No Apologizing

Christian Apologetic, and Social Commentary in a world gone mad

Tag Archives: atheist

I have many gods….but only one God


YOU! Are the most common god...

I love the Ten Commandments.  What an interesting study into the natural and moral law of God.  My Pastor has started a series on the 10 commandments (to listen to the sermons CLICK HERE).  Each week he is going through a commandment.  I am posting this a couple of weeks behind but two weeks ago was the first commandment.

Now the first commandment is the one that typically is used for the reason that the 10 commandments cannot be displayed on public property.  In recent history this has become one of the more controversial commandments, not only because of the First amendment debate but also because of the implications to everyday Christians who think that this only applies to worshipping Buddha, or Zeus or whatever…  Just like the transformers, however, there is more to this than meets the eye.  Much of this is taken from the sermon, so if you take a listen…many of the points here will sound familiar.

Commandment 1 – You shall have no other gods before Me. (Exodus 20:3)

Everyone has a god.  Now, some one of you are probably thinking “I have a god and it is God”.  Others, like atheists, say I have no god, nor do I believe in God.  Still others, like Kenneth Copeland will tell you, you are a god or you can become one (Mormans).  In order to rightly explain this we have to look at each one of these…

Christians – Most Christians will tell you that they don’t worship Buddha or anything along those lines so they follow the first commandment.  That may be, however, the furthest thing from the truth.  The truth is that anything can be a god to you…even yourself.   Your god can be…

–          Success and Money (Luke 16:13).  Yes you can worship one and not the other.  The question is which is the priority in your life… From which do you place your significance and security? The money you make (or have banked) or God?

–          Society (Galatians 1:10).  You can worship others opinion of you.  The question to you…which one carries the most weight for you, the opinion of others or the opinion of God?

–          Pleasure (1 Timothy 5:6).  You can worship doing whatever feels good.  You basically put your personal pleasure before God.  Living with a boyfriend… going out to party… pre-marital sex…  Homosexuality…  So the question…Which most affects your decision making, personal pleasure or living with God?

–          Family (Luke 14:26).  Yes you can replace God with the worship of your own family.  Now I can hear the Atheist (and some Christians) exploding right now.   What Jesus is saying is that God comes before family.  Our love for Him should look like contempt for everyone…even your family.  So now the question…Which takes prescedence?  Your family… or God?

–          Yourself (Proverbs 14:12).  Ahhhhhh worship of one’s self.  This covers a broad perspective.  Check this out…Ever heard or caught yourself saying the god I know would’nt  judge people for (fill in the blank with something that is expressly mentioned in the Bible)… CONGRATULATIONS!  You have created a god that doesn’t exist in the Bible, instead, you have created a god in the image of yourself. Go back up to the Pleasure god.  

Atheists – All atheist’s have a god to worship.  It can be any of the things listed above, but it could also include nature, or science.  Nature in the fact that they could worship protecting the environment, or the “Science” that claims that nature was able to create itself (evolution).  But even if you are an atheist or an agnostic, and you don’t buy into global warming or evolution, you more than likely worship one of the things listed above.  More than likely you worship yourself.  You might be thinking is that you determine your own destiny, or moral values, or world view.  This would make you a god in the most basic sense.

The first commandment is a call to worship only God.  To put aside all of the things that could distract you from being with God and focus on him.  If you are a Christian…your god can be anything that distracts you from the one true God!  If you’re an atheist, your god HAS taken you away from Him already!  Simply denying he exists doesn’t take away the fact that He is truly God.

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The Nihilist, The Atheist, and The Christian


I am sure that everyone has been paying attention to the shooting in Arizona.  Jarod Loughner, went to an event hosted by Representative Giffords.  9 people died, including a 9 year old child.  There is news out now that Loughner is a nihilist.  Now I have heard of nihilism before from movies, or jokes but was never sure as to what it actually was.  Today being a snow day here in Kansas City…I figured I would take a look.

I did a Google search on the word nihilism and landed on an Encyclopedia article which talks about nihilism.  Here are a couple of excerpts:

“While nihilism is often discussed in terms of extreme skepticism and relativism, for most of the 20th century it has been associated with the belief that life is meaningless. Existential nihilism begins with the notion that the world is without meaning or purpose. Given this circumstance, existence itself–all action, suffering, and feeling–is ultimately senseless and empty.”

“In his study of meaninglessness, Donald Crosby writes that the source of modern nihilism paradoxically stems from a commitment to honest intellectual openness. “Once set in motion, the process of questioning could come to but one end, the erosion of conviction and certitude and collapse into despair” (The Specter of the Absurd, 1988).”

