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Why I’m STILL Patriotic Despite Today’s America

Since 1973 America has murdered just under 60 million infants, not including contraceptive mediations.

Our leaders have selfishly capitalized off of extremely sensitive social issues, despite their apathy, in order to gain political favor.

We’ve raised our children to feel entitled instead of showing them the value of hard work.

We misrepresent chivalry as an attack on women’s independence but we celebrate the lyrical “artwork” of Kanye West and his fellow rap pantomimes, lyrics that strip women of all dignity.

We’ve strangled small business development and other independent opportunities.

We’ve corrupted morality.

We’ve wrecked the institution of marriage and have presented a heinous example of family character to the upcoming generation.

So yes, I understand that when I proudly wave my American flag it appears that I am, by proxy, showing my support for these calamities.

So why am I still proud to be an American? Why do I still love this country and it’s people? Why am I STILL patriotic despite today’s America? Read more

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woe to you

Woe To You, Church

“Our society strives to avoid the possibility of offending anyone– except God.” –Billy Graham

Unfortunately, many who subscribe to Christian faith have fallen into the same mentality. Since the 5-4 decision by the Supreme Court to allow same-sex marriages nation wide, I’ve seen so many Christians cover their profile pictures with a rainbow filter, post Justice Kennedy’s opinion delivery, and declare this judicial ruling a victory.

To this crowd I say, woe to you. Woe to you who mock God, His Word, and His beautiful divine plan for a marriage covenant between one man and one woman. Your support for this agenda is an assault to the gospel. 

Make no mistake, I have friends who are gay, some who are practicing and some who refuse to pursue their inclinations due to moral or religious convictions. I love them all the same. I’ve laughed with them, cried with them, listened to them talk for hours about their life, prayed with them, and just did life with them. That will never change. No, I don’t hound them with the topic. We know where each other stands and we live with it. I’ve written much support for the LGBT community; like this one, this one and this one. (Such a blogger thing to say, right?) I even did a spoken word video on it.

But never do I desire for this support towards the individual to be mistaken for favoritism towards the lifestyle. Unfortunately, many Christians have proven that their spiritual compass rests outside of scripture.

Who Do You Think You Are?
Christian means “follower of Christ.” If we are to follow Christ, then who do we think we are to call the theological shots!? A servant does not tell their master where the bear does his business in the woods. Rather it’s a humble submission to a loving, gracious and righteous God that we serve, follow, and advocate as we are commanded to do; that is, in love and in truth. BOTH. Not just one, BOTH.

You use the #lovewins but do you not realize that love won 2,000 years ago on the cross? So WHY would you celebrate sin, the very thing that put Jesus on the cross!?

Do you realize that when you condone sin, you rob the unbeliever of the truth that will bring them to restoration? Do you realize that when you condone sin, you declare that God’s standard is but a suggestion as opposed to a commandment? Do you realize that when you condone sin, you champion the division one has with God?

When you condone sin, you declare that the Cross of Jesus Christ was rather unnecessary. 

jr aStand Up!
“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! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and shrewd in their own sight!” –Isaiah 5:20

A young asparagus once told me, “stand up for what you believe in, believe in, believe in God, He’ll stand with you!” Why are we ashamed to do this, dear Christian? Why are we afraid to stand for truth? We need more Daniels and Esthers! People of faith who are unwilling to compromise biblical standards. I travel a lot with my job to different Christian conferences, festivals and concerts. Side note: I see the cheesiest of the cheesy Christian shirts. My favorite: “Bae ain’t bae if bae don’t pray!” (Bae meaning boyfriend or girlfriend). Cheese aside, I was highly encouraged to hear the lead singer of Skillet, Newsboys and others bands and speakers challenge students to stay strong in their faith despite cultural paradigm shifts. I’m so glad to have seen that, and I hope it resonates with their audiences.

So many Christians have fallen into the idea that if a nonbeliever has animosity towards us then we must have not loved them the right way. But that is a lie, dear Christian. Granted if you’re being a jerk then that’s on you and you need to get right with God but the world generally identifies hate with disagreement, even when delivered with kindness. That’s a shame. Jesus was clear that many will hate us because of our advocacy for Christ (Matthew 10:22, John 15:18-25). Just as we were lost in our sin and uncanny towards the life of righteousness, so the world will be until they know Christ. Be unwavering. Be strong. Evangelize with love and truth.

