Book Plunge: Fault Lines

What do I think of Voddie Baucham Jrs book published by Salem Books? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Baucham is concerned about the evangelical church in America and the rest of the world for that matter. Too many good Christians are buying into Critical Race Theory. It might look good for awhile. After all, who wants to say that black lives don’t matter? Don’t we all agree that racism is a bad thing? Don’t we all want justice? Of course, but there are bad ways to get good things.

Baucham does agree that racism is in America, but America is not systematically racist. Racism is not at the root of all of our ills. He also sees CRT as Marxist and pagan in its origins. It will do more harm by far than good.

Baucham also deals with statistics on crime and other issues. For example, he tells the story of a young man who died tragically at the hands of police. A police officer pinned him to the ground and mocked him. He pleaded with the officers saying that they were going to kill him. The officers did nothing and kept making jokes.

No. That’s not George Floyd. That’s Tony Timpa. Timpa had schizophrenia and had called the police himself because he was off his meds and he had already been handcuffed by a security guard. Timpa died under those police officers before the paramedics arrived.

Most of you never heard of him because he was white.

On October 5, 2016, an officer was nearly beaten to death by a suspect. She knew she should have used her weapon. Her supervisor told her she should have. Why didn’t she?

Because she knew the next day she and her family would undergo scrutiny on the national news. There are real world consequences?

What about Dylan Noble? During a routine traffic stop, he reached into his wasitband and was shot 11 times. Why do you not know about him? He’s white.

Breanna Taylor made the national news when she did in a shooting involving the police. A police officer served an eviction notice on her Dad. The Dad pulled a weapon and the officer pulled out his gun and fired. The bullet passed through his arm and hit Ciara which caused her death eventually. Why do you not know about this? She was white.

Why bring these up? Because people love to bring up stories that fuel a narrative. In this case, it’s the idea that the police treat the black population unfairly. Baucham argues there is further evidence to back this.

Meanwhile , a National Academy of Sciences study ignited controversy when its authors proclaimed, “ We find no evidence of anti – Black or anti – Hispanic disparities across shootings, and White officers are not more likely to shoot minority civilians than non – White officers. ” 14 More fundamentally, the researchers noted that “ using population as a benchmark makes the strong assumption that White and Black civilians have equal exposure to situations that result in FOIS, ” which is the only way the 2.5 – to – 1 ratio could be viewed as prima facie evidence of police bias. Instead, they noted that contrary to the accepted narrative, “ If there are racial differences in exposure to these situations, calculations of racial disparity based on population benchmarks will be misleading. ” 15 In other words, the 2.5 – to – 1 ratio, taken at face value, is actually misleading.

CRT will not bring about unity. It will only bring further division. For example, if every incident involving interaction between blacks and whites is made into racism, even if no racist motives can be shown, then there will be hesitancy to act in any situation. Not only that, but if you cry wolf, real racism will go unnoticed. Even today, I am highly suspicious as soon as someone says “racist” about something or someone.

Baucham stresses that CRT has Marxist origins and thus is highly antithetical to Christian values. The church could let the nose of this camel in thinking they are doing good, only to wind up having the whole camel in and that will lead to chaos on other issues.

For many on the CRT side, if you deny that you are a racist, well that just shows you are a racist. No matter what you do, you are racist. You can marry someone of the another race or have children of another race and still be considered to be racist. You are guilty of racism until you are proven innocent, and you cannot be proven innocent.

I was amazed also to read parts of a sermon that Obama gave to a black church on a Father’s Day. I never supported Obama, but I have to say I agree so much with what he said.

Yes, we need more cops on the street. Yes, we need fewer guns in the hands of people who shouldn’t have them. Yes, we need more money for our schools, and more outstanding teachers in the classroom, and more afterschool programs for our children. Yes, we need more jobs and more job training and more opportunity in our communities. But we also need families to raise our children. We need fathers to realize that responsibility does not end at conception. We need them to realize that what makes you a man is not the ability to have a child — it’s the courage to raise one.

The problems for the black community by and large are not from without but from within. Fatherlessness is too common and too many black men are dying at the hands of other black men. Restoring the family to the black community would be the best gift that could be given. CRT will not do that as groups like BLM are opposed to the typical nuclear family.

This book is written from a Christian perspective, but I think a non-Christian would get something out of it. They won’t care likely about what is going on in the church over this, but I would hope they would look at the case either way. I really hope Baucham is wrong about a future earthquake coming, but I fear that he is right.

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

Should Christians Support Israel?

Is Israel the nation to support? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Israel is facing trouble again and that means Christians in America have taken sides, as well as no doubt many other places in the world. However, America has a strong connection to futurism and dispensationalism especially. We often see ourselves as a chosen people and our ability to function is somehow tied to Israel. After all, aren’t the Jews the people of God?

Now in this, I am not going to even begin to recommend solutions regarding conflict between Christians and Palestinians. I know some Christians who do think Palestine has a case and they are not anti-Semitic. That’s something else that needs to be said. Just because someone thinks the Jews could be in the wrong does not mean you can go and kill all the Jews you want and treat them horribly.

A few weeks before this all broke out, I remember being on Facebook and seeing a post asking something along the lines of how Christians should see Jews today. I answered, “People who need Jesus just like everyone else does.” I stand by that 100%. Jews need their Messiah.

