Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Jesus: Born with Death in Mind

Another Christmas has come and gone, in which we, theoretically, remembered the birth of Jesus Christ. It’s easy to miss that message of Christmas entirely, but even for those that recognize it, its significance is often missed.

It’s almost like a children’s story. Here’s the “little Lord Jesus,” as one song puts it, being born in a manger surrounded by cattle. Mary and Joseph are a nice couple, and shepherds come and then wisemen come, although they weren’t actually there that night. It’s cute.

But just as prophets looked ahead to the birth of Jesus, Jesus’s birth looked ahead to the reason He came—His death.

The very first prophecy in the Bible looked not at Jesus’s birth, but what would be accomplished through His death and resurrection:

And I will put enmity between thee [Satan] and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. –Genesis 3:15

God spoke of the offspring of Eve—Jesus—crushing Satan’s head, while Satan would crush Jesus’s heel through the crucifixion.

As prophecies continued to be sent over time, both the birth and the death of the Messiah were spoken of many times. Isaiah spoke of His birth:

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. –Isaiah 7:14

And later spoke of His death:

He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. –Isaiah 53:8

Over time, the One labeled the Messiah was prophesied to be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5), be an heir of David (II Samuel 7), have a messenger to prepare His way (Isaiah 40), be betrayed (Psalm 41), be crucified (Psalm 22, which has a number of specific crucifixion prophecies), be buried with the rich (Isaiah 53), and rise again (Psalm 16).

It would be right to ask if this all spoke of the same person. The Jews’ reaction to Jesus show that all of these prophecies were speaking of a single person—the Messiah, or “anointed one”:

The woman saith unto him, I know that Messiah cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. –John 4:25

He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messiah, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. –John 1:41

Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee? –John 7:41

Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? –John 4:29

And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. –Matthew 2:4

The person that was to be born the Messiah was understood to be the same person that would die as the Messiah.

At Jesus’s birth, it was prophesied multiple times that He should die.

When the shepherds were told of Jesus’s birth, they were told that “unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). He would save the world by dying for it.

A man named Simeon was told by God that he would see the Messiah before he died. He said this when he saw Jesus:

Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people…” –Luke 2:29-31

Simeon also realized that Christ would be killed, telling Mary that “a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also” (Luke 2:35).

Since Mary had the same knowledge as any Jew about the Messiah, yes, Mary did know that Jesus would “one day rule the nations” and “save our sons and daughters.”

And, as the rest of the Gospels say, Jesus did go on to be crucified for the sins of the world, be buried, and rise again.

The end must always be seen in the beginning. Centuries before Jesus came in the flesh, prophets said that He would not only be born, but that He would die. When Jesus was born, there were predictions of His death. Jesus’s primary reason for coming in the flesh to Earth was not to teach us things or heal people. He came to Earth to die a substitutionary death for the world. When we remember His birth, we must remember the reason why He came.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

The Problems with Free Condoms at Universities

A few years ago, I was able to meet with the director of NKU Health Services to talk about the university’s policy regarding birth control and abortion.

I am not entirely against certain contraceptives. But morally, I see a very limited use. Never, ever, should contraceptives that serve as abortifacients (slickening the lining of the uterus so a newly formed human life cannot continue forming, thus taking his or her life) have ever been created, much less used. There are likely many more humans killed by abortifacient birth control than those killed in abortion mills.

I am also morally against sex before marriage. So the only circumstances I find contraceptives to be used appropriately is inside of a monogamous, heterosexual marriage, and only if this will not take the life of a very young human. I am open to arguments against its use here as well, but I haven’t heard a compelling one yet.

With that background, I found NKU’s policies among the fairer ones at a public university. They hand out condoms, and in doing so remind students that there are still risks to having sex with contraception and that the only way to avoid this is through abstinence.

There is clearly not a unified message, as is evident from the “Stay Safe. Use a Condom.” sign that graced the women’s studies hall. I guess having an 18% chance of being exposed to a possible STD or becoming pregnant is what passes as “safe” these days.

On the side of abortion, the health center only refers if specifically asked. Dr. Anderson, the director, told me they do the same for resource centers as well. He is also a former pastor who now sees the “complexity of the abortion issue”, so I might double-check his word.

All things considered, though, the policy isn’t too bad, if indeed I was being told the truth. Yet I still take issue with the free contraceptives.

This is one majorly hypocritical expectation of liberals. They want the government to stay out of their bedroom, but want taxpayer funds to kill their child in case their contraception doesn’t work. They don’t want Christians to “legislate morality” but force us to foot the bill for their sexual promiscuity.