Do not compromise your theology for cultural relativity. 

This lack of spine comes from trendy rhetoric such as “don’t say ‘hate the sin, love the sinner’ because we shouldn’t hate anything as Christians.” WHAT!? ARE YOU KIDDING ME!? The Bible straight up says to hate sin. To ABHOR it! This does NOT mean that we are to hate the sinner at all! It is our hate for sin that should drive us to love the sinner that much more! Note: sinner means everyone, saved and not.

Anything that put Jesus on the cross is worth hating to me!

“John, don’t we all have sin?”

Yes! The difference is I don’t go around celebrating my sin. That’s what the world does and if you remember the Apostle Paul’s instruction we are to be in the world– not of it. We are to be light in darkness. I don’t celebrate my sin. I repent of it and celebrate the righteousness that I have in Jesus. THAT is the difference.

This type of compromise scares me, and scares me personally. Why? Because sin is sin whether it be homosexuality or heterosexual infidelity, lies, gossip, immoral addiction etc. So my fear is that when I have a sin in my life that is greatly desired by my flesh, am I going to seek accountability and not find it? Will I be at a loss because my fellow Christians have abandoned the faith? I am a sinful person. I have some straight up grit in my life. I hope that I pursue accountability…and I hope that I find it. 

Bride of Christ
If you have a constitutional argument supporting gay marriage, fine, but how can you speak so casually of it when you know it breaks God’s heart? If something breaks my wife’s heart I would certainly not celebrate it or even speak casually of it, regardless if I agreed with her. If it breaks her heart then it breaks mine! How can you call yourself a Bride of Christ when you celebrate the very thing that breaks His heart!?

John, you’re judging. You’re not supposed to judge.
Notice that I am addressing the Church here, not unbelievers. I Corinthians 5 charges Christians to make righteous judgements towards each other. If it’s an individual issue towards an individual, then private interaction is instructed by scripture (Matthew 18). But an address to a com
munity without identifying specific people is not unbiblical. So consider this my proactive response to the notorious “judgement” attack. Also note that any comments with this attack following this post will be deleted as the issue has already been addressed.

Christians,
Step onto the battlefield with bravery. The battle is not an “us vs. them” conflict but rather an “us vs. Satan” conflict. Let’s go out and love the world in a manner worthy of the Word of God. Love, truth and kindness. Don’t cherry pick. The Bible is God’s inspired revelatory message to His Church. Let’s revere it as such. Don’t show love i.e. niceness without truth. Don’t show truth without context or kindess behind it. But deliver your truth in an effective manner, unwavering, uncompromising, and in a way that brings others into the Church with the hope of restoration.

-JWR

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If you enjoyed this post, you may enjoy the following by JWR:

6 Ways the Church Can Better Love the LGBT Community

Should I Attend My Gay Friend’s Wedding?

“Liberty University Hired A Gay!?” Mr. Goldberg, Welcome!

coffee stAbout 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

 

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Leaked: Emerging Institute to Develop Campus on the Moon

Recent reports have been confirmed: Liberty University, the largest evangelical Christian college in the world, is orchestrating a monumental expansion to the moon, thus making it the largest evangelical Christian college in the universe.

jerry jrChancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. responded to the leaks in a press conference earlier this morning,

“While these leaks forced us to break the news prematurely, I am pleased to announce that after much planning and resource analysis, Liberty University will be extending its cutting edge educational standards of excellence to the galactic regions. As we have been identified countless times as an emerging institution of higher learning, why not make this statement literal and go higher than any other school? I have sanctioned a committee, affirmed by the board of trustees, to initiate a smooth and efficient transition process for those who wish to transfer to what is conjecturally called Liberty University Moon, or acrostically identified as LUM, pronounced loom…we’re keeping it simple. This launch committee, affectionately known as the LUMinati, has been diligently seeking out the most time productive and cost effective method of carrying out this mission but by no means possible will the safety of our students, faculty and staff be compromised, nor the quality of our education be undermined.”  Read more

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cfaw feature again

CFAW; Why We Really Do It

“Listen up! Some of you have significant others on the bus with you. Some of you are as single as a one dollar bill but are inclined to romantic creativity when isolated with members of the opposite gender for long periods of time. Regardless, no PDA is allowed on this bus. If I catch you, I will embarrass you in all love and spirituality…or something.”

