Sin 7: False Views on the Weight of Sin

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, April 29, 2022 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

As I continue this study on sin, I need to continue to showcase what happens when we take what sin is too lightly. It is absolutely clear that sin has consequences, but when sin doesn’t mean what it means, the consequences of sin follow. This is a gospel issue, and any model or idea or theology that takes ANY ASPECT of sin any differently than how the Bible treats it is a heretical position. Last week, I described several different false teachings and how they define sin, but I only scratched the surface of what that means if taken seriously. This week, I’ll showcase the consequences of such ideas.

If sin is just a mistake or imperfection, not the intentional, treasonous defiance against God, then there are several things that must follow through. First, it means there really is no absolute, perfect standard by which man is to be held accountable. This is a strike against the holiness, righteousness, and perfection of God. While there is foolishness that comes as a result of youthfulness and the sinful nature, this is not what is being addressed here. If your mom told you to clean your room and you chose not to do that, you cannot pass that off as a mistake. That is deliberate disobedience. A mistake can be a typo or a calculation error, but it cannot be intentional refusal to do what you need to do, or intentional doing what you are not supposed to do.

This view doesn’t just marginalize what the action is; this also puts the blame on God for making us bad. I hear this all the time from evolutionists: “If God created the universe, He made it bad.” This is a charge that God is an incompetent creator, and it’s the same argument that Adam used to blame Eve for his sin. He blamed God for giving Eve to him to begin with: “God, it’s your fault.” Another variation of this is, “The devil made me do it.” It appeals to the brokenness of the world as being inherent to creation from the start and to require no fault nor responsibility upon man for that which was wrong. This is an inherently severe error of every Old Earth creation model. When any person treats sin as a mere mistake or imperfection, said person is not only deflect blame off self, but they are also, intentionally or unintentionally, blaming God for making them “imperfect.” How arrogant for the pot to make demands of the potter on how he was created! Yet, when one messes with origins, this is one of the conclusions that one will make.

When sin is merely treated as a barrier between you and your blessings, sin simply becomes a mountain to climb or a task to defeat. The real challenge here is that this doctrine partly true. Sin IS a barrier between us and what comes with God. But it is a half-truth, because it makes the “blessings” the primary, not God through whom the blessing comes. In the Prosperity Gospel/Word of Faith circles, the purpose of faith is health, wealth, and prosperity – all things that make life comfortable in the here and now, and all things that are the primary categories of temptation in which this world has to offer, what Eve saw in the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and what Jesus was tempted with in the wilderness. Sin is just a barrier between man and these blessings. This makes sin really undefinable, and even more so, it makes the faith a works-based religion. Take notice that when you don’t receive your “miracle;” according to these teachings, it is because YOU lacked enough faith. You didn’t please God enough or give enough or trust God enough. It’s YOUR fault. This is devastating to so many people who have lost loved ones to sickness and disease. This is a result of not taking sin correctly and realizing we all live in a broken world and only Jesus Christ can save it.

Similar to the “mistake” or “imperfection” teachings is the Progressive Christian teachings that recoil at the notion that man is a sinner, a wretch, a worm, evil-minded, rebellious, treasonous, and anything and everything but good. So, to lighten the sting of such descriptions, the Progressives say we might be “misguided” among other things. This again puts the blame on God for the system He set up, rather than acknowledging that man is the problem. While the Old Earth Creationists don’t go as far as to declare it outright, the Progressives actually think that sin never actually separates the bond between God and man, therefore they do not and will not understand the necessity of the cross. They accuse God of “cosmic child abuse” because the Father had the Son go to the cross. They do not understand and refuse to understand the severity of sin. So, because they reject the nature of sin and the due punishment of sin, their solution is the same as the Gnostics: get more knowledge.

There are immoral people who say that sexual immorality is perfectly fine for Christians to engage in. After all, “it’s how God made them.” Therefore, for us to deny them who they were made to be, we are fighting against God. This is blasphemous. God did not make us sinful. We are sinful because we are in Adam and because we have chosen to sin. This again blames God for their choices and seeks to deny responsibility for their lifestyle. Nobody suggests that a thief is a thief by birth, nor suggests a murderer is a murderer by birth, but somehow, we think it is fine to suggest that a sexual pervert is one by birth. It’s “part of their nature.” That’s a direct result of evolutionary teachings, that man is an animal, and we act on instinct rather than morality. But it’s also true: they are “born that way” as having a sinful nature, which is why we need to be born again. This is another reason why we cannot mess around with origins. The Old Earth creationists usually don’t go to this point, but they have let THESE people in the door to the church. I hold them responsible for it. Because according to their position, whether they recognize it or not, they have no argument against this sexual perversion movement because they have rejected God’s account of creation as written.

There were others I addressed last week, but I think we get the point. It doesn’t matter who does it, what angle they use, or what argument they use; any teaching that diminishes the nature of sin also diminishes the weight of sin. By diminishing the weight of sin, there is a denial of the necessity and the work of the cross. Jude tells us there are two primary types of false teachers: those who teach an immoral thing as being moral; and those who deny our Lord Jesus Christ. If we unpack these for all they contain, anyone who teaches ANYTHING that God commands against as being “good” is on this list. Anyone who denies ANY aspect of Christ Jesus, not just who He is but what He did, is on this list that Jude says are false teachers. What does that mean? It means the pastor who says that God created via Evolution or any form of Deep Time is also teaching that death and corruption existed PRIOR to Adam (contradicting Romans 5:12) and thus the problems with this world are on God, not man. That means that man is not responsible for sin, God is, and that means that the cross does nothing, and Jesus’ death meant nothing. This is not a “secondary” issue. That’s just analyzing ONE of these false teachings regarding sin. The rest are pretty obvious, or they should be.

We cannot mess around with sin, because if we do that, we mess around with Christ, and our message and our faith are completely worthless, making us the most pitiful of all men. I’ve mentioned the cross multiple times in this post, and so we need to take this one step further and showcase how these false views of sin and false views of the weight of sin, also produces a false view of the cross and the ultimate day of judgment.

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Did You Read the Instructions?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Thursday, April 28, 2022 2 comments

by Steve Risner

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb." -Psalm 139:13

I’ve recently been in a conversation with some unbelievers concerning “information.” This is an interesting topic. The existence of coded information within the genome of every living thing (highly complex and specified information that dictates the development and maintenance of the most sophisticated machines known to us) is something no evolutionist I’ve encountered can adequately respond to. They will try. They will make up weird and embarrassingly silly things to “debunk” this idea, but it’s a fact that coded information—which is both complex and specific—can only come from an intelligent source. On the other end of that, there must be an intelligent recipient to decode the information and use it to build and maintain these highly complex machines (I’m speaking, of course, of living things here). These are very detailed instructions we’re referring to within genetic material.

As I’ve said, I’ve seen very silly and really remarkable things shared on this topic in response to information being a key factor in the debate on origins between Biblical Christianity and atheism. Unfortunately, there are way too many Christians who fight for the side of atheism, but that’s another topic for later.

