John Wesley Reid

COVERED IN GRACE, ADOPTED IN ROYALTY

Giving Up Is Failure, Surrendering Is Victorious

A few days ago I had an old Marine friend ask me a question. It is a typical question that merits a daunting answer. It is a question that almost holds cliché status within the Christian community but is too often met with an impractical answer. It is a question that is entirely foundational to any of our theology, doctrinal practice or evangelism. For without a proper understanding of this question our Christian practicalities are curtailed.

What does it mean to surrender to God?

It’s imperative that you understand something about this Marine, now a police officer. He was the poster board Marine; huge, combat vet, aggressive, arrogant and ingested more protein in a day than most do in a week. Throughout his time in the Marine Corps he fell away from the Lord and admittedly identified as an atheist. Thankfully he returned to his faith and has been intentionally figuring out what it means to be a faithful Christian, a godly husband and a godly father. But he’s still a meathead and so when he asked me the aforementioned I was initially disinclined to answer because I knew it meant showing a humility that knows no comparison…quite the contrast to his old personality.

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Phil Robertson: Champion of Truth, Victim of Media

Once again the media, as well as many Christians, have taken Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson and stripped his comments of any form of context, making him out to be the bad guy. This trend is not new. The liberal, and extremely biased, media will do whatever they can to attack advocates for Christianity. I give credit to Satan. The enemy will facilitate whatever means he can to hurt the expansion of the gospel. Thanks to [persevering] believers like Phil, who wasn’t always on the straight and narrow, the enemy will not claim the victor in his life. 

In an interview with Fox News Host, Sean Hannity, Phil expressed his opinion on ISIS:

“In this case you either have to convert them, which I think would be next to impossible. I’m not giving up on them, but I’m just saying, either convert them or kill them. One or the other… I’d much rather have a Bible study with all of them and show them the error of their ways and point them to Jesus Christ, the Author and Perfector of having your sins removed and being raised from the dead. I would rather preach the gospel of Jesus to them. However, if it’s a gun fight and a gun fight alone, if that is what they’re looking for, me, personally I am prepared for either one.” 

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Mark Driscoll: Grace Is Sufficient For Him, Too

The brutality with which the Church is responding to Mark Driscoll is far more damaging to the gospel message than anything he ever did. 

Dear Church, please remember your identity as the Bride of Christ, and then please, I implore you, STOP tearing down Mark Driscoll! Not only are you behaving in the same manner you’re accusing Driscoll of, but you’re also presenting a completely distorted delivery of the Gospel.

The cross holds an unrestrictive jurisdiction. Our sin alone towards God is an offense that cannot be matched. But in God’s grace and love for his children he has provided the cross to cover our sin…ALL of it. To say that Driscoll’s sin is greater than anyone else’s or that it deserves public slander from both media and Christians alike…is really to say that the cross fell short and that grace is only so sufficient. And THAT is a theological foundation for a complete mess. 

Consider the following points in respect to how the Church has responded to Pastor Mark and remember them the next time you want to post a comment or article about him.

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Responding to Racism

Little research needs to be done in order to prove that racism still exists today. It may not be as blatant or obvious and thankfully there no longer exists legislation that supports racism. But this is no reason to let our guard down. If anything, we should be more vigilant to observe possible signs of racism. The truth is racism is subtler than it used to be. And that is dangerous. When something is subtle it is often thought of as trivial or of little consequence and thus is receives little attention. This is sad for two reasons; one, we’re ignoring an issue where someone has unjustly fallen victim and two, if not mitigated while a “smaller” issue then we pave the way for its development. To say that racism doesn’t exist is to abandon its victims, but to say that everything is racist is to mock those who have fought against it. 

Racism is a cancer to our society and to any form of the word “community.” It needs to be identified and held accountable regardless of the parties’ race or civic office.

When issues such as Ferguson rise up there are generally three responses; two primary and one not so much. 

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To the Freshmen: This Is Your Time; Own It

To the Freshmen,

Welcome to Liberty University; we’re glad to have you; it’s a great school…and all that stuff. You’ve undoubtedly heard it all a number of times in the last few days, and it’s true. Liberty is an awesome institution and we’re blessed to have you here. But even amidst all of the welcome and love, you are likely experiencing some not-so-subtle undertones of fear and anxiety.

You just started your first year of college at the largest Christian university in the world. For many of you this is your first time being far from home.

It’s normal to feel nervous.

It’s normal to feel homesick.

And, yea, it’s even normal to feel scared.

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5 Phrases We Must Stop Using Towards Suicide

Facebook has been saturated with sentimental posts of Robin Williams’ passing. Emotional reflections of favorite Williams’ movies and condolences towards his family riddled my news feed as I scrolled through. It’s always sad to lose an American icon. But what adds to the pain is when among the many kind and sensitive remarks made there were still some that stood out as cruel and ignorant. The following are phrases that tend to surface whenever the depression/suicide topic comes up.

These phrases are very damaging towards those suffering from depression as well as their loved ones. 

1. “Committing suicide is selfish”
When we make the claim that suicide is selfish we completely disregard the pain that the individual is going through. THAT is selfish. 
When we truly analyze what the patient is going through; the pain, the emptiness and numbness likely all set on by a chemical imbalance, then we should have no place in saying that they’re the ones being selfish. Many who have committed suicide have been treated very selfishly throughout their lives.

When we call suicide selfish we make it about us, thus sidelining those who are truly in pain.

You know what isn’t selfish? Reaching out to those who are in pain.

Committing suicide is selfish” is among the most selfish things a person can say.

