Deeper Waters Podcast 12/7/2019

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

What are we to do with the disabled? Sometimes, churches don’t know how to handle people who are really different and have a disability. Some churches might not be accessible to people in a wheelchair. Some might not understand that greeting time could be horrible to someone who has a disability. While special education can be good for some, does it really help disabled kids to be set apart from all the other kids as if to say that they don’t belong?

And what about healing? What if churches treat disabled Christians as lesser Christians who need to have faith that they will be healed and don’t do anything else for them? What message does it send a disabled person if they are told the condition they have is a sign of their lack of trust in God or the judgment of God or something similar to that?

What about Jesus? Jesus regularly healed the disabled, but is that all? We can’t always do that, so what do we do to love like Jesus did? Did Jesus treat the disabled like second-class humans?

This Saturday, we will be discussing these kinds of questions. How do we follow the way of Jesus when dealing with people who have a disability? My guest is someone who does ministry with the disabled and has a keen interest in this question. She is the author of Disability and the Way of Jesus and her name is Bethany McKinney Fox.

So who is she?

According to her bio:

Bethany McKinney Fox is founding pastor of Beloved Everybody Church in Los Angeles and adjunct professor of Christian ethics at Fuller. She earned her PhD in Christian Ethics at Fuller Theological seminary, her MDiv at Columbia Theological Seminary, and her BA in Philosophy with a minor in Russian Literature from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). Her new book Disability and the Way of Jesus: Holistic Healing in the Gospels and the Church (IVP Academic) examines how Jesus’ healing in the Gospels, too often used in ways that wound people with disabilities, might point a way toward real healing and mutual thriving. Dr. Fox is founding pastor of Beloved Everybody Church, a church startup where people with and without intellectual disabilities lead and participate together. She writes and speaks particularly on topics of disability, healing, and church practices to undergrad and graduate students, church leaders, and other people of faith around the country.

As readers of this blog know, disability is something near and dear to my heart. I hope you’ll be looking for this new episode too. We are working hard on getting all of them up for you as soon as we can.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

What Was Jesus Like?

Does it matter what Jesus would look like? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Yesterday, I saw a post made on Facebook meant to be an objection about how Christians here in the West at least have a white Jesus that they follow. Surely, Jesus was not like this. I happen to agree. I find it implausible to think of Jesus as a white man like myself and many people I know here in America.

But if you go to Africa, you will find a black Jesus. If you go to Asia, you will find an Asian Jesus. Jesus is often made in light of the people who worship Him in that area. We think Jesus is just like us.

Some of you might be thinking, “Great, but this doesn’t really have that much to do with apologetics.”

If we stay with race, maybe not, though in some contexts like the Nation of Islam it might matter, but what if we moved beyond race? What if we suggested that Jesus is not like our culture? Jesus is more like His culture than ours and perhaps our culture is in the wrong in some areas.

We have an idea of gentle Jesus meek and mild. With this, we often brush over that account of Jesus in the temple making a whip and throwing out the moneychangers. We have a Jesus who is more like Mr. Rogers and preaches kindness to anyone.

I have the same objection to this. Years ago I read Five Views on the Historical Jesus. I read Crossan talking about how Jesus saw John the Baptist get arrested and executed and toned His message down then. He chose to emphasize on goodness and brotherhood. Good message, but here was my problem with Crossan’s Jesus. He would never be crucified. He is not a threat to anyone.

The same with this gentle Jesus meek and mild. This Jesus is not a threat. No one would be rushing to shut Him down. Jesus got crucified because of what He said and did. You have to do or say something awfully drastic to be considered worthy of the cross by your enemies.

Jesus was someone the authorities in religion refused to ignore, and apparently they couldn’t. There was something about Him. His attitude had to be much more confrontational. Indeed, we see this in Matthew 24, which is another passage that many Christians seem to brush over.

Jesus also regularly used sarcasm. We don’t really like that. After all, how could Jesus really insult anyone, despite Him speaking negatively of His own disciples at times, using the term satan to refer to His main disciple. Jesus told it like it is many times.