It would appear that nihilism is the conclusion to atheism.  Everywhere I go atheists are always talking about one thing…skepticism.  Atheists are always talking about a lack of evidence for God.  At some point they must come to a conclusion.  If they conclude that there is in fact no God, there is only one logical conclusion…life is meaningless, there is no purpose, and that it all is senseless and empty. 

If in fact this is the conclusion that one draws;  life, your actions, your family, everything has no meaning.  There are no moral rules.  Nothing to govern you or society.  Nothing that would prevent you from gunning down 9 people because there are no consequences.  If that seems a little harsh then I would advise that you think this all the way to conclusion.  The thought process for a nihilist would be as follows: “I question the existence of God.  There is not enough evidence to demonstrate that he exists (atheism).  Well if God doesn’t exist, and there is no afterlife, then what is the point.  Life is meaningless, my actions are meaningless.  Why bother with anything (nihilism).”  Here I would agree with Donald Crosby in the quote above when he says that this belief, or this thought process can only lead to depression and despair.

With all of that said…

God exists.  The primary evidence for Gods existence is his creation (Romans 1:20).  God loves you.  If you are sitting in despair or are thinking that life has no meaning…think about this, God sacrificed his son for YOU! (John 3:16).  He sacrificed his son for those who continue to deny his existence.  Who continue to deny the existence of his son.  How powerful is this love?  So powerful that God will forgive ALL of the things that you have done, and will do.  That is so important that it should be said again…  God loves you so much, that despite denying his existence, that he will forgive you for everything that you have done.  Call on God, ask for his forgiveness, accept Christ as your savior in your heart and you can inherit the Kingdom!  You should know that you are not meaningless in God’s eyes (Matthew 6:25-33).   Each one of us is precious to God.  He knows you.  I am not meaning the proverbial you as in everyone…HE KNOWS YOU! (Jeremiah 1:5, Psalm 139:16).  This is the good news that Christian’s talk about!

Do not despair!  The God of the universe knows your name, and loves you unconditionally!

If you need prayer or are ready to give yourself to God PLEASE CONTACT US!

kcbob

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You KNOW it’s a Myth!


You KNOW it's a Myth

Atheist's may have this one right...for a change.

The above image is a snap-shot of a billboard put up near the Lincoln Tunnel by the American Atheist Society.  I may not agree with Atheist’s on 99.999999999% of things, but they may have inadvertently stumbled onto something with the “You KNOW it’s a Myth” billboard.  If you know us at all… you know our stance on Biblical reliability and authority, but hear me out here…

There is a lot about the Christmas story that is either presumed or assumed.  Much of this has to do with the story of the wise men.  From a biblical perspective, very little is known about the wise men.  However, much can be determined based on their actions.  This to me is the story behind the story of Christmas.  The story of the wise men provides a interesting backdrop to the birth of the Messiah, and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Where did the Wise men come from? 

There is very little in the Bible that indicates where the wise men came from.  Tradition (as well as a popular Christmas carol) have them coming from the Orient.  From a biblical perspective this assumption is tenuous at best.  What we know from the Bible is that they simply were from the East…  nothing more.  That being said, in order to determine where they came from we have to look at historical circumstances.  For that let’s look at the Parthian Empire.  The Parthian Empire was a rival to the Roman Empire.  The “MU” to the “KU”, the “OU” to the “UT”. The Parthian Empire was the ruling empire of East Asia.  It’s boarders extended from the Euphrates river all the way to Modern day Pakistan.  The Parthian Empire is relevant because it was the ruling Empire for Babylon at the time of Christ’s birth and the Parthian Empire fought with the Romans in 40 BC for control over Palestine.  The Parthian Government was ruled by two assemblies; the Arsacids (royal family) and the Megistanes which consisted of Magi (priests) and wise men (influential Parthian of non-royal blood).  While there is still debate as to where the wise men, or Magi, came from, the Parthian Empire may provide the best possible place for a number of reasons that will be explored a little later on. 

Many speculate that the wise men came from Babylon.  This is entirely possible.  The interesting thing is, Babylon was located within the Parthian Empire.  One more interesting item of note:  The Parthian Empire was on the door steps of Palestine.

Who were the Wise men?

So who exactly are these wise men?  Most Christians probably pay no attention as to who they really are, and focus more on the fact that they were at the birth of Christ. 

