Debunking 9 Truly Evil Things Right Wing Christians Do Part 5

Do Christians undermine science? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

Once again, I’m letting Allie have this one. Please let me know what you think about what my Mrs. has to say.

“We are half-way through with the going through the topics in the article: http://www.alternet.org/belief/9-truly-evil-things-right-wing-christians-do?page=0%2C1 We are now at 5. Undermining science is evil. This could be another long one like the first one because this is a very touchy subject. A lot of people are under the opinion that Christians do not support science at all. People are under the opinion that Christians are stuck in the Dark Ages and believe all science is bogus unless the Bible says it clearly. There are even people who think all Christians do is pray and refuse medical care that could help them (mostly the Jehovah Witnesses refuse medical care though). Let’s get started in clearing up this up.
The first thing the article does is talk about how the scientific method has helped the world greatly, “It’s the reason most of our children don’t die before hitting the age of five. It’s the reason broken legs heal straight, sky scrapers don’t collapse, and our houses are warm in the winter. It is what alerted us to the fact that our carbon consumption has become an existential threat.” Okay, there’s no disagreement there, I’d say the majority of Christians would agree with you (writer) there. The article then says “the scientific method has also become an existential threat to Bible belief.” No surprise they would think this, this is a common argument that if I might be frank is a stupid one; but is unfortunately leading so many young people away from Christ because that is what our schools are teaching in grade school and universities. “We know now that the Genesis creation story is myth,” this is an assumption, not a fact. There are many scientists who even show through the scientific method the Genesis creation story actually happened. Take Dr. Hugh Ross for example, he’s well respected and you can watch one if his videos on this here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPvO2EkiLls). He also has a ministry covering this called Reasons to Believe (http://www.reasons.org/) or even check out his book “Creation As Science: A Testable Model Approach to End the Creation/evolution Wars” (http://www.amazon.com/Creation-As-Science-Testable-evolution/dp/1576835782). The next accusation “neurotransmitters rather than demons cause mental illness,” can be true for some cases and not for other cases. This is a very difficult and delicate matter. There are extremes on both sides. There are those like the author of this article who say “Nothing is caused by a demon” and those who say “Everything is caused by a demon!” They are both wrong. I recommend Jeff Harshbarger’s book “Dancing With the Devil: An Honest Look Into the Occult from Former Followers” (http://www.amazon.com/dp/1616386959). I know him personally and he does not have a mental illness. He was formerly a Satanist and God rescued him from death and a path of darkness! He now runs a ministry to help people involved in the occult. The next issue they bring up is “mandrake roots and dove blood don’t improve female fertility or cure skin diseases”. I agree, in today’s culture. They had a link to to this; it discussed how this was in the Abrahamic Law (because honestly I had never heard of this before). Again, they accuse Christians of only praying instead of having any other healthcare. They quote James 5:14-15 to support their argument. Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up. No doubt for a Christian, prayer is very important. It’s how we communicate with God. It’s not just Christians who pray, other religions pray. In fact, there are some religions who pray today even more dedicated and often than most Christians do (such as Muslims). I do not wish to be Muslim, but I often wish I was dedicated in my prayer life like Muslims often are. Even Eastern religions pray in the form of meditation. Now, none of these religions pray to the same God, but they still pray. Prayer can also be very helpful. There are many medical cases where prayer has helped, but there are times prayer did not help (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090617154401.htm). This is not because God wasn’t there or not listening, but as cliche as this sounds, he had different plans. I have lost close family members to cancer, and even now I still wonder, “Why God? Why did you take them away? Why didn’t you heal them? Don’t you know I still need them? Don’t you know the rest of their families still need them? You let them suffer only to die? Why?” I can’t imagine what some of you are going through, who have lost a spouse or a child. I am so sorry for your loss and the pain you have. But God has not abandoned you, not even for a moment. Remain in him, and he will remain in you. So this link from the article then says “Throughout the Bible, both Old Testament and New, physical health is largely a spiritual matter. Healings come from prayers, rituals of repentance, and miraculous intervention. In Chronicles King Asa, who has a severe foot ailment, is held up as a bad example for seeking help from physicians and not from God. By contrast, King Hezekiah prays when he falls ill, and Yehovah adds fifteen years to his life.” King Asa was a wicked king and because he wouldn’t turn to God and repent of his wickedness, he was cursed with the severe foot ailment. He’s not held up as a bad example because he saught out help from physicians. He’s a bad example because he was wicked and even after he was cursed with the foot ailment, he still did not turn to God. He refused to turn to God and kept seeking out for help from others. Now King Hezekiah, when he saw what he had done, he turned to God and repented. He felt remorse and changed his pride and with that, God blessed him. Then Hezekiah humbled himself and repented of his pride, as did the people of Jerusalem. So the LORD’s anger did not fall on them during Hezekiah’s lifetime. (2 Chronicles 32:26 NLT) Next they say, “Like prescriptions against homosexuality, Hebrew and early Christian health practices appear to be shaped largely by surrounding cultures and the ‘yuck factor.'” We really don’t have time to get into this debate right now, but homosexuality was a sin – an abomination to God. It wasn’t a “yuck factor.” It was what God deemed to be wrong. If you’re going to call homosexuality a yuck factor, you might as well call ALL sins yuck factors. Yes, I said all of them. Stealing, adultery, lieing, murder (including hate), etc. All of them are yuck factors in the eyes of God just as much as homosexuality. You can’t just single out one sin and say one sin is greater than the other. They are all sin. They all have consequences to them. You can get some pretty nasty STD’s for example from homosexuality practices (http://www.cdc.gov/stdconference/2000/media/stdgay2000.htm). They were being obedient to God and at the same time helping their fellow brother and sisters when they fall into temptation. That’s why today there are Christians who try to help people with their homosexuality. It’s not because they hate them, but the opposite – they love them! I love my husband dearly, but ever since I was a teenager I have struggled with bisexual tendancies. It’s something not very many people know about me. Don’t get me wrong, I was always “boy crazy.” But there was always a dark part of me that was attracted to girls too. I kept this side of me quiet mostly because as a Christian, I knew it was wrong and I didn’t want to act out on it. I remember being so ashamed of myself of sometimes being more turned on when I saw a woman than when I saw a man. My dad was in ministry and I felt if anyone ever found out, it could ruin his ministry! I remember asking my mom once, “If it turned out I was a bisexual, would you still love me?” and she said, “Of course we would!” Then I told my dad once that I was a bisexual and he laughed and didn’t believe me. It really hurt because this was a real struggle for me and yet he didn’t think it was real. There were times at school I would have visions of me kissing girls I knew and I would try to shake them out of my head, how they haunted me! Before I got married, I thought “Surely this will go away! I’m going to be married and I’ll get to be with him whenever I want however much I want!” Even so, it’s still a struggle. I still have visions of being with other women and I still have to shake them out of my head. It even happens while I’m praying and I just have to trust God and ask him to help me through those times. I was abused by men, so it only makes sense that I’d be attracted to women. Anyway, I’m saying all this because I know it’s a struggle. It may be even more of a struggle for you. I know for me there have been times, even now, where I have almost started making out with a woman. The temptation is so strong, and the temptation seems to only get stronger the older I get. I’m so glad my husband is so patient with me and he still cares about me even through this struggle I have. But we can get through this! You have to fight it! This is an on-going war and some people get over it completely, and some people struggle with it all their lives. For me, I know I will probably struggle with this all of my life. But I’m a fighter! We are soldiers in Christ and when we fall he helps us back up! When we are weak and feel like we can’t fight it anymore, rely on him and he will be our strength! God is not going to abandon us no matter what our struggle is! Keep fighting it and in the end you WILL be victorious! So the link moves on to talk about Dermatology with dove blood by quoting these verses from the Book of Leviticus.
Anyone with such a defiling disease must wear torn clothes, let their hair be unkempt, cover the lower part of their face and cry out, “Unclean! Unclean!’”As long as they have the disease they remain unclean. They must live alone; they must live outside the camp. (Leviticus 13:45-46).
The priest is to take some of the blood of the guilt offering and put it on the lobe of the right ear of the one to be cleansed, on the thumb of their right hand and on the big toe of their right foot. (Leviticus 14:14)
I recommend watching this humerous video that explains this by J.P. Holding (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qhB_8ge88o). The next thing the link talks about is how they believed mandrakes were a fertility agent and they quoted Genesis 30:9-22 – Now in the days of wheat harvest Reuben went and found mandrakes in the field, and brought them to his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.” But she said to her, “Is it a small matter for you to take my husband? And would you take my son’s mandrakes also?” So Rachel said, “Therefore he may lie with you tonight in return for your son’s mandrakes.” When Jacob came in from the field in the evening, then Leah went out to meet him and said, “You must come in to me, for I have surely hired you with my son’s mandrakes.” So he lay with her that night. God gave heed to Leah, and she conceived and bore Jacob a fifth son. Genesis records this, it does not say the mandrakes gave Leah the son. Leah also gave up the mandrakes to Rachel, so how could the mandrakes have given her the fifth son if she gave up the mandrakes? Some of the other things the link goes through (if you get a chance to look through) I’m not answering because they have to do with the cleanliness and the video J.P. Holding did explains all this. The link then talks about how psychiatry and neurology are treated through exorcisms, mainly in the New Testament by Jesus and early Christians. Demons would cause things such as muteness, epilepsy, and abnormal strength. It’s easy to dismiss demons when you’ve never experienced demons or don’t believe demons exist. Personally, I have experienced them since I was very little – four years old to be exact. I was never posessed but they haunted me much of my life. It’s funny, a lot of people are more willing to believe there are ghosts roaming the world than to believe there are demons. The things I saw as a child, others saw around me, so it could not have been a hallucination. There are no such things as group hallucinations. You can have mass hysteria, but a group hallucination is clinically impossible. Believe me, I know from personal experience. I have delt with demons in the past, and I have also delt with hallucinations. You may ask, “How can you tell the difference?” It’s difficult to tell the difference now honestly. You see, I didn’t always have hallucinations. The hallucinations started after I had a massive drug overdose when I tried to kill myself five years ago (God was gracious enough to protect me through that). I have a brain injury from that which causes me to have hallucinations now (which I am being treated for). The only way now I can really tell if it’s a hallucination is mostly how my cat reacts when I see/hear something. My cat mostly follows me around the house everywhere I go and if I see something unusual, I look at how my cat reacts. If my cat is relaxed (my cat is very skittish – he’s a rescue and we believe he may have been abused before we got him), I know it’s in my head. But if my cat runs away frightened or acts defensively (like he is protecting me from something), I know something isn’t right. Animals can detect things we humans typically can’t. Next they talk about preventive care and say all they do for that is worship. They don’t do any nutrition or exercising, just worship. They quote these verses:
There is no other God beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal. (Deut. 32:39)
Worship the LORD your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you, and none will miscarry or be barren in your land. I will give you a full life span. (Ex. 23:25-26)
The LORD will smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with the emerods, and with the scab, and with the itch, whereof thou canst not be healed. (Deuteronomy 28:27)
First of all, nothing in the Bible says they didn’t exercise or do nutrtion. In fact, Paul in the New Testament uses many metaphors to sports! Not to mention think of all the walking they had to do, everywhere they went. There were no cars. Sure they had camels, donkeys, and horses. But not everyone had the luxery of riding animals or chariots. All the walking people did back then going city to city had to have burned some major calories! Plus, if Paul used metaphors with sports, it must mean they understood sports and probably played some (finishing the race). Therefore, this is automatically an assumption they made, not a fact. As for using these verses to prove their point, God is so powerful. I mean, he created the entire universe. He created life itself. If someone is so powerful that they created all life, could they not just as easily take any life away? If this being has the ability to heal, could they not also have the ability to wound? Let’s take it even deeper: if this being is able to create life, does this being have the right to do whatever he wishes to do with them? Doesn’t he have the right to choose to wound them or heal them if he wishes? Doesn’t he have the right to give life or take life if he wishes? When I am working on my artwork, I have every right to do as I please to do with my artwork. Now of course my artwork is not a living being, but my artwork has a different sense of life in itself. I can choose to make any edits I want. I can choose to frame it or toss it in the trash. I have a right to what I created. Doesn’t God have rights to what he’s created? Of course, there’s a difference between the artwork I make, and the artwork God has made. My artwork comes to life in a different sense. But God’s artwork is literally alive! It literally lives and breathes! We are made in his image and he is constantly forming us and changing us to be more like him. But when we die, it’s not like he’s tossed us into the trash! When Jesus reaches his hand out to us and tells us to “Follow me,” we either give him our hand back and follow him or we walk away. If we follow Christ, we will be with him when we die. If we walk away from him, we will be in a place of destitute. A place filled with pain and anxiety beyond anything you could ever imagine and I pray that you will not reach that place, reader. God blessed his people when they followed him and he still blesses us today. That doesn’t mean you’re going to get rich. That doesn’t mean your aches and pains are going to go away. God blesses us in so many different ways, we often times don’t even realize it. Blessings can even come in disguises. When we go through good times, we can often forget about God. We forget about the things he’s done for us and the things he’s blessed us with. We even get arrogant and prideful and think, “I did this” or “this is MY doing.” Then when when things go wrong and we have nowhere and no one else to turn to, we get down on our knees and cry out to God for help. We realize we don’t have everything together. It’s during those times when we are so vulnerable and weak that God shows his love for us and comforts us. He gives us strength to get through it and he leads us through it. We realize “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.” (Matthew 19:26 NLT) So we go back to the main article and they say, “the cognitive structures of the human mind predispose us to certain kinds of religious belief.” They link to the book “Religion Explained” by Pascal Boyer. My question is, “If all religions come from a certain part of the brain, why are there so many different religions that disagree on so many factors?” If religion comes from a certain part of the brain, then morals must also according to the author right? But different people have different morals (though there are many morals that people will agree on – such as don’t kill people). A lot of people like the author of the article would probably say morals are relative and only matter to individuals. “Your morals work for you and my morals work for me.” If morals are relative and basically mean nothing, what if that person went to a country where there are cannibals living there. According to the morals of those cannibals, there’d be nothing wrong with eating this particular person. But is this particular person going to say, “Hey it’s all good, I’ll be your dinner”? No way! They’re going to do whatever they can to get away from there as quickly and safely as possible! How about another example. Say you get a new laptop and you invite a friend over to show them. The friend admires the laptop for a moment, then picks it up and starts heading out the door. You yell at your friend, “You can’t take my laptop! You’re stealing!” What if your friend says in response, “Your morals call it stealing, but according to my morals there’s no such thing as stealing! I can just take whatever I want!” Are you going to let them take your laptop because their morals say it’s okay? No! If you can’t get it back you’re going to call the police and file a theft complaint about your friend! Morals are relevant to these sort of people unless it interrupts their morals. It’s a double-standard. Morals come from the Law in the Torah (Old Testament) which came from God. But God also imprinted these morals onto our hearts.The last paragraph the article says on this topic is, “It may boggle moral credibility that believers intent on propping up the Bible would sacrifice humanity’s best hope of beating the enormous threats we face, threats like resource depletion, food and water shortages, climate change, and rapidly evolving superbugs. But if there’s any overarching theme to Christian history it is this: the end justifies the means.” This is more assuming. Christians worry about these things too. There are Christians working on solving some of these problems more than governments are. Places in Africa for example that don’t have any clean water, Christians are digging wells there and getting filters, as well as feeding many poor communities. Many soup kitchens for example are run by Christians. You don’t see the government feeding the poor. You don’t see the government digging wells to access more water and handing out water filters for people to have clean water. A lot of governments around the world actually take these things away from people instead of giving them these necessities. Even medical care. There are many Christians who will go to some of the poorest places and give out free medical care. So before accusing Christians of not caring about these issues, actually do your research and quit your complaining!
Our next topic is: 6. Promoting holy war is evil.”