Here’s the thing: if you want me out of your sex life, take me out of your sex life. But you expect to have your cake and eat it too, and public universities let you get away with it.

I don’t care what you do in your bedroom. I don’t hold you to the standards I hold myself to. Yet somehow, it’s okay to force me to fund lifestyles I believe are wrong.

My housing fees went towards a sign in the Norse Hall director’s window telling students to ask if they need a condom. Surely that conversation must be awkward.

“Hey, let me stop by my hall director’s office so I can get some condoms for us later.”

“I got you, you two have fun.”

I find it utterly repulsive that such an option exists.

The foolish reality of it all is that public universities are encouraging sex. You cannot hand out free contraceptives and simultaneously encourage someone to not put himself at risk by having sex.

That would be like going to hold a friend’s hand during an abortion procedure. If I really care about her, I’m going to try to stop her, not enable her. No true pro-life person would help someone have an abortion. No one actually worried about student health will enable them to do something that puts their health at risk when there is a legitimate alternative.

Naturally, we couldn’t have a conversation about contraceptives on college campuses without that little wink from a middle-age person.

“Oh, you and I both know that they’re going to do it anyway.”

Apparently there are rivers of testosterone and estrogen that must be crossed on the way to class, making us lose all inhibitions and concern over our health. We’re nothing more than horny animals running amok who have no control over our lascivious passions.

Apparently, we just can’t help ourselves.

For the love of God, have a little faith in us.

The fact is, I know people that have never engaged in sexual activity. I know unmarried adults that have never had sex. Have we considered the self-fulfilling prophecy we are spouting from our positions of higher learning?

“You all are going to have sex. That’s just the reality of it.”

We don’t need a whole lot of encouragement, and an asinine statement such as that is all it will take.

College health clinics will rave about getting ample sleep and wearing sunscreen, but encourage sexual activity by paying for the night. Imagine them telling us to wear sunscreen and do whatever we want in the sun, and it will be “safe”. Why a clear warning for one but not the other?

The first line of the abortion cartel is the sex education of public high schools and universities.

Here’s a simple policy. Let’s be entirely honest with students. Let’s give them the facts on the risks involved with contraception. Let’s tell them that condoms don’t protect against the most common venereal disease, HPV. Give them unbiased information. Then tell them that there is only one solution to side-step those risks: abstinence. It’s the difference between running through a minefield or following the path around it.

Then leave the choice up to them. If they want to be sexually active, the consequences are solely on them. Don’t encourage them by providing them free condoms.

I don’t feel it is too much to ask for someone to provide his own contraceptives if he wants to have sex. There is a Kroger near campus and plenty of other places that sell them. There are prescriptions. But to use the money of students who are morally against sex before marriage is unfair. Even if I weren’t against it, I still don’t see the need for why I should pay for someone else to have a condom during sex.

I would stay out of your bedroom if you would let me out.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Once Saved, Always Saved? What the Bible has to Say

It is a sad thing to observe someone working for salvation that God promises only comes through faith. But I think it is equally sad to see someone working to keep his salvation that God promises is already kept. This won’t affect their eternity, because they have accepted Christ’s gift already. But it pains me to see Christians struggle with wondering if they are still saved or if they have fallen far enough at one point to lose their salvation, when the Bible makes it clear that we don’t have to worry about this.

There are several portions of scripture I will look at, but let me first start with this. Any true believer has trusted in Christ alone for their salvation, knowing that there is absolutely nothing we can do other than accept Christ’s gift. Then why do we think that after salvation it is any different? As a friend put it, “If you don’t think there was anything you could do to get your salvation, why do you think there is anything you can do to keep it?” We could never be good enough to save ourselves, and there is nothing we can do to keep ourselves saved. It is Jesus Christ who both saves us and keeps us.

"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one." –John 10:27-30

We as Jesus’ sheep have been given eternal life by Him. “Yeah, I know no man can pluck us out of His hand. But we ourselves…” Are we not men as well? “Well God…” Is it God’s nature to do this? Jesus, who is one with His Father, is the Good Shepherd. Does a shepherd toss its sheep out of the flock? What’s more, Jesus clearly says “they shall never perish.” The definition of never:

"At no time in the past or future; on no occasion; not ever"

Never is not a word we can get around or compromise on. Jesus plainly tells us those He gives eternal life will NEVER perish.

