You’re Being Checked

Should you share that story from the pulpit? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Yesterday sitting in church, I heard my pastor tell the story of Patrick Greene. Greene was an atheist activist wanting to remove a nativity scene from the area where he lived when he came down with a condition that needed surgery. The church in the area raised up the money to help him get his surgery. Shortly after that, he actually converted to Christianity.

I found the story interesting and decided to look it up to see if it’s true. Turns out not only is it true, but Greene is now looking to become a Baptist minister. This was a relief because too many times when I have heard other pastors share stories from the pulpit like this, they have turned out to not be true.

Go back a few decades and this might not be the big deal it is now. Today though, it is a major deal. Your church has especially young people (Let’s hope it does!) who are technologically savvy. They know how to get up on their phones immediately and look up what you said.

If they find out in a search that what you have said is false, they are less inclined to take you seriously. If they cannot take you seriously on a minor point they can look up on their phones, why should they take you seriously on the resurrection? That’s a very valid question. Why should they?

Seriously. Why should they? If you can’t bother to fact-check a story you are going to share that will take only a couple of minutes, why should they trust you on what would take much more time to test?

Now suppose you’re not a pastor. Are you safe? No. If you don’t fact check what you are sharing on the internet, which never forgets, then you are doing the exact same thing as a Christian.

Recently, I shared a Babylon Bee story on a friend’s page who had shared a Babylon Bee story of her own. Both of them were about the VP debate. Someone commented and asked if I know the Bee is satire and that Trump supporters will seem to believe anything.

I replied saying I knew it was satire of course. My friend had shared one and I shared one I thought was even funnier. I also shared that as a political conservative, I have had to take to task many of my fellow conservatives often and I hate it. Of course, that could be because many of my company is also conservative and so that’s what I see the most.

I have taken down false information from liberals before, but I really hate having to do it with my own side. Why do it though? Because if you only care about taking down falsehood on the other side, you don’t really care about truth. You just care about ideology.

Pastor. Today, it’s more essential than ever that you do your best to fact-check your account. If you’re not sure, you could possibly share the story and say “There are differing opinions on the story so I’m not saying it’s absolutely true, but I want you to draw a lesson from it.”

This is especially true if we want to reach youth for Jesus. If our churches do not do this, they are more likely to die when the older generation dies off. If my wife and I go into a church and we’re the youngest people we see there, I start predicting a soon coming death for the church. Older people die of and you need others to replace them and if you aren’t drawing in people, you’re not really winning anyone ever. You’re more of a social club.

I’m thankful my pastor’s story was true. I have heard too many that are not. I know enough about Christianity to know it’s true despite messengers that don’t do their homework. What about that newcomer though? What about that skeptic?

Are they worth a brief fact-check?

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Book Plunge: The Madness of Crowds

What do I think of Douglas Murray’s book published by Bloomsbury Continuum? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I ordered this book on Interlibrary loan after I saw my wife’s priest recommended it, and I shortly forgot that I had. When I got it, I was thinking “I have so many books to go through already. Do I really want to go through this?” I saw an endorsement from Sam Harris on the back and seeing as I think the new atheist material is just horrible, that got me even more concerned. Do I really want to go through this? Still, I decided to open it up and give it a shot.

Within a few days, I was telling so many people they needed to go through it as well.

This is one of the most important books on our society that I have read. Murray deals with four major areas today and with some smaller areas that have a major impact. He does not write as far as I can tell from a Christian perspective and actually I gather is a homosexual from what I read. I read through though finding extreme agreement with so much that I read.

Let’s start with the first section he has on homosexuality. He talks about a movie being played in a theater in England that a gay publication protested against so much that it had to go to a new venue to play. The story in the film was about people who used to be same-sex attracted and no longer were.