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Debunking 9 Truly Evil Things Right-Wing Christians Do Part 4

How do we handle the issue of childbirth? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

Once again, I return us to my wife Allie who has written part four in her own series. As always, her opinion is not necessarily the same as my own, but I do want to take the chance to share her work.

4. Obstructing humanity’s transition to more thoughtful, intentional childbearing is evil. (http://www.alternet.org/belief/9-truly-evil-things-right-wing-christians-do?page=0%2C1)
The first thing the article says in this section is a quote from Martin Luther, “If a woman dies in [child]bearing, let her die; she is there to do it.” There is no source of where they found this quote, it’s just labeled as one Martin Luther says. I did some research on this quote and I found that while a lot of pro-choice people quote this, there’s actually no real evidence that Martin Luther actually said this (http://www.tektonics.org/af/bogusq.php). That’s probably why there was no source to this quote in the article, because there was no source to begin with. The rest of the article mainly complains about how Christians aren’t for family planning. This is not completely true for all Christians. Some Christians believe in “natural family planning.” This is basically abstaining from intercourse when a woman is most fertile during her menstrual cycle if they wish to avoid conception (http://www.natural-family-planning.info/). This is well accepted among Catholics for example. Other Christians are fine with other uses of birth control, but won’t accept certain kinds (IUD’s for example) because they can cause early abortions (https://www.spuc.org.uk/education/contraceptives). Christians are against any form of abortions. If there is an unplanned pregnancy, there are other ways to deal with the issue than abortion. There are many couples for example who would love to have children but for some reason they naturally can’t. If you don’t want the baby, put it up for adoption and let another couple who are seeking to have a child love and take care of it. The author of the article complains, saying “If evidence-based compassion— the intersection of truth and love—was at the top of Christian priorities, hunger and destitution would be vastly diminished because millions of mothers would be able to plan and prepare for their babies.” Look, there’s a simpler way to solve some of this than the writer realizes. Teens, young adults, I’ve said this before in another section, and I’ll say it again, wait until you’re married before you have sex. It’s more fulfilling and you don’t have to risk an unplanned pregnancy. No birth control is 100% pregnancy-proof (other than not having any sex at all). When you do get married, don’t have kids until you are ready to have kids and can take care of them. Do your research. You can try natural family planning, or use a safe birth control that is not abortive. If you do happen to get pregnant and you’re not ready, don’t be afraid. There are organizations who can help you with taking care of the baby if you decide to keep it. If you choose to not keep the baby, put it up for adoption and allow another couple to love and care for it as their own child. There are many couples who can take care of the baby and would love to care for the baby if you don’t want to or can’t.
I beg of you, with all my heart and soul, please, do not abort the baby. You may be pregnant and have been told your child will be physically or mentally disabled. You may be thinking, “How can this child live? This child will live such a horrible life! No one would ever fall in love with this child, they’ll always be alone! I can’t allow this child to suffer!” If you are in that position, listen to me closely, my husband and I have Aspergers Syndrome (a form of Autism). Is it easy? No. I got bullied terribly growing up. There are a lot of people who think because of the disability my husband and I have, we should’ve been aborted. But my husband and I are glad to be alive! We love each other, and even if we never found each other, we know we are still loved by our families, friends, and even more so, our Heavenly Father! Don’t take away the life your child could have! Let them live! Our next section will be: 5. Undermining science is evil.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Four Years!

What’s so special about July 24th? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

For many people, July 24th is just another day on the calendar. Nothing against it, but it’s just a day. Most people will get up today and go to work and live out their days like it’s nothing really special. Look at the calendar and today is no holiday. That is all true, but for some people, today is a very special day.

Like at our household.

Travel back in time four years from today and go to First Baptist Church in Matthews, NC. It’s a pleasant Saturday afternoon and people from all over have come. Some have come from Tennessee where my family lives. Some have come from Georgia where Allie’s family lives. Others have come from the neighboring town of Charlotte where I live at the time, not so much of a drive for them. Still others have come from Florida, Virginia, D.C., and even one flying all the way from California.

So what got so many people to come to this place at this time?

It was a wedding.

It was our wedding.

It was a quite beautiful occasion. As far as I’m concerned, everything went off perfectly and we still often watch the DVD of our wedding together. It was great to spend time with family and friends. Since many of our friends came from TheologyWeb, I understand there was even a little mini convention that evening. (Somehow, for some reason, Allie and I missed the get together. It’s just a mystery why that was…)

Today we celebrate four years together and I think this past year has been one of the most important ones. Due to our finding an excellent church that really encourages Christian growth and Allie forming such good friends there, she had her depression miraculously removed from her. She has had so much joy in all of this and even her psychiatrist is convinced that her depression is gone. She no longer takes any medication for it.

It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to worship God in Christ through the Holy Spirit to have marriage run so well, the way it was meant to run. Of course, we still have our struggles and difficulties, but we are learning more and more each day.

Marriage is a great way to come out of yourself and we see that happening. I think Allie would say I’ve become more sensitive and caring over the past four years and I’ve seen Allie come more and more in touch with her intellectual side the past four years. Marriage helps each of us push further and further wanting to strive to be the best that we can for one another.

The adventure has been an exciting one and I’m sure that there are big things ahead for us in the future. We do not know where the road is taking us of course, but we want to go wherever it is that God has for us and we look forward to seeing what He plans for us to do as a team together.

Love to you greatly my Princess! Happy Anniversary!

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Debunking 9 Truly Evil Things Right-Wing Christians Do Part 3

Is the church demeaning and subjugating women? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

We have part 3 from Allie here. Tomorrow I do plan on a book review and then Thursday will be something different. For now, here’s Allie:

We are moving into a third part of the series from the article: http://www.alternet.org/belief/9-truly-evil-things-right-wing-christians-do?page=0%2C0 Our next section is: 3. Demeaning and subjugating women is evil. Like the second part of the series, this should be pretty short as well. I’ll go ahead and copy what they said first:

“When it comes to dignity and equality for women, instead of acting as moral torchbearers, Bible believers have been at the back of the pack for generations, along with conservative factions from other Abrahamic traditions ranging from Islam to Mormonism. The American Quiverfull movement, “ complementarianism,” the expulsion of Southern Baptist women who were making inroads into the clergy, the Mormon Patriarchy’s threats to excommunicate women who seek equality, the Vatican’s decision to crush nuns who thought poverty was a bigger problem than abortion . . . Need I say more?”