However, any support I would give to Israel is not for theological reasons. Again, it seems to need to be constantly said that just because you do not support for theological reasons does not mean that you cannot support for any other reasons. It also doesn’t mean that you immediately jump over to the other side and think they’re all just fine.

Modern end-times people have often tried to connect end-times prophecy with the formation of the state of Israel, but that has not been too successful. Some were speculating it would be within a generation, vis a vis the “this generation” prophecy of Jesus, of the founding of Israel that the “rapture” would take place. Well, that hasn’t happened. Then it was the Six-Day War which turned out to be a swing and a miss. So far, this hasn’t worked well.

But isn’t Israel in the land? That means God was behind it. Right?

I find it strange that the people in end-times circles who want to take the Bible so “literally” often ignore how the text makes repentance a constant requirement for returning to the land.

Deuteronomy 4

25 “When you father children and children’s children, and have grown old in the land, if you act corruptly by making a carved image in the form of anything, and by doing what is evil in the sight of the Lord your God, so as to provoke him to anger, 26 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that you will soon utterly perish from the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess. You will not live long in it, but will be utterly destroyed. 27 And the Lord will scatter you among the peoples, and you will be left few in number among the nations where the Lord will drive you. 28 And there you will serve gods of wood and stone, the work of human hands, that neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell. 29 But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul. 30 When you are in tribulation, and all these things come upon you in the latter days, you will return to the Lord your God and obey his voice. 31 For the Lord your God is a merciful God. He will not leave you or destroy you or forget the covenant with your fathers that he swore to them.

Deuteronomy 30

“And when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the Lord your God has driven you, and return to the Lord your God, you and your children, and obey his voice in all that I command you today, with all your heart and with all your soul, then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes and have mercy on you, and he will gather you again from all the peoples where the Lord your God has scattered you. If your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of heaven, from there the Lord your God will gather you, and from there he will take you. And the Lord your God will bring you into the land that your fathers possessed, that you may possess it. And he will make you more prosperous and numerous than your fathers. And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live. And the Lord your God will put all these curses on your foes and enemies who persecuted you. And you shall again obey the voice of the Lord and keep all his commandments that I command you today. The Lord your God will make you abundantly prosperous in all the work of your hand, in the fruit of your womb and in the fruit of your cattle and in the fruit of your ground. For the Lord will again take delight in prospering you, as he took delight in your fathers, 10 when you obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep his commandments and his statutes that are written in this Book of the Law, when you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

1 Kings 8

46 “If they sin against you—for there is no one who does not sin—and you are angry with them and give them to an enemy, so that they are carried away captive to the land of the enemy, far off or near, 47 yet if they turn their heart in the land to which they have been carried captive, and repent and plead with you in the land of their captors, saying, ‘We have sinned and have acted perversely and wickedly,’ 48 if they repent with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their enemies, who carried them captive, and pray to you toward their land, which you gave to their fathers, the city that you have chosen, and the house that I have built for your name, 49 then hear in heaven your dwelling place their prayer and their plea, and maintain their cause 50 and forgive your people who have sinned against you, and all their transgressions that they have committed against you, and grant them compassion in the sight of those who carried them captive, that they may have compassion on them 51 (for they are your people, and your heritage, which you brought out of Egypt, from the midst of the iron furnace). 52 Let your eyes be open to the plea of your servant and to the plea of your people Israel, giving ear to them whenever they call to you. 53 For you separated them from among all the peoples of the earth to be your heritage, as you declared through Moses your servant, when you brought our fathers out of Egypt, O Lord God.”

Has anybody seen the nation en masse turning to Jesus as Messiah? I know several Jews are, but for the most part, Israel is still a secular nation. Now if you want to take the text literally, then that would indicate God is not the one directly behind this. That does not mean that you cannot support Israel. You can do so for other reasons. For example, I think Israel is a helpful buffer to have against Islam in the Middle East. Before anyone asks, I have not looked at the conflict between Israel and Palestine so I have no opinion on that one.

We should also see if our interests are in line with Israel or not. Do we have the same goals? Are we truly friends or not? If Israel was doing something that was wrong, would we support them because they are Israel? Let’s suppose for some reason Israel had invaded Kuwait instead of Iraq around 30 years ago. Would we be supporting Israel then and attacking Kuwait? Would we ignore an SOS from Kuwait asking for help because Israel are our allies?

None of this is also to speak ill of my dispensationalist friends. Most know that I don’t consider the view to have any Biblical credibility, but I am thankful for my brothers and sisters who hold this position not because they hold it, but because we’re all one in Christ. I also recommend they go and look at the passages about returning to the land and see how often repentance is mentioned.

By all means also, pray for Israel if you desire, but I would also add to pray that everyone over there, Jew and Gentile both, come to Messiah Jesus.

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

If I Had Two Months To Preach

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

Someone messaged me asking what I would preach on at a church if I had two months to preach on an apologetics topic not necessarily political, but it wouldn’t be race either. What would I preach on? I immediately answered sex and marriage. I was asked if there was anything else since this was two months. I stated that I think this is two years worth and I stand by it. Why?

Let’s start out with getting people into the church. Imagine if on the sign outside the church you had the announcement “Come join us these next two months as our pastor preaches on sex and marriage.” Would you get more people in to see what was said? Yes. That could even include people outside the church.

