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But Dad, Donald Trump Owned Strip Clubs…

Never have I felt such a paradoxical tension between confidence and reservation. I am supporting Donald Trump in the general election for reasons that really excite me. But I also hold reservations. I also know that someday when my children are reading the history books they’ll read of Donald Trump, his background, and his campaign for presidency. They’ll see how the books will portray him, negatively without any charity towards the good in Mr. Trump.

Thus the conversation is inevitable as to why I, their father who will do everything to raise them grounded in Holy Scripture, voted for Donald Trump.

I get it. While I think he’ll make a fine president, Trump’s social history hasn’t been completely in line with evangelical culture, or Protestant or Catholic for that matter. He has owned, and from what I understand still owns, casinos with strip clubs inside of them. He’s said terrible things to women (and men). He was a bully during his campaign for the GOP nomination. He said he doesn’t see the need to ask forgiveness from God for sin.

So what am I going to say to my children when they ask me how I could vote for Mr. Trump?

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My Kids Will Never Perform Flag-Burning

This morning I woke up to more flag-burning reports, particularly regarding the burnings outside the Cleveland-based Republican National Convention. After being disgusted by a few of these articles, I decided to blog about it today. A few minutes later I was scrolling through Facebook and noticed in my “Facebook memories” archives that one year ago today I posted the following:

I won’t raise my kids to think they have to salute the American flag. I will raise them in a way that they will have no desire to do otherwise. ‪#‎respect

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An Open Letter to Pro-Choice Christians

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! –Isaiah 5:20 ESV


I cannot assume a posture of silence with such a grievous burden upon my heart, my soul. I write this piece cognizant of the contention to follow and thus have intentionally sought my Creator’s heart before publishing it. If you choose to continue reading, please be kind, please be charitable. Read to discover, not to disagree.

For you Christians who identify as pro-choice, how dare you. How dare you bear the name of God while aligning with an agenda that slaughters thousands of His image-bearers ever day. Church, you are the Bride of Christ. If ever a dose of fierce, exhortative accountability were to be rendered towards the rebellious minority among you, that time is now. Read more

One Thing Christians Missed With Trump

It’s fascinating how stealthily our personal agendas can blind us from biblical truth. The pursuit of fleshly glory saturates us with pride causing us to overlook sin that we would otherwise find troubling. That which should be antagonistic to a Christian instead becomes camouflage and thus we ironically become adversarial to the very faith that we claim allegiance.

In efforts to garner favor from evangelicals, many have completely lost site of Christ’s final command to His Church: the Great Commission.

I don’t imagine Donald Trump reminiscing on his campaign thinking, “Christians sure imitated Jesus in the way they treated me.” Instead we see deceitful rhetoric from Christian authors like Samuel Smith of the Christian Post who quoted Trump at his NYC meeting with evangelicals:

“Trump tells Evangelical leaders to disobey Bible: Don’t pray for all leaders,”

when in actuality Trump said,

“You can pray for your leaders, and I agree with that, pray for everyone…”

Smith, that’s called lying.

Fortunately, not all Christians have taken this pharisaic approach. Read more

I Understand Self-Defense, But Is The AR-15 Really Necessary?

Quick note: For the sake of argument, and to be fair, when I say AR-15 I include variant firearms within its class. So basically any semi-automatic rifle capable of firing the same ammunition as the AR-15 at the same rate and with the same magazine capacity.

To answer the question at hand we’ll need to do a little unpacking. First, it should be noted that despite media rhetoric the AR-15 is not an assault rifle, but we’ll unpack that more later since it’s not quite as pertinent right now. Those who contest the AR-15 are much more concerned about its powerful tactical capabilities than they are concerned about its categorization of assault rifle.

So, considering its proven tactical characteristics, is the AR-15 really necessary?

Well, why do we have an amendment for our right to bear arms at all?

To hunt? No.

Sport? No.

Self-Defense? Right on target! (pun most definitely intended)

But the question we’re tackling doesn’t challenge our right to bear arms for defense, but whether we need an AR-15 to do so instead of a less sophisticated firearm such as a handgun, non-tactical rifle, or shotgun. So while we’ve affirmed our right to defend ourselves with firepower, the question still stands as to whether an AR-15 is necessary.

Yes, I argue it is.

Why?

Because defense should always meet or exceed the capacity of its offense. Read more

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The Coexisting Message of Love and Hell

My friend Phylicia tagged me on Facebook while I was in the TSA line at the airport. As if my anxiety wasn’t high enough, being that I seem to always get cavity searched by security, I knew not to take her tags lightly. The tag brought me to a post where a person said this about the Christian Church:

“Can’t preach that gay people are going to Hell then tweet your prayers are going out to those in Orlando. Love is not a light switch.”

I get it. It sounds odd to suggest that someone will be spending their afterlife in eternal suffering while also telling them that you care for them. Such conflicting messages may even appear dehumanizing or at best condescending. Again, I get it.

But here’s the thing…

Truth is not defined by its subjects. The inspired Word of God is His authority to the world.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life.” –Romans 6:23

To call a Christian “hateful” for explaining that someone is on the path to Hell is quite convoluted. The reason that a Christian would say that someone is going to Hell is because they want to see them turn from sin (death) and surrender their life to Jesus (eternal life). Hateful? According to devout atheist, Penn Jillette, it would be hateful to say otherwise:

how much do you have to hate somebody to believe everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?” Read more

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You’re Still A Good, Good Father

This morning we woke up to trending articles on the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida. Headlines progressed from “multiple injuries” to “20 dead” to “50 dead.” My heart felt for the Orlando community and the reality of evil in the world.