First of all, one of the sources they used (for the explusion of Southern Baptist women) was an Atheist website. If you are going to to complain about something about a religion or a politician or anything for that matter, don’t use a source that agrees with you, use the source that it actually comes from! If you’re going to complain about the Southern Baptists, use a source directly coming from the Southern Baptists. If you’re going to complain about Islam, use a source that directly comes from Muslims. If you’re going to complain about the Bible, use the Bible as a source. This irritates me to no end. But, I will let this slide because I will assume this person doesn’t properly know how to do their research. Of course, if you’re defending a position, it’s fine. For an example, in the first part when the author of the article was accusing the Bible to support child sacrifices, I used the Bible itself as a source to show that it in fact did not support child sacrifices. This is fine, but it’s also good when defending your case to use sources that support your case that may not believe the same things you do. For an example, if you are arguing whether or not Jesus actually existed, there are many people who aren’t Christians who believe Jesus did in fact exist. They may not believe he was a holy deity, but they believe he was in fact a man who was a good teacher who was crucified and did actually exist. Anyway, let’s move on from there.
So the first thing they bring up is the term “Quiverfull.” I’m pretty young and honestly not too bright, so I was like, “What in the world is Quiverfull?” Luckily, they were kind enough to provide a link to it! Basically, they don’t believe in any kind of artificial insemination, birth control, etc. Everything is natural and they have as many babies as God gives them. Their view is basically, “As arrows in the hand of the mighty man, so are the children of ones youth, happy is the man who hath his quiver full of them.”(Psalm 127:4) I guess that’s where you get the term “Quiverfull.” So, here’s my question to the author and to you, why does it matter? If they don’t want to use birth control, what difference does it make to you? If they want to have a lot of kids, what difference does that make to you? People who are for same-sex marriage say, “Why do you not want people to get married to the same gender? It’s not going to bother you!” That discussion is for another time, but I bring that up because you say something like that won’t affect us. Well, a family who chooses to not use birth control and do everything naturally and have however many kids God gives them won’t affect you either! As long as they can provide for the children and are not foolish to take on more than they should. But even then, God will help even the most foolish of people and he won’t abandon his children.
The next point they bring up is “Complementarians.” Basically, the belief that men play a more dominent role in the church than women. I know for some women this could be a little bit of a touchy subject, and I understand why too. It used to bother me how so many men were in ministry and it seemed like few women were in ministry; and if women were in ministry, it seemed like they were only in ministry because their husbands were in ministry. Even when I would read my Bible, it would upset me sometimes that it was always men preaching. All the famous prophets – men. The apostles – men. There were a few famous women in the Bible, but they weren’t famous like the men except for maybe Jesus’ mother, Mary. Most women in the Bible to me seemed more like they were in the background, and in my life I always felt like I was in the background. As someone with high anxiety problems, I didn’t mind being in the background, but at the same time, I wanted to do more than just be in the background: I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives! I wanted to show people the love and mercy Christ has for everyone, as he has shown me! So I really do understand where women come from when they want to make a difference in people’s lives for God’s kingdom. Men and women’s roles are different. But women can be involved in ministry. Like a couple, a man and a woman have to work together. The man is head of the family, but at the same time, they both submit to each other. I think in a way it’s the same way in a church. A man is the head of the church, but men aren’t the only ones in ministry, they need women to help in ministry too! They help each other out! Women can be in charge of children’s ministry for example! God gave us women a more nurturing spirit than men tend to have, and children really need that! Women’s ministry! It’d be pretty awkward for a man to lead a women’s ministry. I can just imagine my husband (we both have Asperger’s Syndrome) who’s a minister, if he had to lead a women’s ministry. All the drama us women have to face daily, men cannot handle that kind of drama! I’m sorry but men are not going to understand your periods or your menopause! He just knows that time of the month you get really cranky and he knows he’s going to be in the tenth circle of hell for a few days. Only another woman is going to understand the drama other women face. There are so many other ministries women can do: music ministry, missionary work, counceling, and so much more! You can’t just have one pastor do all the work! You need a team! Who’s going to help with the children? Who’s going to help with the youth? Who’s going to help with the music? Who’s going to help with getting the church setup? Who’s going to help with organizing the funds? Who’s going to organize the events? So much more goes into a church that one person can’t do all the work!
The author brings up the excommunication of women wanting to join the all-male priesthood of the LDS temple. As sad as it is for them to be excommunicated, the temple is still an all-male priesthood. I don’t agree with the LDS church, but if they don’t believe women should be priests for moral reasons, why should they be forced to allow women to be priests? As an Atheist (author of the article I’m responding to), how does this affect you? Isn’t it your personal mission to bring others to Atheism? To bring people to what you believe is “Reason?”
The last thing the author brings up for this part is how the Vatican is “destroying” nuns who are saying the issue of poverty is more important than other issues such as homosexuality and abortion. These are all important issues for sure. Abortion is a type of child sacrificing. Homosexuality is a type of sexual sin. We (The Church) are also commanded to take care of the poor! But we have dropped the ball and instead the government is taking over that job and I’ve gotta tell you, they do a really bad job at it. You know why they do a really bad job at it? Because it’s originally supposed to be our job! We are not perfect. I’ll be the first to admit I’m not perfect! Name any commandment in the Bible and I’ve broken it more than a million times! The Apostle Paul calls himself the “worst of sinners” and I completely relate to him with that; I often call myself the same thing! But, poverty is not the most important issue either. It’s very important, but it’s not the most important issue. Homosexuality is not the most important issue. It’s very important, but it’s not the most important issue. I’ll even go as far as to say abortion is not the most important issue. It’s very important, but not the most important issue. We get so passionate about all these political issues going on around us, even I get really passionate about some of them. But they are not the most important. They are important, but not the most important. Here’s the most important issue, are you ready? Jesus Christ is Lord and there are people who either don’t know this or refuse it. There are people who are alone and suffering in the world who think nobody cares about them and are literally killing themselves because they have no hope. People are screaming out for help and us Christians are sitting on our butts in front of the computer or the tv all day complaining about Obama or complaining if our favorite tv stars get kicked off a show. People are going to the pits of Hell because we’re sitting here waiting for Jesus to come back! Get off your butts and go out there and do something! Bring people to the truth! Set people free with the truth of Christ’s freedom and redemption! If people reject you, remember they rejected Christ first and dust the dirt off your feet and go somewhere else where they will listen to you! We are dropping the ball! Get up and do something! Turn the tv off, get off the computer or smart phone! Change a person’s life by allowing Christ to use you!
The next part will be: 4. Obstructing humanity’s transition to more thoughtful, intentional childbearing is evil.

Debunking 9 Truly Evil Things Right-Wing Christians Do Part 2

What else does my wife have to say about the claims of right-wing Christians? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

For today, I am going to continue the series that my own wife has written. Enjoy:

I am continuing with debunking the arguments from the article from this page: http://www.alternet.org/belief/9-truly-evil-things-right-wing-christians-do?page=0%2C0 This is a pretty short section, so I’ll just go ahead a post what they said:

“The U.S. government just spent a decade and a billion dollars on failed abstinence-only education programs concocted by Bible believers who live in some delusional world where prohibition works and virginity is next to godliness. Thanks to their influence, straight-faced educators tell teens that a girl who has had sex is a licked lollipop. Instead of medically accurate information and thoughtful conversation about intimacy and childbearing, teens get promise rings and slut shame. The result? Here in the U.S., more than one in four girls gets pregnant before she turns 20, often with heartbreaking multigenerational consequences for women, children and whole communities. More than half of girls who give birth during high school drop out, permanently. Only two percent ever graduate college.”

In high school, I actually did a project once where my partner and I did a sort of debate on whether teaching “safe sex” was a better choice than teacher abstinence. I defended the side of abstinence, but I did do research on the side of “safe sex as well. If you want to see the video (it’s an old video) here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rr6aZF7R3ts The reason I put quotations around “safe sex” is because to me, there is no such thing as safe sex. Even if you use contraceptives, it doesn’t always prevent unwanted pregnancies, nor does it prevent STD’s. You also deal with the emotional pain of when you break up. Sex is truly something sacred. Today we treat it so casually. We treat it as if it were the same thing as a hug or a kiss – like it were as casual as a greeting. If it’s something so casual, why do we want it so much? I’ve heard sitcoms say things like “We’ll just have meaningless sex!” We’ll laugh about it but we treat it like it is meaningless, and if it’s so meaningless, why do we want it so much? Why is the sex industry one of the top money making industries in the world? Sex is important. Now, why should we wait until we’re married? Don’t we deal with some of the same issues? People get divorced, so you still deal with the heartache of a break-up. You can still get unwanted pregnancies. It’s still possible to get some STD’s. After all, some STD’s you can get just by touching another person’s skin! I’m sure you took health class, the most common ways to get an STD are unprotected sex, multiple sex partners, and sexual activity at a young age. But if you can have these problems even if you wait until you get married, why wait? What’s the point when you can just go out and have fun now? Honestly, as much as I wanted to wait, sometimes I asked myself the same question. There were many times I came close to losing my virginity before getting married to multiple guys, and when I think back, I’m so glad I didn’t – they all turned out to be real losers! It was really hard to wait, really, I know. I made some mistakes I still regret to this day. But then when I got married, I was so glad I waited until the wedding night because I got to share that moment with the man who truly did love me and I knew he wasn’t going to leave me no matter my flaws were. It didn’t matter how heavy I was. It didn’t matter how many rolls I had or my zits or scars (physically and emotionally), it didn’t matter about my past, he was going to stick with me and still love me. Sex is sacred. God created sex to be sacred. He created it to be enjoyed, but he also created it to be very special. Read the book in the Bible “Song of Songs,” also known as “Song of Solomon.” It’s got some pretty raunchy stuff in there! It’s the king at the time, Solomon, and his lover. But, it’s also a metaphor. See, Jesus describes himself as a bridegroom, and we are his bride. He loves us so passionately and so deeply, that while sex connects a man and a woman, it also represents how we are connected with Christ. We are supposed to love our spouses as Christ loves the Church! Sex is sacred, and when we use it for any other use, it loses its sacredness. It becomes trash. It becomes an idol. Sex is meant to please the other person, not necessarily ourselves. We are to please the other person and the other person is to please us. It’s an act of giving. But we use sex as a means of getting what we want often. That’s why we look at pornography. That’s why children are sold as sex slaves. That’s why there’s prostitution. Because we are looking for our own benefits instead of the other persons. You’re only looking for receiving pleasure. Or if you’re producing/selling the product, your only interest is making money off it. You don’t care who it hurts. It’s what you get out of it. So many marriages end today because a spouse gets involved with pornography. The article talks about high percentages of teen pregnancies and an even higher percentage of them dropping out of school. If they knew how sacred sex was and that it’s worth saving until marriage, there would be less teen pregnancies. If they were encouraged to wait, they would wait. The article talks about heartbreaking consequences for teeage girls who get pregnant. There are consequences for every action we make. Some are good, some are bad. That’s how life is. Teenagers are not ready to deal with pregnancies. I’ve always wanted to be a mother, but there’s no way as a teenager I would’ve ever been ready to be a mother! Teenagers are too dramatic, too emotional, and too lazy. Now some teenagers do actually work hard, but even they are not ready to be parents. How can they be ready for parenthood if they haven’t even reached adulthood yet? Of course there’s always the option of putting the baby up for adoption. But even that is difficult. I’ve heard many stories of even teenagers regretting putting their babies up for adoption. I know if I ever had a baby, I couldn’t put it up for adoption. I would NEVER recommend abortions! In the last note I discussed the issue on child sacrifices. The article accuses the Bible of promoting child sacrifices (which if you read my previous note, it doesn’t), but if anything promotes child sacrifices it’s today with abortions! We get abortions because of convenience. “We don’t want a baby” or “We’re not ready for a baby” or “We have enough kids, we don’t want another one!” It’s all convenience. People yell “Women’s Rights! It’s the woman’s right to her body!” Doesn’t the baby have any rights to their body? You are sacrificing an infant to the god of convenience! We are having more child sacrifices than any other time in history! It’s sickening! The Bible records child sacrifices that went on, but God never wanted it to happen! But I’ve already talked on that subject. Anyway, I hope this has been helpful. The next note will be on:

