“Ok it’s your body but doing drugs is illegal…suicide is illegal…prostitution is illegal…not wearing a seatbelt is illegal…heck in some states indoor tanning & drinking 24oz Slurpess is illegal…Why is killing an unborn child legal?”—via Facebook
I came across this article, "Marriage is a Mess And Homosexuals Didn’t Do It" by Rebecca Hamilton, and found myself saying “Amen” nearly all through it. Her writing forces our society to face the hard facts...homosexual marriage won’t do anything to destroy marriage that heterosexual marriage hasn’t already done.
Homosexuals didn’t set off the epidemic of divorce in this country. Homosexuals didn’t create the millions of feral children who spend most of their time alone, raising themselves on video games, drugs and interactions with their peers. Homosexuals don’t cheat on our spouses. Homosexuals don’t break into our homes and yell and curse at our families. They aren’t the cause of the rising number of unwed births and the global pandemic of abortion. We did these things. Marriage is a mess and it was heterosexuals who messed it up.
We live in a society where nearly 50% of marriages will end in divorce. That statistic is thrown around all the time yet for some reason we have not done much to change things. Looking around our country it is easy to see the damage that divorce leaves behind. If people are fighting so hard to keep the traditional definition of marriage in place, one has to ask, is it worth fighting for?
Christians want to say that the fight is to keep the Biblical definition of marriage in tact. Let’s be honest though, God’s intent for marriage has been falling apart since Genesis. Throughout history we have seen men marrying many women (Solomon anyone?), defile the marriage bed by sleeping with a concubine (Yep Solomon covered that too, but long before him Abraham did), and divorce their wives for a plethora of frivolous reasons. Even when Jesus was walking the Earth divorce was a serious issue. Men were cheating on their wives with prostitutes and young men. This is nothing new people.
I’m not say God’s definition of marriage should be tossed to the side and our government should change its laws. I am saying that we need to focus on marriage as a whole rather than attacking same-sex marriage as if it is the major issue. Divorce among Christians is a major issue. How can we as followers of Christ talk about what marriage shouldn’t be when our pews are full of people ignoring what God has called marriage to be?
But the truth is that serial monogamy is NOT monogamy. Serial marriage is not marriage between one man and one woman. And heterosexuals, especially Christian heterosexuals, have a responsibility before God to care for and raise their children, cherish their spouses and build enduring stable homes which can nurture a true family. Heterosexuals who have failed to do this are the root cause of most of the social problems we face today. They, not homosexuals, are the ones who have brought marriage to the sorry state it is in now.
It is time for us to step up and face the issues that heterosexuals have created. Lets acknowledge the fact that people are trading their spouses out like last year’s car once the new model hits the car lot. Let us focus on counseling struggling married couples in our church. Remove the word “divorce” from our vocabulary when giving advice to a sister or brother in Christ. Tackle the plague of pornography that is ravishing men in the pulpit and the pews. Encourage the singles in the Church who are trying to stay pure for their future spouse. We need to fix things from the inside out.
There is so much we need to be doing in our own backyard before we start trying to conquer the next issue. How can we stand before the World, say that same-sex marriage will ruin America, when issues in heterosexual marriage have already done just that? Why aren’t we out there trying to change legislation on no-fault divorce? Could it be because it is easier for us to stand up against something that doesn’t directly effect us?
We need to spend more time fixing what is wrong inside of the Church than we do speaking out against same-sex marriage. God’s plan for marriage needs to be honored by Believers so that we can show the World how truly wonderful His plan is. We need to show them what is so great about heterosexual marriage.
[And yes, this week I will be writing about how God’s plan is perfect & great]
Interview from Christianity Today with Pastor David Platt, author of Radical, Pastor of Church at Brook Hills.
All good evangelicals affirm the centrality of the Word. Still, we have a severe problem of biblical illiteracy. How do we go from knowing the Word is important to knowing what the Word actually says?
We have severely dumbed down the Word, and shown a lack of trust in the sufficiency of the Word in the way we preach. We find it necessary to supplement it with entertaining stories and quips or good practical advice for living the Christian life that are not based in the Word. This deficiency transfers into people content with a little “Word for the Day,” in a devotional book at best, as opposed to deep knowledge of Scripture.
We’re trying to hit at the problem from a variety of angles at Brook Hills. First of all, in worship we’re quoting the Word, singing the Word, and engaging in intensive study. We’ll study 55 minutes to an hour. We try to really saturate the community of faith with the Word when we gather together.
I go to other places, such as house churches in Asia, and they study for 11 or 12 hours, knowing they risk their lives. They’ll dive in deep. We came back and tried to do something similar here. We call it secret church and do it a couple times a year. We gather together for intensive study with no frills, nothing flashy, no entertainment value. The first time, about 1,000 showed up. We studied Old Testament overview from 6 p.m. to midnight, but usually it goes longer, supplemented by times in prayer for the persecuted church. It’s all ages, but the predominant demographic is college students and young singles. It’s grown to the point where we need to offer tickets at $5 for reservations and the cost of a study guide. We’ll do it again in October with 2,500 folks. It’s theological in nature. We’ve done a night on the Atonement, another on the doctrine of God. This time we’re doing spiritual warfare. It’s one of my favorite sights as a pastor to look out at 12:30 a.m. and see a room full of 2,500 people, their Bibles open, soaking it in.