Did Jesus practice love and kindness in the sense we understand them? Yes. He was that way towards those who were repentant. I would argue that Jesus was showing love towards the Pharisees He condemned, but it is a kind of tough love we don’t usually see as love today.

We have times in the Gospels where Jesus gets angry. This surprises us since surely the Son of God wouldn’t be angry. He was at times, and rightfully so. Some of us today have a problem with universally condemning hate. I don’t. There are some things you ought to hate. I hate sex trafficking. I hate child abuse. I hate rape. If I don’t hate these things, there’s something wrong with me.

A great danger with this is we have really domesticated Jesus. We have made Him into a tame lion that we can easily be with. He is now Buddy Jesus. Jesus is a friend? Okay. Don’t treat Him just like any other friend though. He’s radically different.

So maybe we should all step back. What is Jesus really like? What am I bringing into my culture and assuming is like Jesus? What are some things about my culture I have thought normative everywhere, but maybe aren’t? (Individualism anyone?)

If we think about Jesus and are not challenged and not shocked and not scandalized at times, perhaps we are not really thinking about Jesus. We are just thinking about an ideal of how we think Jesus should be. His race is interesting, but what He did and who He was even more so.

Try to think about Him today. I know I need to more as well.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Book Plunge: The Art of Falling in Love

What do I think of Joe Beam’s book published by Howard Books? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Joe Beam has an interesting story. He was married and then divorced his wife and got remarried. However, when he remarried, he remarried the woman he had divorced prior. In doing so, he has also spent years studying love and what it is and how one comes about falling in love.

Many of us have this idea from our culture that falling in love is just something that happens to you and you have no say in the matter. Many of us know the experience of falling in love. The problem is we don’t realize that we can do things to help us fall in love with another person. This is known as the Love Path.

The path starts with attraction. This is basic enough for us to understand. For many of us, this is how our relationship began. I remember in my men’s group a question being asked what first drew us to our wives. Now I didn’t see Allie in person first but talked to her and spoke about that, but many guys came out and pretty much talked about their wife’s body. That’s not a bad thing. That’s not a guy being a perv or objectifying a woman. That’s him being a man and knowing that a woman has a beautiful body and wanting to get to know her better. If after some time in a relationship the body was all that mattered to him still, there would be a problem, but it’s fine to start there.

This can also mean that in marriage still, we need to work on this. I have had to change my appearance in some ways since marrying for Allie’s sake. Many men and women sadly let themselves go after they marry. It’s the message of “I have them, so now I no longer have to try.” Sure, but that’s taking them for granted. Taking care of yourself to be attractive is showing love to your spouse as well.

The next step is acceptance. Attraction is never enough. Many of us guys have known being attracted to a woman and never doing anything with it and the relationship only exists in our own heads. When you act and speak to them, eventually both of you get to the place of acceptance where you decide to give one another a chance. Thus, the second place on the path is Acceptance.

After that comes Attachment. This is where you get more serious about your relationship. It could start with something like going steady. After that, you can get engaged and of course, get married. In this, you build a position where the other person becomes a more central part of your world.

Finally comes Aspiration. In this step, which is often neglected, both look at the dreams of one another and see what can best be done to meet those dreams. If the two contradict, as they often can, there is some compromise reached whereby both parties are happy.

There’s also something said on what love truly is. We often confuse it with what is called limerence. This is a super strong infatuation with another person you are not married to. When acted on, 99% of the time the limerence eventually fades and the person wakes up and says “What have I done?” Beam says marriages can recover from this and it is extremely common.

Falling in love is not just an emotional response. It’s a choice. It is a position of the will and a deliberate action that is done. I can say on my part my love for Allie has only grown over the years.

If you are in a marriage wanting to improve or needing to be saved, this is a very good book to get. I highly recommend it.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

The Draw of Beauty

What role does beauty serve? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Last week I didn’t blog due to the Thanksgiving holiday. We had someone who was super generous to us who paid for Allie and I go to the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville. We stayed there from Tuesday night to Thursday morning. We went on a boat ride in the hotel there and also went to the ICE program which had the movie A Christmas Story done in ice sculptures followed by a beautiful nativity scene done in ice.