DNA is a storage medium that houses the instructions for building and maintaining the most sophisticated machines known to us. The source of this highly specific, very complex, and sophisticated information seems to be an issue for someone claiming that natural and mindless processes birthed it. How do coded instructions for the development and maintenance of extremely complex machines (like living things) arise, if not from an intelligent source? These are some of the amazing things people who want to discard the Biblical narrative on creation will say in response to this issue about the information housed within the DNA of every living thing on earth. These are direct quotes from people online:

“I have a geology degree and can read information directly from an exposed rock face.”
“Because in reality, information did not come first and was produced by natural processes.”
“What is needed is time and space, not intelligence.”
“It [information] comes from all over the place.”
“All information moves or is stored in the form of some code or other.”
“Yes, it’s called code… that doesn’t make it code though.”
“A weathered rock has information. Show me the mind that produced it.”

I hope we can all see how most if not all of these statements are just silly. Saying you can take “information” from a rock or from “all over the place” and suggesting this is even similar to the instructions found in DNA is absurd. Determining what a rock is made of or how it got where you’ve found it has nothing to do with coded information that details how to build complex machines. This seems to be the best they have in response, which is not good for them.

For the instructions we’re talking about, they are coded. To be coded means there is a system of symbols that are used to represent something of an assigned meaning. This code is highly complex, of course, and is more sophisticated than any code we’ve developed. It’s far more complex than the binary computer code every computer on earth utilizes – much more complex, in fact. There are 4 nucleotides or bases that are found in DNA or RNA (RNA is just a single strand of DNA). These are guanine, cytosine, adenine, and thymine. They are frequently represented as G, C, A, and T, respectively. Certain arrangements of these bases in a strand of DNA codes allow for certain things to be made—namely proteins but other highly complex molecules as well. The fact that the genetic code is, in fact, coded information, is beyond debate at this point. It’s called the genetic code. It has bases found within it that do not mean anything except when they are assigned meaning in specific groups. DNA stores these instructions and accesses the specific parts of the code that are needed at the right time to generate the right molecules in the right amount. It’s amazing. DNA will “unzip” into a shorter strand of RNA. It will then read the strand of genetic code forwards or backwards or sometimes will splice different pieces together to generate the needed biochemistry.

These instructions are specific. This seems obvious, but I’m always asked when I suggest this, “What does specific mean?” Well, the definition is to explain or describe something clearly and exactly. The instructions for building proteins are long and detailed. They must be precisely built in order to do their predetermined job. Here are some basics for building a protein.

Proteins are made of amino acids. There are 20 different amino acids. Three bases or nucleotides (the G, T, A, and C we discussed earlier) are needed to create one amino acid. Most proteins we’ve found are between 50 and 2000 amino acids. This means a length of DNA (which has been “unzipped” into RNA) 150 bases long is needed to make the simplest protein—which is highly complex and must be built exactly the right way. There are a number of folds that each protein has that must be correct or the protein is not right. All the amino acids that make these proteins are “left-handed,” which just means of the two mirror images of any given structure, the “left-handed” version is the only one we use for life. That’s an important hurdle for evolutionists as well, but that’s for another time.

But many of the proteins of life are much larger than that. A protein with 2000 amino acids would require bases in a length and specific order of 6000 nucleotides! Two thousand 3-letter combinations that are all exactly in the right order to generate one protein. Keep in mind some of these proteins are required for protein manufacturing, so there’s another hurdle for the evolutionist who believes in abiogenesis. How do proteins that require other proteins to be built find their way into existence? Which ones came first? When does the job of building a specific protein end? Why does the system “turn off” when it’s got enough of whatever protein it was manufacturing?

Genetic material is also complex. That, too, seems to have a very basic definition but, again, I am asked what that means. Most of the time when atheists are bringing up these questions, it is to trip you up or confuse you. Don’t fall for their games. They’re in a losing battle here and they know it, so they need to distract as much as they can. Complex simply means that the whole is made up of complicated or interrelated parts.

This is very easily demonstrated with genetics. There are countless molecular machines involved in the work of our genes. According to Dr. Bruce Alberts at, “We now know that nearly every major process in a cell is carried out by assemblies of 10 or more protein molecules. And, as it carries out its biological functions, each of these protein assemblies interacts with several other large complexes of proteins. Indeed, the entire cell can be viewed as a factory that contains an elaborate network of interlocking assembly lines, each of which is composed of a set of large protein machines.” This is exactly what complex means. This statement is speaking more broadly about cellular function, but the same is true just for the work that goes on inside the nucleus (or very close by to the nucleus) of a cell.

Each of these molecular machines can be built out of multiple proteins, which are themselves built out of dozens to hundreds or even thousands of amino acids. The spliceosome, for example, is a molecular machine that is comprised of some 50 proteins and 5 snRNA molecules. It’s enormous. If it’s built incorrectly, it doesn’t work. It has numerous interrelated parts that work together. We can easily see how the inner workings of a cell and, more specifically, what genetic material is doing inside a cell, are highly specific (it’s not randomly performing functions willy nilly) and complex (the intricate network of interworking parts is mind-boggling).

Next time, I’ll get into what information is and why the coded instructions found stored in the DNA molecules of each living thing on earth is very ordered, complex, specified data containing the instructions for building and maintaining a living thing—a highly sophisticated machine.

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Hebrews 12:18-24

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, April 25, 2022 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

“You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, because they could not bear what was commanded: ‘If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.’ The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, ‘I am trembling with fear.’
But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.”
-Hebrews 12:18-24

In the sections before this in the book of Hebrews, the author has been talking about various aspects of Christian living. So you may be wondering, why is he suddenly talking about mountains? This is another aspect of living the Christian life – he is contrasting the Jewish life, represented by God giving the Israelites the law on Mt Sinai, with the Christian life, represented by Mt Zion.

The author does not specifically mention Mt Sinai, but it is clear in verses 18-19 that this is what is being referred to. We see the fire of God burning on Mt Sinai in Deuteronomy 4:11-13. The things that are mentioned in these verses can all refer to the presence God appearing on Earth – fire (Judges 13:20, 1 Kings 18:38), darkness (1 Kings 8:12), storms (Nahum 1:3), and the trumpet (Exodus 19:16-19, Matthew 24:31, 1 Corinthians 15:52, 1 Thessalonians 4:16).

This is not the presence of a calm, gentle God but one that should strike fear and terror into our hearts. The next element we see confirms this – “such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them” (verse 19). The people of Israel experienced this in Exodus 20:18-21 and Deuteronomy 5:25-27. The fear of the Lord was so great that the people of Israel simply could not handle it and didn’t not want to hear God’s voice anymore!

Verse 20 provides a quote from Exodus 19:13. The people were so fearful of God and they lived in fear of God’s commandment that anyone (man or beast) who touches the mountain should die. This shows how holy and separate God is from the people. God made the mountain so holy that the people could not even touch it!

In the passage from Exodus 20:18-21 referenced above, the people were terribly afraid of God, but Moses was not afraid to approach God’s presence. But in verse 21, the writer tells us that even Moses was trembling with fear at God’s presence. This is not a direct quote from the Mt Sinai experience that Moses had, but it does happen during the golden calf incident (Deuteronomy 9:19). The author is portraying a situation where God is greatly to be feared – even by Moses, the Old Testament figure who was known to have the closest personal relationship with God (Exodus 33:11)!

But! Verse 22 begins with this strong contrasting conjunction, indicating something completely different is about to be written. We now see the contrast to the great fear of God at Mt Sinai with the great joy of Mt Zion. Mt Zion is one of the hills on which Jerusalem was built, so Zion and Jerusalem are often considered synonymous to each other. This is considered the “home” of God’s people. This is the city where God dwells. This refers back to Hebrews 11:10 where the author refers to “the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” This is a living city, home to the living God. The people have come by the thousands to experience this joyful assembly that takes place in God’s presence! They have come to give God the glory and honor which He is due.