We should all strive to be this deep in the Word. To crave God’s Word with such a hunger that we would gladly devote hours of time to learning it more deeply. Let us be a generation that is transformed by the Bible. Let us seek wisdom from the Holy Bible. Let us not approach church with the mind of consumerism but with the mind of a humble servant eager to hear from their Lord. Our brothers and sisters across the globe risk their lives to have someone read Leviticus to them in a dark, cramped basement. Let us thirst for the Word as they do, willing to risk our very lives to learn the story of redemption.
When it comes to certain topics in society lately the response tends to be “Don’t like it, don’t get one.”
For example "Don’t like gay marriage? Then you don’t gave to get one."
"Don’t like abortion? Don’t have one."
Does anyone want to take a guess as to when else the Don’t Get One motto was used in history?
Don’t approve of slavery? Don’t get one, don’t own one, don’t buy one.
Yep, common response from slave owners back when people in our country started fighting to abolish slavery. Just because some people didn’t think slavery was right simply meant that those people didn’t have to get a slave, in the eyes of the slave owners. It was a foolish reply back then just as it is a foolish reply now.
Used in the context of gay marriage, this motto is utterly ridiculous. Obviously someone who doesn’t believe in same-sex marriage wouldn’t marry someone of the same sex, as most of those people are heterosexual.
What the entire same-sex marriage debate comes down to is simple:
Marriage is a right…or it isn’t.
That is the topic. Lets stick to the topic and drop the rhetoric.
As I previously wrote, Chick-fil-A and Dan Cathy have come under fire as the President of the business stated that he supported the traditional marriage in a recent interview with Baptist Press. One of the organizations calling for American’s to start boycotting Chick-fil-A is Human Rights Campaign, which has taken the time to write up a pledge that people can sign condemning Cathy for his beliefs.
Personally, I think H.R.C. has taken far too many liberties in their reporting of this story. In fact, I will go as far as to say that they are misleading readers who haven’t taken the opportunity to read the original article for themselves. Where do I get off making a statement like that? Here’s where I came up with my conclusion:
[The following statements are all from HRC’s website and can be found there in its entirety]
Chick-fil-A is boldly embracing one of the darker values that drives their organization: discriminating against LGBT Americans.
By claiming that Chick-fil-A supporting the traditional family is a “darker value” is to play on the emotions of the reader.
Stating that the organization “discriminates against LGBT Americans" is not accurate. In fact, nowhere in the article or in any of the interviews I’ve found with Dan Cathy, does he ever claim to be against members of the LGBT community. I have yet to read about him or the company discriminating about their employees who are homosexual/bisexual/transgender or anything of the sort. There is no discrimination going on here. The man simply supports marriage between husband and wife.
When questioned about Chick-fil-A’s donations in a recent interview, COO Dan Cathy replied: "Guilty as charged."
As you can read in the article from Baptist Press, Cathy was not talking about donations at all. He was responding to the company’s position of supporting traditional marriage. [Some have opposed the company’s support of the traditional family. “Well, guilty as charged,” said Cathy when asked about the company’s position.] He was not questioned about donations or any other funding issues when he replied with “Guilty as charged.” That line on HRC website is a fabrication and is misleading.
In a follow-up interview, Cathy continued: “We’re inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say we know better than You as to what constitutes marriage.”
I have an issue with this “quote” because I have yet to find the interview where Cathy said this. In addition to not being able to find the origin of this statement, I haven’t found a reliable news outlet that has included this quote. If I do in fact find the original source of this statement I will post it on here. I refuse to comment on any quotes from the internet without verifying the source.
As support for LGBT equality grows, fair-minded customers now have the facts they need to decide whether they want to support a discriminatory company like Chick-fil-A.
By using language like “fair-minded customers" and "support a discriminatory company”, HRC is saying that if one supports Chick-fil-A’s stance they that person is not fair-minded and is also discriminatory. It is written in a manner to invoke agreement in the reader.
Here is the “pledge” from HRC that they want people to sign:
I am dismayed to see Chick-fil-A’s COO, Dan Cathy proudly touting his company’s business decision to discriminate against LGBT Americans. Cathy claims to run Chick-fil-A based on biblical principles — but he is ignoring the fact that the Bible calls us to treat all with love and respect.
In addition to the majority of Americans who support marriage equality, we know that a large majority of Christians — nearly 90 percent — say the very tenets of their faith lead them to reject discrimination against LGBT people.
As support for LGBT equality grows, fair-minded customers like myself have the facts they need to decide whether we want to support a discriminatory company like Chick-fil-A. While I respect Mr. Cathy’s right to his personal opinions, I strongly urge Chick-fil-A to stop using money from customers as part of a larger effort to oppress LGBT Americans. Until then, I will have to reconsider whether I spend my money at Chick-fil-A.
