Where Science and Gnosticism Meet

Do these two contradictory views have anything in common? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Gnosticism was one of the first great heresies of Christianity. Since the time of Plato, the material world had been downplayed in comparison to the immaterial world. Gnosticism continued this and it had a real problem with Christianity. Christianity held that God became incarnate in a body. Gnosticism was the view that all of matter was evil. When it met Christianity, it tried to say Jesus came to set us free from the lesser evil god who created matter and that lesser evil god was the God of the Old Testament.

Today, we have a movement that seems to be quite different. This is the idea that science is the supreme gateway to truth and science studies the material world. The material world is the real one and we need to get past any mention of anything that is so-called supernatural. (I question the use of the term)

I have been reading Nancy Pearcey’s excellent book Love Thy Body and started thinking about this. I can’t claim credit for everything then as her writing has been something that got my mind thinking about this. There will be a review of the book when I’m done and she is going to be on my show later this month.

Interestingly, where all of these meet is always connected with sex in some way. At this point, many of our friends in the sciences suddenly start to deny science. Let’s take a look at how.

Abortion is one of the first ones. If we look at the scientific evidence of what is in the womb, we have a human being. However, this is something very inconvenient for many people since it interferes with free sex and other such things, so something has to be done. Well, it might be a human, but it’s not a person. Scientific basis for the difference between a human being and a human person? It doesn’t exist. All of a sudden, many of our skeptical friends promoting abortion are interested in metaphysics and philosophy.

The next area is in homosexuality. You don’t have to be a super genius to tell that the man and the woman go together sexually. Simply put, A goes into B very well. Yet once again, we have an anti-scientific mindset going on here. Now I have no problem with people wanting to do research to see if there is anything genetic that leads to homosexuality or a proclivity to it, but there is one problem and one that Pearcey brings out very well.

When a person abandons a straight orientation and goes to a homosexual one, they are said to have found their true selves. Keep in mind that when doing this, they can sometimes leave behind a spouse and kids in tears and broken, but they do it anyway. This is looked at with applause as the person has realized who they really are. If a person ever abandons a homosexual orientation for a straight one or is a homosexual but lives married to someone of the opposite sex, they are said to loathe themselves and be denying themselves. Never are they celebrated as having found their true selves.

Question. What is the scientific test for the true self? Answer. There isn’t one. How is it known? It is based on how the person feels and on the reigning paradigm of the moment.

Despite all of this, I really consider the last one the most bizarre.

Now we get to the transgender movement. Often in apologetics, I find it amazing the things that one has to defend that one never thought they would have to defend. A few years ago I was stunned that we now have to actually convince people marriage is between a man and a woman. Today, we have to convince them that the man and the woman really are the man and the woman. The sign of bigotry today is to say that a man is actually a man.

In all other cases, we could look at the body and see how it works, but even here, we can just look and see what the body is. All the evidence that is physical for someone says that their DNA is male (or female) and their body is that of a male. This is the true scientific evidence. Unfortunately, all of this is denied. Why? The feelings contradict.

When these two contradict, one will have to be worked on and even if never fully altered, it will need to come under the control of the other. It will either be the body that determines the identity and we change the feelings, or it will be the feelings that determine the identity and we change the body. It is quite amazing that many in the scientific community, particularly internet atheists, think that the feelings are where the person’s true identity lies and you must change all the material reality to fit their feelings.

In this, they are like the Gnostics of old. We could say that transgenderism might be nothing new. It is just an old heresy wrapped up in new terminology and presented in a new way. Deny the reality of matter and go with the immaterial. The person’s feelings reign supreme.

Where does this end? Who knows. It was bizarre enough to redefine marriage, but now a person’s feelings are given more and more precedence and once that starts, I really don’t know how that will end.

Keep in mind, none of this says anything about how we treat such people in itself. People who are struggling with these issues do need to be treated with love and compassion. However, they also need to be worked with to accept reality. One will never have good results if they try to go against reality.

It’s also interesting that Christians that hold to a biblical view on all of these are the ones that are going with the science and yet, we’re seen as bigots for doing that. Could it possibly be that those who want to champion science are just extremely selective where they want to champion it? Could it be some really aren’t interested in following the evidence where it leads?

How we deal with this is what Pearcey tells us to do. Love thy body. The body is not an evil thing. It is a gift to be treasured and cherished. This is especially so since in Christianity, it is the temple of the Holy Spirit and God Himself became incarnated in a body.

Consider this thought. Suppose that Jesus is crucified and dies and is buried. The tomb is found empty on Sunday, but instead, Jesus is now appearing as a woman named Joanna. This would be something unusual, but I don’t think we could call it Christianity anymore. It would deny that there is something essential to the body. It can be changed to be whatever you want. It would bring into question the notion of identity. Was this truly Jesus? Is the fact that He was a man something accidental to who he is as a person or is the identity something that can be changed?

Throughout the incarnation, Jesus was Jesus and the body that went down came up again. Yes, it was new and glorified, but it was still the body of Jesus. So it is for us. Our bodies are not accidents. They are the first line of evidence we have of who we are. Start with the feelings and you can justify most any belief. Start with the body and you’re limited to reality.

I think I’ll go with reality.

I have no wish to be a science-denier.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

 

 

 

 

 

Why I Don’t Use Porn

How can we best honor the women of the world? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

As I say this, I do realize that porn is not just a man’s problem. It is something that more and more women are engaging in as well. Nothing is meant to discount their struggle, but I can only write from my own position as a man.

Many times, it’s often assumed that if you’re a man, you’re watching porn. It could be an understandable assumption, but it’s also a false one. Being a man does not necessitate that you engage in pornography. Perhaps it could mean sexual sin is more of a struggle for you, but it is something that can be overcome.

Before my marriage, my Dad had been working somewhere where his fellow co-workers were sadly quite raunchy. He spoke about my upcoming wedding and somehow in the midst of the conversation it came out that he was proud of his son and his daughter who were saving sex for marriage. He was immediately told his kids were lying to him. They were doing that on the side and just not telling him about it.

No hesitation there. His kids weren’t lying.

We weren’t.

My eyes are reserved for Allie alone and she is the only woman I share that sexual intimacy with. Now as a guy, I will definitely say that that intimacy is awesome and getting to see Allie’s body is getting to see the most beautiful sight I have ever seen. It’s amazing what a guy can be motivated to do just by a little flirtation from his wife.