In Romans 7, Paul writes about the struggle of two natures: “what I would not, that I do. That which I would I do not.” That seems like rebellion towards God, and Paul was a very good Christian if you ask most people. But after that he starts chapter 8 this way:

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

No is synonymous to never; we can’t get around it. No condemnation means those in Christ Jesus will never be condemned. “But it says those who walk after the Spirit.” If we lost our salvation every time we walked after the flesh, we’d be destined to die lost. Those who walk after the Spirit are those who have the Spirit, or those who are in Christ Jesus–Christians. This has further clarity later in the chapter:

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:” –Romans 8:14-16

Is there anything you can do to unbecome your parents’ child?

Before we get any further, I feel it necessary to answer common arguments from those who believe this way. We must remember that scripture must be interpreted with scripture. A passage that appears one way must be seen in light of what God says elsewhere in His Word. James tells us “faith without works is dead.” Many interpret this to mean that salvation comes through works; however, seeing the paramount evidence in the contrary, along with the fact that James was writing to professing Christians, tells us that he spoke of faith manifesting itself through our works. One who does not show that they have faith, though no one but they and God can judge their hearts, must be questioned on whether they have faith at all.

James’ words ring true in two arguments from Matthew 6:15 and 18:35, in which Jesus tells the Jews he is speaking to that God will not forgive their trespasses if they are not forgiving. Who is forgiving? The Christian. If we do not show ourselves forgiving, do we have true faith? Matthew 10:33 speaks of Christ reciprocating denial before God. This is not a moment of denial; Peter denied Christ, and the Bible never speaks of him being re-born again (I’m sorry, “feed my sheep” cannot rightly be considered salvation). Rather this is a lifetime of denial–something a Christian does not do by our very definition and what is needed for salvation (acceptance). I Corinthians 15:1-2 mentions at the end “unless ye have believed in vain.” This again speaks to a profession without faith.

Colossians 1:22-23 is sometimes presented as evidence as well. It fails to mention verse 21 about reconciliation. Paul did this in other parts of his writings, where we would start a thought, interrupt it with a related one, and then continue on. So he did in these three verses. Hebrews 3:6 and 14 shows us that persistence in our faith is a test of its legitimacy. The end of II Peter 2 has not changed subjects; it is speaking of false teachers, who Peter and Jude outline to be people posing as believers. The letters to the churches in Revelation are also cited at times. Those that “overcome” are those that are believers (Paul said "we are more than conquerors").

A final argument against the security of the believer will help me transition back to those for it. Some Armenians actually use Hebrews 10:26-27:

“For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.”

But this discounts the next two verses:

“He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?”

This describes us as justly worthy of a greater punishment, but “suppose ye” and “shall he be thought worthy” tells us that this is speaking hypothetically. Under the assumption that one can lose their salvation, however, this passage would tell us that once it is lost, it cannot be regained. “There remaineth no more sacrifice for sins.” This argument proves too much.

But we cannot ignore this portion of scripture, nor other parts. You tell me we lose our salvation for certain sins. You tell me we lose it for “falling away.” But I see no evidence in this passage. If Christ’s blood covered all of your sin, past and future, then they are covered. There is no more sacrifice needed, nor are there any sins, regardless of severity, that remain unforgiven by Him at the moment of salvation.

Look what else Hebrews 10 says in verses 10-18:

“By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: but this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.”

It was one sacrifice, and no more offering is needed. The Holy Ghost is a witness of our salvation, as is mentioned many times in the Bible. And God clearly tells us that He will no longer remember our sins (a quote from Isaiah). If He takes away our salvation due to our sin, is that not remembering our sin?

Lot, by any definition, fell away. He moved to Sodom and got involved with its affairs. When he escaped, his daughters got him drunk and were impregnated by him. This was a very backslidden man. Yet mark what II Peter 2:6-8 mentions:

“And delivered just Lot…For that righteous man…vexed his righteous soul.”

Lot was not a just man in his actions, but he was already justified by God. Not in the least does the Bible encourage this behavior, but we have to remember that it is God that declares us righteous and just, all the way to the end:

“And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” –John 5:11-13

Those that have the Son HAVE life. It is continual. Losing one’s salvation brings a certain uncertainty, but we are told that we can know that we are saved:

“For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.” –I Peter 4:17-19

The righteous are scarcely saved because we don’t deserve it. But Peter here speaks to those suffering for Christ (v. 16), telling them to commit the keeping of their souls to God. If we kept our souls ourselves, we would most likely fail, as we do with so much else. But we can rest knowing God keeps our souls:

"For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day." –II Timothy 1:12

Paul, inspired to write by the Holy Ghost (I Peter 1:21), said that he knew who he’d believed in (God). Furthermore, he was persuaded that God would keep what he had committed against that day. One of the meanings of “against” in the time of translation was “until.” What had Paul committed to God? His salvation. Paul suffered, but he knew that God was keeping his salvation until the day God calls us home:

“(B)eing confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” –Philippians 1:6

The work begun will be performed until Christ comes. That is a promise; that is our confidence.

“Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:” –Jude 1

We are preserved in Christ.

Even a very common reference tells us we are secure.

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. –John 3:14-18

Two verses in a row tell us that whoever would believe SHOULD NOT perish, but will have everlasting life. The only “buts” in these verses involve stating that we cannot perish, not that we are saved UNLESS we do this or that or fall away. Everlasting life, by definition, means that we cannot die after belief. (Of course speaking in spiritual terms, looking at the context.) Then Jesus tells Nicodemus that whoever believes is not condemned. That’s pretty plain to me.

One more piece of evidence comes from Jesus:

Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. –John 13:10

Peter had asked Jesus to wash all of him, but Jesus says “He that is washed” does not need to wash all of himself, but only his feet. “Washed” is past tense. Looking at several verses that speak of being washed in the blood of Christ (Rev. 1:6), the meaning is apparent. Those who are saved already will get dirty; it is human nature. When they do, they only need to wash what has made them dirty. They don’t need to rewash entirely. The only person that Jesus indirectly mentions being unclean is Judas, who is called “the son of perdition.” This was never a saved man, hence he could not “fall away.”

It is against God’s nature to pull us from condemnation, then put us back there. It is God’s nature to keep His promises. And over and over again He promises to preserve us. Why worry or try to keep a salvation that is kept already? Take God at His promises.

Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. –Romans 8:33-39

Sunday, October 15, 2017

The Incompatibility of Justice and Mercy, and How God Overcame It

Several weeks ago, I was afforded the opportunity to lead the Bible study and prayer group for the Christian Legal Society at my law school. As part of the study we’re going through, I made the point that I had only recently thought through: justice and mercy are incompatible.

I suppose the beginning of my meditation on the concept was born from the discussions in my criminal law class. We looked at competing theories of punishment. One is utilitarian—punish only if the good to society will outweigh the harm caused by the punishment. As with the utilitarian ethical worldview, this can lead to very undesirable conclusions. If there is no societal benefit from punishing a murderer, he can walk free.

The other theory, the camp which I am much more inclined toward, is retributivism. This theory is simple: we should punish people because their actions are worthy of punishment. Deterrence is a nice benefit, but it is not the driving force. Retributivism is the theory of pure justice. I support the death penalty because I believe murder and rape are crimes worthy of death. Executions can deter, but whether or not they do is a secondary topic. Murderers and rapists deserve death; it is the just reward of their heinous act(s).

I use that as an example of retributivism, but that’s not my purpose in writing. The shortcoming (depending on one’s perspective) of this theory is that there is no place for mercy. Utilitarianism can offer mercy, but only at the expense of justice.

You may not see the mutual exclusivity of mercy and justice. Let’s define them:

Just: based on or behaving according to what is morally right and fair; deserved or appropriate in the circumstances
Merciful: compassion or forgiveness toward someone whom it is within one's power to punish or harm
Mercy forgives someone whom it would be just to punish, and if justice is administered it is without mercy.

The Bible tells us that God is actively just:

I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and the right of the poor. –Psalm 140:12
Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God: And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons. –Colossians 3:22-25
So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power… –I Thessalonians 1:4-9
And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh. –Isaiah 66:24
…[F]or it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. –Romans 12:19
This might seem harsh, especially to those who aren’t Christians (and thanks for reading). However, keep in mind that justice requires punishment for sin, and God as a just judge not only will, but must punish sin.

Yet in this same Bible, we also read of God’s mercy:

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us… –Ephesians 2:4
And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of the Lord; for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man. –II Samuel 24:14
Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. –Luke 6:36
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost… –Titus 3:5
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. –Hebrews 4:16
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead… –I Peter 1:3
Now, the explanatory problem for Christians is this: God is both just and merciful. How can this be when the two are mutually exclusive?

If I were an atheist, I would say that this proves Christianity is irrational and not explore things further. However, I’m not an atheist. The Bible has many paradoxes, and one of the greatest is this: How can a merciful God punish people, and how can a just God forgive sin?

Thankfully, there is an answer. The key that unlocks our understanding of this paradox is Jesus.

See, since God is just, He must punish sin. We don’t like it, but without punishment of sin there is no justice, and God is not God. But God also desires to show us mercy. There had to be a way to have both.