After all, ask which people if they had to choose one, which they would rather see a TV movie about? Would it be the Sermon on the Mount or would it be David and Bathsheba? I know a lot of Christians would choose the former, but most on the other side would choose the latter, and let’s face it, a lot of Christians could very well choose the latter.

Not only that, but one of the greatest problems we have today is men don’t want to go to church. Church has become way too feminine. I would like every pastor to read Why Men Hate Going To Church. Many of our songs about Jesus could be what a girl sings about her boyfriend and guys don’t care about that, but if you talk about what men are interested in, they will come. Not only that, but statistically, if the father/husband comes, he brings the rest of the family with him.

Next, this is a topic our whole culture is confused on. We want to treat sex like something that you just do for fun, but when one person sleeps with someone different, the idea is that cheating has taken place. Kissing someone other than your lover can be cheating, but this brings it to a whole new level.

We know there’s something different. If the couple kisses or goes on a date, that’s said to be nice, but the goal really comes when they sleep together. Then you know that they are a couple. I am not saying that I agree with that, but I am saying that’s the perception.

Another reason to talk about this is this is a great cause of people leaving the faith. If there is any moral reason people abandon Christianity, it’s because it interferes with their sex lives. People don’t really like the stance Christianity takes on sex, and many times, that includes those of us who are Christians.

This is especially so with young people who we’ve sold a false bill of goods to. Many of us have told them that if they have sex before they marry, they will feel guilty. They might. Some do. Some don’t. Those that don’t wonder what else the church has lied to them about.

Another problem with this is purity culture where we have told women especially that if they give themselves away before marriage, they are damaged goods. I certainly think women should save themselves, but they are not damaged goods. We also have this strange idea of purity until marriage. No. You should stay pure after marriage. Sex isn’t something dirty that taints you.

For many men, pornography is a huge issue. Sadly, many more women are starting to get into this as well. The understanding I have is that one in three men in the church struggle with pornography and it’s probably more than that. This is also destroying many marriages. Why is it so many men are struggling with pornography and we never talk about it from the pulpit?

Our young people especially need a worldview of sex. Why not sleep together if you’re in love? They need a whole worldview of sex, and so do so many of the adults as well. I got after the guys about pornography, but the women need a message to. Too many women are engaging in sexting, that is, sending intimate pictures of themselves on their phones. They can think it will go away, but it won’t. I say this especially to the women because let’s face it, a woman’s body at the intimate level is much more appealing to people than a man’s is.

If a young man and a young woman are on a date, they need more than a few verses in Paul to stop them from going too far. They need a whole worldview. This could not only teach them good thinking about sex, but good thinking about everything else. Good thinking carries over after all. If you learn to think well in one area, you can do so in others more likely.

Also, our marriages need enrichment. I realize that Shaunti Feldhahn has dealt with a lot of myths about Christian marriage, but too many are in trouble and need help. We need whole sermons on the topic. Having a seminar every now and then is good, but we need more.

This also does have political ramifications. Teach on sex and you touch most everything else. You wind up addressing abortion, homosexuality, and transgenderism. You will get people learning what it means to be a man and what it means to be a woman.

We also have many failures recently in this area. How many pastors who are prominent have fallen because of sexual temptation? Do I need to mention Ravi Zacharias again? He used to be one of my heroes and today, the first aspect of him I think of is the scandal.

Scripture speaks about this constantly for a reason. We should listen. Our young people and the rest of the church get to hear the world’s message on this topic six days a week. We have one day a week and we don’t use it.

So again, without hesitation, this is what I would speak on. It covers a multitude of topics and it is not based on race. Actually, all races could benefit from this. Last I checked, we all reproduce the same way.

And maybe you’re not a guest pastor, but you’re the actual pastor. Could it be time to update that sign outside the church?

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

Book Plunge: White Fragility

What do I think of Robin DiAngelo’s book published by Beacon Press? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Multiple thoughts go through one’s head reading this book. I think of the trick Peter Boghossian and James Lindsay did where they wrote a paper that was absolute nonsense as they intended and got it published to show how lacking the academy is with publishing. Reading DiAngelo’s book, I wonder if it was one of those papers.

Then I think of the Life of Brian. In one scene in the movie, Brian is being followed by a crowd who is convinced he’s the Messiah. He denies it and is told that the true Messiah will always deny that he is the Messiah. Then when he says he is the Messiah, everyone jumps and says he is the Messiah.

I also think of presuppositionalism and see this book as a form of that. The author starts out with the assumption that all white people are racist. If they agree with that, they are working on their racism. If they disagree, that demonstrates their racism. No matter what the response, they are racist.

At the start, on page 15, she says race, like gender, is socially constructed. With this one claim, I think her whole thesis goes up in flames. Could a white person not just say that they are really a black person born in a white person’s body? You might think that sounds ridiculous, but if a person can be misgendered at birth, why not misraced?

Throughout the book, DiAngelo keeps switching definitions of racism and is not clear what kind she is talking about. She does say being a racist doesn’t mean a hate-filled racist automatically who actively hates black people. She sometimes does speak of Latinos, (Using the term Latinx which I’ve never seen a Latino person use) but her emphasis is on the black community.

