Memories Of Ruth

How do you honor someone when they’re gone? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Yesterday afternoon, my wife and I received word that my aunt Ruth had died. I think the time reported was 4:07. The news wasn’t a surprise. She had been in the stages of dementia and had been going downhill fast. My mother had told me earlier she probably only had hours left.

I posted it on Facebook and before too long many people showed up giving their condolences. My former roommate messaged me. He had actually met Ruth before and he was glad that he had. She was a special lady.

When I was growing up, I lived next door to my grandmother and her sister, my aunt Ruth. I would regularly spend time with them. It was there I learned about playing card games and word games like Scrabble. Even today, playing Words With Friends can make me think about those times.

Ruth also lived much of her life as a librarian. I could walk down to our local library and sometimes see her behind the desk. Being who I was growing up, I had a tendency to do all that I could to tease my loved ones as much as I could.

When my wife and I married, we shortly moved to Tennessee and lived in my grandmother’s old house. I remember well a time where Allie and I went over to see Ruth and Allie talked about how sarcastic everyone in our family was, except my Mom. Ruth told her that yes, that’s how we all are. We’re all sarcastic, but we don’t mean it. I immediately said, “We don’t?!” Heck. News to me.

There was a time Ruth gave me some eggs to carry over to our house. She was worried I would drop them on the way and I insisted that I wouldn’t. Well, shortly after I left, I came back over. “Um. Ruth. You know those eggs you said I would drop and I insisted that I wouldn’t?”

“Yes?”

“I just wanted to let you know that they got over just fine.”

There was also the constant fun I had with the front door and the back door of her house. From the way I entered, what she called the back door was from my perspective the front door, and naturally vice-versa. Everytime, I would intentionally get the name of the door wrong knowing that it would irritate her a little bit more.

Sometimes, Ruth would want me to go to the library and get her a book. She didn’t have a specific, but she figured the librarian would know something. I went once and told her that I had told the librarian she requested a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey. I also added that her pastor was surprised when he heard me say that’s what she wanted.

As Ruth progressed downhill though, we could not joke like we used to. The last time I had seen her, she couldn’t remember at one point who I was. I know it wasn’t intentional, but it was hard to see. She was also convinced that her one cat was actually four different cats. I don’t know what will happen to Whitefoot, but I hope he will find a good home somehow.

Death is something difficult when it comes to all of us. For the time being, all of us are deprived. We lose the experience of what it is to be with that person, and the more that person has a place in our life, the bigger the pain that will be experienced.

Most people went through their day just fine yesterday for the most part. If you read my news, you could have been sad for me, but you went through the day for the most part fine. That’s okay. I honestly tend to be detached so I went on and did a Google hangout I had been scheduled to do last night to discuss issues relating to atheism and theism.

For some people, the world is never the same. All deaths in some way diminish the world. There is a certain absence. This is even more so if the death comes about through a violent means, be it the actions of another or especially suicide. All life is precious. All of us who are pro-life realize that. I do think sometimes killing can be a sad necessity, such as in self-defense, but it is sad that it ever happened to get to that point. A marriage can end in divorce because a spouse is abusive. I think it can be necessary then, but it is always a tragedy that it got to that point.

Yet at these times, the resurrection is good news. It means we will see our loved ones again someday. Not in some ethereal way, but in a real way. It is tempted to say just like we see those alive today, but that would be false. When we see our loved ones again, they will be more real than they ever were before. They will be more themselves than they ever were before. All of us in this mode of existing are in some way inhuman. When we see each other in the end, we will see everyone as they really are, as fully human. As Lewis says, there will be surprises.

One day, I will see my aunt again. I will see her as she is and she will see me as I am. I look forward to walking through the front door of her new home someday.

Or was that the back door?

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Deeper Waters Podcast 9/28/2019

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

“Lord. Save me from your followers.” How many people have really been burned badly by the church? They’re that group of people that many of us think we have to see on Sunday and go and put on all of our happy faces and act like everything is just fine in our lives. Many times, you dare not say anything controversial or confess a struggle with sin or anything else, because, well, Christians just don’t do that.

