Unity! It’s What the Church Needs Right Now

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, December 31, 2020 0 comments

by Jason DeZurik

In the past, we have used the phrase “For Such a Time as This” (from Esther 4:14) as our ministry theme. We used it in a way to help our prayer and financial supporters to be encouraged that we have been encouraging and equipping youth and their parents at that current time, and also that we were preparing for the future to lovingly engage people with the truth of God and His good and right ways. Then, 2020 came upon us. We truly believe, as a ministry, that we have been raised up for such a time as this. Literally, for this very moment! More than ever, people are seeking and searching for truth, but many are also seeking and searching for their own way and not Almighty God’s way.

We have been preparing for this very moment in time, and now we need your help more than ever before. We have done the hard work of preparing for this moment and building up what God has called us to do. Worldview Warriors started a blog and a podcast many years ago before they were the “in” thing to do. We stayed faithful to the work by staying faithful to the Lord and trusting in Him that the day would come when what we were offering would be so sought out by many that we eventually could be overwhelmed by people’s responses. Though we have not been overwhelmed, because I fully believe we were wise in preparing for this moment, the amount of engagement we are now receiving is very encouraging. Not only are we receiving inquiries from people about how to be in a right relationship with God Almighty, we are also receiving many comments like the following from those engaging with the ministry:

Your stance for the Word of God is encouraging. It strengthens my faith. -JH from North Carolina

I believe the Lord is telling me to contact you regarding discipling my children. Share what you did or are doing. -CK from Pennsylvania

Great message I heard from you about accountability. -KC from Ohio

Keep on keeping on. When you are discouraged. Don’t give in. I appreciate your boldness for the Kingdom of God. The work you are doing is so vital and important. You are a great encouragement to all of us. -PA from Ohio

Jason DeZurik’s passion for the Lord and his willingness to seek and engage with the truth in love is unparalleled. Your faith in Jesus is very encouraging. -IW from Michigan

You sir are, and will continue to be, the villain of this story. Because you speak against the new virtues (of the world). You are the crazy one now. But, continue, there are still some crazy people left that are seeing what you see. -A message sent to Jason DeZurik from TC in Ohio

God has been so good to us, and we thank you for being such a faithful partner in allowing us to do God’s work and to do His will in this way. We are all moving into a new year; 2021 starts tomorrow. Many of us now have seen the Church and our foundational beliefs being shredded, not only in the public square but even by those many of us may have learned from and followed in learning about Christ in the past. I know this is a hard truth to swallow, but I truly believe we need to be open and honest with each other more than ever before. I believe God is wanting His people to be unified right now. He wants us to come under His banner and proclaim truth in love. He is looking for those who are not only standing on the Word of God through prayer and petition, but also to those who are willing to act on His Word in love as well.

As Scripture states, “As far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12:18). Please keep in mind, peace doesn’t mean without difficulty. I think many of us have thought that peace means being without difficulty or without disagreement with one another. I believe God is calling those in His Church to dig even deeper into His glorious and wonderful ways all in the mighty name of Jesus Christ. He wants us to grow and become mature and complete, not lacking anything. More than ever, we need to be as iron sharpens iron.


Would you please prayerfully consider giving Worldview Warriors an end of the year financial gift? We are very grateful for all of your support and love in our effort to advance the Kingdom of God here on earth! Please help us Encourage and Equip the Saints to impact this Generation for Jesus Christ. You can give online at WorldviewWarriors.org. Thank you!


Important Quotes to Consider

“If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.”
C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

"Resistance to tyranny becomes the Christian and social duty of each individual… Continue steadfast, and with a proper sense of your dependence on God, nobly defend those rights which heaven gave, no man ought to take from us."
Resolution from the Massachusetts Provincial Congress, 1774

“I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.”
Thomas Jefferson

"A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on."
Winston Churchill

"Liberty is not collective, it is personal. All liberty is individual liberty."
Calvin Coolidge

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

“My only hope of salvation's in the infinite, transcendent love of God manifested to the world by the death of His Son upon the cross. Nothing but His blood will wash away my sins. I rely exclusively upon it. Come Lord Jesus! Come quickly!”
Benjamin Rush, Signer of the Declaration of Independence

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The Sovereign Love of God

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, December 29, 2020 0 comments

by Eric Hansen

Control, power and surrender. When we play sports, we all want to be the champions. At work, we strive for that promotion or raise. We want to be liked by our peers. But what value do these add to our lives, when obtained by our own will? Once that gold is won, we have to keep fighting to keep it. Getting that promotion only drives us deeper into greed and lust. Pleasing our peers only keeps them around for so long.

It’s also easy to fall into a fallacy that if we want something done right, we gotta do it ourselves. On what premise does something truly happen by our own means? Circumstances are an interesting element of this world, where we like to think that something happened because it was in the right place at the right time. Consider how “the right place at the right time” is determined, though. We do not know prior to the event happening that it will in fact happen; we can only assume or infer. Both good and bad situations have consequences and benefits, but we can only map that out so far, if at all really.

The truth is that God loves us, and He is in control of what happens in our lives. This doesn’t mean we don’t have any say in what happens. But it does mean that regardless of whether we wear a red or blue shirt, for example, us reaching our destination or not is in God’s will, not ours.

Personally, I struggled many times this past year with spending moments with the Lord. I kept feeling like I had to control aspects of my life that I had no way of even trying to. A prime example of this is COVID. Back in June, when it really started hitting hard in the northwest Ohio area where I live, I was afraid of doing much of anything. Fear had an extremely tight hold on me, and the only control I felt I had was whether I could get out of bed or not. During this time, my wife had to go to Michigan for family business, and my pastor at the time asked if we could meet up for lunch. Initially I said yes, but later on that day I called him back and declined due to fear.

But not even 30 minutes after that, I felt like I just needed to go for a walk. Part of me was afraid, but another part was telling me to do it and to trust. If I stepped outside I had no control over what would happen. But, I stepped outside and went for a walk. A few times I stopped and just looked around, understanding there was nothing I could do or say that would fix any of this and that I had to surrender my trust to God if I wanted to be set free from these chains. Almost instantly, I felt like I could breathe, smile, and laugh again. Trusting in God’s sovereign love really did set me free.

There are 3 areas of the Old Testament I love to look at when I need a reminder of God’s sovereignty. Deuteronomy 7 gives insight on this when it comes to being His people (believers) or not. Specifically, verses 7-11 summarize the idea pretty well. Another area is the whole book of Job, where we see God’s control is through all suffering and blessing. Even Satan himself seeks permission, knowing how much in control God is in with everything. Lastly there’s the book of Ecclesiastes, where we see a constant theme of “X is meaningless.” X being things from wisdom, toil, pleasure, folly, et The author of the book highlights elements where regardless of what they did, God’s love and sovereignty was what happened. (Check out Katie Erickson’s blog post series on Ecclesiastes, starting here, for more on that book.)

As Christians, we do often speak of God’s love for us, but the true belief of what that love is exactly is quickly revealed when things out of our control happen. Young and old, weak and strong alike in both body and spirit can have the same experiences surrounding this. There are moments in our lives where we realize that whether we fret about things or not, it really doesn’t matter, and worrying about them won’t change the situation. We stare in awareness but also frustration as we watch a loved one die in front of us. In these moments, we can curse out to God in frustration, selfishness, or pity. Yet, not even a day prior we can go around to all of our neighbors and friends praising God and telling everyone just how great He is.

We should never forget how grateful we should be for His love, but also that His love is perfect, unlike ours. There’s no way we could equally love a homeless stranger and our husband or wife the same. We aren’t engineered to truly hold both to the same value. God is, though. That love does come at a price, and that’s control. To truly witness and experience His perfect love in our lives, we need to surrender control. Let go of what we can and cannot control and trust in Him to resolve it all.

Surround yourself with like-minded Christians and seek guidance whenever it’s needed. For me, this meant finding a Christian therapist. As this has been a constant theme between our times together, she once provided me with this saying on a bookmark I like to keep around for when I forget God’s love is in control: “By surrendering ourselves to quiet communion with God, by resting for a while from all our thinking and acting and serving, by leaving all things for once in our Heavenly Father’s hands, secret wounds are healed, gathering unbelief is dispelled, and displaced armor refixed.”