God’s just wrath had to be channeled somewhere in order for us to avoid it and obtain mercy. This was Jesus’s purpose:

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. –Isaiah 53:4-12
This prophecy from Isaiah came to pass centuries later on Calvary:

And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? –Mark 15:34
What happened on the cross is that Jesus faced only the terrifying aspects of God. Jesus received no mercy, instead bearing the full weight of God’s justice and, consequently, God’s wrath. This was the role of the “scapegoat” on the Day of Atonement:

And when he hath made an end of reconciling the holy place, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat: And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness. –Leviticus 16:20-22
The scapegoat took upon it the sin of Israel, and then it had to be expelled from the community, probably facing death in the wild since it was domesticated. And so Jesus became the scapegoat to face God’s just wrath so that we could experience His mercy. Salvation is not the absence of God’s justice. It is the removal of God’s justice from our shoulders and the placement of His justice on Christ’s:

…[I]f any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. –I John 2:1b-2
“Propitiate” is an old English verb, but one that I think is important to still have in the Bible. It essentially means, “to satisfy”. Jesus was the propitiation for our sin. When He died, taking the world’s sin upon Him, He propitiated God’s wrath. God’s demand for justice was satisfied in the death of Christ. With that, the door was opened for us to experience God’s mercy.

I think Romans 3 does the best job of summing this up:

But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. –Romans 3:21-26
The paradox is answered. Neither God’s justice nor mercy is compromised. Through Jesus, God is both “just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”

Sunday, September 24, 2017

We All Have Problems with America. Stand for the Anthem Anyway.

If you’re an NFL player these days, it’s cool to kneel for the national anthem, or if you’re the Pittsburgh Steelers, not come out of the locker room. If you’re a millennial and you care at all about being cool and “woke”, you’re supposed to swallow the Kool-Aid and cheer on these heroes in their bold endeavor to bring social justice to America.

I don’t care about being cool and woke, so allow me to say how I view this.

The problem with your problem is that it’s not a problem at all. There is no systemic racism in police departments across America. Most of the martyrs for your cause were criminals who were trying to kill police officers. That’s not racism; that’s self-defense. That’s totally justified. I’ve written about this before. About 75% of these men died because they were trying to kill a police officer. Don’t take that to mean that there is no racism anywhere nor discrimination. There are 312 million people in America. Naturally, some of them are racist. Some of those racists are police officers. But overwhelmingly, it’s not an issue. What is an issue is the cycles of poverty and fatherless homes that lead some black teens into crime. Also, the issue is morons that feed the lies to children that there can be no racial harmony and police forces are discriminatory. In terms of racist police: you all are kneeling for a lie.

Furthermore, you millionaire idiots, we all have problems with America. Government is not perfect. Society is not perfect. If you’re waiting for that, you’re going to be kneeling for the rest of your lives. I’ve been on seven mission trips around the United States exposing the harsh reality of what abortion is to a complacent society. You think that hasn’t led to frustration? You don’t think me watching Jackson, Mississippi police watch people steal our property while doing nothing about it didn’t breed cynicism? Or when a friend was assaulted? Or when a business owner went chest-to-chest with me in Columbus? Or when I was featured on the blog of an abortion mill in Columbus (which was actually amusing, I thought). There have been 56 million humans murdered since 1973 in this country. Of course there are things wrong with America.

I think allowing gay marriage is not good for society, yet the Supreme Court legislated from the bench again and forced every state to accept it. I think the trend to accept transgenderism is ridiculous. Conservatives were targeted by the IRS. Government wastes billions of dollars a year of taxpayer money.

My first presidential election in which I was eligible to vote featured Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump. If that doesn’t make one cynical, I don’t know what will.

And speaking of Donald Trump, yes, he’s a moron. Yes, he opines about things he shouldn’t opine about and puts his foot in his mouth. I voted third-party, so don’t blame me. But using the president, however foolish his statements are at times, as an excuse to disrespect the national anthem and the flag is like you going out and spitting in a homeless man’s face because I hurt your feelings with this post. The conclusion doesn’t reasonably follow the premise, not that I expect logic from people anymore.

All of those issues I mentioned matter to me. However misguided at times, I understand that racial issues matter to you. Even granting that your cause is legitimate, that’s still no reason to kneel for the anthem.

For one thing, you are on national television and have children watching your conduct, wanting to be like you. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

The national anthem isn’t played because we agree with everything that happens in our country. It is played because we are devoted to a country that enjoys liberty. That means you have the liberty to look like an idiot. But you are literally protesting the symbol of your liberty to protest.
Alejandro Villanueva, the lone Steelers player to appear for the anthem

We show respect for the anthem because it is representative of the 42 million Americans that have served in the military during wartime and the 1.2 million who have died. They were protecting your freedom to look like an idiot. It represents the police—those violent, racist police—who put themselves at risk every shift to protect Americans—including being security for idiots like you during games. It represents the opportunities afforded to people who come to this country. That’s why Alejandro Villanueva was the lone Steelers player to walk out and stand with his hand on his heart. He’s a first-generation immigrant who served as an Army Ranger. He knows what opportunities are in America, and he knows what it is to sacrifice for America.

