What Is It?

Do we think about what things are anymore? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

If you are a cat owner, you understand the curiosity of a cat. Many times when I open my closet door to get out clothes for the day, my cat will just happen to wander in and I wait as he explores a little bit before he comes out again. After all, it’s been a few days since he’s been in there and something might have changed. Cats are curious. They want to know.

Yesterday, I wrote about how people don’t talk about what marriage is. Today, I saw someone post on Facebook Seth Dillon of the Babylon Bee asking why some people hate jokes more than child porn? This about Balenciaga and their advertising activity lately whereas the Babylon Bee can get banned on Twitter for a joke. I also had someone respond to my blog on TheologyWeb about how words like marriage are pretty much meaningless in our society today.

There is a case to be made that marriage is our third most meaningless word in society today. The others are God and love. When normal people talk about these terms, they never define them. They just talk about them as if everyone knows them when really hardly anyone does. The terms become whatever the speaker thinks they are.

Our culture sadly abandoned metaphysics long ago. Because of that, we no longer think of what things are. Why should we? After all, Kant came along and said we can’t know the things in themselves, but only how they appear to us.

Now it could be said that science is the exception to this. Don’t we go out and discover reality? That’s the goal, but that’s also the goal of most every other field out there as well, just done differently. Every field has its own methods, but each is aimed at truth to some degree.

Yet nowadays, even that has been lowered. A lot of people look at how “Follow the science” worked in 2020. We also see science being used to control in the case of something such as climate change controversies. We see how science is selectively ignored when it comes to abortion as all of a sudden, it does get closer to metaphysics supposedly asking “Well what is a person really?”

If we are the ones who are ultimately at the center of reality, then words are what will matter the most to us. If we determine reality, it goes a step further. It is not just what the person said, but how we feel about what the person said. It doesn’t matter what the other person meant to say. It is how we see the words that matters and if I see your words as violence, then they are violence.

This is especially the case in the area of sexuality. We talk a lot about the topic, but we don’t think about it. We don’t ask what it is, how it came to be, and what we should use it for. This is the last thing our culture wants to do.

After all, if you define something and talk about a purpose of it, you have to talk about a right and a wrong way to use it, and that cannot be allowed. We might  say “Well, we don’t allow XYZ yet”, but it’s easy to respond that we are allowing activities today that we never would have dreamed of allowing years ago. Every step that has been taken by those on the left to push the envelope has led to it being pushed further and further. It’s easy to claim the slippery slope fallacy, but the truth is sometimes slopes are slippery and people do fall down them.

What is needed in our culture? A return to learning what things are and to watch the terms that we use. Defining terms is not just good for debate, but it is also good for society. We use so many words without thinking about what they mean. Kierkegaard once said something about how we care so much about the freedom of speech, but think so little about the freedom of thought that gives our speech meaning.

Until we learn what we’re talking about, maybe it would be best to just not say anything at all.

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

Can A Same-Sex Attracted Person Be In Ministry?

If you struggle with same-sex attraction, can you serve in ministry? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

“Yes, Mom. If they have same-sex attraction, I believe 100% they can still be a pastor.”

I tend to reach out to my parents every night. Before I left for seminary, I got them an Echo Show. I use mine and call them and we can see one another and they can see Shiro and sometimes they show me their cat, Reagan. Neither of the cats really care for seeing one another and Shiro has never cared for seeing my parents and usually just keeps giving me kitty kisses while we’re talking.

Naturally, religious conversations come up and we were talking about the Methodist Church which they belong to. Their church is not budging on issues of sexual morality and does uphold the biblical view of marriage. However, my Mom was quite surprised to hear what I said.

“But isn’t that why our denomination is breaking away from the rest of it?”

No. It’s not. This is something that is a common misconception, but we definitely need to define our terms. For one thing, the more liberal churches are encouraging homosexual behavior and supporting that directly from the pulpit. If you have someone who is living a lifestyle and approving of it, then that is a problem.

I would say the same about a pastor who was involved in pornography or having a heterosexual affair or any other number of these types of sins. We need to treat it seriously. If a pastor struggles with porn, he should step down and get help and not return to the pulpit until he has his addiction under control and is no longer participating.

