John Wesley Reid

COVERED IN GRACE, ADOPTED IN ROYALTY

Yik Yak And the Cancer Of Anonymity

Yik Yak and similar media conduits are destroying society’s communal infrastructure. In a matter of seconds one can anonymously degrade an individual, class or race all within the security of anonymity regardless of the damages caused. 

yakFirst off, what is Yik Yak?
Yik Yak is a social media app designed for users to post anonymous comments. Before posting, however, the users will choose an audience where their commentary will be viewed (i.e. their college). Viewers with the same audience will be able to view the comments and vote in favor of or opposed to by clicking the up or down arrows. While commentary can be about any opinion, the posts are notoriously defamatory. 

Seconds
We’re a lazy generation. Not all of us, but many. Could this be an implication of modern technology? Instant gratification in the name of convenience, haste in the name of efficiency, and frozen burritos in the name of gourmet? I love frozen burritos by the way. 

But think about it. How awesome would it be if we actually took time and intentionally pursued each other in actual community? I mean call me idealistic but what a concept to actually pursue sitting down with someone one-on-one to purposely engage in their lives.

Oh, and by that I mean you’re focused on them. That means leaving your phone in your pocket.

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Jesus Did, But Should We?

“Dude, don’t judge me on getting wasted, you hypocrite, Jesus drank!” 

What better standard to align your life with than that of Jesus Christ, right? 

But does this mean we utilize his rhetorical arsenal to tell people off, flip tables when we’re mad and consume copious amounts of alcohol because he made some wine?

Negative. 

We are called to reflect the life of Christ. Some things we reflect literally such as loving others, interceding on behalf of humanity and sharing the message of the gospel while others are metaphorical such as picking up our crosses, laying ourselves down as a sacrifice and turning the other cheek. But then there are those Jesus-isms that people will take out of context to fulfill their own desires – desires that may be like Christ but not exactly Christlike.

Huh? 

Meaning just because we say something that Christ said or do something that he did does not mean we’re saying or doing it in a manner that reflects his intent. 

Consider the following: Continue reading

Dear Sexy Nurse, Remember Your Value This Halloween

*I acknowledge that men are responsible for modesty just as much as women. The fact that I’m not addressing it in this article is simply because there are other arguments for men and I chose to talk about women in this one.*

It happens every year. 

Photos stream across my newsfeed of girls dressed as “sexy” teachers, nurses or bumblebees. Some of these girls have a tendency to dress promiscuously throughout the year but for many of them this scandalous theme is a rarity. 

It’s no wonder the following phrase circulates around this time of year,

“Halloween, the one day a year girls can dress as a *explicit variable* and get away with it.” 

But, ladies, you’re not getting away with it. People will see you dressing promiscuously and they will associate you as such.

Guys can sense past neglect and abuse and will take advantage of your vulnerability. Misogyny thrives when partnered with vulnerability…guys know this and will jump to the occasion. I hate this truth. I hate it so much. I wish it were a legal crime to prey on the emotionally degraded.

So this one’s for you sexy nurse. 

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Finding Peace in the Change

Liberty University, 

There’s an elephant on our campus, and for once that doesn’t mean a Republican speaker. The not-so-subtle tension that has been swirling around campus this semester has peaked this last week over the news of Worship Pastor Justin Kintzel’s resignation. Justin and his wife Ashley announced their heart breaking resignation over social media on Monday, after a peculiar performance by our campus band minus the Kintzels.

 kintzelsOver the last year or so LU has seen some very significant changes in leadership – such changes that have caused great disrupt among the student body. In the last year LU has seen Elmer Towns, Johnnie Moore and now Justin Kintzel resign. In addition, Campus Pastor Clayton King will have a significantly reduced appearance at Campus Church. 

Change happens. We get it.

However it’s when change is so sudden and unexpected that it causes eyebrows to raise. This sudden aspect has been consistent with each of these leadership changes. It does raise suspicion as to why exactly these changes took place and thus it is easy to speculate. 

What was the real reason for their departure?

Who was the real source of their resignation?

What exactly did they mean when that one person said that one thing?

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When We Disagree With Convo Speakers

Every time a convo guest speaks students take to social media with their take on the message. Most students enjoy the speakers and will praise them through Twitter or Facebook. But then there is the crowd who insistently tears the speaker apart through a pseudo exegetical analysis that is generally more emotionally driven then theologically based. That is sad. Disagreeing is fine, but our delivery of this opposition should always be done in a manner reflecting Christ. 

When your defense of theology conflicts with the heart of the very theo we’re logy-ing then your defense loses credibility. If you don’t have the love part down (the basics) then why should your word be trusted with the deep stuff?

If someone finds a convo message to be wayward from scripture then they should be able to dialogue about it. However, there are some methods of which this dialogue can go from discussion to ruthless disparagement. As soon as that happens the respect is gradually lost for the argument – even if it’s an argument that most would agree with. 

Consider the following ways not to disagree with a convo speaker (these will be followed by ways to disagree).  Continue reading

Why Men Should(n’t) Hold The Door For Women

Seems like this discussion never dies.

Should men hold the door for girls?

Why should guys hold the doors for girls and not visa versa?

Should a guy dare walk through a door that a girl has so ambitiously held for him?

Why is the weaker vessel issue still an accessory to either side of the argument!?

In this post I use holding the door as an example, but the big picture here is the heart of chivalry: service, admiration and respect. 

I understand the desire that men have to hold the door for their lady, but I also understand the concern that many women have with this often-times-not act of chivalry. Please don’t be hasty to assume my agenda. Believe me, I’m all about chivalry, but there are reasonable parameters to adhere to when practicing this lost art. 