The boat ride involved going through the hotel where there were several waterfalls and exotic plants. Our guide told us about so many of them and we were able to easily ride down the river that is inside the hotel. All of this leaves me thinking about the role of beauty.

We could say that all of this beauty is a draw to the customers and that would be something because there is no functional role to all of this other than that. Having a river in the hotel with exotic plants and waterfalls doesn’t improve the function of the hotel. It could possibly be said it creates more expense and leaves some other needs for the hotel that have to be maintained.

Yet this expense is probably worth it because it draws so many people in. We have this idea that it’s a waste to focus on making things beautiful. Think of the responses often given to the building of a magnificent cathedral, the one Bill Maher gives in Religulous. Couldn’t this have been given to the poor? What’s the point of all the grandeur and beauty?

The purpose is to draw us into the beauty of God. It is to leave us with awe. This is something I think we have missed in many of our churches today. I get that not everyone is going to come to a church that’s designed like a cathedral. I do think though that if we are presenting God, we need to make Him as beautiful as possible with what we have.

Consider also how this works with the opposite sex. Aside from men who are gay, we normally don’t say, “That is one good-looking guy. I want to get to know him better.” It is what we say with women. How many guys have wanted to get to know a girl and it has been started solely by her appearance? This is something that women know, but I don’t think they fully utilize to their advantages.

If you’re a single woman wanting to marry, let your beauty be a draw, because it will be, but don’t share all of that beauty until a wedding night. If a man is not willing to pursue you to that point, then he does not really want you for you. He wants your body mainly and he’s not willing to go the distance to prove he loves you.

For married women, you have a great power to enthrall and motivate your husbands. Even after decades of being married, many men are still enthralled by the beauty of their wives. I have been married nine years and the beauty of my own wife is still brand new. As someone with Aspergers, for years, people tried to get me to change my diet and I refused to budge. Allie did it and she didn’t even have to try. Why? Beauty. She is a motivation.

Let’s face it. If guys weren’t attracted to women, we really wouldn’t bother. We have to change so much of who we are and spend so much money and give so much of ourselves over and over. The relationship a man has with his wife is radically different from any relationship he has with a male friend. Why do we do it? Beauty. We want that beauty.

Our society knows this well. This is why we have a make-up industry. Beauty sells to people. Now I’m personally not a big fan of make-up, although there was a time recently Allie’s eyes were quite stunning with some, but some guys are. I also remember one time Allie wanted to get a dress that was on sale at Wal-Mart. I waited outside of the dressing room while she tried it on. When she came out, my jaw just dropped immediately. This was my wife? Seriously? She looked like she walked right out of a fashion magazine and it was incredible.

Maybe all this beauty doesn’t help the woman in any other way, but it does help her draw a man who will love her for her. Doubtless, it doesn’t really start that way, but it does change over time. Most of our loves start with selfish reasons. We want the other person for ourselves for some reason. In time, the habits we do to get that person end up changing us. Through the use of these habits, I now say easily I love Allie more than I did on our wedding day. Love has been a practice. It has been a choice.

Some people deny objective beauty. This is a ridiculous position. It means a stick figure drawn by a small child is more beautiful than the Mona Lisa. It means a pile of dung is beautiful just like a bouquet of flowers is. It means that nothing in this universe is truly beautiful. It is just an idea we have created and imposed on the universe. If such is the way we think, then be consistent and say nothing is truly beautiful, but I suspect many of us don’t want to do that.

I regularly give thanks for beauty. Being a married man, I particularly give thanks for the beauty of my wife and think that when God made women, He knew what He was doing and did it good. Beauty serves to draw us in and may it draw us into the beauty of God.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Where Are The Adults?

Are there any adults in the room? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Recently, a school in district 211 in Illinois allowed for a transgender boy to have full access to the girls’ locker room. This was voted on by people who are called adults and after, you see the boy crying as he’s so happy about this decision. You see another student crying, but it’s for a different reason and she’s a girl, so what do we care. Right?