Lets review the issues with this pledge:
1- As I mentioned before, Chic-fil-A does not discriminate against members of the LGBT community. Not agreeing with someone is not the same as discriminating.
2-The Bible does call us to love and respect others. I have yet to see Chick-fil-A not do that. Again, not agreeing with same-sex marriage does not constitute being unloving or being disrespectful of someone.
3- “Nearly 90 percent”… I would like to see where HRC found this statistic. I am not aware of a study that was done that offers this statistic in its findings.
4-Even if that statistic is true, it is irrelevant. I do not support same-sex marriage but I reject discrimination against the LGBT community, or any other community. My faith does teach me to love others, to treat all people with respect, and with kindness. It does not teach that I have to hold the same beliefs as others.
5-Stating that one support’s Cathy’s personal beliefs in this pledge seems odd. The entire pledge is based on not supporting his personal beliefs. It is based on not supporting his personal beliefs and that of his company.
6-I strongly urge Chick-fil-A to stop using money from customers as part of a larger effort to oppress LGBT Americans.”- Again, never once did Cathy ever say he was using customers money to “oppress” anyone. In fact, there have been no actual instances where money from the business has been used for anything involving marriage issues in any way. If HRC has proof that Chick-fil-A has been using money to “oppress” anything I would really like to see it.
7-Speaking of “oppress”, what are they even talking about? Lets head to the good old dictionary to find the actual definition…
Oppress:[verb] Keep (someone) in subservience and hardship, esp. by the unjust exercise of authority.
Dan Cathy is not forcing anyone into hardship. LGBT are not living in hardship. Slaves, they were living in hardship. Being unable to legally marry someone is not severe suffering.
“The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect —regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender. We will continue this tradition in the over 1,600 Restaurants run by independent Owner/Operators. Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.”
As you can see in the original interview, Dan Cathy was not trying to get into a debate about marriage nor he intending to make a public statement about the legalization of same-sex marriage. This has all stemmed from a few comments the business’s family-centered spirit and commitment to biblical principles.
For those of you who haven’t heard the news, Dan Cathy has come out. He has come out in favor of traditional marriages.The President & C.O.O. of Chick-fil-A has admitted that he does not support gay marriage.
For reasons that I don’t understand, this piece of information has apparently shocked people across the country. The news has created a media wildfire with newshows reporting on Cathy’s statements, bloggers debating out the topic, and the Human Rights Campaign calling for people to stop spending money at Chic-fil-A. What exactly caused all of this backlash? Lets get to the facts of the issue at hand rather than getting caught up in emotion inducing rhetoric.
The Baptist Press interviewed Dan Cathy this past Monday for an article in which the C.O.O. discussed the biblical values that has made Chick-fil-A what it is today. The company has always operated under certain standards that are based on their founder’s faith such as serving their customers with the highest quality as an act of service to God. Anyone who enjoys a trip to one of the company’s 1,600 locations knows that on Sundays getting some of those addicting waffle fries is impossible as they are closed.
The overwhelming majority of the content in the article was focused on the history of the company and the values they hold in their business dealings. In fact, Cathy only made 4 comments regarding marriage, which came in a natural progression following questions about different ministries that have been formed by the Cathy family.
Here are the actual comments from the article that are related to marriage:
"That morphed into a marriage program in conjunction with national marriage ministries," Cathy added.
Some have opposed the company’s support of the traditional family. “Well, guilty as charged,” said Cathy when asked about the company’s position.
"We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.
"We operate as a family business … our restaurants are typically led by families; some are single. We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that," Cathy emphasized.
"We intend to stay the course," he said. "We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles."
As you can see Dan Cathy did not say anything about homosexuals and he did not mention advocating against gay marriage. All he simply did was say that he supports traditional marriage based on biblical principles. The company operates their entire business & all their community involvement based on their understanding of what the Bible teaches, why is it a shocker that they would support traditional marriage? Christians who turn to the Bible to make their decisions and turn to God to shape their beliefs tend to agree with Cathy’s stance. It isn’t based in hate or discrimination of members of the LGBT community, it is based in God’s Word.
It’s time to get real. No, I mean really real. We live in a time when sex is all over. We’re taught to be sexy. We’re told that “friends with benefits” is empowering and satisfying. We’re equal to men, we can equally screw around the way they do. So let’s get real about being equal.
You both willingly get caught up in the moment, you both decide to not use protection. Oh let’s be real ladies, we all can walk down to Planned Parenthood, our own gynecologists, or even to the Health Center and get birth control pills almost as easily as a guy can grab a pack of condoms. We no longer live in a time where the responsibility is all on the guy to provide protection. We have responsibility too. We willingly have sex without being on the pill and without using condoms.
Women protest the idea of Planned Parenthood being de-funded because we need to have access to birth control. We have to be equal to men. We have to have equal access to our own protection.
So ladies, why then when the pregnancy stick turns up positive do we think we are superior to men? Why do we then think the man that helped create that life does not have the right to know about it?