Keep in mind though, he could always in some ways be an addict to porn. That might not change, but what can change is what he has done with it. He is at the point where he knows that it is wrong and he is not participating and making excuses and likely has accountability software. (Actually, I think all pastors regardless should have that before taking a pulpit so their church can know.)

So what about someone with same-sex attraction? If they know that this is something wrong that the Bible condemns and they do not engage, then having the attraction and temptation is no sin. It is a problem for them to work on, but they are not doing anything wrong by having a temptation. They are still upholding biblical morality and Christian orthodoxy.

There are a number of Christians who do have this cross that they bear and I support. Sam Allberry, Christopher Yuan, and Wesley Hill come to mind. I would encourage Christians interested in this issue to also read Preston Sprinkle’s book People To Be Loved. Those who have this attraction and are living a celibate lifestyle should really be seen as examples exposing the myth that you have to be in a physically sexual relationship to be happy and the sufficiency of Jesus in all things.

So yes, I welcome them in ministry. They are my brothers and sisters.

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

Book Plunge for Fun: Casino Royale

What do I think of Ian Fleming’s classic work? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

My first major experience I remember with James Bond was Goldeneye. I had seen bits and pieces of movies at home, but my Dad and I went to see this one together in the theaters. It’s one reason that for me that Pierce Brosnan will always be James Bond. Naturally as a gamer, I played Goldeneye regularly on the 64 and even my youth group would come over and we’ve have gaming sessions. My older brother-in-law even got me together with two of his other friends for us to play all day long once. I was easily the youngest there, but thoroughly enjoyed myself.

My boss at the campus post office is a big James Bond fan and I don’t remember how it got started, but we were talking about Bond and I didn’t know he was such a fan. He let me borrow a copy of Casino Royale, the book that started it all. I had decided I would read a chapter a day or so. That would work fine.

Except it didn’t.

This was a book it was easy to read 100 pages a day. Bond is a fascinating figure to read about. As I think about it now also, you don’t have to have a lot of specialty knowledge in weaponry to understand it. The gun is a gun. Sure, he tells you what kind it is, but all I know is that it is a gun.

What is most fascinating is not really the action actually, but the way Bond works. It’s not the exterior of Bond that is the real draw. It’s the interior of Bond. It’s trying to get into his personality and see how he thinks. This is a man who wants to do what is good, but if he has to kill someone, well he has to kill them and oh well. He does it. It’s his job.

We can wonder about his attitude with that and my first inclination is to wonder if he is a sociopath, but he isn’t. It’s interesting to think of the contrast of James Bond as a playboy figure having alcoholic beverages, smoking cigarettes, gambling, sleeping with every woman he can, and yet being thoroughly dedicated to his craft as a spy and to the cause of his country.

The most intriguing one in this one, and I can’t say too much without spoiling it, is Bond’s relationship with women as he tends to keep them at a distance. As Bond is shown to think early in the book, women are just there for pleasure. He has the whole pattern set of how his relationships with women work and yet in the book, that pattern doesn’t seem to hold.

I really wish I could say more on that, but I can’t. I think I would spoil something if I say more and right now, I already wonder if I have spoiled something. I can say that this book is hard to put down when you get into it, and it does deliver. I’m still thinking regularly about what I read. If you are a Bond fan, you really do owe it to yourself to give the book a try.

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

What Really Hurts Children

What is the real danger to children? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Recently, I wrote about the hysteria that comes whenever any new piece of technology comes out. It’s always argued that this will lead to the children being corrupted. The reality comes and goes and there’s no major change. Most of us look at what happened with comic books in the past as silly today. Odds are years from now today’s fear will seem silly.

But yet, no one can deny that children are being hurt. Yes. We do have problems with children committing violence and we do have problems with sexual promiscuity in children. Children often do drugs and children struggle with suicide, depression, anxiety, self-harm, and suicide.