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.


The Sovereignty of God

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, December 28, 2020 1 comments

by Katie Erickson

As we wrap up this eventful year of 2020, God’s sovereignty should be especially important in our faith lives. If you’ve been around churches or Christians for a while, you’ve probably heard that God is sovereign, maybe even in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. But what does that really mean, and how should God’s sovereignty affect our lives?

Most simply, the word sovereign itself means supreme power or authority. The word itself originates from the late 13th or early 14th centuries in Latin, then was used in Old French, and then in English. Sovereign is often associated with the highest ruler or leader.

Those of us who are followers of Jesus Christ believe that the God of the Bible is the only true God, so He is, therefore, the supreme God of the universe. He is the highest ruler of the entire creation. Scripture makes it clear that there is no one greater than our God.

“No one is like you, Lord; you are great, and your name is mighty in power. Who should not fear you, King of the nations? This is your due. Among all the wise leaders of the nations and in all their kingdoms, there is no one like you” (Jeremiah 10:6-7).

“There is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God” (1 Samuel 2:2).

“Among the gods there is none like you, Lord; no deeds can compare with yours. All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, Lord; they will bring glory to your name. For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God” (Psalm 86:8-10).

Jesus, being fully God, is also sovereign: “For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord” (Jude 1:4).

That’s all fine and good, but how does that matter for our daily lives living in this world? We have the opportunity to serve the supreme authority of the universe. In our sinfulness, we often think that we humans are the ones who should be worshiped - and we often apply that to ourselves, that we’re worthy of praise. But the truth is, God is the only one who is worthy of all praise and honor and glory. “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being” (Revelation 4:11). We have fellow humans in authority over us while on this earth simply to maintain order, but the truth is that all people are sinful, just like us. Sinful people are not worthy of our worship; the one true God is. We should not desire to serve those who are sinful like us but to serve the one holy and perfect God of the universe - the supreme authority over everything. Everything.

The next aspect of God’s sovereignty for our lives is one of obedience and trust. Do you know every single thing that is happening everywhere in the world right now? How about everything that has ever happened or will ever happen to all people and in all times and places? God does. He knows everyone. He knows every detail - thoughts, words, and actions - about every single person who has ever or will ever live. Would you rather trust someone who only knows a tiny fragment of maybe a few people’s lives, or would you rather trust God who knows everything? God, being all-knowing and all-present, can fully be trusted. We are called to be obedient to Him and trust in Him because He has proven over and over again that He is worthy of our trust. Read any story in the Bible and see how God handled it perfectly, while the humans in it messed things up because they didn’t have the full picture of what was going on. We’re just like that, so we can and should trust in God and be obedient to Him because of His sovereignty.

Finally, God’s sovereignty should give us immense comfort and peace. This world is scary, there’s no doubt about that. Lots of bad things can happen to us in this world because of the sinfulness of ourselves and our fellow humans. But nothing - and I mean NOTHING - should truly scare us when we know that God is sovereign. While He does not control us, He has this entire world in His hand and under His control. Yes, very bad things can and likely will happen to each of us. But God is bigger and more powerful than anything that this world can give us. Covid-19 seems to have taken over our whole world and many people are living in great fear of it, but God is still bigger. Our loved ones, or even we ourselves, may get Covid-19 or cancer or any number of other ailments, but does that mean God is no longer in control? Definitely not! When bad things happen to us, that gives God the opportunity to show His sovereignty in our lives. We should take comfort in the fact that God is still God no matter what is happening on this earth, and He still loves His creation more than our minds can comprehend.

God’s sovereignty allows us to serve the almighty and powerful ruler of the universe and give Him the glory that He is due. We can trust Him and live our lives in obedience to Him because He is worthy of our trust. We can have comfort and peace knowing that God is always in control and His loving plans for us will be fulfilled.

How have you seen God’s sovereignty play out in 2020? How can you better serve, trust, and be comforted by Him in 2021?

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Sola Christus

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, December 25, 2020 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

Today is Christmas Day, the day that Christians around the world celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Of course, there is no formal evidence that this day is the day, but the birth of Jesus is one of the core events that changed the world. Jesus, the second person of the Trinity, one with God the Father and the Holy Spirit, came down to the earth, to live as a mere mortal man and for one primary purpose: to bear the sins of the world.

This is another central piece of the five “solas” of Christianity: “Christ Alone.” Again, this goes back to Martin Luther and what he saw with the Roman Catholic Church. They did not preach salvation by Christ alone, the one mediator between God and man. They preached salvation through Christ, but also through Mary, through the saints, through prayers/rites, and through the priests. Mary is held in an equally venerable position as Jesus Himself with her own Immaculate Conception, sinless perfection, and remaining a virgin, all of which Scripture vehemently denies and teaches the opposite. Jesus is the only Savior, the only one who could do it. Only one could open the scroll in heaven. John wept when he saw it could not be opened, but the Lamb who was slain showed up and He opened the scroll.

There is talk in numerous churches today about “unhitching” the Old Testament and only being concerned about the Resurrection. While Jesus’ death and Resurrection are indeed the central point and climax of this great epic of history, the reason He had to die is laid out in Genesis 1-3. The manner of which He would die is showcased throughout Israel’s history. The reason God waited around 4000 years from creation to the cross is to give snapshots throughout history of what Jesus would be like and what He would do, using physical images to showcase the spiritual side. Each of these snapshots, along with 300+ prophecies, make Jesus such a unique individual such that only one person could do it: someone who was God. It would be impossible for any man or group of men to intentionally plan someone’s birth and carry that person through the whole ordeal to “stage it.” God set it up that way on purpose.

Jesus is the only hope for salvation. God is a holy, pure, and righteous judge, and by His very nature and character, He must deal with sin as any good judge must issue a sentence for any crime against the state. The key difference is unlike our local, state, or national governments where there are different punishments for different crimes, the punishment for any sin against God is eternal damnation. And the key difference isn’t the level of crime. The key difference is the person or thing the crime is against. In “American Gospel: Christ Alone,” Sean Demaras put it this way. If you go outside and take a key and scratch a rock, there is no harm done. It’s a worthless rock. If you go to a junkyard and key a junked car, you’ll get fined for trespassing and minor vandalism. If you key someone’s new Toyota or Ford, that’s a higher level of vandalism. If you key a brand-new Mercedes Benz that’s still on the lot, the crime just became steeper. Why? Not because of the action. It’s the same crime in each case, but what changes is the value of that which the crime is committed against. And what could have greater value than the Lord of Glory? The reason a “finite” crime merits an infinite punishment is because the crime is against an infinite God. As a result, only the infinite God could pay that debt.

Jesus is the only one who could do it. There is a big push within Christian circles to promote a teaching called universalism. It’s very strong in the Progressive Christianity circles. Rob Bell and Brian McLaren are just two of the big names teaching it. William Paul Young (author of “The Shack”) teaches it. Joel Osteen teaches at least some notion of it. Younger preachers like Todd White and Stephen Furtick have sat under the tutelage of these people and in particular Richard Rohr who has a lot more in common with New Age mysticism than actual Biblical Christianity. They all have something in common: they refuse to teach that the only way to heaven, the only way to right that which is wrong, is through Jesus Christ. They will readily make an excuse for anyone who doesn’t believe this truth which Jesus Himself declared. And even if they do let this truth cross their lips, they deny the deity of Christ, reducing Him to a mere man who was “raised” to God-like status, all the while teaching that we sinful wicked humans can likewise reach God-like status. This is blasphemy. Jesus and ONLY Jesus can save mankind. (Check out “American Gospel: Christ Crucified” to see these claims on display.)

