragrammaton, or Yahweh as it’s often poorly translated into English. This name of God is unpronounceable in the Hebrew, and out of respect and awe for God, Jews wouldn’t try to pronounce it anyway. We often say “Adonai” (which means “Lord”) or “Hashem” (which means “the name”) instead. The second word of this verse is actually pronounced as Adonai in Hebrew, and again it means Lord or Master, and it has what’s called a pronominal suffix attached to it that means “our.” So even though the two words are different, they could come out sounding similar, even in the Hebrew. At any rate, these two words clearly show us that we’re addressing the God of the universe.

Right off the bat in verse 1, the psalmist is proclaiming praise to God, by saying how majestic His name is in all the earth. This shows that all creation reveals God’s power and might, because He created it. Only the part of the creation that is humanity knows how to properly praise God, though, because we’re the only ones to whom He has truly revealed His majestic name. We then see not only earth reveals God’s glory, but heaven too!

In verse 2, it’s clear that regardless of what our enemies or anyone wicked may do, even the praise of children silences them. God is that majestic, because of who He is and all He has done in creating both the heavens and the earth.

Verse 3 calls our mind back to the creation account in Genesis 1 and how God created all the celestial bodies and set them in place (Genesis 1:14-18). It’s interesting to note that this is the work of God’s “fingers.” It didn’t even take God’s whole hand to create the heavens, just His fingers were sufficient. In all of mankind’s exploration of the universe, we still haven’t gotten even anywhere close to the edge of it, millions of light years away; and that only took God’s fingers to create! How much larger and more awesome is our God than even the universe that we know of! The psalmist is truly amazed at what God has created.

In the midst of that great expanse of the sky and all the celestial bodies that are in it, how small and miniscule we are as humans (verse 4)! This should cause us to question our worth and what we are doing in our tiny part of this vast universe that the almighty God has created. But yet, we are reminded that God is mindful of us and does care for us. In Hebrew, the word translated here as “mindful” means that God remembers us. The word translated here as God caring for us can also be translated as to visit or spend time with us. In all the vastness of the universe and the amazingness of God’s creation, He still wants to spend time with us!

This psalm reminds us that although mankind was created on the sixth day of creation, God saved the best for last and we were not an afterthought. Mankind was the epitome of God’s creation, that He wants to truly be in relationship with us. While that got more difficult for us after mankind sinned and separated ourselves from God (Genesis 3), He still desires to spend time with us.

Verses 5-8 of this psalm show us this idea that mankind is the most significant part of all God’s creation. Man is nowhere near equal to God of course, but we were created to rule over the creation that God has given us, just like was explained in Genesis 1:28: “God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.’”

The final verse of this psalm echoes the beginning of it, as a way to emphasize the main point of this psalm: God’s name is truly majestic and worthy of our praise!

How are you living out this psalm in your life? While we should worship the Creator and not His creation, are you honoring that creation that God has given us by taking care of it? Do you praise God on a regular basis for this world He has created for us? Sure, it’s no longer perfect like it was before mankind sinned, but it still has amazing beauty, awesome magnificence, and depth beyond what we can know.

Praise God today for who He is and that He still desires to have relationship with us, the most special part of the entire universe that He created!

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Ask and Believe

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Sunday, January 20, 2019 0 comments

by Logan Ames

Last year, as the debate between our two main political parties regarding border security was heating up in our country, then-House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi made a statement that President Trump needed to immediately stop the “inhumane, barbaric policy” of separating family members at the border. She went on to say that ripping vulnerable children away from their parents is “an utter atrocity." Now, I’m not here to comment on either side of that debate, as there are valid points on both sides. But I do find it absolutely hypocritical that someone who supports the right to rip innocent children from their mothers’ wombs would say that taking them away from their parents during a border crisis is an “atrocity."

Since abortion became a constitutionally protected right 46 years ago this Tuesday, there have been almost 61 million children whom God had decided had the right to life but never got to realize that right because someone ripped them out of their mothers’ bodies and discarded them like trash. If the words I am using here disgust you, then I hope you’re motivated to try to do something to stop this tragedy. As the abortion debate rages on in our nation right alongside the border security debate, many who are pro-choice even claim that compassion for women is at the heart of their view. They ignore the damage, often both emotionally and physically, that is done to a woman when she has an abortion. They also seem to not care about the females whose lives are snuffed out in the name of “choice."