3. Demeaning and subjugating women is evil.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Debunking 9 Truly Evil Things Right-Wing Christians Do Part 1

Are right-wing Christians the problem? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

Today we have a guest post on Deeper Waters. I was quite surprised to find last night that my wife took to doing a few hours of online research and such to deal with an article she found online. Now I don’t agree with everything she has here. There are parts I don’t agree with and there are parts I do agree with, but I’m pleased of how she did for a first major endeavor into the field. I wanted to share it. So without further ado, here’s Allie:

I just finished reading this article and being that I have a lot of Atheist friends, I thought I’d try to address some of the issues this article addresses and clear up the misconceptions. I’ll be doing more than one note on this because there are so many misconceptions I’m doing each note on each section to get into enough details to explain it all. For a link to the article, here is the article: http://www.alternet.org/belief/9-truly-evil-things-right-wing-christians-do?page=0%2C0

1. Opposing protections and rights for children is evil.

There’s a link you can click on from this section on what they considered were wrong in the Bible for opposing protections and rights for children. (http://awaypoint.wordpress.com/2013/10/21/why-bible-believers-have-such-a-hard-time-getting-child-protection-right/) Let’s go through those first:

Abraham, the verse they quote is Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I shall show you. (Genesis 22:1-12 nasv) This is very deceptive of the author of the article to just use this verse without using it in its full context. Isaac was the child God promised to give to Abraham. Then the LORD said to him, “No, your servant will not be your heir, for you will have a son of your own who will be your heir.” Then the LORD took Abram outside and said to him, “Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That’s how many descendants you will have!” (Genesis 15:2-5 NLT) If Isaac was the promised son to Abraham, and through Isaac, Abraham would have as many descendants as there are stars, why in the world would God ask Abraham to kill Isaac? This was a test. This was a test to see how much faith Abraham had in God and how obedient he would be to God. Abraham knew God had promised him Isaac and many descendants through Isaac, so as much as this may have confused him that God would make such a request of him, he must’ve had so much trust in God that he believed, “God is going to keep his promise to me. Either he will stop me, or he’s going to bring my kid back from the dead.” So Abraham and Isaac go up the Mountain for the sacrifice and Isaac asks his father, “Where’s the ram?” Abraham tells him, “Son, you’re the sacrifice.” Isaac must be terrified at this point. His name means “he laughs,” he probably wasn’t doing much laughing at that point. So Isaac is tied up to the altar they’ve made and he’s laying there, probably scared out of his wits. Abraham pulls out his knife and is probably thinking, “God, I’m trusting you here, don’t fail me now.” Then we come to this part: At that moment the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Yes,” Abraham replied, “Here I am!” “Don’t lay a hand on the boy!” the angel said. “Do not hurt him in any way, for now I know that you truly fear God. You have not withheld from me even your son, your only son.” (Genesis 22:11-12 NLT) Basically, Abraham was willing to give God everything, even his own son. This does not mean God wants us to sacrifice children. In fact, there are many passages in the Bible where people are sacrificing children and this angers God. They have committed both adultery and murder—adultery by worshiping idols and murder by burning as sacrifices the children they bore to me. (Ezekiel 23:37 NLT) Is an example. Another example: “The people of Judah have sinned before my very eyes,” says the LORD. “They have set up their abominable idols right in the TEMPLE that bears my name, defiling it. They have built pagan shrines at Tpheth, the garbage dump in the valley of Ben-Hinnom, and there they burn their sons and daughters in the fire. I have never commanded such a horrible deedl it never even crossed my mind to command such a thing!” (Jeremiah 7:30-31 NLT)

The story of Lot giving up his daughters to be raped. They quote the verse “Look, I have two daughters who have not known a man; let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please; only do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof.” (Gen 19:8 nrsv) Again, this has been taken out of context. You need to read the whole story. The angels came to Lot’s house to warn Lot and his family that they were going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah (the city Lot and his family lived in). Then a bunch of men came to Lot’s door, They shouted to Lot, “Where are the men who came to spend the night with you? Bring them out to us so we can have sex with them!” (Genesis 19:5 NLT) Yea, it literally says that, those guys wanted to rape the angels! Lot goes outside and is probably so scared he’s about to pee his robe or whatever he’s wearing because there’s an over-sexed mob wanting to rape these angels in his house! So Lot’s like, “Please guys, you really don’t want to do that! That could end REALLY bad for you! But I’ll tell you what, if it’ll get you out of here, I’ll give you my daughters – they’re virgins and if they can satisfy your lustful hunger please leave my guests alone.” Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s not good he was offering his daughters up like this. It’s true women back then were not usually thought of very highly. But the mob outside his door are getting even more upset, “Dude you need to get out of here and give us those guys that are in your pad! You’re just as much of an outsider as they are so if you don’t get out of the way, we’ll treat you far worse than what we’re going to do to them!” Then they lung at Lot and try to break the door! But the two angels reached out, pulled Lot into the house, and bolted the door. Then they blinded all the men, young and old, who were at the door of the house, so they gave up trying to get inside. (Geneses 19:10-11 NLT) So what does this mean? God didn’t let Lot give up his daughters. God kept his daughters safe. But it doesn’t end there. After the angels warned Lot about the destruction that was about to happen in his city and that he and his family needed to flee, Lot tried to tell his daughter’s fiance’s, but they laughed and thought Lot was joking! So Lot, his wife, and his two daughters leave the city as it’s being destroyed. Lot’s wife dies in the process by turning into a pillar of salt because they were warned to not look back at the city, but she looked back. So it was just Lot and his two daughters. So you really think Lot’s daughters were so innocent? Well get this, Lot and his daughters went to live in a cave up in the mountains. One day the older daughter said to her sister, “There are no men left anywhere in this entire area, so we can’t get married like everyone else. And our father will soon be too old to have children. Come, let’s get him drunk with wine, and then we will have sex with him. That way we will preserve our family line through our father.” So that night they got him drunk with wine, and the older daughter went in and had intercourse with her father. He was unaware of her lying down or getting up again. The next morning the older daughter said to her younger sister, “I had sex with our father last night. Let’s get him drunk with wine again tonight, and you go in and have sex with him. That way we will preserve our family line through our father.” So that night they got him drunk with wine again, and the younger daughter went in and had intercourse with him. As before, he was unaware of her lying down or getting up again. As a result, both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their own father. (Genesis 19:30-36 NLT) So essentially, the two daughters rape their father. Who’s the wicked one now?

The Love triangle between Jacob, Leah, and Rachel: the verses they use are: After Jacob had stayed with Laban for about a month, Laban said to him, “You shouldn’t work for me without pay just because we are relatives. Tell me how much your wages should be.” Now Laban had two daughters. The older daughter was named Leah, and the younger one was Rachel. There was no sparkle in Leah’s eyes, but Rachel had a beautiful figure and a lovely face. Since Jacob was in love with Rachel, he told her father, “I’ll work for you for seven years if you’ll give me Rachel, your younger daughter, as my wife.” “Agreed!” Laban replied. “I’d rather give her to you than anyone else. Stay and work with me.” So Jacob worked seven years to pay for Rachel. But his love for her was so strong, that it seemed to him but a few days. Finally, the time came for him to marry her. “I have fulfilled my agreement,” Jacob said to Laban. “Now give me my wife so I can sleep with her.” So Laban invited everyone in the neighborhood and prepared a wedding feast. But that night it was dark, Laban took Leah to Jacob, and he slept with her. (Laban had Leah a servant, Zilpah, to be her maid.) But when Jacob woke up in the morning – it was Leah! “What have you done to me?” Jacob raged at Laban. “I worked seven years for Rachel! Why have you tricked me?” “It’s not our custom here to marry off a younger daughter ahead of the firstborn,” Laban replied. “But wait until the bridal week is over, then we’ll give you Rachel too – provided you promise to work another seven years for me.” So Jacob agreed to work seven more years. A week after Jacob had married Leah, Laban gave him Rachel, too. (Laban gave Rachel a servant, Bilhah, to be her maid.) So Jacob slept with Rachel too, and he loved her much more than Leah. He then stayed and worked for Laban the additional seven years. (Genesis 29:14-30 NLT) At least they haven’t forgotten any verses around it this time, but it’s partly taken out of context still. The article states this is just a deal between men, “You can have one if you do such and such for me.” Jacob and Rachel loved each other. Jacob was willing to work for her. It’s not that Leah was unattractive, but he didn’t see that same “sparkle” in her eye as he saw Rachel have. Leah didn’t make his heart race so fast that it felt like it was going to jump out of his throat! Rachel though, Rachel was the most beautiful person he had ever seen before. He loved her so much, that when he worked for her father for seven years, it only felt like a few days to him! So after seven years are up, Jacob says to Laban, “I’ve done what I promised, now I’m here to marry Rachel.” Laban’s like, “Sure, you kept your promise, I’ll keep my promise. Besides, I wouldn’t want her to be with anyone except for you!” So Jacob goes to bed after the wedding that night and sleeps with his bride. It’s dark, so he can’t see. He wakes up the next morning, and it’s not the love of his life he sees, but it’s his lovers sister! Now, think about if you were in his shoes. You worked seven years so you could marry the love of your life, and when you wake-up the next morning you find out the person you actually married and had sex with is not the person you love, but their sister/brother! You’d be pretty ticked off wouldn’t you? Well he was too! He goes up to his now father-in-law and is like, “Pops, why have you cheated me? You gave me the wrong daughter!” Laban is like, “Oh, sorry, I forgot to tell ya, here we marry off our older daughters first before the younger ones. But I’ll tell you what kid, if you still want her, work for me for another seven years and I’ll give her to you too!” Jacob says, “Fine, I’ll work another seven years, but you have to give me Rachel first.” So he gets Rachel a week after the bridal week and works for another seven years. But he doesn’t get rid of Leah. Even though he doesn’t love Leah and only loves Rachel, he still took care of Leah.