So if that’s something I enjoy so much, wouldn’t it make sense to see porn? No. Not at all. Here are some reasons why.

I don’t use porn because Allie is more than enough woman for me. I don’t need any other woman to satisfy my desires. I don’t want any other woman to do so. Viewing porn would be wrong because it would be telling Allie that she is insufficient as a woman.

I don’t use porn because a woman is not just a body. She is a person as well and when I view her as just a body, I do not love her as a whole. It is not loving to the women of the world to treat them as just bodies and I certainly don’t do that with my own wife.

I don’t use porn because it’s really fake. Why would I change a woman who is really interested in me for the chance to see a woman who doesn’t know me and doesn’t care about me? My wife’s chasing after me is more than enough for me.

I don’t use porn because it cheapens sex. Sex is indeed the union of two bodies in a holy embrace, but those are the bodies of persons and the persons are affirming a powerful commitment of love with that act. I choose to not use my body to lie so with my body, I honor my Allie.

I don’t use porn because the fake can’t match the reality. There’s nothing like really touching one’s own wife and experiencing her touch. Nothing in media can compare with the real deal. The passion that can exist in the bedroom is a sacred passion.

I don’t use porn because I want my eyes filled with only Allie. Why would I want to delight in another man’s wife or in a woman I can never have? Is the one that God has given me just not enough for me? Of course, she is.

I don’t use porn because I don’t want to ever give Allie any hint that she’s insufficient for me. She is not in competition with other women. When I proposed to her, I told her she won the grand prize in my eyes and I wanted to be with only her forever and when I married her, I made that a public statement.

I don’t use porn because sex is something beautiful. When I treat it as something common and outside of the sacred bounds of marriage, I cheapen it. Sex is so holy that there’s a whole book of Scripture about it. I have no wish to diminish it.

I don’t use porn because it teaches me that women just exist for my sexual pleasure. I am to seek to give to my wife. While it is true she is to give to me and a priority of hers should be my desires, it is a two-way street.

I don’t use porn because it would dishonor my God. God made sex to be treasured and all these human beings are made in His image and to be treasured, whether they are married or not and whether they plan to marry or not. No person is to be treated as an object.

I don’t use porn because I want to be my intimacy in this life to come because Allie is affirming me as her man. I don’t want to go to other women I don’t know for just something that makes me feel like a man. I would rather go to my wife and be the man that she loves.

I don’t use porn because sex isn’t just a hobby. It’s not like a sport that two people can play together and it doesn’t really matter who the participants are. It’s an exclusive act I share with only one person who I love in an exclusive way and while what we do together is certainly a lot of fun, it’s also a building of that great love that we have together.

I don’t use porn because as far as I’m concerned, no one on Earth can compare with my wife’s beauty. Allie is the only beauty that drives me wild and pushes me to want to be a better man. She is the woman whose pictures I look at with longing romantic love and desire in my office (I have pictures of other family members in here), she is the picture on the desktop on my computer, and she is the picture that I see when I turn on my phone. My wife makes my world a much better place.

Ultimately, I don’t use porn because I love Allie and I love God. I seek to do nothing to dishonor either of them. The love of both in my life is a gift of grace and I choose to live holy in gratitude of that great gift.

And yes, I do love both. If you read this Princess, that means you specifically. Your husband loves you very much and you need no fear of competition.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

For Young Newlyweds

What advice would I pass on? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Recently while surfing Facebook I found someone asking how old people were when they got married. After that, he decided to ask what advice would be given to young newlyweds. I had to chime in and say something. Back within the past couple of years, I had a friend who I called and we always asked if he was dating someone. He told me he was and it seemed pretty serious. Then a few months later I get a call and he asks me how it was that I knew that I wanted to marry Allie. Yep. Knew where this was going. A few months after that he calls me late in the evening. I waited for him to say what I knew it was, but I was tempted to answer and say “Congratulations on your engagement!”

When Irma struck Florida, we had someone come and stay with us who was evacuating the area. He was also an Aspie like my wife and I. While he wanted to learn some about apologetics, I made sure to model for him what I think a man should do as a husband. That even meant that when I went to a dentist who would do my root canal work for a cheaper price, which meant a drive about an hour or an hour and a half away, he came with me. No need to risk the appearance of impropriety. It made an impression on him.

One of the greatest compliments I get is to be complimented on the kind of husband I am to Allie. Anyone can read books and study and learn things, and you should. To learn character and virtue though requires more than that. You can be a wicked and evil person and still be very smart.

So as I saw this post last night, I thought of some things. I don’t remember exactly all I said, but here are some things.

First off, barring abuse by your spouse or infidelity, divorce is not an option. When you marry, you marry for life. Don’t go in thinking it’s just like any other relationship. It isn’t.

Your first priority is to God. After that, your spouse is the next person in line. If you do have kids, don’t put your kids before your spouse. Let them know that your marriage relationship is the most important relationship of all.

Get rid of selfishness. It has no place in a marriage. If you look out for #1, you will often do so at the expense of your spouse. It is not about how much you get in a marriage, but it is about how much you give.

Never stop pursuing and chasing each other. It can often be thought that you put your best foot forward when you date, and then when you marry, you can kick back and take it easy. You shouldn’t. Be the person you were when you were dating.

On that, keep in mind romance looks different for men and women. For a woman, it can be any number of things. My wife likes gifts the most. Many a wife wants some quality time or likes it when her husband helps take care of things around the house. It doesn’t have to be big and grand gestures. It can be simple little things.

For men, it’s much easier. Men can like that, but for most men, it’s sex. Deprive a husband here and he won’t be able to function as well nearly anywhere else in the world. Keep him happy here, and he will be thoroughly happy and have his mood improve everywhere else he is.

By the way, along those lines women, keep in mind your husband does not just want duty sex. It sends him a very dangerous message when he knows you’re having sex just because you think you have to and you have no real interest in him. Men would rather have a Plain Jane who was absolutely crazy about them in the bedroom, than to have a supermodel who was entirely passive and acted along the lines of “Well are you done yet?”

Always try to assume the best of your spouse. Don’t let distrust be the default position. Instead, let trust be the default position. Your spouse is a fallen sinful human being and will mess up at times, but always be willing to give the benefit of the doubt.

While women have this problem, this one is largely male. Avoid pornography at all costs. It will not enhance your marriage and if you’re single and planning to marry, get rid of porn. There are some men today who are in their 20’s and need to take Viagra because the sight of a real woman doesn’t arouse them any more. Let your mind be filled with the thought of that one woman and let her know she has no competition.