We all have things we don’t like about America. But we have the liberty to say that. We have the liberty to choose our leaders, even if we don’t always do a great job of it. We have people who fight for our liberty and serve for our protection. We live in the Land of Opportunity. And we can be united as Americans behind symbols of being Americans. Speak up about these issues if you want. Whine about the president. Say what you want. But kneeling for the national anthem, or raising a fist, or not showing up, or whatever attention-grabbing ploy you want to do, is disrespectful to those that have sacrificed and to the freedoms we enjoy. And you look like an idiot when you do it.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Ten Things Christians Should Be Talking About, But Aren't, Part II

We continue with the second half of Ten Things Christians Should Be Talking About, But Aren't. Read the first half here.

6.      Context of Scripture
Knowledge of the Bible can actually be counterproductive if it is not accurate. Parts of the Bible can be easy to misinterpret—and many churches teach their own interpretations apart from what God says.
Where Christians, both true Christians and those who claim to be, fall short is in looking into what a passage truly says. This involves looking at the passage as a whole, not just reading one verse and deciding its meaning. (And, in the case of some religions/denominations, building their entire faith around that.) It means looking at the historical context—who it was written to, why it was written, and who the author is. Commonly, James’ teachings are interpreted to be teaching a works or partial-works salvation, while ignoring that His audience was professing Christians. It involves cross-referencing by comparing scripture with scripture. James says faith alone won’t save us (speaking of a professed faith), but comparing that to the words of Paul, Jesus, Peter and others tells us that it is faith alone that saves—hence, James must be referring to something different.
The born-again love to quote Jeremiah 29:11 as if it was God just throwing it out there for us to be encouraged by. In reality, the verse comes in the midst of a letter telling Israel their captivity will last seventy years, in contrast to a false prophet claiming it would be two years. Christians look at the verse like Hannaniah, the false prophet. “God is going to work in my plan to bring me what I want to do and be. And it’ll be soon.” Completely wrong. As the following verses tell us, God will move when the people become right with Him, and He most definitely has a plan for them. But that is HIS plan and it will happen when and how HE wants it done.
When we ignore what a passage is referencing, we are in danger of at least misleading Christians, if not leading others and even ourselves to damnation. Context is crucial, and cannot be ignored by God’s people.

7.      Old Testament (especially the Law)
There are various excuses Christians give as to why they ignore the Old Testament. Some believe it is no longer relevant. Some believe it’s not useful for the church age. Some even believe it is all made up, just a long story with symbolism. None of these are true.

From the beginning, yes, even a literal six-day creation, the Old Testament teaches us the history of God’s people through whom came Jesus Christ. The New Testament is very clear on its relevance.
"For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope." –Romans 15:4
The Old Testament is there to teach us. What did the people do right? Imitate it. What did they do wrong? Stay away from it. How did God behave? He still behaves that way now (I realize I pushed wrath, but God was quite merciful to Israel).
It goes beyond that. There are around 2500 prophecies in the Bible, the vast majority being in the Old Testament. The Old Testament gives the Bible validity, as 2000 of those prophecies were fulfilled, centuries after being prophesied. There are hundreds of quotes of the Old Testament in the New Testament—a number of which were said by Jesus Himself. If Jesus and the New Testament writers found the Old Testament important, we should too.
The Old Testament law seems to be particularly ignored. “We’re not under the law.” True, Christians aren’t, but the lost are.
"Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man…But now we are delivered from the law…" –Romans 7:1-3, 6a
Until we are dead with Christ in salvation, we remain under the law.
"Moreover by [the law] is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward." –Psalm 19:11
The law warns us by telling us what is acceptable and what is sin. Without the warning from our “schoolmaster” (Galatians 3:24), there would be nothing to show us our sin and the need for One who can expunge them.
"Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin." –Romans 3:20
The law shows us that we are sinful. Because no one can follow the law, it shows us that we need One who can.
“But Jesus destroyed the law.” Show me that in the Bible. You can’t. It’s not there. You will find the literal opposite:
"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled." –Matthew 5:17-18
Jesus is a fulfillment of the law, and is the only One who could be.
The law also points to Christ. Particularly-picked-upon Leviticus explains five sacrifices, each a symbol of a different way in which Christ was the ultimate sacrifice. It also tells us how we must sacrifice ourselves.
Don’t miss the importance of the Old Testament, nor the law. They are in scripture and they serve a purpose. Study it, learn it, and speak about it.