The foolish vow: verse quoted is a long one – At that time the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephithah, and he went throughout the land of Gilead and Manasseh, including Mizpah in Gilead, and from there he led an army against the Ammonites. And Jephthah made a vow to the LORD. He said, “If you give me victory over the Ammonites, I will give to the LORD whatever comes out of my house to meet me when I return in triumph. I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering.” So Jephthah led his army against the Ammonites, and the LORD gave him victory, He crushed the Ammonites, devastating about twenty towns from Aroer to an area near Minnith and as far away as Abel-keramim. In this way Israel defeated the Ammonites. When Jephthah returned home to Mizpah, his daughter came out to meet him, playing on a tamborine and dancing for joy. She was his one and only child; he had no other sons or daughters. When he saw her, he tore his clothes in anguish. “Oh, my daughter!” he cried out. “You have completely destroyed me! You’ve brought disaster on me! For I have made a vow to the LORD, and I cannot take it back.” And she said, “Father, if you have made a vow to the LORD, you must do to me what you have vowed, for the LORD has given you a great victory over your enemies, the Ammonites. But first let me do this one thing: Let me go up and roam in the hills and weep with my friends for two months, because I will die a virgin.” “You may go,” Jephthah said. And he sent her away for two months. She and her friends went into the hills and wept because she would never have children. When she returned home, her father kept the vow he had made, and she died a virgin. So it has become a custom in Israel for young Israelite women to go away for four days each year to lament the fate of Jephthah’s daughter. (Judges 11:29-40 NLT) I’ll admit, I struggled a little bit with this one. I mean, if God isn’t for child sacrifices, why wouldn’t he have stopped this from happening? I looked at the notes for this passage in my Bible for a little help and here’s what it says “Jephthah’s recovery and leadership were guided by the Holy Spirit, but he still made a foolish mistake. His vow, which was an attempt to “cut a deal” with God to ensure military victory, is a classic example of what it means to “stifle the Holy Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 5:19). Jephthah lived to regret the vow he made in the heat of the crisis. Often we do the same thing. We beg for God to fulfill some shortsighted goal, and in obtaining it, we miss God’s best. (This note comes from The Life Recovery Bible NLT) 1 Thessalonians 5:19 says Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. (NLT) I looked at this and thought, “What does stifle even mean?” So I looked it up:
1) make (someone) unable to breathe properly; suffocate.
2) restrain (a reaction) or stop oneself acting on (an emotion).

The prize to the victor, verse quoted – Caleb said, “I will give my daughter Acsah in marriage to the one who attacks and captures Kiriathsepher. Othniel, the son of Caleb’s younger brother, Kenaz, was the one who conquered it, so Acsah became Othniel’s wife. (Judges 1:12-13 NLT) To understand this verse, you have to understand the culture. I had to ask my husband about this one because he does more study about this than me, and he said it was an honor thing. It was also security for the daughter. I mean think about it, if the guy can bring victory for an army, you think he can protect a woman? Our culture today thinks very negatively on the idea of arranged marriages. But back then, arranged marriages weren’t as bad as we imagine them to be. They were common, but their way was in a way better than our way. Today, our culture has so much divorce. There are so many different statistics on the percentages of divorce, I never know which one is right, but to me, all the percentages are too high. We fall in love and get married, then a lot of times, we later fall out of love and get divorced. But back then, they didn’t get married necessarily because they were in love (though that’s not to say there were times where they were in love), but after they married, they loved each other. I would say this is a better system than the one we have now if you think of it that way! There were very few divorces because divorce was frowned upon, while today divorce is a casual thing. The whole thing with giving a daughter as a wife as a prize has gone on for a very long time, not just during Biblical times. I mean think about today, when a guy wants to marry a girl, he often times wants to impress her parents right? Why? Because they are the ones who are giving their daughter away in marriage. It’s of course different today than it was back then, but essentially, some things haven’t changed so much either.

Death sentence for the firstborn, they quoted Exodus 11 (NLT) – Then the LORD said to Moses, “I will strike Pharaoh and the land of Egypt with one more blow. After that, Pharaoh will let you leave this country. In fact, he will be so eager to get rid of you that he will force you all to leave. Tell all the Israelite men and women to ask their Egyptian neighbors for articles of silver and gold.” (Now the LORD had caused the Egyptians to look favorably on the people of Israel. And Moses was considered a very great man in the land of Egypt, respected by Pharaoh’s officials and the Egyptian people alike.) Moses had announced to Pharaoh, “This is what the LORD says: At midnight tonight I will pass through the heart of Egypt. All the firstborn sons will die in every family in Egypt, from the oldest son of Pharaoh, who sits on his throne, to the oldest son of his lowliest servant girl who grinds the flour. Even the firstborn of all the livestock will die. Then a loud wail will rise throughout the land of Egypt, a wail like no one has heard before or will ever hear again. But among the Israelites it will be peaceful that not even a dog will bark. Then you will know that the LORD makes a distinction between the Egyptians and the Israelites. All the officials of Egypt will run to me and fall to the ground before me ‘Please leave!’ they will beg ‘Hurry! And take all your followers with you.’ Only then will I go!” Then, burning with anger, Moses left Pharaoh. Now the LORD had told Moses earlier, “Pharaoh will not listen to you, but then I will do even mightier miracles in the land of Egypt.” Moses and Aaron performed these miracles in Pharaoh’s presence, but the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he wouldn’t let the Israelites leave the country. Okay, so God gave Pharaoh many warnings. He caused plagues such as swarms of locusts, the Nile River turning into blood, invasion of frogs, boils, darkness, and even more plagues. He even caused Moses’ staff to turn into a snake and it ate the other snakes Pharaoh’s magicians called out! But Pharaoh still would not listen! So God gave him one final warning. If Pharaoh wouldn’t let God’s people be free from their slavery, the angel of death would kill every firstborn son in Pharaoh’s kingdom. The angel of death knew which houses were the Israelites because they celebrated Passover by using the blood of a lamb and putting it on their doors so the angel of death would pass over them. But the homes that didn’t have the blood of the lamb on the doors, they were the Egyptians who didn’t take God’s warning seriously. For a while, this got Pharaoh’s attention when he found his son dead. He realized the Israelites God was serious business and things are just going to get worse if he doesn’t let them go. So he lets them go. But when he realizes he let them ALL go and has no more slaves, he practically forgets what happened! He’s like, “Soldiers, get the chariots ready, we’re going after them! We’re getting them back!” So the Israelites see the Egyptians coming after them and they’re blocked off by the Red Sea. The Israelites turn on Moses and are like, “Dude! We were better off in Egypt! Now they’re going to kill us! Look what you’ve done to us! We should’ve stayed back there!” Moses isn’t going to have any of it! So he tells the people to stay calm because God is going to rescue them. God tells Moses to pick up his staff and raise his right hand over the sea. God divides the water and the people walk across to the other side. When they get to the other side and the Egyptians are rushing after them, God closes the waters the Egyptian army is wiped away in the ocean.

The faithful servant, verses they quote are Job 1 and Job 42:12-13. This is pretty long, but the reason I’m typing out all of the verses is because some of you may not actually look up the verses, so I thought I might as well provide them for you. So let’s start with Job 1 (NLT) – There once was a man named Job who lived in the land of Uz. He was blameless – a man of complete integrity. He feared God and stayed away from evil. He had seven sons and three daughters. He owned 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 teams of oxen, and 500 female donkeys. He also had many servants. He was, in fact, the richest person in that entire area. Job’s sons would take turns preparing feasts in their homes, and they would also invite their three sisters to celebrate with them. When these celebrations ended – sometimes after several days – Job would purify his children. He would get up early in the morning and offer a burnt offering for each of them. For Job said to himself, “Perhaps my children have sinned and have cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular practice. One day the members of the heavenly court came to present themselves before the LORD, and the Accuser, Satan, came with them. “Where have you come from?” the LORD asked Satan. Satan answered the LORD, “I have been patrolling the earth, patrolling everything that’s going on.” Then the LORD asked Satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth. He is blameless – a man of complete integrity. He fears God and stays away from evil.” Satan replied to the LORD, “Yes, but Job has good reason to fear God. You have always put a wall of protection around him and his home and his property. You have made him prosper in everything he does. Look how rich he is! But reach out and take away everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face!” “All right, you may test him,” the LORD said to Satan. “Do whatever you want with everything he possesses, but don’t harm him physically.” So Satan left the LORD’s presence. One day when Job’s sons and daughters were feasting at the oldest brother’s house, a messenger arrived at Job’s home with this news: “Your oxen were plowing, with the donkeys feeding beside them, when the Sabeans raided us. They stole all the animals and killed all the farmhands. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.” While he was still speaking, another messenger arrived with this news: “The fire of God has fallen from heaven and burned up your sheep and all the shepherds. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.” While he was still speaking, a third messenger arrived with this news: “Three bands of Chaldean raiders have stolen your camels and killed your servants. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.” While he was still speaking, another messenger arrived with this news: “Your sons and daughters were feasting in their oldest brother’s home. Suddenly, a powerful wind swept in from the wilderness and hit the house on all sides. The house collapsed, and all your children are dead. I am the only one who escaped to tell you.” Job stood up and tore his robe in grief. Then he shaved his head and fell to the ground to worship. He said, “I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The LORD gave me what I had, and the LORD has taken it away. Praise the name of the LORD!” In all of this, Job did not sin by blaming God. Next verse is Job 42:12-13 (NLT) – So the LORD blessed Job in the second half of his life even more than in the beginning. For now he had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 teams of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys. He also gave Job seven more sons and three more daughters. So Job is a really good guy right? He stays away from evil, and he’s even really faithful to God; so God wouldn’t ever let anything bad happen to Job right? That was Satan’s case too. God’s braggin’ on Job, “Have you seen this awesome guy on earth named Job? He’s a pretty cool dude, he stays away from evil and is faithful to me.” Satan’s like, “Yea I’ve seen him, but you know WHY he’s so faithful to you? It’s because you spoil him! You give him more than he needs! Have you seen his house for instance? Anyone with a house like his would be worshiping you without hesitating! He might as well have a jet ski! If you took everything he had away from him though, there’s no way he’d serve you. In fact, I bet he’d even curse you and spit in your face!” God knows if he does this, this is going to be really difficult on Job. But God also believes in Job. God believes Job will remain faithful to him. So God says, “Fine, you can take away what he has, BUT, you can’t hurt him physically.” So Satan does that. He takes away Job’s cattle, servants, and children. Job is so distraught that he tears his clothes and is completely naked. He shaves his head and what does he do? Does he curse God? No. Does he spit in God’s face? No. He WORSHIPS God! How many people would actually do that? We usually worship God only when the times are good or when it’s convenient. But we should worship God even when times are tough, even when it seems unbearable. It certainly seemed unbearable for Job, and throughout the story of Job, things kept getting worse, but he continued to be faithful to God. Because of his faithfulness to God, God blessed him even more than before!

10th Commandment blues, the quote is – You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me. (Exodus 20:5) I’ll keep this short with two verses in response to this. First, Deuteronomy 24:16 (NLT) – Parents must not be put to death for the sins of their children, nor children for the sins of their parents. Those deserving to die must be put to death for their own crimes. Next verse is Ezekiel 18:20 – The person who sins is the one who will die. The child will not be punished for the parent’s sins, and the parent will not be punished for the child’s sins. Righteous people will be rewarded for their own righteous behavior, and wicked people will be punished for their own wickedness. In summary, whoever makes the sin will be punished for their own sin. The kids are not going to be punished for their parents sin, nor are the parents going to be punished for the kids sin. I hope that clears things up.