Be Christian together. Pray together and read the Bible together and go to church together. You each must also cultivate your own spiritual devotion, but make sure to build one another up.

Avoid sex before marriage. Don’t live together before marriage either. Keep things for the wedding night as much as you possibly can.

Along those lines, something I advise is when you go on your honeymoon, bring no books save your Bible. Do not go on Facebook or check email. Ask both families to not get in touch with you. Don’t go on social media sharing wedding pictures or seeing what people said. Those responses will be there when you get back. They can wait. Checking all of that is like bringing other people with you on your honeymoon. Spend that time focused on one another.

Have fun as well. Try to find hobbies you enjoy together or TV shows you want to watch together. Each of you will likely have some of your own interests, but make sure there are things you’re interested in together.

Forgiveness is always huge. Be willing to forgive quickly. I tell people that marriage is one of the best ways to learn it. You will spend a lot of time giving or receiving forgiveness and I would say I’ve spent a lot more time receiving.

Marriage is hard work, but it is certainly worth it. It’s been an incredible adventure for me. My life is all the better for having Allie as my wife in it.

By the way, always let them  know it. You can never tell your spouse “I love you,” too much. You cannot hold them too much. Love is always mandatory.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

How Much Is A Woman Worth?

What price can you put on yourself? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

While Allie and I were in Knoxville, we went to our old church. Two of our friends who have been married for 50+ years met us and started talking about a woman who left the church and after a divorce was now dating someone else. When this couple met the woman and her new boyfriend, one question that came up was asking how it is that a couple stayed married for fifty years. The wife immediately said, “I think one big help is that we didn’t have sex until we were married.”

It was an answer obviously not wanted.

This has been something on my mind lately because sometimes when you talk about how much a woman is worth, it’s often thought that if someone has sex before they are married, they are worth nothing. That is false. Their value doesn’t change. A fine automobile is still of great value even if you treat it commonly and use it for common purposes. A bottle of fine wine would still have the same value even if used as a common beverage to quench one’s thirst.

In all of this, we’re talking about marriage. I am mainly focusing on the women because for the most part, men are the most active ones on the market. Men are usually the go-getters. Men tend to see sex itself as a goal. Women, on the other hand, usually see sex as a way to something else, such as security.

Many times today in trying to win a guy, a woman will often want to play the sex card soon. After all, this is what the man really wants and if it’s given, then that gives him incentive to stay with you. The reality is that it’s just the opposite.

You see, if a woman says she’s not giving sex until she’s married, she is sending a message. She is saying that any man who wants her is really going to have to pursue her. He is going to have to say he wants her and only her. He will have to say that he will be with her till death do them part and he will give himself only to her. She will settle for nothing less than a lifetime commitment. This is a woman who has set the price for her at the highest that she can.

If the man really wants her, he will say yes. He will do all that he can because he can’t imagine going through life without this woman. He wants this woman and only this woman and he will demonstrate it to the fullest. He will treat her right, take her on dates, give her gifts, etc.

Now to be fair, sometimes after marriage this stops, and that’s a tragedy. A man should never cease to try to romance his wife. Likewise, a wife should never cease to want to romance her husband. She can now use the sex card when she wants to for that, but simple day to day things can also help with that process.

To get back to the woman dating, if she says yes beforehand, what she is telling the man is that he does not have to do much to get her. She might think she’s secured him, but he could also be wondering if he’s the first. If she gives out this easily, maybe he’s not anything really special. Maybe she’s not anything really special.

What women need to realize is that to we men, you are often the great mystery. After seven years of marriage, I’m still amazed with the beauty of my wife’s body and that is still a great incentive for me to be acting the way I should. When you give early, you are removing any mystery. You are telling a guy how far he has to go before he really needs to keep trying to impress you.

If you’re a woman dating someone now, tell him that you want to save sex for marriage. If you’ve already been having it, tell him you have a new commitment to wait until marriage. This is a way to find out if the guy really cares about you. If he does, he could be disappointed understandably, but if he really cares about you, he will do the work. If not, then he will just move on to the next girl he thinks is “easy” and try to get it from there. If the former happens, you will know that this is a man who loves and respects you. If not, you have just found out your guy was using you for the sex.

Also, if you’re a woman and you know another woman making this mistake, she is actually doing women a great disservice. She is giving herself away with very little effort which is in a way saying she’s worth very little effort. Every woman out there is worth the most effort. They might not see it, but they are. They deserve to be treated like a Princess.

Ladies. Please also remember that being with a man doesn’t determine your value. What a man does is show how much he’s willing to give to be with you and his actions towards you should show you how much you are worth. This is another reason for a man to be striving to be romantic in marriage. The woman is worth pursuing still. He is still chasing after her. One great mistake in a marriage is to start to take the other person for granted and say that because you have that person, then you can now relax and take it easy. May it never be. Never stop chasing. Never stop pursuing.

Women. Don’t let anyone lower your worth, especially yourself. If you want a man in your life, you are worth a lifelong commitment. Every woman deserves to be treated like a Princess. Don’t settle for a man who does less.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

 

 

Men and Temptation

What happens to make a man go wrong? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Over Christmas, Allie and I went out with my Dad to a Mexican restaurant. My mother hasn’t been feeling well and I appreciate your prayers for her. Because of that, she was unable to go. On the way home, we started talking about moral issues and that included pastors who have gone astray, but especially in the area of sexuality.

I have written before about what the life of temptation is like for a man. For my part, I take it as a point to not be alone in a car with a woman who is not my wife unless they are a close relative like my mother, sister, or mother-in-law. It’s not worth any risk. I also try to avoid sharing personal details with other women and definitely never think I am above temptation. That’s one of the surest signs you will fall for it.

It’s not a struggle for me, but if pornography is one for you, I can’t recommend enough that you get some sort of protection for your computer to make sure you don’t go to sites you shouldn’t go to. It would be ideal if you just reached a moral resolution and didn’t want to go and that was sufficient, but if this is what it takes, it is what it takes. Your reputation is worth it and if you are married, your marriage is worth it.

Why do men fall though? We fall because this is a strong and powerful drive in our lives for one thing. If a wife really wants to motivate her husband, there’s no secret that sex is one of the best motivators for something. The sad thing is that it can also be a motivator for bad behavior, especially if another woman seems really interested.