I’m sure I’ll get the typical response of “My body, my choice” but really, it isn’t just your body. When we as women get pregnant we then have a new body that we’re carrying inside of us. There is a “fetus” (if we have to keep it scientific because “baby” is just far too offensive for some) that fetus has its own skull, brain, teeth, fingers…it is a growing body. So there’s now another body in a woman’s body. That body is a life and doesn’t get to voice it’s choice. You are choosing what will be done not only to your body, but to that other body growing inside of you.
Now let’s get back to equality. That man was a willing participant in having sex, he was aware that he wasn’t using a condom, and even if he did use a condom he knows the risks. If we choose to continue with a pregnancy ya’ll know darn straight that he’d have to pay his share to provide for that new life. It’s only right right? He should have to pay for the life of his child…otherwise he’d be a deadbeat dad. His DNA went into making that baby so he’d be held accountable for helping raise it…at least financially in our country.
So why is it that men don’t have a right to know about their child? Why can we as women choose to take the life of their child and not even get their opinion on doing so? Aren’t we equal to men? Better yet, aren’t men equal to us? Why don’t they have a voice in this decision?
This post isn’t related to apologetics or Christianity, it isn’t something I would typically write about. In the spirit of staying salty I felt the need to address the fact that for some reason there seems to be a significant increase in women in my area getting abortions. They do so without even informing the father that they created a life….and that the life is being taken. Where is the equality in that?
Ladies, if we willingly get into bed with a man, regardless of if that man is the love of your life or a guy you met at a party, we know the risks we are taking. We know that we can get pregnant. We are fortunate enough to live in a country where we have access to methods to prevent that from happening. We’re doing something wrong as a generation if we are using abortion as a form of birth control. We know how to protect ourselves, lets do that ahead of time.
And let’s be real, if we are responsible enough to make the choice to have sex we need to be responsible enough to handle a pregnancy. We sure as heck need to be mature enough to sit down & tell the men we’re sharing our beds with that a positive sign showed up a pregnancy test. And we’re being salty here, let’s recognize the fact that setting up an abortion appointment shouldn’t be done with the ease of scheduling a weekly nail appointment.
How often have you heard this verse used when someone needs to reassure him/herself that they can do anything? This verse has become one of the most misinterpreted parts of scripture in the Christian culture these days it seems. Is Paul really trying to tell us that we can do anything we want if we have Jesus? We can get straight As in school, win every football game, etc. We have to remember that this verse isn’t to be used as a self-confidence boosting motto when we’re challenging ourselves in an area of life.
So what then does this verse mean? Let’s look at the text surrounding it:
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Paul is trying to simply tell us that we can be content in all situations when we depend on Christ for strength. When time are bad, when you lose your job, when your girlfriend breaks up with you, when you flunk the semester, you can get through all of that when you turn to Jesus to strengthen you. Through Him you can be content in bad situations.
But this isn’t just for the bad times, it is for the good times too. In times of plenty and abundance our contentment is to come from Christ not from what we have. I think an example of this is when we see people who have many possessions or much wealth but are just never happy. When our contentment is based on having things, even if those things are necessities in life, we will never be truly content. We can only find consistent satisfaction in the One who gave His life for us. Our sufficiency for life in any situation is in Jesus Christ
“From a strictly scientific point of view, there is no doubt that the development of an individual human life begins at conception. Consequently, it is vital that the reader understand that she did not come from a zygote, she once was a zygote; she did not come from an embryo, she once was an embryo; she did not come from a fetus, she once was a fetus; she did not come from an adolescent, she once was an adolescent.”—Dr. Beckwith
Sin. It’s dirty. It’s ugly. It tarnishes us. It destroys parts of our lives. It ruins relationships
Can God look at something like that? Can the Creator of all good things look upon something dirty? No. He is perfection. Perfection can’t be in relationship with something completely tarnished.
When Jesus died on the cross everything changed. When we accept Christ’s sacrifice for our sins we get a new chance. God can finally look upon us again.
We are no longer broken. We are no longer dirty. Sin can no longer hold us back from God. The Lord sees us! He sees us cleaned of all our sins. We shine again. We become the people He created us to be.
All because Jesus gave his life willingly on the Cross that day.
Come now, let us reason[a] together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.
Jesus gave us the greatest gift possible. What is the one thing people always ask for? A second chance, the ability to start over, to do things differently. “If only I could go back in time..” “If only I could do things differently…” “If only people would forget who I was…”
Guess what? God doesn’t look at your past anymore. The Father sees only the sacrifice the Son made. He sees us as a new creation. We are made clean, made new, we get that 2nd chance. God doesn’t look at us and see all the dirty things from our past, he sees us now living our lives for Him. While the rest of the world may not let go of who you once were, your Creator has…all because of Jesus.
So often we see tragedy going on oversees and feel compelled to act…then we come up with a ton of reasons why we can’t. Maybe we don’t have the finances to send money to support a ministry or non-profit. Maybe we’re too young to travel oversees ourselves. Maybe we can’t take off from work for 3 months to go on a missions trip. It can be upsetting to realize that we aren’t able to meet the needs of starving children in Uganda or save the girls being kidnapped in Greece to be sold as sex slaves. It can be heartbreaking to stand by and do nothing.