Another misinterpretation, quoted verse – O daughter Babylon, you devastator! Happy shall they be who pay you back what you have done to us! Happy shall they be who take your little ones and dash them against the rock! (Psalm 137:9) When you listen/read to song lyrics or poems, there’s a lot of emotion in them aren’t there? Well that’s what the book of Psalms consists of. Songs and poems (mainly songs). If you’re battling a country that’s bashing your babies into rocks and other awful stuff, you may be thinking, “I hope the same thing happens to you!” You’re thinking of revenge! Babylon had been oppressing the Israelites severely and doing awful stuff to them. They wanted revenge and were just saying, “What you’re doing to us, it’s coming right back at you!”

The truth about Jesus, quoted verse John 3:16 (NLT) – “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” They forgot to add verses 17-21: “God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. But anyone who does not believe in him already has been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. And the judgement is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.” So here’s the deal, people/humans are evil. They’re filled with darkness. Look around you, there is evil all around the world. Who causes the evil? People. Do you see evil animals? No. Do you see evil plants? No. Now, you may say natural disasters are evil. Natural disasters themselves are not evil, but the devastations they cause are evil. But in general, where do we see evil come from? We see evil come from people! You might say “There are a lot of good people too!” Yes, there are good people, but in what sense are they good? To your standard? To the standard of the law of the government? To your neighbor’s standard? To my standard? You’ve got people in the middle east yelling Jihad (holy war) strapping bombs onto themselves to blow up as many infidels as they can. According to their standards, they’re good people. Adolf Hitler when trying to make a superior race of people and getting rid of the Jewish people according to his standards was a good person. But according to our standards, these are all evil people! So when evaluating who are good people, by whose standards are you evaluating them? According to the Bible, we were originally created “good” (Genesis 1:31 NLT – Then God looked over all he had made, and saw that it was very good!) But then Adam and Eve sinned by listening to Satan’s lies and we inherited their curse. We kept becoming more and more evil. We were separated from God. We originally were created to be with God, but our sin became a barrier between us and God. So we offered sacrifices to God. But we kept on sinning, and the sacrifices just weren’t enough. Animal blood wasn’t enough to pay the price for the evil we didn’t just commit, but the darkness in our hearts as well. God didn’t want us to be separated from him, he longed for us, and while many turned away from him, there were those who longed for him too. A price had to be paid. Here’s the thing about God and his Son, as confusing as this sounds, they are ONE. Even Jesus said they are one. John 10:30 (NLT) – “The Father and I are one.” It wasn’t just God saying, “Okay kid, you’ve gotta go die to save the world!” God himself was going to sacrifice himself, because the Father is God, and the Son is God (not Gods, but singular – the Trinity is three persons in one: God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, I know it’s confusing but that’s for another discussion)! So the Son comes to earth as a baby, not like Hercules baby falling from the sky, but from a miracle! God made a virgin woman get pregnant! This virgin woman (Mary) gave birth to God (the Son) and his name was Jesus (or Yeshua which means “Salvation”). Jesus was fully God, but also fully human. He had to eat like a person. He had to sleep like a person. I’m sure if he didn’t bathe he probably smelled bad like a person. It’s funny actually, sometimes I ask my husband the most random questions like, “Do you think Jesus ever went swimming? Do you think Jesus was hairy? Do you think Jesus had long hair or short hair? Do you think Jesus ever had to go to the bathroom?” Answers for those my husband gave me were probably, yes, most likely short because long hair was dishonorable at that time for men, and yes. Anyway, before I get way off track, he was God and human. He taught people about the Kingdom of Heaven, he healed people from illnesses and injuries, he raised people from the dead, he fed people, of all people to consider good by anyone standards, look at his life and I think most of us would say, “He was a pretty good guy.” But he was tough. He was honest, and I mean brutally honest. He said things the way they were. He was gentle, but when the hard truth needed to be said, he said it. He didn’t hold back. He called people hypocrites. There were instances where he grabbed ropes and held them like whips and started pushing over tables because people were cheating other people in the Temple by selling flawed animals for sacrifices for high amounts of money! People tend to imagine Jesus as this guy who was always meek and mild, happy-go-lucky, always laughing kind of guy. No doubt, he had a lot of joy, but he was a man of great sorrow too, and he had anger. But he never sinned. He never did anything wrong. You may say “Well, he was God!” Yea, but he was as human as you and I too. He was as much flesh as you and I are. He was tempted in every way we are, yet he never gave in. As he waited in the garden and prayed, he knew one of his best friends was betraying him to the people who were going to put him to death. When Jesus prayed, he asked his Father to let this cup pass from him if possible. Now, this is just my speculation, I’ll admit, I could be wrong here, but here’s what I personally think here. I think Jesus might’ve been a little afraid of what was going to happen – hear me out before totally counting me wrong! He knew he was going to have to endure excruciating physical pain, and no one likes that, but I don’t even think that was what he was scared of. He was going to die a painful and humiliating way of death, but even that I don’t think was what he was afraid of. He was going to take on the sins of the world and be separated from his Father – that, I think was what he was afraid of. He was in so much distress he sweat blood! This is a rare occurrence, but it does actually happen (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2810702/) But Jesus said “If it’s possible” which means “If it’s possible for a different way to save the people, can we do that way instead?” But then Jesus said, “But let your will be done, not mine.” This is really powerful and I think we need to learn this for our own lives as well. If we let God’s will control our lives more instead of our own will, I think we’d be in less trouble than we get ourselves in. So Jesus is arrested, tried, tortured, and put to death. I saw this picture once on DeviantArt someone did with Jesus carrying his cross and angels are ready to come in and save him, but he holds his hand out to stop them. Can’t you imagine it? The angels must’ve been ready to go down from Heaven and save Jesus if he even so much as gave them a look. They must’ve been anxiously waiting, ready to slaughter all the people who were doing awful things to him. But he never gave the angels any look. He continued going. He gets nailed to the cross and he’s hanging there, naked, and people walk by hurling insults at him. I mean he’s soaked in blood. He’s all sliced up, he’s probably got some bones sticking out. Roman flogging was extremely severe, and it says that he even got that severely, which means it had to have been REALLY bad. Splinters in the cross was probably the least of the worries. It would’ve been really hard to breathe because in order to be able to get breathes of air, they’d have to push up on their feet, which were nailed to the cross. And as soon as they’d fall back down after pushing themselves up, they’d feel it in their feet and probably their hands too, which were also nailed. If you’re crucified on a roman cross, my guess is you’re hoping you die quickly because it’s so horrible. So while people are hurling insults at him, I can imagine Satan in that last moment curling up to his ear whispering, “This isn’t worth it! Look! They don’t feel a bit sorry for what they’ve done to you! These pathetic humans aren’t worth you dieing! If you come down the cross now, surely they’ll believe you’re their Messiah! After all, who’s going to worship a dead God?” People are pretty much repeating the same thing, “If you are the Savior, come down from cross and we’ll believe you!” Even if he did come down, they wouldn’t believe him. They accused him before of being a demon when he was casting out demons! Who’s to say they wouldn’t just accuse him of that again? As soon as he’d get down, they’d just nail him right back on there. Even if they did believe, a price still needed to be paid that only God could pay. As the people cursed Jesus, he never said a bad thing back to them, instead, he said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing.” Even at that moment, he still loved them! He still wanted to redeem them! Some time passes, and he feels really alone. He’s separated from his Father. He’s never been away from his Father before, and this is devastating to him. He cries out, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” Don’t you ever feel like God has abandoned you? Well, Jesus felt that way too. Then he said, “It’s finished” and bowed his head and died. What was finished? The power evil had was finished! The barrier between us and God was finished! Three days later Jesus came out of the grave alive! He defeated death itself! Now when we truly believe Jesus is Lord and that he sacrificed his life for you and me to set us free from our bondage, our chains of our addictions, our pain, our anxieties, our problems, our mistakes, our sins, and he came back to life and rescued us, then that barrier between God and us is gone! We can finally be with God!

Next note will be: 2. Denying young people accurate information about their bodies is evil.

Who Won The Feminist War?

When women started fighting for liberation, who won the war in the end? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

I’ve been thinking more about my virginity post. There has been some reaction online, quite likely from people who didn’t really read it. Consider for instance, James Lindsay (Who by the way has refused to have a debate on TheologyWeb with me on the topic of if Jesus rose from the dead.) who wrote on his twitter feed (And I’m Apologianick on Twitter if you want to follow me) that

“The whackjob apologist talking to me now wants us all to know why #virginity matters. Cracked. #ModestIsHottest
http://deeperwaters.wordpress.com/2014/05/28/why-does-virginity-matter/ …” See the tweet yourself here.

To which you can find him saying that I say

“According to the apologist, it’s for something even greater and grander, infinitely important magic morals because God hates sex.”

Because God hates sex…

Yep. Because I, as a married man, want to give the idea out that God hates sex.

Because, you know, as soon as you say sex is something sacred, that’s automatically a laughable idea.

And keep in mind, the Christians are supposed to be the ones that have the low view of sex.

What strikes me as most ironic in all these discussions is how many women go along with this idea. So many women want to say that there’s nothing sacred at all about sex. I have been told that it’s just an appetite like anything else. It’s a natural desire like anything else.

Of course it’s an appetite.

Of course it’s a natural desire.

But it does not follow that it is like anything else.

You see, our culture is a culture that is big on equality. We like things to be equal and we don’t like people to be treated differently. So when we see men and women being treated differently, we can often think that there is an equality going on. The mistaken notion is to think that if men and women are not equal in everything, then they are not equal in worth.

This would be like saying two breeds of dogs are not equally dogs or two breeds of cats are not equally cats. Differences does not always mean a lack of equality when it comes to worth and nature. Differences are instead something that celebrate the great diversities. Do you want a big dog to be a guardian? Great! Get a German Shepherd or Pit Bull or a dog like that. Do you want a small one to be a companion? Great! Get a beagle or a chihuahua or something like that. There are all kinds for all people.

Now here comes a shocker to many people today.

Men and women are different.

No really. They are!

And this goes beyond just our bodies. Sure, we have different genitalia, but we differ in so many ways. The way my own wife thinks is so foreign to me. I do not understand it so many times. The way her emotions work is something that makes no sense to me. Learning to communicate with a spouse is sometimes like learning a foreign language and some of that you don’t learn until you enter into the marital covenant.

Now here’s the other part of that. Men and women are different, and that’s a good thing!

We could see these as opposing differences, and in some cases they are, but we could also see them as complementary differences. When the two work together, they are capable of doing something that neither one of them could do on their own. The greatest example of this of course is sexual intimacy. When the man and the woman come together, they can have a joy and a passion that neither one of them would have attained alone.

And oh yeah, they can also make a new human life.

But women had this idea that they were not on the same playing field as men. The largest area was in that of sex. After all, a woman can get pregnant, something a man cannot do, and she can bring a new life into the world.

But this process takes about nine months and in that time she’s not as available to the world and after that time, well she might actually want to do something bizarre like, oh, I don’t know, bond with the baby.

How can you be a career woman in that?

And if you don’t want that, how is it you can have sex without consequences in such a society?