By the way, this is something women often miss. Their husbands don’t just want the deed itself. They want a woman who is interested in it and is interested in being with them. It gives a man feelings of respect and being desired and that is incredibly motivating to a man. I think this could be one of the reasons Paul tells married couples in 1 Cor. 7 to not withhold except by mutual consent and even then, don’t let it be for long.

But another bigger problem is the lack of the church. The church is not teaching on this issue. Turn on your average sitcom and you get the world’s view of sex. Turn on the radio and listen to a lot of the music and you get the world’s view of sex. Turn on the evening news and you get the world’s view of sex. Go to the movies and you get the world’s view of sex. Check the magazine rack at the grocery store. Overhear water cooler talk or locker room talk and you get it.

We are bombarded with this material, but somehow, we think that one Sunday a year if even that much on the topic will be enough to overcome that. I even know of someone who said he went to a Christian marriage seminar and the whole time, not a thing was said about sex. It’s not like this is an add-on to marriage that is no big deal.

If we are going to win the battle of temptation, men need to keep themselves accountable. They definitely need to know that the church is a safe place to talk about their temptations. Keep in mind also I am not denying that women are tempted. Of course, they are. I am still writing for men since it’s easier to speak from my own perspective.

We also need a whole worldview of sex. Men and women both do. We need to understand the role and purpose it plays in life and in marriage. The world actually has a very reductionistic view of sex turning it into just a favorite hobby that men and women do together. It’s nothing about having and building up a commitment. You can do it with pretty much anyone.

Christians are to be better and that also means we are to have better marriages. If someone has no plans of marriage, then they need to be willing to accept lifelong celibacy as the trade. If they do marry, then it is a lifetime commitment of faithfulness to that one person for life.

The world wants to show that they are the ones getting the best out of everything. We know better. The sad thing is we’re not demonstrating it, and maybe that’s because we really don’t believe it. This is not our idea. This is God’s idea. He created the whole system and everything connected with it. Let’s live our lives and marriages before the world in a way to honor His way and the gift that He gave.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Some Thoughts On Addiction

How do we deal with addictions? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

My wife goes to Celebrate Recovery and seeing as she can’t drive, I’m her ride. The meetings are held at our church and they are a blessing to go to. I am finding it easier and easier to communicate with the men that I’m in group with. Everyone who come to the group has a major struggle. I generally talk for me about wanting to be a better husband. Each meeting has early on an account of someone giving their story and there is one running theme.

Addiction.

I am sure I have my own addictions, but I honestly can’t place them. As I thought about this, I’m sure we all do, because it could easily be the case that all sin is something like this. It has been said that for the devil, the sin he did was that he saw all the glory of YHWH in Heaven and thought of nothing but his own prestige. Note something if that is accurate. There is nothing wrong with your own well-being, but there is a problem with putting that first.

Something you need to know about addictions is that everyone who is addicted is addicted to a good thing. Some of you might balk at that. Surely it is not good. In some cases, the actions are not good, but the person really wants not the actions, but the good that comes with the actions.

Consider if we talk about sexual addictions. Sex is a good thing, yet if you meet a man who struggles with sexual addiction, he does not want the sex for the sake of sex. No. He wants sex because of certain things sex gives him. He delights in seeing a woman naked. He enjoys the feeling of sexual release. He desires to be wanted and wants to be passionate with a woman. It could be any of those things. It could be all of them.

None of those are bad things. A man should enjoy seeing a woman naked. He should enjoy sexual release. He should want to be wanted and want to be passionate with a woman. These are not bad things.

The sin is not the desire itself. The sin is putting that desire over something else. In this case, the man is using the woman’s body often as an object and caring nothing about the woman herself and is not willing to make a commitment to her. If he is married and his wife doesn’t give, well okay. That’s rough, but just hop on the computer and look at some porn. If the wife can’t be used, use another woman.

How about cutting? If you see my wife’s Facebook, you know she has struggled with this and is about to go four months without. Why does someone want to cut? It’s not because they really enjoy the act itself. It’s because of what results from the act. It makes them feel better about emotional pain. Nothing wrong with that part. All of us want to diminish emotional pain. It’s just how we do it that’s wrong.

Many times with addiction, a strange place seems to be reached. It is the position of saying that we cannot be happy without X, whatever it is. Not only that, we are willing to risk what anyone else could tell us would be greater goods in order to get this lesser good.

C.S. Lewis years ago compared us to children who are offered a day at the beach but instead keep wanting to make mudpies in a sandbox. We are offered so much and we settle for so little. Lewis said our desires are not too strong, but they are too weak. We settle. We are far too easily pleased.

When we get like this, two words come to mind to describe this. Both of them start with an S. I’m going to be blunt so be prepared.

The first word is stupid.

If you were offered a day at the beach and yet insisted on mudpies in a sandbox, unless there is some factor about the beach we don’t know about, that’s just stupid. It is. It is not the result of sound thinking.

The other word is the one we don’t like to use, but it needs to be used. In fact, I think until we come to realize that unless this word is seen as the real culprit, the problem will never be dealt with.

That word is sin.

You see, the problem isn’t that we love some little thing too much. It’s that we love some greater thing too little. A man with a porn addiction hopefully loves his wife, but sadly, in that moment, he is loving his addiction more.

Lewis had something to say about this as well. He said that when we want forgiveness of sins, we usually want excusing of sin. “Yes, Lord. I did look at pornography, but my wife was really frigid today and I had such a raging desire and I figured it was better to deal with it than to live in stress and anxiety over it.”

Excusing is just stupid. For one thing, God knows all the excuses we could give. He knows the mitigating factors that lead to a sin. He takes them into account and judges us fairly. Yet no matter what it is, in every single action, there is still something that was done wrong. That is the sin. It cannot be excused. There is no excusing sin. It must be confessed and forgiven.

For addiction, repentance doesn’t need to become a one-time deal. It must be a lifetime. It must be our constant repenting. What is that repenting? For the time being, we put something else on the throne of God. We put something else as essential to our happiness save God Himself.

1 Tim. 6:17 does say God gives us all things richly for our enjoyment. He gave us food, sex, money, fame, and all of these properly understood are good things. What is the problem is that we make these good things the main gods of our lives when addiction comes up.

I think also some of this could be that well, our churches aren’t doing a good job. Most churches give us just simple platitudes. Christianity is not about submitting to Jesus Christ as Lord. It’s about learning how to be a good person. There’s nothing wrong with being a good person, but the church has to give us something unique. Jesus can’t be just a way to be a good person. He has to be a way to God. Jesus did not come to just give us morality. He came to give us God.

