March 10, 2020

Busy Philipps’ Secret to Her Success

Pure evil.

March 2, 2020

If Abortion Kills a Child, There Can Be No Exceptions

I’m not ok with abortion. I’m pro-life all the way. But, I think there should be an exception for rape and incest.”

If you’ve spent any time following the abortion debate, you’ve likely heard someone express that sentiment. You may have even said that yourself. But, when taken to its logical conclusion, this argument is irrational and, I would argue, more pro-choice than pro-life.

In an emotionally-charged debate, like the one around abortion, it’s not surprising to find people using emotion to make their decisions and form their opinion. Emotionally, it feels wrong that a woman who was raped or the victim of incest should have to carry and give birth to a baby. And, yes, emotionally, it’s got to be hard to say that to the face of a woman dealing with that very situation.

We can argue all day long about the emotions of the issue.

The baby was forced on her, so she shouldn’t be forced to give birth.” The baby will be a reminder of the trauma in her life in the future.”

Or, the emotions on the other side.

The people whose mothers were raped and chose to give birth to them make a compelling argument for why they should be allowed to live.”

The mothers who were raped and chose to have the baby calling it the best decision they ever made’ also make a good point.”

Those are interesting and thought-provoking arguments from both sides, but at the end of the day, we cannot allow emotion to rule when deciding the fate of the unborn.

If a person is against abortion because it is the taking of an innocent human life, there is no logical way to have any exception. If the baby is a person created in the image of God from the moment of conception (which they are), then the route to that conception has no bearing on the right to life for that child. Just because the child was conceived in horrific circumstances doesn’t justify murder of the child.

True, these situations are heart-wrenching and life-altering for the mothers involved, which is why the church must rally around these mothers and provide them the support they need. We need to be helpful before, during, and after the baby’s birth and do so in humble love. Christians cannot be seen to only be pro-life until the baby is born, and then walk away and say, You’re on your own. We’ve done our part.” The support must continue.

To truly be pro-life though, means in every circumstance, in every case, through every emotion, we are for preserving the life of the child. Anything less is misguided emotion more fitting of the pro-choice movement.

February 25, 2020

A Fetus That Was Born”

Apparently, the plug my ears and saying I can’t hear you’” defense is the latest for the pro-abortion crowd.

The amount of bending over backward they need to do to deny the fact that the unborn are babies would make even Simone Biles jealous.

February 19, 2020

Owen Strachan and the Danger of the Seeker-Sensitive Church

Owen Strachan

The ministry of the church thus did not appeal to my flesh as an immature young man. Though a young believer, I sometimes found myself more interested in sports and the social scene than the church’s offerings. This was precisely because the church was not worldly. The church seemed boring in comparison. The church was boring in comparison, at least in natural terms.

How tragic it would have been for me if my church was exciting in a secular way. I do not exaggerate when I say that I very likely would not have trusted Christ as my Savior in such an environment. If the church was worldly, in other words, I would have liked the worldly parts and not the spiritual parts.

The defense of the seeker-sensitive church” has long been that we need to appeal to non-Christians to get them to come into church, then we can preach the gospel. The argument is that if there’s nothing to attract them to church, they’ll never get interested and we won’t have the chance to have them ask Jesus into their heart.”

Strachan does a brilliant job in putting his finger on the problem at the root of this thinking. If we make the church look just like the world, we may attract people, but it won’t be for the right reason. They will be interested in everything but the reason they should be there. We’ll miss the opportunity to preach the gospel to them and devalue the true mission of the church in one fell swoop.

Having come from such a church, I have seen this danger first hand. Looking back at my former church and what they have done since my leaving, I see it has gone even deeper in the attractional” philosophy. It saddens me to see photos of their worship services” with more production value than most concerts. To believe that this is necessary to bring people in misses the point of the gospel and church as a whole.

Church is not supposed to just look like a sanitized version of the world. It is supposed to be set apart. It is supposed to be different. It is supposed to cause the world to ask about the joy within us (I feel like I’ve heard that somewhere). Every effort to make the church look like the world in an effort to draw people in is simply a bait-and-switch scheme that does a disservice to the church, the non-believer, and Christ himself.

As has been said, what you win them with you win them to. Sadly, for many churches, this is spotlights and smoke machines, rather than the risen Christ.

February 14, 2020

The Disgusting Display at the 2020 Super Bowl

By now, much has been said about the Super Bowl halftime show and I’m not even sure I have much to add. It was certainly a display of the declining morals of our culture. For an event traditionally watched by parents and children alike to include that display was disheartening to say the least.

I’ve seen defense and critique of the event from many different angles. For me, the morning after the game I was listening to local sports talk radio on my way to work and their discussion was eye-opening. One member of the team asserted that, while he didn’t have a problem with it, he understands why some people felt it was inappropriate for children and presented women in a poor light.

The response of one of the other hosts (who was arguing in favor of the show) was telling and scary, but not surprising. He said:

What have I said before? The culture can’t be wrong. It’s the culture. It just is what it is.

Isn’t that how many people see our society? It just is what it is. There’s no morality to any of the things that happen, they just happen. And, if they happen, there should be no moral judgement. It’s just the natural evolution of this many people being grouped together in geographic areas, so we can’t have any opinion of it one way or the other.

The moral ambiguity defense

The discussion continues and they say the show wasn’t so bad when you compare it to these young girls dance troupes.” They seem to say that, because this other morally reprehensible thing happening, this one should be fine by comparison.