Murray wrote about taking the main man behind it who helps people who want to be rid of same-sex attraction. He says that he never forces anyone and they come to him and how he said we should take him at his word. He’s not out there trying to eliminate homosexuals from society. He’s trying to help people who want to be helped. We could question his methodology, but why assume base motives of him?

He then goes on to say that gay no longer refers to just who you sleep with. Consider Peter Thiel who spoke at the RNC convention in 2016 and made a remark about the great battle of the day in comparison to past generations was what restrooms can we use? That he was truly representative of the homosexual movement was called into question. Ian McClellan made a statement about Brexit that said that if you were a homosexual, it was clear how you were to vote.

Murray also points out that this view of homosexuality only goes one way in the sense that if someone leaves a straight lifestyle to embrace a homosexual one, they are said to have found their true selves. If they go the opposite way, then they are said to be traitors to the cause living in denial. I wish something had been said about how in the first case it can often leave a family behind that doesn’t really want the dynamic to change.

The next major area to be dealt with is the question of women. This has begun with the idea of women being sexualized, and again, there are mixed messages. Consider how when Harvey Weinstein was found to have a casting couch that immediately women jumped up to complain about the treatment.

Mayim Bialik of the Big Bang Theory talked about how she makes it a point to be modest and dress conservatively, except, of course, when she doesn’t. Murray brought up about her being on Piers Morgan’s show and how he was saying there was an event to honor someone who had died and he thought too many women were using the event to show off their cleavage and he didn’t find that appropriate, Bialik, who is on the panel, gets up and turns her back to the crowd and tears her dress to expose herself to Morgan in protest.

Murray writes about how women have complained about being sexualized, all the while while often wanting to be as sexy as possible. Too often, women want men to notice them and yet at the same time not turn them into object. One aspect of this I was surprised was not mentioned were topless marches. Women who complain about objectification aren’t helping themselves by doing this.

He also says the feminist movement has often gone to an extreme of “Kill All Men” which really doesn’t mean to kill all men for some strange reason. It really means that men need to realize how they behave and bring about change. Who knew? Men are vilified for the crime of being men.

If women want a world where men are not going to notice them physically, it’s really a pipe dream. This is especially so since women buy so many items that are designed to highlight their feminine features and be noticed by men. It is human nature for men to notice beautiful women and this is a power that women have in that they can drive men absolutely mad and make them do things they wouldn’t normally do, a power they can use for good or for evil.

As for believe all women, this seems to go one way. When a woman makes a charge about how a man has behaved towards her sexually that is inappropriate, that is to be believed. What happens when it goes the other way? What if a man complains about a woman? The man is part of the patriarchy and must be dealt with!

There is an interlude after this on technology. Social media has its benefits, but it has also been a problem. Now, anything you say can be found and used against you. A tweet made years ago in innocence can ruin your career today. A person could have made a statement back in the early 2000’s that was opposed to redefining marriage, which was the majority opinion then, and be called into question for it today.

Social media means everything you say can be found for all time and there is no distinction anymore between private things and public things being said. Also, many people say things online that they wouldn’t say in person. It’s easy to do that when the person isn’t right in front of you and you are safe that way.

The next major section is race. Here again we see the same kind of scenario that we saw with women. Charges of racism and cultural appropriation can show up anywhere and someone can be turned into the bad guy immediately. Campuses have had riots over a comment that most of us would see as innocent, but was perceived as racist.

Consider the case of a school where one day a year, minority students were expected to stay off of campus by choice to show the contributions that they have made to culture. Whatever one thinks of this, it is an event done voluntarily by a group to themselves. Then one year they decided to reverse this and have a day where no white people were to show up.

The difference is that the whites were not volunteering. It was told they should do this. One professor sent out an email in response saying that this is not proper and goes against our basic freedoms. Before too long, there were riots taking place with even the president of the college being in a kind of hostage situation and the professor who sent the email was being accused of racism and had to quit his job.