If you grow up in Christian culture, you might sadly be used to this kind of thing and know what to expect in a church. What if you’re an atheist and don’t know what to expect? How do you handle it then? Could it be that some people could be turned away from a church that expects everyone to tow the party line?

What about the way apologetics is treated in the church? Can you really do that there? What about questions such as the appropriateness of beauty? If you’re a woman, is it a case that you have to follow a proper dress code because you’re an object of desire, but the men around you might not be put under that same standard?

My guest is someone who came to Christianity as an adult and found that a major hurdle was the church. Even at her first visit where she was supposed to stand before the church and talk about how she came to Christ, the pastor’s wife saw her outside and told her her outfit was too revealing. Fortunately, she stayed, but how many other seekers might have been turned away?

This lady today is a teacher of apologetics and a highly successful one. Her book is called Why I Still Believe. Her name is Mary Jo Sharp.

So who is she?

According to her bio:

A former atheist from the Pacific Northwest, Mary Jo was raised without religion. She is now an assistant professor of apologetics at Houston Baptist University and the founder and director of Confident Christianity Apologetics Ministry. Mary Jo is the author of LifeWay Christian Resources’s “Why Do You Believe That?” Bible study and is working on an upcoming book on hypocrisy titled, “Why I Still Believe,” with Zondervan. She is an itinerant speaker on apologetics throughout North America and has engaged in formal debates on Islam. She focuses on using love and logic in order to uncover truth.

I hope you’ll be looking forward to the next episode. If you’ve been watching, we are quickly getting caught up on them and hope to be current before too long. Thank you for your support.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

I Beg Your Pardon. I Never Promised You A Hanging Garden.

Is Jeremiah 29:11 really about us? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I am a supporter of the ministry of Celebrate Recovery. When I meet people struggling with porn, alcoholism, co-dependency, or any other addiction, I always point them to Celebrate Recovery. While I love the program, I do have one problem. That problem is that so many people give a testimony and hardly a month goes by where I don’t hear someone quoting Jeremiah 29:11.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

That certainly sounds encouraging. God knows the plans He has for us. He has plans to give us a hope and a future. Wow. How assuring!

Or is it?

Let’s start with asking who the “You” is in the passage. Hint. It’s not us.

The you refers to the people of Israel. The people that figured since Israel was going into exile in Babylon, well then that means God is done with them. God’s message to them is no. The game is not over. He will bring them back, but it will be a time of about 70 years in captivity first. So much time that they are encouraged to marry and have families and get used to life in Babylon. Most of those people would die in Babylon, but the people themselves would have a hope and a future.

It’s quite odd that we take this one little part of this verse and say that it’s about us. Nothing else there is really about us, but this one is. On what grounds? How do we know that this passage in isolation is about us, but not everything else is? Let’s consider some other examples.

We could say that Scripture has God saying “Ask me for whatever you want and I will give it to you.” That sounds good. It does say that. The difference is that’s part of 1 Kings 3:5 and it is God appearing to Solomon personally in a dream saying that.

Or Exodus 33:14 with “My presence will go with you and I will give you rest.” That sounds good, except God is saying it to Moses and specifically talking about the wilderness wonderings.

Isaiah 45:3 says God will give us hidden treasures. Should I get a metal detector and go to the beach and expect to find a treasure? No. The message is what was said to Cyrus and likely referring to what people would hide in their own homes to keep safe from thieves.

Let’s not forget that there is a picture of a Christian daily Scripture calendar that says “All this I will give you if you will worship me.” Sounds good again, except, whoops! That was the devil that said that one and it was said to Jesus in the wilderness temptations.

Isn’t it interesting that we take the verse that gives a positive message to Israel that we like and say, “That’s about us!” but then ignore all the verses that give negative messages? There are several of those. Why aren’t they about us?