Jesus is not like anything we’ve ever seen. The Jews were expecting a military general who could chase out the Romans. Why would they? In part because every deliverer they had prior was a military leader who beat their physical oppressors. Instead, Jesus showed up as a humble man, born in a stable to a poor family. His father, Joseph, was out of the picture so we don’t know where Mary was living. We can only guess with Jesus brothers. And He did things totally different from anyone’s expectations. This is part of what it means to be “holy.” God is “other than.” He is not like us. He is not like anything we could comprehend other than what He has revealed to us. He does things differently than we do or would think, which is why the crucifixion of a Savior is a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Gentiles. It doesn’t make sense to the natural mind. The only way it will make sense is by the supernatural illumination of the Holy Spirit, but once you have that illumination and you can see a lot more of the facts, it all makes logical sense. What this means is we must do things God’s way. He’s got the whole thing under control and knows all the facts. He does not defy logic and is a God of order, but man is not. We have to do things God’s way, or God will let the results of our way take its toll.

Only Jesus can offer salvation. Salvation is only accessible through Jesus. We cannot replace Jesus with anyone or anything and get the same result. Muhammad won’t save you. Buddha won’t save you. Science won’t save you. We cannot supplement Jesus with anything or anyone. Jesus doesn’t ask for Joseph Smith to give final approval for your salvation. He doesn’t give Mary or any saint or any priest permission or the ability to forgive sin. Only God Himself can forgive sin. Only God can heal the paralytic, cure the incurable disease with a touch, cast out a demon with a command, calm the wind and the waves with a word, or multiply food, let alone raise the dead. Jesus is the only one who can pull that off. He is the Savior. He is the only option we have that actually can work. And unlike any other savior or hero, Jesus never fails. There is not a single person who has completely and wholly trusted Jesus alone who ever regretted it.

Next week on New Year’s Day, I’ll kick off the new year with the conclusion to this series with “For the Glory of God Alone.”

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Advent Reflections: Love

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, December 21, 2020 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

“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.” (John 3:16)

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

If any emotion can be considered the cornerstone of the Christian faith, it would be love. Love is why God created us. A lack of love is why humankind fell into sin and separated ourselves from God. Love is why God had a plan to redeem and reconcile us back into a relationship with Him. Love is why we will be able to spend eternity with God forever. As we near the end of this Advent season and approach Christmas Day, love should be on our hearts and minds.

This time of year, we often think of the people we love, our family and our friends. We buy them gifts to show our love for them, and we make plans to celebrate with them. Perhaps we have loved ones that we only get to see at Christmastime. Or perhaps this year, we won’t be seeing as many friends and family as we usually would due to the ongoing Covid situation. Either way, love is a key concept this time of year.

While we do love our friends and family, the two Scripture verses I quoted above show us the truest and purest form of love: the sacrificial love that God has for us, His children.

In the Greek language, there are multiple words for love; up to 6 of them, depending on who you ask. The only two of these words for love used in the New Testament are philia and agape. Philia is the type of love between friends, but it’s more like that of a deep friendship, not just the “Facebook friends” kind of love. Agape is a love so deep it compels a person to sacrifice themselves for those whom they love.

Interestingly, schoalrs believe that before the New Testament was written, agape love was no different than philia love, or even eros (physical attraction) love. The deep meaning of this word agape doesn’t come from the Greek language itself but from the understanding of God’s love that we get from the Bible. This love always starts with God, not with us; God is love and He is the source of all love (1 John 4:7-10). God loves us, and because of that love, He sent Jesus into this world to save us, when we truly didn’t deserve it. This love is shown to us in the love between God the Father and Jesus the Son, and in the love that God shows to us.

Because of God’s great love for us, our response is to love God and love others. In John 13:34, Jesus commands His disciples and us: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” 1 John 4:11 says, “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” When we realize how fully and unconditionally God has loved us, our natural response is to return that love to God and to show that same love to one another, especially those who also love God. But we are also called to show this love to those we consider our enemies. In Matthew 5:44, Jesus tells us, “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

All of these references to love are the agape kind of love. This active love is defined by who God is and how much He loves us, and it should be reflected in our love for God and our fellow people.

When Jesus was born as a baby in Bethlehem as we celebrate at Christmas, love came to earth in human form. If there is ever someone who personified love, that is definitely Jesus. His whole life was lived out of love for all of humankind. The fact that He even needed to come to earth was because humanity messed up and separated ourselves from God, and Jesus needed to come to earth to live out love so that we may experience God’s eternal and perfect love with Him forever when we reach eternal life.

What are you doing as Christmas rapidly approaches to show this agape love to one another? What are you doing to not only show this love to those people you like and are close to you but also to those people you may not know, or that you may not even like at all? Jesus didn’t pick and choose; He came to earth to live a life of love for all of humankind.

In order to live out this love, I encourage you to review the other aspects of Advent that we have already discussed: hope, peace, and joy. The basis for all of these is love. We have a certain hope because of the love that God has for us. We will have eternal peace in Christ because of the love that He has for us. We can have joy because of the love that God shows us. God is love, and everything He does is all about love. Imitate God in making your life about truly loving others well this Christmas season. Merry Christmas!

For more on what the Bible says about love, check out this post.

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.


Sola Fide

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, December 18, 2020 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

Third in the Five Solas is Sola Fide, or “Faith Alone.” We are saved by grace alone through faith alone. Grace is the gift; faith is the vehicle for how it is delivered and takes action. Now, many people have different ideas of about what faith is, so I am going to define what I am talking about here. Hebrews 11:1 gives the formal definition of faith. It is the substance of things hoped for and evidence for things unseen. Let’s break this down.

“Substance for things hoped for.” Faith is not wishful thinking. It is not blind. It has substance. Faith requires an object; it is trust in something or someone. If I promise to come and meet you at a certain place at a certain time and you come to the meeting place, you have put faith in my word that I will be there. You are trusting me that I will keep my word. You don’t know at the time if I will be there or not, but you have something to grab onto know if I will be there or not: my word.

“Evidence of things unseen.” This is just another way to say the same thing. But evidence is something concrete that you know it is trustworthy. This is usually expressed by experience. You have heard me give my word time and time again. While you do not have “proof” I will keep it this time, you have a reliable record that I do and will. There is evidence that you know and trust. That’s why we open up our computers, start our cars, sit on our chairs without wondering, “Will it work for me this time?” We don’t actually know if it will do it this time, but we’ve done it enough times to know it likely will. The less we trust it, the less faith we have it will work. But the more we trust it, the less we’ll question if we can use it.

Whole chapters and books have been written on this. If you want a good study on faith and what it looks like check out one of our books from former blogger Logan Ames, Heroes of the Faith. He did a full study on Hebrews 11 and what faith is and what it looks like. But now to our focus of study: our salvation, our hope is through faith alone.

It’s a “game of trust” if you could call it that. God isn’t asking us for works, good deeds, or great acts of heroism. All He really asks of us is to trust Him. Yes, it’s that simple. All God asks of us is to trust Him. That’s what faith is: trust. But there are works and deeds that come with it. James 2 is about demonstrating your faith through works. So, let me add this: faith requires action. Anyone can believe anything, but it’s not faith and I wouldn’t call it “belief” either until you take action that proves you believe it. You can mentally agree that an airplane can fly. You can sit at the airport watch every plane take off and land and know every detail about how a plane works. But you do not have faith in the airplane; you do not believe in the flight ability of an airplane until you get inside the airplane and go flying.

Christianity is like the airplane. Many people know all about God and they know about Jesus and they know the doctrines. It’s easy to play the intellectual game. Don’t get me wrong, you better know what it is you claim to believe. Many people claim the faith but don’t have the foggiest idea of what it is they have attached their name to. It shows not just on the intellectual side but also the practical side. You can know all about Jesus, but the only way it works is to “get in Him.”

Biblical faith requires complete reliance and dependence upon Jesus. It’s a child-like faith. As a child implicitly and naturally trusts his parents, so we are to trust God. This means you don’t pray for Plan A and then have Plan B in the back of your mind if Plan A fails. God does not honor back-up plans, because there’s no trust. There’s no dependance upon Him. God wants you to trust Him enough that you are putting your life on the line. That means you trust God so much that if He fails, you’re dead. That said, we are not to be presumptuous. God is only responsible for upholding the promises He made, not ones we proclaim “in His name.” That’s what Jesus addressed with Satan in the wilderness when He said, “Do not put the Lord thy God to the test.” You cannot force God’s hands. If you want to intentionally throw yourself off a cliff claiming God will save you or throw yourself into a pit of snakes and scorpions saying you’ll be safe from poison, God has no obligation to answer that. That doesn’t make God unfaithful; it makes you stupid. We should instead be as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, where we know full well God can save us, and we will take a position that even if He does not, we will still follow and trust Him.