In the Bible, James has a word for this type of contradictory thinking: double-minded (James 1:8). If you care about those who are vulnerable and oppressed but support the right to eliminate the most vulnerable and oppressed of children, you literally have two opposite things in your mind. James talks about the condition of having two different mindsets in one mind in the context of addressing how Christians should handle the hardships that come their way. After talking about how trials make us mature and complete, James says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” (James 1:5). His order is very intentional. Think about it. When are you and I the most likely to realize that we need help and can’t get by on our own? It’s when circumstances are absolutely horrible!

When we are going through trials, the blessing in disguise is that it makes us humble ourselves and admit that we don’t have all the answers. Trials force us to seek wisdom from God. We might need wisdom to evaluate how the trial came about. Maybe we need wisdom to figure out how we can persevere and find joy in the midst of the hardship. When you’re searching for answers, where do you look? Do you read more books, see more counselors, or search the Internet to see if you can find some sort of direction? I’m not at all suggesting that these cannot be useful tools, but they do not compare to the God that created the universe. The beautiful thing about God is that He welcomes us when we need Him. Hebrews 4:16 reminds us that we can “approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."

James, like the writer of Hebrews, also tells us that we have no reason not to come to God since God gives generously and does not resent us for asking for help, even if we’ve asked many times before. If we are asking God for wisdom that we know comes only from Him, we will receive it. This is another concept echoed two other places in the New Testament by James’ older half-brother. You know him as “Jesus." In Matthew 6:33, He says that if we “seek first his kingdom and righteousness," then we’ll receive all the others things we need. In Matthew 7:7, He says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." When we put all these verses together, it’s clear that God’s M.O. is to give us what we need when we need it, according to His plan for our lives.

Despite all of this, we still struggle to go to Him, and when we do go to Him, we struggle to fully commit to the belief that He is willing and able to meet our needs. That’s why James had to turn his attention to the doubters, which included pretty much everyone in the early Church. In James 1:6-7, he tells us that we must make the choice to believe that God will give us the wisdom needed and choose not to doubt, because if we doubt then we are “like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind,” and should not expect to receive wisdom from God. God is a gentleman and will not force us to trust in Him or believe Him. If we doubt Him, it’s not likely we’ll get what He promises. Charles Spurgeon once preached, “You know, dear friends, that there is a way of praying in which you ask for nothing, and get it."

James finishes this section of his letter with the reference I mentioned at the beginning, saying that those who ask and then doubt are “double-minded and unstable in all they do." The ancient Greek for “double-minded” is dipsuchos, which can be more accurately translated as “double-souled." Living in this way is like having your soul pulled in two opposite directions. Many of us who have doubted God before or after we’ve prayed and attempted to put our faith in Him wouldn’t think that we are in the same company as confused politicians who have contradicting views regarding vulnerable children. But we must understand that James considers asking and doubting a serious hindrance to our faith and overall witness to others.

I don’t know what you are asking God for in your life or what difficulty you have been experiencing. But I do know that no matter what it is, God has wisdom that He wants to give you and He is just waiting to be asked and believed. If you’re going to doubt whether or not He is a good God who can give you what you need, you’re better off not even asking! A wave in the sea has no foundation. It is restless and is controlled by the winds, meaning it has no stability. Yet, it can slam into things and cause great damage. The same is true for anyone who doubts God after asking Him for wisdom and help. That person is restless, controlled by the changing winds of the culture, and has no firm foundation, yet can still do some great damage. If you’re struggling to believe that God can give you what you need, take a look at Mark 9:24. A man who wanted Jesus to heal his son knew that he lacked some faith, but cried out, “I do believe; help my unbelief!” He didn’t want to doubt anymore and had enough faith to know he needed more. You too can go to God for anything you need, and when you’re not sure you believe, just repeat those words. Remind God that you do believe, but you know you need help. He loves you and will help you endure anything He puts in front of you. Trust Him!