So what do we do with this passage in Jeremiah? Disavow it? It has nothing to say about us? Maybe it doesn’t, but it has something to say about God, which in turns says something about us. It says that God keeps His covenants. Even when Israel was disobedient and broke the covenant, God never fully abandoned them. If God loves faithless Israel like that, will He not love us the same way? We can also add in that a passage like Romans 8 is for us that says if we love the Lord, all things will work for our good. In gaming language, this is the ultimate cheat code if we could learn it. Whatever happens for us, God will work it for our good.

Jeremiah 29:11 is not about you, but it reveals something about God that can apply to you. Take the principle instead. Don’t make the passage about you.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Book Plunge: Atheism: A Critical Analysis

What do I think of Stephen Parrish’s book published by Wipf and Stock? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Stephen Parrish has written a book that is highly philosophical, and yet at the same time, highly readable. The book is a look at the idea of atheism. Does it really stand up to scrutiny? He looks at it from a scholarly level and from a popular level both.

At the start, one gets treated to definitions. What is meant by atheism and theism? What is meant by religion and science? What is meant by the term supernatural? These are all terms that we use freely, but very rarely do we stop and ask what they mean. I am one who never uses the term supernatural thinking it is way too vague and when I get a claim such as someone talking about the evils of religion, I ask for a definition of religion.

He also deals with popular objections. Is atheism merely a lack of belief in God? What about the idea that someone is an atheist to many other gods out there. The one who identifies as an atheist just goes one god further. Sure, these are all piddly weak on the surface and the old atheists would have been embarrassed to see such arguments, but they are out there today.

Parrish’s work that presents problem areas mainly for atheism come in three categories and these can be broken down further. The first is the origin of the universe. This is an interesting topic in itself, but I am pleased to see that he goes even further and asks not only how the universe came into being but rather how does it continue in being. It’s not enough to ask why it came in the first place. Knowing how it remains here is something great to ask too.

The second area is the problem of the mind. How is it that the mind works? What is the explanation of consciousness? There are a plethora of different theories out there. Parrish works to explain the flaws in the other theories and gives a case for why theism has better explanatory power.

The last is ethics and morality. There is a subsection here on beauty as well. How is it that we live in a universe where there seem to be principles of good and evil that most people consider objective, binding, and authoritative? Could they all really be subjective?

An atheist reading this could think, “Ah. Those are issues, but surely he should discuss the issue that’s problematic for theists. The problem of evil.” He should and he does. He looks at this and a number of defenses and theodicies and then turns and says that on his argument, the problem of evil is more of a problem for the atheist than the theist.

Some of you might be wondering why I don’t spell these kinds of thoughts out even more. There’s a simple reason for that. You need to go and get the book yourself. I can’t help but think of the quote of C.S. Lewis.

“In reading Chesterton, as in reading MacDonald, I did not know what I was letting myself in for. A young man who wishes to remain a sound Atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. There are traps everywhere — “Bibles laid open, millions of surprises,” as Herbert says, “fine nets and stratagems.” God is, if I may say it, very unscrupulous.”

A man wishing to remain in his atheism should also realize that this book is a trap as well. While I am far more Thomist than Parrish is in my philosophy, there is far more that I agree with than I would disagree with. Anyone who is a critical atheist needs to get this for a critical analysis of that view.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Book Plunge: Moral Combat: Why The War On Violent Video Games Is Wrong

What do I think of Patrick Markey and Christopher Ferguson’s book published by BenBella books? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Gaming has always been a pastime of mine that I have highly invested in. I have heard for years the panic about video games leading to violence. This has often been assumed and taken for granted. If you let your children play violent video games, they will be desensitized to violence and be more prone to be violent. Besides, look at all these school shooters who played violent video games. What more do you need?

People who think that way need to read this book. It is an excellent look at how these claims are blown out of the water. What is going on is often bad science. People are often tested to see if they’re more aggressive after playing a video game. Question. How do you measure aggression?

You don’t let people walk the streets with a crowbar in their hand seeing if they’ll bludgeon someone. Instead, questions are often asked like would you put hot sauce in someone’s food if they didn’t want it? You could be asked if you would be prone to hurt someone’s feelings. Some people will want to do this anyway. Some people might want to do the hot sauce thing not because they’re aggressive, but because they like to pull pranks on people.