We also have an emphasis on heaven in our churches, and yet there is no excitement about heaven. People will say they want to go to heaven when they die, but they don’t think about it. I have to say I’m guilty of that as well, and if we went by the description of heaven in most churches, who could blame anyone for not being excited? Heaven is often depicted as a neverending church service, yet how many of us can be looking at our watches wondering if the preacher will be quiet soon after ten minutes and yet we’re supposed to enjoy an eternity of this?

I really think we need to get in some good look at Heaven. Consider a book like Peter Kreeft’s Heaven: The Heart’s Deepest Longing. To go back to Lewis, Lewis spoke of how we can not picture happiness sometimes because we’re so fixated on one thing. For a little boy, chocolate can be the greatest good. His older brother says lovemaking is far greater. The little boy wonders if the couple has chocolate in it. (To be fair, they can, but it’s not essential.) The little boy does not realize that the couple has something going on that is far better so much so that chocolate pales in comparison. Picture if what we have in lovemaking that is so good cannot compare to what awaits us in eternity.

One reason we also don’t get excited about Heaven is that we’re not excited about God, and again, why should we be? God is often depicted in these static terms. He forgives us and He loves us and that’s about it. Nothing is said about His glory and majesty. Nothing is said to excite us to His nature. We worship Him, but do we really know why we do? Many of us worship God I think out of familiarity and because you go to church on Sunday and that’s just what you do.

Picture it. We’re really saying there is a being out there who is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, loves us all, will give us all that is essential to our happiness, has acted in the world through great events like the Exodus and the sending of His Son Jesus, still does miracles today, will give us all everlasting joy in Heaven, but at the same time prior will be our judge and we will give an account of everything we do to Him.

Oh. That’s nice. What’s on TV tonight?

It really is how we approach the topic.

It’s also shown that we do that because we don’t take sin seriously. Much of our psychology and such is about dealing with our feelings. Nothing wrong with that, but it’s rarely about dealing with our behaviors. We want to feel good. We just don’t often want to be good.

Have you ever considered that every act of sin, no matter how small, is an act of divine treason? In some way, you are denying one or more of God’s attributes.

You are denying that God has the power to judge you when you sin. He says He will, but you don’t fear that. You will do it anyway.

You are denying that He knows what is best for you. He says He will provide your joy and happiness if you trust Him. Nope. You have to find your own way.

You are denying His omnipresence. God won’t see it. He isn’t there. He won’t notice it.

You are denying His love. God is holding out on you. If God really wanted your happiness, He would provide immediately this thing that you want for your happiness.

We could go on, but the point is you are denying God. You are then trying to take His throne. Every sin is setting ourselves up as the real god of the universe.

So let’s look. We don’t take sin seriously. We don’t take God seriously. We don’t take Heaven seriously.

About the only thing we seem to take seriously is ourselves.

Yet as I say that last part, a caveat comes up. Many times, it can be a popular saying to say “I am my problem.” You’re not. The problem is not you. Why? Because sin is not your identity. You are not an addiction. You have an addiction. The problem is your sin. Get rid of your sin and everything about you is wonderful at that point. Really. Not a joke. Everything about you will be wonderful if you get rid of sin. The same for me.

We must realize our enemy is not ourselves. It is our sin, and we have to have zero-tolerance for it. Paul would write in places like Romans about how we were set free from sin. How can we let it be master over us again? If we submit to sin, we are not submitting to King Jesus. If we are not submitting to Him, we are saying something else is master besides Him.

Now some good news. God forgives us even in our sin. God is willing to work with us. He knows that we are dust. He knows our struggles. We do need to turn to Him and I think we need to turn to Him in an informed way. We really need to think about God.

You see, the reality is that we will pursue what it is that we really desire. We have to ask ourselves if we desire the object of our addiction more of if we desire God more. Every time we give in, we know which one we really desire more at that moment. It’s also again, pretty stupid and sinful. What we desire here is often momentary and doesn’t last long.

Consider a man who has a good marriage and great kids. What happens? He gets tempted by a girl at the office and before too long, he’s meeting her in a hotel and is throwing away years of a good marriage and being a good example to his kids just so he can have a tryst with another woman that won’t last that long. The act of sex is not an all-day thing in itself. (You can spend all day preparing for it, but you won’t spend all day doing it.)

Most of us would realize that’s stupid indeed, but the man when he’s caught in the action does not see that. All he sees is the sex that he wants. That’s it. That’s why we need to listen to others. Is what we really want, a moment of pleasure, worth sin against a holy God? Is it really worth putting ourselves and our loved ones through pain? Is it?

Again, I’m saying this as someone writing more on the outside and seeing the pain of addiction, which for me is when my wife chooses it in some way. One of the great sadnesses is realizing all the good that is being missed out on when the lesser good is desired. It’s quite amazing isn’t it? One can follow the path knowing the lesser good will end in pain every single time, and yet each time that time is thought to be the exception. This time when we follow the addiction, we will get the happiness that we want!

Our ultimate happiness is only found in God. He has given us several other things to make us happy here in this world and we should enjoy them, but we must never make idols out of them. Use them for the glory of God, but don’t think they are the glory of God.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Deeper Waters Podcast 12/23/2017: Rosaria Butterfield

What’s coming up? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Many of us know someone like this. It’s the person you know that is hard to reach. No. They’re impossible to reach. Might as well forget about it. This person has every reason in the world to not come to Christianity and nothing you say will ever be able to persuade them.

Sometimes, that Saul does become a Paul.

My guest this week was an unlikely convert. She was a Ph.D. professor and highly educated living with a lesbian partner and actively writing against Christianity. However, after a pastor got in touch with her, things started to change. Today, she is a devout Christian and a pastor’s wife. She will be my guest this week and due to limited time, for only half an hour, but we will make the most of it. Her name is Rosaria Butterfield.

So who is she?

According to her bio:

Rosaria Champagne Butterfield, a former tenured professor of English and women’s studies at Syracuse University, converted to Christ in 1999 in what she describes as a train wreck. Her memoir The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert chronicles that difficult journey. Rosaria is married to Kent, a Reformed Presbyterian pastor in North Carolina, and is a homeschool mother, author, and speaker.