It’s really easy to blame this on the surrounding culture. It’s comic books! It’s TV! It’s movies! It’s music! It’s smartphones! It’s video games! It’s the internet! I am not denying that some of these can play a part, but there is something far more influential that comes beforehand that if this gets wrong, the others are far more likely to be hazardous to children. If this gets right, they are far less likely to be hazardous.

What children most need right is a stable family.

By this also, I mean that children living with a mother and a father both, and preferably their own biological parents. I realize that sometimes this can’t happen. I have a wonderful friend who’s a widower raising children on her own which is wonderful. A cause like being widowed suddenly due to a tragedy often cannot be helped.

Technically on my end, my sister is my step-sister as we have the same mother, but my mother left an abusive marriage and remarried my father and I come from that one, but my Dad has never treated my sister like any less of his own flesh and blood. I never got preferential treatment growing up that way. You could ask my sister and she would say the same thing.

Today, divorce is often prevalent because if the parents aren’t happy, well surely the children aren’t. Often, with a bad divorce, it doesn’t change the happiness of the children. Sometimes what they want most is their parents to work matters out and it can set the path for them to do the same.

If anyone thinks that’s what happened on my end, no. You can ask most anyone and I fought tooth and nail for my marriage and this was even when wise people told me I should seek divorce. I always said no. If it ended, it would be on her end, but I also told her when she was telling me she was going to divorce that I didn’t want her to do that, but if she sent me papers I would sign them. I wasn’t going to hold her hostage or anything.

Children can wrestle with abandonment over divorce and issues of trust. One reason I am sure of this personally besides my own reading on the topic is I am 42 and divorced and I still wrestle with this as a result of my divorce. It’s far harder when you’re a child who doesn’t have a fully developed cognitive faculty to know how to handle this or a whole worldview behind it. I remember the story of a man in his senior years who at the age of five had his Dad kill himself and he still wondered why his Dad didn’t want him.

Don’t think that just having the right parents is all that matters either. No. Invest in your children. If your children are engaging in media you think is harmful, talk to them about it. Find out why they like it. What are they really gaining out of it?

Don’t think also that if you’re in ministry, you can bypass this. You can’t. Some people can be so committed to ministry that they fail to be committed to their own families. I hate saying it, but Billy Graham was even like this. There’s an account of how he left his wife behind sick once because he had to preach somewhere. If children think your ministry matters more to you than they do, they are more prone to resent your ministry and the God that ministry is about.

Children need to be invested in. We can often think that if we take them to church every Sunday, which we should, then we’re okay, but it needs to be more. Christianity needs to be lived in the home. It needs to be shown. Christians need to do actions that will speak love to their children.

If this is actively going on, you have far less to be concerned about with the media around them. I have been in the world of video games since I was in kindergarten, and yet I have never had a violent streak or anything like that. I was a virgin until I married and will be one, God willing, until I marry again. I never use profanity and I have never had a drug problem. I have struggled with anxiety and depression, but overall, my upbringing has been very helpful for me.

Also, if you are someone alone raising a child, get them involved with someone who can be a role model of their own sex. If you are a man raising daughters, find a woman who is a role model for them and vice-versa for a woman raising sons. Let them know how they are to be.

Your children are yours and they are to be a great investment. You will be the greatest influence on their life. Use it well.

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

 

Thoughts and Feelings

Why do we confuse these two? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I remember I was in Bible College about two decades ago when I started noticing this trend. It was definitely going on before that. The first time it happened, I remember being in the student center and I don’t know if I was going to stay down there or just passing through and there was a sports talk program on and one commentator on a panel said to another, “How do you feel about that?” The other proceeded to talk about his opinions on the matter.

What has happened is we have taken the realm of feeling and made it be part of the realm of thinking. Nowadays, we often think that our feelings tell us something true about the world outside of us. This also affects how we do evangelism.

I used to have Jehovah’s Witnesses come to see me when my ex-wife and I lived in Knoxville together. The first few times, they would read a passage of Scripture and ask “How do you feel about that?” I would give some answer like “Happy.” Before too long, they came to realize they needed to ask me “What do you think about that?”