When some games have come out, such as some in the Grand Theft Auto series, it has been speculated that there would be a rise in crime. It was even compared to the Polio scare. Well, the game under question came out and yes, crime was affected.

Crime dropped.

What about school shootings? How about someone like Adam Lanza? He’s the guy who shot up the Sandy Hook school. It was said that he was a player of video games and this without the hard evidence and people ran with it. Well, it is true. Lanza was spending significant time playing video games.

He had a reputation of spending hours at the arcade playing Dance Dance Revolution.

What’s interesting is that sometimes, these killers had a history of NOT playing violent video games. This actually could have made them more prone to violent shootings. Why? Because games are nowadays a way that people come together and bond together socially. People who are not doing that can be social outcasts and feel rejected by their peers and be more prone to shootings.

What about Columbine? Contrary to what is thought, the killers had not made a level of DOOM modeled after their high school. Also, the skills needed in a video game to shoot the enemies do not transfer to real life. My father-in-law is quite good at sharpshooting I have been told. Let’s go back to when I used to play Goldeneye. I could play that all day and still go to a shooting range with him and do horrible even if I was the best player of Goldeneye there was.

Many games nowadays also contain moral judgments. Some people will go through a game again and try to be as ruthless as possible just to see what happens, but most will actually start to think about these moral issues. Final Fantasy X can get one thinking about the relationship between religion and technology and what it requires to atone for one’s sin.

What about video game addiction? This can vary. When Breath of the Wild first came out, many of my friends were spending hours playing this. Does this constitute addiction? No. This is just guys getting a new toy and playing with it. Sadly, there are cases where intense horror has taken place, such as the daughter who starved to death while her mother played World of Warcraft.

A child could play 3-4 hours of video games a day and still function well with their peers and make good grades. If they are able to do this, that does not constitute addiction. By contrast, someone could play 1-2 hours and have their grades suffer and that could constitute addiction.

What about obesity and video games? This sounds like a no-brainer, but again, it isn’t. Take away a child’s video games and it doesn’t mean they’ll jump outside and start running and jumping. They can just as easily find something else to do. If anything, now we have games that require movement which are being good exercise. My wife once decided she really wanted to lose weight and did it with the DDR exercise plan. What’s that? It’s playing the aforementioned Dance Dance Revolution. It worked. She lost 30 pounds.

More and more games are coming out like this. It can also be better than going to a gym because with video games, you can get instantaneous rewards that motivate you, such as a high score or trophies or achievements unlocked or reaching new levels.

Now many of you know that this is an apologetics page. What does this have to do with apologetics? First, we need to be people of truth in every field. I don’t care for football at all, but that doesn’t mean I want to spread a claim that playing football makes someone more violent if it isn’t true.

Second, a work like this can show us how misinformation can spread easily. Many people who complained about certain games revealed by their words that they had never played or seen those games and were going on secondhand information. This never does our cause any good.

Third, if we attack false causes of violence, we never get at the real cause. No one doubts the nobility of the desire of people to want to reduce violence by eliminating violent video games, but if that is not the cause, then you could eliminate all such games and violence would still take place.

Fourth, paranoia should never be our friend as Christians. It’s easier to go after something else rather than saying that maybe we should do a better job of raising our children and teaching them good from evil. How about a parent instead of banning some games, maybe try something like renting through Gamefly first and, I know this is bizarre, playing it with your kid and talking about it. If you fear some of the content, go on YouTube and watch the videos of the game and discuss why or why not the child should be allowed to play it.

Also as Christians, we don’t want to unnecessarily alienate video game players. The overwhelming majority of us, including me, grew up playing games and we are not violent people at all. As someone with Aspergers, I was also pleased to hear about how games have helped people on the spectrum socialize and I can attest that that is true.