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


Back to Basics

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, January 18, 2019 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

Legendary football coach Vince Lombardi always started the football season and every camp he led by gathering all these professional players, who did nothing but eat, sleep, and breathe their sport with this: he took a football and said, “This is a football.” He always took each season and each camp back to the basic fundamentals of the sport, no matter how long the players had been in the sport.

Every sport coach who has any real value will never be able to emphasize enough the importance of constantly going over the basics, no matter how familiar the athlete is with the sport. You never graduate from the basics. In this past year as a fencing coach, this is something I have been learning. I often had the mindset of ‘once you know the basics, you keep practicing them, but you move on to bigger and better things.’ This is actually a dangerous position to be in, because you can easily get cocky, and then little by little you start to forget your basics. Once you start to lose your basics, you start getting sloppy and making errors. While you may be able to show flair and fancy skills, you likely won’t win the game.

A few weeks ago, the other assistant coach and I were leading footwork drills. In fencing, your footwork is the most critical part because that is what gives you both the distance and the timing to execute your actions. The other coach was running the drills while I observed how the players’ feet were going. I noticed a number of glaring errors in many of the fencers. I mentioned this to both the assistant and to the head coach so I took my Epee class (which was just two beginning fencers that time) and re-taught them how to properly lunge. For one of them, I saw a significant improvement over the evening. The other had already seen the lesson before and it helped her too.

No matter what field it is, you never should let go of the basics. It does not matter if it is a sport, business, science, academics, or our faith. One of the great dangers to letting the basics slip is that you tend to forget them and then think you are above them. I have seen that in fencers where they get a lot of skills and athleticism early on, but their entire skill is based on their speed, size, and athletics, and not on truly knowing the sport and the mental game. Those who have learned the game and have the skill to pull off what to do can figure out their weakness and shut them down. I am not always there athletically, but I can often see what they are doing. I know how to stop them, but I don’t always have the physical skills to do it.

Science is a field where the basics are frequently forgotten and overlooked. When I get people trying to defend the dating methods that show the earth to be billions of years old, I ask, “How accurate are those methods?” To this day, I can count ONE person out of many who defend these methods who even had a clue of what I was asking. Most answer by saying how repeated results with different methods produce the accuracy. The problem is, to be accurate, you have to compare your ideas to a given standard, not be able to repeat results. The latter is precision, not accuracy. Many science PhD’s do not know the difference any more.

If you pay attention to such models, you will also see they build their models on physics equations, but they forget the fundamental principles those equations are taken from. The Big Bang model, for example, violates practically every known principle of physics such as angular momentum and gas laws, despite using those equations in the models. They search for equations and scenarios that back their God-less ideas, and yet they fail to see that such scenarios violate the very principles they claim they stand on. How? They forget their basics and, in some cases, actually think they are above them. As a result, they have become the proverbial fools Paul warned us about.

But what about our Christian lives? How many times do you hear a sermon about returning back to your basics? I can’t think of one. Most of the time, any “return to basics” is ultimately little more than a sermon for a call for unbelievers to come to Christ. Now there is nothing wrong with such a sermon, but most Christians today do not know what the basics are, and when the idea of basics is brought up, they think of “going back to being a baby Christian, and I’m above that.” Back in May last year, I wrote about “Basic Christianity” and this idea has been stuck in my head for a while. So what are the basics?

The basics of Christianity can be boiled down to several things. It always starts with the nature and character of God. A couple years ago, I wrote about 13 of the attributes of God. One of my readers made a request to do a series on the names of God, and I’m likely to start that very soon. If we don’t know who God is and what he is like, we will go off on all kinds of wild tangents. Some other basics include that man is responsible for sin, and yet God sent his Son Jesus to pay the penalty for it. The cross is the central element to Christianity as everything points to it. You can’t get more basic than that. Salvation is by the grace of God, not by our own efforts lest any man be able to boast. Yet it is demonstrated through our actions.

Those are just some of the basic truths of Christianity. And while we hear these “basics” so many times that we just gloss over them, we need to know and understand that we never graduate from them. We never get past them. We must continually go back to them, practice them, and never forget them. We don’t “graduate” from the Gospel (as Voddie Baucham put it). While these same basic truths have infinite depth, “Level 100” is always in perfect alignment with “Level 1.” And “Level 100” is impossible unless “Level 1” is true. Unless we continue to work and develop “Level 1,” we will not be able to access “Level 100.”

