Book Plunge: Pagans and Christians in the City

What do I think of Steven Smith’s book published by Eerdman’s? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

We all know what happened in history. The world was largely pagan and then Christianity showed up and within a few centuries, Christianity became the religion of the West and paganism was defeated. Today, there are people who follow Asatru and other similar belief systems and say they worship pagan deities, but pretty much, Thor has been reduced to a comic book character and superhero in the movies. Paganism is pretty much dead.

But what if it isn’t?

What if it never died?

No. I’m not saying anything about Christians copying the pagans in this like the pagan copycat thesis. Instead, we’re talking about worldviews, not in the sense that it’s a belief about gods, but rather a belief about where the sacred lies. Paganism largely placed the sacred in the world, especially in the area of sexuality.

Christians said there was sacredness in the world, but the source of that sacredness was outside of the world and lies in God Himself. Christians are to agree that there are good things in this world, but the things are not the end in themselves. The greatest joy is to be found in God alone.

Modern people might be puzzled at the way Rome reacted in the past to Christianity. Why were Christians persecuted? What about live and let live? What about freedom of religion? Couldn’t the Romans just accept that the Christians only worshipped their God?

And what about the Christians? Couldn’t they just go along and kind of pay lip service to the idea of the Roman deities? Unfortunately, for both sides, that would have been disloyal. The Christians were not to give any indication that these deities were real. The Romans saw the Christians as dishonoring the gods and thus a threat to the well-being of the state.

Today, we live in a world where it seems to be Christianity vs secularism and so it would strike people odd to hear talk about paganism, but what if secularists were actually modern-day pagans? Not in the sense that they worship other gods, but they place the sacred, or we could say the ultimate, in this world. In a sense, they must. If this world is all there is, then whatever is worth living for must be in this world.

An important part of all of this is the role that symbols play. While this was written before much of the Trump era, many of us were stunned to see the tearing down of statues and other such events. Why were these turned down? The same reason. Symbolism.

For those who wanted them torn down, these statues were symbols in some way of racism and the symbol could not be allowed to continue. It’s possible to debate if a statue really was a symbol, but it seems undeniable that the people wanting them removed saw in them vestiges of racism. Much of our political discourse is really about symbolism.

What about sexuality, which is where much of our fighting takes place? Consider the fact that a restaurant or baker or florist or photographer can say they don’t want to use their services to celebrate a ceremony that they do not encourage, such as two homosexuals wanting to declare themselves married. Most of us would think the thing to do then is to go down the street to the next business and hear them say “Sure. We’ll cover that for you!”

However, what happens is the original businesses are instead sued. Now why is this? Why would you want the services of someone who you know is opposed to your view like this and doesn’t celebrate what you celebrate? The answer is not that they want those services from them, but because these people are symbols of something they don’t like, disagreement with their position.

In our world, the culture wars are largely about sexuality. What I find ironic is that the Christians are the ones treating sex as sacred and the pagans are the ones that are not saying that, though they are treating it as an ultimate. If we admit that sex is for anything or about anything, then we have to set up some standards for sexuality and what is right and wrong, although some do still hold, as most people today definitely condemn rape.

The idea on the left has largely been privatization. You can have your religion and you can practice it, but it must be private. In public, you must go along with us. This is exactly the response of Rome in the beginning of the Christian era. We are still fighting the same battle.

There is so much more in Smith’s book that cannot be broken down easily, but it is an eye-opening one that is worthy of your time and attention. I recommend you go out and get it as soon as you can and read it. It has certainly shifted the way that I look at the culture wars.

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

Hook-Up Culture Ending?

Is this really a bad thing? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

With Roe v. Wade possibly being overturned, now women are telling men that they are wanting to end hook-up culture. It’s not worth the risk. Apparently, some guys are fine to sleep with, but they’re not good if they are going to be the father of your children.

Now these people are saying things like going on a sex strike to change people’s minds. Who are the minds they are trying to change? Largely, a lot of us conservative Christians.

You know, the ones who have long been pushing for abstinence until marriage and then sexual faithfulness in marriage?

Real convincing argument.

All we can say is “Your terms are acceptable.”

So what are some takeaways from all of this?

First, many of us were told we need abortion laws for cases of rape and incest. Sorry, but if you’re going out and hooking up with someone and wanting to get an abortion afterwards, you can’t call it rape. Now you could call it incest I suppose if you are going out and sleeping with your brother for a hook-up, but I really hope no one is doing something like that.