A couple hours later I found myself in church singing worship songs praising God for His goodness and acknowledging His sovereignty. We sang You’re a Good, Good Father; Emmanuel, which means “God with us,” Messiah; which essentially means “savior,” and a bridge that sang, “all our hope is in you! The light of the world!” I was distracted– very distracted.

I kept having a circulating thought of how easy it was for me to worship God when my clothes weren’t stained by the blood of my best friend.

I kept hearing the voices of the wounded screaming, “what about us!?” Read more

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An Open Letter to Trey Pearson

Trey Pearson,

You probably won’t read this. Even if it reaches you, you’ll probably ignore it…and I can’t say that I blame you. You were courageous to be so transparent about your homosexual inclinations, especially considering how long you’ve held it in and how much of a heterosexual lifestyle you’ve practiced. You probably assume that this letter is going to affirm your new lifestyle as sinful, even if this message is laced in love.

If that’s what you’re assuming, you’re exactly right.

Yes, I hate your sin. But I hate it for the same reason I hate my own sin and that is because I know what sin does to us and to our relationship with the Father. My hate for your sin is the evidence of my love for you. Read more

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When Voting For the Lesser Evil Becomes A Greater Responsibility

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” –Edmund Burke

The Indiana Primary rendered us two realistic options for the general election; Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton. This is perhaps the greatest tension we’ve seen in recent political history.

#nevertrump
Since Indiana many conservatives are claiming to “leave” the Republican party and are using #nevertrump to drive the point home. In short, a multitude of conservatives are planning to abstain from supporting the GOP nominee. 

This is a huge problem. HUGE.

Through this blog I hope my fellow conservatives consider the horrific ramifications of choosing not to vote for Trump.

Conservatives have a primary responsibility to get a solid GOP candidate in the oval office and a secondary responsibility to keep Hilary out. Whether you like Trump isn’t the issue at this point, keeping Hilary out is.

Lesser Evil
Now you’re faced with a few options:

Option 1: Vote for the lesser evil
Option 2: Don’t vote at all (or vote third party)
Option 3: Vote for the greater evil Read more

To The Graduating Senior Who Has No Clue What’s Next

What am I going to do after graduating?

Where am I going to go?

Sallie Mae will be calling me in December, what am I going to tell her? I mean, I know what I WANT to tell her but…

I spent the last four years working towards something that, at this point, is a daunting cloud of ambiguity.

I’ll begin by apologizing for our culture that is ever-so demanding of you to know EXACTLY what your plan is, which leads me into my first point.

1. It’s okay to not know your plan right now.
If we fall into the lie that we have to know what we want after graduating then we risk fooling ourselves into investing in a career that we realize down the line was not what we wanted at all. If you’re not tied down to a career right now, get out and see the world. Shoot for a job that pays well but is also something you won’t go crazy in. It’s okay not to know right now.

2. Be happy for the friend’s who do know.
Some of your peers have cookie-cutter plans after graduating that have already begun to bloom. Some of them will continue in their plans until retirement while others will become disenchanted soon after they hit the real world and move onto something else. Either way, be happy for them.

Jealousy robs us of our joy by fostering anger that isn’t even due our victim. Celebrate with them– your time is coming, too.

3. You’re not limited to your major.
There are many careers out there that require a degree regardless of the major. So if you have a degree that is reputable for “pigeon-holing” your options, there is hope. 

4. It’s OK to change your mind.
“I’m an adult with a degree. If I don’t have an absolute plan then I’m irresponsible…”

Please. 

Don’t allow culture to mandate your decision. This is YOUR career and YOUR life. If people see you as “fickle” or “indecisive” simply remind yourself that in 20 years you’ll be well invested in a career that you wanted, even if it took you an extra year or so to find it. If you have a degree in biology but end up wanting to do graphic design, take some classes here or there, fall in love with YouTube tutorials (there’s a ton of good ones) and create a portfolio. Feel stuff out.

5. Start a Roth IRA.
Whether you’re in your dream job or not, money is money and it will grow in an investment fund. If it takes you 5 years to find a job in the field of your interest then that can be 5 years of money gradually distributed into a fund that will multiply later. “I’ll start investing when I get a real job” is a poor decision because that 5 years can have a significant impact on your monthly return when you’re 65. Make the most of your time now.

6. Don’t fall into a pyramid-scheme job.
“Care to make some extra money?” That’s a typical catch phrase for pyramid scheme or quasi-pyramid scheme recruiters. To be fair, some of them are legitimate. But to be fair, most of them are not. If they have to say “we’re not a pyramid scheme,” chances are they are. If they’re desperately trying to shove a high-paying position down your throat regardless of your experience…yea, that means it’s probably not what they’re making it out to be. If it were that good, everyone would be doing it. And if they tell you they require a college degree, they probably don’t. They just know that you have one and that it makes the position sound more legit.

-JWR
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If you enjoyed this piece, you may enjoy the following:

5 Things Christian Millennials MUST STOP Doing

17 Things All Students Should Know Before Starting College

About the Author
Hi, my name is John and I love coffee. As I write this I’m sitting in a local brewery sipping a “mudslide” espresso with cream and two and a half sugars. There are few things in life that I feel merit precise orchestration with no room for error, coffee is one of them. My life belongs to Jesus. I am his son and he is my King. His work in my life is reason enough for my faith to be made complete. He lived to die for me so that I may be credited righteous thus I will live for him. I don’t hold any radical theological views, other than I serve a radical God. I affirm scriptural inerrancy, infallibility and the Bible as God’s final authority in text. See full bio here