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An Open Letter to Liberty’s Student Leadership

Student Leadership,

Congratulations on your well-deserved appointments! It’s exciting to see the enthusiasm in this year’s student leadership and all the ways you’ve shown support for the student body. Liberty University is a wonderful experience, both collegiately and spiritually, and you get to be a part of this experience for others. God has some amazing things in store for this coming year!

As the new school year approaches you’ve likely felt a combination of conflicting emotions: excitement paired with anxiety, confidence paired with insecurity, and hopes paired with doubts. This is normal. In fact your nervousness is the overflow of your desire to do well. If you had no desire to lead well, the idea of failure wouldn’t matter.

October 1, 2007 I was promoted to Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps. This promotion surfaced a spectrum of feelings that, while commonplace for any advancement, deserved much guidance. I felt validated knowing that my hard work had been recognized. But if I’m honest, this sense of achievement materialized into the occasional spell of arrogance. Sometimes I was so caught up in myself that I neglected to focus on the platoon of 60 Marines that had been recently placed in my charge. This happens. You learn. I grew to see different angles by which I should approach leadership. I hope this inspires you to become an even greater leader than you are now.  Read more

5 Things You DON’T Have To Do In College

1. Get drunk
It’s okay, you can read it again. I know it may seem incomprehensible for some to consider a college career void of alcohol but trust me, you can do it. If you can’t, then you’re not even close to prepared for the challenges presented in college. Some argue that they should be given the freedom to put themselves in a stumbling state of inebriation because they’re a responsible adult and can make decisions for themselves. But here’s what happens when you get drunk:

  • Your judgement is impaired.
  • You make yourself vulnerable to other people’s agendas.
  • You also make yourself vulnerable to breaking standards that you’ve prioritized for yourself.
  • You kill brain cells.
  • You set a bad example.
  • You often spend the same amount of money getting drunk that you could have spent feeding yourself for a day or two. And you’re in college…you’re poor. Stop that.

There’s nothing “responsible adult” about any of that.

Also, if you’re at a college that requires you to sign a contract agreeing to abstain from this behavior, then be a responsible adult and follow through with your contractual agreement– your word. It’s extremely immature to invoke “responsible adult” only when it justifies you acting a fool.

2. Lose your virginity
This one is extremely sad. Read more

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But Dad, Donald Trump Owned Strip Clubs…

Never have I felt such a paradoxical tension between confidence and reservation. I am supporting Donald Trump in the general election for reasons that really excite me. But I also hold reservations. I also know that someday when my children are reading the history books they’ll read of Donald Trump, his background, and his campaign for presidency. They’ll see how the books will portray him, negatively without any charity towards the good in Mr. Trump.

Thus the conversation is inevitable as to why I, their father who will do everything to raise them grounded in Holy Scripture, voted for Donald Trump.

I get it. While I think he’ll make a fine president, Trump’s social history hasn’t been completely in line with evangelical culture, or Protestant or Catholic for that matter. He has owned, and from what I understand still owns, casinos with strip clubs inside of them. He’s said terrible things to women (and men). He was a bully during his campaign for the GOP nomination. He said he doesn’t see the need to ask forgiveness from God for sin.

So what am I going to say to my children when they ask me how I could vote for Mr. Trump?

Read more

My Kids Will Never Perform Flag-Burning

This morning I woke up to more flag-burning reports, particularly regarding the burnings outside the Cleveland-based Republican National Convention. After being disgusted by a few of these articles, I decided to blog about it today. A few minutes later I was scrolling through Facebook and noticed in my “Facebook memories” archives that one year ago today I posted the following:

I won’t raise my kids to think they have to salute the American flag. I will raise them in a way that they will have no desire to do otherwise. ‪#‎respect

Read more

An Open Letter to Pro-Choice Christians

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! –Isaiah 5:20 ESV


I cannot assume a posture of silence with such a grievous burden upon my heart, my soul. I write this piece cognizant of the contention to follow and thus have intentionally sought my Creator’s heart before publishing it. If you choose to continue reading, please be kind, please be charitable. Read to discover, not to disagree.

For you Christians who identify as pro-choice, how dare you. How dare you bear the name of God while aligning with an agenda that slaughters thousands of His image-bearers ever day. Church, you are the Bride of Christ. If ever a dose of fierce, exhortative accountability were to be rendered towards the rebellious minority among you, that time is now. Read more

One Thing Christians Missed With Trump

It’s fascinating how stealthily our personal agendas can blind us from biblical truth. The pursuit of fleshly glory saturates us with pride causing us to overlook sin that we would otherwise find troubling. That which should be antagonistic to a Christian instead becomes camouflage and thus we ironically become adversarial to the very faith that we claim allegiance.