You see, this girl actually has some concerns about being naked around a boy, and in particular a boy she doesn’t know. You could say for all we know many of these girls get naked around boys often, but that would be by their own decision. Outside of marriage, I still think it’s wrong, but nevertheless, it is something different.

The girl in the video is scared about this prospect and who can blame her? Many women have a hard enough time getting naked in front of other women. Just yesterday I was reading an article by Shaunti Feldhahn on how she encourages women to let their husbands see them. Leave the lights on and don’t hide from him. Why bring that up? Because even Christian women in Christian marriages to Christian husbands have a hard time sharing their bodies sometimes.

After years of being married to a woman, I have come to the conclusion that when a woman shares her body willingly with a man, something sacred is going on. It is the ultimate message of trust that she is giving him. She is putting everything on the line knowing she could be rejected and the more freely she does it, the more she sends the message that she knows she won’t be. (Hint women. That’s very appealing to us men when you’re confident in yourself.)

Keep in mind that in marriage, this is talking about adult women.

The school district has teenage girls.

Who’s going to protect them?

It used to be a thing of chivalry for a man to protect a woman. Feminists might get angry with me, but I don’t care. I still hold open the door for a woman when I go somewhere. When I used to work at a movie theater and we would all get off work at midnight, I would walk out with everyone else and I told the girls the same message. If someone comes after us, run. Don’t look back. Don’t worry about me. You just run and protect yourself. After all, the theater was at a mall and who knows who could be out there late at night?

Who was supposed to protect this girl and others like her in District 211? Adults.

Where were they?

You see, most of us still hold to the common-sense reality that a boy is a boy and a girl is a girl. You don’t change your sex based on how you feel any more than you can change your age or your height or your weight. We still hold that we need to show love to people who say they are transgender, but we’re not doing favors by giving into what we think is a delusion.

We also know that this has no end really. So this boy who identifies as transgender gets to have access to the girls’ locker room. How many guys in that school district now are saying to the others, “Hold my beer.”? (And again, they shouldn’t be drinking, but we know it happens.) How many will identify as girls just because, well, this might be a shock to you, but men and boys typically enjoy seeing naked females?

Who is to say that these boys aren’t transgender after all? Could they not claim discrimination? What is the test for someone who is truly transgender and who isn’t? Hint. There isn’t one. All we have is their say so.

These adults who voted were supposed to protect the girls in their district. They didn’t. If the girls feel betrayed, it is for good reason. They are being told that their feelings are subservient to those of a boy. Are you listening feminists out there?

The district should be ashamed of itself for this horrid treatment of the women and especially the young women in their midst, but what can be done? Everyone talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it. What can be done to help stop the insanity?

First, protesting peacefully is always good. Let the district know what you think. Contact Congressmen and Senators. Pull your children out and homeschool them or get them in other schools.

Second, if you’re a student at the school, do what you can to protect. Try to encourage real manliness at your school if you’re a man. You see, if a real man wants to see a woman’s body, he wins her heart. He doesn’t claim to be transgender to get a free peep show or ask for sexts from her or sit at a computer watching pornography. A real man protects a woman’s body and allows her to share it when she wants to and with who she wants to.

Third, if you’re a girl, if you have to quit the sports teams. You can practice at a gym elsewhere and if the sports start losing support, the school starts losing support. If you don’t change anything, then nothing is going to change.

Ultimately, most of this falls with the parents. There weren’t adults in the room apparently when this vote took place. Be the adults. If you need to, run for school board yourself. Take charge of what is going on around you. Be as gungho for reality as others are for a delusion.

There was an age when men protected women.

We can still have that age.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Deeper Waters Podcast 11/23/2019

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

Most any joke today about a Catholic priest is fair game. After all, everyone knows that they’re all secretly pedophiles. Never is this kind of joke made about the public school system, but with Catholic priests, all bets are off. Hasn’t there been a cover-up? Isn’t the Catholic Church defending these priests?

For those of us who are Protestant, it could be tempting to see this as a matter that the Catholics need to deal with, but we do as well. After all, this is used as an argument against Christianity in general as well. Second, it could be a case that if we don’t stand up for truth now, who is going to stand up when our opponents come after us?