I wonder if though perhaps we get so caught up in wishing we could help some major international cause that we fail to see the person right next to us that needs our help. Maybe your neighbor is going through a rough divorce and could use some help taking care of her children. Maybe the man next to you at the bus stop has grief written all over his face and could use someone to listen. Maybe your little brother is getting bullied at school and needs advice. Maybe your roommate has never heard the Gospel and has been hinting that he/she would like someone to bring her/him to church someday. Maybe the homeless shelter down the road is short on supplies or volunteers. Maybe the local women’s shelter needs more volunteers to help women of domestic violence.Maybe your grandmother needs someone to just listen to her tell the same story for the billionth time because she’s lonely and feels like she’s fading away.
Jesus did tell us to go to all nations and make disciples. Its a joy to be able to do that. But not everyone has the means to do so. Jesus also told us to love our neighbors, to bear one anothers burdens, and build one another up in faith. No matter who we are, no matter what our finances look like, no matter how old we are, we all possess the ability to at least listen to someone, to show them love, and make their day just a little bit easier. Be Jesus to the people around you, show them His love, treat them the way He would. You can make a huge difference in your own backyard. Lending a helping hand in the tiniest way can change someone’s day completely. Look for ways you can meet peoples needs every single day. Let God use you.
Welp better late than never right? I wrote Part 1 of this post over a month ago and let my laziness get in the way of writing this follow up post.
When looking at the truth behind the resurrection I think it is important to go straight to the Bible to see what people thought of Jesus’ death during the time when it actually happened. Let’s take a journey over to Matthew 27:62-66
The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.”
This all occurred the day after Jesus died on the Cross and Joseph had put His body in the tomb. The Pharisees were smart in asking for guards to be put in front of the tomb. This “deceiver” (as they called Jesus) had talked about rising after 3 days [John2:18-22,Matthew 17:22-23,Luke 9:22] which the Pharisees did not believe but it made sense to them that the Disciples would steal the body to make it appear as if Jesus did in fact raise from the dead. The Pharisees truly did not believe that Jesus was God, they believed the he was a liar who was blaspheming God. To them, the fact that Jesus was going around claiming to be the Son of God was an awful thing to do, it was deception at its worse…well,almost. If the disciples stole the body of Jesus then they would be tricking other people to believe that the claims Jesus made were actually true! There could be nothing worse than that in the eyes of the Pharisees.
"Take a guard," Pilate answered. "Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how." So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting a guard.
Pilate took the concerns of the Pharisees very seriously. He posted a guard at the tomb to make sure that the disciples could not trick the people into believing Jesus had rose by taking his body. If the disciples managed to steal the body of Jesus to trick people into thinking that he rose, the Pharisees would have searching earnestly to find his body. Letting the Jews think that he had risen when he hadn’t is something they wouldn’t have been able to live with.
Think about it in modern terms:
If someone came today claiming to be God and you truly believed that he was a fraud wouldn’t you do everything you could to prove that he was a liar?
If a man came to your town saying that he was the Son of God, that he would be killed & rise on the third day, wouldn’t you be skeptical at least?
If that man then did in fact die because you & your church were able to convince the powers that be that he was committing an awful crime would you not do everything you could to make sure that his followers didn’t try to take his body out of his grave?
If word spread around town that people were saying that this man’s body was in fact missing from his grave wouldn’t you do everything you could to find out where his body was? Wouldn’t the police start questioning his followers to see if they stole a corpse from a cemetery?
If the disciples truly did steal the body of Jesus, why wasn’t anyone able to find it? The disciples weren’t these terribly wealthy overly brilliant men who could have come up with this intricate plan to get past the guards, move a huge stone, take out a bloody dead body and go undetected in their journey of carrying this body to some location that no one would ever find. They would have had to have had a place to hide a smelly corpse without anyone ever finding it. What are the chances of that?
“The truth is that there are children all over the world, sick, starving, dying, unloved, and uncared for.
The truth is that the 143 million orphaned children and the 11 million who starve to death or die from preventable diseases and the 8.5 million who work as child slaves, prostitutes or under other horrific conditions and the 2.3 million who live with HIV add up to 164.8 million needy children. and though at first glance that looks like a big number, 2.1 billion people on this earth proclaim to be Christian.
The truth is that if only 8 percent of the Christians would care for one more child, there would not be any statistic left.”—Katie Davis; Kisses from Katie (via shareyourstoryy)
One of the most common objections I’ve come across when dealing with people’s thought on the resurrection is that the disciples stole Jesus’ body from the tomb and moved it somewhere else. It makes sense right? No body, Jesus must have risen. Sounds like a total miracle, great story to start a new religion on.
False. There are many holes in this theory. Where to start?