Verses 23-24 continue to list the reasons that the people have come to this holy city. They have come to celebrate the triumphant church, the assembly of those “whose names are written in heaven.” This may refer to the early martyrs of the church, or some scholars believe it refers to angels; we do not know for sure. The people have come to see God, who is the great Judge of all people. He has made the righteous people perfect through the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus.

Jesus is that “mediator of a new covenant” which has been thoroughly described earlier in the letter. The blood Jesus was shed as the perfect sacrifice for all people in all times and in all places; Jesus is the only one who could open up the way to having a relationship with God as no mere human could. Abel’s blood is the first human’s blood recorded to be shed in the Scriptures, and the author shows how much greater Jesus’ blood sacrifice was than Abel’s.

This passage shows the great contrasts that happen simultaneously in our relationship with God. We should have great fear and awe of God, knowing that He is sovereign over everything and has the power to strike us down in death. But we also know that we should have great joy in God because of what Jesus has done for us! The God of the Old Testament and Mt Sinai is still the God of the New Testament and Mt Zion. He is still the same God who we worship today, and we are still commanded to fear Him and also experience joy in His presence to give Him glory.

How are you relating to God today? Are you experiencing great fear of God’s awesome power? Or are you rejoicing in His presence? Both are good! We should have balance between those two – being both joyful and fearful of God’s awesomeness all at the same time.

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Sin 6: False Views of Sin

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, April 22, 2022 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

Wherever God goes to showcase the weight of sin and the price of sin, the enemy comes along to corrupt it and to diminish the weight and the severity of sin. In this post, I’m going to address several of the ways that the doctrine of sin is being diminished in our culture today.

The most common way I have seen sin being diminished in many evangelical churches is to not call “sin” to be rebellious treason against God, but merely “mistakes” or “imperfections.” This notion treats sin as an “oops,” not as treason against a thrice-holy God. This approach does not describe sin as what it is but rather treats it as, “We just aren’t perfect, but we mean well.” It’s a very common trend; the idea is to soften the sting so that people will receive the message without being so readily offended. But this is not the Gospel. Jesus did not come to die because some of us are “imperfect.” He died for something far more serious than that. I brought this up when Hugh Ross took this approach in his One-Minute Gospel presentation. A defender of Hugh Ross told me I was just being petty on definitions, though in another discussion, this same person said that definitions matter in defense of his position. I don’t care if you use the specific words I am using or not; I care about the image and message being given, because God does, too. If we are sloppy with our wording, we are being sloppy with our duty as God’s ambassadors here on earth and that is not something we want to be doing.

The Prosperity Gospel preachers rarely use the word “sin” in any of their messages. Joel Osteen is infamous for never preaching against sin, and he even boasts about not preaching against sin. But anytime he does mention sin, it is never in a Biblical context of violation of God’s commands. Rather, sin is viewed as a mere “blocking of your blessings” that God intends to give you. This is selfishness. It proclaims that God is merely a means to an end – an end to serving self. Sin does not “block you from your blessings” as a primary. That’s only a side effect. The primary issue is much deeper – it separates you from God.

The “Progressive Christian” movement has gone as far as describing the sinful nature as mere “misguidance” and that it may damage our relationship with God but doesn’t actually sever our relationship. Many of these speakers even go on to say that we have inherent “goodness” or “deity” within ourselves. This is a Gnostic teaching resurfacing that teaches that even though we are corrupted, we still have an inherent “divine spark” as part of our being. As a result, sin is reduced to mere moral deeds, but never vertical against God. This is blasphemy because it puts man on the level of God. It is the root of the “little gods” doctrine that we see very frequently among the Word of Faith teachings.

Matthew Vines, who I wrote about several years ago, and many LGBT+ “Christians” attempt to justify sexual sin (namely homosexuality) by making it part of their nature, that they were born that way. This again takes the responsibility off the person for their lusts and puts it on God for making them that way. The severity of this teaching is too much to unpack here, but to put it simply, they are accusing God of being an immoral monster Himself in an attempt to justify themselves. It is all about trying to justify sin while claiming a spot in the Christian community. Jude warns against such people as those who take the grace of God for a license to sin.

A cult name that I did not learn about until very recently is the Sandemanians. While the name will not be familiar to most, the teachings they give should be. When my pastor was alerted to them, he realized how dangerously close my church was to going in that direction. I, too, recognized the symptoms of these teachings in those around me and in myself. The Sandemanians completely disavowed any emotional connection to salvation and the Gospel, and they taught that the whole thing is only intellectual, giving little more than mental ascent. While there MUST be the intellectual aspect, there is a tendency to diminish the weight of sin because it’s merely treated as “theoretical” and “out there,” but when this line of thought is carried out, it diminishes our understanding of the weight of sin. We will not take the issue of sin seriously when it is just intellectual and hypothetical. There has to be an emotional component to this that will make us want to do something about it.

A final one I’ll deal with here is a total denial of sin. This is similar to the one the Progressive Christians used above. In the latter case, the Progressive Christians do acknowledge there is a thing called “sin” and that the world is actually broken. They diminish it, just call it “corruption” or “misguidance,” but they do acknowledge to some degree that it is there. But some people flat out teach that man is good and that people are not broken.

During spring break, I went to the Shepherds’ Conference. When we had time to kill the day we arrived, my group decided to visit the Walk of Hollywood. Unlike the videos I have seen of these very famous blocks, all I could see was total depravity. I saw the idolatry of man and even beyond that, I saw and smelled the decadence of drunkenness, drugs, and all sorts of stores you’d expect in a “red light district.” My spirit was provoked. But in our walk, we passed by two buildings of the Christian Scientologists (the cult that Tom Cruise is part of). A friend of mine began to witness to one of them as they passed out fliers. In the discussion, this young man, who was from Ukraine, shared how every road leads to God, there is no need for “salvation” because people are not broken, etc. His thinking was totally post-modernist. He couldn’t even process the Russian invasion of Ukraine as being evidence of the world being broken. He could not see his sin, let alone general sin.

Let me be clear: man in his sinful, unregenerate self loves sin and despises anyone pointing out that they are wrong. And even for those of who are saved, we all have some of the sinful, old self that simply isn’t dying away anytime soon. Some of you may say, “You don’t know my heart.” My response to that is: “Actually I do know your heart. It’s the same as mine: deceitful, wicked, and hopelessly perverted.” That’s not me speaking; that’s God through the prophet Jeremiah. It is so wicked that only God understands how utterly depraved it is. We don’t understand our own hearts. I don’t have any special insight; I’m only declaring what God said, and He DOES know your heart and it’s not a good report. So, no matter what circle you are in, no one is immune to attempting to diminish and marginalize the weight of sin. And when you mess with the nature of sin as the teachings I exposed here do, you mess with the consequences of sin, and that changes the solution to sin. We’ll explore that more next week.

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Walking Through Valleys

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, April 19, 2022 1 comments

by Eric Hansen

If you’ve been a Christian within the last 2,000 years, I’m almost certain the experience of a spiritual valley has hit you at least once. I’m not referring to those fleeting bouts of annoyance with your church or brother in Christ but the real deep valleys – those times where you sit there in your chair, staring at your Bible and just say to yourself, “Why am I even doing this?”