Our salvation is acquired by believing Him. We may not have it in our hands just yet, but we are going to step forward, moving and acting and speaking as though it already is in our hands. Jehoshaphat demonstrates this. He was surrounded by three armies and cried to the Lord for help. A Levite, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, said that God would deliver them, and they would win without having to raise a sword. What did he actually have? Just a promise of victory. What did Jehoshaphat do? He brought his army out to the battle but led with singers and worshippers. He believed God. He had faith that the battle was already won, even though the three armies were still out there. He walked in faith that God’s word was true. And he got to see the three armies all defeat each other and never had to draw his sword.

Do we trust God? Is our faith truly in Jesus? Do our lives reflect such faith? It’s easy to claim, but here is how you can tell where your faith lies: by who you listen to. Is your faith in Jesus? Or is it in the scientists of our world? The media? The politicians? A pastor? Again, easy to claim. Whom do you trust to get you through Monday? What is your source of authority? What is your sustenance? Where does your energy come from? Your answer is where your faith lies. Do you have the right Jesus? The right God? Or is your faith in a figment of your own making?

The saving faith isn’t a mere, “I believe Jesus died for my sins.” It’s much more than that. It is complete submission to Christ. Now none of us are perfect, but are we in process? If Jesus is just Savior and not Lord, then you don’t trust Him. You only use Him as a “get-out-of-jail-free” card and that’s not Christianity. The faith that God wants us to have is wholly, completely, nothing held back, no reserves, no second-guessing, full confidence that He is who He said He is and He does what He says He does. There can be fear and trembling and “uncertainty” to a degree, but it’s stepping out, trusting God, asking Him to help our unbelief, and obeying Him. The great thing about God is that when we trust Him, He can take us where we never could go on our own. He’ll take us through the fog at times, but when He does, it is either to protect us from the enemy (because if we can’t see him, neither can he see us in that setting), or it’s to position ourselves to do the impossible. And to this day, I have never met, heard, or read of a single person who ever devoted themselves completely to God, walking in true Biblical faith, who ever regretted it. I never will hear of one such case and by the grace of God, I’ll be yet another example for other to follow.

Next week is Christmas Day, and then we’ll examine the centerpiece of it all: Christ Alone.

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Stop and Smell the TULIP

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, December 15, 2020 0 comments

by Eric Hansen

While theology will always be contested until the end of mankind and the correct one is shown to us all, there have always been movements to demonstrate why this theology is correct over that. We see this even back in the time of Jesus (and well before that), where he had to prove against the Pharisees’ theology of old law that you no longer need to sacrifice animals, burnt offerings, etc. He was the final sacrifice, and it took believing Him and in His sacrifice to be saved, not your own works.

Fast forward about 1500 or so years, and we see a major explosion happening between the Roman Catholic church, government, and greed. What was once meant to stand for unity and uniformity had become corrupt with power, greed, and money. Various people broke away from this practice and tried to re-establish a Biblical foundation of faith, not one driven by man.

One of the more noticeable of these was Martin Luther (whose teachings founded the Lutheran church). He posted his 95 Theses on the front of the Catholic church which was both incredibly brave and awe-inspiring and potentially life-threatening. This document or manifesto tore the church to shreds, destroying all of its practices as heretical at best. However, this also laid the groundwork years later for another man to help draw attention to the fallacies: John Calvin.

While Calvin never wanted "Calvinism" to be a thing, it's synonymous these days with the Reformation. One of his greatest works, Institutes of Christian Religion, has been influential in many areas of Christianity as both a relic and symbol of lies, depending on which side of the fence you're on. But one of his principles would be later called "TULIP.” Each of these 5 elements can be an article in themselves, but we will cover the basics here and let you determine if they still hold true to this day.

Total Depravity
Total depravity, or the T of TULIP, is a fancy way of saying "we are sinful by nature and cannot save ourselves." There are many spins on this, but as a framework we can see this truth in John 14:5-14. This includes the famous line of "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

We need Christ because we cannot get rid of our sins. This is why unless we come to Him, we are destined for damnation (i.e., hell). The sacrifice of holy pureness on the cross was the only way to extinguish our sins once we truly repent and believe.

Unconditional Election
Under what grounds do we ascend into Heaven? Is it by our own works that God sees us as righteous, holy, and good, or is it by God’s sovereign decision, love, and most importantly grace that we are granted entrance to eternal life?

Unconditional election answers this by stating that it is not by our works or deeds that we enter into Heaven but by God’s righteous judgment of whether we are holy or not. This is why it’s called unconditional election, because God elects or chooses who will be entering Heaven based on no conditions set by us - unconditionally.

Often the rebuttal to this is if us doing no good deeds at all or a boundless amount doesn’t guarantee us Heaven then why do good at all? The book of Romans 9:10-13 tackles this. God chose Jacob to continue the line that would ultimately bring us Jesus Christ. As He did that, He also chooses who of us to this day will enter into Heaven. Ephesians 2:8-10 addresses this as well, stating that we do good deeds to glorify God and His love for us.

Limited Atonement
This is one people tend to struggle with. Did Christ die on the cross for everyone, or just the believers? Calvin states that Christ died only for the believers. The reason being is that if Christ died for the unbelievers as well then it was wasted blood. Another way to look at it is God placed us where we need to be, where we may never learn of Him or may be surrounded by His word (Acts 17:22-31). However, that does not mean that we are saved just because God placed us. Once again, it all circles back around to Christ and needing his blood.

Irresistible Grace
Irresistible grace is often attributed to being given God's grace regardless whether we want it or not. Before we explore this in a little more detail, let's take into account Heaven. It's a place full of holiness, purity, and righteousness. Total depravity essentially makes us full of sin and no desire on our own will to be holy, pure, or righteous. Yet, these do not contradict each other and also exemplifies the free choice God gave us.

An example of this is Paul (named Saul before his conversion). He was a vile man who hated Christians, taking pleasure in arresting and killing them. There was no reason for Jesus Christ to come to him and seek his existence to spread the gospel by our means, but he did (Acts 9). But if we look at Acts 9:4-9, we see that God never forced Paul, not commanding him to do anything. But God knew he was needed to further the kingdom, thus true irresistible grace.

Perseverance of the Saints
The last element of TULIP is the perseverance of the saints. This separates Reformists from Arminians as this teaches that you can never lose your salvation if you are truly saved (emphasis mine). Arminians teach that you can lose your salvation.

The distinction gets lost in translation as the Reformation teaches the key component of true salvation, meaning you are not confessing Christ to please people but you truly accept Him as your Lord and Savior.

This also doesn't mean you can't fall from grace, but it does mean you won't achieve total fall (loss of salvation). We all go through highs and lows during our spiritual walk, some more frequent than others. I can count on 2 hands and a foot how many times I struggled with salvation and such. But at the end I know that I am saved because if I wasn't, I would not have cared to begin with. We are able to equate this part of TULIP similar to the phrase "when you get knocked off the horse, you get back on.”

I hope this has been a good introduction to these core teachings of Calvinism to help you determine what you believe.

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Advent Reflections: Joy

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, December 14, 2020 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let Earth receive her King:
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

How many times have you sung that familiar Christmas carol? Probably plenty, and perhaps even at least once already this Christmas season. But the question I want you to consider today is this: What exactly does "joy to the world" look like? How does nature react to the coming of her King, like the song says? Does nature really sing?

Interestingly, the answer to this question can be found in the Old Testament - which was written long before Jesus came to earth as the baby in Bethlehem. Go read Isaiah 35. There is a lot of imagery in Isaiah 35 that points to joy, renewal, healing, hope, and salvation; did you notice it? All the earth is rejoicing, and healing is taking place!