8.      Sin Nature
Ask many Christians if they are good people, and they might just tell you “yes”. Such a thought, though seemingly harmless, strikes at the heart of one of the world’s greatest problems. We underestimate just how evil humans can be. I would say a majority of America, Christians included, would probably say something like, “I think people are generally good. I believe most people try to do good things, only occasionally mess up.” Society believes, wrongly, that evil actions are isolated instead of out of an evil nature.
God has something very different to say. The Bible plainly tells us that people are inherently bad. Sure, we are capable of good things, even outside of Christianity, because our God-given consciences tell us general right and wrong. But when it comes to humans as a whole—well, we are an evil lot.
"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned…"Romans 5:12
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God…" –Romans 3:23
The Bible tells us that we are all sinners and, therefore, do not meet God’s standards for righteousness.
But just how bad is our sinful condition?
"As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes. Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God." –Romans 3:10-19
Pretty bad? Not just Romans speaks of this:
"But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities."Isaiah 64:6-7
God has his Himself, ready to consume us because of our sin. And “our righteousnesses”—the very best we can offer—is like filthy rags to God. The Hebrew words for “filthy rags” has the connotation of menstrual rags. Yes, that is what our very best we offer is to God.
And I think most Christians realize this. They are familiar with at least some of these verses. But when it comes to practicing this belief, they don’t do their job. When (and if) we are witnessing, we would say we’re all sinful, and in being sinful need a Savior. But for some reason, the idea of having a sin nature and being a bad person don’t equate. What we need to do is live this out constantly in our speech. No, we are not good people, not before salvation, and not after. In fact, we are quite evil in our thoughts, and, following, in our actions. What separates Christians is an “alien righteousness”, as Wretched host Todd Friel calls it. Christ took our sin upon Himself and robed us in His righteousness. When God sees us, He sees His perfect Son, not our sin. This is what Christ came to offer us—His righteousness, and not our own. Because our own would never do. Or, as the timeless saying goes, “Jesus didn’t come to make bad people good. He came to make dead people alive.”

9.      God’s Chastisement
I don’t mean to beat a dead horse, but this is such an issue with Christianity today I feel it is necessary. “Ain’t no need to beat a dead horse; don’t hurt none either.” We are sometimes guilty of overlooking God’s holiness and justice as we look at His love. We are so familiar with God’s promises to us that we forget we have commandments to uphold:
"Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed." Hebrews 12:4-13
That lays it out better than I could. There is a price for sin. Period. Now the price for sin is brought upon the lost with God’s wrath, but on the saved by His love. When does a parent discipline their child? Hopefully, when the child has done wrong. And that punishment will eventually teach the child to stop doing what is wrong. In the same way, God works with His children. When we fail Him, He punishes us, not out of anger, but out of love, so that we don’t continue to stain and harm ourselves with sin.
"He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God…For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul." –Hebrews 10:28-31, 37-39
Those that willfully broke Moses’ law were put to death. But when we sin we trample on the very blood of Jesus that saved us by counting it useless to deliver us from sin. Jesus is coming, and we are not to draw back and become counterproductive for God’s cause and glory, but are to believe and serve Him.
Chastening is not a bad thing, it is a necessary thing. We stress God’s forgiveness for our sin, and He is so long-suffering with us, even those that are backslidden. But know that there is also a price for sin. There is chastisement on Earth, and God will call all of our actions into judgment in the end.

10.      Hot-Button Issues
Christians often refuse to get involved with—yea, hardly acknowledge—the most polarizing issues in our country. They don’t want to be involved in politics. They don’t want to offend anyone. They may even have believed the liberal garbage that “the church has no place to take a stand in ‘political’ issues.” Jesus, who Himself was a hot-button issue, would have a different stance.
I don’t believe the church should jump straight into the middle of politics. I believe that the members of the church should hold informed views, and believe, as Thomas Jefferson and the founding fathers truly intended it, that the nowhere-in-the-Constitution “separation of church and state” is to keep the state out of the church, not the church out of the state. Don’t be scared out of taking a stand.
And there are some issues that Christians need to take a stand on. Many of these issues would not be political except for the Left’s rewriting of laws, which then helps them claim that “churches shouldn’t hold an opinion.” But for anyone that cares about the direction of our country, whether revival or a train wreck is the goal, we should care about hot-button issues. And church membership should not and must not prevent that—nor should biblical beliefs be compromised on the basis of keeping the church from influencing the government (which was never the intention). Oddly enough, many liberals too are members of churches, but fellow Leftists have no problem having their influence in government.
But before I the soapbox gets going down the hill, I will address why Christians should talk about the issues.
“News flash, American church: Jesus is against baby-killing.” Mark Harrington, Executive Director of Created Equal, has been an inspiring influence in my life, and speaks as to why abortion is not just an issue, but a gospel issue. First, a pro-life view stands in contrast to dangerous worldviews that tell us human life is invaluable, if not directly, then by the obvious results. One part of the secular worldview is Evolution, which summarized, states that humans are just the most advanced animal and our creation was an accident—which consequently gives no value to human life. But God created us in His image, standing out from all other creation. Hence, as He values us, so should we value human life.
A suction and curettage abortion at 9 weeks