Enter abortion into the picture. Now if all else fails and you get pregnant, no big deal! Just go and have a little routine operation so that that little intrusion won’t be a problem.

The baby is a human life? Well nonsense. That’s just a fetus after all! It’s not a life! Never mind that we know of nothing else that it could be. As far as we know, if all things are equal, these things actually do turn out to be human beings in the end, but hey, details. Who needs them?

Yet consider this. What if being able to give birth is something that makes a woman distinct from a man, which it could very well be since after all, only women give birth. If a woman instead ends up killing a baby in her womb, isn’t she in fact doing the exact opposite of her role as a mother? Isn’t she rather being an anti-mother?

If giving birth is something radically feminine, killing a birth is radically anti-feminine.

So now we move on and we get more and more of a divorce culture especially with no-fault divorce. Now men and women could split easily without having a real issue. It can just be on a whim. Of course, this meant in the long run a man had to make no real commitment to a woman whatsoever. That commitment could come apart at most any moment and for any reason and if that is the case, well it’s not much of a commitment is it.

Today then, we live in a culture of shacking up. After all, we want to make sure our commitment does not become one of those so let’s live together first! Let’s see how well we work out! This will naturally mean trying each other out sexually.

Because there’s no harm in treating another person like a car you take for a test spin as we all know.

We all have heard the old saying of why should someone buy a cow if they can get the milk for free? Why is a man going to be driven to make a commitment to a woman if she’s willing to give the man what he wants most at no cost? Well it might cost something sometimes. Maybe it costs dinner or a movie or something of that sort. But after that, hey. Go ahead. That’s the price and you’ve paid the price for the totality of having a woman’s whole being given to you. Enjoy. Aren’t you glad you didn’t have to pay something such as your entire life?

In our culture today then, women are often seen as simply eye candy. The sexuality of a woman is even more emphasized than it has been. The moment of victory in a sitcom, movie, TV drama, etc. is when the man and the woman have sex, which frankly doesn’t cost that much. The marriage doesn’t mean as much. Not as much changes because, hey, they were already having sex and most often living together beforehand.

So the women had their movement to make sure they were treated equally. Who won it?

The men did.

Sorry ladies, but if you went by this model, you lost.

You see, now a man has even more reason to treat a woman like an object. After all, sex is just something you do together. It might as well be the same as playing tennis together or watching a movie or belonging to a book club. You do all those things just to have some fellowship. Well now you have sex for the same reason. It’s just what you do together. No real commitment is involved. The man doesn’t have to treat the woman like a woman. He just has to be willing to give what he’s got.

Which surprisingly, isn’t much of a sacrifice for a man. A man doesn’t have to have much to motivate him to have sex. All a woman needs to pretty much do is go up to a man and say “Would you like to have sex?” and the man is willing and ready to go.

In the past, a man would usually have to fight and prove himself the man to earn the right to the woman. That woman was a treasure and she was treating herself like one. She was the one who set the price and if she set it high, well the man would reach and go as high as he could because what he wanted was worth it. If it was not worth it, then the woman could move on and find a man who would treat her the way she was worth.

But now since sex is no big deal and it’s just something common, well what a shock that marriage is no big deal either. Just get a divorce. What’s the big deal? Just change the nature of marriage. What’s the big deal? Marriage after all is all about making the people involved in it happy. If you split up, you split up and you’ll do better next time. There’s no incentive to stay in because hey, a guy can find a woman willing to have sex very quickly. Just go down to your local bar. They’re there.

If sex is no big deal and marriage is no big deal, it’s not a shock that human life is no big deal, and abortion already has shown us that. Men and women are simply sexual beings like animals. Now of course we are sexual beings, but the word simply does not belong. Our sex does in many ways define us but it is not the sole purpose we serve. A woman can be fully woman and be a nun for instance. As some have said rightfully, she even has a sex life. Everything she does, SHE does. SHE does it as a woman. Her vows keep her from having sexual intercourse. They can never stop her from being a woman.

So what happened? Well our society went from one where women did not want to be treated like objects to where women are eye candy in all the media and men don’t have to make any real commitment to have sex and can get out of a relationship at any time.

Sounds like the men won.

After all, if a man is using a woman just for sex, he’s sure not respecting her. If he was a respectful man, he’d go for a woman who has a high price. He’d go for a woman where he actually has to be a real man. A woman who does not challenge him and make him earn her love is not going to be a woman who will challenge him to be a man. A woman who gives in too easily will not only lower herself as a woman, but she will lower the man.

So while we could say both lost in the long run, the men still get the better part of the deal because they got all the perks that they wanted and the woman were nice enough to remove all the costs to them.

Let’s go back and see if we can change this.

Start with this. Sex is good. (Amen and amen) God does not hate sex. God loves sex. God created it. (To which all we men can give abundant praise someday when we stand before the throne.) Just really think about that. Sex is God’s idea! Everything that you love about sex if you’re a married person is something that God created. He designed the body and the system that builds up that pleasure and intimacy.

When we say we value virginity then, we don’t mean we value virginity for the sake of virginity. Giving up sex for a time is not an end in itself. It is a means. It is a means to a higher end. If you give it up also, note that you are saying that it is something you perceive as a good. After all, if you ever sacrifice something, for it to be a worthwhile sacrifice, it has to be something you view as a good. You don’t sacrifice your freedom to go swimming at your local sewage treatment plant. You want to avoid that. You don’t sacrifice your freedom to eat bugs off of your living room floor. You don’t want to do that. If you instead do something like sacrificing time spent at the pool or sacrificing pizza or some other food, now that is a real sacrifice.

So whenever a Christian or anyone else gives up sex for some time for something else, they are saying that that something else is a good worth sacrificing for and to show how much it is worth sacrificing, they will sacrifice something that is extremely valuable. For those who are able to sacrifice sex in this lifetime, well more power to you. If you can keep it, you have indeed made a real sacrifice. At the same time of course, that does not make you more spiritual or more Christian than anyone else. After all, some of us do have to marry and Paul said there were some of us who would burn if we did not marry. Yeah. He knew how strong that drive was.

So what happens if we treat sex as something sacred? It’s no longer a common good and a woman becomes once again a prize to be won. She becomes the princess that the knight must go and fight for. If he proves himself to be a man, well he can have access to the garden of the princess. If he does not, well good-bye, because there will certainly come along another knight who will earn the hand of the princess. (In fact, to this day, I still call my wife my Princess. Check my phone sometime and you’ll see she is not listed by name but listed as Princess.)

What happens then? Well marriage becomes sacred again. A guy has proved himself a man and the woman treats him like a man. The best way she does this is by giving herself to him and trusting him and knowing that there is no one else. The man does not take advantage of this. Instead, he works everyday to make sure she knows how much he appreciates this and how delighted he is to be her men. Note this women. A real man will always strive to be a real man for you.

Then after this, life becomes sacred as well. Life becomes something beautiful because humans are not cheap. They are immensely valuable. The medievals said that one human being is worth more than the entire universe. They were right. Had there been just a universe, there would have been no need for the death of Christ. Enter in one human being in need and there’s a purpose to the plan of redemption.

The ultimate change of this lies with the women. It lies in them realizing that in many ways, they should be treated as equal, but they should also celebrate their differences from men. They should learn to realize that they are not cheap. They come with a price and that price can be as high as they want it to be. Worried about finding a real man? A real man will earn you. If a man is not willing to pay the price for you, then he is not a man. Period.

Another essential part of this is that this is what we have to start teaching in churches. Our churches do not talk about sex enough, which is problematic since everyone in the world talks about it constantly. Like many men, when I often see another woman, I look away or my eyes glaze over. Recently I was walking at a mall when I saw another woman. To avoid the temptation to lust, I instead look to my right. What do I see? The display for the local Victoria’s Secret. Yep. It’s everywhere. A man will be tempted with lust relentlessly. Even if a man doesn’t watch TV shows and movies, if he is just out going grocery shopping, he will be tempted with lust.

And we somehow think that 2 or 3 sermons a year will be all it takes to help a man in this area?

Our young teenagers are being constantly tempted. Many of them in high school have friends who are already sexually active and the question they’re being asked is “Why not you?” When a Christian boy and girl are on a date together and they’re alone on a couch at a parents’ house, do we really think a few verses from Paul is going to be enough to stop them?

Look at it this way. Many of us know the Bible verses about dealing with temptation and about other aspects like not worrying and how to avoid careless spending and how we should love our neighbor as ourselves.

If that’s all it took for us to do those things, we would all be a whole lot better, but it’s not.

Yet when it comes to the most powerful natural appetite that a man and woman has, we somehow think those few verses that we have will be enough to overpower them.

If you think it will be, you are a naive fool.

This also starts in the home. Parents need to model a healthy sexuality. Of course, I’m not saying invite the children to the bedroom. That would be stupid and destroy the sanctity of the bedroom. I’m saying the parents need to live before the children a life that shows a loving marital commitment. The parents should never make the children the focus of the marriage. The wife’s focus is the husband and the husband’s is the wife. Make the children the focus and you will have a marriage fall apart. This of course does not mean the children are unimportant. They are immensely important, but they do not take first place.

The children need to see that Mom and Dad have a loving relationship. They need to see their parents kiss. They need to know that their parents are going out on dates. The husband needs to show his sons the right way to treat a woman and show his daughters how it is that a good man will treat her. The wife needs to show her daughters the right way to respond to a man and show her sons how it is that they should treat a lady.

When it comes to single people, if they want to be single, let them be. Don’t treat them like an aberration. If we do that, then we get them into the mindset of “You’re not having sex? What’s wrong with you?!” If they are fine with that life, then let them be fine with it. They are not less as Christians or less as men and women. If they are wanting to get married, then by all means help them. Teach them the advice you have on dating and marriage. (In preparation for my marriage, I spent time with many men asking them questions and getting advice. Today, I try to offer the same kind of advice to men who are preparing to marry. If you’re on Facebook also and you’re a Christian man marrying or planning to marry or hoping to someday marry, I also have a Facebook group dedicated to helping you learn how to be that kind of man.)

In fact, that advice just given works for men and women who are married. Get together with people of your own sex who are married and talk about the issues that you face in marriage and what’s the best way to overcome them, because marriage takes work. If you’re a married couple, get together with other married couples who want to build up their own marriages and learn what you can from them.

In the end, men and women will be different.

But that’s okay. We were supposed to be.

But we will also all treat each other with a bit more respect and value.

Who will win that battle?

The men will.

But so will the women as well.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Why Does Virginity Matter?

Does virginity really mean anything in our society any more? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

I have been on Unbelievable’s Facebook page in a debate about Tim McGrew vs. Peter Boghossian and saw another thread asking what the big deal is about virginity. The poster stated that he was on a bit of a “sex kick” (This is also translated as being a healthy male). This was a thread that I decided I should certainly play a part in.

Now to be sure, virginity is not to be valued for the sake of virginity itself. If one chooses to have a celibate lifestyle, one should choose that not because they value celibacy, but they should choose it because they value something else and are giving up sex throughout their lives for the sake of that something else. Celibacy should not be seen as a means to itself. It is sacrificing a good for what one thinks is an even greater good. One should also not practice chastity (Chastity being waiting until marriage instead of abstaining your whole life) for the sake of chastity. One practices chastity for a greater good.

