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)

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.

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.

On The Rioters

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

By now, everyone should know about the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. If you don’t know about this, I can only assume you’ve been in a coma and are just now waking up and for some reason my blog is the first thing you want to read. If so, I appreciate it, but you need to just take a minute and turn on any news station and you’ll hear about this immediately. This is such big news now that I’m hardly hearing anything about Coronavirus any more.

So now some people are looking at this awful death that took place and are out there saying they’re demanding justice. Nothing says that like tearing up cities that had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the event. Right now, I am hearing from so many people that “We need to listen to the oppressed.” Oppressed people usually don’t have the means to destroy historical landmarks and break into stores and steal items they want or break into Planet Fitness and actually start using the workout equipment.

Furthermore, if you want me to hear, I need to hear more than just that you’re offended about something. I need you to give me real data that there is a real problem and not just that you think that there is. I also need to hear a realistic solution you want to see and not only one you want to see, but a way to get there.

However, if I see you going out and rioting, then I no longer see you as the oppressed. I see you as the oppressor at that point. After all, this event happened in Minneapolis and I write this just outside of Atlanta that had NOTHING to do with what happened, and yet we have rioters gathering. I remember reading one night about the College Football Hall of Fame being looted.

I don’t even care about football a bit and yet that bothered me. I couldn’t tell you a single college football player on the field right now, but I know that in that place there is some history and it matters to a lot of people. I know about other losses that have taken place.

I know about Historic St. John’s Church in Washington D.C. being attacked and firefighters having to put out the flames. I know about the Lincoln Memorial and about the World War II Memorial being vandalized. (Strange that rioters complaining about a black man being killed have no problem vandalizing a memorial dedicated to a man who freed the slaves.) I know about the black business owner in Minneapolis who owned a sports bar that he put his life savings into and he had to start a GoFundMe.

I can already hear the pushback though.

“Nick! These are all businesses! These are landmarks! I’ll grant you it’s horrible, but it doesn’t replace human life!”

That’s true. Human life is first. So let’s talk about human life. How about this one?

This is Dave Patrick Underwood. He’s a law enforcement officer who was shot and killed during a riot in Oakland. If rioters say they care about life and justice, then what about this life? What about justice for Underwood? Right now, he’s actually the only one I know about. There could be more and I am sure if this keeps up and he is the only one now, he is the first of many.

Wanting justice is a good thing, but wanting justice by doing injustice to others is not a good thing. No one is denying a right to protest. Whether I agree with your reason for protest is irrelevant. If some Georgians wanted to gather to protest the Heartbeat Bill here in Georgia, that is their right. I would think they are 100% in the wrong, but I would defend 100% their right to protest.

In this case, yes, I think the original police officers did a great evil. Also, here in America, I think they should get justice like everyone else. They should have a trial and get to present their case and be treated accordingly based on the evidence.

It has been a long time since I watched Batman Begins, but I read about a scene in it recently where Ducard orders Bruce Wayne to kill someone. Bruce will not do it without trying the man with a trial first. Ducard tells him that his enemies will not share that sentiment. Bruce responds that that’s what will separate him from them.

Right now, I know at least one officer has been arrested. Let him have a trial and be dealt with accordingly by the law. Unfortunately, what is going on now is just more injustice and more innocents are being hurt by it.

What about racism? Racism is a great evil wherever it takes place. Race is one of the central facts about who a person is and is something sacred. Rob Bell is definitely out there these days, but one quote I remember from Love Wins is that heaven will be a hard place for a racist to be. I think he’s absolutely right with that one. (This is in no way an endorsement of his teachings. It’s just acknowledging he got something right.)

At the same time, I have not seen the hard evidence any of the police officers who did this evil were doing it because of racism. It has just been assumed. I am not saying it isn’t racism. It could be. I am saying we don’t know.