Isaiah was a prophet to the people of Israel more than 700 years before Christ. At this time, the people of Israel were worshiping idols and living in cycles of sinful practices. It was a time of economic prosperity, but there was a large gap between the rich and the poor and it was only getting wider during this time. Unfortunately, this fact led to lots of social vices among the people such as dishonesty, drunkenness, immorality, and idolatry.

This particular passage of Isaiah 35 comes at a transition point in the book overall. The chapters before it discuss judgment on Israel for all the wrongs they have done. The chapters after it promise comfort and salvation for Israel. This chapter shows the transition between judgment and salvation for the people, with all of the creation rejoicing.

So for pretty much the entire book of Isaiah up to this passage, the people of Israel were experiencing judgment. The prophet Isaiah was prophesying all sorts of condemnation on them. He reminds them of their sin and also of what will happen to them because of their sins. That is a lot of condemnation – 34 chapters worth! Think about if someone you know, especially somebody sent by God, spent so much time reminding you of everything you’ve done wrong in your entire life. As human beings, we typically don’t like criticism at all, and we really don’t like it when someone lists off everything we’ve ever done wrong.

But, there was hope for Israel and there is hope for us too. After Isaiah recounts all of the nation’s wrongs, the rest of the book starting in chapter 40 is all prophecies of salvation and comfort for Israel. Even though they messed up, they could still experience salvation. And even though each one of us sins and messes up all the time, we will experience salvation too through our faith in Jesus.

Why else would the whole creation rejoice so much, but for the coming of the long-awaited Savior? Not only were the people given joy through the event of Jesus' birth, but nature rejoiced as well. As the Christmas carol goes, "And heaven and nature sing!" The entire universe would rejoice at the birth of the Savior Jesus. All of creation was thrown into sinfulness when the first people sinned, so all of creation rejoices when the promised savior arrives. God is reconciling all creation to Himself

Just like the whole creation in this passage from Isaiah, we too can rejoice and experience salvation and healing, even though that may not be physical healing in our lifetime. We have the joy of Christ, even when life is hard, and we can know Him personally through the Bible and our relationship with Him. We too can rejoice greatly and shout for joy along with Israel, because we can have salvation through Jesus!

This joy does not have to be contained only within the Christmas season either. We tend to focus on joy this time of year because of the birth of Jesus, the gift-giving, seeing friends and family, and other earthly pleasures - like Christmas cookies and good meals, and singing our favorite Christmas carols. But our joy does not need to stop (and it should not stop) after December 25. Our joy can continue through every single day of the year because God is the same yesterday, today, and every day in the future. The joy of our salvation should not depend on any season of the year, and it should never go away. God is always with us and he can always give us joy.

We may not always feel joyful in our lives, since being a follower of Jesus Christ is not all fun and games. The Bible and even Jesus himself promised that we will definitely have difficult times. I’m sure each one of us here could recount many times that being a Christian has not been easy and where the experiences of life really haven’t gone how we wanted them to. We’ve all experienced and been affected by the sin and sickness and pain that come with living in this world.

But, being joyful is different than being happy. Happiness is a fleeting emotion that changes with our circumstances. I may be happy because it's sunny outside, or happy because I get to spend time with family this week. But true joy is present in our lives regardless of our circumstances. We can be joyful even when life is tough if the reason for our joy is Jesus.

The reason for our joy in Jesus is not only because Jesus left all the glory and splendor of heaven to come down to earth as a little baby. The reason for our joy is what that little baby grew up to do – he grew up to be the Savior of the entire world through his obedience to God and his death and resurrection!

The whole creation has joy because Jesus came to earth, and we can too. With all of creation, we can sing, "Joy to the World!" and truly mean it.

For more on joy and how it’s spoken of in the Bible, check out this post.

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Sola Gratia

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, December 11, 2020 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

This is the second of the “Five Solas” of the Christian faith. Sola Gratia is Latin for “Grace Alone.” Our salvation is by grace alone. There is absolutely nothing we can do to earn it. When Martin Luther coined this phrase, it was in response to the Roman Catholic Church selling indulgences as a fundraiser for the Sistine Chapel and other things. By buying an indulgence, someone could “pay for their sin” in advance and not have to worry about confession. When Luther saw what the Scriptures actually taught, it infuriated him because the RCC was teaching a completely false doctrine.

Before I can move on, I have to deal with a lingering question: What is grace? Many people confuse this term with mercy. In the simplest form, mercy is the withholding of judgment which is due. Grace is unmerited favor. I want to emphasize on these two words: “unmerited” and “favor.”

“Unmerited” means you don’t deserve it. It is not owed to you. You have no right to claim it. You have it for only one reason: someone chose to give it to you. It is not because you were a good person. It is not because you did some heroic deed. It is not even because you restrained yourself from doing an evil deed. It is a gift completely by the will of the person who gave it without regard for what you have done.

“Favor” is along the lines of “pleasure.” When Nehemiah approached the king with his wish to deal with Jerusalem, he had the king’s favor. When Esther approached the king to expose Haman and save the Jews, she found the king’s favor. If you have the “favor” of someone, it means you are on their good side and they will do something for you. It’s not necessarily because you earn it or deserve it but because that person is pleased with you. Likewise, when we have God’s favor, it’s not because we are special. It’s because God is pleased with us.

IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU! I’ll emphasize this point more when I address “Sola Gloria Deus,” but this is about God and not about us. God doesn’t offer us salvation because of anything special about us. He offers it because HE gets the glory out of it. He grants us favor because it pleases Him that mankind might be saved. Now, don’t get me wrong; it also glorifies God to punish sinful, wicked humans. He has no obligation to grant us favor or to give us grace. Every single one of us have sinned and we all deserve death. The only thing we are ‘owed’ is death, and we must understand this if we are to understand the Gospel. Our salvation is a gift of the grace of God, not by our own works, lest any of us boast.

Now grace is something more than just a free gift. It’s also an empowerment. God doesn’t just offer salvation as a free gift; He also offers us the empowerment to actually live and walk in salvation. We all have our owns sins we constantly deal with. We know our propensities, but the grace of God is not merely about saving us from those sins. It is about giving us the power and ability to walk free of them. Now, I’ll be dead honest here. This is a truth I know but I haven’t yet fully grasped. There are areas of my life where I can definitely say I am not walking in freedom from sin. And I’m not talking about perfection here. And it’s going to be one of those things that when I ‘get it,’ I will be like, “It was that easy?” And the answer will be: “Yes.” And here’s why.

It’s not in our doing. All we have to do is receive and believe. It is a gift from God, and He does not desire that we walk lost in sin. He wants us to walk in freedom. The gift is there for us. But we have to receive it. This is a work we do, but not a wage-earning work. This is not a job that we do to where God owes us. When we work a job, we put in so many hours and our managers and bosses owe us the money that is agreed to in our contract. That is a works-based wages. We get paid for doing a job. But salvation is not works-based. There is no contract. It is a gift of God. But that gift is applied through the vehicle of faith. (I’ll address that more next week.) Any “work” we do is an outflow of the actual work that Christ did in us.

God’s grace is also a protection. This one we really don’t understand until we’ve been around the block a few times and have learned what is out there. God has protected me from many things in which I look back and I realize I shouldn’t still be here. I can picture two occasions where a stranger drove up and asked me for personal information about where I lived or directions, and being as clueless as I was then, I gave it. Looking back, those could have been people who’d have kidnapped me and done unspeakable things to me. I also know how God has protected me from letting my sinful side turn loose. Let me make this clear: it is God who restrains the sinful nature in man, not man’s self-control. And more and more, God has been releasing His hand of restraint in society, turning society loose. It is the grace of God that enables life and it’s also grace that protects.

Don’t confuse grace-empowered works with man’s works. John MacArthur in an interview with Todd Friel some years back was discussing MacArthur’s book The Truth War. In the interview, MacArthur mentioned how he spoke with the Mormon head honchos at Brigham Young University about salvation by grace. The Mormons agreed that salvation was by grace. MacArthur then asked how it worked and the Mormons said, “Well, it’s salvation by works, but isn’t it gracious of God to let us do it.” I see this issue FREQUENTLY. We use the same terms and same vocabulary, but when it comes to how it plays out and how it is practiced, obviously we aren’t using the same dictionaries. So be watchful that when someone proclaims the same creeds of historical Christianity, he/she may not be thinking the same thing we are. So, ask them what they mean and how it works. If they know the real thing, they’ll reveal the real thing. If not, they won’t.