For some, virginity is not that big a deal. Sex is just another biological activity. In fact, these think that you should sleep with the person you’re dating before you get married to them. After all, you need to make sure that you are sexually compatible. As you can imagine, I reject this view entirely.

Quite amusing also was to read that virginity is a way to control women.

Yes. Because if men wanted to control women, the best way they would do it would be to make sure that men had to wait until they married a woman until they could have sex with her. Because, hey, we all know that we men are notorious about setting up barriers to keep us from having sex.

Of course, no one would deny that sex is a biological function. It does fill a necessary gap in enabling the human species to reproduce. It also serves other purposes. One obvious purpose that we tend to think of immediately is pleasure. There is nothing like the joy that comes from the unity of the male and the female together in this way. While we can say we disagree with the sexual morality that we see on TV shows and movies today, we certainly can understand the pleasure aspect of it. If sex was not a lot of fun, there would not be so much of a drive to do it.

Sex also serves another role. It serves to unify and solidify the love between a husband and a wife. Let’s face it. If it wasn’t for sex, men would quite likely not get married and the human species would die out. A woman costs time, money, and effort. What benefit would the guy get for that? Well in sex we have an answer. Now does this mean a woman’s only good is sex? No. It just means that this is the initial draw between a man and a woman.

This draw in fact is to build up the love. When the man unites with the woman in this way, then he is put in a position where he will desire to please the woman because she has done so much to please him. The relationship builds more and more that way. The woman will also in turn grow to trust and to love the man. That will in turn lead to more sex which will in turn lead to more sex and the cycle grows and grows.

The reason that we guard the sexuality of ourselves is not because sex is dirty or sinful. May it never be! I’m a married man. Does anyone really think I’m going to say sex is sinful? Heck no! But it is because sex is something sacred. It is on its own terms something more powerful than any nuclear weapon. It is something that you’d better handle with care because if you go wrong with sex, the ramifications are deadly.

Sex is also the way a woman determines what she’s worth. Generally in a relationship, the woman makes the decision about when sex will be, although the man sure does try to let her know when he wants it. (Hint for women: Always.) So what is a woman worth? Is she worth dinner and a movie? Is she worth a week? Is she worth a month? Is she worth half a year? Engagement? Or is she worth a lifetime commitment? I have written about this elsewhere.

Now someone might say “Well would you buy a car without taking it for a test drive.” No, but here’s the point. People are not cars. The car will not care if you don’t like it and take it back to the lot. The car will not have hurt feelings. The car will not call up all of its friends and ask why it is that it was not found pleasing in your sight. People are not machines and they do not behave like cars.

When I think back to when I proposed to my wife, I can just imagine the reaction had I made a similar suggestion with her. “Well, I’d like to spend the rest of my life with you, but let’s have sex first and then I also plan on having sex with other women. After all, I want to make sure you’re the best fit for me. If you end up passing the test, then you and I can go on with marriage plans.”

She would have rightly rejected my proposal then and there and her parents would definitely make sure I never crossed her path again.

Now someone could ask that if you have zero experience, doesn’t that make things difficult possibly? Do you want to go to the honeymoon without experience?

But we all have to start doing things without experience. The first time you drive a car, you do not have experience. When you go to college for the first time, you do not have experience. When you become a parent for the first time, you may have experience with babysitting, but you do not have experience in directly taking care of your own children.

And that’s one of the joys of waiting until marriage. You and your spouse learn together. Sure you’re going to make mistakes and not be the best right at the start and will get better and better over time. That’s okay. You laugh and learn about the mistakes that you make and learn more and more about what pleases you and what pleases the other person. (And yes, it is not selfish to know what pleases you. How else can your spouse best love you unless you know what it is that brings you the most joy?)

My wife is not a test object. She is not an object period. She is the woman I pledge my life and love to until death do us part. She is not just someone I go to when I want to have my pleasure and then disregard the rest of the time. The desire for sex is not just a desire for a pleasurable sensation, but a desire for spousal unity and to be open entirely with the woman that I love and to give and receive love without walls between us.

Naturally, men and women have different attitudes with sex. For men, sex is usually seen as a necessary aspect of the love. For the women, love is seen as a necessary aspect of the sex. This is not to say men are opposed to love in sex. We know love should be a part of it in marriage as well. Women also know that sex is a part of love in marriage. It is just in the ranking. A man cannot really imagine a time of great love and affection with him and his wife that does not have sex. A woman could much more easily.

All of this much more easily flows in marriage. In marriage, there is a system whereby sex can happen and happen without risk. There is to be no fear of rejection. No person is being tested. You are to know that when you wake up the next day, the other person will still be there.

In our culture, we have treated sex like a common good. Sex is not cheap. It comes at the price of the totality of a human being being given to another. That is not cheap. Sex is sacred because people are sacred. People are sacred because they are created in the image of God, the most sacred one of all. Our sexuality should reflect the nature of God in how we behave. God made us sexual beings and made us to enjoy that gift, but He made it to be enjoyed on the right terms and when those terms are followed, the gift will be the best of all.

So is virginity something worthwhile? Yes. The person who holds their virginity for someone is making a claim about themselves and for a Christian, they are making a claim about God. We have had this strange idea that God is separate from many of the things that we do in our lives. In reality, God has something to do with everything in our lives and I agree with Peter Kreeft. We need more and more a theology of sex.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Miss Shining Star Beauty Pageant

What about the least of these? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

Okay. Today, I’m going to try to do something new on the blog and that is to add a picture. If it works well, I hope to do so whenever I do a book review. At any rate, I’m taking a little break from Book Plunges to write about what happened this weekend.

Saturday, my wife Allie was invited to participate in a beauty pageant for women with disabilities. It was the Miss Shining Star Pageant put on in large part with the help of Joni and Friends of Knoxville. Around 25 disabled girls participated in this pageant with ages from 4 to 34.

As readers of this blog know, Allie and I both have Asperger’s and that was how Allie entered. There were four categories. There was Tiny Shining Star with ages 4-7, Little Miss Shining Star with ages 8-12, Teen Shining Star with ages 13-17, and then Shining Star for 18+ and one overall Miss Shining Star. There was also a talent competition and a photogenic and personality contest.

As I watched the event I remember being marveled and thinking from an apologetics perspective about the least of these. It is because of the coming of Christ that we do have such compassion largely. Leaving the young to die in the time of the Roman Empire was something common, and that could be just for being female. It would be all the more likely if a female was clearly disabled.

We might say we’re better, but are we? I know a couple at our church who when they were told their child would be born with Down’s Syndrome was told that they had “other options” they could consider. No way. Not one bit! This life was a valuable life. Why? Because of their Christian worldview. They knew that this life was someone in the image of God and today, they delight in their Down’s Syndrome baby.

I watched this whole show go on thinking about how each of these people would in some way be someone who would normally be rejected by the world. There is instead a contrast to a position such as 1 Cor. 1 where the weak are the ones who are said to shame the strong. God has taken the lowly and despised by the world in order to showcase his glory.

Christianity tells us each of us has value as we are not because of what we do, but because in some way, all of us bear the image of God and all of us who submit to God will be conformed to the likeness of the Son, the ultimate image of God. God can take us and transform us, disabilities and all. The very aspects about us we consider shameful are those that He could plan to use to bring about His glory the most.

As for how the competition ended in case you’re wondering, I think it was wonderful. Allie was actually the only contestant in the competition who was married and got to give a talk about finding her one true love in the interview portion.

Apparently the judges really liked it.

After all, I was the man who got to go home with Miss Shining Star 2014! Congratulations to my wife Allie for being crowned Miss Shining Star and may she be an inspiration to other women who might have given up on themselves. You might be tempted to, but don’t think God has given up on you. You can still shine!

MissShiningStar2014Miss Shining Star 2014 Allie Peters!

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Number Three

Do wonders ever cease? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

Today, I’m moving away from the usual debate I’ve had on the blog recently to mark a milestone down. I certainly hope there will be no debate on today’s entry. When I say for the title “Number Three” is that, as readers of this blog hopefully remember, today my wife Allie and celebrate three years together.

I’ve often said I was one of those guys who thought I’d never ever get married, not because I didn’t desire to, but because what kind of girl loves a nerdy guy like this? Apparently, Allie is the kind who does. It was on this day three years ago that she said that yes, she wants to invest the rest of her life into me. I said the same to her naturally.

It’s been an interesting three years. Our finances have been terrible. We’ve had numerous events happen such as job losses, having to move, deaths, and surgeries. With both of us being Aspies, we undergo a number of difficulties a lot of couples do not, but at the same time it has been an adventure.

I’ve always seen apologetics as an adventure. It is protecting the world from false teachings that seek to destroy the flock and lead people astray. It is a battle where souls are on the line and with Allie by my side, I can wake up each day more inspired and know that when my work is done for the day, I’ve got someone by my side who expects me to give it my all and is cheering on her husband, who she thinks is absolutely the best!

These years have been shaping for me. Before we got married, my then pastor met me at the church and ten minutes prior to walking down the aisle, we were praying, and he asked me what I was praying for. I told him that what I prayed for most was that I wanted to be holy. I understand that the next day, a Sunday, that was even talked about in the sermon. (We would have been there, but Allie and I were on our way to the beach for our honeymoon. I think it was an absence the church understood.)

Today, that is still my prayer. I can look at things I do or say and think “Dang it, I really made a mistake there.” If anything can help make you more aware of the sinful nature in your life, it’s marriage. I had lived with a roommate prior to marriage, and that certainly brings some things out of you, but somehow marriage does it totally different.

In marriage, you share your entire being with someone. I love Allie heart, body, and soul. I seek to give her all that I have and I ask that she does the same for me. Marriage becomes a way of saying “I want nothing to hold me back in my love for you.” Many people today in debates talk about how they want freedom so much. A married couple does not want freedom. They want to be bound to one another.

It takes awhile to get used to the changes. Some are more immediate, such as learning to share a bed with someone. Some of them take time, such as, well, time. After awhile, you start to realize your time is not yours. I can find that I can plan out how I want the day to go some, only to find out later Allie wants to do something and before too long, those plans aren’t going as I thought. I do the same to her sometimes. That’s part of sharing your life. Nothing is really “yours” any more. It becomes more “ours.”

In all of this, a person is shaped more in sanctification and holiness. Now in saying this, I am not saying everyone should get married. Not everyone wants to. I’m biased, but I think marriage is awesome. I like thinking that I’m the guy that gets to be sharing my life with someone special. I like looking and realizing that we have in fact formed our own family unit together. I like thinking as well that while we’re going through a hard time now, there is work to be done in the future and we’re going to do it together. There are some events ahead on the horizon and I hope that matters will pick up.

So today, as I celebrate three years, I am aware I am a far better man for it. I often tell Allie that aside from the gift of Jesus Christ, nothing empowers me like she does. Nothing shapes and encourages me like she does. It is a role no parent, family member, teacher, or friend could fill. It is something special only the love of a spouse could do, and Allie has indeed done it, even though I suspect she is highly unaware of how strong the change is she has wrought, despite my constantly telling her.

Happy Anniversary to my Princess! I love you dearly!

In Christ,
Nick Peters