However, what concerns me more is the narrative of racism. No one is denying that racism exists in this country. It always will. As long as there are sinful human beings around, some of those sinful humans will be racists. They exist in all races and groups as well. Anyone of us can succumb to that kind of thinking. No one is immune.

However, I also do not think it is the norm. The majority of Americans today do not live with a racist mindset. While I will grant I cannot prove this, I do not have any reason to believe it. If this is right though, then we have a problem where racism is treated like the norm instead of the exception. With that, we have what is believed to be a spark of racism and the world today pours gasoline on it.

That is far more concerning honestly.

I also think the media loves the stories that look like racism. The “Hands up, don’t shoot” was never true, and yet it was paraded around as racism. As a conservative, every Republican I see running for president has been proclaimed to be a racist repeatedly. After the first few dozen times, the cry just loses its effect.

How’s it going to end? Rioting won’t end it. If anything will end it, it’s the gospel. It’s changing people through the love of Christ. It’s recognizing everyone of every race is fully made in the image of God.

I have no delusions that the riots will end because I post this, but I can hope that someone might give up or might persuade someone else to not go out and do this rioting. I can dream.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Book Plunge: The African-American Guide to the Bible

What do I think about Dr. H.C. Felder’s book published by Christian Faith Publishing? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Let me say at the start that I am not an African-American. I am very much white. However, I know there are many people in the black community that do struggle with the Bible due to issues in it such as slavery and how it has been seen as a white man’s religion. When I lived in Charlotte, I used to hear some of Felder’s shows on the radio and so I wanted to get his book to see what he would say from his experience about these kinds of issues.

There was also another concern of mine. I had a fear that the approach would also somehow demean other races throughout and I had a hope that that would not happen. I am happy to say that Felder’s book does not do that. I did not feel at all attacked as a white person reading this book.

Let’s start with some nitpicky issues and such I disagreed with on the way and get those out of the way. As one who defended Mike Licona when Geisler went after him, I did think at times there was too much dependence on Geisler in the work. I would have liked to have seen interaction with scholars who specialize in the Bible more.

One such indication of that influence is on p. 145. In speaking of Genesis 2 and the reference to Cush, Felder says there is no reason to take the reference as symbolic. That right there is a pretty big assumption. Maybe there is. Can we be absolutely certain we know so much about the text that we can rule that out? I’m not stating that I think it is symbolic, but if someone can make a case, let’s be open to it. From there, Felder goes on to say that if we start taking those places as symbolic, how do we determine what is and isn’t symbolic? Maybe all of the creation account is. Maybe then the fall of man is negated and there’s no need for a savior and Christianity is false without a literal understanding of Genesis.

Which would mean that we have a strong case from the New Testament that Jesus was resurrected from the dead in the body and was fully God and fully man, but we might not be sure because Genesis isn’t literal? Not buying it. I don’t need a fully literal (Whatever that means) Genesis to know that man is fallen. I can see that turning on the evening news or just looking in myself. Felder even speaks in this paragraph of the slippery slope and it’s the one Geisler raised as well.

On p. 42, Felder also says that the disciples became martyrs for their faith. Some of them did, but in all honesty, we don’t have the best historical testimony for all of them. Sean McDowell spoke of this well in his book The Fate of the Apostles, a book I interviewed him on on my own show.

I also found the section on prophecy lacking as an orthodox Preterist, particularly the idea that the return of the people to Israel in 1948 was a fulfillment. Last I checked, that was supposed to be preceded by national repentance, not followed by it.

So now, let’s go to the positives. Felder does look at the issues very seriously. The discussions about race and such are all interesting. He shows that there were people of color, not necessarily black, but people of color, all throughout the Bible. We have had a tendency to “whitewash” the Bible as it were when we make movies and the like.

The discussion about race is quite eye-opening as Felder spends a good deal of time looking at what race is. This involves a look at it in ways I had never thought about before. It’s not a really cut and dried question and I leave that for interested readers.