Men, if you are indeed a man, then hold yourself accountable by asking yourself the following question before performing any type of chivalry: 

Am I doing it for her or am I doing it for me

Let’s address some reasons why men shouldn’t hold the door and then we’ll dive into some reasons why they should. 

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10 Myths About Christian College Students

Having done my undergraduate and graduate studies at two separate Christian colleges, I feel I can speak with some authority on this matter. It’s difficult to legitimately stereotype students at Christian college because if you’ve ever attended one, you will have noted the fierce diversity in social, cultural, and, well, romantic behavior. But alas, society still affirms some generalizations that, while I understand where they’re coming from, are sorely mistaken. So, allow me to clarify some of the heavy-hitter stereotypes of students at Christian colleges: 

football1) They don’t know how to have fun.
If you isolate “fun” to getting drunk and having sex, then perhaps the statement holds some validity. But how sad of a narrow-scope definition is that!? Students here enjoy recreation such as hiking, paint balling, sky-diving, snowboarding, actually having coherent discussions about life and progress in society, baking (only the women of course, but more on that later) and, for sure, sports. The school spirit at my school is pretty extreme; just check out one of our football games. 

2) Girls only enroll to find a Christian husband. 
“Oh hey girl, you studying to get your MRS degree?” While it is inarguably cliché for girls to seek out their future beloveds in Christian college, there are plenty of ladies who…wait for it…are actually here pursuing their education! Go figure, huh?! We actually have women who are less concerned about getting married to the first guy who makes them swoon, and more concerned about pursuing their careers while further developing their intellect and skills! Now, if we’re honest, we know that guys are guilty of the same agenda in some cases. I want a woman who will serve next to me in ministry, says the freshman pastoral major. Dude, freshie, you’re gonna change your major 6 times before your junior year anyway, so don’t be so quick to objectify your future spouse as vocational leverage. 

3) They’re all Republicans
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12 Tips For Effective Blogging

There is much to say about blogging; the good, the bad, and the beautiful. A good blog will be founded on passion and creativity. But these two foundational truths will fall short in their effectiveness if not delivered through an organized and critically thought out pattern. In this entry, we’ll explore some fun and easy methods of effective blogging. My hope is to inspire the reader who has wanted to start a blog for a while and needs that extra push, or who perhaps has been stagnant in his or her blogging and needs some sustainment.  

So, blogging.

As my long-term friend Adam Brandt once so eloquently said, 

“Blogs are like donuts: They’re grab-and-go, easy to process, and good for the soul.”

What I get from this quote, besides hunger, is that when referring to your blog you should be able to switch out blog with donut and still maintain validity. That was a good donut (that was a good blog), that donut was a great start to my day (that blog was a great start to my day), that was a nutty donut…well, anyway.

The following points will branch off of this delicious statement. 

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Men Are Stupid and Women Are Nags, Right?

Is anybody else tired of gender stereotypes? Me too. It’s one thing to make gender jokes, but eventually they get old and when what is supposed to be a professional delivery in a formal setting turns out to be a severe stereotyping of gender saturated in distasteful jokes…yea that really doesn’t sit well. The biggest issue I see here is that when professionals resort to this type of delivery it really strips away the hope for gender equality that our society is still battling for. They’re supposed to be the anchors in this discussion, the referees as well as the facilitators of truth and progression. That’s not what many of us saw on Wednesday morning, though. 

It’s problematic when professionals take a serious issue, make fun of it, and provide no solution for it. The issues that were made fun of yesterday morning are issues that break marriages. I understand the humor, but if it’s going to be made fun of, it should be coupled with guidance and solutions.

This blog is in response to a service held at Liberty University by Mark Gungor, pastor of Celebration Church in Wisconsin, esteemed author and traveling speaker. This is by no means a lashing out against Mark, but rather a critique of an issue that many have surfaced. Mark does great things for the Kingdom and has been positively instrumental in the lives of many. So please do not consider this an attack on him. 

I’m going to be addressing three stereotypes that Mark surfaced that I feel are contributing factors to the galactic divorce rate, abuse, and relational problems as a whole that we see in our society.

When we celebrate stereotype we surrender ourselves as hostages to the same traditions that have wrecked relationships for years. 

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7 Tips For Discussing Calvinism VS. Arminianism

So there we were, 2 a.m. in the hallway of Hart dormitory at Biola University. The blood pressures were high, voices were raised and what vernacular could be made out would tell any passerby that the notorious Calvinism vs. Arminianism discussion was ripe and hot! Okay, so it wasn’t that bad but definitely close.

This is likely the most frequented debate among sophomoric and astute theologians alike and this will probably always be the case. Some anti-intellectuals may chime in and say that Tip #1 for discussing Calvinism vs. Arminianism should read, “Don’t discuss Calvinism vs. Arminianism!” But as Christians whole heartedly seeking the heart of the Father I feel it is something we cannot avoid. That said, here are some tips to having this age-old discussion in a healthy and productive manner:

1) Avoid saying, “the Bible is clear.”
The greatest of Church leaders and theologians have been deliberating this case since the beginning of the early Church and all have acknowledged the biblical tension. It’s okay to admit the difficulty. Doing so show humility. Otherwise you’re being arrogant. If the Bible is indeed clear on this topic then the theological greats of old are actually fools and we should strip our seminaries of any and all of Luther, Spurgeon, Lewis, Wesley, Calvin, Obama, Arminias and Whitefield. Also, admitting the biblical quasi paradox here does not strip the Bible of any authority or inspiration. Humble admittance proves that you’re seeking an agenda for truth as opposed to merely wanting to be right. 

2) Avoid saying, “they’re both right.”
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