The sad point is that when she does make some points that are valid, she’s already accused her audience enough that no one wants to listen to her. After all, she has started with her conclusion already and nothing anyone can say can change her mind so shut up and accept you’re a racist you bigot. The conclusion is here so who cares about the evidence?

There is a saying that if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. I also know the counterpart that if all you have is a hug, everything looks like a kitten. Unfortunately, in DiAngelo’s world, everything is racism. Not only that, every myth about racism she buys into. Michael Brown becomes an innocent victim even though he wasn’t.

The problem here is that racism is always being used so that nowadays, most people I encounter don’t really listen to the claims anymore. Everyone has to jump on the bandwagon. I recall seeing a liberal friend of mine on Facebook saying he had changed his mind on a case where a black man was shot by a cop and decided the police acted properly. What was the immediate charge made? Racism.

Yet if racism is not the problem at root, then we are not going to deal with the issues that are going on in this country properly. If anything, we could be making it worse and sadly, I think that is what DiAngelo is doing. She is contributing to a problem by making everything about race.

Not only that, she doesn’t interact with real problems that are going on. I don’t see anything in the book about how we need to deal with the problem of fatherlessness in the black community. There is nothing said about crime or gangs or the lyrics sang in much of the rap music today.

It’s a case often where the minority ruins it for the rest of us. Most people in the black community are not like that. Most people in the white community are not racists or white supremacists. Most men are not rapists.

Yet that is what is going on here as the majority are treated like the minority. What if I went and spoke to every woman like she was a golddigger wanting to use men and had that as my conclusion? What if I just assumed that every atheist had a burning hatred of God in their soul? What if I assumed every Muslim had a deep desire to be a terrorist and blow up and kill the infidel?

Such a situation would result in chaos, and yet DiAngelo has done that very thing. There is no doubt we can all improve the communication that we have between the races and the relationships that we have, but why assume racism is the problem? Why not ask all races why they respond to the others like they do? Then work with those answers.

If we picture this nation having a few people being a problem and those few representing a small fire that is burning, a book like this is pouring gasoline all over that. It will not help any problem, but it will heighten any supposed problem and make it worse. DiAngelo could have written a good book pointing out difficult issues and real problems and how to work on them, but instead she just straight to accusation every time. It’s not a shock people get defensive when they are accused and yet she has it that that demonstrates her case. In either situation, DiAngelo is right.

There is also a problem today that everyone is made responsible for everyone else’s feelings. We cannot make anyone feel miserable or feel happy. That is up to them. This is not to say we should be rude to people or anything of the sort, but it does say that when it comes to how someone feels, they must always own that. It is always something they can work on, no matter how difficult it may be. Unfortunately, our culture has a victim mentality going on where people seem to practically glorify in being victims when in turn, they actually become the perpetrators making real victims.

Do yourself a favor. Don’t read this. If you want better relations with a person of another race, just go and talk to them.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)
Support my Patreon here.

Men And Women Are Different

Is it hateful to think men and women are different? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I have said before that I am a gameshow junkie. As I sit here, I have my smart TV in my room playing Buzzr, which plays old classic gameshows. The one on in the morning for me normally is Supermarket Sweep, the original one from the 90’s. This one involves answering questions about various products found in a grocery store.

The final round that determines the winner is based on a race through the store. Up until that point, the questions have been based on earning time for the run. Then, each pair of contestants selects one of them who will run through the store and try to get as much in their cart as possible with some stipulations (No more than five of one item) and rack up the highest total. The winner goes on to have a chance at the prize of $5,000.

All things being equal though, if all players had the same amount of time, I’d generally give earning the most through shopping to the men. There are exceptions, but I generally expect that men will be more capable in this area. Why? Because men are usually the ones who by nature are stronger and faster.

Now in all fairness, I generally think that if it comes to strategy, many a woman might shop smarter. Many women know how to budget very well and how to do smart shopping and generally tend to enjoy shopping more. However, having a good plan doesn’t matter as much if you don’t have the same speed and strength to pull it off.

Unfortunately, in our day and age, it’s automatically assumed that what I have said must be sexist. Consider it like the professor several years ago who said women don’t do as well as men at certain mathematical skills. The outcry was tremendous and while I was not involved in apologetics yet, I remember having one question.

Is he right?

If that is what the evidence shows, then that is what the evidence shows and complaining about it won’t change it. You might say you want to live in a world where that is the case, but if that is not so then that is not so. Now if a woman can improve her skills in this area, that’s wonderful and she can do so if she desires.

Keep in mind also that all that I have said is generalities. There are many women I know personally who are brilliant in mathematics. When I was in high school, I nicknamed our calculus teacher the goddess of mathematics. On the other hand, I know that there are many women who are stronger than I am physically.

And if we’re talking about traits considered masculine and feminine, there are differences. Many men in the gaming sphere like I am in are usually very surprised to encounter a female who has a great interest in video games. Meanwhile, when I was learning to drive, my Dad and I always had communication problems as he would tell me to park next to the Subaru or pull out after the Nissan went by. I would say “What?” and then he would clarify with “The blue car” or something similar. To this day, I couldn’t recognize any of those cars.

The problem too often is that if I say men and women are different, somehow we get an idea in our head that that means one is better than the other and one is superior. There is definitely one area of superiority. Men are superior at being men and women are superior at being women. Unfortunately, in our day and age, we are getting close to the point where men are superior at being women as well.

