Bizarre doesn’t even begin to describe the recently unfolding truths of top-dog theologian John Piper’s obsession with Taylor Swift. The story first unfolded when Charis Smith, a custodian working late at Bethlehem Baptist Church, thought she heard odd sounds coming from Jerusalem, a pseudonym used to identify Piper’s gigantuous office. At first Smith passed it off as indigestion within the buildings ventilation system but upon closer observation she grew more and more concerned about the disturbing noise. Smith daringly opened the gates to Piper’s office and encountered the life-changing site. Between sobs, Smith explains her experience:
“Dancing…he..he was dancing. And music and…I think he was trying to learn the choreography to her new music video! I knew it was trouble when I walked in…”
As a means of self-therapeutic relief Smith blogged about her experience in hopes that the public expression would release her of internal conflict.
“Yes. Yes, I listen to Taylor Swift, I admit it. See, for me it’s a means of meditation. I listen to her music, the lyrical brilliance and the romantic drama and it just…just soothes me of any and all distractions. When you have my notoriety life is non-stop. Plus I mean really, who doesn’t like Teardrops On My Guitar!? Truth is, guys, every sermon I’ve preached since 2006 was prepared with her serenading me in the background.” –John Piper
Long awaiting the opportunity to fire back at Piper, controversial pastor Rob Bell was fearless to tweet, “Farewell, John Piper” in response to Piper’s legendary 2011 tweet “Farewell, Rob Bell,” a stiff reaction towards Bell’s controversial book, Love Wins, which boasts a strictly rhetorical idea that Universalism could by chance, maybe, possibly but nobody knows for certain but actually could be a thing, as his book attempts to explain through a plethora of run-on sentences. Read more
On January 22nd 145 students from Liberty University led a mass of over half a million through the streets of our nation’s capitol advocating for those who cannot represent themselves. March for Life is an annual event where activists from all over the nation congregate in D.C. to protest the holistic immorality that is abortion.
“Today I was astounded by the hundreds of thousands of people, male and female, of all ages and races who were just as passionate about being a voice for the unborn as I am. There are no words to describe the feeling of being surrounded by brothers and sisters in Christ standing up for what we believe and following God’s command to be a voice for those who cannot speak.” –Samantha Seelig; Freshman, Music Education
For many reasons really. Though many Christian schools are doing good things for the world Liberty’s gospel message often speaks through a unique dialect of political influence. While many agree that abortion is wrong, LU students go beyond that declaration by spreading awareness, visiting abortion clinics in a manner that is Christ-like towards the mothers, and participating in events such as March for Life.
But it doesn’t stop there. Read more
If there was ever a time to don our gothic attire laced in blood, copious layers of black and enough eyeliner to put Peter Furler of the Newboys to shame…that time is now. On January 12th Liberty University published their Convocation schedule, an announcement highly anticipated each semester by the student body to see who they will be mandatorily forced to listen to on pain of death in the form of a $10 fine dare they skip. The list of speakers prompted the typical gripes of some students who may find slight theological variances with the speakers (read: “Heresy! HE said a woman can be a pastor…waaaahh”) But these differences are generally settled via social media rants where students cordially discuss with transparency and utmost civility. Essentially this method of theological reconciliation is a modern day council; except instead of Church leaders and biblical scholars the council is primarily made up of undergraduates with a few theology courses under their belt, and instead of intentional discourse, dialogue is validated based on who gets the most “likes” on their Facebook comment. Again, this is routine.
Among the pastoral, political and entertainment notoriety was likely the most preposterous initiative ever taken by Liberty University. A DEMOCRAT has been scheduled to speak at our Convocation! And not just some speaker who happens to align with a liberal worldview– no, a politician! The Nerve! Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, a man whose liberal views fall in staunch contrast to Liberty’s unapologetically conservative views, will be speaking to the vast majority of our student body including faculty and staff during what we consider one of Liberty’s most hallowed of powwows. The calamity!! He’s scheduled to speak March 23rd. Wear your black folks and let me tell you it better look like a Kiss concert in there!
We all know that everything bad that happens is obviously the fault of David Nasser so let’s just assume for a minute that he’s behind this one too. Which reminds me, David, I don’t like snow…and it snowed today. What the heck, dude!? You can’t just move to Lynchburg and start changing things without asking the student’s permission! Okay but seriously why would our leaders allow someone with substantially opposing views come to inspire our students with his pro-choice and everything else leftist rhetoric? Read more
To preface, it is imperative that we approach such a sensitive topic with grace, mercy and understanding. This topic has a tendency of surfacing feelings of guilt and shame in people’s hearts. To you I say, if you have repented…
The scandalous power of the cross has redeemed you and repositioned your sin so far from you that your past literally doesn’t have a chance in Hell at impeding the Father’s intimate love for you. You are a new creation, covered in grace, adopted into royalty and you have been assigned a beautiful purpose by a perfect creator.
I hope you feel safe engaging this post and that it leaves you feeling encouraged and challenged.
So, let’s dive in to the
I waited, why didn’t you?
It’s that time of the year again.