These are some testing times, and to put it bluntly, they suck. You can feel like there’s no hope, rhyme, or reason for things to be going on. If you’re in a disagreement with a fellow Christian, you can even start thinking, “If this is what Christianity is then forget it.” Even just having faith for a few years now, I’ve experienced these emotions more than once. In this blog post, I want to recap those experiences so far, and then address ways that I went about handling the situation. Along with that I’ll share some experiences in hindsight. While I might sound like I’m complaining in describing the events, I truly am not, but that’s one of the things you may realize once you start getting out of that valley.

The first time I experienced this was back in January of 2020. I was going in for some major surgery (a heart cath) and was afraid. Luckily everything turned out fine, but the recovery from it was kind of brutal. My wife was going through some things on her own, having to quit her job not long before, and she was probably more afraid than I was during the procedure since I did have a risk of dying. But, at no point before, during, or after did my church show any support or love to us. The pastor offered some comfort before, but he was on vacation while I was gone and didn’t reach out to me after he returned. None of the elders reached out to us to see if we needed anything or how we were doing. Only one time did anyone reach out (besides the kids we were pastoring to at the time, God bless them), and that was to just say, “Hope to see you in church soon.” For a month, we dealt with fear and depression, and it just intensified immensely the last 2 weeks of that. We felt alone, unloved, and unimportant. After we got out of this valley, though, my wife confessed that she was afraid I was going to give up on my faith. Sometimes that thought crossed my mind, but then I reminded myself that my loyalty is to Christ, not to the church. But it took a long while to even want to pick up my Bible again.

Even though I haven’t yet experienced such a deep valley again, the intense dread of the matter recently crept up again. I won’t go into the details much as I don’t want to support gossip. However, things came to a head when I started realizing just how a person I had asked to mentor me had changed in their theology since the start. They became a different person to me, and I wasn’t the only one to see it. But this being the 3rd person I’ve held in high regard on a personal level, I basically felt abandoned and hurt. I’m very much for showing and extending love and grace to others, but we can’t be selective on who we extend that to. From my perspective, the situation became very hypocritical, and that was the very thing this person has been adamant about not being. I could also be wrong on my observation, and I hope so, but I remember after speaking my emotions out to them, I was thinking, “Man, if this is what I gotta deal with as a Christian, is it even worth it?”

Now, this isn’t to say that the road was paved in death the whole way through. There were definitely bouts of sunshine and rainbows spread throughout the journeys. But, when we’re in those valleys, it’s hard to remember them let alone look back and see it.

I can’t honestly explain how I recovered from the first instance. I remember waking up on February 1, 2020 and feeling like an immense darkness had been lifted. Now, during that month of the valley, I prayed and tried to keep a relationship with God as best as I could. So I can always say God lifted me from the depths of my own personal hell. But, at the same time, almost all of those prayers felt like they were bouncing off walls and satellites. I also hadn’t been reading the Bible, so it was much more of a one-way conversation, unfortunately. But, the fascinating thing to me is that my wife, who had been struggling just as bad as me, shared the same thoughts on the same day.

As for the second trial of fire, it’s been a really different experience. Between the first valley and now, I’ve gained a much deeper understanding on how the Spirit directs me most often. When something is God’s will and not just my own will, I sense an incredible feeling of peace about it. Unfortunately, what brought me that peace was accepting the difference in theological views and realizing that for my personal growth to not be stunted, I needed to step away from such a deep relationship with them. I love them dearly, but I love them enough to know when it isn’t healthy as well. This is probably one of the biggest lessons I learned from this valley.

Both times, and with all the other more minor valleys I’ve had, perseverance was definitely key. It’s very easy to walk away from God when things get tough.

Some would say to be in the Word, read it more, etc. But, I can’t sit here and suggest that because each situation is going to be different. But, I will suggest finding a Christ-focused, Bible-believing person and talk with them about your valley. Keep in mind to not start gossip, and the easiest way is to only focus on “I.” If you can read the Bible, then by all means do it. But, if we’re being practical about these situations, it’s not always comfortable to read such a book, especially when you’re already at the point of doubting your faith. Even as an introvert, I’ve found much more success in this most recent valley talking to others about my emotions than I did keeping everything internalized during the first one.

A passage I held close to my heart during this last valley is from 1 Thessalonians 4:1-2: “Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you in the name of the Lord Jesus to live in a way that pleases God, as we have taught you. You live this way already, and we encourage you to do so even more. For you remember what we taught you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.”

The book of 1 Thessalonians is one of the few epistles that has deep praise for keeping true to the Christian faith even during turbulent times. It reminds me of what the book of Jude was meant to be originally (Jude 1:3: “Dear friends, I had been eagerly planning to write to you about the salvation we all share. But now I find that I must write about something else, urging you to defend the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to his holy people.”).

I know that I was on a righteous path to Christ before I got tossed into the valley. While I tumbled my way to the bottom, it wasn’t impossible to rebound. The opportunity granted me the time to understand that my faith was unstable. The way back to Christ was to build my faith on a sturdier foundation than I had previously. So the first book I reached for from my bookshelf was What Every Christian Ought to Know by Adrian Rogers. The next book I’ll be reading is Worldview Warriors’ very own Charlie Wolcott’s Biblical Foundations. While my faith is still building firmer, these resources from a biblical perspective have helped me explore the Bible deeper (such as digging into 1 Corinthians 14) and to learn what is needed to grow further with 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.


Hebrews 12:12-17

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, April 18, 2022 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

“Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. ‘Make level paths for your feet, so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.
Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. Even though he sought the blessing with tears, he could not change what he had done.”
-Hebrews 12:12-17

In the previous section, the author of Hebrews talked about the importance of having discipline in our lives as followers of Jesus. We need to be corrected when we’re not on the right path. This next section is an extension of that thought, encouraging us to live upstanding lives, living as a witness to our God.

The “therefore” at the beginning of verse 12 links what’s coming with what just preceded it. Because of the discipline that God provides to us, we need to do our best to live our lives in a righteous manner. If our arms are feeble and our knees are weak as the passage says, we need to strengthen them to do the hard work of living rightly! The Greek word used for “strengthen” also means to “make upright” or “make straight,” giving the idea of living in an upright manner.

In verse 13, the author quotes from Proverbs 4:26. This builds on the idea from verse 12 of strengthening our bodies to do the good works that honor God. If our paths are level, we’re better able to walk on them. This is connected to the idea of discipline among believers in Jesus. We’re meant to live as communities of believers, not to go it alone. When some are feeling “lame” or “disabled” and struggling with doing what is right, the community is to come alongside them to encourage them and provide spiritual healing. While we are not saved by the good things that we do, they do show God’s glory and demonstrate our faith (see James 2:14-26).

Starting in verse 14, we see the author giving more specific ways of how to live in a righteous manner. The Greek verb that’s translated as “make every effort” really has a meaning of pursuing or chasing after, so this verse starts out by saying, “Pursue peace with everyone.” This is a common idea in the New Testament, as we also see in Matthew 5:9, Mark 9:50, and Romans 12:18 just to name a few. Some scholars have debated whether this verse means to try to live at peace with everyone or just fellow believers, but the general consensus is that we are called to live at peace with all people, though peace within the Christian community is important for our witness to those who do not yet believe.

The structure of this verse indicates that we are to pursue both peace and holiness. What is holiness? It means being set apart and striving to be more like God. When we strive to live our lives in a way that is holy and glorifies God, others will be drawn to Him and see Him in and through us.