There is good material on slavery as well. Those who are concerned about the issue I think will find good support here. Felder naturally speaks with a heart on this being from a people that in the past 200 years experienced slavery in this country.

Felder also answers objections such as why is it that the white man seemed to thrive while the black men didn’t? Don’t blacks routinely score lower on IQ tests? Aren’t there differences in the races since blacks are more prone to getting certain diseases? Felder does leave food for thought in all of this.

Still, I think overall as I’ve indicated, the Biblical looks are the most interesting. Felder goes through the testaments and shows who could be seen as people of color in the passages. He goes to great lengths to show that racism has no place in the life of any Christian. What is good about this is that it is clear no race as we put it is superior. Blacks, whites, Asians, Indians, Eskimos, whatever race you want to talk about, none are superior and none are inferior.

While this book is meant for the African-American community, I think it will benefit those of all races. Those who are white like myself could read it and get a perspective on what it is like to be of another race and see how the Bible is seen from that perspective. In the end, I appreciated the read and I hope you will too.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Royce Mann. I’m Sorry.

Do we need to apologize? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Sunday while heading home, my wife and I heard a story on the radio. It involved a 14 year-old who won a prize for best poem. When I heard what he was saying, I was aghast. It was so horrifying to think that someone was already living with this kind of idea. You can read about the story here.

I will quote what the cite has as well from the “poem.”

“Dear women, I’m sorry. Dear black people, I’m sorry. Dear Asian-Americans, dear Native Americans, dear immigrants who came here seeking a better life, I’m sorry,” Royce recited. “Dear everyone who isn’t a middle or upper-class white boy, I’m sorry. I have started life on the top of the ladder while you were born on the first rung.”

“When I was born I had a success story already written for me. You — you were given a pen and no paper,” he continued. “I know it wasn’t us 8th-grade white boys who created this system, but we profit from it every day.

“Dear white boys: I’m not sorry,” Royce declared. “I don’t care if you think the feminists are taking over the world, that the Black Lives Matter movement has gotten a little too strong, because that’s bulls—. I get that change can be scary, but equality shouldn’t be. Hey white boys: It’s time to act like a woman. To be strong and make a difference. It’s time to let go of that fear. It’s time to take that ladder and turn it into a bridge.”

“I know it wasn’t us eighth grade white boys who created this system, but we profit from it every day. We don’t notice these privileges though, because they don’t come in the form of things we gain, but rather the lack of injustices that we endure.”

Seeing all of this, it got me to want to give my own apology as well.

To Royce Mann,

I’m sorry. I’m sorry that you have bought into a lie about our great American country. I’m sorry that you think that if you are being successful, it’s not because of the work of you or one of your ancestors, but because you had to be privileged in some way. I’m sorry that you don’t realize that even before the passing of the Civil Rights Act, that the black community was working and growing and building themselves up.

I’m sorry that you think you have to apologize for your existence. You have done nothing wrong. Even if you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth, that is not wrong. You could use your wealth then to benefit others which is a fine usage of wealth.

I’m sorry that you don’t realize that in this country, you can work and be a success. Even if it’s harder for you, you can do it. My wife and I both have Aspergers, but I sure don’t plan to let that hold me back. If anything, it’s something I want to embrace because it’s part of the uniqueness of who we are.

I’m sorry that you have been lied to by the school district. I see that you have to take a class called “race, class, and gender.” I’m sorry to hear that. I’m sorry to hear the schools are moving away from subjects of reading, writing, and arithmetic. I’m sorry that they’re more interested in producing people that think like them instead of people that think.

I’m sorry that your parents aren’t doing anything to stop you from thinking you need to apologize for your existence. You don’t. You do not need to suffer guilt for how or where you were born. What you can do is to decide how you’re going to make the best of it for everyone else.

I’m sorry that you don’t realize you’re in turn being condescending. You’re saying that you have everything you need for success but minority groups don’t so you need to give them sympathy. Why? Are you saying they’re incapable of working hard and succeeding? If so, why would you think that?