Speaking of truth, if we’re talking about different relationships, maybe the priests should be out of that position if they can’t help it, but maybe homosexuals can’t help the way they feel as well. What if as the joke song says about it, that homosexuality is in your DNA and you’re just born that way? Does that mean that it’s okay if you’re gay?

These are important issues today. The second one definitely hits home to a lot of us. If someone has a genetic basis for homosexuality or even a disposition to it, is that something that we can blame them for? Are we not going against their nature?

To deal with these issues, I am bringing on a guest who has looked at both of them seriously. He is a Catholic himself and we will discuss how he handles the claims about the church that he belongs to. We will also discuss homosexuality and how we should discuss the question of if homosexuals are born that way. My guest’s name is Paul Sullins.

So who is he?

Paul Sullins SociologyTaken – 10/15/08 – 1:20:58 PMphoto by Ed PfuellerSullins_Paul_003.JPG

According to his bio:

The Rev. D. Paul Sullins is Research Professor of Sociology and Director of the Leo Initiative for Catholic Social Research at the Catholic University of America and Senior Research Associate at the Ruth Institute.  He has written four books and over 150 journal articles, book chapters and research reports on issues of faith and culture.  He recently published  “Is Catholic Clergy Sex Abuse related to Homosexual Priests?” (National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly, Winter 2019); “Danish-like regulations may improve post-abortion mental health risk” (JAMA Psychiatry, January 1, 2019),” “Invisible Victims: Delayed Onset Depression among Adults with Same-Sex Parents (Depression and Research Treatment, Sept 2016)”, “Abortion, Substance Abuse and Mental Health in Early Adulthood: Thirteen Year Longitudinal Evidence from the United States”, available via Pubmed or at, Keeping the Vow: the Untold Story of Married Catholic Priests (Oxford University Press, 2015), and co-edited (with Pierpaolo Donati of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences) The Conjugal Family: An Irreplaceable Resource for Society (LEV Press, Rome: 2015).  Fr. Sullins is also the Director of the Summer Institute of Catholic Social Thought; a member of the board of the Society of Catholic Social Scientists (SCSS), the Center for Family and Human Rights (C-FAM), and the Natural Family Journal; a Fellow of the Marriage and Religion Research Institute (MARRI); Associate Pastor of the Church of Saint Mark the Evangelist, Hyattsville, Maryland; and (not least) a Fourth Degree member of the Knights of Columbus.  Formerly Episcopalian, Fr. Sullins is a married Catholic priest with an inter-racial family of three children, two adopted.

I hope you’ll be looking forward to this episode. We are working quickly on getting new episodes up. Please also leave a positive review for the Deeper Waters Podcast.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Yes. You Should Still Avoid Temptation

How should a man handle his intimate affairs? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I read something this morning about how it’s not biblical or helpful to follow the idea of refusing if you’re a man to be alone with another woman who is not related to you, though the exception might be dating. After all, Jesus would have his hair washed by a prostitute and was alone with the woman at the well. Shouldn’t we be more like Jesus?

Neither one of these examples convinces me.

When Jesus has His feet washed by a prostitute and dines with them, these are communal events. There is a crowd nearby. That decreases greatly the odds that mad passionate sex is going to break out right then and there. Note also Jesus was already gaining a reputation anyway for communal meals with these people. A private meal would have been even more of a scandal.

What about the woman at the well? The well was a very public place. Anyone could have come walking up at any time to speak to Jesus. This isn’t Jesus meeting a woman in a back alley somewhere where they can be alone. This is Him interacting with her in an epicenter of the town.

So yes. I still follow this advice. Why is that?

We live in a day and an age of MeToo. A lot of these are legitimate, but also today many women can want to hurt men in their lives and an accusation can be enough to do it. If you avoid being alone with a woman like that, then you have less chances of something like that happening.

In an apartment complex we used to live in, my wife and I had two neighbors that were single women. I never went over to their apartments without my wife being with me. It is a hard rule I stand by. Apart from my relationship with Jesus, my relationship with Allie is the most important relationship in my life. I don’t ever want to put that at risk.