When I describe how I feel, I am talking about the emotional state I am in at the time. I can have thoughts about that emotional state, but the state itself is a feeling. When I am asked what I think, I am meant to give an idea. The idea could generate some feelings, but it is itself an idea. Confusing of these two leads to unclear language and consequences for how our society works today.

Consider evangelism. Often, we seem to rely on getting people to feel guilty about something. This is a Western approach that’s foreign to much of the world. Not only that, but many of us don’t feel guilty about things that are wrong and many of us do feel guilty about things that are not wrong.

The Bible does talk about guilt, but look at what it is really saying. It’s not describing an internal feeling. It’s describing an objective reality in that someone is guilty of wrongdoing or not. They could be fully guilty and have no “guilt” feeling whatsoever. How the person feels in this situation doesn’t matter.

Today, we are instructed to not do anything that will hurt someone’s feelings, which is an odd thing to do. How can I be responsible like that for someone’s emotions? We also have people who are convinced that they are of the opposite gender based on their feelings. If we live in a Christian culture where we point to feelings like guilt being “true” then we are put in a dangerous position when all of a sudden people have feelings that we know are not true, but on what grounds can we deny it? Feelings are true indicators of something when they point to what we want to be true?

Also, along these lines, no one can make you feel anything. You can’t make anyone feel anything. Asking how something makes you feel or telling someone they make you feel X or having them say it to you is nonsense. I can’t even make myself feel something all the time. How could I possibly do that to someone else? Now I can be a contributing factor, but no one is responsible for a feeling except the person who has that.

The first action here is find out if you agree with me on the opening point by just watching people in conversation. How many use think and feel like synonyms? Once you see it, you can’t unsee it. Then to start being clear with your words and realizing thoughts aren’t feelings and vice-versa. This is not saying one is superior to the other. Both have their purpose, but they are different.

Our second action though will be that while we do agree that someone feels something, and that they feel it cannot be disputed, what we can disagree with is if their feelings correspond to reality. We can strongly feel something that is false. We can not at all feel something that is true.

Ultimately, it all comes back to reality. Reality doesn’t care about how we feel. It should be our goal to try to live as real as possible and not to resist reality.

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

 

Words To The One Struggling With Porn

Is some of our advice just trite? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I saw him on a site I’m on making a post. He was scared he would be alone forever and sometimes gave in to the lust of the eyes. Is there any Scripture that can help when the temptation comes up?

The first thing I want to say here will sound shocking to some Christians, but that’s just that having a bunch of Bible verses will not work.  Am I denying power in Scripture? No, but I am saying that Scripture comes in as part of a worldview and needs to be understood from that worldview. This is why if you’re in a debate, just throwing out a Scripture won’t settle an issue the huge majority of the time because every Scripture is to be interpreted and will be in a context.

The view taken of Scripture that you just need verses is actually treating Scripture like it’s a magic book. If you just state the Scripture in temptation, it will dispel the temptation. If you use Scripture, you need to study the Scripture in-depth and have a whole theology worked out already. You need a worldview on how you see sex and marriage if you want to overcome pornography.

Second was someone who said that if you have Jesus, you’re never alone. I get what someone is saying when they say this and it’s meant to be encouraging, but it just doesn’t work. Even in the garden it was said it was not good for man to be alone, and this is when it was just Him and God. God made us for companionship. Even Jesus as He walked this Earth had friends with Him.

If you want to be married and love someone, then saying you have Jesus will not meet that desire. Of course, none of this is meant to down Jesus, but this is something we wouldn’t say in most any other circumstance. Just consider how it sounds in the following.

“Yes. I know you’ve been trying to have a child for a long time and it isn’t happening, but you do have Jesus.”

“Yes. I know that you don’t have money coming in and you have bills that you can’t pay, but you have Jesus.”

“Yes. I know that you’re hungry and you have nothing to eat, but you have Jesus.”

None of these meet the desires of the people involved. The intent I have no doubt is good to say this, but the receiving of it is quite painful to some people. Not only are the desires of their heart being pushed aside, but it can also tempt them to think that they’re ungrateful for what they do have.

So to get to some more practical suggestions, I encouraged this man to get some good software like Covenant Eyes or XXXChurch that can help block out pornography sites. Get some good friends that can hold him accountable and will do so. Get involved in a group like Celebrate Recovery. Get counseling.