Do not neglect the basics. Continually refresh yourself on the basics of anything you are doing; it does not matter what field it is. For me, I am seeing the need for it as I coach fencing in both my fencers and in myself. I see it in Christianity. It is also needed in every other field from education, to science, to business, to politics, to other sports, to raising families, to anything. Get back to the basics and start doing the fundamentals correctly. Once you start doing that, keep doing that. From there, you can build upon them and get a quality performance, and even sneak in some fancy stuff. But the fancy stuff doesn’t work unless you do so from a basic, fundamental foundation.

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What's the Deal with Millennials? Part 1

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, January 17, 2019 0 comments

by Steve Risner

Today I wanted to change gears a bit because I heard something on the radio that piqued my interest and got me thinking. After I looked into it, I found it to be generally true and a ton of people are writing about why. I'm not one to follow trends, but I've connected a few dots that I think many are missing. Or perhaps they don't want my observation to be true, so they ignore what seems to me to be fairly logical. What am I talking about? Millennials. They are a very large portion of the population around the globe. Millennials are those age 14-34 give or take, or some say those born between 1981 and 1996, or more vaguely those who reached adulthood in the early 21st century. However you slice it or wherever you feel this particular generation lands, some glaring issues are surfacing.

Millennials (aka Generation Y) are the most unreligious, undevoted, apolitical generation in our history as a nation. However, this unreligious people group is also the most medicated for anxiety disorders, the most depressed, the least happy, and the most suicidal generation we've seen, according to some. Obviously, numbers can range on these issues and it can get muddy to figure out some solid stats, but it seems like this generation is trending this way. Let's see what's up here.

There are just short of 2 billion millennials in the world, and about 75 million of them live in the US. According to Pew and Science Daily, fewer millennials consider themselves to be religious than any other previous generation. I said above that they are “undevoted” because they are also very unlikely to associate with a political party (although most vote in favor of progressive/Democrat candidates or issues) and are less likely to consider themselves to be patriotic. So, the undevoted idea comes from the fact that they have, in general, decided to not associate with any major “groups” that most other generations would affiliate with—religious affiliation, political affiliation, or love of country. Associated with this is the fact that a larger portion claim to not believe in God. They are far less likely to trust anyone, as well.

Psychology Today reports that Millennials have higher levels of anxiety, stress and depression than any other generation at the same age. The American Psychological Association found that Millennials report more stress than any previous generation. It seems striking, to me at least, that they are also less capable of dealing with it.

Generation Y has the most negative outlook on the future when compared to other age groups. About one quarter of them believe depression is normal, especially as we age. I would wager that since many if not most will be on some sort of depression or anxiety medication before they retire, this makes sense. It must just be part of the aging process to be unhappy, depressed, or otherwise mentally burdened, although for me that is a strange idea. But Millennials generally feel they've been dealt a bad hand in life. They feel everyone else has had it easier than they have it. Again, I guess this is not too surprising that they are significantly more depressed than other generations. So, why?

There are all sorts of reasons, and I think at least some of them are intertwined—one feeding off of another. Millennials are having a hard time getting married and, if they do, it's usually later in life. There are many healthy benefits of marriage. In general, you're just happier and healthier overall. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule, but it's the trend for sure. There are even some healthy results to having children. I bring this up because In 1980, parents would have children, on average, at age 22. For Millennials, it's 30 and nearly half of those first time mothers are not married. And the number of children being had by American families (or by American mothers, more accurately) is declining. It has been that way for decades.

So, in short, Millennials are having fewer marriages and fewer children. Our society might be in trouble. I'll not get into the amazing strength that often comes from the nuclear family, but let's just say God designed it that way for a reason. He's blessed the family unit of mom, dad, and children, but that's another topic for another day. This, I feel, is one reason Millennials are less happy and more depressed and anxious.

Another reason: technology. Screen time is high for Millennials (it's actually high, in my opinion, for most age groups but Millennials are very high). Gen Y'ers spend a half hour longer with their face in a screen than Gen X'ers, with a about 141 minutes of screen time daily! This has a two-pronged detrimental effect. Let me show you why.