So my fellow gamers, game on. Enjoy and have fun. We all want to end unnecessary violence in our world today. Maybe now we can go and find the real culprit.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Deeper Waters Podcast 9/21/2019

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

Happy families are all alike, but each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. Many families will not put their dysfunction out there for the world to see. If you post on Facebook, very rarely will you see something like, “Wife and I got into an awful fight over how to do the laundry and we ended up yelling at each other for an hour.”

The LGBT community might look happy on the outside. We just want to get along. This is a group all about love and tolerance. Right? Maybe not. Maybe there’s a lot of chaos going on in this family as well. What if they can’t all just get along?

My guest this Saturday has done a lot of looking into this community. Things are not as they seem. The feminist movement already doesn’t like what’s happening with transgenderism which puts a lot of tension between the L and the T. The B movement isn’t going so well with that either since that assumes that there are only two genders.

Okay. So the LGBT community isn’t getting along with itself. What does that have to do with us? For one thing, if this is accurate, this can show us the path we could be going on. What if we Christians are right and this is a war against reality? What if the tensions underlie a much deeper issue? What if issues of sexuality have to do with more than just whoever you sleep with?

To discuss this, I’m bringing on someone who has researched this movement and has the knowledge about what’s going on. He came highly recommended by Dr. J of the Ruth Institute. He’s a writer for the Christian Post and his name is Brandon Showalter.

So who is he?

Brandon Showalter is a 2007 graduate of Bridgewater College of Virginia. He earned a BA (cum laude) in International Studies and Spanish and was a fellow the Flory Honors program, studying abroad at the University of Barcelona in Barcelona, Spain in 2005. He is also a fellow of the John Jay Institute for Faith, Society, and Law.

Since 2016 he has been a journalist with The Christian Post covering a wide range of topics. His reporting has been cited in the US State Department’s 2017 International Religious Freedom report and in the 2018 book “Braving the Future: Christian Faith in a World of Limitless Tech.” Earlier this year, the Evangelical Press Association awarded him and one of his colleagues first place for best Article series. In late October 2017 he traveled to Germany to report on the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.

Tomorrow then, that’s what we’ll be talking about. We are working on updating the shows and getting them to you. I hope to be fully caught up before too long.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Thanks For 39

How shall today be celebrated? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Normally on Thursdays, I talk about the show for the upcoming week. It’s going to be different just this week. I want to talk about today instead. Today is one of those days where I woke up and I was sure today was going to be a special day.

Today I officially turn 39. It’s quite odd knowing when I was praying with Allie last night that that would be my last night at the age of 38. I wonder where all the time has gone by so often. How did I get from being the kid playing video games upstairs in my bedroom at home to the guy on the adventure of apologetics waking up next to the woman I love? (And okay, the video games part still hasn’t changed.)

None of us really knows what the future holds. I would not have thought that my life would involve this kind of ministry growing up, mainly because I didn’t know this kind of ministry even existed. Now I find myself being the person that is emailed by others with questions and answering them and giving them the encouragement they need. I never would have thought this is what would have happened when I began this journey in college.

I also think back to how just about six months ago I debated Dan Barker. My father-in-law, Mike Licona, and I both find it interesting that our first live in-person debate was with the same person. We are already talking about a future debate some time. This is the path I want to be going down.

Being married is also a surprise. I never thought it would have happened growing up. Next year, we will celebrate ten years together. Marriage has taught me more about self-sacrifice than anything else I have done. It’s also increased in me a greater appreciation for beauty and caused me to make necessary changes in myself.

Chesterton said each one of us is a great might-not-have-been. I’m thankful I was. Consider as a Christian that you are not an accident. You have been eternally in the mind of God. Theologically, God could never stop thinking about me. I’m always on His mind.

Tonight, I’ll be enjoying a party with some friends at a support group Allie and I belong too. My parents gave me the Collection of Mana for the Switch (Rather they got me a card so I could get it, but the same difference). My wife got me Kingdom Hearts: The Story So Far. Mike and Debbie got me an Amazon gift card. All the gifts are just a reminder of meaning something to someone. They all say “We are happy that you exist.”