I also pointed out that really, pornography does not make you a man, but if anything it makes you less than a man. After all, if you want to see a nude female body, before, you would need to go out and woo a woman and impress her. Even if it wasn’t all the way to marriage, it required some work and sacrifice and risk on your part. Today? Nah. Just make a few clicks on a computer or phone. You can get to see a woman, physically respond, and then feel like a man without any work required.

Unfortunately, the path of least resistance becomes the one we naturally take. Why do a risky thing when you can do a safe one? Another sad part also is that many guys who have done this wind up struggling with ED.

So what do you do? Get a few dating apps on your devices and work on meeting women. Go out to social events. I’m making it a point to go to them more often to get to meet people. That requires that I step out of my comfort zone, but it is worth it. Last night I went to a public event and I stayed long enough for the social gathering which involved sitting at tables having a meal, which for me on the spectrum is extremely unsettling for me, and yet I did it. I left after that because I needed to get a shower and fix dinner, but I did it.

Then, I told him to pray. We could pray for one another. Do I struggle with porn? By the grace of God, no, but I have my own struggles and I know that plenty of people do struggle with porn. They need to be shown love and at the same time guided to repentance.

Ultimately, as I said, one needs a worldview of sex and marriage. Then Scripture will be much more effective. It will fit into a whole worldview that you have already.

May God be with you if you struggle with porn and may you find repentance and deliverance.

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

The Failure of Bros

Is this due to “homophobia”? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I’ve seen on YouTube today a lot of talk about the failure of a movie called Bros. If you haven’t heard of this movie, it’s supposed to be a romantic comedy, but the lovers in this are a pair of men. This was the first of its kind and its fail was tremendous.

Billy Eichner, who is behind the movie, has sadly taken the lower path in handling this. Instead of looking at himself and looking at his movie and seeing why it is no one went to see it, he is instead blaming the audience. Why did it fail? It is because YOU must be a homophobe.

However, if that is the case, then even assuming everyone who saw the movie in America is gay, a lot of them even didn’t see it, so does that mean someone in the homosexual community is a homophobe? Eichner has also been on Twitter sending out regular tweets about this. Little tip here. If you want your audience to listen to you, it’s probably not a good idea to call them homophobes and anything else at the same time.

Well here are a lot of reasons most people didn’t go see this movie.

First, romcoms are normally meant for women. For the most part, men do not go to see romcoms unless their girlfriends or wives insist on it. Men would rather see an action flick of some kind. They want to see some fights, car chases, shootings, and something getting blown up. If they do go see a romcom, they want to at least see a beautiful woman in that movie.

A gay romcom has neither. No straight guy I know of wants to see two dudes getting it on together. Add in there are supposedly multiple orgies in this and we’re even less interested.

While men will go see action flicks wanting to be the man in the films, women go see romcoms because for the most part, they want to be romanced. They like the love story and it’s their kind of fairy tale. They are not interested in seeing two dudes either.

If you’re wanting men to go see your film, don’t make it a romcom.

Second, people don’t want to see something if they think they’re being preached to. Most people do not go to church for entertainment value and there’s a reason we’ve called a long message we don’t want to hear a sermon. There’s a reason we refer to a negative onslaught of what we ought to do as preaching. When people see a system they don’t want regularly put in their face, they lose interest. It’s the whole “Go woke, go broke.”

Consider how it is in superhero comics. Most people I know wouldn’t really care too much if someone wanted to make a gay superhero. What they don’t want is to take a traditional superhero who has never shown any inkling of being gay and then turning them gay to appeal to diversity. People go to comics for entertainment. They don’t go for politics.

Third, yes, a lot of people don’t agree with homosexuality, including myself, but it doesn’t do anything to call us all homophobes any more than calling non-Christians Christophobes is going to get them to repent or seriously examine Christianity. Instead of having any debate on the topic, instead, it is easier to just shout an insult at someone. It doesn’t help your side any.