We see the community of believers at work in verse 15. While we are only responsible for our own actions, we are also called to live in community with one another. This ties into the idea of discipline from the previous passage. When we see a fellow believer pursuing the wrong things and headed down the wrong path, we need to lovingly provide them with correction.

But what’s the deal with the “bitter root” in the second half of verse 15? This is the same idea expressed in Deuteronomy 29:16-18. If people turn away from God, they will be like a bitter root - perhaps it will grow slowly, but its true colors of bitterness will be seen in time. A seed of bitterness can be sown in a faith community, and while it may not be visible right away, if left unchecked it will eventually defile the whole community.

The next warning in this passage is in verse 16 and has to do with sexual immorality. Again, the community of believers is called upon to help keep each other living in right ways and not falling into this temptation. The author next refers to Esau as being godless. The word for “godless” can also mean unholy or profane, which implies that Esau was more focused on the things of this world than on Godly things. Esau did not recognize the value of his birthright but instead gave it away to fulfill an immediate need (see Genesis 25:29-34 for the story). Unlike Esau, we are to look at the big picture that God sees as much as we can rather than focusing on the immediate needs we experience here on earth. Anyone who turns away from God doesn’t care about God’s plan; they only care about their own needs being met.

Verse 17 continues the narrative about Esau and how he did not receive the blessing he was to inherit. There was a finality to Esau’s actions; he could not undo what he had done. There are choices we make in life that cannot be undone. There’s a song by my favorite band called Bullets that has lyrics that say, “Can’t put the bullets back into the gun / Can’t undo what we have done.” While we can always receive forgiveness, some actions are more final than perhaps we would like them to be, just as Esau’s was.

The main ideas we can take from this passage are that we are all to pursue righteous living, both individually and in our communities of faith. We are to strengthen ourselves and one another in the faith so that we can more easily understand and follow God’s commands to us so that we honor and glorify Him. We are to lovingly discipline and correct one another in the context of our faith communities because we know that we can’t live this Christian life on our own. We are better together than by ourselves, to both encourage one another and help one another stay on the right path of honoring God with our lives.

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.


Sin 5: The Price of Sin

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, April 15, 2022 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

Over the last two weeks, I addressed the weight of sin, how it affects us horizontally when we sin against each other and vertically when we sin against God. There is no way we can sugar coat or lighten up the severity of sin without having some serious problems. Paul puts it very bluntly in Romans 6:23: the wages of sin is death (emphasis mine). When we sin, death is the due payment that we earn. It doesn’t matter which commandment we break. Just breaking one is enough to consider us all “law-breakers,” and it’s as though we broke each one of them. Last year, I wrote about how idolatry is displayed in the breaking each of the Ten Commandments, and if you break any of Commandments #2-9, you also break #1. So, ALL sins are a breaking of the first commandment.

Sin comes with a STEEP price, and because we are all sinners and sin is part of our nature, we are reluctant to realize, let alone believe, that we are indeed NOT good people. There is nothing inherent in us that is good. I know we can readily proclaim this when writing a blog post, discussing with other believers, but do we actually believe this in real life? Because – news flash – our sinful nature, our old self, really does believe we are good people. Our modern psychology and our education system treat us like we are good people. Our society is so entrenched with self-esteem and self-idolatry that it’s truly disgusting. And MANY people are finding out that it is not satisfying, but they are so frowned upon in ditching the self-idolatry ideas that it leads to suicide. The homosexual who is miserable (and there are many) is not miserable because they were rejected by their Christian parents or peers. It is because they are living in sin and are tasting the emptiness of it. But in their hardness of heart, they will not acknowledge that it is their sin causing their emptiness, until they are truly broken and hit rock bottom. When they hit that rock bottom, the church needs to be there ready to bring them back up, when they are ready to leave their sin behind.

Sin is pleasurable for a season. People actually enjoy and have fun doing what they do in their rebellion against God. But that’s only a temporary feeling, and there is always a let down at the end. When sin works its course, death will be all that is left in its wake. Death of every kind. Death physically, spiritually, emotionally, relationally, economically, politically, and more than I can think of. Every form of death is a result of sin. And it doesn’t just affect you; there is no such thing as any sin that only affects you. There is always a horizontal collateral damage to every sin we do. “But I just look at pornography. It only affects me.” You sure about that? That body you are looking at is not your spouse’s, and as a result you are cheating your spouse (or future spouse) of true pleasure. Not only that, but you are also helping an industry in which not all who engage it in are willing participants. Sex trafficking is perhaps the biggest industry in the world today with multi-billion dollars being made annually, and it is primarily to satiate the demand for pornography. There is a steep price to your sin.

We all deserve to die, and not a painless, merciful death either. We deserve a very painful, slow, and some might even call it sadistic death. Hell is no laughing matter. Hell is not merely where we will be separated from all the goodness of God, but it will be an eternity where we will be experiencing the very same wrath of God that was poured out on Christ. And it will be eternal. There will be no mercy and there will be no end to it. But even in His wrath, God has offered us a way out. He has no obligation to do so, but He chooses to out of His own will and desire to save us. That is what the cross is for.

The debt had to be paid. The crime had to be punished. There is no avoiding that. So Jesus said, “Let me take the hit. I’ll pay for the crime. Punish me instead.” That’s what He did at the cross, which we remember and honor today on Good Friday. He bore the sins of the world. Being a man, He was able to take the place of a man. But also being the infinite God at the same time, He was able to take the place of ALL men. Being a man, He was able to take the punishment a man deserved. But also being God, He was able to take the infinite wrath in the finite time. That is why the hypostatic union of Jesus being fully man and fully God is a necessary doctrine.

But don’t fall for what many preachers do today. Many preachers turn this into a man-centered message. They will say, “Jesus did all that just for you. You are so special to God that Jesus did that for you. Can’t you give back in kind?” While there is truth to that, let me make clear that you are not a valued treasure that is so precious that Jesus cannot live without you. He got along just fine before you came along, and He has no need for your presence to “complete” Him. He chose to do this. His death on the cross, His beating, His crown of thorns, His mockery, His publicly exposed nakedness (the worst humiliation to a Jew), and even His coming and living as a man was done to showcase how severe and how deadly our SIN is. What Jesus went through, we deserve to get and more. That’s the price.

Our salvation is indeed free to us. There is nothing we can do to earn this gift, but there is nothing truly free. This gift that we spend nothing to get cost Jesus His life. It cost the second person of the Trinity His life. How DARE we trample this? So those who reject this gift, those who snuff their nose back at Jesus and say, “I don’t care about you!” are not going to receive mercy when Judgment Day comes. Because they did not receive the gift freely offered, they will be left out when the party starts. And outside the party hall is darkness, weeping, gnashing of teeth, and a pain for which just a drop of cool water would give some relief. But none will be offered, because it was already rejected.

Because I have that sinful, old self still haunting me, I really don’t take this truth as fully as serious as I need to. One of the things the sinful nature will always seek to do is to get out of that judgment. The way the sinful nature does this is by attempting to diminish and marginalize the crime and its severity. It is the criminal trying to tell the Judge what his crime really was like and to take it lightly. While this may work on corrupt judges here on earth, it won’t work with God. Over the next couple weeks, we’ll examine some of the different ways modern “evangelicals” try to minimize or marginalize the sting of sin.

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.