 

Raised and educated in liberal Catholic settings, Rosaria fell in love with the world of words. In her late twenties, allured by feminist philosophy and LGBT advocacy, she adopted a lesbian identity. Rosaria earned her Ph.D. from Ohio State University, then served in the English department and women studies program at Syracuse University from 1992 to 2002. Her primary academic field was critical theory, specializing in queer theory. Her historical focus was 19th century literature, informed by Freud, Marx, and Darwin. She advised the LGBT student group, wrote Syracuse University’s policy for same-sex couples, and actively lobbied for LGBT aims alongside her lesbian partner.

 

In 1997, while Rosaria was researching the Religious Right “and their politics of hatred against people like me,” she wrote an article against the Promise Keepers. A response to that article triggered a meeting with Ken Smith, who became a resource on the Religious Right and their Bible, a confidant, and a friend. In 1999, after repeatedly reading the Bible in large chunks for her research, Rosaria converted to Christianity. Her first book, The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert, details her conversion and the cataclysmic fallout—in which she lost “everything but the dog,” yet gained eternal life in Christ.

 

Rosaria’s second book, Openness Unhindered: Further Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert on Sexual Identity and Union with Christ, addresses questions of sin, identity, and repentance that she often encounters during speaking engagements. She discourages usage of the term “gay Christian,” and she disputes “conversion therapy,” in part because heterosexual sin is no more sanctified than homosexual sin. Her heart’s desire is for people to put the hands of the hurting into the hands of the Savior, who equips us to walk and grow in humility.

 

Rosaria is zealous for hospitality, loves her family, cherishes dogs, and enjoys coffee.

Like I said, we’re only going to have half an hour of Dr. Butterfield’s time. We’ll be discussing her conversion, her life now, and what she has to say to the church. How can we be more effective with what we say? How should we approach the homosexual community? How now shall we live?

I hope you’ll be watching for this interview and please go and leave a positive review of the show on iTunes.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Book Plunge: Beauty, Order, and Mystery

What do I think of Gerald Hiestand and Todd Wilson’s book published by IVP? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

This book is about a Christian view of human sexuality based on a pastor’s conference on the topic. At the outset, I think it’s awesome that pastors are meeting among themselves and having serious talks on these matters. Now if only we could convince those pastors in the pulpit to start also talking about this material to their parishioners.

The book is a series of essays each dealing with a specific topic. Not just marital sexuality is discussed, but also homosexuality and transgenderism. How is the church to deal with these kinds of issues today? Each of the writings goes in-depth in making the case that it does.

Wesley Hill’s is one that I want to touch on. Wesley Hill is a celibate homosexual Christian who is an assistant professor at the Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge, Pennsylvania. Hill wants to remind us that not everyone who identifies as a homosexual or someone on that spectrum has some innate hatred for Christianity. Many of them would like to be Christians. Of course, there are some that are anti-Christians, but we should not paint with a broad brush without knowing the person first.

Hill’s essay answers the question of who do homosexuals love. He argues against the idea that marriage should be redefined and then the answer is a really simple one. A homosexual should love their neighbor as themselves. Sex is not the only way to love someone as we all know.

Joel Willitts essay was especially moving as he deals with the dark side of sexuality. For him, it is more of a curse than it is a blessing and this is said even as he is a married man. Willits writes about being abused when he was growing up and how that has damaged his sexuality from that time forward. We should all realize that when we’re in the church, there are a number of people who have been hurt sexually.

Willitts takes a look at addiction and pain then and I shared many of his thoughts with my own wife. He suggests looking at addiction not so much as a curse, but more of an indicator that something is wrong. There is a problem that needs to be worked out. It doesn’t mean that you give in to the addiction. It means you see what it is pointing to and work on the root of the problem.

Daniel Brendsel also has a chapter on selfies and how the world lives in a day and age where we too often market ourselves and think that knowing someone on Facebook tells you all that you need to know. At times, the selfies have got so extreme that there have been a number of fatalities. The other dark side is that a lot of teenagers are doing what’s called sexting, where they’re sending sexually explicit photos of themselves. Of course, it’s more women who are doing this, but I think this is not because women are more perverted, but because women are by far, even to other women I don’t doubt, much more appealing to the eye.

This touches on pornography which is talked about a number of times. Pornography has damaged our culture so much that women can often think they have to do something like sexting to compete. Many men are no longer turned on by real women because they have been looking too much at fake women in pornography.

The book ends with Matt O’Reilly’s essay on what makes sex beautiful. I have to say that while I do agree with the great theology in the essay and he brought out aspects I had not yet considered, I found this one a bit disappointing. Yes. Sex is very theological, but why does the average man on the street think that sex is just so awesome and the woman’s body especially is so beautiful? It is not because he is thinking about theology, but because something in the sex itself beyond what it points to. I think this is something the church needs to seriously think about. What do people want when they want sex? They don’t want it just for the sex, but for some other reason, be it pleasure, intimacy, etc.

Regularly also it was said in the book that the church needs more than just a negative message on sex. We need a positive message. We give so many messages of do nots that we don’t give any messages of when to do and why to do. Our view of sexuality is extremely negative and we don’t embrace the joy and beauty of sex like we should.

Anyone who is interested in areas relating to Christianity and sexuality would be blessed by reading this book. Churches who have pastors who are addressing these topics are indeed blessed. In an age of extreme confusion about sexuality, hopefully we’ll heed the call to have more serious discussion and in our own marriages, more serious enjoyment of sexuality.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

 

The Service Of Sex

Could sexuality be more about serving your fellow man than serving yourself? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I’ve been reading lately a book called Beauty, Order, And Mystery. It’s all about a Christian view of human sexuality. This is something that is greatly needed in our world as many of us don’t bother to understand the topic of sexuality. Instead, we just have a lists of do’s and don’ts and these are floating in the air based on nothing. It’s not sufficient in our day and age to say “Scripture says”, not because Scripture is invalid, but because many of us don’t know how to handle the Scriptures and many on both sides consider it a powerful argument to say that Scripture says to not eat shellfish for instance.

Even if we apply the right hermeneutic, it can still be good to try to figure out why God commands what He commands. Maybe we can never know, but it doesn’t mean we can’t try. This is especially so when we live in a culture, like many others around the world and in history, where sex is just so central to who we are. Sex is the god of our modern world and the greatest good to many that we meet today.