None of us had to. This universe could have gone on just fine without any of us. None of us are essential, but we’re all invited to be a part of the story. I am thankful that I get included in that story.

Many people have already posted on my wall on Facebook for today. Thanks to all of you who have done that. It really is nice to have so many friends, to know you mean so much to people, and to be able to make a difference. Many of you are also reminding me how much you affirm the virgin birth, which I do affirm. Thanks to all of you who are contributing to make today special.

I look forward to the next year and as many years as God will give me. For now, we will see where the adventure goes from here.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

God And The Origin Of Life

What does the origin of life have to do with God? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Yesterday while surfing through Facebook, I see someone make a post about the origin of life and said something about how it would be good to go ahead and see if we can make life out of non-life so we can finally settle the God debate once and for all. I really think it’s sad that anyone would think such a thing. It would be sad enough if an atheist thought that would settle the debate, but it would be far worse if a Christian thought it would.

Ultimately, if that is what you think, God is just a placeholder for you when you have a question that can’t be answered, and that being a scientific question, and then once it gets answered, well, so much for God. It is essentially God-of-the-Gaps thinking. If you really think such a way, here are some other truths you must already think.

You must think the universe came into existence by its own power.

If you think the universe is eternal in some form or another even if a multiverse, you must think this whole system not just came into power, but also exists by its own power. The universe needs nothing outside of itself not just for coming into existence, but for existing as well.

You must think that once life began, then that’s enough for evolution, which if you’re a Christian and arguing this you likely don’t believe in, could operate from its own power from that point.

You must believe that either good and evil are not objective then or if they are, that somehow those eternal realities exist in a purely materialistic universe.

You must have a belief about human consciousness that can be explained in an entirely materialistic universe.

You must believe there is a non-theistic metaphysic that explains the existence of those realities as well as others like triangularity, beauty, numbers if you think they are real, and existence itself.

You must believe that Jesus, at this point if He even existed, was just a man and nothing about Him was deity whatsoever. You must believe that the event that is claimed to be His resurrection can be explained in purely materialistic terms. You must believe that the Bible may be interesting reading, but it cannot be considered Scripture in any way.

All of this will follow if you place the case for the existence of God on the origin of life.

Now does this mean that the origin of life can be explained without God’s direct intervention? Not for me to say. Even if scientists can do this someday, there is still everything else. This is the benefit of not marrying your worldview to any scientific claim whatsoever. He who marries the spirit of the age is destined to be a widow.

If you’re a Christian, please give God a bigger place in your life than this. There are quite likely aspects I left off of this list. That’s okay. It’s not meant to be exhaustive, but it should be enough to get you thinking.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

The Awful Choice

What choice do you need to avoid at all costs? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

September is always a special month for me. It is my birthday month and the day for me will be this Thursday. I will be 39. No. I don’t man Jack Benny 39. I mean I was literally born in 1980.

So there is always something I look forward to in September. Nowadays also, it’s pretty easy for people to give gifts to me. Just Amazon cards and I’m good. My folks gave me a gift card to the Nintendo eShop so I could get the Collection of Mana on the Switch, my wife gave me Kingdom Hearts: The Story So Far, my in-laws got me an Amazon card, my sister will be getting me something I’m sure, and Thursday night a depression and bipolar support group Allie and I attend will be having a cake party for me.

Yet with all of that, I decided to also donate my birthday to a cause and that is to stop an awful choice. September is a happy month, but it’s also a time to think about something quite serious. September is National Suicide Awareness Month.

Suicide is the awful choice, and I know about it all too well. My wife is someone who struggles with this and when I met her she had just had a suicide attempt. The worst day of my life, and nothing else ever comes close, was when I found out she had had a second overdose. Nothing comes close to that. Thankfully, she is starting to get the therapy that she needs.

When someone is wrestling with suicidal temptations, they really are not thinking straight. I meet people who had a loved one commit suicide decades earlier and they are still being affected by it. It is never something that you just get over. It leaves behind so many questions.