Here is what we can gather from the Bible.  Depending on the translation you use you will see the word Magi, or wise men in Matthew 2:1.  While I do agree that some Magi (wise men) were pagan in nature there were some who were not.  Something to consider: while the Israelites were held captive in Babylon, Daniel was appointed to be the Chief Administrator over all of the wise men (Daniel 2:48).  Additionally, a large number of Israelites (Levites, and Bejaminites) stayed in Babylon after the exile.  The conclusion here is that there was a fairly large contingent of Israelites in Babylon for a long period of time that would extend from post exile (approx 537 BC), to Parthian Empire Babylon (247 BC) to the Birth of Christ (approx 4 BC). 

In a broader context one could look at it this way:  There is a high probability that there were Magi in Babylon (circa the Parthian Empire) that were very well aware of the prophecies of Daniel), as well as the prophecies.

Again, Some Magi were members of Parthian government.  It would be the equivalent of the Senate in the US.  These are men who were able to elect the King as well as depose the King.  Needless to say, the Magi carried a certain amount of gravitas wherever they went.  Remember, the Parthian  and Roman empires bordered one another and  had been at war for a number of years just prior to the birth of Christ.  As a result, Herod probably feared the Parthian Empire, because he was once replaced as King by  King Antigonus who was a vassal to Parthia.  When the Romans regained control of the area… Herod was restored to power. 

Why would the Magi come to Jerusalem and then Bethlehem?  

This question gets to the heart of the matter.  Why would these men travel to Jerusalem and then to Bethlehem upon seeing a star?  There would have to be something incredibly compelling to travel nearly 1,000 miles to see the King of the Jews.  Ezra’s travel from Babylon to Jerusalem was 120 days (Ezra 7:8-9).  This is a pretty significant trip.  Overall, for the Magi, this would be a trip that lasted nearly 8 to 9 months.  Why would they do this?  What was so compelling to them that they would leave their homes, travel by caravan, to follow this star?  I would suggest that it is because of Numbers 24:17.  

Numbers 24:17 reads as follows: “I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near. A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel”.  The interesting thing about this passage is that Balaam was a sorcerer hired by Balak to curse the Israelites as they camped on his boarders, ready to conquer him.  Instead of cursing Israel, God took control over Balaam and he blessed the Israelites (Numbers 24:10-14).  Then Balaam dropped the bombshell in numbers 24:17.  Many speculate what the meaning of 24:17 is.  Some say that it relates to David’s kingdom.  If this is the case, then the prophecy was not fully fulfilled by David.  The Damascus Document is a part of the Dead Sea Scrolls.  It is a commentary on scripture that dates back to 2nd century BC.  Part of the Damascus commentary focuses on Numbers 24:17.  And the star is the seeker of the Law who came to Damascus, because it was written a star has came forth out of Jacob and a scepter has risen out of Israel. The scepter stands for the prince of the congregation. At his coming he shall break down all the sons of Sheth.”  Numbers 24:17 had been interpreted to mean the coming Messiah.  If I’m correct, this is how the Magi would have read Numbers 24:17. 

Back to the motivation for the trip…  If these men were holdovers from the exile or shared the same office that Daniel had, there is a very good chance that the Magi would have to have been familiar with the prophesy of Numbers 24:17 in order to understand the meaning of the star over Jerusalem.  This is why they left seeking the King (Scepter) of the Jews.  Additionally, they may have known they were in the Messianic era because  Daniel’s 70 weeks prophecy was coming to an end. If this is the case, they would have expected the Messiah to be born soon in order for the prophecy to hold true.

How many Magi came?

Most, if not all, nativity scenes show three Magi present.  Most Christmas stories tell of three wise men being present.  The reality is that Bible makes no mention of the number of Magi that came to Jerusalem (it only lists their three gifts).  In fact, men of the stature as described above would have required many attendants to come with them.  Given the value of their gifts to Jesus and the dangerousness of the road they likely traveled, the Magi more than likely would have needed an armed escort – especially if they were officials from the Parthian Empire.  This presents an interesting image of not just three but literally hundreds of attendants with any number of Magi travelling across the country side following a star.  This point is most notable as the caravan reaches Jerusalem and is seemingly able to get virtually an immediate audience with King Herod.

When did the Magi come?