In efforts to garner favor from evangelicals, many have completely lost site of Christ’s final command to His Church: the Great Commission.

I don’t imagine Donald Trump reminiscing on his campaign thinking, “Christians sure imitated Jesus in the way they treated me.” Instead we see deceitful rhetoric from Christian authors like Samuel Smith of the Christian Post who quoted Trump at his NYC meeting with evangelicals:

“Trump tells Evangelical leaders to disobey Bible: Don’t pray for all leaders,”

when in actuality Trump said,

“You can pray for your leaders, and I agree with that, pray for everyone…”

Smith, that’s called lying.

Fortunately, not all Christians have taken this pharisaic approach. Read more

I Understand Self-Defense, But Is The AR-15 Really Necessary?

Quick note: For the sake of argument, and to be fair, when I say AR-15 I include variant firearms within its class. So basically any semi-automatic rifle capable of firing the same ammunition as the AR-15 at the same rate and with the same magazine capacity.

To answer the question at hand we’ll need to do a little unpacking. First, it should be noted that despite media rhetoric the AR-15 is not an assault rifle, but we’ll unpack that more later since it’s not quite as pertinent right now. Those who contest the AR-15 are much more concerned about its powerful tactical capabilities than they are concerned about its categorization of assault rifle.

So, considering its proven tactical characteristics, is the AR-15 really necessary?

Well, why do we have an amendment for our right to bear arms at all?

To hunt? No.

Sport? No.

Self-Defense? Right on target! (pun most definitely intended)

But the question we’re tackling doesn’t challenge our right to bear arms for defense, but whether we need an AR-15 to do so instead of a less sophisticated firearm such as a handgun, non-tactical rifle, or shotgun. So while we’ve affirmed our right to defend ourselves with firepower, the question still stands as to whether an AR-15 is necessary.

Yes, I argue it is.

Why?

Because defense should always meet or exceed the capacity of its offense. Read more

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The Coexisting Message of Love and Hell

My friend Phylicia tagged me on Facebook while I was in the TSA line at the airport. As if my anxiety wasn’t high enough, being that I seem to always get cavity searched by security, I knew not to take her tags lightly. The tag brought me to a post where a person said this about the Christian Church:

“Can’t preach that gay people are going to Hell then tweet your prayers are going out to those in Orlando. Love is not a light switch.”

I get it. It sounds odd to suggest that someone will be spending their afterlife in eternal suffering while also telling them that you care for them. Such conflicting messages may even appear dehumanizing or at best condescending. Again, I get it.

But here’s the thing…

Truth is not defined by its subjects. The inspired Word of God is His authority to the world.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life.” –Romans 6:23

To call a Christian “hateful” for explaining that someone is on the path to Hell is quite convoluted. The reason that a Christian would say that someone is going to Hell is because they want to see them turn from sin (death) and surrender their life to Jesus (eternal life). Hateful? According to devout atheist, Penn Jillette, it would be hateful to say otherwise:

how much do you have to hate somebody to believe everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?” Read more

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You’re Still A Good, Good Father

This morning we woke up to trending articles on the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida. Headlines progressed from “multiple injuries” to “20 dead” to “50 dead.” My heart felt for the Orlando community and the reality of evil in the world.

A couple hours later I found myself in church singing worship songs praising God for His goodness and acknowledging His sovereignty. We sang You’re a Good, Good Father; Emmanuel, which means “God with us,” Messiah; which essentially means “savior,” and a bridge that sang, “all our hope is in you! The light of the world!” I was distracted– very distracted.

I kept having a circulating thought of how easy it was for me to worship God when my clothes weren’t stained by the blood of my best friend.

I kept hearing the voices of the wounded screaming, “what about us!?” Read more

Trey Pearson

An Open Letter to Trey Pearson

Trey Pearson,

You probably won’t read this. Even if it reaches you, you’ll probably ignore it…and I can’t say that I blame you. You were courageous to be so transparent about your homosexual inclinations, especially considering how long you’ve held it in and how much of a heterosexual lifestyle you’ve practiced. You probably assume that this letter is going to affirm your new lifestyle as sinful, even if this message is laced in love.

If that’s what you’re assuming, you’re exactly right.

Yes, I hate your sin. But I hate it for the same reason I hate my own sin and that is because I know what sin does to us and to our relationship with the Father. My hate for your sin is the evidence of my love for you. Read more