So thank you actually then for telling us what we have known all along. Abortion is not about those cases. It is about being used for contraception.

Second, you could very well wind up proving our case. Maybe it could actually mean people take sex seriously. After all, a woman usually has a lesser libido than a man does. I am not denying that there are some higher drive women out there, but statistically, men usually are the most eager to do the deed. A woman could want to have it, but she would be thinking, “But I don’t want to risk getting pregnant.” (Not only that, there are emotional ramifications of sex as well as STDs to consider.) She could be choosy then in who she gives herself to.

Now what does this mean for the men? Believe it or not, men might actually have to work to show themselves capable men to have sex. They might have to show that they can hold down a job and provide for a woman and the offspring. If they cannot do this, they do not get sex. Yes, women. You’ve had this power all along. You have no idea what a man is willing to do to get sex and if that means changing his life around entirely, well a man will go and do that. If you put sex out there as something easy for him to get, then he will stop generally at the level he gets it at and not go further from there. It’s a human thing. We tend to like to give the bare minimum.

Not only all of this, but if you have less sex, then you will have less need to go get an abortion which will mean fewer abortions anyway. Really, everything you’re doing here is a win for the people you want to go after the most, conservative Christians. I do know that there are plenty of secularists and atheists who are pro-life and I am thankful for that, but usually the position is associated with Christianity.

We will all be better off if we do take sex a lot more seriously because sex is a serious thing. The same applies to marriage. Women. In the end, you will have a better pool of people to date because the ones you want to be with will be the ones that work the hardest. Who gets weeded out? The men who are not willing to work to please a woman.

Why lower yourself by sleeping with a guy who’s not willing to give you his all anyway?

Welcome to what you have long been protesting. You could find this is one of the best things that ever happened to you.

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

Book Plunge: Hate Crime Hoax

What do I think of Wilfred Reilly’s book published by Blackstone Publishing? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I read a number of political books and normally, I don’t review them, but this one is an exception. I listened to it on Audible and decided the material was too important to not share. The author, Reilly, is himself a person of color, as he says, and yet wants to share this to show how in his mind the left is selling a fake race war based on hate crime hoaxes.

Now if you consider yourself someone on the left, please don’t shut down at this point or just close this blog page. Hear me out. If anything, the information in the book should strike you as good news.

By the way, before going further, I also want to say that there hate crime hoaxes done by conservatives and done by white conservatives especially that Reilly talks about. While a majority are on the other side, my own conservative party is not without its hoaxers.

Many of us know about such hoaxes when we think about the Jussie Smollett case, which happened just a month before the book was published so you won’t see it in here. We saw the outrage when Jussie said he was attacked and then before too long, everything changed. It became clear pretty quickly that no such attack had ever happened.

Unfortunately, too many hoaxes do not have the same response. The usual pattern is some “hate crime hoax” happens and then there is outrage and everyone gets up and does some virtue signaling and then, something happens and it’s found to be a hoax and people say “Well there’s still an issue here that needs to be dealt with” and any retraction is put offhandedly in a tiny paragraph on page 26 of the New York Times.

However, the good news is that so many of these crimes are hoaxes. Sadly, many times, anti-black crimes are committed by someone who is black and anti-gay crimes committed by someone who is gay and on and on. Some sad cases even end in real deaths and real injuries. The burning down of a gay club was actually done by the owner. A black church has been burnt down by a black member who made it look like a hate crime. One black minister even staged a hate crime at his home where he was going to go to bed and die in a blaze he had started. If his oldest son hadn’t been woken up by the sound and reacted, everyone would have died.

The story is told of two black children who encountered white men with shoe polish who told them “You’ll be white today” putting it on them. Fortunately, this never happened. Unfortunately, there was at least one white man who was beat up by three black men in response to this crime.

While these may be done to draw attention supposedly to racism, if anything, they make racism more and more of a problem. Each of these hoaxes gets people to take sides more and more. This is one reason I do not take accusations of racism very seriously anymore. I need to see highly convincing evidence.

I also don’t think it helps to take people who disagree and tell them that they are phobic of whatever it is that they disagree with. Throwing out terms like sexist and racist and bigot do not help understand a position and if you assume the motive at the start is something like racism in your opponent, then you won’t listen a bit. This is not to say that there are no racists out there among us, but we need to be very careful with the term.

