John Wesley Reid

COVERED IN GRACE, ADOPTED IN ROYALTY

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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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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