As with Peter Thiel also, race has become more of a political stance than a biological one. Kanye West endorses Candace Owens and then goes and meets with Trump. At this point, it doesn’t matter what you think of any of those three people. The point is that after this, Kanye is said to not be truly black.

By contrast, what about Rachel Dolezal who was a chapter president of the NAACP and whoops, she turned out to actually be white. Her parents are both white. What are we told? If she wants to say she’s black, then she’s black. So Kanye who is truly black is not black, but Dolezal, who is truly white, is black.

The next interlude is on forgiveness with some nodding towards the Christian tradition on this. Can there be any forgiveness in our culture? Someone gets appointed to a government position and everyone scours through their past tweets and Facebook posts to find any dirt that can be found whatsoever and ruin their lives.

I have gotten annoyed thoroughly with the apology culture where everyone has to apologize for everything. Just this morning I read about a Padres player who apologized for hitting a grand slam. Apparently, he was supposed to not get one because when your team has a great lead, you shouldn’t pile on the runs. Ridiculous! This guy plays the sport well and has to apologize for it?

Besides that, it’s easier to think today that these aren’t apologies. They’re a way of saying “Please don’t ruin my life.” Unfortunately, the crowds don’t know forgiveness.

The last issue is transgenderism. One theme in the book regularly is that we make a major change in society, such as many people have done on homosexuality, and before the dust can settle and we can see how this will work out, we’re off to the next one. Murray writes about children even as young as eight being given hormone treatment to transition and they’re not required to tell their parents about it, although their parents sure need to get permission if that child needs an aspirin in school. Parents get concerned and they are told, “Get in line or your child will commit suicide!” What’s a parent to do?

Long time feminists who speak out are condemned. This includes those cases where a rapist in a prison identifies as a woman and then goes to a women’s prison and, well, I think we all know what happened. What about men who transition into women and then compete against women in sports? They do have an advantage from their past. The feminist movement must be beside themselves since they have long complained about men being seen as superior. Now, apparently, men are also superior at women’s sports.

Where will this end? It’s hard to say, but the crowd is not getting any better. More and more people are being attacked for perceived wrongs and the worst motives are assumed every time. Discussion is automatically shut down when one person is said to be on the wrong side of history or a racist or a homophobe or transphobe or sexist or whatever. Such people exist, but why assume they are everywhere? Why not have a real dialogue about our differences?

I really encourage everyone to read this book. It’s incredibly eye-opening and very easy to read and shocking to read. Our society has a lot of problems and if we don’t reverse the trend, it will only get worse.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Book Plunge: Platform

What do I think of Michael Hyatt’s book published by Thomas Nelson? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

We all want to be heard today. Don’t think you’re going to go on the internet and make a statement and you don’t really want people to listen to what you have to say. If you didn’t want that, you wouldn’t be speaking anyway. If you have something to say and think it’s good and that people should listen, don’t you want to be noticed? Don’t you want people to hear it and share it? Don’t you think you’ll be doing a service for the world when you get a message out that is needed or sell a product that needs to be sold or provide a service that needs to be given? If you want people to pay attention to what you have to say, Michael Hyatt has some advice for you.

Be warned. This book is very exhaustive and some steps you will be able to follow right now and some you won’t and some will come with time. Some ideas I’ve had I’ve had to rethink, such as Twitter. I have my Twitter automatically set up, but perhaps I could send out a few more tweets. Generally, I have been hesitant due to the limitation of 140 characters, but that could be overcome by tinyurls. I still do not think that Twitter is the place for debates, but perhaps the service does more good than I realize.

I also want to start doing things to spice up the blog. As it is, my own service is not being the most reliable so I am looking to transfer it over elsewhere and the information in this book will play a good role in helping me decide what to do with it from there on. There are some points I’m not readily sold on yet and that could depend on the nature of the blog, but nothing should be discounted automatically. Michael Hyatt has a successful blog and a large number of followers on Twitter and actually brings in some good income through his blog so he is quite likely doing something right.