Men are usually superior when it comes to physical prowess. Again, this is a generality and as has been said about stereotypes, they are always wrong and generally helpful. Women, however, tend to be superior at empathy and gentleness and are superior in beauty. This isn’t just me saying that as a man. Even women are more impressed with their own beauty than that of the male.

Many of us remember when growing up what parent we went to for what. If we fell and skinned our knee and needed someone for that, we went to Mom. Mom was gentle normally and would bandage it and hug us and tell us it would be alright. If we wanted to do something risky, we went to Dad who was more likely to agree to something like that.

We’re now in an age though that is starting to think that someone can change their gender just by changing their physical body, which is also a process of mutilation. Then, men who transition into women can engage in sports that are meant for women to participate in and lo and behold, somehow they seem to win. If this keeps up, we will see the end of women’s sports. Keep in mind I don’t say this as someone who cares for sports at all.

That’s because we now live in a world that wants to blur all the distinctions away. However, even if one does that, someone will always be superior in someway to another and inferior in someway to another. Even identical twins have their differences like this. True equality in that everyone is 100% alike is impossible, and thank God it is. I wouldn’t want to live in a world where everyone was 100% like me. That would be boring.

We are also sadly being moved into a position where the transgender movement cannot be questioned. This is odd since so many skeptics of Christianity think that many Christians grow up in a faith that they are not allowed to question. Sadly, in a large number of cases I am sure this is true. We should always welcome and allow questions.

Suppose we look at a scientific question like evolution. Many scientists will say that the question on evolution is settled. They could be right. However, I would hope that they would not say that the theory cannot be questioned. Where are we if any scientific idea cannot be questioned? The questions could be answered wrongly, but they will likely lead us to other areas of knowledge.

If transgenderism cannot be questioned, then we are in an area of a dogma, a more secular dogma. The left then has their own inquisition. If you dare question the dogma, then you are the heretic (Bigot or whatever other name you want) and have to be shut down. Your ideas are not allowed.

We should ask the questions. Chesterton years ago said before you take down a fence, find out why it was put up in the first place. Why do we say men and women are different? What makes them different? What would happen if we really tried to erase those differences? What would happen if we tried to treat boys like girls and vice-versa?

Men and women really are different, and that’s a good thing. Men are generally stronger in some areas and weaker in others and vice-versa. There are exceptions as there are in most any area, but those are the exceptions that prove the rule. In the past, Gamaliel warned the Jews that by persecuting the apostles, they could find themselves fighting against God. We could find ourselves fighting against reality and that will turn out just as disastrous.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)
Support my Patreon here.

Why Christians Lose Culture Wars

Do we even bother trying anymore? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Remember years ago when Duck Dynasty was pulled from a network and Christians got together and protested? There was an organized effort and a Facebook page. We made sure the world knew what we wanted. We were going to not take no for an answer. When Cracker Barrel joined in by removing Duck Dynasty gear from their gift shop, we went after them.

Eventually, the cable company and Cracker Barrel both relented.

And Christians immediately put down their arms and went back to watching their TV show.

Way to go, team!

So let me get this straight. When a voice on TV is silenced because he disagrees with homosexuality and his TV show gets canceled, Christians think the main thing to fight for is the TV show? It’s not the freedom to state what one believes? It’s not our constitutional rights to free speech and freedom of religion?

We know we can do this the other way also and we did it again when someone was the target of attacks due to speaking on homosexuality. That was Chick-Fil-A Day. Any counter movements like a Kiss-In Day didn’t even make a ripple in the pond. Christians shattered records for fast-food restaurants that day.

Christians. Do you need to be reminded, and apparently you do, that we form a very significant portion of the population? People claiming to be transgender are probably not even 1% of the population and yet now when I take an online survey, I get more than two choices when selecting gender multiple times. If we went by the standards of those on the left, homosexuals make up 10% of the population. I highly question that as I think it’s much less, but look how much change they brought about.

Why? Because they got up and let their voices be heard and refused to let people walk all over them. They also got people outside of them to recognize the validity of their cause. Today, we are seeing ourselves moving more and more towards what many of us think is a mountain that we are going to crash into.

I have stopped saying the world can’t get any crazier because any time I have said that I have been proven wrong. Many of us have been amazed. Gone With The Wind is temporarily pulled from streaming for being racist. The Muppets Show now needs to have a disclaimer. Mr. Potato Head is now being named just Potato Head.

Well, sometimes Christians post something on Facebook about it.

Congratulations.

We need to do more than that. It’s understandable if some of us do go and essentially boycott some companies, but that’s not enough. Efforts like this need to be concentrated. They need people to come together for their common cause and let it know they are working together. We have several of us doing something individually, but we need to do something together in a group.

After all, there’s no sign that this slippery slope is stopping with what we’re doing. It’s almost as if the other side believes their message more than we believe in the message of Jesus. Sadly, my fear is that may be true, especially since that message has been watered down so much that it’s just about how we can be “nice people” and to receive counsel for our feelings. I am not saying there isn’t a place for that, but that isn’t the message of Christianity.

The original Christians were persecuted and they still kept on going. We aren’t anywhere near being persecuted like they were and most of us have already laid down our arms. We’ve even seen many of our own churches, consider the Methodist Church for example, going the way of the world.