Again, if you look at most nativity scenes, you would be under the impression that the Magi were present at the birth of Christ.  Again, this is not biblically supported.  As a matter of fact, the Bible (Matthew 2) clearly contradicts this notion.  Matthew 2:1 is the first indicator that the wise men were not at the birth of Jesus.  Additionally, take this into consideration; if the star appeared over Jesus at the time of birth we know at a minimum that it would be at least 120 days before the Magi could reach Jerusalem.  If you add on the time that it would take to identify the star, organize the caravan, plan the trip and get on the road, one could easily be looking at anywhere from 5-6 months total time before they reached Jerusalem.  Maybe another month before they reached where Jesus was.  This would make sense with King Herod’s order to kill all of the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under (Matthew 2:16).

Based on the above information we can logically determine that (in regards to the “Three Kings” of carol fame) the Atheists have it right – Well, sort of… and purely by accident.  However, we should celebrate reason, rather than legend.  And reason dictates that the Bible is historically accurate and the final authority on all things theological and historical. This really is the little known story of Christmas.  If my historical theory holds true, then many of the idea’s surrounding the greatest story ever told would be a legend built off of this historical story.

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What if…there were no gifts given at Christmas?


What do you think Christmas would look like if gifts weren’t given?  What if we celebrated Christ’s birthday, simply as a religious holiday.  A day which Christian’s celebrated the birth of Christ in prayer and praise.  Think about this for just a second.  What would Christmas look like then? 

I started asking myself this question while I was thinking about why an atheist/agnostic would choose to celebrate the birth of someone they consider to be at best a historical man whose legend has grown out of proportions and at worst a fictitious character maliciously created by the religious establishment to control the masses.  After all, some don’t believe in the divinity of Christ.  Some,  don’t believe he existed at all.  Some believe that he was a “good person”.  Why do they celebrate it?  In all reality they could be celebrating the birthday of Dorian Gray, or Captain Ahab or any other literature character from any story as far as they’re concerned.  According to their beliefs there is no difference between John Galt leading a movement and the Passion of the Christ.   Both are fictional literature that may have some good moral stories.

Now, don’t get me wrong… I am not advocating that Christmas should only be celebrated by Christians.  Nor am I advocating that Christians should exclude Atheists from our celebration.   But I have to come back to the question:  Why celebrate it?  To speculate, they celebrate it because it is an opportunity to see family and/or to be with friends.  They also celebrate it because of the material goodies that are associated with Christmas.  To be sure the gifts are probably the primary reason that many now have come to celebrate Christmas.  The reason I can make this argument is simple: there has been a recent and systematic removal of Christ from Christmas.  Everything is now holiday this or holiday that.  The Christ from Christmas has been replaced with the good of goodies.  

To be completely honest this isn’t just an atheist or agnostic issue, but also a Christian issue.  Many Christians get so wrapped up in the material possessions that come with Christmas that they forget what Christmas is really about.  I understand how cliché that statement is, but think about it this way.  When was the last Christmas party that you went to where you stood up and offered praise to God, and offered a prayer of thankfulness that God sent his child down to die for you?  Any takers?  I can’t remember just for myself.

This brings me back to my original question…. what would Christmas look like without gifts?  One could speculate that it would look a lot different.  I think that it would probably have more of a true spiritual meaning for Christians, atheists, and agnostics alike.

So this year for Christmas, rather than focusing on the materialistic things, focus on the Son.  Before you open gifts or eat that big dinner, offer a prayer (OUT LOUD) and praise God’s glory and grace for all to hear.  Maybe you could read Luke 2 or Matthew 2 before opening gifts (something that KB does).  Who knows… God may work in some of those atheist/agnostic friends and families of yours.

Just a thought.

HOLY WAR (but NOT Jihad)!!!


God’s Word makes it very clear that all Christians are in a very dangerous and deadly battle – we are called to MAKE WAR!  That is why we are given instructions on how and who and with which weapons we are expected to fight. Check out what Eph 6:10-18 has to say about it:

10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

Not only are we expected to fight, but we are expected to WIN – BIG TIME (cf. Romans 8:37).

Over the coming days we are going to look at the various aspects of the Armor of God… and see how each to be used to increase our effectiveness for our Supreme Commander-in-Chief. But before we strap on the Armor and go out Rambo-style to kick tail and take names I think it’s important for us to examine just exactly who who or what is/are the enemy.

Far too often I see Christians assuming that we need to fight against people and their messed up thinking… their ideologies (aka their politics), but it seems to me that verse 12 above makes it pretty clear that this is not the case. Let’s take a peek at what God says about it elsewhere (Ephesians 2:1-3):

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.