Studies show that “screen time” harms us mentally. Technology overload is a leading cause of anxiety, social isolation, and stress in general. Still, we can't get enough of it and we seem to even know it's bad for us. Quartz puts it this way:

“Every year, teens are asked about their general happiness, in addition to how they spend their time. We found that teens who spent more time seeing their friends in person, exercising, playing sports, attending religious services, reading or even doing homework were happier. However, teens who spent more time on the internet, playing computer games, on social media, texting, using video chat or watching TV were less happy.”

What this means is that, generally, activities related to screens produced less happiness while activities not associated with screens were associated with more happiness. They go on in that article at Quartz to explain that if a teen spends 5 or more hours a day with his/her face in a screen, he/she is twice as likely to be unhappy when compared to teens who spend less than one hour with a screen-based activity. That's remarkable, isn't it? The take home message with this part is to spend time doing other things. Rather than live a virtual life through a screen, get out and be active, doing REAL things. Your health and happiness depend on it.

The second prong is the financial stress that technology may place on a person. The poor of our country, generally, have far more than the upper classes of most other cultures. If you make over $32,000 a year right now, you are in the top 1% of all human beings currently living. Wasting your time on social media or playing a video game is rarely profitable financially and often distracts us from actually doing work that pays the bills. Financial stress is one of the reasons Millennials say they're super stressed. That's part of the “bad hand” they've been dealt. But financial stress, or not having enough money, is relative and generally over diagnosed.

There has never been a time in the history of the world where people have had more money and stuff than right now in the United States. The poor of our country generally have far more than the upper classes of most other cultures. That's half the national average, by the way. Those living in poverty in the United States claim a higher standard than the average European, and today's Americans in the lower ends of financial security still have far more than most of our great-grandparents ever dreamed. Americans today enjoy a higher standard of living, greater economic security, longer life expectancy, less crime, and more leisure than any people group in the world's history. Yet we have a generation that is depressed or anxious about their financial health. I won't get into a psychology post here, but it seems we're comparing ourselves too much with others and not even doing a good job of that.

This is where we'll end this week. I've given some statistics and facts about the generation we commonly refer to as “Millennials.” Next week, I'm going to express what I feel are the real or most penetrating reasons for the Millennials’ trend to be the most medicated and most depressed generation in our nation's history. I thank you for reading and hope you'll stick with me.

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


Some Kind of Zombie

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, January 15, 2019 9 comments

by Chad Koons

It was October of 1983, I was 8 years old, and zombies had forced themselves upon my brain. Just let me explain, you’ll see what I mean.

I am the youngest of 3 siblings by 5 years. This meant that while my brother and sister were old enough to escape to their friends’ houses, I was stuck having to tag along with Mom and Dad wherever they went. On one particular evening, my parents and I had taken the drive into the country for yet another boring evening at Dot’s (Dot is my mom’s cousin). As my Mom had always done upon arrival, she nestled in around the kitchen table while she and Dot commenced to laugh and solve the family’s problems between sips of coffee. My dad and Dot’s husband, Larry, would quickly flee this situation, going outside to see and/or tinker on one of Larry’s old cars. So there I was, again, left to fend for myself in Dot’s living room. This wasn’t always so bad, especially since her house had acquired something that we didn’t yet have: a VCR! She also had this wondrous cabinet full of VHS tapes, the best movies of the era: E.T., Tron, and Rocky, along with a bunch of “bootlegs” mostly consisting of action and horror movies. While I was only permitted to watch the kid-friendly tapes, that evening I was feeling naughty and decided to venture deeper into the cabinet’s forbidden fruit. It was then, on that already spooky October evening, where I had popped in one of those forbidden, grainy bootlegs and scared myself half to death. It was a movie called “Night of the Living Dead.”

I remember being frozen in fear, it all looked so real! Zombies?! Dear God, why?! These were horrible killing machines, devoid of any mercy, incapable of intelligent thought, and bent solely upon one thing: the need for fresh, living flesh! And they could spread the disease! I knew chilling fear for maybe the first time in my life, and neither fields nor cemeteries would ever look the same after that. I even remember the drive home that night, staring out the car window into the fields surrounding us, not wanting Dad to slow down or even stop at stop signs. If zombies were real, which I thought they might be, surely they’d come out to attack us! To this day I may see a field at dusk and think about it.