What’s it going to take? We’re going to have to get in our heads first off that Christianity is true and Jesus is really Lord. That will mean teaching the church good apologetics and good theology.

Also, much of the confusion in our culture is around issues of sexual ethics. The Christian church needs to be talking about sex a lot more. Think about it. When was the last time you went to church and heard a message about sex. Now compare this. When was the last time you turned on a TV show or movie or even a radio and got a message about sex, not necessarily a sermon with something explicitly taught, but the show or song said “This is what we believe about sex.”

Christians need to have better thinking on this which means we need to know how sexuality fits into a whole worldview. If we see the matter the way everyone around us does, we won’t make any difference. If we learn to think about this topic better than everyone else, we will.

We could also bear in America to learn more about the history of our country and what we went through. In the American Revolution, there were bounties put on the heads of preachers by the British. Our preachers should see getting up into the pulpit as something dangerous.

In Communist China or in Middle Eastern Muslim countries, being a Christian can be a death sentence. However, we see churches growing over there. Why? Because those Christians know it’s a death sentence and they take it seriously. This isn’t a light-hearted commitment. People are saying they know Jesus Christ is worth dying for.

Is He worth living for?

Is He worth anything at all?

If you don’t want to see our country and our world go this way, then what are you doing about it? Let’s give the left this. They at least go out and contend for what they want. They refuse to be beaten down.

We could learn something from that.

We are really nowhere near what Christians faced in the first century and yet they did a lot more and they sure didn’t have the tools that we have today. If we want to see change in our world, we have to bring about that change. Yes, Christ is behind us, but He already gave us our marching orders in the Great Commission and in Acts 1 and He’s not going to do the work for us.

Will we do the work for Him?

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)
Support my Patreon here.

When Your Enemy Dies

How do you respond when your enemy dies? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I remember several years ago I was on the program PALtalk and the news had just broke that Saddam Hussein’s sons had just been found and killed. Someone messaged me saying “Isn’t this such great news?!” I told them it was great that they would no longer be inflicting evil on the Earth, but as a Christian, it was also sad because they passed into eternity without Christ forever.

Even earlier when I first started doing apologetics, I remember being in a chat room on AOL with several young-earth creationists (And in saying this I realize not all YECs are like this, thank God) when the news came that Stephen Jay Gould, the evolutionary biologist had died. Immediately, there were people chatting about what it must be like for him in Hell right now. I remember also the same happening with some Reformed people (and again, thank God not all are like that), when a Pope had died and how he had “busted Hell wide open.”

I understand that for some people directly involved, it is good for them to know justice has been served, but many of us are not in that position. In the cases I described above, I found myself appalled at what I was saying. If you really think someone is in Hell, why should you celebrate? It’s not like you avoid it because you’re just so awesome.

So yesterday I finished listening to a book on my Amazon Tap and was playing a game where I couldn’t pause so I just switched to talk radio. Then I hear about the legacy of Rush Limbaugh. Legacy? That’s what you say when someone has died. I ask Alexa if that had happened and yes, that’s the news I get immediately.

Now as a conservative, I found the news saddening, but what didn’t surprise me was the images that I saw going on on Twitter after that. I have been just as appalled. You might want to make a statement about the character of your opponent, but those who celebrate in that matter are really revealing more about themselves.

What really amazes me is also that these are the people who often talk about being the people of love and compassion and tolerance and unity and being so opposed to any kind of hate. I would think that for all the time preaching this gospel, it might be practiced. It looks like it’s not really the case.

In a time like this also, we should also remember that eventually, death is going to come for all of us unless the return of Christ occurs first. Will we be ready? What are we doing with our lives right now?

If we’re Christians, we should definitely not be celebrating in this way. We should remember that this is a sign that our world is fallen. Also, keep in mind as much as you might not like it as a Christian, Rush Limbaugh and many others did say that they were Christians and if they were right, well, you get to spend eternity with them.

If you are hearing that and saying “I hope not! I don’t want to spend eternity with them!” then it is definitely you that has the problem. Eternity is to be where forgiveness and love definitely reign supreme. On a blog post I wrote years ago asking if your murderer will be in Heaven, someone in the comments said that right now in eternity, Stephen and Paul are together.

That’s really something to think about.

And yes, in eternity if forgiveness has taken place, people will be with those who murdered either them or their loved ones. Skeptics will be tempted to see that and think that that must be an awful place then. No. It’s a wonderful place because even something as horrendous as murder will be forgiven. We could also say if the criminal has repented, someone will be with their rapist, and there will be love and forgiveness.

All my secularist friends who believe in the goodness of man should be willing to see this as a good thing as well as man will be able to love someone who has hurt them so greatly. If you’re a Christian, realize that however you might not care about that person, you are called to love your enemy. You are called to want what is good for them.

During the Trump administration, if you had asked me who I wanted to meet if I got the chance to meet one famous person, I would have said Donald Trump. Some might say I’m a conservative so of course I would say that. Not so fast. I was asked that just recently and said still “The president” and when it was Obama in office, it was still “The president.” Why no matter who it was? Because I would want to go and talk to them about Jesus and let the message of Jesus impact them whoever it is, even if I thought that person was already a Christian.