I’m also sorry that you did not truly get a reward. Oh I know you took first place, but it wasn’t for you. It was for your judges. They wanted to celebrate that they are so awesome that they produced someone who can say that like you. They see you as a success of their “teaching” instead of someone who is thinking originally.

I’m sorry you have not familiarized yourself with the great poets of the past. You could greatly benefit by reading them. Go back several centuries and read what is there.

I’m sorry you have a problem with being a man as well. Why should a man act like a woman? Your society has sought to feminize you. That’s why we have things like sports games with no winners and look at any act of aggression as one of the worst sins ever. I’m sorry you’ve been a victim of that.

What I’m not sorry about though is that this is America. You can learn from this. You can grow from this. You can study and work hard. I recommend you take advantage of a place called a library. Go and read history about race relations and such. Read about the original women’s suffrage movement here in America.

You should also realize that success is not a crime. In the past, people who were successes would be held up as examples for everyone to follow. Today, it’s still hard to work to be a success, so we usually prefer pulling other people down. We prefer to look for ways that they cheated the system rather than do the hard work ourselves.

It’s understandable really. My work is in apologetics. There are many times I would rather be doing some other things for myself. Of course, we have to take time for play and relaxation, but we can take too much at times. I like to read, but at the same time I sometimes have to work to get myself to read. You know what though? It’s worth it. It’s worth it when I realize that when push comes to shove that I can contribute and that I can be looked up to and admired. It’s worth it when I get to have the chance to get to talk to some of the greatest scholars out there regularly for my show.

Royce. I can tell you that when I was getting ready to go to college, I was told to not go into ministry. You know why? Because I could not handle public speaking. It would be too difficult for me. I should go into engineering or something like that. Nothing against engineering, but I had no passion there. What happened? I went into ministry.

You know what? When I was a senior in Bible College, I gave a senior sermon. That was preached to about 1,000 people. I had no problem with it. Even a year later people were still complimenting me on that sermon. I wish my detractors had been there to see it.

I would also sometimes speak at the Sunday night services. Normally, we were to speak for 15-20 minutes. I spoke for 45 and no one ever complained. Students stayed afterwards even to talk about the Bible.

I have also done a number of debates and I look forward to my next one not knowing when and where it will be. At some other churches I have preached and taught lessons. It’s always a joy. I even spoke at a church once after having my gallbladder removed. I had to have a friend drive me there and to sit the whole time since I couldn’t stand, but it was worth it because I love teaching.

It would be easy to make excuses Royce, but excuses don’t make anything except more failure. It would be easy to blame others, but it won’t change them and it will only make me bitter. In fact, I could say that maybe I do have some natural talents, like a natural inclination towards intelligence, but that doesn’t change the fact that I have to work with that intelligence still.

You see Royce, you do have to work ultimately to be a success. This comes in everything you do in life. I am married right now and I love my wife, but sometimes it is work. You know why? Because my natural inclination is to be a selfish individual that focuses mainly on myself. Being married reminds me of that constantly. I have to learn to die to myself. I have to learn to put my wants aside especially when it comes to my wife’s needs. You know what? It’s worth it. It is so very worth it. My wife is an absolute treasure to me and I really have no mercy on those who hurt her. The worst thing anyone can do to me is to hurt my wife.

As I sit here, I’m surrounded by books. Most of them I have read. I regularly go to the library and read books. For my podcast, I get in touch with major publishers and read the books that they send me and get the authors on my show. That takes time, but it is worth it.

And you know what? You can do the same thing. If you want to make the world a better place, well that’s wonderful, but you’re not going to do it by tearing yourself down. Build others up, and you won’t do that by having them keep think they’re victims of birth. Show them not by an apology but by living a life of success. You don’t benefit anyone by refusing to use the gifts you have to the best of your ability. You don’t benefit anyone either by trying to get them to think that the reason they’re not succeeding in America is because the system is rigged against them.