Now if you are dating, try not to be with a woman in a place where there is little chance for interruption. Allie and I would be at her parents’ house very often since she still lived with them and they knew where we were at all times and could walk in on us at any moment. They trusted me with Allie, obviously since they let me marry her, but that doesn’t mean being foolish.

And ladies, please consider some advice on this point. If a man invites you to a hotel room, never take him up on the offer. I don’t care if it’s your boss even. The overwhelming majority of the time, there’s one reason a guy is inviting you to his hotel room. I’m not blaming the victim here, but use some common sense.

Also, I realize women have temptations too. I write this for men because normally, but not always, men have the higher drives. Women should follow similar rules as well and I would even encourage a woman if she doesn’t know what kind of man could be in a place to carry mace, pepper spray, something of that sort.

Men. Your reputation is extremely important to protect. One mistake that can happen in minutes can ruin a lifetime. Please also don’t think you are above the temptation. If you do, then you have already taken the first step to falling into it.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

On Chick-Fil-A’s Donation Stance

What do I think about what has happened with Chick-Fil-A recently? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Okay. I don’t have a real personal interest in this. Contrary to many Christians, I don’t care for chicken. It’s the thing about having Aspergers. My diet is extremely limited. I do like the fries there, but that’s about it.

Like many of you, when I heard about Chick-Fil-A not donating anymore to some causes, I was shocked. There are two sides to every coin and I have heard Christians arguing on both sides, but I think CFA did a great mistake yesterday that will damage not only them, but the people they are not supporting. I want to try to understand as much as I can still and explain the best I can, but that’s where I fall at the end of the day.

Of course, just because someone or something stops supporting someone, it doesn’t mean that they think the cause is not valid anymore. If someone stops being a supporter of Deeper Waters, should I think that they no longer care about Christian apologetics and ministry? It could be that, but it’s not necessarily that.

One reason given for this lack of supporting these organizations is that they are supposedly anti-LGBTQ. It is never explained what this means. Today, we live in a day and age where disagreement with a behavior is seen as hatred towards the person. (Does that mean people who hate how Christians practice their belief hate Christians?) One such organization being dropped from donations is the Salvation Army.

You know those hateful bigots. Right? They’re the ones standing outside of grocery stores on Christmas ringing the bells and wishing everyone a Merry Christmas. I am not going to claim everyone who works there is a saint, but they care greatly for the homeless and those in need. Are they anti-LGBTQ? Well, let’s see what they have said.

Does The Salvation Army serve the LGBTQ Community?

Yes. Any person who walks through our doors will receive assistance based on their need and our capacity to help. Our mission is to the preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and meet human need in His name without discrimination. 

Does The Salvation Army provide shelter to transgender people?

Yes. When a transgender person seeks help from us, we serve them in the same manner as any other person seeking assistance. Too often, LGBTQ Americans experience unacceptable homophobia or transphobia when seeking shelter. The Salvation Army seeks to be a welcome, safe place for all men, women, and children.

Does The Salvation Army consider the sexual orientation or gender identity of an applicant in its hiring practices?

No. We embrace talented people regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity. Our hiring practices are open to all.

Does The Salvation Army provide benefits to the spouses of employees in same-sex marriages?

Yes. We provide the same benefits to opposite-sex and same-sex couples.

Some have said CFA is doing this because of contractual agreements to only support for a few years or to get into a UK market. Neither one of these is good reasons. Unfortunately, there are some effects that can follow from CFA’s decision because of this.

Years ago, CFA had the most successful day ever in fast food history with Chick-Fil-A Day. My family and I were ones that stood in line for about half an hour to get something there. It was arranged by Mike Huckabee. CFA never personally endorsed the day, but they reaped the benefits. Why did they get these benefits?

Because many Americans today still believe in traditional marriage and they were proud to see one restaurant standing by their principles and not caving even when the other side was pushing in on them. They have done this consistently. Unless there is some emergency in an area, they are not open on Sundays when they could be making profits on those days.