That means when we go see a movie, we don’t want to see an orgy with a bunch of guys in it. That might appeal to the homosexual community, but not to heterosexual community. We also don’t care for a movie that tells us that we had a good run. You don’t tell us our time is done and then respond negatively when we choose to not show interest in you.

Ultimately, if people don’t like your work, no matter how passionate you are about it, you need to look to yourself. You will never have something that pleases everyone, but I have to do the same thing here. If people aren’t interacting with my content or taking it seriously, I have to look at myself mostly. Now there’s no harm in looking at my audience and asking what they want. I wrote about divorce for quite awhile, for instance, because I saw views were up on my blog when I did that. Give the people what they want.

If someone isn’t interested in my content, I can ask what I can do to make it interesting to them. I could look at my writing style or website presentation or anything else. The first place to start if someone doesn’t like my work is always with me. It is not with the audience.

So Billy, take a look at yourself. How passionate you are about the work doesn’t matter a bit. I can be super-passionate about selling overcoats, but it won’t work if I’m talking to people in the Middle East most likely. I can be super passionate about pork products, but it won’t work with Muslims or Orthodox Jews. Passion doesn’t equal success. Having a good product or service and then knowing your audience well and what they want does.

We just don’t want Bros. Time to accept that and move on.

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

Game Violence And Porn

Is there a difference? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I was watching a political commentator talk about the topic of pornography and faithfulness in marriage. Does watching pornography count as adultery and having an affair? It could be said you’re not having sex yourself, but you are watching simulated sex to some extent. Does this count as unfaithfulness to your marriage?

If you are married, I say 100% yes that it does. Some might say, “But we’re doing it together willingly.” Even so, then you are both breaking your vows together by inviting someone else into your bedroom. It’s a private place meant to be for the two of you.

When I was married, we lived this out. There was a time we had someone staying with us who was fleeing a hurricane in Florida. When it came night time and we went to sleep, I told him if you need anything, you can call us and let us know, but don’t come in there. That’s our private place. That rule was always upheld.

However, this is about a different issue. The commentator asked a different question briefly and I wanted to address it since it’s a real question and I believe asked in all sincerity and I have asked it myself. What about video games that involve killing? Is that engaging in actual killing?

At the start, I suspect war games have always been with us to some extent. Little boys grow up playing with toy weapons and I really have no reason to think it was different in ages past. I’m sure little boys back thousands of years ago dreamed of being fighters and soldiers and would play with one another. Boys do tend to be aggressive and we can roughhouse regularly.

Of course, girls do this also some as nowadays, a girl can grow up pretending she is Wonder Woman, for example. There are plenty of other female superheroes that girls can be like. When young children play pretend, they are assuming an interface of interaction where what they imagine is for the time being true. A little boy pretends he’s Superman and a little girl pretends she’s Wonder Woman and for the time being, they live out as if that is reality, knowing that it is not, but it is called pretend for a reason.

Now video games have provided that interface for us where when we play a game, we accept the reality of the game and to follow by the rules that the game has set for us. If you play a game as simple as Pong, you accept that you can only move your blocker in a certain direction and you have to score X number of points before your opponent does. If you play Mario Kart, you accept that you have to drive such and such a way on the track and that you can use power-ups on the field, but alas for you, so can your opponents.

So what about violence in games? Like the children playing pretend, people know it isn’t real. So when kids play a game in pure imagination and one of them “kills” the other, in the end they all get up and go about their own lives or play another game. They know it isn’t real.

However, I think what is really important to ask is why are you doing what you are doing? For most of us who play games, we don’t kill the enemy for the sake of killing itself. Now there is something good about the feeling of taking down a powerful boss in a game, but there’s also the sense of good vs evil and stopping an evil force from hurting others who are innocent.

That means it is not violence for the sake of violence, but violence to protect someone or something else. It is a battle for justice, much like going to war is supposed to be or self-defense. If there is anything tapped into inside of us, it is the idea that we want justice.

Now some have suggested that playing video games leads to violence. Unfortunately for those wanting to argue that, there is no hard correlation that has ever been found, but yet this has been assumed so long most people take it for granted. For those wanting a stronger case on this, I recommend reading Moral Combat: Why The War on Violent Video Games is Wrong.