I’m pushing 30, more savagely than others, and each day passed is another rung reached towards this grueling milestone. But each rung serves as an opportunity to learn that our sovereign, powerful and most mysterious God will facilitate the utmost in precarious circumstances as revelatory conduits to his glory. Now, the 30 years old example was a bit excessive, especially given the saturation of unnecessarily long words, but dude I was desperate for a dramatic introduction.

I haven’t been employed at Liberty for long. Not even long enough to merit my first pay raise (cough…which I’m eligible for next month…cough). But really, I’m still the new guy in my department with plenty to learn and an abundant need for grace. This was my first CFAW, College For A Weekend, as a bus chaperone and it was to Bangor, Maine.

Perspective: A 19 hour (each way) evolution with 50 high schoolers. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m all about that atmosphere, being a kid-at-heart myself. At times you likely wouldn’t be able to differentiate us. Between Pixar films, jokes and chatting about social norms, we were all in one community. Read more

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cake

Cakes and Gays; It’s Not Really About Your Rights

Instead of respecting a religious conviction and purchasing a cake at the majority of other bakeries, some choose to sue…in the name of intolerance that violates their rights. This is textbook irony. 

When civil rights issues hit the media, people who are politically apathetic
suddenly become constitutional scholars, opinions become absolutes, and the population of straw men exceeds that of the state of Kansas.

But the holistic truth is that this is a sad social conflict. It shows that society hasn’t developed the ability to live cordially among disagreement.

“The purpose of an open mind, similar to the mouth, is to close it again on something solid.” -G.K. Chesterton; philosopher, lover of Jesus, and cheese connoisseur 

When we cease to keep these conversations open and active, we surrender ourselves to the mistakes of our past rendering no hope of healthy progression. But for many on the left even an open mind paired with humble balanced discussion won’t sway their destructive agenda. This issue of gay wedding cakes is not about rights.  Read more

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feature yo

This Morning I Was Assaulted

My job keeps me on the road usually 3-4 weeks out of the month. While I tend to miss home and my friends, being on the road has its perks. You get to see things you wouldn’t normally see, visit places you’ve only heard of, and with the occasional down time, you may even garner a unique experience– good or bad. Sometimes these experiences look good but soon lose their romance while other times it is the adverse affairs which serve as a manifestation of that which we soon recognize as beneficial to us, which is really just an I’m-trying-to-sound-smart way of saying, “a blessing in disguise.”

I’m in Charleston, South Carolina this week. My hotel is about 30 minutes from those alluring South Carolina beaches that you see on post cards and Nick Sparks stuff. Last night I planned on getting up at 5a.m. to prep for my day, drive down to the beach, and catch the sun rise.

This morning I left my hotel around 6 a.m.

It was dark.

I was alone.  Read more

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Should I Attend My Gay Friend’s Wedding?

This piece has been a long time coming for me. While my position has been consistent, I understand the sensitivity of this topic and wanted to allow time to formulate a delivery that is just as benevolent as it is true. The topic of homosexuality is both emotionally charged and theologically dependent therefore our approach should never be casual, as a casual approach to critical issues will only set us up for failure. To be clear, I hold firmly to what is known as the Side B approach to homosexuality which, simply put, means that while I love the individual as I love my heterosexual friends, I do not affirm their lifestyle to be biblical, thus this is the position that I will be arguing from.

Instead of further prolonging my answer with rhetorical finesse I’ll just come out and say it. If I was invited to a gay friend’s wedding, I would go.

Now, for those of you who are still reading, remember what I said about not being casual. I will be addressing some of the popular arguments below.

Should I Attend My Gay Friend’s Wedding?

