My friend’s mother likes my blog. She likes the topics I write on and how I do my best to point it all back to Jesus. I like when parents like my blog. It makes me feel smart or something. But she expressed her disappointment to her daughter when she found out that I consume alcohol- even though it’s within moderation. Is it because her mother is uber conservative? No, it’s because moderate drinking was not part of her husband’s lifestyle. I dug a little deeper with the daughter, Rebecca.
“We could come home from church with dad drunk listening to his oldies music. But then he came and gave his life to Christ when I was 10, but the past 3 years he has turned away from the church and drinks once again.” -Rebecca, 22
I was way convicted.
Not necessarily that I had done anything inherently wrong but rather that I was being irresponsible with my influence in social media. People from so many backgrounds, religions, social beliefs and painful experiences were going to see my page. Then I thought about it…someone who may be healing from a painful experience relating to alcohol may be encouraged by a post on my blog about pursuing holiness…but then they’re going to be linked to my Facebook and see me drinking. Am I drinking in moderation? Yea but a snap shot can’t tell them that. Regardless, alcoholism generally starts in moderation. This could surface some deep pain in their life.
I remember not being able to step foot into a bar for months after I saw a dear Christ-following friend excel down an irresponsible path of alcohol and partying. Just the smell of alcohol surfaced painful memories of when I tried to lead them back to Jesus. But that pain, though severe, is nothing in comparison to the experiences of many others. The more time I spend in ministry the more stories I hear about how alcohol has ruined families, hurt souls and broken relationships.
Total Frat Move published a thoroughly researched article declaring the LAMEST party school in each of the United States (see: Map Of The Lamest Party Schools In The Nation Will Make You Glad You Don’t Go There) Each State boasted the logo of what TFM deamed to be the lamest party school.
There she was in all of her glory. The State of Virginia. And there was that glorious football helmet topped with an eagle waving her flaming feathers. GO FLAMES! GO EAGLES!
If you know anything about Liberty University then it’s no surprise that we took the gold for this contest. But the last part of TFM’s article bothered me. “…that will make you glad you don’t go there.” Really? Because we’re not notorious for throwing keggers and “pissing on the grass while yelling obscenities at a rent-a-cop” we’re lame? Let me assure you, dear readers, that Liberty University, though Christian in faith and unapologetically conservative in political thought, is LESS THAN lame. Just look at our ever increasing numbers.
This topic was recommended by a friend of mine who has been very supportive and encouraging towards my blog. Oh, and she’s a she. Some people said I had no credibility to speak with because I lacked the physical features that are subtly integrated with this topic. Yes, boobs. With that terrible logic I don’t want to hear any ladies complain when a dude adjusts himself because, ladies, you don’t have the extremities that would merit you credible. All that aside, here’s my opinion on women breastfeeding in public.
Icebreaker time: Everyone say boob five times. Boob. Boob. Boob. Boob. Boob.
Why are people so weirded out when they see a woman breastfeeding in public? Is it because they know there’s a boob involved? Guess what, every time you talk to a woman there’s a boob involved. In fact most of the time there are two!
So why do we isolate public breastfeeding to such a nefarious act of women?
One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish…
If you’ve never read this literary masterpiece by the beloved Dr. Seuss you should check it out. In Seuss’ piece he describes, with childlike vernacular, a society of different people with different preferences and different reasons for those preferences. This issue couldn’t be more similar. Well, I suppose if we were fish it’d be more similar but I digress…
There is no subtle transition into my main content so I’ll just dive in (pun most definitely intended).
Dude types, admit it. When you’re scrolling through your Facebook newsfeed and you see a picture with a girl in a bikini there is a strong temptation to pretend your phone conveniently froze. And when you pass a picture with a girl in a one-piece there is a slight feeling of disappointment. I may be throwing my fellow men under the bus but where there is no transparency there is no growth. And with no growth we will continue to be stuck in this abrasive rut.
Soooo one-piece or two-piece John?
My first semester of college I was introduced to a biblical theory that masturbation was okay. I’ll admit it, a hint of me wanted this concept to be true. Okay maybe a lot of me did. But I never bought into it despite the manipulative vernacular. Even after those 2 a.m. dorm talks with intellectuals advocating the opposing argument I just couldn’t find peace with it. In this post I’ll talk about what the Bible say but I’ll further engage my own past and implications I feel come from this behavior.
What does the Bible say about it?
God desires purity for us and with this desires comes our responsibility to respond in holiness and obedience.
Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; -I Thessalonians 4:1-5, ESV
We must recognize that God is not a dictator whose instruction is random and of no consequence. His instructions are pure and of great consequence. It’s not a matter of “do as I say or you’re gonna pay.” Rather it’s God in his sovereignty knowing what’s best for us, identifying us as his beloved children and showing us his desire for a joyful and pure life.