Being pro-life is also a gospel issue, Harrington says, because it gives the church legitimacy. Who takes seriously the German church in the 1930s and ‘40s while they turned a blind eye to Nazi practices? Or the Argentine churches in the 1970s while the Dirty War claimed thousands of lives? In the same manner, who will take America’s churches seriously if they don’t stand up for the group who can’t stand up for themselves?
We know the biblical truth. We are commanded not to murder.
"But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God." –Luke 18:16
The Bible speaks of John the Baptist by saying Elizabeth conceived a son (Luke 1:36) and bare a son (Luke 1:57). He was her son from the beginning. What’s more, the baby leapt in her womb when he was near Jesus in Mary’s womb (Luke 1:44, 47). Job 3:16 uses this terminology to describe the preborn: "Or as an hidden untimely birth I had not been; as infants which never saw light."
I could go on, but this point isn’t solely about abortion. Anyone informed and with an unseared conscience would be against this barbarism. When we know there is something so wrong in our nation, we have to speak up. We must be willing to get involved, because God cares. Don’t let liberals make this political; this is a case of basic moral truth.
Unfortunately, as much as abortion has been an issue is now gay marriage. This seems to catch even more Christians in a trap, as people who don’t even believe the Bible use Jesus’ command to “judge not” on them. As if somehow sharing God’s truth is casting judgment on someone. We don’t need to judge: God already is. But the recent push by the Pride Police to take away churches’ exempt status if they weigh in on a biblical commandment has some people, including pastors, scared. Even worse, there are self-proclaimed Christians who are actually condoning gay marriage, either feeling the alternative would be judging or, even more baseless, that the Bible too condones it.
"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet."Romans 1:18-27
"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God."I Corinthians 6:9-10
"And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." –Genesis 2:22-24
"And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." –Matthew 19:4-6
Not a very good view of homosexuality from God, is it? No, nowhere does the Bible condone homosexuality. And for greater clarification, none of these verses are in the Old Testament law. Furthermore, God designed marriage between a man and a woman before the law, and Jesus, who “never talked about homosexuality”, reinforces that. Who needs to call out homosexuality when the true design is so clear?
Homosexuality should not be the issue for Christians, because many of us are guilty of sexual sins as well, and all are guilty of sin. But it should be an issue. Realize what else the Bible says in Romans chapter one:
"Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them." –Romans 1:32
Not only are those guilty of the sin worthy of death, but those who find it fine are as well. If we aren’t willing to call out sin (and all of it is repulsive before God), we condone it. We cannot allow, without a fight, our country to go the way of destruction by destroying what God has designed and ordained. We have to be willing to stand in opposition to what is popular, even if liberal “tolerance” is, ironically, shoved down our throats. God commands this instead:
"And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light." –Ephesians 5:11-14
We are not to condone, not even to ignore, but to expose. And if it was spoken of in scripture, it should be spoken of by us. These issues are far from the only prevalent issues we should be speaking about, but abortion and sexuality are at the forefront, as these are often what Progressives leverage in societal change. Striking at the heart of the biblical family strikes at the heart of society. Societal change and values begin in the home.

There is a great danger in Christianity today in that we are unwilling to address issues we believe are difficult, or will not be well-received by the world. Look at Jesus. He wasn’t exactly the most popular teacher. In fact, they killed Him for what He taught. But He spoke what was necessary, and the Bible speaks what is necessary. We just have to have the boldness to do so and the lives to back it up. Only then can we truly be effective for God, instead of worrying whose toes we might step on.
The world is full of people that need to be offended with the truth God has given us. Will we cower in fear, or share it? I have heard the saying that if Jesus were walking the Earth today, He wouldn’t recognize the things He said. I find that painfully true. Jesus didn’t cut corners or back down: why do we? Rightly divide the word of truth (II Timothy 2:15), and be sharing it, whether it is easy and fun or not.