1- The disciples all believed that Jesus had in fact died forever. They didn’t think that He was going to physically rise from the dead. If we’re going to get real here, they were scared out of their pants. They thought they had spent all this time following a fraud and since he got crucified it was likely that their lives were in jeopardy too.
Why go around telling people that Jesus rose from the dead when they should be keeping a low profile? Telling people that Jesus’ body was no longer in the tomb and that he rose from the dead was definitely not the way to do that.
2. Let’s check out the Romans. Most of us have learned about Roman soldiers/guards at some point in elementary school or middle school. If you didn’t, Netflix has tons of movies you can check out. Gladiator anyone? Point being, the character and discipline of the Romans was top notch. It would be extremely difficult to sneak past the guards. These men didn’t just nap on the job. Not to mention the fact that a huge rock wouldn’t have been easy to move with the guards not noticing.
But lets go out on a limb here and say that somehow the disciples were able to do just that. They sneaked past these extremely well-trained Roman guards, then they move this heavy rock (again unnoticed), grab the body, sneak past the guards again this time carrying the dead body of a grown man…. then what?
Then these women go back and pretend like they discovered the tomb empty and make these outrageous claims that Jesus somehow rose from the dead and was walking around again…. then what?
Oh then the Roman guards sit back and do nothing to prove the disciples wrong of course.
Wait. That does not sound right at all. Why would the Romans let the disciples make these claims and not search for the body? It isn’t like people rising from the dead happened all the time. It wasn’t just something they would brush off. The humiliation alone would have been enough for them to do everything they could to prove the disciples wrong.
Does it seem logical to believe that the disciples were able to do all of this and the Romans would do nothing to get to the bottom of it?
3-If the Romans couldn’t be bothered with taking the time to find the body, the Jews certainly would have had a great stake in blowing the roof off this resurrection claim.
Take some time to think about why the Jewish leaders would have wanted to prove the disciples wrong. Message me what you come up with. I have an essay for Ethics to go finish but I’ll post more about this tomorrow.
Sooooo….over a week ago I was supposed to start writing a blog series on the Evidence for the Resurrection. In typical end-of-the-semester fashion, my intentions got put on the shelf. I promise I’ll start the series up this weekend once I’m done writing up my final essays for the semester.
Over the next few days (if I don’t get distracted by life) I’ll be going over a few of the common things people say about the Resurrection. I’ll also be filling ya’ll in on the evidence that supports the fact that Jesus did in fact get sentenced to death by people in his community, died a brutal death, and rose again as the prophets predicated.
As always, I invited anyone who has questions to please message me so I can try to answer them to the best of my ability.
Now, why does it really matter if Jesus did or didn’t die and resurrect? Well as a Christian you better believe fully that Jesus did just that. If he didn’t do that, if he just died on a cross and that was it, then Christianity is false. All of Christianity relies on that fact that Jesus did in fact rise from the dead. If he didn’t then we shouldn’t follow Christ. We should find another religion to believe, or believe in nothing at all.
For those of you who know me, you know my story, my testimony. For those of you who don’t it may be hard to understand why I’m so fascinated with the Resurrection.
Let me sum up my journey really fast: I grew up in a Catholic family…got confirmed..stopped going to church because I didn’t actually believe in God… thought Christians were ignorant people..met someone who made me actually want to read the Bible…Found God…bad things happened in my life…got angry at God, stopped believing in the God of the Bible..hit rock bottom, found God waiting for me there…believed in a God, still not convinced the Bible was right or that Jesus was real…Thought we could believe in a form of a god and be good to go..heard that Christians didn’t think that was true at all…thought Christians were haters for trying to say their God was the only One.. discovered apologetics, used to it try to prove Christians wrong…learned about the Resurrection… was overwhelmed with the evidence…gave my life to Christ fully.
My journey was definitely a crazy wild one and maybe someday I’ll write about it. But for right now, the point of me telling that story (in an awfully written, run-on sentence) is to show others that searching for the evidence is alright. God doesn’t get mad if you have questions or if you want proof. He has all the evidence you need and will show you it if you just look.
Anyone involved in Christian Apologetics has usually heard this reaction when telling someone that they are learning about Apologetics.
So if Apologetics isn’t about apologizing for being a Christian, what is it?
Textbook definition: “:Reasoned arguments or writings in justification of something, typically a theory or religious doctrine.”
Real life application definition: Being able to use reason, logic, and evidence for your faith in Christ.
Biblical example: “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect..” 1 Peter 3:15
One of the things that amazes me about God is that He has given us so much evidence to use when explaining why we believe what we believe. He knew people would ask us why we are Christians, why we believe in the Bible, why we believe we are saved through Christ’s death & resurrection…and He put everything right there in His Word and through other sources to show that He is real! Peter wrote to the Church telling us that we need to be prepared to explain to others why we are followers of Christ. He also commanded us to do so kindly with respect for others.
"Do we really need Apologetics? Isn’t just believing enough?"
Here’s the thing, just believing something without any real reason to believe it is blind faith. The Bible does not ask us to believe anything blindly. Throughout the Gospels we see Jesus doing things to show people that he was the Messiah. He didn’t just tell people he was the Messiah and expect them to just believe it without any real reason to.