One can derive from this passage, and the one from chapter 6 above, that Christians have three basic enemies: the World (culture), Satan/the Devil, and our own wicked Flesh… NOT other people!!! Nowhere does it talk about political entities… Hmmm…

Now for those of you who know me you know that I personally have a massive disdain for certain political views and that most of these views are held dear by a certain political party here in our country. This, of course, leads me to have VERY strong negative feelings about that party. But I have to stop and ask myself are rage… frustration… outrage… disgust… against a political party (and thus many of the people in it) a good use of my time and energy?

If our enemies are the World, our own flesh and Satan, aren’t we already fighting on 3 fronts? No military expert would tell you that is a winning battle plan… So why on earth would we want to add a 4th? It is a losing strategy, it is harmful to other people, the reputation of Christ and when you get down to the bottom of it, in almost every instance, fighting against other people it is downright sinful…

When I studied this out to teach it on our recent youth retreat I think I found that, we can reduce this fight to a two front battle. I deeply believe that if we will rightly focus our efforts it will make us more effective for the cause of Christ – I welcome your comments on whether or not the following makes sense.

In spiritual warfare we often (rightly?) begin by focusing on Satan as the primary enemy. Let’s look at some of his names (characteristics) to understand him better and fight him better. As I studied out his names I saw a pattern or progression unfold that made a lot of sense to me and helped me focus my battle efforts – hope it does the same for you.

In simplest terms the Devil is God’s enemy… Satan HATES God and would love nothing more than to replace Him. We see this in these names: Satan (which means Adversary) 1 Peter 5:8; 1 Timothy 5:15; Enemy/Opponent – Matthew 13:28; Evil One – John 17:15…

He is not powerful enough to oppose/fight God directly so he employs a round-about attack by going after God’s people and doing everything in his power to keep others from becoming God’s people… To do this Satan has masterfully influenced the culture toward greater and greater depravity and evil. God recognizes this ploy and has warned us in other names that have been given to Satan: Prince of the Power of the Air (which means he controls unbelievers) – Ephesians 2:2; Ruler of Demons – Mark 3:22; Ruler of this World (which means he rules the world system/culture) – John 12:31; God of this Age (which means he influences the thinking of this world) – 2 Cor. 4:4; Beelzebub (Lord of the Flies) – Matthew 12:24; Belial (which means that he is worthless – just like the corruption he has brought to the world) – 2 Cor. 6:15

Satan then uses the Culture/World to provide temptation for our flesh (the second enemy listed above). We see this in his names: Tempter – 1 Thes. 3:5; Serpent of Old – Deceiver in Garden – Rev. 12:9, 20:2

God warns us from falling to these schemes in 1 John 2:15-17 when He says:

15Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.

However, Satan is stubborn and will not give up… through the World/Culture will try to tell you that certain sins are OKAY… he’ll try to convince you that they are not that bad… He’ll provide you with every kind of justification from “I’m just wired/born this way” to “God wants me to be happy and this will do it” to “I/they deserve this”… But I’m here to tell you IT’s NOT OKAY…

Satan is a masterful liar (cf. John 8:34) – Though he tries to make it look good, pleasing and harmless, sin is an affront to God and His Holiness and it is harmful to our soul and damaging to our lives and relationships! Sinning is telling your heavenly father that you know best – it’s basically giving God the finger… and though God is loving and forgiving that is a dangerous game to play…

Once Satan has trapped you in one of his schemes and he has hooked you with some type of addictive sin, he then capitalizes upon our temptations and failures. God calls him the Accuser  (Rev 12:10) because Satan bad-mouths you to God, in your mind and to other people. He is called the Dragon/Destroyer (Rev. 9:11; 12:3, 7, 9) because he uses your sinful mistakes to ruin your life. He is called a Roaring Lion (1 Peter 5:8) because he wants to swallow you up in the consequences of sin and keep you from experiencing fellowship with God. He is a Murderer (John 8:34) because he leads people to eternal death (aka Hell). The term “Devil” actually means “slanderer” ( Matt. 4:1) because If he can’t get to you any other way, he’ll try to destroy your/God’s reputation.

So, what I see from all this is that if Satan is the deceiving force that is corrupting the culture we only truly have to fight the battle on two fronts… We need to Submit to God and resist the devil (James 4:7-8).  And we need to MAKE WAR against our sinful nature (cf. 1 Cor. 9:27, Galatians 5:16-26). John Piper would say that the war against our own flesh is the most important aspect of this… but I’d have to respectfully disagree… I think both prongs of our counter-attack are equally important… If we fight directly against Satan (and we’ll see how to do that in coming posts) then the culture will be effected which will minimize temptations as much as possible, making it easier to fight against our sinful desires…

I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen sin’s painful effects on a lot of people’s lives and I’m hopping mad about it… I’m ready to strap the armor on and get it on with Satan in God’s mighty power… Will you join me?