Let’s also remember that this is not new. It just has a new target. When films started coming into their own, the exact same thing was said about them. Back in the 60’s, there was a war on comic books. I find it amazing that so many of my fellow political conservatives jump on these bandwagons.

Why is that? One of the ideas of conservatism is personal responsibility. We all accept that some people get dealt a hard hand in life, but like playing a card game, if you get a bad hand, well those are the cards you play with. You make the most of them and many people have and played very good games doing such and come out to be successful.

We say that if a man rapes a woman, he can’t blame the action on how the woman was dressed. If a couple gets pregnant, personal responsibility should be accepted and the baby brought to term. If you are able and capable, you need to be part of the working field and providing for yourself and your family.

Yet when it comes to people being violent, we try to blame anything else that is responsible for the violence, except, well, the person themselves. If anything, we should consider looking to what is often most immediate as influences first off before anything else, the family, realizing that this is not also hard-wired. What values and beliefs was a child raised with and how does that influence them?

I will present my own self as an example. I grew up in a Christian home and I was in church every Sunday and when I left home, that didn’t change. I have also played video games all my life and many of them involve combat and battle, yet I am the driver also who if it is safe, will hit the brakes before I hit a squirrel even and don’t relish the taking of life like that.

That doesn’t mean I’m opposed to combat. There is a time and place for it and if someone threatens me or someone I care about, I hope I will rise up to the challenge and take them on if need be. Had I grown up in a different environment and been raised a different way, I could have turned out very differently.

Now having said that, if you do have a problem with any sort of game and think it is wrong to play that game, then don’t do it. I have played Mortal Kombat with some friends before, but I could never do a fatality move. I don’t really like games that show a lot of blood in them. Gore is not appealing to me.

So how about pornography by contrast? When one watches porn, they watch because they want to see sex and sex they don’t really have a right to see. They want to take what is meant for the private sphere and put it in the public sphere. Sexuality is a means in itself and the person or persons being viewed are simply being viewed for their own pleasure and usage, which can affect easily how they see other people.

Not only that, but there is also reason to believe that many boys who grow up watching pornography can struggle with ED. Yes, I know porn is becoming a problem for girls watching it, but ED is not their struggle. It’s harder and harder to find men who are not affected as most of them have watched porn. I am thankful that by the grace of God I have avoided this temptation. It is a real one at times still, but it is overcomable.

But what about you? I have presented my thoughts on the matter of games and violence in them and about pornography. I am always interested in hearing what others have to say, especially my fellow gamers. Feel free to leave a comment.

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

 

Character Traits For A Seminarian

What kind of person do you need to be to go to seminary? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Suppose you’re wanting to go to a seminary or Bible College. What traits do you need? Here are some that come to mind.

First, you need to have good Christian character. In saying this, I am assuming you want to go to a theologically conservative seminary, although more and more I am thinking it needs to be politically conservative as well. This doesn’t mean you have to be perfect or none of us could go, but it needs to be something you’re striving for.

Already at my seminary, all the guys were brought together for a talk. The girls were as well, but since I wasn’t there, I can’t tell you what was said. One message given to us clearly was about the dangers of pornography. A good seminary will also have help available for you if are struggling with that.

We also hear regularly that when you start studying the Bible academically, it can be easy to lose sight of studying it devotionally. It’s easy to have personal Bible study and your prayer life falter. Be prepared to make sure that you are willing to do those things.

Next, you need to be a reader. For my first semester here, I have three classes and reading is a big part of them. I suspect before it is done there will have been around 2,500-3,000 pages read of schoolwork this semester for me. (Note I still do my own personal reading on the side.) You will also have to read books you don’t particularly care for at times. I remember telling people in Bible College that one of the complaints I had was they gave me books to read which kept me away from all the books I wanted to read.

Third, you will need to be someone who is diligent and willing to work hard. It will require a lot of effort. Yes. There are times where all of us turn on YouTube or Facebook for awhile and have to wrestle with that. You will also need to have the time to do other things like clean your place where you live, grocery shopping, and events like that.