I do wish a little bit more could have been said about Facebook. I do agree that Facebook can alter what it means to be a friend of someone, but I’m not ready to cut down my list and have a fan page. I’ve found it’s been quite helpful to have personal interactions, especially with people who are struggling with questions and it’s only a major problem on the newsfeed if I am spending way too much time just scrolling through it already. No doubt that Hyatt would agree that time management is absolutely central.

If anything, someone might find this work too overwhelming at times since Hyatt has no shortage of lists of advice to follow. As said earlier, you won’t follow it all immediately and some will have to wait for future endeavors and some blogging will only come with time, but there are many steps that should be taken by everyone wanting to be heard and many that can be taken by anyone wanting to be heard.

If you have a good product, service, or idea to get out and want people to pay attention to you, you owe it to yourself to get this book. Why not in fact get it at the Deeper Waters Amazon store?

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Be Your Own Media

What’s the best way to go about getting hits in social media for your ministry? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

My friend Mike “Moondog” Burnette asked me if I’d be open to hosting a guest post on my blog. Now I haven’t done that before, but I had a need to put in something else and I figured why not, especially since so many other people are kind enough to link to my work.

Details about Burnette can be found at the end of this post. I also will not hesitate to say I need to practice much more of what he says in this post. That’s one reason I plan in staying in communication with him.

True Truth: Be Your Own Media

I’ve done media consulting with a couple Christian ministries lately who are not cutting through all the communication noise very well — in some ways they’re hiding from the noise with their fingers in their ears. The noise I speak of is LOUD and coming from our over-communicated, hyper-speed social media culture — so much so that if you’re not hustling, planning, fully present, extremely valuable, and engaged — you’re done. Many of these well intentioned people were great at media marketing in 2004 — the problem is it’s now 2014 and they haven’t adjusted. I believe their messages are important, but since they have no media plans, strategies, or budget — they’re destined for failure; barring divine intervention. Some groups have wonderful Christian men and women on their boards, but they have no practical knowledge of media programming or understanding of how powerful current media platforms are to success. They think Vimeo, SnapChat, Twitter, SoundCloud, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, etc– are all very quaint entertainment fads — they may not even realize the car has replaced the buggy.

In their marketing ignorance they pay to advertise on “little used country roads” instead of along “major highways” — paying for things no one see, uses or pays attention to. I’m not a part of that type of thinking. My personal and professional corps values stem from questioning meaning and purpose and include a code of serving others by doing the right things, for the right reasons, and taking care of people in the same ways that I want to be treated. I could lead them astray and take their money, but that’s definitely not what God called me to do. I started MoonDog Radio to consult and produce commercials for Christian ministries. I want to honor God with the best results possible — highly successful ministries and first rate media. So, I’m passionate about using my consulting and creative DNA to help strengthen believers, evangelize, and shape culture — it’s not about making money for me.

The biggest piece of advice I could give you is to BE YOUR OWN MEDIA and program your content like a DJ — by programming your content, using your personality to give it context, and cross-promote your organizations benefits and features. Why pay for billboards, YouTube ads, Pandora, and radio when EVERYONE is listening on their time (on demand) — on their smartphone or iPad. Few people still look to billboards or watch ads on TV for information — if it’s not in their RSS feed it probably doesn’t exist. Maybe I’m the only one–but, I record all my TV programs and run through the commercials. I also call up multiple pages on YouTube and let the commercials play so I don’t have to watch them.

Remember to target your media to those people, places, and platforms that use what you provide. You are serving them — they are just borrowing you.
Blessings In Christ,
Mike “MoonDog” Burnette
Founder, MoonDog Radio
https://www.moondogradio.com/

Liberty University alum 79-83
American Forces Radio & Television Veteran
Chief, Army Broadcasting, DOD
Cell:907-280-9646

Thanks to Mike “Moondog” Burnette for writing this!

In Christ,
Nick Peters