Back to the basics


Open air preaching is absolutely fascinating to me.  It is a back to the basic’s approach to evangelism.  Think about it…this is how the apostles did it.  They stood out in public and preached.  They made their argument under the most intense scrutiny.  It is incredible to watch the reaction of the world to those who preach in the open.  You when I wrote The No Shame + No Fear series it was geared towards evangelism.  So clear is the call for evangelism that many forget how to evangelize.  Open air preaching is one way to do it.  Keep in mind it is not for everyone.  But there are a number of ways to this.  Everyone has opportunities to witness.  It could be on facebook, Myspace, with your friends or wherever!

Here are links to some open air preaching:

Huntington Beach 1

Moral Relativism

Here is another one

These video’s were put up by a group called The Way of the Master.  This is Ray Comfort, and Kirk Cameron.

We’ve got mail….yeaaaaaaah. We’ve got mail, we’ve got mail, we’ve got mail…


No Apologizing now has its own email… noapologizing@gmail.com.

KB and I are gearing up for our 100th post.  It is a pretty big deal that we hit this mark.  For the 100th post we are hoping to put together a vlog.  For those of you not familiar…a vlog is like a blog but only in video format.  What we would like to do for our vlog is to be as interactive with you as possible.  This could include questions about us, questions you have on theology, or just comments in general.  That is where the e-mail comes in…

Use the e-mail to send us your questions or comments.  We will use them in the vlog to generate discussion.  If you have something you would like for us to debate….send it in.  I can tell you right now the vlog has been decided on.  If we don’t receive any e-mails Kevin will be forced to do 20 push-ups on camera…well maybe that won’t work…because I am sure people will want to see that.

On behalf of Kevin (who is probably getting upset reading this) and I, we would like to thank you for reading our posts, and we hope you get something out of it.

SEND US SOME COMMENTS!

Global Warming and the Christian


One of our readers posed a comment that I thought would make for an interesting post.  The topic…why is global warming such a polarizing topic for atheists and Christians.  After all doesn’t everyone want to take care of earth? 

Before we look at this from a biblical perspective, let’s look at (at least at a high level) the science that is driving global warming. 

At the basic level the premise for global warming is this…1) man produces harmful emissions (through technology); 2) those emissions are causing the earth to warm; 3)  those emissions can/will destroy the earth if it is not stopped.  I am sure that if I am wrong….some global warming advocates will appear and correct me.  Recent articles have called into question the validity of the data being used to support the findings of global warming science. 

The basic argument to combat global warming is good stewardship of the earth.  There are extreme elements (perhaps even on the non-extreme side) that argue that more extreme measures must be taken to protect the earth (stop using gas, oil, etc…).  It seems that every so often we have some who come out and propose a doomsday scenario where the earth will flood, or burn or will be un-inhabitable.  These predictions (extinction of the human race, or all kinds of animals) pose some unique questions.  Can man destroy the earth that God built?  Better yet, if the Bible mentions nothing about the destruction of the earth by man’s hand… will it happen that way?

From a biblical perspective we should all be good stewards.  Probably the most significant mention of this is the parable of the unjust steward.  The point of this parable is found in Luke 16:10-12:  “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?” 

So how does this relate?

This parable is important because it says that we must be able to handle little so that we can be trusted with much.  The parable specifically mentions wealth and property.  Think about this for a second, if you throw a candy wrapper on the ground, are being trustworthy with God’s property?  In essence…we are stewards over every blessing that God has given us.  If we can’t be trusted with the more simplistic things (finding a trash can) then how can we be trusted with the bigger things (managing the Garbage Company).  This includes the earth.  We are obligated to be good stewards of it.

I recently found this list on a web site that talks about ways to involve kids in stewardship…however this is applicable to all of us as stewards:

Top 10 ways to involve kids in stewardship

10. Recycle everything from cans to clothes
9. Consolidate car trips; read a book while you wait
8. Shut off lights and appliances not in use
7. Harvest what you plant, share what you harvest
6. Share clothes with a sibling or parent
5. Use e-mail rather than long distance
4. Treat possessions as valuables
3. Ride a bike or walk for short errands and exercise
2. Wipe your feet
1. Eat leftovers

 Now to the controversy…

The split, at least for me personally, is when someone who believes in global warming says that man is capable of destroying the earth.  What really gets me is a Christian who says that man can destroy the earth.  Such a statement, not only labels the Bible as being errant, but places man on the same plateau as God.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating for everyone to do what they want.  My family practices many of the things listed above.  I cannot emphasize this enough…WE ARE TO BE GOOD STEWARDS WITH THE BLESSINGS GOD HAS GIVEN US! 