Think about it, if someone asks you why you believe Jesus is God and died for your salvation, and your reply is “Because the Bible says so”, it will likely not sway that person to believe also. Anyone can write in a book that they are God right? What makes the Bible the Truth? The Gospel is said to be the most offensive doctrine out there. Think about it, if you don’t believe that Jesus died for your sins then you can’t get yourself in Heaven. Many people find that offensive.
Look at John 14:6- Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Many people think that isn’t fair and therefore need to see some sort of proof that Jesus really is the only way to God. In all of his infinite wisdom God has provided us with plenty of proof to backup our beliefs, we just need to equip ourselves!
“If I find myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.” - C.S. Lewis”—
At the Reason Rally I had to opportunity to talk to quite a few people. I spoke with an Atheist who said something similar to this. One of the most compelling possible reasons for the existence of A god that she had come across was something similar to this quote by C.S. Lewis. She said that the fact the humans throughout time have always felt the need to “create” a god/gods/goddesses seems to lead one to conclude that maybe there is in fact a god.
Through evolution one would not need to desire a god or an after life. If evolution occurred with no higher power, the desire for a life after this or a relationship with a god would not be needed. We would be perfectly content with living only for this life and merely want to advance our species. We would not long for a god. We would have no need to create one. Creating one would not necessarily help us advance our species. Having a god does not assist us in survival of the fittest. To her, that seemed to be the one thing she had come across in life that made her think and re-think and re-think again the idea of their not being a god of any kind.
Why do we have a desire for things that we can not have satisfied in this world if there isn’t a God?
As a Christian in the 21st century, I think we often overlook this commandment. We figure we believe in God, we know Jesus died for our sins, and we’re not walking around worshiping carved out statues of pagan gods so we’re good right?
Not so much.
While we may not be worshiping gods of other religions, idolatry is still very much a part of our daily lives. I think living in our society makes it really difficult to identify these other “gods” that we put before the Lord. How many of us chase after careers where we’ll make tons of money? Or feel like we absolutely need to have the latest version of whatever hot piece of technology is out this week? Have our Sunday church services become a highlight event of the week because we can’t wait to hear what the pastor has to say…while we ignore the Word of God that sits next to our bed all week?
Idolatry has manifested itself in so many different ways that we often overlook the effect it is having in our lives. Many people struggle with drugs or drinking. That has become their idol. When things get hard instead of turning to the Lord they turn to a bottle to temporarily give them relief. As a woman I know firsthand how easily we can make a relationship into an idol. People chase after a relationship or a future spouse to fill a void that only the Lord can.
Then there’s American Idol. We have a show where we actually create idols. Whitney Houston recently passed away and people were hysterical crying on the news. They weren’t friends of Ms. Houston. In fact, the majority of them had never even met her. Yet they wore shirts with her face on them, bawled their eyes out as if they had just lost their mom, and crowded the town of Newark just to get a glance at her casket. Celebrities are idols. Singers, movie stars, even Tim Tebow, can become idols when people take their interest too far.
Men and women across the country struggle daily with lust. The human body has become something many worship. In some ways people idolize bodies by spending hours at the gym while others get caught up in the black hole of internet porn sites. We end up putting desire for the perfect body or desire to be with a certain person’s body, before our love for the Lord. We let passion, desire, and lust take hold of our lives. Sure, the Jews in the Old Testament struggled with lust to, but they were not exposed to sex nearly as much as we are. Our culture puts sex on a pedestal and worships all things related to it.
When God gave Moses this commandment, he knew that every generation there after would struggle with some form of idol, even if it wasn’t a god carved out of wood. He knew that we as fallen humans could turn anything into an idol. All an idol is, is a replacement for God in our lives. When we take our eyes off of God we leave ourselves open to turning silly things into our idols.
A wise pastor once said, “How do you know if you have an idol? Think with me about the following statements, you fill in the blanks. “Lord I’ll give you anything but.” What would you exclude from God? How about this statement? “Lord I’ll do anything for you but.” Is there something that you simply would not do for the Lord? How about this? “Lord I’ll change anything in my life for you but.” Are there habits you will not give up? Are there places you will not forgo? Are there relationships which you should not have, which you will not forfeit?
"Fallen Eve controls her relationships. She refuses to be vulnerable. And if she cannot secure her relationships, then she kills her heart’s longing for intimacy so that she will be safe and in control. She becomes a woman who "doesn’t need anyone-especially a man."…Beneath it all, behind it all, is a simple truth: women dominate and control because they fear their vulnerability. Far from God and far from Eden, it seems a perfectly reasonable way to live. But consider also this: "Whatever is not from faith is sin" (Romans 14:23). That self-protective way of relating to others has nothing to do with real loving, and nothing to do with deeply trusting God. It is our gut-level response to a dangerous world.”