I’m about to get transparent with this topic including my own personal past so if you choose to continue reading please extend grace, Jesus did.
There’s a common theme circulating the Christian blogosphere. The message communicates that purity rings are apparently a negative thing that cause students to focus on purity and not Jesus and thus cause students to fail. I find this train of thought fallacious on many accounts. Like many topics people will manipulate the definition of something in order to get a rouse out of people. Purity rings have fallen victim to this fallacious attack. So, I’m going to attempt to explain why purity rings are completely harmless and how any adverse implications regarding ones purity are a matter of the heart…not a ring.
Purity rings are not some magical piece of armor that will fend off the arrows of sexual immorality. But neither are wedding rings. A wedding ring does not solidify monogamy, purity or love in a marriage. On the contrary, wearing a wedding ring does not cause a couple to have an affair. A wedding ring is symbolic. It is a tradition, a reminder and a symbol of faithfulness to the one who holds your heart.
Do we stop wearing wedding rings because they make us focus on faithfulness and not our spouse? No, that’s stilly. Same logic applies to purity rings. I’m not saying we should all wear them. I’m saying that if we use the aforementioned reasoning to strip our purity rings then we should rethink our motives. Continue reading
“Guys! Guys!…We’re in Portland!” echoed continuously throughout our first day here. When we met up at the airport, stepped on our first train and ate at our first restaurant…the slogan was excitingly announced. Earlier in the Spring semester we all started to meet on Tuesday nights, most of us strangers to each other. But over the weeks through sharing our testimonies and being transparent we established a small, intimate and purpose-driven community.
And now, guys, we’re in Portland.
It’s funny to see it all come to fruition. Throughout the semester it was one of those things that we knew was coming but the reality didn’t start setting in till a week or so prior to arrival. Text messages starting coming in “Guys! We’re gonna be in Portland in 10 days!” Reality started checking in. When we all finally arrived at PDX the text messages were flowing in through a mobile app called GroupMe (a practical app that includes all members of a team in the same text conversation). Over the course of a couple hours team members started trickling into PDX. All were welcomed with big hugs and smiles. It was a privilege documenting this event and seeing it all happen through the lens of the photographer (pun most definitely intended). Continue reading
Sex talks are awkward. But why is this the case? It’s because people have taken this beautiful, enjoyable and purposeful activity and distorted it into a casual, immoral and weird thing to talk about.
So, let’s do an icebreaker. Everyone say “sex” five times. Done? Good.
Stop it. No more awkwardness. This gift from God is a beautiful and wonderful thing when performed within biblical parameters.
So now that you’re no longer squirming in your seats…let’s talk about sex!
How Far Is Too Far?
This question boasts a defensive approach to relationships- and that is dangerous. When we ask, “how far is too far” what we’re really asking is, “what can’t we do” when we should be asking “what can we do” in order to relish in the beauty that is a pure and divinely gifted relationship between us and our beloved. Your beloved is a gift from a loving Father; love them like Jesus, pursue purity out of obedience and investment, encourage them and challenge them to be holy as God is holy. Practice these things and purity will fall into place.
The notorious questions that so many ask but so many try to avoid answering. This question is prompted for a variety of reasons by a variety of people. If we’re honest most are asking because they want to know what they can get away with. Some are asking so they can schedule that not sex but still intense event for later in their relationship and some are curious as to what the Bible says about it.
But I feel it is reasonable to say that if a couple desires to walk in purity with each other while pursuing the Lord then this question will be avoided. Continue reading
Andrew Nobilini is a good friend of mine from Liberty University who shares the same passions and crazy ideas that I do. I was excited when Andrew agreed to guest blog for me. Andrew is a solid man of God and co-distributor of grace. Thanks for your contribution Andrew, keep doing what you’re doing!
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. – Proverbs 22:6
The church has done a fantastic job at teaching godliness to the youth. So good, in fact, that it seems as if parents have just completely surrendered that responsibility to the church. Almost all churches in America have some program or curriculum that focuses on the youth, whether that be Sunday school, AWANA or youth group.
The church has cultivated a society in which parents are free to drop off their kids with the expectation that the church will instill godliness into their child. It’s as if we are treating our relationship with God like a cold or flu…. hoping that our kids will just“catch” it.
Dave Barton, a well-known historian (full credentials here), estimates that 71-88% of Christian teenagers walk away form their faith once they enter college.
Let that sink in…
Parents, you are in charge of teaching your children godliness. Do not leave it up to the church… You are one of the biggest impacts in their life. continue reading here!