Rejoice in the Lord Always, Even When Being Censored

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Tuesday, April 12, 2022 0 comments

by Jason DeZurik

Philippians 4:4-9
“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. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

Many people have inquired about why I am not posting on Facebook recently.

Approximately three weeks ago, I was contacted by Facebook. Because of the reach of my personal profile, I was told that they were contacting me and others like me with a similar number of followers on Facebook to help “stop the spread of misinformation” and to protect my Facebook profile from “malicious hackers” and “bad actors” by monitoring my account. In essence, I was informed that I needed to agree to allow Facebook to censor information I post if I want to continue to use Facebook.

It is beyond obvious to me now that these phrases are nothing more than code used by Facebook for controlling their users' thoughts and influence as well as stopping information that they don't like. I have been on Facebook since 2007 and have always tried to post true and factual posts and comments. Early on, I had a lot to learn. If I ever posted things that were false or incorrect, at least to my recollection, I corrected those posts with truth and at times apologized when necessary. I think this is just one reason why this comes as such a kick to the mid-section for me.

Over the past 15 years, much ministry and growth of the Kingdom of God has happened. I have been blessed to meet many people over the years and have had the incredible opportunity to learn from many of those people, and I have grown a lot. I praise God for that, and I have many of you to thank as well. This is not just including my Christian brothers and sisters, but also those of you that are non-believers. I do hope and continue to pray that someday you will come into a right relationship with Jesus Christ, the Creator of the Universe, and I hope that is your decision someday soon. Those of you striving to follow Jesus Christ, I greatly encourage you to continue to “work out” your salvation every second of your time here on earth. I am very thankful for all of those, over the years, who have been a part of helping me and our ministry, Worldview Warriors, to equip and expand the Kingdom of God in this way. You are appreciated.

I will continue to do ministry with Worldview Warriors through the radio, internet, conferences, and other events. I will also continue to publish books through the ministry. Worldview Warriors and those connected to the ministry, as far as I know, will keep doing ministry as they have in the past as well.

As for social media, I have started a path of trying to figure out all my options and what the future might look like for me and the ministry. As of right now, Worldview Warriors, Worldview Warriors Publishing, Do Not Keep Silent, Worldview Warriors Fastcast, New Morning Praise, The Way Forward is Back, and the Senedot Stripes will continue to have pages on Facebook. You can also find information about Worldview Warriors at and information about the main radio station I am on in Northwest Ohio, 90.1 FM, at You can listen to New Morning Praise every Monday-Friday from 6am-8:30am. You can also listen on Sunday nights from 7-9pm to Do Not Keep Silent, Both of these shows are on 90.1 FM.

Some of you might be wondering why I used Philippians 4:4-9 to start out this post. The truth of the matter is that as believers in Jesus Christ, we are to rejoice in all things. That doesn't mean we cannot be sad, frustrated, or upset, but we must check our attitude and rejoice in all things.

Again, it has been quite a ride on Facebook for me personally, and please note that Worldview Warriors will continue to do ministry and not much should change with the ministry. My family and I, on the other hand, have much to consider and pray about as we move forward. Ministry will still be happening, and I do want to thank everyone who has been a prayer and/or financial supporter over the years. We hope you will continue to support the work God has called us to in order to advance the Kingdom of God here on earth.

If you'd like to donate to the ministry, you can do so online at or via snail mail at:

Worldview Warriors
PO Box 681
Findlay, Ohio 45839

As I finish this post, if you are willing and able, I would ask that you please consider sharing this post on whatever social media you are using to help get the word out about what is happening, not just to me on a personal level but to others as well. I would greatly appreciate the help in getting the word out.

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.


Hebrews 12:4-11

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, April 11, 2022 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

“In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says,
‘My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.’
Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline —then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
-Hebrews 12:4-11

Moving into this next section of the book of Hebrews, the author begins sharing about different aspects of the Christian life. The first thing he shares is about discipline – a topic that basically nobody enjoys.

It’s important to note that the author starts this section with a comparison between the believers’ struggle and that of those who had been killed for their faith (verse 4). Persecution to the point of being killed for the Christian faith was a very real danger at the time when this letter was written. All believers struggle with sin, and one of those temptations may have been to give up their faith to save their earthly life. Remember that this is just a few verses after the author provided the great list of the heroes of the faith, many of whom were killed for their faith. The struggle with sin is very real, but it’s important to keep our own struggles in the proper context. Yes, we go through difficult times in life, but at least we have not yet been killed for faith!

Then, the author brings up the topic of discipline, starting with the relationship between a father and son in verse 5 that he uses to introduce quoting Proverbs 3:11-12 in verses 5b-6. God is our father and we are His children, so He disciplines us as a Father would discipline His children. Being disciplined by God is not a sign that God doesn’t like us but rather it shows us how much He loves us! A father corrects his children because he loves them and wants to teach them to live correctly, and God disciplines us in the same manner. Contrary to how we tend to react, we should be encouraged when God disciplines us because it’s Him showing us His great love for us.

The ancient Roman world had a different understanding of discipline than we do today. It was expected, and a father in the Roman world had absolute authority over his children, even to the point of deciding whether to keep a child alive! The father even had the right to execute his child as a form of punishment, though this rarely happened. This shows the extremely serious attitude that they took toward discipline in the culture when this letter was written.

Verse 7 encourages us to look at any hardships we face as God providing discipline to us. God is treating us as his children and providing us with the discipline that we need to correct our wayward behaviors. Again, it was completely expected that a father would discipline his children, just as God does for us.

In verse 8, the author turns that around the other way. Because we are God’s children, He disciplines us; and if we are not receiving that discipline, then we must not be God’s children. Just as it was expected for a father to discipline his children, we as children should expect to BE disciplined by our heavenly Father. If the father felt no responsibility toward his children, he would not correct them. Likewise, God is showing His love and care for us as His true children by correcting us to His ways.

Verses 9-10 again make the connection between the human family and God and us as His children. But the author takes it one step further, showing how God’s discipline is different than that of a human father. Earthly fathers do their best for a short time while their child is young, but God’s discipline is perfect and holy, and it lasts for our entire lifetime. The goal of God’s discipline is to make us more like Him – sharing in His holiness.

The first part of verse 11 may seem like a very obvious statement – “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.” The author puts this in contrast to the long-term effects of discipline, which is to “produce a harvest of righteousness and peace.” We need to experience the short-term difficulties, pain, and suffering of God’s discipline in order to become more like God, to work toward that goal of teleios.

Whether you are the giver or receiver of discipline, it is not a pleasant thing to experience. But discipline is very necessary for our lives, both from a human standpoint and a spiritual one. We need to be corrected and instructed in the ways we should live in this world, both by our human parents and by God. That often has to happen through discipline, being punished when we do something wrong.

We will all experience suffering in this life, whether due to our own actions, the actions of those around us, or for reasons we can’t figure out. But when we can look at those times of suffering as being disciplined by God, they have greater meaning in our lives. Jesus experienced suffering on the cross, not as a form of discipline since He did nothing wrong, but He was able to endure that suffering because it had greater meaning – the salvation of all humanity who would turn to Him in faith. If we see the greater meaning in times we’re suffering as God guiding and correcting us, we are better able to endure it as well.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” -James 1:2-4

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.