Just because there are groups of young girls acting inappropriately doesn’t mean that it excuses what can be seen as less inappropriate” - especially when it’s on national TV. This is one of the issues with the moral relativism that has overtaken our culture. When there is no standard of morality, anything goes and anything can be justified.

Another defense”

There is another another argument being used to defend the halftime show. This group says, Why is everyone talking about the halftime show, but no-one is talking about the men on the field bashing their heads together all day?”

Now, there has been a groundswell of protests against the NFL and football in general due to the rise in incidence and severity of concussions and other injuries associated the sport. Yes, this a concern when you consider how these athletes are sacrificing their bodies for our entertainment. Setting aside the fact that they are being compensated handsomely for it, the concern is valid, just not applicable in this instance.

To compare men playing a sport with the sexualization of a culture (as is done through the halftime show) is like comparing apples with coffee mugs. They’re not even in the same universe. Is it sinful to watch football? It’s tough to make that argument. Now, if you’re cheering for people to be hurt, that’s a different story, but watching a sport played by some of the best athletes in the world is not inherently sinful. The same cannot be said for scantily clad women doing all they can to inspire lust in the hearts of their viewers and the viewers happily playing along.

The trend of sexualizing everything except the game (and even some parts of the game itself) makes it not only hard to watch a game with my young boys, but to watch it myself. It really adds nothing to the game, other than letting the downward spiral of society seep into a sporting event.

I could say I hope this would change and people would come to their senses, realizing that the sexualizing of one of the most watched events of the year is unnecessary, but we all know the reality of that. Unfortunately, I fear it will only get worse.

January 31, 2020

Aaron Rodgers and the Deficiency of the Youth Group Culture

As a lifelong Wisconsin resident, I’m also a die-hard Packer fan. That’s why it was so disheartening to see my quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, discuss Christianity on Danica Patrick’s podcast.

The world of elite athletes certainly mirrors that of non-athletes when it comes to percentages of Christians vs. Non-Christians. There are some that we hear about from time to time that are strong, outspoken Christians. There are some who have no concern for faith or the things of God. And there are those who would call themselves Christians,” but have no true or abiding faith. No different than anywhere else.

The fact that Aaron Rodgers isn’t a Christian wasn’t some big revelation or shock. What I saw in his telling his story is the utter failure of the seeker-sensitive movement as a whole, and the youth group culture specifically. And those failures are widespread and reach far beyond the world of professional athletes.

To begin, Aaron mentions growing up like me - being forced to go to church by well-meaning parents but not really enjoying it or being moved by it. Not an uncommon story. But, when he found a youth group through a friend called Young Life he felt connected and a part of something. In comparing the two, he said:

There were two groups-church on Sundays and Young life on Mondays. And Young life on Monday welcomed everyone. It was like come as you are’ - be here at 7:29 and be ready for some fun. And it was fun. We had a great time.

That’s very telling, is it not?

The group was fun” - that’s why he went. Not that the gospel was preached, not that Jesus was exalted, but that a group of kids got together for some fun. Is it any wonder that the seeds of the gospel didn’t take root in his life? It’s no wonder then, when the fun was over and he went to college, he didn’t find any connections with the Christian groups there.”

He wasn’t really connected to a Christian group in the first place. If Young Life is anything like most youth groups today, a thin veneer of Jesus was painted over a lot of fun times, thereby failing to build the connection necessary to draw Christians together - namely, Christ. Once the fun is over and you don’t have that common bond, there’s nothing there to keep you connected.

That failure to build a strong connection based on Christ, and poor teaching (or a failure to properly teach) both at church and in the group, leads him to ultimately one of the most common objections to Christianity we hear.

I don’t know how you can believe in a God who wants to condemn most of His creation to a fiery hell. What type of loving, sensitive, omnipresent, omnipotent being wants to condemn most of His creation to a fiery Hell at the end of all this?

If you’ve ever interacted with or heard a non-believer’s objection to Christianity, you’ve likely heard that same argument in some form.

Isn’t it interesting though that Aaron, and so many others, don’t ask the reverse (and, incidentally, correct) question? They don’t seem to ponder why would a good, loving, and HOLY God, who cannot look upon sin, bring anyone to Heaven? Why doesn’t everyone go to Hell?” That’s the question they should be asking, but don’t.

It’s much easier to discredit God because He doesn’t fit into your fallen idea of morality than it is to see His standard as the standard, and conform your life to that.

Now, why do I go on and on about this one interview? Is it because it’s Aaron Rodgers and I’m a Packers fan and I want to see Aaron Rodgers saved?

Sure, but no more than I’d like to see the checker at the grocery store or the guy in the cubicle next to me at work saved. But, again, that’s not my focus here. My focus is how the seeker-sensitive movement and Christian youth group culture has failed generations of children and young adults. When church and, by extension, a youth groups just become another social interaction with no grounding in the gospel, an opportunity is lost and we do a disservice to those people and dishonor Christ.

Even if, in all the fun, the gospel was preached to Rodgers, it obviously was overshadowed by the activities and good times and not emphasized rightly or taught correctly. That’s the tragedy.

As is often said, what you win them with you win them to. In this case, sadly, that was nothing more than a good time. I pray that Christians will wake up to this minimalization of the gospel and repent in order to point people of all ages to Christ as their joy.