Read more

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Developing: Abrupt Outbreak of Virus on U.S. Soil

Anymore it appears that information deemed as imperative is more likely to become public knowledge in a timely fashion when announced by whistleblowers as opposed to spokesmen from corporate or government agencies. Such is the case. Edwardo Snewdono, former research analyst for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), recently leaked documentation revealing a horrific infectious outbreak. Though the ailment is yet to be formally identified, the department is describing the symptoms as “grotesque, unsightly and in any other form of the word ‘ridiculous’ growths surfacing on the scalp.”

Secretary of Health and Human Services, Sylvia Burwell, told reporters that her department was intending to hold a press conference to inform the American people of the outbreak once the malady had been give a proper title. But since Snewdono had already leaked the information, Burwell informed the press that the Center for Disease Control (CDC) was provisionally calling the heinous condition hominem panis, loosely translated from it’s etymological Latin as manus bunus, or man buns. 

The symptoms, while egregious, will manifest themselves only on men and have been seen primarily on the young and pseudo-independent populous known as hipsters, a sad and misguided sect of the millennial breed. Read more

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hippo

Stop Saying “Christianity Isn’t A Religion, It’s A Relationship”

*This is subtle satire but in no way compromises the truth of the message. I’m snarky, but rest assured I would give you a hug if we were in person.

I’m just gonna say it. Christians these days are scared. Not all of them. But many of them, and many of whom are in the spotlight. They don’t want to speak truth for what it is. It’s part of this new culture of “relevance” and “tolerance” that has crept into the Church and deceived some of Her members. It’s another means of watering down the gospel message and to make Christianity more appealing, as if what it offers, eternal glory with God, wasn’t enough.

Millennial Christians are doing much to break barriers between the Church and the world in attempts to mitigate the “us vs. them” mentality. I rejoice with that. However, we must remember that Jesus knew what he was talking about when He said that we would be hated for our Kingdom representation (John 15). We must show love (no Bible reference because there are too many so let’s just agree) but we must NOT compromise truth. Remember, Jesus was the epitome of love but He never compromised truth. We must communicate truth in love to the world but if they do not receive it we must not blame ourselves. That said, here we go.

Christianity isn’t a religion, it’s a relationship. 

This has got to be one of the most false and potentially damaging phrases in the Christian blurbosphere. It’s false, given the egregious syntax nightmare and potentially damaging because of the false undertones in it’s intended message. In this post I will approach this phrase from two different angles and hope to ultimately reveal how this is not just me splitting hairs but rather me trying to surface a subtle habit that many have adopted– a habit that is doing NOTHING good for spiritual growth.  Read more

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ISIS

Hope for ISIS, Justice for Martyrs

“This is a very difficult topic to take on, in which we have to somehow grasp both the fierce justice of God along with His great mercy.” –Caitlin Bassett; Sophomore (Government), Liberty University

As a Christian I do not find peace wishing for the annihilation of ISIS without first hoping for their salvation. Let me be clear; I am not a pacifist and I genuinely hope that coalition forces swiftly and effectively eliminate the threat of ISIS as they are responsible for crimes against humanity, violating religious freedom and assaulting the sanctity of life. I believe that the actions of ISIS merit a military response which is justified from theological, political and ethical platforms. 

“But you do see, for you note mischief and vexation, that you may take it into your hands; to you the helpless commits himself; you have been the helper of the fatherless. Break the arm of the wicked and evildoer; call his wickedness to account till you find none.” –Psalm 10:14-15, ESV

The recent executions of Christians in the Middle East are deplorable. I grieve with the Church and with the world over these atrocities.

But I also grieve for ISIS.

Today’s evil merits a dual approach of military action and the spreading of the gospel. These terrorists, and I identify them as terrorists with no hesitation whatsoever, have lived a life so corrupted by sin and overcome by evil that they have missed out on the beauty and peace that is found in Jesus Christ. The same peace that our brothers and sisters felt even during their homecomings. 

If we view humanity holistically as image-bearers of God then we should grieve even more so for the ISIS members who died as unbelievers than for those who died as believers. Read more