To those celebrating, you’re revealing more about yourself and the people that you would hope to persuade are being given more reason to not listen to you. If this is the kind of person your side produces, then I want nothing of it. The side that produces those who love even their enemies is the one I wish to be on and I hope when my personal enemies die, that I will more respond the appropriate way as well.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)
Support my Patreon here.

The Ravi Report

What do I think about the news? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Yesterday, the report came out about Ravi Zacharias and can be read here. I did skim through it some last night to see the content mainly. I am thankful I did skim because going through it, I started feeling so nauseous over what I was reading that I thought I’d have to take something for it.

You see, Ravi had been a hero of mine for so many years. He was my first favorite apologist that I had. I remember the day I got to meet him and what an honor it was and I got to introduce Allie to him a few years before he died. Now I look back and wonder when did all of his trouble start?

Some people have compared him to King David. I mean, King David screwed up also. Right? Big difference. King David admitted he screwed up and this even when he was in good health. He publicly repented. Ravi knew he was dying and did no such repentance. When the 2017 charge came out, many of us thought it couldn’t be right because, well, Ravi wasn’t that kind of person. Now, it looks like he was that kind of person and the charge was right.

We saw the funeral service that was shared across the internet with people coming and praising Ravi about what a great person he was, not knowing that he took to his grave a huge lie. It is a betrayal of sorts that many of us feel about what Ravi did.

I read through the report feeling sick as I said and wondering when this man went wrong. This wasn’t just one isolated incident. This was a number of repeated incidents. This wasn’t just things done in a moment of weakness. We would condemn it, but it’s easy to understand falling into an affair in a moment of weakness, but when it’s done with premeditation and planning, such as Ravi having separate phones and emails not authorized by RZIM, it’s a different story.

So what judgment comes on Ravi? That’s not our department, and so I honestly don’t know. I wonder about it when I read passages like 1 Cor. 6. If this was his real lifestyle, can Ravi escape that judgment for it? I pray for mercy, but it is not my call. God owes none of us anything and if we know of his grace and flaunt it by living in a sin the Bible condemns, we have to realize there could be consequences.

So some takeaways.

First off, it made me even more sure to try to walk in sexual integrity. Don’t be alone in even an elevator with a woman you are not related to. Don’t go driving in a car with such a woman. Let someone else have access to your devices and know your passwords. Have accountability partners to help you in this.

Second, watch yourself to make sure you don’t fall into sin. I am very guarded in my private conversations with other women. I have women who are friends, but I will not ever consider them intimate friends in any way. My closest friends will always be guys. Getting super close to a member of the opposite sex except for in dating or marriage is dangerous.

Third, RZIM needs to change its name. Ravi’s behavior has unfortunately soiled the ministry and many of those connected to it who are personally innocent and had no clue will pay a price for it. Ministries do not need to be named after any one person save perhaps if you wanted to name a ministry after someone else well-known in ministry from the past.

Fourth, RZIM needs to do everything in its power to help these women who have been affected by the wicked behavior Ravi engaged in. Sexual abuse leaves a powerful scar on someone’s life and healing needs to take place. Any apologies need to be highly public.

Fifth, there will also need to be more financial accountability as Ravi used personal funds and perhaps some donated to RZIM to give gifts to these girls in exchange for gifts from them. People will not want to give to the ministry if they have no reason to trust where their resources are going to. It is fully understandable if many choose to not give again.

For those of us on the outside, there but for the grace of God go us. It is sad to me that I used to hold up Ravi as an example to emulate and now I hold him up as one to avoid. I have great pain especially for his grandchildren who will grow up hearing about the double life that their grandfather lived. These are the ones we should watch over the most.

As for me, I am working through this as well bit by bit. It’s been a very hurtful revelation to learn that someone you thought of as a friend was putting on a show. I do not think Ravi doubted the truth that Jesus rose from the dead, but I think he was trying to justify his actions and using ministry as an excuse.

I really know of no good way to end this kind of blog. I am just greatly disappointed in this man I once looked at. The best I can do is do my best to avoid being that kind of man as well.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)
Support my Patreon here.

Book Plunge: Letter To A Racist Nation

What do I think of David Marshall’s self-published book? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

When Elijah went to heaven, Elisha was watching and got a double portion of his spirit. I can’t help but wonder if David Marshall has been in the presence of some Hebrew prophets as their spirit seems to have fallen on him in this one. I easily think of Amos and Micah crying out for justice and Jesus in Matthew 23 and Luke 11 castigating the leaders of his day.

Marshall does the same in this one. Some people might be skeptical wondering what a New Testament scholar will have to say about the issue of racism today. Reality is quite a lot. Marshall does so with detailed accounts, references to pop culture and history, and a lot of fun at the same time.

This is all largely in response to the riots that erupted last year over the George Floyd incident. Marshall looks at the good that the police do and why it’s a foolish move to defund them. He eyes numerous cases of alleged racism and brings up incidents that many of us have never heard of to show the police strive to be as color-blind as possible.

The best parts though come when he talks about the claim of racism. Right now, racism is practically the worst sin you can be accused of. Marshall asks us to consider why it is that we hate racism so much and what makes it so wrong. To be sure, this is not a denial of the evil of racism, but it is saying it’s good to ask why it is evil because virtue consists in not just avoiding a sin, but in seeking to do a greater good.

