John Wesley Reid

COVERED IN GRACE, ADOPTED IN ROYALTY

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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You’re Still Worth It

It’s easy to feel insecure. We have desires go unsatisfied, expectations that fall short and needs that go unmet. We have mistakes go unfixed and poor decisions that carry a devastating burden of guilt. These issues cause us to feel inadequate. They cause us to feel like failures. Sometimes we may feel like we’re not worth it to be used by God.

But He who speaks with highest authority said otherwise when he put himself on the Cross.

I won’t pretend that this is an easy issue to tackle nor will I pretend that I don’t relate. I daily battle feelings of inadequacy. 

Am I being genuine in my ministry?

Am I being effective? 

I sinned that one time, does that mean I’m hypocritical?

But then I remember the sweet sin-penetrating words of my loving Saviour, “Nor do I condemn you.” 

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Should A Pro-Life University Prohibit Graphic Images of Abortions?

Should a pro-life institute prohibit graphic post-procedure abortion images?

Is this prohibition a breach in the students’ freedom of speech?

Why would a pro-life campus even need this shock effect treatment?

Pro-life clubs will often utilize enlarged images of post-procedure fetuses as a shock effect means of awareness. These images are disturbing regardless of the viewer’s particular platform. Can that be a good thing? I say yes. But does that mean it is always necessary? I say no. (Who asked for your opinion, John? Well, you did…when you clicked on this blog lol) The question becomes more complex however when the school is both a private institute and unapologetically pro-life. Private institutes reserve the right to implement statutes against these displays. 

But why would a pro-life institute prohibit a pro-life tactic?

The reason that many Christian institutes will prohibit these displays is because the images have a way of creating a hostile and/or emotionally disruptive atmosphere which may carry adverse implications into the classroom and thus the students’ academic performance may be compromised.

There is a time and a place for heart-penetrating facts, images and all around delivery on the topic of abortion. To say otherwise is to undermine the reality of this subtle genocide.

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The Bible Doesn’t Ban Alcohol, Why Does My Christian School?

You know what’s a bigger issue than the school v. alcohol discussion? The fact that the school v. alcohol discussion isn’t properly executed. That is, whenever the conversation surfaces it’s generally isolated to Facebook banter or a slew of complaints coupled with no form of effective dialogue. The discussion should be intelligent but it should also include voices from outside of the student body. The administrations need to be intentional about mingling and dialoguing with the students instead of merely striking the pen. After all,  if rules only teach the letter of the law and not the spirit behind it then we’re not teaching our students wisdom, which is ultimately setting them up for failure.  

This blog entry is going to examine the why behind the what regarding the implementation of these policies. 

First off, we all acknowledge that the consumption of alcohol is not a sin. 

  • The Bible doesn’t prohibit the consumption of alcohol.
  • Jesus’ first miracle was turning water into wine (the word there is oinos, the same word used when Paul said not to get drunk off of wine, so clearly we know Jesus made alcoholic wine – not grape juice.)
  • Some of the greatest theologians and Church leaders regularly indulged in a rich brew as an element of bonding and celebration.
  • Many of these leaders’ literary works are required texts for Christian universities today – the same universities that prohibit alcoholic consumption.

So why should a university that teaches the Bible prohibit an activity that the Bible does not prohibit?

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Giving Up Is Failure, Surrendering Is Victorious

A few days ago I had an old Marine friend ask me a question. It is a typical question that merits a daunting answer. It is a question that almost holds cliché status within the Christian community but is too often met with an impractical answer. It is a question that is entirely foundational to any of our theology, doctrinal practice or evangelism. For without a proper understanding of this question our Christian practicalities are curtailed.

What does it mean to surrender to God?

It’s imperative that you understand something about this Marine, now a police officer. He was the poster board Marine; huge, combat vet, aggressive, arrogant and ingested more protein in a day than most do in a week. Throughout his time in the Marine Corps he fell away from the Lord and admittedly identified as an atheist. Thankfully he returned to his faith and has been intentionally figuring out what it means to be a faithful Christian, a godly husband and a godly father. But he’s still a meathead and so when he asked me the aforementioned I was initially disinclined to answer because I knew it meant showing a humility that knows no comparison…quite the contrast to his old personality.

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Phil Robertson: Champion of Truth, Victim of Media

Once again the media, as well as many Christians, have taken Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson and stripped his comments of any form of context, making him out to be the bad guy. This trend is not new. The liberal, and extremely biased, media will do whatever they can to attack advocates for Christianity. I give credit to Satan. The enemy will facilitate whatever means he can to hurt the expansion of the gospel. Thanks to [persevering] believers like Phil, who wasn’t always on the straight and narrow, the enemy will not claim the victor in his life. 

In an interview with Fox News Host, Sean Hannity, Phil expressed his opinion on ISIS:

“In this case you either have to convert them, which I think would be next to impossible. I’m not giving up on them, but I’m just saying, either convert them or kill them. One or the other… I’d much rather have a Bible study with all of them and show them the error of their ways and point them to Jesus Christ, the Author and Perfector of having your sins removed and being raised from the dead. I would rather preach the gospel of Jesus to them. However, if it’s a gun fight and a gun fight alone, if that is what they’re looking for, me, personally I am prepared for either one.” 

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Mark Driscoll: Grace Is Sufficient For Him, Too

The brutality with which the Church is responding to Mark Driscoll is far more damaging to the gospel message than anything he ever did. 

Dear Church, please remember your identity as the Bride of Christ, and then please, I implore you, STOP tearing down Mark Driscoll! Not only are you behaving in the same manner you’re accusing Driscoll of, but you’re also presenting a completely distorted delivery of the Gospel.

The cross holds an unrestrictive jurisdiction. Our sin alone towards God is an offense that cannot be matched. But in God’s grace and love for his children he has provided the cross to cover our sin…ALL of it. To say that Driscoll’s sin is greater than anyone else’s or that it deserves public slander from both media and Christians alike…is really to say that the cross fell short and that grace is only so sufficient. And THAT is a theological foundation for a complete mess. 

Consider the following points in respect to how the Church has responded to Pastor Mark and remember them the next time you want to post a comment or article about him.

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