Stop the apology tour. It helps no one. Start living a life of success. I will be striving to do the same all the more. The best way you can help others is not by having them think they’re victims. It’s by encouraging them to see themselves as successes in the making. Which one are you doing?

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Of Clorox And Wimps

Have we created a society of wimps? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Recently, a news story came out involving Clorox Bleach. Apple had come out with a long list of Emojis. For those who don’t know, these are little icons that you can use when messaging someone. Clorox had a bottle of Clorox with all the Emojis on it with the following quote in a tweet:

“New emojis are alright but where’s the bleach.”

Now if you happen to be a normal rational person on planet Earth, you see that Clorox has just looked at a list of emojis which includes one of several household items and asked where bleach was. Unfortunately, Earth is filled with many people who aren’t normal and rational.

That is because this tweet was said to be racist.

Yes. You heard that right. Racist.

Why was it racist? Because there were emojis also of people with skin of different colors. The assumption being that surely, the PR person at Clorox was secretly a racist and sent out a message saying that the list of emojis needed to be bleached to get rid of all of that and return us to white skin. Clorox explained further they were speaking about objects in there that are usually messy or cause messes, like a bathtub or red wine.

Leave it to the offended crowd to not see that.

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Unfortunately, Clorox caved with an apology. What would have been better in the adult world, is to simply ignore people who are whiners. Give them more attention and they keep going this route. Our world is unfortunately getting more and more full of people who think the worst possible thing that you can do is to offend someone and that if you have offended someone, then you must make up for it in spades.

This is an ideology that as Christians we must fight.

Now let’s state something at the start. I am not at all suggesting that we should seek to be offensive in everything. While I do believe often in hard-hitting apologetics, I do not believe in offending for the sake of offending. I consider it more like if stepping on your toes is the only way to get you to move, then I will step as hard as I can. I am more concerned about getting you to the Gospel or protecting those who already believe the Gospel than I am about your feelings. We are getting closer and closer to a time where if we keep this up, the government will be increasingly used to protect peoples’ feelings.

If this is you, then just grow up.

You might not being able to help being offended. In fact, many times, you should feel offended about things, and if you are, there can be appropriate responses to that, but you do not police the world looking for things that offend you and in fact reading meaning into statements and deciding that if you think it is offensive, then the other person surely intended to be offensive. Try to practice some charitable interpretation. Do not assume the worst possible thing about what someone says. Of course, the worst possible thing could possibly be true, but there is no reason to assume it.

Why is this our enemy? Because the Gospel is guaranteed to be offensive. You really like being told you’re a sinner? I’m a Christian as it is, and I don’t like being told that message a lot of times. It is painful to be told that you are doing something wrong. It is painful to be told that something you are doing is sinful. It is painful to have to repent for something. These are meant for our joy in the long-term and to lead us to be happy and holy people, but they sting at the time. As the writer of Hebrews says, no discipline seems pleasant when we are going through it.

If we are to be ministers of the Gospel, we must build up our resolve and ignore passive-aggressive behavior like that. People are often going to try to guilt us into things. This is why I try to tell people, and even I slip up at this from time to time, is that no one can make you feel anything. You cannot make yourself feel happy. If you were feeling miserable, you’re not just going to say “I will feel happy now” and then feel happy. It will take work on your part. I do think you can get yourself to that point, but it will take work. It is a mistake then when you go to people, and this can often happen in marriage and again I am often guilty, and say “You made me feel angry when you did this” or something similar. It makes more sense to say “When you do X, I feel angry.” Now it could be that the other person did indeed do something wrong and has an issue to work on. It could also be you are way too sensitive and then you have an issue you need to work on. In some cases, it could be both.