One story I remember hearing about when it first happened was the pastor of a gay church who asked to get a Love Wins cake from the Whole Foods store. He claimed that there was an anti-homosexual slur that was written on the cake. Whole Foods faced a backlash and the baker of the cake got fired. I do not know if they got their job back or not, but I do know that it was found to be a hoax thanks to security footage.

One step that needs to be done to stop these is to have much harsher penalties for hoaxers. If someone commits a hate crime hoax on a campus, don’t celebrate it by having an event to raise awareness or building a building. Instead, expel the offender immediately and cancel any events or plans that were going to be set in motion by the hoax. Giving attention and fame to one hoaxer just empowers the next one.

Why should this be good news if you are on the left? If most of these hate crimes are hoaxes, then that means society is not as bad in this area as you think it is. In an economic way of putting it, the supply does not match the demand. Any time we deal with fake racism, we are kept from dealing with real racism. It should be kept in mind that crimes the police and FBI investigate that are hoaxes are also drainers of time they could be spending on real crimes.

I urge everyone out there to go and read this. Really consider what is being said and be careful the next time you hear of a hate crime. Don’t go and get your pitchforks ready to deal with the other side and don’t immediately start concluding that society is completely hopeless on this issue. Wait and see. Odds are, it will likely be a hoax.

Not the best news of all if it is, but still far better than the alternative.

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

Selling Fear

Should you join the latest fear craze? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Something that became a meme of sorts in the Trump presidency was fake news. Whatever you think of Trump, fake news is a reality. If you’re on the left, you will likely think organizations like Fox or OANN are fake news. On the right, you will find most everyone else such as CNN and MSNBC as being fake news.

It exists. It exists on the right and on the left. In many cases, it is in extremes on both sides. It’s important to note that when stories are given that are fake news, there is often some degree of truth in the stories. There can be something that is real behind them, but many times, it is done because it sells well.

It would be nice if news organizations were altruistic, but they also have to make enough to keep doing what they’re doing. This is also the case many times for people on YouTube who want to get subscribers and likes and everything else. As a blogger here, I do have a Patreon as well as yes, income definitely helps me with the work that I do.

Something that sells well also is fear. Fear can get you emotionally invested in what is going on and get you where you have to watch the news more to find out more. There can be something there that could be a threat in some way, but then the goal of the news is to get you to think hysterically about it.

The biggest example we have of this is the Coronavirus. I made a decision early based on what I first heard about the virus, I knew it wasn’t anything to be afraid of. I chose to not get into the hysteria.

“But people died from the virus! I know someone who died from it!”

Yes. People die from every virus pretty much. It’s a tragedy (And by the way, dying from and dying with are two different things.), but we should not be shocked when viruses have negative effects on the lives of people. Planes crash sometimes, but it is not realistic to panic before every plane flight.

I made a decision then to not get caught up in the hysteria. Looking back now, I see that I am convinced that was a good decision. I went around and lived my life as normally as I could, having to follow restrictions I hated at some times granted, and I made it through.

Right now, we all know the economy is struggling. I don’t know anyone who will deny that gas prices are on the rise as are food prices. Does that concern me? Yes. I am not at all saying to not be concerned. Am I going to give in to fear hysteria over it? No.

We can also say the same with what is going on in Ukraine. We can get caught up in fear over that.

“And what if Putin starts a nuclear war over this?!”

And what exactly will your living in fear do to stop that? If anything, it leaves you less equipped as when you are emotionally being dominated, you are less likely to think rationally in a situation. The problem with much of the news is that we can learn a lot about problems that we can do absolutely nothing about. (By the way pastors who do talk about political and current events, you are doing your disservice to your flock if you feed them more fear than more confidence in what Jesus Christ can do.)

I’m not going to tell you I bat 1,000 on this. This has been a growing process for me and sometimes, I have given in to fear. Right now, I’m trying to not let it be dominant. When I see rising gas and food prices, I instead try to think that this is just where the challenge rises up and this is the time for true Americans to shine.

If you can’t watch the news without panicking, then just turn it off. You might be less informed on some matters, but you will be better able to care for yourself and your own family. Perhaps spend that extra time in Bible study again and build up your confidence in God until you get to the point where you can watch again. Worrying about something you can do absolutely nothing about is completely useless. If you think there could be some disaster coming, take the preparedness steps you can and then live your life. I am not telling you to be haphazard with your life, but I am also telling you to not live in fear definitely.