Next week, I’ll examine the vehicle by how the grace of God is delivered and received: the vehicle of faith.

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Advent Reflections: Peace

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, December 7, 2020 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” (Luke 2:14)

In this second week of advent, our focus is on peace. Last week, we talked about hope and how we have a certain hope in Jesus Christ and the promises that God has given us. It is because of that hope that we can have peace - true and lasting peace - in Jesus Christ.

The verse I quoted above is a common one from the Christmas story in Luke 2, and it’s where we get the phrase “Peace on earth” that’s commonly spoken during this Christmas and Advent season. The angels proclaim this phrase in the presence of the shepherds who were among the first to hear of the birth of the Savior on earth.

But what exactly is this peace that the angels proclaimed? The Greek word for peace is eirene (pronounced like “ay-RAY-nay”), and it can mean peace, harmony, tranquility, safety, welfare, health, a lack of strife, or reconciliation in a relationship. It can also be used as a greeting for either hello or goodbye, just as the Hebrew word shalom. Using it as a greeting has the implication of wishing God’s peace on the person you are greeting, more than just a simple hello or goodbye.

In this world, we often think of peace as a sense of stillness or the absence of conflict. Perhaps if you have small children at home, you imagine peace as when the kids are sleeping soundly and you have a moment of rest. If you’re dealing with arguments or disagreements in life, perhaps you think of peace as a time when that is no more and everyone can just get along. If you’ve lived through a major war, perhaps peace to you is when that war is finally over.

But, we know from the Scriptures that that is not necessarily the kind of peace that Jesus came to bring us. Jesus’ arrival on earth did not bring a profound sense of quiet and calm to this world. Jesus’ arrival on earth did not cause all conflicts and disagreements to stop. Jesus’ arrival on earth did not end wars.

So what kind of peace did Jesus come to bring? He came to bring us everlasting peace, a peace that passes all understanding. We really can’t understand this peace that Jesus brings; it is supernatural and beyond the full comprehension of our finite human minds. This is a peace that is focused on eternity, not a peace that is focused on the immediate events of this world we live in.

Philippians 4:7 tells us, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” When I read that verse again, it struck me that it begins with the conjunction “and.” In the original Greek, it’s significant that this conjunction is “kai,” not “de.” The conjunction “de” can mean and, but, for, etc. depending on the context. The conjunction “kai” typically joins two similar parts of speech (i.e., two nouns, two verbs, etc.) so that means that verse 7 is connected to the phrases before it.

So, the previous verses give us some clues about this peace spoken of that transcends all understanding: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:4-6).

How do we try and obtain this eternal peace that Jesus came to bring? Rejoice. Be Gentle. Don’t be anxious. Pray. Be thankful. Most importantly, note that the end of verse 5 says, “The Lord is near.” Near can mean that He is physically nearby, or it can mean that He is near in time. This particular use of the word means the latter, that He is close in time, referring to Jesus’ second coming. The Apostle Paul who wrote this letter to the Philippians believed that Jesus was going to return again in his lifetime. All Christians throughout the ages have believed similarly, and we should as well.

During this Advent season, we look forward to our annual celebration of Jesus’ birth as a baby in Bethlehem. We should also be looking forward to the time when Jesus will be physically near to us when He comes again at His second coming. Until that time, we will not be able to fully experience or even understand the eternal peace that He brings us. Once Jesus comes again to judge all people, those of us who have faith in Him and His sacrificial death and resurrection will finally understand and be able to experience His perfect peace for all eternity.

Do you have that saving faith in Jesus? He was that little baby born in Bethlehem, but He grew up and lived a perfect life to pay the penalty for the sins that every one of us has committed (and will commit). If you have not yet committed your life to faith in the Savior, I encourage you to do so this Christmas season.

For more on peace and how it’s spoken of in the Bible, check out this post.

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.


Sola Scriptura

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, December 4, 2020 3 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

The entire Gospel can be summarized in five statements: Our salvation is by “Grace Alone,” through “Faith Alone,” in “Christ Alone,” according to “Scripture Alone,” and for the “Glory of God Alone.” In the original Latin they are: “Sola Gratia,” “Sola Fide,” “Sola Christus,” “Sola Scriptura,” and “Sola Gloria Deus.” These statements were initially coined by Martin Luther during the Reformation, but they are central teachings that have been taught throughout the millennia in the church. While these statements are easy to learn and easy to memorize, the depths of them are inexhaustible. I am going to change the order of the statements around and do “Sola Scriptura” which is “Scripture Alone” first for two reasons: 1) this is the foundational tenant for which all other tenants get their base from, and 2) so that “Sola Christus,” (“Christ Alone”) is published on Christmas morning. So without further ado, let’s dig into “Sola Scriptura.”

First, here’s a little background into how and why Luther coined the phrase “Sola Scriptura.” He had come out of a Roman Catholic background, which at that time was selling indulgences (ultimately a fundraiser for the Sistine Chapel), and people could come to the church to buy an indulgence which would allow them “free sins” by confessing in advance. The practice then, as it is now, is that there are three authorities in the Roman Catholic Church: the Bible, the church Tradition, and the Magisterium, comprised of the Pope and his high council. What Luther realized is the Bible alone gives the authority to all things, not traditions or man-made council.

Todd Friel in his “Drive By Theology” teaching series with Steven Lawson makes the observation that many of the major creeds and confessionals that many churches use begin with the Bible. That means each tenant and statement don’t come from their church traditions or elder councils but from Scripture. I’ll go even further to state that unless we truly believe and operate with “Sola Scriptura,” we cannot believe the other major tenants of our creeds. How do we know that salvation is by grace alone? Simple, because Scripture teaches it. How do we know that Jesus is the only way to heaven? Simple, because Scripture teaches it. In everything, Scripture, the inspired, inerrant, sufficient, and superior Word of God, must be the standard. It must give the foundation. It must give the framework. You can see the Scripture and writings on that in the links provided.

Now the skeptic to this will quickly ask: “Are you a geo-centrist?” Just in the past few weeks, I have received this specific question from believers when I speak about Scripture being the authority. Where are they coming from? They are confusing numerous things here. First, the Bible never actually teaches geo-centrism. There is no set of verses that teaches the sun moves around the earth. All we have is observations from the people just as our modern weathermen speak. Yes, Joshua asked the sun to stand still. Does that teach geo-centrism? Actually no, it doesn’t, not any more than your weatherman giving us the sunrise and sunset times. But what are they really aiming at? They are suggesting that we actually use our “modern science” to interpret the Bible on this issue. And they use this with the intention of saying that we can’t use the Bible to dictate the history of the universe. It’s comparing apples to peanuts, not even similar enough to compare both topics to fruit. The geo-centrist debate is a scientific model we use with our observations NOW, and it has nothing to do with the historical account of Genesis. And Genesis is a historical account. The models of how it actually took place are secondary to this. So, the argument doesn’t actually do what they want it to do.

Now, the Bible does not give us the details of the galaxies or microbiology or Newton’s Laws or chemical reactions. It’s not a science book. And those who accuse me and those who believe the historical account of Genesis of trying to make it a science book need to learn what science is and what it isn’t. But that said, the Bible gives us the framework through which we are to see everything. Not every detail, but the framework. Anything outside that framework is not of God and not valid. So when the Bible gives the history of how long God took to create the universe and how much time has passed since and what kind of events took place (sin bringing death, a Global Flood, the Tower of Babel dispersion, the Plagues, the Exodus, the Conquest of Canaan, all the way through Jesus’ birth, death, burial, resurrection, and return), that means that all our studies MUST includes all these factors. If we do not take the Bible’s account as the primary authority, then we are not doing a Biblical study nor operating out of a Biblical worldview.