Where I draw the line is on individuals who worship science over God.  God has declared how this earth will meet its end.  Anything other than that cuts against the grain of biblical truth and at least starts to place something over God.  If science is telling you that man will destroy the earth, you know that cannot be true because God did not say they would in His Word.  Case and point…global warming advocates will tell you that the earth will flood from the polar caps melting.  This is in direct contradiction to the promise by God that he would never flood the earth again (Genesis 9:11).  How can you believe in both?  The short answer….you can’t.  I have a hard time stomaching Scientists trying to tell me that the earth that God created (the most powerful God, who is capable of anything) can be destroyed by man.  I resent that.  We have power over nothing, and yet we can melt the world?  

This, in my opinion, is why global warming advocates and Christians will tend to split when it comes to global warming.  Christians will look at what is happening and say God controls it, global warming advocates will look at what is happening and say that man controls it.  If you are a Christian you should avoid the temptation of believing that man can control the temperature and then worship a God that you proclaim controls everything.  This is another point of the parable of the unjust steward. Luke 16:13 No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other

It’s schizophrenic to try and serve both God and the science of global warming – They are diametrically opposed to one another.

Have you been Eclipsed? A Quick Commentary on the Twilight Series


Much has been said or written about the Twilight series that is sweeping the nation, both in book form and also on the big screen… The latest movie installment, Eclipse, released earlier this week.  So, I know that what I have to say about this phenomenon is probably not earth-shattering or anything close to that, but I feel it’s important to weigh in a little from a Christian perspective, but even more specifically from a youth minister’s perspective, a father’s perspective and a former romantic’s perspective…

To be fair, let me disclose my familiarity with the series… My wife and I have read the first 2 books and watched the first 2 movies and are in the process of reading the 3rd book… I say this not neither to endorse the works – nor really to blast them… but instead to offer some cautions for anyone thinking about engaging with Stephanie Myers’ works…

First of all, the books are very well written… Ms. Myers is a masterful story teller… the books are an easy read and the story is compelling… the books and the movies are entertaining… no doubt about that.

However, it is in this mastery that the first caution needs to be raised… I have observed in many that these characters and the story are all so compelling that one can lose themselves in the story… quite literally… this is especially true for young ladies (teens and tweens) – it’s as if their own life becomes “Eclipsed” by the Twilight stories and characters.

This leads to the second caution… While many Christian writers have focused on the elements of the movies and books that at least border on the occult, these, to me, are FAR less dangerous than the portrait of “love” that is painted by the series… and girls are buying it hook, line and sinker. The relationships between Edward and Bella and Jacob are dysfunctional, at best… they are not a true picture of biblical love or a healthy dating/marriage relationship, but could and should be labeled as obsessive and co-dependent.  This is particularly dangerous because the destructive way to approach romantic relationships presented in the books, especially New Moon, is shaping the expectations of young women as their bodies and minds and emotions are going through their own sort of Breaking Dawn (i.e. puberty)… Teenagers (both boys and girls) need no help in forming unhealthy ideas of “love”) – but these movies and books pushes them strongly in that direction. I shudder to think of how many multi-month long catatonic–like depressed funks that young ladies are going to slide into when their first (or second, or third…) puppy love breaks their heart? What’s more scary is I wonder how much that destructive behavior may be applauded by their friends…  Then, to what extremes will they take this display of broken-heartedness (keep in mind that Edward attempted suicide in New Moon after he thought that he had lost Bella)? The logical conclusion to this is nothing short of horrifying.

Consider what God has to say in Philippians 4:6-9: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, 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, 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.

Is this the world view presented by the Twilight series?