Despite this, few of us really think about sex today. Sometimes people get the idea that our culture thinks too much about sex, but the reality is we think too little. We dream about it, fantasize about it, make media about it, just plain do it, but we don’t think about it. We don’t think about what this action is and how it came to be and how it relates to what it means to be human.

It’s not a shock then when people think sexuality is so fluid and really has nothing to do with the body. A boy today can go to his university and say that he is identifying as a girl and the staff must treat him as a female including all the pronouns. Right here on my desk, I have a guide to pronouns from a local university. It says that people may change pronouns without changing their name, their appearance, or their sexual identity. You are explicitly told to not assume the same pronouns from yesterday apply to today.

This is a recipe for chaos and shows how far we’ve gone down. Who determines who we are? We do. We are the ones in charge or our own identity. Even if we’re given a male or a female body, it’s up to us to decide if we really want to be male or female.

One part I read yesterday talked about a scenario we’ve seen happen often in our world and something that irritates me whenever I see it. A husband or wife will leave their spouse or children and form a relationship with a same-sex lover because they have to be true to themselves. The media will then cheer them on and say that they have found their true identity.

One of the first things I want to know is how is it known that this is the true identity? In an age where everything is said to be scientific, we have to ask what is the scientific test for this? I am not saying science is the answer to everything, but it looks like a lot of people who say it is are very selective on what the everything is.

Yet the other point is that these people are not being true in one sense. They are not being true to promises that they made. They made promises to their spouses and in turn, they have promises to their children. Does your promise to your spouse come first, or does your own desire come first? What message does it send to your children if you put your own self first? What about being true to your family and community?

What about those of us in the church? We definitely need a positive image of sexuality and as I was reading about individualism and sexuality yesterday, I started pondering the idea of sex as service. We can look at that and start thinking about a prostitute performing a service and if we do, we have shown how far off we are.

Sex is often seen in our culture as the goal. Anyone should know easily that this is false. No one wants sex because of sex. They want it because of something else or many other somethings else. It could be pleasure of intimacy or security or children or anything else in this world. Just because the couple has sex together doesn’t mean everything is going to be a bed of roses or they’re meant to be together. I have known couples that have had a passionate sex life together, but split up because that was all they had together. Each person ultimately saw the other as a means to get what they wanted.

Now to be sure, I’m not saying none of us have needs nor am I saying it’s wrong to want to have needs met. It’s not selfish to go to the kitchen and fix a meal because your body needs food. It can be selfish based on how much you have and if you neglect others when you are capable of giving to them as well.

I am saying we should change our perspective. We who hold to a Christian view of sexuality need to think about the role it plays. Just this morning I was reading 1 Cor. 6 which deals greatly with sexual ethics and the importance of honoring God with your body. What you do with your body sexually matters.

If you’re single, your role sexually to honor God is celibacy. This doesn’t have to be lifelong, but the only way it ends is if you marry someone. You’re not to use someone of the opposite sex without giving them the promise of yourself in marriage. If this is something hard, then the Christian requirement is you find someone to marry, and believe it or not, it’s entirely acceptable to have “wanting to have sex” as a reason for marriage. Paul said it in 1 Cor. 7. If you’re someone who is going to burn, then you need to marry.

For those of us who are married, sex is also about how we treat our spouses. Sex is part of the covenant promise you made to the person you married. It needs to be treated as a priority. Otherwise, you’re pretty much just glorified roommates together. Consider this. If you are not honoring your spouse with your body, you are not honoring God with your body.

Let’s look from a man’s perspective. Most men want to be seen as men. Men are often very insecure under whatever presentation they give of themselves. This is one reason men want to compete so much with one another. Each of them is trying to prove that they are the man. One of the best gifts a wife can give her husband is to show him he is the man by sex. It shows him that he is desirable and wanted.

Women often balk at this thinking it so odd. “But we just did it earlier this week? Why does he want it again?” Ladies. Here’s a way to picture this. What if your husband said “I told her I love her earlier this week. Why does she need to hear it again?” “I told her she’s beautiful. Why does she need to hear it again?” “I took her out on a date already. Why does she need to go out again?” “I bought her a gift already. Why does she want something else?”

If this is the way either spouse is thinking about the other, then at that moment they are treating them as an annoyance and their marital obligations as a drudgery. Of course, there will be times when it’s not the right time. If a wife is sick, a husband should not be pushing his desires at that time. Now ladies, if your husband is wanting to be with you, please don’t ever just outright say no. If you have to say no, give a time when you will be ready and able and hold to that time.

Also, remember that what your husband wants most is not for you to look like a supermodel. He won’t complain about that, or he shouldn’t, but he wants most to be wanted by you. He wants your passion. He doesn’t want to be a duty. He wants to be pursued. He wants to know that He is a source of joy for you.

Another point is that many many times, the man has the higher drive. There are marriages where the wife has the higher drive, but it’s usually the man. Ladies. You can really help your man deal with temptation and the struggles of the flesh greatly by being there for him here.

I have written about the way it is for a man previously. I wish to stress one thing here. Ladies. Picture wanting to lose those extra ten pounds and yet having to go through the ice cream or chocolate section of the grocery store. That is what your man is experiencing everyday. He sees beautiful women around him in the real world and in the media and then when he comes home to the one woman he can see while he’s been tempted left and right all day long, she hides away from him. It’s quite distressing for a man. Being available for him will keep him happy and better able to handle temptation, and again, this is one reason Paul encourages regular sex with spouses. They don’t need to be tempted.

Women meanwhile do want to know that they’re beautiful. It’s amazing that one of the great praises a woman can receive is to be told she’s beautiful. When the book of Job ends, it ends by saying Job’s daughters were the most beautiful. So many women in the Bible are praised because of their beauty. Physical beauty is not a bad thing and no wives, your husband is not a pervert because he wants to have sex with you and he wants to see you naked.

Women also have a need for security. What does a man do here then? He treats his wife like a treasure regularly and provides for her the best he can and not just because he wants something from her. He does it because he loves her. He does it in season and out of season. He provides for her a place of security.

Husbands. You’re asking your wives in sex to be completely vulnerable to you. This is something huge for them, especially if they’ve been abused in the past. By showing you their bodies, they are in essence giving you all that they can give you. It is a risk.

Give them security. Let them know they’re safe and treasured. Always treat them like the apple of your eye. (By the way parents, never make your children the focus of your marriage. They’re not. One of the best gifts you can give your children is a loving commitment to your spouse.) Let them know you’re there with them no matter what and when times come when sex is off the table, such as sickness, love them the exact same way.