After all, we may be walking around in pride saying “We are not racists!”, but we could be guilty of far greater sins. It could also be in an irony that those who are saying they are not racist are actually engaging in racist activity without realizing it. After all, if you mistreat someone because they are of another race, that is wrong (And that could be happening to whites today), but if you give someone a special privilege because of their race, that is also wrong.

Marshall also takes his sights on those who he thinks are undoing America. Robin DiAngelo is on the list with her work on “White Privilege.” There is also Howard Zinn who did good in considering history from the view of the oppressed, but then ignored other forms of oppression on the world and couldn’t seem to think of enough bad to say about America. There is also a textbook called History Alive! where Marshall sees a work that has nothing but praise to say about Muhammad, but Christianity and Jesus are presented in minimalist or negative terms.

Of course, Marshall also has a few things to say about Black Lives Matter. He stresses that the idea is something no one should complain about. However, the movement itself is something different. He has several several questions for the movement.

Marshall also looks at claims such as racial disparities and inequalities. This is all in response to a liberal Christian he knows. Anyone who is espousing positions that we are inherently racist needs to really look at this book.

My only concern honestly is that already, the idea could be somewhat outdated. More and more, racism is being transitioned out I think and the new term to use over and over is white supremacist. (I think there are seven still left in America.) Now, anyone who supports Trump at all is to be considered a white supremacist.

In the end, America needs to grow up and come to herself and the best way to do that is to return to another man who was condemned by the political powers of His day. This same man also taught us the parable of the Good Samaritan and the Unmerciful Servant. His way transformed society before and it can do so again.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)
Support my Patreon here.

Book Plunge: The Price of Panic

What do I think of Jay Richards, William Briggs, and Douglas Axe’s book published by Regenry Publishing? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I’ve had a tendency to go against the grain and not go with the crowd. I remember when I first heard about the Coronavirus and what I heard did not frightened me. Then all around me, people were going into a panic. Businesses were being shut down and schools were being closed. Church services were cancelled.

On the positive side, so were professional sports. Then when churches opened, greeting time was cancelled as well and still is at churches. That’s one change I can live with.

Never had I seen anything like this. People I knew were in an absolute panic. It was like death was waiting right outside the door if you dared step out.

This book has been written to deal with what happened. The bad news is that we did indeed panic and that panic cost us greatly. Now the moment I mention this, someone will say “Well, I guess those people who had family members who died shouldn’t have panicked then!” The reality is, any disease that comes across will kill some people. Flu season comes every year and kills some. We don’t shut down for that. We realize this happens.

Anything being said here then is not to diminish the loss of those who did die and their family members who are left behind, but it is a call to look soberly at the issue. Are we letting our fear drive us and are the experts leading us really aware of what they’re talking about?

Now I am not one to downplay experts, but this problem is multi-faceted. Someone who is a doctor is not an expert in every area of medicine. Doctors are also not normally experts in economics and what effect a lockdown will have on society. There is also the question of what happens to people like farmers and others who supply our food for businesses.

What were factors that caused the Coronavirus scare to be greater than others? Many possibilities are mentioned. One is that it was the Trump administration and some people could have wanted this to be on his head. Another is that social media was extremely active and panic spreads on social media.

What constantly amazed the authors of the book is that not only were Americans told to give up their freedoms, they did so willingly and easily. Not only that, they were willing often to snitch on their neighbors. Many people who were doing regular activities could often be arrested.

The authors look at where the virus started. They do not hold to any theories that the virus was intentionally engineered to be used as a sort of weapon. (Having said that, I don’t see any reason why an enemy nation might not try the same thing on us.) However, what happened next was a number of experts spoke on what would happen based on their models.

Not only were these models extremely off, but they had a history of being extremely off. Hundreds of thousands could be predicted to die from diseases that kill, well, hundreds. Despite that, we still listened to these experts and took advice that devastated our economy.

That’s the economy so that’s no big deal. Right? You can’t replace human lives with money. Right? No one is saying that, but people faced extreme financial hardship that resulted in mental health crises and in some cases, suicide. Not only that, some people with diseases that were serious did not go to the hospital to get treatment because they feared getting the virus and so they died from treatable, though serious, problems.

Let’s look at those numbers as well. The writers say that the numbers were being played with in that if someone died from a condition that might have possibly been Covid, it was listed as a Covid death. The doctors would rarely do an autopsy as that is timely and expensive. Some of these people might not have even had Covid. This would also help with funding for the hospitals.

We can also question if the lockdowns themselves worked. We could compare to nations like Sweden, Taiwan, and Japan that did not have lockdowns and did not see the mass death that was expected. Again, sometimes, reporters played with the numbers to make it sound worse than it was, but it was never consistent.

What about masks? Odds are, the masks we often get don’t really work and could actually be helping to spread the virus. Why? People could go out who have it thinking that they are safe and some people could take riskier behavior wearing one.

Why do we need to know all of this? Because there will be another pandemic and we don’t need to panic over that one most likely either. The cost to this has been too great and we don’t need to see a new normal. We need to return to normal.

Anyone who is scared of the Coronavirus needs to read this book. It is extensively researched and well-argued. If more people could read this, perhaps we could return to sanity.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)
Support my Patreon here.