Sin 4: The Weight of Sin, Continued

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, April 8, 2022 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

Last week, I addressed the consequences of sin on a horizontal level known as natural law. But this doesn’t reflect the real nature of sin which is vertical to our relationship with God. Last week, I described the sins man commits against each other. There is a righteous desire for those wrongs to be made right, but there is a much deeper and stronger issue than that. King David’s most infamous sin, the one which was singled out as his key mark against him, was the adultery with Bathsheba and the cover-up murder of her husband, Uriah. The list of sins he committed that led up to this horrific deed and that which followed are too numerous to list here, but when he was confronted by the prophet Nathan, he realized the real sin was vertical. David had despised the commandment of the Lord. In his legendary song of repentance, David confessed that against God and only against God had he sinned. Yes, he knew that he had sinned against Bathsheba and Uriah, but as bad as they were, those paled in comparison to his sin against God.

This is the key aspect of sin that most take lightly. We do not understand our sin, and most of that is because we do not understand or know who God is. Many of us know of God’s character intellectually, but so few of us even have a remotely true understanding of God in our finite minds. We know of his attributes of purity, holiness, righteousness, justice, mercy, goodness, and so on. Sin is a violation of these attributes. We have to remember that God is infinite in all these attributes, and He is all these attributes all at once. That’s part of the doctrine of the simplicity of God. He is not part love, part righteous, part justice, part merciful, etc., nor can He put aside one attribute in favor of another. God’s commands are a reflection of God’s character So when we violate God’s commands, we are snubbing our noses at God. We are defying Him with utmost treason and sedition, and it is far more severe treason than anything else because of the one who we are sinning against.

I try to describe sin this way: Sin is not a careless mistake or a mere imperfection. Sin is the intentional doing what you know you are not supposed to do or the not doing of what you are supposed to do. These are the two categories of sin: sins of commission, in which we directly violate God’s explicit command, and sins of omission, in which we skip out on what we are supposed to do. David’s sin with Bathsheba was a sin of commission. It was an intentional, willful act of doing what he was not supposed to do. King Saul’s sin in not destroying the Amalekites completely was a sin of omission. He did not do what he was supposed to. But the difference between these two is the difference between the saved and the lost. Saul had no repentance and only sought to justify himself in his sin. David, however, recognized his sin was against God and longed to have that relationship with God restored.

God cannot tolerate sin. His character will not allow it. We need to grasp the fact that God will utterly destroy sin when it comes into His presence just by being near it just like how ice melts next to heat. But He is so great in patience and mercy that somehow, we are still alive. So many complain about how God does things as though they can judge or critique Him. My response is, “Why should God let you or me take our next breath?” We also need to grasp the fact that in and of our ourselves, we are sinful, wicked, treacherous, and deceitful people. There is nothing good in us. And I mean NOTHING. God should have utterly wiped us out thousands of years ago. God didn’t send the Flood because He was petty. He destroyed all mankind save for Noah and the animals because man had gone so far to be beyond savable. They were given 120 years to listen, and only 8 did. Their sin took them so far that they had completely lost any regard for God.

That was in Bible times. What about today? In the post-Biblical history, few single messages have ever carried the weight of sin more accurately than “Sinners in the Hands of An Angry God.” Jonathan Edwards did what he always did: wrote out his sermon and read it in his typical monotone. Yet the congregation felt the Holy Spirit come down on them with such strength that they grabbed the pews as though Hell was about to swallow them alive. John Wesley in England and John Wesley Redfield at Yale both have reports of their sermons causing people to lay on the ground utterly unconscious (both reported by Paris Reidhead in his sermon “Ten Sheckles and a Shirt”). There was such a revelation of the weight of sin that it drove people down to unconsciousness. This is what Isaiah experienced when he saw the Throne of God. He saw the glory of God and realized the weight of his own sin against God and it broke him.

Today, even though our best preachers are speaking the truth, we aren’t seeing the genuine revivals that accompanied both Wesley and Redfield. I’m not going to blame the sound preachers for this, and I’m not looking for a “show” either. But what were to happen if we would actually grasp the weight of our sin? I’m talking to myself just as much as anyone else. I speak about the weight of sin, but a problem I have with being raised in the church is a lack of appreciation of the weight of sin. I’ve never hit spiritually rock bottom, so as a result, I’ve never really tasted the full experience of sin. Does that mean I’m not saved? No. But it does mean I have to be careful about taking my own sin too lightly because if it could trip up someone like David, it can trip up someone like me too. I need to learn how to take sin just as seriously as David and Isaiah did.

There is another reality of dealing with the weight of sin that so few people have today: truly understanding what Hell is. So many of us are so self-focused that we are only concerned about getting ourselves out of Hell. For many, the ONLY reason they even want to be identified as Christian is so they can get out of Hell. How can I say this? Because they make no mention of their love for Christ as a real, genuine relationship. If we really understood Hell, and we really did love others, we’d be doing as Penn Jillette said: he’d be crawling over broken glass if that is what it took to get to a lost person. There would come a point where he’d tackle us to get us out from a moving train. I have to confess that I am a terrible evangelist; I have such a hard time initiating that discussion. Get me started and I am just fine, but it’s so hard for me to get going. Am I that ashamed of the Gospel and the message? Or is my fear of man that strong? Ray Comfort is a famous evangelist and yet even he struggles with this. Even the Apostle Paul battled with this.

I’ll wrap up this post with one last comment. If we understood the weight of sin and the consequences of our sin against God, it would drastically change how we see the lost. They are lost. They have only and ever only known sin. They have no comprehension outside of that. When I deal with mockers and scoffers, I often want to “strangle” them, but that’s not of Christ. The “Bad Charlie” wants to just blast them and pick them up off the ceiling after he goes Hulk on them. Instead, I need to learn to pity these people. They have no hope and no grasp of reality. Their minds are utterly broken and are truly “insane.” They are slaves of the devil. And what I have to keep telling myself is that apart from the grace of God, I would be in the same boat they are in. Why should I boast in my intellect, education, and studying? The only thing that’s of use is what God has given me anyway. I need to pity these people and weep for them.

George Whitefield called out these people as being “monsters of iniquity” who didn’t have the decency to see the enormity of their crime against God. Yet Whitefield wept for them both publicly and privately. In his audience was atheist David Hume. When asked why he was going to hear Whitefield preach, Hume said he didn’t believe Whitefield, but he knew Whitefield believed what he was preaching. One of the reasons so few atheists and skeptics don’t believe us is likely because we don’t fully believe what we preach ourselves. We know this stuff intellectually, but do we truly believe it? When we understand the weight of our sin, the rest will fall into place.

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Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, April 4, 2022 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

I began studying Biblical Greek in 2007 when I started my master of divinity degree at Winebrenner Theological Seminary, and it was through that class that God revealed my love for languages, particularly Biblical Greek and Hebrew (which I began learning the following year). One of my favorite aspects of these original languages of the Bible is the words that we just don’t have good English equivalents for. It takes multiple words in English to get to the general idea of these words, which adds so much beauty to these languages.

Before I get back into writing through the book of Hebrews next week, I wanted to write a post on one such word: teleios (τελειος), pronounced like TE-ley-ahs. This is an adjective (a word that describes a noun), and generally speaking, it means perfect, mature, finished, or complete. In the Greek New Testament, there are 17 occurrences of this adjective form, one of the related noun form, and 23 of the related verb. I won’t go over all 41 occurrences in this blog post, but I do want to highlight a few of them to give an idea of what this word means in its various usages.