Every time we approach a fun, celebrated holiday people want to twist it and make a scene. Columbus Day; a day to celebrate the finding of America? No, a day to observe the genocide of thousands of natives. Halloween; a day to dress up in a fun costume and collect candy? No, the celebration of evil – how dare you celebrate death when we have newness of life in Christ, you filthy pagan! (read: satire) And let’s not even start on Christmas.
And of course the federally, nationally and clearly corporately recognized holiday, black Friday; a day to steward your money on wise sales? No, a day to show just how much of a hypocritical, selfish scumbag you are for being greedy after a thematic day of being content. (read: sarcasm)
Keep reading, I’ll get to the point about retailers having to work on Thanksgiving towards the end but let me get my greedy side out first.
It’s easy to accuse those who celebrate Thanksgiving and black Friday shopping as hypocritical or that they’re overcome with consumerism. But in defense of my product-devouring colleagues I beg to differ and hope to convince my readers that you can indeed celebrate thankfulness while also partaking in some super duper $ales! Those who oppose black Friday shopping on the grounds of selfishness should be careful in their hyperbolic rhetoric. Not every customer who goes black Friday shopping acts like a couple of boxing kangaroos.
Before you attack the black Friday shopper for being selfish, remember that you could have fed a starving family in India for a week with the money you spent on the single meal you devoured on Thanksgiving. Read more
My blogs are notorious for hitting on controversial issues but for each one I do my best to write through a dialect of grace and compassion.
But sometimes you just need to say it like it is. Buckle up, folks.
I’m losing hope in feminism. Why? Because it has become stupid. Yea I said it.
And this is coming from a guy who advocates gender role equality in all aspects of civic, ministerial and home life. Yes, I’m down with women being pastors. This may cost me some friends who label me an evangelical black sheep but I’ll survive. I’m all about gender equality. But now days if you identify as a feminist you are affiliating yourself with a beastly movement that blames men for everything and pardons women because, I mean obviously, it’s the man’s fault.
True feminism is gender equality across the board. Practically speaking it means allowing women to operate in the same capacities as men. It also means taking steps to remedy the poor culture we have where women are objectified, mocked and condescended.
Instead of being silent and thus holding ourselves hostage to the ways of our past we should take steps to undo the misogynistic culture that we ourselves have bred.
Women are beautiful creatures planned and purposed by a perfect creator. Contemporary feminism does not reflect the value and honor that should radiate from women. It doesn’t teach equality. It doesn’t teach self-respect. Here are 5 ways contemporary feminism is failing society.
Me: Hey Jon, knee-deep in theology again?
Jon: Yup! You writing another blog?
That was how our conversations would often start when running into each other at coffee shops.
So yes, Jon, I’m writing another blog and this one’s for you.
Jon was one of the first people I met after moving to Lynchburg just over a year ago. A bunch of us ended up at White Hart after a Jane Marczewski concert where we dove in to a pretty involved and mostly amicable discussion on theology. It was getting good. Universalism, Calvinism, C.S. Lewis…all the fixins for some good healthy theology gab. Then a homeless man approached us and started talking about something and completely hijacked our discussion. In all honesty I was kind of frustrated because I felt like I finally found some friends who enjoyed theological talks and this guy came and shifted the theme. But then Jon, in all of his enthusiasm, started pouring into this guy. He started asking the man about his life, sympathizing with his pain and telling him about Jesus. My frustration turned to conviction and I realized that my new friend, Jon, was a good guy to know and a good guy to learn from.
That was Jon.
His theology came to fruition in the way he reflected Christ. Anyone who knew Jon well knows that his love for people went far above his love for self. He exemplified the Philippians 2 attitude that Paul challenges us with. Let’s all take away this very example that Jon daily displayed. If you didn’t know Jon I encourage you to check out his Facebook page here. Pictures, memories, and commentary on Jon’s character will give you a glimpse of the wonderful life we had the privilege of knowing.
All life is equal but some lives are lived more intentionally and thus leave a greater impact when they pass on.
Ever get scared to pray?
I sure do.
Why? Because I fear that I won’t get what I pray for. I understand that seems selfish and perhaps to an extent it is but hear me out.
I fear prayer because I fear the emotional tax that comes after pouring your heart out only to be deprived of the very outcome that you so earnestly desired.
I’m not saying this is a good theology to have, I’m just being transparent about my weakness – perhaps your weakness, too? I think it takes a thorough understanding of God and of the wonderful privilege it is to enter his courts make our desires known to him. Prayer is a terrific opportunity for the weak man to be welcomed by the Almighty with arms wide open to give us the desires of our hearts. But even this understanding comes with fear. What if our desires aren’t His? What if we think our desires are matched but…we’re not sure.
Consider the following…
Prayer is an investment
Prayer is an emotional, timely and physical investment. When I was in college I had a desire that absolutely consumed me. I vividly remember sitting in class literally getting fidgety because I wanted to bolt to the prayer chapel so I could, as I so childishly put it, remind God that I haven’t given up on asking Him. I was an avid runner and at night I would run various circuits around campus always to end in the middle of our school’s track. Countless nights I would just fall down, stare at the stars and pray that God would meet my desire. As the months progressed I began to hurt because it felt like I was pouring so much out and not getting any results, not even a hint of hope.
Since then I’ve grown to remind myself that God is much more invested in me than I am in him.
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.
First 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.
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.
“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?
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.
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: Read more