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Finding God In the Silent Seasons

I don’t hear God talking to me…

Where’s my spiritual fire?

I just feel disconnected from God…

Why was I raising my hands and in joyful tears during last weeks worship but this week I’m monotone and still?

You are not alone. We’ve all been there. It’s the season where we talk to God and it feels like a one-way radio…sometimes we may think the radio isn’t even on on the other end.

Remember the cross. Remember the scandalous love that left the holiest of throne rooms and placed Himself in the lowliest of earthly dwellings.

Remember that Love loved you when you were must unlovable…and this will always be the case. 

Remember that Love took you from slavery and brought you into royal and intimate relations with Him and he calls you His own. 

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2 Things? More Like 10 Things We Will Miss About Johnnie Moore

Love others the way God has loved you. -Johnnie Moore

News is spreading fast about Johnnie Moore’s recent appointment as Chief of Staff to Mark Burnett, producer of Son of God, Survivor and other television series. He has been succeeded by Dr. David Nasser, notable author, speaker and pastor. After 12 years with Liberty University Johnnie’s departure will leave a deep hole- especially given his enthusiastic personality and affectionate rapport with the student body. 

Johnnie, you will be missed. Here are two things- no, ten things we will miss about you brother (some serious, some funny, all in love)

1) Your relationship with the student bodyjohnnie feature
Johnnie was quick to smile, joke or encourage the students of Liberty University. Through his comments at Convo, sermons at Campus Church and intentional involvement with the students immediately following the Annex shooting, Johnnie was always there to pour into the lives of his students. 

“My freshman year I literally almost bumped into him in Green Hall. He was carrying a brief case and looked like he was in a hurry, but when I said hi, he stopped to talk for a minute. He asked me what my name was, what I was studying, and how he could pray for me before he went on. I’ve always remembered that. He’s always been one of the most caring and genuine people in the LU Administration, and I will miss having him around.” -Sabrina Hardy; English, Graduate Student

2) Great Convo speakers
As VP for Communications, Johnnie scored big time with some awesome speakers for Convo. The range of speakers from different fields not only inspired students by their messages, but it encouraged students across the professional field to know that they can serve as advocates of the kingdom within their respective job fields. Not every institute can say they had Sarah Palin, Willie Robertson, John Piper, Christine Caine, Jefferson Bethke, Rand Paul, Jon Acuff, Ted Cruz, Josh McDowell, Clayton King Bob Goff and many more all within a single school year. 

“I love Johnnie, I really do. He’s quirky (a good quirky), and overall a funny warm person. To me, he always cared deeply about Liberty and its students and did his best to better both. Of course, his “okay guys, I have two announcements” thing will always make me laugh (to be honest, I can recall more times when the announcements number more than two), but that’s just who he was. Gonna miss having Johnnie at Liberty.” –Brandon Nicholas Mitchener; Junior, English 

johnnie fox3) Inspiration on Capitol Hill
Johnnie taught people what it meant to be courageous Christians. He was NOT silent regarding persecution against Christians in the Middle East. He served as an advocate for the persecuted Church a number of times to the Federal Government as well as international governments. Certainly the students and faculty of Liberty will note this heroic behavior and will aspire to reflect it. 

“Johnnie’s passion for us at Liberty is something that makes me want to stay and continue to learn, but his passion for the persecuted Church is what makes me want to take what I learned at LU and apply it in the world.” –Joshua Philip Smith; Senior, Pastoral Leadership

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A Feminist and A Jew Walk Into A Bar

*The term feminism used in this entry is the traditional pursuit of equality- not matriarchy. Not male bashing but the appreciation of male and female equal coexistence. The contemporary definition of feminism is not associated with this article. 

A woman was crying. Frustrated to tears. The woman, a passionate lover of Jesus and one who identifies as a feminist, was struggling with issues of gender roles. More specifically she was concerned about what society and the Church have suggested about her abilities or permissions. Jesus saw his beloved daughter’s heartache and he pitied her. Jesus met his daughter, embraced her and invited her into sweet and intimate fellowship with him. Around the corner was a pub where she regularly went to evangelize, early enough in the evening to catch people prior to incoherency.  

Jesus said, “it is here that you have shown my love night after night to those who are hurting. Allow me to show my love to you in this sacred place.”

They poured the wine and engaged in discussion. Perplexed as to why Jesus would decree such limitations or social handicaps on women she proceeded to ask him why. 

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When We Celebrate 50 Shades Of Grey, We Abandon This Generation’s Women

I get it. Some people are into whips, chains and the occasional goat.

But the plot behind 50 Shades of Grey goes far beyond the scandal of domination and submission and into a cancer of devaluing manipulation.

(If you know the basic plot you can skip this paragraph) The plot to 50 Shades is a college girl who interviews a successful young entrepreneur. During the interview process she, having a sheltered background, is intrigued by his charm and mystery. He eventually establishes a relationship (non-romantic) with her with the intent to bring her into his home so he can perform domination and submission methods of sexual intercourse with her (chains, whips, “torture” apparatuses etc). She becomes accustomed to his treatment but ultimately realizes he has no intent for love but only to use her as a victim to his charm and object for his satisfaction. 

What’s the problem?
The problem is that millions are finding entertainment in a story of a girl being manipulated and abused by a man who has no desire to pursue her romantically.

Is this how we value our women?

Is this how we train men to be intentional and women to be confident?

It’s funny how we protest this behavior when our friends, sisters, daughters etc. fall victim but we justify and celebrate it when it pleases us. 

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