Fast forward to today, and you know what? Zombies still manage a hold onto some part of my brain. When I think about my hateful relationship with zombies, I always come back to the same conclusion: zombies are a perversion and they are simply unnatural. Aside from the evil deeds they do, their unnatural perversion runs much deeper than the sum of their actions. Let’s be honest here, shouldn’t the dead stay, well… dead? That’s what gets me. Dead things coming back to wreak havoc is disturbing.

Here’s something else that is disturbing to realize: zombies exist, and they are coming to get people.

Since you are reading this blog post, I’m going to assume that you are a Christian or are at least interested in Christianity, which is why this topic is relevant for you. My dear friends, be warned. Christians are becoming zombies. Not the undead flesh eaters, but probably not the kind of zombie you’re thinking about, either. You’ve heard the saying, “Dead man walking, God speaks and we obey”? Like we’re zombies for the Lord or something? I disagree with this idea, despite that cool old song from Audio Adrenaline. No, it’s different from these; it’s when Christians resurrect the dead inside of them.

Here’s how it happens…

We begin our Christian life abundantly well. We are found by the Lord while we are in a helpless death state, wherein He comes and causes the old to be done away with; indeed He makes all things new. And these new things are of God. He then invites us to take on His mission alongside of Him. Read how the Apostle Paul says it in 2 Corinthians 5:17-21.

However, it’s not long until we begin to realize that this world hates us as it hated Jesus. We repeatedly experience rejection and hostility, we see the fabric of morality decay around us, and we simply do not know how to handle it. We go into shock. The world lashes out at us with wound upon wound. The devil offers us “offense,” and he awaits eagerly for us to take it.

We take offense, becoming angry, disgusted, and tired of the godlessness thriving around us. Our offense quickly spreads, reaching the old sinful nature inside of us. This old person we were before Christ is just like Frankenstein’s monster, laying there awaiting fuel for a comeback.

What happens next is straight from a horror movie. In defiance we shut down the Spirit, withhold our compassion, abandon our mission, and turn off our heart, and slowly but surely, the necrosis sets in. The old sinful nature inside of us comes roaring back to life. It comes clawing from its grave, lumbering out from its seclusion, bent on dealing damage to this world that seemingly threatens it. The zombie has risen. This righteous zombie will now weaponize the Word of God and use it without mercy.

Instead of loving and reaching the world with a message of good news and repentance, the light of the world now feels backed into a corner and leaps forward with fangs bared. We have traded love for contempt and have exchanged relationship for guerrilla warfare. I see it daily. It grieves the Holy Spirit and repels the very people whom we are called to reach. This zombie becomes its own worst enemy.

Yet there is a better way. Walk in the Spirit and you not fulfill the desires of the flesh. The lost need to see Jesus. We must put off our old self and put on the new. As we draw near to the Lord, He will draw near to us, and He will fill us, all in all. Our life will truly be hidden with God in Christ. The world will know us and experience the very powerful, life-changing presence of God emanating through our lives. The greater works of Jesus will become reality and love will take over. The Kingdom we long for will come.

Ephesians 4:17-24 says, “Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ!— assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”

1 Thessalonians 5:14-15 says, “And we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.”

We know that this world is in a state of decay and that evil prevails when good men do nothing, but we must remember that we are the light of this world. Let the dead stay dead as we feed our faith, allowing nothing but Him. The last thing this world needs is a zombie invasion. Let them see Jesus in your life.

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


Psalm 2

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, January 14, 2019 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

“Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed, saying, 'Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles.'
The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. He rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, 'I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain.'
I will proclaim the Lord’s decree: He said to me, 'You are my son; today I have become your father. Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. You will break them with a rod of iron; you will dash them to pieces like pottery.'
Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling. Kiss his son, or he will be angry and your way will lead to your destruction, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.”
(Psalm 2)

While the book of Psalms is an Old Testament book, many of its chapters look forward to the Messiah. This is one of those, and it tells us the story of God redeeming His people. Not sure how it does that? Read on…

This psalm starts out describing the turmoil that’s happening on earth. While we don’t know the date this psalm was written, scholars think it is likely in the time of David, who was the most important king of the nation of Israel. We see that the rulers of the earth are banding together to go against the Lord, but the psalmist realizes that is irrelevant against the power of God. The first phrase of, “Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain?” expresses the irony of the kings’ efforts against God; they can conspire together all they want, but their power will be no match for God’s. They are trying to go against God, but it will not work.