So CFA has some happy and loyal customers who support them because of their stances. Now I’m not saying CFA should go somewhere just because of the money, but at the same time, if they believe their stance is right, they should stick with it. Yesterday, the conservatives got the message from CFA that appeasement to the left is the proper way to go.

It’s been seen by many as a slap in the face and foolishness. After all, give the left an inch and usually they take a mile. These people will not be satisfied until CFA is donating money to pro-LGBTQ organizations and until they have a requirement that every employee show up to work in drag and refuse to serve to those bigoted Christians and close not on Sundays, but on Muslim holidays.

Not only that, now all these organizations that CFA has refused to donate to have been labeled as anti-LGBTQ, which will make it all the harder for them to get support. The mission that they are seeking to do will be less likely. In essence, they have been thrown under the bus.

Some Christians are wanting to boycott CFA. If you are going that route, I can honestly understand it even if I don’t support it. Buycotts like Chick-Fil-A Day work if there is a concentrated effort. When Duck Dynasty was pulled from the air, a concentrated effort worked to get the station to reverse its decision.

My only concern with this is if Christians go this route and CFA responds positively, just like with Duck Dynasty, please do not stop there. The message I got with the Duck Dynasty event was that Christians will get up in arms when a TV show is removed because of its Christian principles, but once they get what they want, Christians sit back down again. If that is the case, all that matters is the TV show. It is not the greater cause of the Kingdom.

If you do a boycott, do it not because CFA matters so much, but the cause of Christ does. You think CFA has betrayed that cause and you will not support them while they are doing that. Note also this is your personal conscience. Some Christians might still go from time to time because they just see CFA as a chicken sandwich restaurant. As Paul would say, let each be convinced in their own mind.

My own hope is that CFA will reverse this decision. It’s not going to keep me up at night or anything like that, but I think they sent a very bad message yesterday. It’s really just bad business also to do something to anger your largest support group and try to appease your most vocal critics instead that won’t be pleased.

CFA. If you read this, please reconsider.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Some Thoughts On Kanye West

What are we to make of the conversion of Kanye? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

A few weeks ago there was a lot of conversation going on about Kanye West’s new album “Jesus Is King” and his appearing on various talk shows. I did hear some of the album. Some of it is catchy, but it’s really not my style of music.

I was also pleased to hear him make statements such as denouncing pornography on his staff. This is a very bold claim to make in our day and age. When I see statements like this, it makes me more inclined to treat the conversion seriously.

I also do love the idea of the message getting out there that Jesus is king. We often hear of Jesus being savior, what a friend we have in Jesus, and sometimes Jesus as Lord, but even Lord can seem like a distant term at times. King is one we do understand. Jesus has a position of authority as king. Saying Jesus is king is a challenge to all of us out there who want to be the kings of our own lives, which is everyone of us.

On the other hand, he did get to speak recently at Lakewood Church, the church of Joel Osteen. We can say on the positive that he is probably more informed than their regular preacher. I also have heard that he has said we all believe the same gospel and included Mormons in that, which if so, I flatly disagree with.

So what are we to think about all of this?

First, as great as it is that Kanye has a platform if he is real, we have to remember that new Christians are not to be put in positions of authority. Even Paul after his conversion spent three years in the wilderness working out his theology. He had to earn the right to be the gentile to the apostles even after his calling by Christ Himself.

Second, we need to get past the mindset of the celebrity Christian. It’s great if we have some Christians in the public eye who are excellent examples of Christianity, but we should never base our faith on them. If your Christianity depends on them or even someone like William Lane Craig, Mike Licona, Edward Feser, Gary Habermas, Ravi Zacharias, or anyone else, then insofar as it depends on them, it does not depend on Jesus.

That’s also why saying that you aren’t a Christian because of all the hypocrites is really a flimsy reason. All Christians, myself included, could bear to act better, but we are not the basis of Christianity. Yes. They will know we are Christians by our love, but they will know Christianity is true by Jesus.