Again, speaking from experience, I can say this has served me well. I struggle with enough matters that I have fear over already. Those are also some things I can do something about. I have no need to invest energy into things I can do nothing about. There is a better usage of my time than worrying.

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

What Is A Woman?

How do we answer this question? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

For all interested, my Dad is doing much better. He actually got to come home Tuesday of last week. I was betting on him being in there a lot longer, but no. We have also been regularly been having some fun with him on things he said and did when he was delirious such as asking me if I was an angel when he didn’t recognize me and how he was watching HGTV and asked my Mom if she had remodeled the house.

Over the week, we also had the fun of a new meme featuring Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson in that she said she could not answer what a woman is because she is not a biologist. Funny? Yes. Many of my fellow conservatives were glad to see that she went to biology for the answer, which is something seen as being objective.

So yes, we all should know what a woman is. However, I also think we should ask in some ways what a woman is and I think this shows a deeper problem in philosophy today. It is a problem of not understanding essences.

Consider a small child. The child does not generally have training in philosophy, He sees his family has an animal that has four legs and tends to bark a lot and he is told this is a dog. He is out walking in the neighborhood with his parents and he sees several animals in the lawns of the neighbors. These creatures he sees are different sizes and colors, but yet he is told that they are all dogs. In the windows, sometimes, he sees these small delicate animals and if he could hear them, he would hear meows from them. These would not be dogs, but they would be cats.

The boy is not a philosopher per se, but he is learning something about reality. He is learning about essences. There is something essential that all these creatures have in common that makes them dogs and not cats, but they differ in other areas called the accidents that are non-essential. These are conditions such as size and color. A dog could even lose a leg and still be considered a dog.

Nowadays, we don’t know that. We have philosophies today that can question if the world is really real. The east has often had this, but it hasn’t been as common in the west. Now, it is becoming more and more so. I personally see this as coming largely from the influence of Descartes. Centuries ago, there was no field known as epistemology. Now there is.

So we come to the question of “What is a woman?” There are many ways we can explore this. It has been said that many a man asks himself the question “Am I a man?” There is no indication that he is talking about his biological features. He’s not going to take off his pants and look and say “I guess I am. Good to know.” Instead, when he asks this, he is more asking if he has the character that a man is supposed to have in his mind.

We can also go another way and just simply ask “What is a human?” Aristotle said it was a rational animal, but if we found another animal that was rational, would we say that was a human? Fans of science fiction and fantasy can easily think of material creatures that are rational, but they would not be considered human.

The problem in our culture is we don’t really think such essences exist anymore. Nominalism has taken us over and most of us don’t even know what that is. It’s one reason we think you can surgically alter a man enough and lo and behold, he becomes a woman and starts winning swim championships.

I’m not saying no one is talking about it this way, but I haven’t seen it. For most teenage boys, I suspect they would say “I may not be able to define in that way what a woman is, but I know one when I see it and I like it.” Perhaps beyond biology, we should have a deeper conversation about philosophy, something our culture has sadly lost sight of. When that happens, it’s not that we cease to do philosophy, we just do it exceptionally poorly. (Consider how a great intellect like Stephen Hawking can say “Philosophy is dead” in a statement teeming with philosophical nuances and all of it bad.)

I’m quite certain that some people will comment on my post at least on Facebook who hold to a sort of scientism. They often think they’re making powerful arguments, but they’re not. This is not to attack the sciences, but to reailze science has limitations and when it comes to essences, that is a limitation of science.

In no way also does this held the so-called transgender ideology. If anything, it tells us we can’t change our gender any more than I could take my little cat Shiro and do mass operations on him and turn him into a dog. We can change the appearance all we want, but it doesn’t change the reality.

Perhaps this would then be a good time since everyone is asking to think “What really is a woman?” What do all women have in common that is absolutely essential to them? What do all men? What do all humans? If someone wants to say “Nothing. It’s all subjective”, then there is no feminism or transgenderism any more at all. After all, if being a woman can be made to mean anything, then it really means nothing. (This is one of the dangers of trying to change what marriage is. If it can be made to mean anything, then it really means nothing.) We already started down this road decades ago when we decided to redefine what a human baby is and allow abortion. It’s not a shock that when one people group wants to destroy (The Nazis) or enslave (Slavery in America) another group, they often dehumanize them.