Not only are the rulers trying to go against God, but they’re against His anointed one as well (verse 2). The word in Hebrew for “anointed” is “mashiach,” which is where we get the word Messiah from. The first couple verses of this psalm are quoted in Acts 4:25-26, where we see that the Greek word for “Christ” is used. We know that the Anointed One spoken of in this psalm is Jesus Christ, who HImself is God.

While the psalmist knows the rebellion of the earthly rulers is in vain, it’s still a dangerous situation to go through. We know that Jesus has saved us, but we still see the rulers of our world today trying to band together to go against God; things really aren’t all that different from the psalmist’s time. We too need to have that same confidence, knowing that anything this world does is no match for God’s power.

The psalm goes on to tell about God and how He is ruling in heaven, even with all this turmoil going on in the earth (verses 4-6). God knows that man has no power against Him; God created mankind after all. God’s reaction to the rebellion on earth is to proclaim that He is installing His King. God installed David as an earthly king over the nation of Israel, but that was only a foretelling of the real King of Kings who would rule the entire world, Jesus Christ. God already had His plan in motion before time began, and mankind has no power to thwart that.

We see the Apostle Paul quote verse 7 in Acts 13:32-33. In Biblical times, when a king was coronated, his coronation day was considered like a birthday of sorts for when he assumed that role. The language of declaring, “You are my son; today I have become your father” was often associated with crowning a new king and that new role the king would have. When Paul quoted this, he is talking about Jesus and His role as the Son of God the Father. Paul is showing that Jesus is the ultimate king. In Jesus’ death and resurrection on the cross, He paid the ultimate price for us, which He could only do because of His relationship with the Father.

While a son may inherit everything that belongs to his father, Jesus inherits rule over the entire world from God the Father (verse 8). A ruler (or a father) may need to discipline his people when they go astray from what is right (verse 9), but he is still in authority over them.

The psalm concludes with the last three verses telling us about the Messiah’s rule on earth. The kings are commanded to be wise (verse 10). In their wisdom, they should realize that they are powerless against God and should stop trying to go against Him. We today would be wise to realize that Jesus is the Messiah, the one King who rules over everything no matter what. We to are commanded to “serve the Lord with fear” (verse 11) in our lives; not necessarily fear as in being afraid, but fear as in being in awe of the amazing God who rules over the entire world.

So how does this psalm tell the story of God redeeming His people? It starts out with the evil that is going on and their need for a king (a savior). God sends that savior to the people, and that savior (Jesus) does the work He needs to do in order to bring about our salvation. When we believe this and submit our faith to God, we will be blessed forever with eternal life.

The psalm ends with the sentence, “Blessed are all who take refuge in him” (verse 12). While taking refuge in God won’t immediately deliver us from the dangers and troubles of this world, it will give us eternal life in Him. It is only Jesus who is the one true King, and everyone else is conspiring against Him. Whose side would you want to be on?

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


Growing Pains

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Sunday, January 13, 2019 0 comments

by Logan Ames

We are in the middle of January, which means the NFL Playoffs are in full swing. That may not mean anything to you, but I always enjoy the stories behind the people involved. This year, one of the “underdog” teams to make the playoffs was the Indianapolis Colts. They are led by their head coach, Frank Reich. I have been watching football long enough to remember when Frank, who has always been a bit of an underdog himself, led his Buffalo Bills to the greatest comeback victory in NFL playoff history over the Houston Oilers in 1993. Frank went to high school only a half hour from where I did, then was mainly a backup quarterback at the University of Maryland until a similar epic comeback in a game against the Miami Hurricanes, then served as a career backup in the NFL until he got his chance in that playoff game. Only a few weeks after that game, his team was blown out in the Super Bowl by the Dallas Cowboys. Frank’s career of waiting for his chance, succeeding initially, then failing on the biggest stage of all has given him a healthy perspective regarding life’s trials and what God really wants for us.