When I teach about worldviews, I address five major questions: Where did I come from? Why am I here? Who am I? Where am I going? Who do I listen to? I make an emphasis that each of these questions MUST be answered from the Bible’s perspective or it is not a Biblical worldview. The depth of these questions is bottomless and each one is inseparable from the other. You will always answer one holistically with the others. Origins includes our views of creation, what’s wrong with the world, how did I get here, what is my personal background, etc. Purpose includes my reason for existing, my role in life, and where I belong. Identity is who I am as an individual and who I am in the collective. Destination includes where I am going in 5, 10, 20 years, heaven/hell, how will what is wrong be made right, etc. Authority deals with which voices I will listen to: parents, family, peers, teachers, elders, pastors, scientists, media, God/Bible, etc. If we are not answering these questions by the Bible, then we are missing something and our worldview will be broken, backwards, and more than just “wrong.”

Now, can we include other sources of authority? Science, psychology, math, history, literature, etc. The answer is “Yes!” Without question. However, each one of these must be submissive to what the Word of God teaches or it is a false authority. I love math and when practiced I can do calculus in my head. The Bible doesn’t teach calculus, but it does give the framework that enables calculus to work. That said, I also have learned this phrase: “Math doesn’t lie, but wrong equations do.” If the mathematical construct we derive is not based on the accounts given by Scripture, it is not a Biblical construct, nor will it likely produce anything of real value.

If Scripture does not explicitly talk about it, at the very least it cannot disagree with any statement the Bible makes. That’s why all “Deep Time” models suggesting millions to billions of years of the earth’s history are totally wrong. Not only are they merely mathematical constructs (no science is ever used to show Deep Time, only math is), but they are based on equations that purposefully and intentionally leave the Biblical account out of it, if not intentionally trying to refute it. These models directly contradict what is explicitly given in Scripture (6-day creation, only about 6000 years having passed, and a global flood) and were initially created for that purpose. So, any such model is not part of a Biblical worldview nor is it part of a practice of “Sola Scriptura.”

The Bible must be our authority – our first, foremost, and final authority. When anything is in conflict with the Bible, that anything must go for inspection first. Where is the flaw likely to be found – in the scientific models or the “interpretation” of Scripture? Frankly, I’ll hedge my bets that man’s opinions are the flawed ones, not the clear reading of Scripture. And I’ll be right every time, even when I am the one who doesn’t have the correct doctrine. I’ll be right that the Bible had it right every time. I am wrong often, that’s why I don’t put a lot of weight to my opinions, but I go by what Scripture says. And it is Scripture that teaches that our hope is by the Grace of God alone, and not by any of our efforts. That is for next week.

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


The First Step to Oblivion

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, December 1, 2020 3 comments

by Chad Koons

Let’s just get this out of way: if you have embraced Universalism, LGBT inclusion into the Body of Christ, Progressive Christianity, the removal of Hell, or think fondly upon the deconstruction of one’s faith, then you’ve likely tripped over the doctrine of Biblical inerrancy to get there. Not only tripped over it, but perhaps yanked it out by the roots. Or maybe you just haven’t understood what it means or why it is important.

Now that I have your attention, let’s take a quick look at what “Biblical inerrancy” means and why your Christian life may depend upon it.

“'Inerrant' signifies the quality of being free from all falsehood or mistake and so safeguards the truth that Holy Scripture is entirely true and trustworthy in all its assertions.” – The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy

In simple terms, the doctrine of inerrancy states that the Bible is true, without error, and from God. We at Worldview Warriors believe that inerrancy applies to the original texts of Scripture (not necessarily the translations of the original language texts, as translations vary on several levels). We acknowledge that there are minor scribal variations that have occurred over time, but none that have affected its meaning. To believe this inerrancy is of primary importance to the life of every believer in Jesus Christ. If we remove this truth, we open the door to becoming weird at best and heretical at worst.

Do you believe that the Bible is “inerrant”? Not sure? Answer these questions:
1. Do you believe that the Bible gets some things wrong, that it may contain errors?
2. Do you doubt that the Bible is the authoritative “Word of God”?
3. Is the Bible old-fashioned, irrelevant, or needing to progress with modern times?
4. Is the Bible a product of human invention?
5. Are some events in the Bible fictitious stories?
6. Has the Bible been changed or adapted since it was originally written?

If you answered “yes” to any one of these questions, then you have either intentionally or unintentionally rejected the inerrancy of Scripture. And yes, that is a huge problem. Although culture will not admit it for some reason, the slippery slope is very real. What you allow today will become the new standard tomorrow. Believing that the Bible is wrong in some way will lead us down a very dark and destructive path.

Many reject inerrancy because they think that they’ve stumbled upon an error. A skeptic may cite a few perceived issues such as grammatical misunderstandings, mathematical issues such as the measurements of Solomon’s Sea, or seemingly contradictory passages such as whether there were one or two demoniacs in the Gadarenes. These issues are quickly resolved with a little research, yet more often than not this begins the journey of doubt. This doubt, unless put into check, will lead to the idea that the Bible is not trustworthy, authoritative, or divine.

Most of the time, however, the supposed contradictions or errors are not the problem. When a person claims that the Bible is wrong, it’s usually because that person doesn’t like what the Bible has to say. They disagree with a particular passage and they become offended. Their emotion drives them to devalue the Bible, dismissing it as irrelevant, errant, or simply unrealistic. Rather than deal with the truth of the Word of God, they find it easier to write it off or seek to change it. This is when the more insidious roots begin to grow.

At odds with the Bible, many Christians will declare that we have “outgrown” the old-fashioned notions of Scripture, arguing that particular passages of the Bible are best disregarded or perhaps updated to coincide with our evolving modern times. Then along comes the many Christian teachers and philosophers who will support this divided mindset.

I think of Rob Bell’s infamous dismissal of the legitimacy of Scripture. In his opinion, the Bible is out of touch with modern man and therefore irrelevant to our current culture. Speaking of how culture has evolved, Bell stated, “I think culture is already there and the church will continue to be even more irrelevant when it quotes letters from 2,000 years ago as their best defense.” In Bell’s mind, Scripture is not the enduring Word of God. This, my friends, is where false teachers have introduced their own pet heresies, having long ago released themselves from the bonds of God’s eternal truth. Reinventing Scripture to suit their own positions, they make their followers twice the sons of Hell that they are.

I do not want you to be led astray, dear Child of God. Teachings of demons come through those who have rejected inerrancy. Go read 2 Timothy 4:3-4.

To quote the title of this blog post, the rejection of inerrancy seems to be the first step to oblivion. In my experience, it is the gateway through which all sorts of false doctrine burst forth. I’ve seen good people lose faith or begin a journey of grave error after rejecting Biblical inerrancy. Do not become one of them.

To deny Biblical inerrancy is to make yourself the judge over Scripture. We are not privileged with the authority to break apart Scripture in attempts to pick and choose what is from God and what is not. The Word of God stands alone regardless of our approval. If we attempt to pick and choose, then we have become the judge over it. God forbid, Scripture is not ours to break. “The Scripture cannot be broken.” (John 10:35)

The Bible claims itself to be flawless; it is perfect. The authority of the Scripture is available through responsible and accurate translation of the original language writings. We possess these translations today. “And the words of the Lord are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times.” (Psalm 12:6)

You would be correct to say that men wrote the Bible. However, they wrote only what the Lord had instructed them to write. Do not mistake human authorship with divine instruction. We also recognize that the Bible uses allegory and imagery; do not misinterpret this as error. The Bible can be trusted, and the authors wrote through the Spirit of God Himself. “Knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:20-21)

Finally, to deny inerrancy is to deny what God had already said about His own Scripture. To disagree with inerrancy is to set yourself at odds with God. The Bible truly is the Word of the Lord.” “All Scripture is breathed out by God” (2 Timothy 3:16)

If you are still on the fence, I implore you to take the time and effort required to wrestle through this. Listen outside of your current sphere of influence and discover the proofs of Biblical inerrancy from sources who believe it. Your Christian life depends upon it. Perhaps you already believe that the Bible is inerrant. If so, can you intelligently defend it? Take a few moments to digest the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy. We must always have a strong defense of the inerrancy of Scripture.