With celebrity Christians, we can put too much pressure on them and they are often not ready for that. There are a number of younger stars, think of Disney kids for example, who get famous at a young age and become addicted to that fame and do not know how to handle that fame. When it leaves them, life becomes meaningless to them. Sometimes, this has resulted in suicide.

We also think that because someone is a great singer, they should be a brilliant theologian. I won’t deny that someone who is traveling and singing Christian music should take their theology seriously, but I don’t expect them to be a scholar either. They have their own craft. I do hope they make their songs theologically deep, but I can’t control that.

So in my opinion, at this point, Kanye should not be given a pulpit. You can have him come to your church and sing some songs and maybe give a testimony even, but I wouldn’t have him give the message. Kanye, if a true Christian, needs to be discipled like any other Christian would be.

This gets us to something we can all do. We should all pray for Kanye. If you think he is fake, then pray that he comes to Jesus. If you think he is real, then pray that good Christians who can lovingly disciple him will come into his life and pray for the impact he can have and that he will stand strong at the onslaught that is going to come to him.

But remember, the only Christian you can really directly influence is you. Don’t spend so much time on Kanye that you neglect your own house. Build that the best you can.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

If Cats Were Philosophers…

What would happen if felines held a symposium? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Many of you who are friends of my wife and I on Facebook might have seen us posting last week about our cat Shiro. I noticed recently that he wasn’t eating like he should be. He was normal in all other respects, but not really touching his food. We took him to the vet one day who tried to do some work but, well, Shiro isn’t that cooperative at the vet. (Fun fact. Playing a Catholic chant a friend sent us on the way calms him down which means I’m Protestant, my wife leans Orthodox, and our cat is apparently Catholic, or is that CATholic?)

The vet suspected it was a dental issue and we scheduled to bring him back the next day. Both days we had to catch him and put him in his kitty carrier which he was not happy about at all. The second day, they kept him for most of the day including some anesthesia so they could look at his teeth.

For the next couple of days, I was concerned. I noticed he wasn’t eating and he was sometimes vomiting and his litter box stunk more than usual. Through an app, I contacted a clinic that told me that it was at this point normal. Shiro had had some anesthesia and this can be a side-effect and now was not the time to worry. He was right. This morning, Shiro was right there when I woke up and wanting his breakfast.

Whenever this happens, I wonder what it would be like if cats were philosophers. What if Shiro is sitting at the vet while we’re away and pondering what is going on around him? What would he be saying?

“I could have sworn these people said they loved me, but this sure doesn’t seem like love to me! Why would these people put me in this enclosure where I cannot roam free and take me to this place? All these people I don’t know want to prod me and stick these sharp objects in me. I don’t know what they want. How can I trust them? These people who claim they love me meanwhile just sit by the side and watch and do nothing.”

I can easily picture a symposium of cats getting together talking about the evils of those put over them. All of them writing papers on how the evil overlords do not really love them and care for them. After all, why would they allow them to go through with something like this? (Especially getting fixed. Ouch!)

Every time we have to take Shiro to the vet, I ponder this. When we got him home, we had to give him some medicine from a syringe. My wife would hold him and I would try to squirt it in his mouth when she tried to open it. It certainly wasn’t easy. It’s not easy either when we have to give him his monthly flea medicine, but that at least doesn’t require forcing his mouth open.

I often ponder that I wish there was a way I could explain it to him, but the knowledge level between a cat and a human being is vast. It cannot really be bridged. We think in categories that cats cannot.

Yet at the same time, the questions I think Shiro could ask are often the questions we, including myself, can ask of God when evil takes place? The cat could say “If I was a human, I would not do this,” but we as humans know better. This is for Shiro’s good.

The difference between us and God is far greater than cats and ourselves. This is one reason evil really can get me emotionally, but doesn’t really persuade me as a problem for theism. If I have strong arguments that God exists and Jesus was raised from the dead, then I just have to accept evil as it is. I don’t understand the reality of it and I should fight against it, but it doesn’t really count against God for me.

And when we get set to take Shiro to the vet, I wish he would just be calm and trust us and when he’s there, I wish he’d do the same.

Maybe I should do the same with someone who knows better too.

In Christ,
Nick Peters