Having said that though, please be someone who sets aside time for pure fun. Hang out with your fellow students. I am working on meeting my fellow students and if the opportunity arises, getting to date as well here. Seminary is hard work, but let it be a time of fun and enjoyment and build up Christian fellowship.

The fourth trait is you will need to be teachable. I do understand that you want to show your professors what you can do. At the same time, realize you can learn from them. It doesn’t mean you have to agree with them, but realize they came upon their positions seriously. Try to learn what you can from them. Form friendships with them.

Definitely, you need to be wanting to do ministry. It has to be something that is a high goal in your life in whatever field you’re going into. You will be studying for awhile and that requires a long-term commitment.

Note in all of this I have not said anything about a call or a subjective experience. That doesn’t mean there aren’t other qualifiers. I plan on posting on those perhaps tomorrow, but if you want to go get an education in the ministry field, then consider working on these. (And really, most of us could bear to work on them regardless anyway.)

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

Dating: The Second Quest

How do you do this the second time around? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

When I was married, one thing I was thankful for was I would never have to worry about dating again. I don’t mean dating my wife, I would always do that. I meant going out and asking girls out and having to see if a girl was the right one for me or not. Nope. Done with that.

Now as I write this, I think about the original Legend of Zelda. When the game was over, you were allowed to go on a second more difficult quest. At this point, I think I am on that more difficult quest.

I spent a decade or so with my ex and didn’t have money or a chance to build up money. Now I have built up a good amount of money, but still not the amount I would like to have built up. It’s a leap of faith of sorts to go to seminary, one reason I keep sharing my Patreon hoping to get support, and now that I’m here, one of my goals is to find a wife again. That also requires being able to provide.

Generally, I rule out someone who has kids then. It’s not because I’m opposed to them. I really want them. It’s because right now I know I can’t provide for kids. That sadly rules out a lot of people around my age.

I also do want to get someone young enough that if we want to, we can have children, and I assume we will want to as I don’t want to marry someone who doesn’t want to have kids. I am only marrying a Christian, naturally, and I want to stay close to my political side in a spouse as well. However, there is the problem with me being divorced too.

Generally, that can be seen as a scarlet letter. Add in for me also that I try to be honest. I know I’m not the most handsome guy in the world, but I’m not the ugliest either. Still, a girl has to accept that and accept my oddities with being on the spectrum. How do I explain my unique diet to someone else? If I dated a fellow Aspie, that could be easier, but that’s even harder to find.

Not only that, but when I send out a like on a dating site or app and don’t get anything back or start talking and get ghosted, it’s like the rejection of divorce again. Rejection is really hard and as an Aspie, it’s hard for me to make the first move, as much as I think I am the one who has to. I do step out of my comfort zone, but it is painful.

I also wonder about the whole process. What will it be like? What will it be like to kiss another girl? What will it be like to tell another girl I love her someday? It’s said the ghost of your ex always haunts your future relationships. I wonder how it will.

I also have set up firm boundaries. A friend brought me a Legend of Zelda doormat that I shared on Amazon saying I wanted. He asked me what a girl would think if she came over to my apartment and saw it. I said she’s not coming over. I’m not coming to hers either, at least if she’s home alone. I know my temptations. I also don’t ride in a car with a woman I’m not dating or not related to.

Add in also I’m very socially unaware. I could have girl flirting at me full throttle and I might not even notice it. It’s one reason I’ve hoped that I could gather wingmen here who would be able to clue me in on if a girl is interested in me or not.

I have heard though that there is such a thing as Aspie speed dating around here. It’s not my favorite format, but it beats nothing. It would be great to find a conservative Christian on the spectrum.

I look forward to the results one day, but for now, I hate the process. Perhaps once I find a good girl to date and start doing that, it will be a lot easier, but getting there is something I don’t care for. Again, I could easily turn to anger, but I am working hard to not do that. Resentment doesn’t hurt my ex and only hurts me. When I tell you all I pray for her, I mean it.

And keep praying for me in this. Pray that I can get enough work and/or Patreon donors to make a good living here and that love will come my way.

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

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