The thing is that suicide is a way of saying that nothing else is worth it. Evil has won the battle over good as far as the person is concerned. There is useless suffering in their lives. It’s not a shock that many times this is coming alongside of doubt in God. This is normally not so much His existence, but His goodness. Does God really care?

One can easily think of C.S. Lewis. When his wife died, he wrote A Grief Observed. There he found that the awful fear was not that God does not exist. It is that God does exist and this is what He is really like. It is easy to question God’s forgiveness and love.

This is even more so when we live in a society that tends to base everything on our emotions and how we feel. If we feel like God doesn’t care, well guess what? It seems obvious that God doesn’t care. Add in that God could do something and He doesn’t seem to and you have a recipe for disaster.

I wish I could convince anyone out there like this that that is not so. The truth is, a rational argument will very rarely overpower an emotion. Might I just urge you then to do a few things?

First off, please get a counselor. An LPC is preferred but even if simply a pastoral counselor, get one. You need someone you can talk to who can help you through this.

Second, get out of the house some. It’s so tempting to isolate, but that only makes it worse. Go out and spend time with friends and family who do care about you.

Third, if you have to, go to a hospital or some place like that. Get yourself taken care of. Don’t be afraid if you’re a Christian, or anyone else for that matter, to take psychiatric medication. Your brain can need medication just as much as your body can.

Fourth, please try to realize you are loved. Your emotions will very often lie to you about many many things. It’s hard to hear that they are, but the truth is, they are.

Fifth, if you need to, reach out to the Suicide Prevention Hotline. You have no idea how many people will miss you if you do something to yourself. You might think you are no big deal, but the truth is that you are. I would not even wish my worst enemy to commit suicide.

Whoever you are reading this, please understand you are loved as you are. Love is not something earned. It is a gift. You are a gift as well. Someone out there views you in some way as a gift.

Please don’t make the awful choice.

Please live.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

The Suicide Prevention Hotline can be donated to here.

Laziness In Study

Should it be necessary to study the Bible to know if it’s true? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Often, I meet skeptics who don’t understand why God gave a book. Couldn’t God just tell us these things Himself? Why rely on a book that’s so old? This is coming with the big assumption that if God somehow showed up and told these people all the truth that is in the Bible already, that they would readily believe it.

But if God wanted us to know Christianity is true, wouldn’t He want to make His word clearer? This also assumes that it’s our generation that is just so awesome and special that we deserve that privilege. We have lived with a people with an idea that we are entitled to special treatment and what a shock we think that if God is there, He also owes us this treatment.

Laziness is not a virtue though.

Many people who say this will have plenty of time to binge watch Netflix or go on a video game marathon or tell you everything about their favorite sports team or spend a night on the town sleeping with every woman they meet. Yet when it comes to this topic, they think it shouldn’t be required. For some reason, it is God’s responsibility.

There seems to be this idea among skeptics of Christianity that God is playing a trivia game for us and all He wants is for us to get the question right of knowing that He exists. If God’s goal was just to convince everyone that He exists, that could be done easily enough. What if that’s not His goal?

Most any husband knows what this is like from living with his wife. Our wives want to be wanted for who they are. They don’t just want to be someone that we go to only when we have a desire for sexual activity and then leave them alone. They want to be wanted. God is the greatest lover of all. He wants a people who want to know if He’s really there and say that He’s worth pursuing.

If the desire for forgiveness really matters to you, you will seek it out.

If the desire to know that Jesus could be risen from the dead and evil could have a solution matters to you, you will seek it out.

If you want to know if unconditional love is really out there, you will seek it out.

If you don’t really want to know these kinds of things and don’t want to know if God is real and Christianity is true, why should you get some special attention? God can let you go your own way. In other words, you are getting exactly what you want. God is leaving you alone.

If you do want to know if any of the above is true, you will study. Something about us as humans is that we will pursue something if we really want it. We can say that there are things we want, but our actions will be the great revealer of what we want. Will it require work for some to see if Christianity is true? Yes. Will it be worth it? Yes.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

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