The noun form has the meaning of perfecter, and the one occurrence happens in Hebrews 12:2a: “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” You can read more about that verse’s context here. Most common English versions translate this word as “perfecter” in that context, though a few translate it as “finisher.” Either of those meanings is good, of course, but the idea in context is that of the beginning and the end. The word translated above as “pioneer” is sometimes translated as author, source, or origin. These two words together have the idea of the beginning and the end. Jesus is the beginning and the end of faith, and everything in the middle too!

Here are some of the uses of the adjective of teleios in the New Testament, with that word highlighted for you in English. I’m quoting the NIV for each of these.

“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)

“Jesus answered, ‘If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’” (Matthew 19:21)

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2)

“We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.” (1 Corinthians 2:6)

“For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.” (1 Corinthians 13:9-10)

“Brothers and sisters, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults.” (1 Corinthians 14:20)

“Until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:13)

“He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.” (Colossians 1:28)

“Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:4)

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17)

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18)

The other uses of the adjective form that I’m not directly quoting here are in Philippians 3:15, Colossians 4:12, Hebrews 5:14, Hebrews 9:11, James 1:25, and James 3:2.

You can see from these verses that the translators of the NIV do use different English words for teleios depending on the context of the passage. That’s the thing with translating the Bible; context is king! Most words do not have a one-to-one English equivalent that’s always used for every occurrence. But with all of these translations, we get a better picture of the idea of teleios – the idea of maturity, perfection, and completeness. None of these English words fully capture this idea, though they all give us a piece of the teleios puzzle.

The occurrences of the verb form (the root is teleiow, pronounced te-ley-AH-oh) also help us get a fuller picture of this idea. A few of the occurrences are in John 4:34, Acts 20:24, Philippians 3:12, and 1 John 4:12. Look up those passages (or click the links) and see if you can find them.

You may be wondering, why am I writing so much about this one Greek word? Teleios is the goal of every person who believes in Jesus Christ. We all strive to live like Jesus, who is fully mature, complete, and perfect. We all aim to grow and mature in our faith, and the epitome of that maturity is this idea of teleios. Remember that there is only one occurrence of this word’s noun form in the New Testament, and that is describing Jesus as the perfecter of faith. Jesus embodies teleios, and we all strive to become as close as possible to imitating Jesus.

We will never fully reach teleios this side of heaven, but it is still the goal of every believer – to become perfect, mature, whole, and complete in Jesus Christ. Keep growing in your faith, growing in relationship with God, and growing in teleios.

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Sin 3: The Weight of Sin

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, April 1, 2022 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

Two weeks ago, I wrote about how sin is “missing the mark,” then last week I described how sin entered this world and what immediately followed. However, it is one thing to describe what sin is and to describe how it got here, but few preachers today are addressing the weight of sin. No matter who it is, there is always a desire to sugar coat and be gentle when dealing with the weight of sin. Why is that? Because each of us are sinful people, and God’s proclamation about sin makes each and every one of us guilty. There are two angles that I will use to approach addressing the weight of sin. The first will be the horizontal component. This week, I will address what is often called natural law, that is, the natural consequences of our sin in our current life as it relates to our offenses against each other. Then next week, I’ll deal with the vertical component, describing our sin against God and specifically the ultimate consequence for sin.

God does not take sin lightly, and it’s not because He’s all talk nor because He’s petty and unstable if people don’t pray to Him. It’s because He knows what sin truly is and what it does. He knows that all sin can only eat away and destroy. Sin may seem pleasurable for a season, but it always eats away at the person, and the final result is always death. Every sin is a violation of God’s intended purpose, design, and word, and every sin has consequences. Some sins lead to death right way, and some don’t. Some are obvious, and others are not. Let’s take a quick trip through the Ten Commandments and look at commands 5-10 and some of the consequences of those types of sins.

#5 Honor your mother and father: When we dishonor our parents, we are rebelling against God too. God has given them authority over us, they know us far better than we think, and they truly want what is best for us. I’ll give one example. A young man from a good church wanted to go to the mission field. The youth pastor was all on board with it, but the youth’s unbelieving father refused to let him do it, wanting him to get a 4-year degree with a marketable skill. After going back and forth, the father finally explained why. He knew the son didn’t have the self-discipline for the mission field and that the college experience would be really helpful down the road. Had he not listened to his father, he would have gone into failure and disaster. I’ve seen what happens when people go to the mission field unprepared, and it’s bad.

#6 Do not murder: This is pretty straight forward. Taking someone’s life has some very obvious immediate consequences in the legal system. But Jesus also said if we hate someone, it is the same as murdering them. Why? Because we essentially cut them off, and it does not bode well not just for that relationship but also for others.

#7 Do not commit adultery: I’ll hit this one the deepest. Divorce is a breaking of God’s design for marriage. The full implications of this are beyond the scope of what I can write about here, but the depth of this is well beyond just a husband and wife no longer being together. It breaks a union that God initiated and it leaves permanent scars. It leaves severe emotional scars, but it does physical damage too. When a man divorces his wife and then remarries, any sexual intimacy that was carried out in the first marriage carries into the second. This is why fornication and sexual promiscuity are so frequently spoken against. Sexually transmitted diseases are a result of violating God’s purpose of marriage. Then there are the children, the most damaged people as a result of divorce. Take notice that this isn’t God reigning judgment upon that sin yet; this is just what we call natural law. God knew all these things would happen in divorce. The weight of the sin of divorce is easily recognized, but there is only one primary reason for it: the consequences and the aftermath of the sin are nearly immediately realized. With all the “big sins,” we call them “big” because the consequences are immediate. This is what Paul told Timothy about certain sins being apparent and some sins are not apparent.

#8 Do not steal: Snagging a pen off a desk. Grabbing a little candy off a shelf. Stealing money from someone’s wallet. Plagiarism. I don’t think I need to go into detail about the horizontal consequences of these.

#9 Do not lie: White lies, blatant lies, propaganda, false reporting, etc. From telling your teacher your dog ate your homework, to falsely reporting data, to fake news, it is difficult to tell the difference between the truth and the lies. While telling your mom you brushed your teeth when you didn’t doesn’t seem like anything significant, it leads to much bigger lies, that could include something like falsely reporting hospitalization rates to keep the impression of a pandemic going on.

#10 Do not covet: This means desiring that which is not yours. How many sins and decisions does one make when he goes after that which he lusts for but does not have? Being jealous over someone having the new toy can easily lead to stealing. Desiring that title you think you deserve but don’t have easily produces numerous issues and it has led to murder. Macbeth is just a story that showcases this. Absalom was a real case of this issue.

Some of these sins don’t show immediate consequences; these are the ones that have deadlier bites because we don’t recognize how it is eating us alive. The wages of sin is death – death of every kind, physically, spiritually, emotionally, morally, relationally, economically, productively, mentally, and so on. Not all sin leads to immediate death, but all sin starts the process of death. Unrepentant sin always takes the path towards death. It doesn’t matter which sin it is, the end result of any of these sins is death.

Sin is a severe and deadly thing. All I covered here was the aspect of natural law regarding sin and its consequences in this life. I didn’t come close to addressing the full weight of sin, which has eternal implications, too. I only addressed horizontal sin here, the effects of sin here on this earth and how sin violates God’s intended functions and purposes in this life. The real issue is vertical sin, our violation of God’s commands and God’s character. Once we know what sin truly is, I’ll showcase some of the counterfeit teachings on sin in our culture today and then we’ll look at God’s answer to this severe problem.

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.