According to this article at The Gospel Coalition, Frank Reich is a devoted follower of Jesus Christ who went from football player, to president of Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, to interim pastor, to football coach. At every step of his journey, he has learned to trust in God to get him through the difficult times. There was a time in his life that football had become a false god to him, so he learned to accept what God was doing and re-prioritize his life when football was briefly taken away. As he learned to deal with failure the more he matured as a player and a Christian man, he accepted that followers of Jesus could see the blessing of drawing closer to God in ALL circumstances. I don’t know whether the Colts will still be alive in the playoffs by the time this post is published or not, but I do know that Frank understands that God has something for him to learn and some area of faith for him to grow either way.

This is the essence of what James wrote to the earliest Christians in James 1:2-4. He urges them to “consider it pure joy” anytime they find themselves facing hardships. That’s not our typical reaction to hardship, though. We are complainers by nature and often find ourselves questioning God on His plans rather than submitting, accepting, and choosing to have joy. But that’s exactly what joy is - a CHOICE. James makes this clear when he puts the challenge to his readers in the imperative form. He’s not saying they should maybe possibly think about giving this a try; like Nike, he’s saying, “Just DO it."

I want to point out, though, that James is not telling believers to be joyful FOR the trials, but IN them. This is a common way that this passage is misunderstood. We see these verses and think that we are supposed to in some way be thankful for the bad things that happen in our lives. That’s completely unreasonable! My wife and I have a family close to us who lost their 19-month-old daughter to a tragic accident two months ago. Who is going to be joyful about that! James gets that there are going to be things that absolutely wreck our world. We’re not talking about losing a measly football game or two; there are much bigger hardships that people faced in James’ day and still face now. Christians faced intense persecution back then and today, Christians are still being martyred all over the world.

The point on which James is urging us to stand is that nothing surprises God. He is always in control and because of that, we can choose joy no matter what is happening. There is a separation that has to take place in our minds. We must separate how it feels to experience the hardship from the joy we have in knowing that “in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). We might even pray and ask God to take away the pain and hardship while still accepting that He is in control and knows what is best.

It’s interesting that James tells us in verse 3 that “the testing of your faith produces perseverance." Hardship for the faithful produces perseverance, but it does NOT produce faith. James is talking to those who have a foundation of faith but have a tendency to slide away from it every now and then. The New King James Version of James 1:3 translates the same word for perseverance as “patience." But it’s not the type of passive patience you need when you’re sitting in traffic or your co-workers are getting on your last nerve. Rather, it’s the type of active patience that perseveres. It’s the patience that allows you to endure pain to finish the task. A marathon runner probably feels pain or cramps long before that 26th mile but patiently accepts it, knowing it will come to an end and the reward will be great. Often, we don’t even know when the trial will end or how much longer we’ll have to endure it. So, the only way to have joy is to trust that God is at work and is using it to our ultimate benefit.

This type of attitude or view of our trials does not happen automatically. The great preacher Charles Spurgeon once said, “I have learned to kiss the wave that slams me into the Rock of Ages." I guarantee you that even Spurgeon didn’t enjoy being “slammed against the rock” at first. Who does? There may have been grumbling and complaining, which do not produce perseverance but only bitterness. When we realize that the bitterness toward God or the ones causing our hardships really only destroys ourselves, that is when we must come back to James’ exhortation to “consider it pure joy." Another way of saying this would be how the Apostle Paul describes it in 2 Corinthians 10:5: “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." Once again, we are talking about something that is active and not passive. Hardships threaten to turn us against the knowledge of God and his goodness, but when we willingly choose to take those thoughts captive, we can find joy even in the midst of the most difficult of circumstances.

James tells us that, while there is no easy way to do this, the simplest path to finding joy in trials is thinking about our knowledge of the gain. He says in verse 4 that, as we persevere, we “may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." The truth is that no matter how “complete” we feel, the difficulties reveal to us the areas where we are lacking. That’s why the trials can be a blessing in disguise. Without them, we’d go on thinking that we are doing just fine and don’t need anything. Ultimately, we need the Lord every hour of every day and that is never more obvious to us than when we are suffering. As you experience hard times this week, trust that God has a purpose in it and that He will sustain you if you trust in him and patiently endure.

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