So in one sense, Judge Brown got a softball question and she failed miserably at it. On the other hand, she also got a complex question that we should all consider asking ourselves and pondering. Perhaps it’s time to return to Plato, Augustine, Plotinus, Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, etc. and see what we can learn. Maybe the past can actually inform us today.

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

Don’t Panic

How do you handle something frightening? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I have a general rule about major “crises” in the world today. That’s to do my best to not panic. Fearmongering doesn’t do any good. Generally, I am anxiety prone. Having gone through a divorce now, I even take medication to help me with anxiety and it does a great deal of good, but I still have to apply the wisdom I have and my knowledge of Scripture. I don’t condemn medication, but medication without sound practice is not wise at all.

When the Coronavirus was first announced, I heard the news about it being on a cruise ship and how the majority of the people there recovered just fine. I knew then the simple principle I had through all other number of diseases and viruses that came our way. It’s a simple tip. As Douglas Adams said, “Don’t Panic.”

So as I saw the rest of the world me panicking over the Coronavirus, I was handling it just fine. Now note this part. I am not denying the virus is real. I am not denying that many people suffered and died from it. I am not saying that we shouldn’t take precautions in this. What I am saying is we shouldn’t lose our minds in fear. My contention is a lot of the measures we take to stop the virus in the long run actually did a lot more harm than they did good.

I think many people who did that fear lean towards the left politically also, so let’s look at the right as well. Yesterday, my mother came upstairs to my room, seeing as I have been living with my parents since the divorce, though I hope to be accepted at NOBTS and move down to New Orleans soon. She told me that soon toothpaste would be at $10 a tube. I generally buy the cheapest store brand stuff that I can so I rarely pay more than $1 or so. We’re talking about a major price increase.

So I looked it up. I found that there was an article about inflation that said that Colgate was coming out with a new toothpaste that would be $10 a tube. My guess is someone saw that and panicked and ran with it. In our society, it’s like we have an addiction to fear. We practically want to be afraid of something. That way, we can feel safe when we know someone can take care of it.

Now to go back to what my mother said, note that I am not at all denying inflation. I work in retail. I see it every day that I work. I am not at all denying high gas prices. I am halfway between 41 and 42 and I have never seen gas prices this high. I would be lying if I said I didn’t have any concern.

However, let’s consider this. Isn’t it when times are hardest that often people rise up and do the most good? I just finished listening to a biography of John Adams while driving. It’s amazing to hear about what these ordinary people did in the start of our nation’s history. Were they scared? Sure they were. If they weren’t, they were crazy. They were taking on the most powerful people at the time in the world, if not the most powerful ever.

We also know there were preachers who preached a sermon every Sunday and yet they had a bounty on their heads. They kept going. They weren’t letting their fear control them.

We could point to many other times in history. As Christians, we hold that the disciples were scared after the crucifixion of Jesus. Where would our world be if they had not lost that fear? Where would they be if they had stayed locked in that room even after the Holy Spirit came? I happen to also like the prayer in Acts 4 that they speak the Word of God with boldness. They still had fear and needed to overcome it.

Panicking about something really does us no good. With medication, matters are much easier for me and if that’s what it takes for you, that’s fine too. I also recommend the book by Pierce Taylor Hobbs called Struck Down But Not Destroyed. The book is the best book on anxiety I have ever read and if you want to know about the Facebook group he has for this, well, you need to read the book and then join it as he tells the name of the group in it.

I don’t know how many times in the past I knew i needed to get up early to do something and I would worry if i would get to sleep in time to get all the sleep I need. Want to know what happened? No, you don’t. You already know. Odds are you’ve been there. You don’t sleep nearly as well that night.

Panic doesn’t do any good. Concern is one thing, but if it drives you to do nothing, then it is useless. If you have any fear or anything of that sort, let it drive you to do something about it. After my separation from my ex, for example, I knew I could lie down and be the victim and let life walk all over me. That was a choice. However, I chose instead to not be a victim anymore, but to get up and live my life and make the most of it. As a lifelong gamer, I chose to play to win. Some people after a divorce want revenge on their ex.

Sue Grafton, for instance, is the mystery writer who wrote those books that were the alphabet mysteries like A Is For Alibi. How did she get started with this? Her divorce and custody battles left her so hurt she thought about ways to murder her ex and knew she was a law-abiding citizen and would never do it, so why not turn them into murder mysteries? It’s certainly a better outlet than committing actual murder.