Too many women can think they are loved only for sex, and too often they can be right. Do the things she thinks are romantic. Date her. Spend time with her. Never stop pursuing her. Too often in a marriage, a man puts on all the charm and romance until he marries his wife, and then he sits down on the couch and watches TV and expects her to serve him hand and foot. To be fair, a number of men say their wives had great physical interest in them until they married them. Then they stopped. They can also be right.

If my thinking is right there, then the goal is to see sex not as a duty but as a way to honor the other person and help meet their needs. For singles, that means not using other people for sex without a commitment. It has been said that before you get married, the devil will do all you can to get you to have sex, and after you’re married, he’ll do all he can to keep you from having it. Now I think sayings like this ascribe way too much power to the devil, but the sentiment I can agree with.

Married people meanwhile honor God with their bodies when they honor their own spouse as well with their bodies. Fidelity to the covenant doesn’t just mean don’t cheat on one another and don’t watch porn and such. It also means honoring the promises you made and that includes sex. Barring severe medical problems, for the Christian, there should be no such thing as a sexless marriage.

It’s not about you. It’s about how you can please your spouse. For a wife, this could just mean have a lot more sex. It’s still pursuing him like you were dating. For a husband, this means being romantic even apart from sex. Date her, buy her gifts, whatever her love language is. Sweep her off her feet. Never stop being a romantic.

And by the way, suppose that you are one who thinks your spouse is not doing this in your marriage. You know what? That doesn’t change your obligation. You are to do the right thing even if you think the wrong thing is being done to you. Too many marriages have each person insisting the other should make the first move. You do the right thing. There is never any justification for doing that which is wrong, including to your spouse.

Serve your spouse as best you can and serve your community as best you can. Honor God with your bodies.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

 

On Sexual Harassment

What are we to make of this modern outbreak? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Odds are that before the day is through, a new sexual harassment charge will be brought forward against Roy Moore, Al Franken, or someone else in a position of power. This leaves Christians wondering what is going on exactly. How is it that we respond to this? Why is this such an issue today?

The first thing to say about this is innocent until proven guilty. That’s the American system. If someone does apologize or agree to the charges, then yes, take that as an admission of guilt. I don’t care for the comedy of Louis CK, but when the charges were brought against him, I withheld judgment until he came forward and said that they were true.

Yet there is no doubt some of this happening today and the question is why. Why in our day and age do so many men seem to be accused of this? Please note that a woman can just as much sexually harass a man, but usually, men seem to be the main offenders. It could be because either a man doesn’t want to admit it, or because a man would not consider it harassment if a woman started really coming on to him and doing sexual things to him.

Some of this I think is due to modern feminism. It was this idea that men and women are absolutely equal. Reality check. They’re not. Men and women are vastly different. This does not mean that one is superior to the other. It does not mean that one is more human than the other. It just means that they are different from one another.

Feminism sought to make them all equal and one of the great ways to do this was abortion. After all, once a woman gets pregnant, it could really dampen her career and her sex life. Can’t have that! The oddity is that women who were promoting this were also allowing themselves to be used by men. After all, men have this desire for sex without consequences and if you can remove the consequences even if the woman gets pregnant, then hey, no worries! Sadly, many will happily kill their own children if it means they can get more sex.

I wish I was exaggerating on this point, but I am not. Consider how a few years ago when Texas was passing a bill to limit abortion. Here you have man-child Ben Sherman writing about why this bill should be opposed.

Your sex life is at stake. Can you think of anything that kills the vibe faster than a woman fearing a back-alley abortion? Making abortion essentially inaccessible in Texas will add an anxiety to sex that will drastically undercut its joys. And don’t be surprised if casual sex outside of relationships becomes far more difficult to come by.

Note that part. Casual sex outside of relationships. After all, who cares about a relationship with the woman? That takes so much work and such. You might actually have to get to know her, spend time with her, invest in her, and learn to treat her with love and honor. Nah. It’s far easier to just “hit it and quit it.”

You see, if sex is the end and the women don’t matter for a relationship, then the women will be used. Sadly, it’s not because these people have a high view of sex. They actually have a low view of sex. They take one aspect of sex, the physical joy, and remove all the other aspects of it.

One of the great joys of sex in marriage is the bonding it gives with one’s spouse. That happens in relationship. Before I got married, a former pastoral counselor gave me a notecard with some pieces of advice for marriage. One statement on there I remember was “Sex is the thermometer that measures the temperature of the relationship.” That can apply to many men today. If you want to ask a man how his marriage is doing, he could very well base it off of what goes on in the bedroom.

Sex is indeed a physical act, but it is not just physical. It is spiritual. It is emotional. It is relational. If you take the physical, then you’re really just cheapening sex. Now, something that’s incredibly good and cheapened can still be incredibly good. A Corvette can be a great car even if it has a dent in it. It just won’t have the same value.

To get back then to what was being said, a man won’t value a woman as a woman, but see her as just a body. Often times, this will mean that he thinks the same thing that works on him should work on her. The woman should be that if you do X, then Y happens. Do this and you get sex back. Ask any married man and they will tell you the truth about this.

I often think part of the problem in marriages is that men expect women to think like men and vice-versa. It doesn’t work that way. The way men and women think about things is extremely different. The sad thing is many of those things we think should be appreciated. A man thinks his romantic physical gestures should be appreciated. A wife thinks her helpful tips on how to do the dishes should be appreciated.

To get back to harassment, what happens then is that men can make advances they think should be appreciated, but get turned into harassment. They can also treat women as if they were just bodies and nothing more than objects of pleasure for them. It’s quite interesting to think that Mike Pence got a lot of pushback for his rule about relationships with women other than his wife, but a lot of people today would be in a lot less trouble if they followed that rule.

What does it take to change this? It takes a higher view of sex and a higher view of people. Sex has to be more than just a physical activity, though certainly not less. It has to be a spiritual and emotional and relational connection to be saved for the sacred bonds of marriage. Men and women have to be seen as persons in their own right and their very beings are not just means to an end.

As for the current charges, we can discuss, but let us always remember innocent until proven guilty. See what evidence all sides have. I have not looked at any of the cases sufficiently in order to make a judgment, but it is easy to ruin someone over just a claim today and that is something we need to move past. This is not to excuse sexual harassment at all either. It’s a wrong that should not be done, but it does not mean that we decide on a case before the evidence comes forward.

In Christ,
Nick Peters