-Stasi Eldredge, Captivating
Over the past few weeks I’ve been reading Captivating off and on depending on my mood. I came across this paragraph yesterday and was shocked at how true the words were. It isn’t always easy to admit, but I think all women know deep down that at some point they have felt the need to protect themselves, out of fear of being vulnerable and getting hurt. We put up these walls to keep ourselves from ever getting our hearts broken again but while doing so we miss out on truly experiencing love. More importantly, when we try to convince ourselves that we don’t need a man or that we can do life without a partner, we’re basically telling God that His plan isn’t good enough and that we don’t trust Him.
How many of you have had your heart broken by a guy and swore you’d never be in a relationship again? You hang out with your other single girlfriends and blast guy-hating music, eat a ton of ice cream and maybe even come to the conclusion that you can be just like a boy. Heck, I know there were a few nights like that at my apartment back in the day. My roomies and I would sit around talking about how cruel guys were and decided that we could “play the game” just as good as they do. We gave up on romance. We stopped seeing the good in men. We cheapened ourselves. We hardened our hearts.
Is it any wonder that starting a new relationship with that mentality can be a train wreck? How can we expect to find love when we’ve hardened our hearts? How can we think that we’ll be able to fully love a man when we have put up these huge walls to keep all men out of our hearts?
Aside from the fact that going through life like this destroys any real chance at love and a successful connection with a good man, lets look at what this says about God. God has placed a desire for intimacy in our hearts. In the Garden of Eden that desire was safe, Adam was the “perfect” man. Once Eve & Adam decided to not listen to God & take matters into their own hands (a.k.a. eating from the “forbidden tree”) everything started to unravel. Through the thousands of generations through then women have perfected the art of convincing themselves that we know better than God. We can protect our own hearts. We can take care of ourselves. God doesn’t write our love story, we make our own….. How has that worked out for most of us so far? Not so good eh?
When we see the Truth, that Christ is the only way to salvation, we are supposed to put our lives in God’s hands. Most of us will say that we totally do that….but do we really? Do we really trust God in all areas of our lives? Cause I for one know that I trust God in almost everything…except for my love life. For example, I’ve had the privileged of getting to know an amazing, intelligent, Godly man over the past few months but I still find myself keeping him at arms length at times. It is so easy for me to try to keep that figurative moat around my heart and not allow myself to really let him in. I can question everything he says, try to control how close we get, wait for the moment where he’ll mess up. Those things have become 2nd nature for me. But are any of those things of God? No!
Trusting God, placing my heart in His hands, knowing that He hears my prayers & knows the desires of my heart (Psalm 37:4) are all things I should be doing. If I know that God is the Creator of all things, that He so lovingly sent his Son down to Earth to die for my mess ups, why am I reluctant to do things His way? It all comes down to the fact that we live in a fallen world. We feel the need to control everything ourselves to prevent our hearts from being destroyed by a man but in doing so we’re taking to power out of God’s hands.
We aren’t letting Him do what He does. God loves love. God is love. Of course he wants to see his children in love, in Godly relationships!
Let go of how the World has taught us to live as women and embrace to promises that God has given us. Trust Him, have faith that He will give you the desires of your heart when you seek Him. Stop trying to harden yourself and control your emotions all the time. Eventually if you keep living that way you won’t be able to let yourself love when the right guy does comes along. In my opinion, missing out on my future husband because I’m so afraid of getting hurt is far worse than having my heart broken ever could be. Be vulnerable, trust Him to guard your heart for you, and let love in.
God helped me find an awesome church, Moment Church, roughly 2 months ago. Although it is located all the way out in California, I make sure to watch the sermons every Sunday and usually listen to past messages on their Vimeo page. Pastor Tony Wood brings so much truth with his messages. Some pastors water down the Scripture but not Pastor Tony. He keeps it real & relevant.
Tony’s wife Bre has been a inspiration to me, her total honesty in one of their messages “Confessions” spoke to my heart. I think many women can relate to the things Bre has struggled with. After listening to “Confessions” I e-mailed Bre to thank her for being so real and honest. I shared with her the areas that I too struggled with. To my surprise, the next day I received a reply from her that included an attachment called “Who I am in Christ”. When I opened it a found affirmations with corresponding Bibles verses broken down into 3 sections: I Am Accepted, I Am Secure, I Am Significant. I don’t know a single person out there that hasn’t (or doesn’t currently) struggle with feeling unaccepted, insecure, or unworthy.
I decided to blog about each of those affirmations over the next few weeks. I think it is easy for us to sometimes fall back into our negative feelings and believe what the World tells us. It is so easy to forget who we are in Christ and get caught up in what others tell us we are…or even worse, get caught up in who we tell ourselves that we are.
Most of us have Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and a ton of other ways the reach nonbelievers for Christ. Tim Tebow wore John 3:16 on his face at 1 single game & got it to be the Number 1 Hot Trend search item on Google that same night.
We’re not famous like Tebow but still, if we all add #Jesus to our Tweets this week (when we Tweet lyrics from Christian songs, verses from Scripture, quotes from theologians, messages from our pastors, etc) we could collectively make Jesus trend on Twitter. How many people do you think we can share the Gospel with just through Twitter this week?