Also, as a Christian, I have recently told two people who have come to me scared about something to consider a Babylon Bee headline. Lord God Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth, Omnipotent and Omniscient is Totally Caught Off Guard by XYZ. Put whatever you want in that blank. It will work the same way. When you hear it that way, if you’re a Christian, you can say, “Yeah. That is ridiculous.

I also think of the Heidelberg Catechism. While this Catechism is Protestant and more specifically Calvinistic and used to teach Calvinist doctrines, the first part, every Christian Protestant, Catholic, or Orthodox, should be able to affirm.

1. Q.
What is your only comfort
in life and death?
A.
That I am not my own,
but belong with body and soul,
both in life and in death,
to my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ.
This is in gaming terms the ultimate cheat code. Whatever happens to you, you win. Now you may not like it as it is happening or when it happens, but you will still win in the end.

So folks, when the next craze comes along, take it seriously if need be and take proper precautions, but don’t panic. It never does you any good and only makes you less effective to handle it. Stand up and face the problem. It’s hard to solve it if you’re running from it.

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

 

Book Plunge: When Helping Hurts

What do I think of Brian Fikkert and Steve Corbett’s book published by Moody? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

This is a book I read recently, but it is still fresh in my mind, and it’s the kind of book everyone interested in helping the poor needs to read. You might think I say, “All leftists need to read this book.” After all, I disagree with their policies economically, but you would be wrong partially. I do think all on the left need to, but so do all conservatives.

The authors make no bones about their being Christians, but I think even a non-Christian could agree with many practical aspects of this. The authors do go after many of the practices that we do today that we do in the name of helping the poor, but in fact, they really don’t help the poor.

Consider a simple solution we think we have. Just give them money. The problem is we have been doing this for decades and not only does it not help, sometimes, it also makes it worse. How so? Imagine this scenario that is not fake but really described in the book. A tribe of people regular give some of their best to the local deity that they think grants them blessings. What happens when they receive more money suddenly? Well, guess where the major portion of that goes to.

I can speak of this from experience as well. When I was married and we had to live on food stamps, I hated it. I would much rather have been in a situation where I was able to provide for myself rather than just have money thrown at me.

That leads to another problem this approach has. This gets people in the state of mind of being in a state of dependence and usually, it’s the rich western white male who has to come in and save the day. Part of the way of helping the poor is to enable them to realize they have the capacity to help themselves.

That also means listening to them. The story is told of a group that went to build a house for a pastor of a church. They didn’t listen and they put the bathroom in the center area of the house. The pastor is not sure he wants to live in his house. Why? Because in his culture, that is a shameful position for the bathroom to be in. Now you might think the pastor needs to just grow up or something like that, but that is also demeaning to that culture.

Ultimately, the solution is to help the poor but at the same time, help them to be a part of the solution insofar as that is possible. People are more willing to work at something if they have a reason to be invested in it. It is through this means that we can best help to alleviate the burden of poverty on people.

That also means listening to them. Just because you have a business degree from Harvard and an economics degree from Yale doesn’t mean you know the culture and way of life of the people you are talking to better than they do. What do they want? What drives them? What motivates them? These things need to be known.

Some of you may be wondering also about my asking people to donate while doing this. Is that contradictory? No. I’m not asking for handouts with donations, but more people saying they believe in the work that I am doing. The more I get, the more it frees me to be doing that work full-time.

It’s also important to note that all of this works because the problem people have is not just material. It is spiritual and relational. People need to be in better relation with themselves, with their neighbors, and with God. When we treat their problems as purely material and thus, more money is the fix, we neglect the multi-faceted reality of who these people are. We can sadly enable a culture of dependence which will make them worse.

If you care about the poor, get this book. If you’re not a Christian even, consider it and see if maybe a purely materialistic approach might not work. Could it be there is more to humanity than just the material?

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

Who Can Be Hitler?

What does it take to be so evil? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I have been reading a book about Hitler and the evil of his regime. The book is also looking at the possible influences that Hitler had. Something to be sure of is that Hitler was no idiot. He was very well-read. He believed strongly in the science of his day and was opposed to the Christianity that we have today. Many times he could say something different in public, but this was before he had the power that he had and like many politicians, he changed his phrasing to fit his audience.