For more on this topic, check out Ten Reasons to Believe the Bible by C.A. Wolcott.

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.


Advent Reflections: Hope

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

by Katie Erickson

Yesterday marked the first Sunday of the church season of Advent - the season where we celebrate the anticipation of the birth of Jesus on Christmas. Each Sunday of the Advent season has a theme traditionally associated with it, and this year, I will write on each of those themes as we go through this season.

The theme for this first week of Advent is hope. What exactly is hope? Hope can be interpreted in two main ways. One definition for hope is a desire that something we would like to happen, or an expectation that we would like to be fulfilled. A second definition for hope is the knowledge that something will happen for certain. Do you see the difference there? Sometimes, hope is just wishing something would happen; other times, hope is knowing that something will happen and waiting for it expectantly, though we may or may not know exactly when it will happen. The difference is in the degree of certainty we have.

We often hope for things in this life without certainty. Perhaps I hope my job will go smoothly this week; I do not know for certain that will happen, but I hope so. Perhaps I hope there will be a chocolate cake magically waiting for me in my kitchen; that’s unlikely, but a girl can hope, right? These are things that we may want to happen, but they’re not necessarily certain.

The hope that is given to us in the Scriptures, and that we focus on during this Advent season, is one of certainty. When we put our hope in God’s promises, we know He will fulfill them. He may not fulfill His promises in the way we would like Him to, but they will always be fulfilled according to His perfect plan and purpose and to give Him glory.

As we think about hope, take a look at a few passages from Scripture that encompass this idea:

“You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word.” (Psalm 119:114)

“Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:30-31)

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” (Hebrews 10:23)

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people.” (Ephesians 1:18)

“I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope. I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning. Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption.” (Psalm 130:5-7)

There are many more passages in Scripture that point to the certain hope that we have in God. Do you see the difference in these passages between a hope that might happen and a hope that is certain?

Having a hope that is in uncertain things will cause a sense of uncertainty and anxiety in our lives. Instead, hope in the Lord, for He is faithful. He has shown us time and time again through His Word and through His working in our lives that He is worthy of our hope, and He will fulfill HIs promises.

Let me share a story to illustrate this from my own life. In 2010, I graduated from seminary with my Master of Divinity degree. Since not long after then, I desired to pursue another degree, whether it would be another master’s degree or a doctorate. I hoped it would happen, but year after year it didn’t, for a variety of reasons. In 2017, I had a moment of hope when I was told that a doctorate could be possible for me, but then that hope was shot down by some other life factors.

In the early summer of 2020, that hope was reignited in my life, and I began to see how God had been working in my life over the past 10 years to align everything that needed to happen to make my hope a reality. Throughout the summer, God kept revealing more and more how He had been working to make this happen - but in His timing rather than my own. For years, my hope was uncertain, but I kept hoping in the God of certainty and waiting on His plan. In September 2020, I began classes toward my Doctor of Ministry degree. Now, I have the certain hope that God will continue working in my life to sustain me on this journey that He so clearly has prepared for me.

What are you hoping for in your life? Is it a hope of uncertainty or a hope of certainty? Put your hope in the God of certainty that He will keep His promises to you. God promised to send His Son to earth to be born of a woman, live a sinless life, die an atoning death to take on the punishment that we deserve, and be raised again to reign in glory. We know with certainty that all of that happened some 2000 years ago, and every promise God has made has been fulfilled in Jesus. We can truly put our hope in Him, and I encourage you to do so this Advent season.

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.


The Holy Spirit: Revealer of Christ

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, November 27, 2020 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

Last week, I wrote about the ministry of the Holy Spirit and how one of His jobs is to reveal, explain, and teach the meaning of Scripture. But this is all to lead to His ultimate and primary job: to reveal Jesus Christ. The real Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, very few people in this country are left who know who He truly is, so let’s look into how the Holy Spirit reveals Jesus.

How is Jesus spoken of in the church or ministry? What kinds of jobs and roles does Jesus have? Many churches have this view of Jesus as being a “divine butler.” He is there to serve you, love you, care for you, come to your rescue, and give you your heart’s desire. This is a “genie” type of Jesus. Others have this view of a mere facilitator. He sets up the process but lets it run its course on its own and doesn’t interfere with what man wishes to do, except for when man wants him to come. A while back I wrote a three post series on “Another Jesus” and you can see Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 here. If the church or ministry speaks of “another Jesus,” the Holy Spirit is not there.

Is the True Jesus revealed? Not the lovely, fluffy, shampoo model, but the real Jesus? The One whose eyes are ablaze when sin abounds. The One who stoops down to care for the broken and the weak. The One who calls out the self-proclaimed “educated” for their hypocrisy. The One who has compassion on the hungry. The One who stands for truth like a soldier in battle. The One who forgave an adulteress caught in the act and a thief dying next to him. The One who obeyed the Law perfectly but had no regard for the traditions held beyond that. The One who gives a call to all to come follow Him but doesn’t chase after those who reject Him. The One who came to save the world, not to condemn it, yet will bring judgment on those who reject the Son and stand condemned already. Is this the Jesus taught at your church? Or at the ministries you follow? Is this the Jesus taught by me, or the rest of us at the Worldview Warriors ministry? Test us, too, to see if we pass.

Is Jesus just a good teacher or is He the Son of God? Was Jesus a prophet or God come in the flesh? Is Jesus the Messiah or is he just one manifestation of a greater “spiritual energy” that all religions find in common (most of the “Progressive Christianity” churches follow Richard Rohr who teaches this, for the record. See “American Gospel: Christ Crucified” for details.). Do we have the right Jesus? This is why it is so important to know Scripture so we can test and approve/reject what we hear.

Who gets the glory in the preaching? Whom is the message about? Many churches today do not preach about the greatest of God, but about how special man is that God had to come to save us because of how precious we are. There is partial truth to that, but in reality, Jesus didn’t come to die for our sins so we can go to heaven because we are so special to Him. He died voluntarily, fully submitted to the will of the Father, and for the glory of God alone. It’s not about us at all. If the Holy Spirit is involved in your church, it will be about God and not about you.

Does the church wink at sin or does it call out sin? One of the primary jobs of the Holy Spirit is to reveal and expose sin, individually and corporately. How does your church speak about sin? There are three ways people do it today: 1) don’t speak of it at all, 2) sin is a barrier between you and God’s blessing, or 3) sin is a treasonous act against a thrice-holy God. Unless your church takes this third position and calls sin for what it is, the Holy Spirit has nothing to do with your church. When the pastor and the church leadership refuse to address sin, they do so in rebellion against God. A low view of sin reveals a low view of God. Now, I’m not talking about “fire and brimstone” preaching, though there are times where there is a place for that. I’m talking about describing what sin is, what sin does, and what the consequences of sin are, and letting the Holy Spirit do the convicting. There are preachers, however, who refuse to speak against sin and are proud of it. The Holy Spirit has absolutely nothing to do with said people, unless He is working against them.

The relationship between God and sin are inversely proportional to each other. The greater the view of God, the greater the disdain for sin. The less we take sin seriously, the less we’ll take God seriously. The Holy Spirit will convict His people of sin. It will be specific. He will tell you exactly what you did wrong. He also will tell you what you need to do to rectify the situation. He won’t condemn you, giving you no hope. But He will deal with the sin in your heart. If you are reading Scripture and you realize you have sinned against God because a passage “leaps out to you” that you were certain wasn’t there before, that is the Holy Spirit speaking to you. If you heed His word, life will still have hardships, but they certainly will be easier to manage.

The Holy Spirit does not speak much of itself. If a church/ministry always emphasizes the Holy Spirit through miracles and power, be wary, because the Holy Spirit may have nothing to do with them. But if that church/ministry is all about Jesus, you can safely say the Holy Spirit is working in that ministry.

Is the Holy Spirit in your church? Is He in your life? Use these tests to evaluate yourself. There are others, but this is what I have to offer on this topic. May we be guided by the Holy Spirit to rid ourselves of sin, to have a high view of Scripture, to read and understand Scripture correctly, to lift high the name of Jesus, and to live lives holy and separated unto God.

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.