As a father, I want my daughter and my sons to experience God’s best in their relationships – for them to be healthy, focused on Him, selfless, edifying… I want them to find their identity in Jesus, not in a fallible human being who will undoubtedly let them down (frequently)…

As a Youth minister, I want the same for the young men and women that are affected by the ministry God has graciously given me… I don’t want to have to see them hurt and holding on to hurts that have been at least partially caused by unrealistic expectations… I don’t want to see them obsess over anything other than their relationship with the Lord…. My message to the young ladies in my youth group (and others) would be very similar to an open letter Nikki from the WayFM’s morning show wrote to some of her female friends:

“I was thinking about you this weekend. It was while I was watching a movie. It was probably the most anticipated movie of 2009. Females all over the country, possibly the world, chose a team, put on the t-shirt, and maybe even camped out overnight in exhilarated excitement to take in the next chapter of this supposedly timeless love story. I was a little late in getting around to it, but as I finally sat down to watch New Moon, you were on my mind. And here’s why: ITS RIDICULOUS.

 Look, I know it’s just a movie, and it’s meant for entertainment. I am a movie buff myself, and I love escaping into another place and time and diving into a world of imagined intrigue. It’s awesome. But with this one, I couldn’t even take that journey because it was just so RIDICULOUS.

 Bella’s pain, relentless agony, and perpetual longing may seem romantic on a big screen, but please know this is NOT what love looks like. Please know it is NOT normal or healthy to be this obsessed with a guy, to feel as if life is over or not worth living because he isn’t a part of it anymore. Or to think this other guy might do the trick if guy number one leaves. Please know your whole life and self-worth will never be wrapped up in any man. God completes you. End of story. I know this because I’ve let myself buy into that way of thinking before. I thought there would be no life for me if it didn’t work out. And guess what? I’m still here. And God is still awesome, and life is still rolling.

 Sure, I get it. It’s a movie and it’s fun. Go ahead, watch, enjoy, be entertained. But it’s just a story. Please don’t get too caught up in the picture of love Edward and Bella paint for you. Please don’t buy into it, or you may miss out on how big and life-changing love can really be. I was thinking about you as I watched this, and I just had to tell you.”

Yes, these are “just movies/books”, and some people can probably approach them this way… If you can, great… however, we have seen in the craze that has swept the nation, that this is often not the case… people are taking this series much more seriously than that… I also want to gravely caution parents that MOST young people are not mature enough to make those types of determinations (like whether they can refrain from getting sucked into the hype or not) on their own… and I would encourage you if you are going to allow your sons and daughters watch and read Twilight stuff that you watch and/or read it with them and have some very open discussions about the themes and messages in the books… For more help with this and for a more comprehensive review of the series, CLICK HERE.  It is the best analysis I’ve seen on the Twilight series BY FAR.

US vs. Algeria – US Wins in Dramatic Fashion


WOW! What a game! If you missed it here’s a quick recap… The US dominated play against Algeria but didn’t score the winning goal until the “added time” at the end of the 2nd half. The Yanks HAD to win to advance because England was winning their match against Slovenia… This was a nail biter for sure.

For much of the match it seemed like the US was going to be robbed of a win on a mysteriously disallowed goal, much like they were against Slovenia earlier in the tournament.  Plus, in spite of their best efforts and spectacular opportunities, goals were just not finding the net… However, during the added time Donovan perfectly placed a ball that weakly ricocheted off the Algerian goal keeper after a fabulous US counter striking run on goal. I literally jumped out of my seat!

Like the last dramatic match, this one got me thinking about spiritual stuff… Immediately after the goal was scored Matthew 20:1-16 popped into my head. This is a parable that Jesus told that demonstrates that as long as you’re alive, it’s never too late to accept Him and enter the Kingdom of Heaven (by placing your faith and trust in Jesus – click HERE to learn how to do that). Like the US, it doesn’t matter how many opportunities you’ve let slip away in the past… the important thing is that you do it! However, unlike the US, who only faced elimination from a tournament, this decision is the difference between Eternal Life in Heaven and Eternal separation from God in Hell.

Now, some of you may be thinking something like… “I’ll wait until the last minute and accept Christ then, cuz I wanna have my fun now.” That is a dangerous game to play… The US didn’t know in advance how much added time there would be at the end of the match (if any)… That is why they valiantly tried to score all game long – and their desperation became more and more evident as time elapsed – they knew England’s score… they knew that they had to score as well. Additionally, they didn’t know how many scoring opportunities they would get… Similarly, none of us knows how much time we have left here on Earth… nor do we know how many opportunities we are going to have to trust in Jesus… But, like the US, we know that time is running out… God’s patience with you is not leis e fare. In fact, the Bible tells us in 2 Peter 3:9 that, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” Consider this, Jesus said, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” But He won’t knock forever… Won’t you open your heart to Him? If you do the party that awaits in Heaven is far greater than our mutual rejoicing over the US Soccer team’s win today (see Luke 15:7).

For more details on the US victory click HERE.

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