Here are a few observations. First off, if we compare anyone to Hitler today, we really need to stop doing so. Okay. You don’t like Trump. Unless you can show me where he intentionally killed millions of people, the comparison is not valid. Okay. You don’t like Biden. Unless you can show me where he intentionally killed millions of people, the comparison is not valid. We minimize the evil of Hitler when we do this and we minimize the suffering of millions of Jews and others under this wicked man.

However, there is a far greater concern that should be had. Who could be the next Hitler? The concern I have here is I know exactly who it could be.

“Okay, Nick. Tell us who this next evil person is? Kamala Harris? Joe Biden? Donald Trump? Putin? Anthony Fauci? Who?”

You won’t like the answer. I don’t.

The answer of who could be the next one is you and me.

“But I don’t have the power that Hitler had!”

But what if you did? What if you found yourself in a position of power? We all would like to think we are using it for good. If we are, what could be wrong? Here’s the thing. Hitler was convinced he was using his power for good either. The advance of the German people was good for humanity in his mind and also in his mind, the destruction of people like the Jews was good for humanity.

How many people have been an employee in a business and thought “If I was a manager, I would treat my employees differently” and yet when they get to the power of being a manager, they act just like the people they condemned? I have seen it and I’m sure you have. Did the power really change these people? No. It just revealed what had already been there.

The question we have to ask ourselves is how do we treat our neighbor and sincerely in our heart of hearts. It’s easy to put on a face in front of people and treat them nicely when it’s in public, all the while despising them beneath. That is actually something Hitler did. He assured the churches nothing would happen to them, and immediately when he got into power he began breaking his word.

We all struggle with this to some extent. I have a saying I have shared before that if you want to know how much you love Jesus, look at the person you like the least. How much you love them is how much you really love Jesus. That person is just as much in the image of God as you are.

What can you do then? Learn to love your brother better. Realize the capacity to be Hitler is just as much in you as it was in Hitler. You can be that evil and if you were given power, who knows what you would do with it? Would you do great evil convincing yourself it was for the good of humanity?

If you also think this could never happen to you, then I fear that you are far more prone to have it happen to you.

What is the solution? The only solution I know of is the resurrection of Jesus and His life. It’s learning to love as He did. His ethic and life is the only hope we have. The next Hitler is indeed right here right now. We have met him. It is you and I.

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

Why This Series Matters

Why are we studying marriage in the Bible? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I was listening to a radio talk show yesterday with the host talking about what our enemies should do if they wanted to destroy America from within. I agreed with many of the statements that were made and think they are happening right now, but there was one glaring omission I was shocked didn’t make the list and that is what is happening right now. That omission is the destruction of the family unit.

Ultimately, the sexual revolution in this country was one of the worst things that ever happened. When the pill came, everything changed. No, this is not a blanket condemnation of contraception, but it is one of our lack of self-control. We actually believed in sex without consequences. The reason we did so was we had somehow already had a diminished view of sex and I do not know exactly where that began, but it started coming out a lot in the late 60’s.

It wasn’t a shock that the next step that came along was abortion. The most anti-feminine thing a woman can do is to have an abortion. It is an attack on the life of a human baby and it is an attack on her own body. Any woman who is truly a feminist should be 100% opposed to abortion other than saving the life of a mother in the case where the child will definitely die. Giving birth is one of the things that makes women completely unique, and that uniqueness is treated as a curse.

Around the time of Reagan, we had no-fault divorce come. This, unfortunately, made divorce even easier to come about and when people think marriage can be broken easily, they don’t treat it as seriously. Marriage was no longer seen as a permanent institution meant to be treated as till death do us part. There are too many divorces that don’t have biblical grounds. What happened to me is one such case.

Around this time also we had the GRID contagion spreading. You haven’t heard of that? Yes, you have. You know it as AIDS. It was originally called GRID, Gay-Related Immuno-Deficiency. The disease showed up primarily in homosexual men and in people using IV needles. Why change the name? Why, the original name would be offensive.

But this was the move being made. The book came out called After The Ball about how Americans will come to love and accept homosexuality in the 90’s. The playbook was followed perfectly. People didn’t even realize that their minds were being changed, but they were. Naturally, the media was the main methodology. I don’t just mean news stations. I mean TV shows, like Will And Grace.

In the past, if a movie had a “sex scene” it was a man and a woman going into a room and you’d hear a click as the door locked. You knew what was going on. Now, they have to show nearly everything. The internet has also increased the spread of pornography, one of the most dehumanizing things ever if not the most dehumanizing thing, even above slavery itself.

The homosexual movement keeps going and what do we have coming on then? We have to change what our idea of marriage is. Unfortunately, if you can change marriage to mean anything, then marriage essentially means nothing. People didn’t think enough about what made sex special and in turn, they didn’t think about what made marriage special. Marriage has become all about me and my happiness and not about the future of humanity and for Christians, the spread of the Kingdom.

As soon as that battle was won, the shift came immediately to transgenderism. After all, being a man and being a woman can’t mean anything either. If we say there is something objective about men and women that makes them different, well that hurts equality. We can’t have that. I get absolutely astounded today that I have to defend the fact that men and women are different.

Any time there’s a story about a boy causing trouble in a girls’ locker room, I am not surprised a bit. This is what happens. Unfortunately, you’re the bad guy if you point this out. Parents cheer when a boy is allowed to use the girls’ locker room, ignoring that the girls are absolutely terrified, and who can blame them?

I won’t deny there’s a personal element in this for me. Divorce hurts. It’s been the most hurtful thing I have ever been through and it causes me some pain every single day. Yes. I am recovering and yes, I have come a long way, but there is always healing to be done.

This is also to answer questions people have for me about remarriage. I plan on it. Is it biblical? I am convinced it is, but I am also pointing out my reasons for this. I also hope to stop more unbiblical divorces from taking place and to help those who have been unbiblically divorced, especially my fellow men who are often faced with pressure in a culture that says “Believe all women.” (Which is also very subjective depending on who the woman is.)

The family unit is a threat to anyone who wants to control society. It is a unit that is dependent on no one else save God alone. It is its own private little society. It doesn’t need the backing of the government to exist. It is separate from the state.

I want to see that unit protected and defended. I want to see it again embraced as a lifelong man-woman unit. I want to see the end of abortion and even the end of pornography. I want to see the honoring of marriage and unbiblical divorce condemned and those who are the victims being given comfort and grace. Too many men have told me that even years later, they are treated like they have committed an unpardonable sin.

The family is a unit created by God Himself and we should treat it that way. The family is meant to mirror the holy trinity. We mess with it only to our own peril.

That is why this matters.

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

Calling In On Abortion

Can you kill your child? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Yesterday I am at work going on my lunch break and driving to a local pizzeria. I turn on the radio and hear the local talk radio show talking about the abortion debate. On my way there, I hear a lady call in saying that she is a Trump conservative and agrees with many conservative policies, but is different on abortion. Now to be sure, whether you hate or love Trump is irrelevant to this point. This is just a woman giving credibility to what she’s saying.

On abortion, she thinks it is a terrible and horrible thing. She would never abort her own child. So far, so good. However, who is she to judge the other women out there? She doesn’t know their stories. She doesn’t know what’s going on in the lives of these other women or their health or financial situation. How can she ban that from them?

I realize she’s trying to pull emotional heartstrings and I’m sure with a lot of people, it works. It sounds so kind and loving and tolerant. You’re just looking out for other women. You’re not celebrating abortion or anything. You agree that it’s horrible, but what about those other women?

But I have to get lunch so I go in and enjoy my meal and get back and turn on the radio again and hear a lady calling in saying pretty much the same thing. She also adds that she doesn’t want the judgment on this left to men. At this, I figure while I’m heading back, I might as well call in. So I call in and get on and say I want to say something in response to those women calling with that kind of story.

“I think killing an infant is terrible and horrible. I would never ever kill my own infant. However, who am I to tell another woman what she can’t do in this situation? Who am I to pass that judgment? I don’t know their story or situation and what she does in her own privacy is her judgment and not mine.”

The host was a bit taken aback and asked me to say that again. When I did, then he realized what I was doing. I might listen back today to see if anything was said after I called in as I had to clock in. Before I left though, I also added that if you don’t want topics like this decided by men, that’s fine, but keep in mind Roe V. Wade was decided by a court of nine men.

These women calling in were wanting to be compassionate, but they weren’t. Compassion extends to the least of these, which especially means children. So-called compassion that ends in the killing of innocent children is not compassion. The best way to really help these women is by supporting them in their pregnancy and then in the raising of the child. Fortunately, there are several crisis pregnancy centers that do that.

In this debate, it’s easy to have your heartstrings pulled sometimes, but remember what is at stake, a human life.

It’s not compassionate to kill it.

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