And could that partially be what is behind this? We are living in an era where people do not want to take responsibility for their actions? We think that if you have sex, you should not be responsible for some outcomes, such as pregnancy. We do not encourage overcoming. This is also seen in the message of the problem of bullying. Bullies are not going to go away. Sorry. As long as there are people, some of those people will be jerks. Now should we try to stop that behavior? Sure. The number one thing we should be doing is making sure the behavior is irrelevant so people don’t even bother doing that. Bullies do what they do because they get the response that they want. When people are scared of them, they thrive.

How about building up victims instead? Instead of painting them as victims, let them see themselves as overcomers. They can overcome the bullies, but it will take work. Some cases could take a lot of work and they could take therapy in some cases. That’s okay. We need to be kind and encouraging at these times and let people work out any emotional issues that they have, but in doing this, we are empowering them to be stronger. If we are Christians, this is imperative, because we have to do that which shows that we are truly conquerors in Christ. We bear the image of God. We are to rule for Him. How dare we think we are going to be nothing. How can we possibly lower ourselves when God does so much to raise us up?

When you see the victim culture, do not give in and do not accept responsibility for their feelings. You can accept responsibility if you do wrong, and indeed you should. If someone misunderstands you, you can say you are sorry they thought such a thing and if you need to be clearer, you can do that, but a person who is truly someone worth it will also be interested in that relationship with you. People who are just trying to guilt you are not people you need to waste time on. To offend someone is not the end of the world. Offenses will come and sometimes they will be necessary. It is our choice how we respond to them.

We should be adults. Let’s stop being children.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Death Of An Innocent Black Child

How many more innocent are we going to let die at the hands of those who are meant to take care of us? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

Okay. We’re all talking about Missouri now. There are many of us who have a strong outrage. After all, we have to witness the shedding of blood that is innocent way too often. It is especially tragic when it happens to a child. Even more tragic is that death comes at the hands of those who we pay with our own tax dollars to provide their service for us. They’re in the field that is supposed to take care of us and fight for the preservation of life.

And yet, it looks like the tool that they wield is wielded not for the preservation of life but for the destruction of life and what is the result? There are a mother and father who have a child that does not get to live the life that we would all hope that a child would get to live. Why do we even defend this action that involves taking the life of a child from a mother and a father?

Of course, it doesn’t help that the victim is black and the killer is white. Surely this should show that in our country, we are in a position of intense racial division. No doubt, this is a story that is worthy of all the major news networks as it really shows how little attention we give to the goodness of life in this country, yet hardly anyone is talking about this important story really.

What? You mean everyone is talking about this story? You mean there are riots going on in Ferguson now over the death of Michael Brown?

Oh. Well I wasn’t talking about that.

You see, what I was talking about was the report that came out on 11/26/2014 that since that death, there have been 981 black babies killed in the state of Missouri. Now the death of anyone should give us sadness on some level, but if the death of Michael Brown will bring this level of sadness, where is the outrage that 981 other black children have died in Missouri?

I’m not here to comment on the rightness or wrongness of the Brown indictment. I save that for those who have spent more time following the events, but I am wanting to comment that we have got so used to the death of babies in our country that it goes on around us constantly and we don’t even bat an eye any more.

Exactly how cold have we become?

Of course, I’m not encouraging rioting. That is not the answer. Still, it would be nice if some Christians had the same passion about defending the life of the unborn as many people in Ferguson have about providing vengeance (rightly or wrongly) for the death of Michael Brown. It is a sad state of affairs when we in this country who call on the name of Christ have less passion for our Lord than the world does for its causes. If people deem Michael Brown worthy of a riot, then surely we can at least say Jesus Christ should be deemed worthy of getting yourself out of your pew and actually doing something about the subject of abortion.

We can condemn the actions going on in Ferguson, and to be clear, I think we should, but let us also condemn any passivity on our part. Why is it the way abortion and the rest of America is the way it is today? It’s because we who call Jesus our Lord and claim that He is the sovereign of all and we owe our very lives to Him tend to due next to nothing whatsoever for Him.

Christian. Jesus didn’t call you to just sit in a pew on Sunday and be a “good person.” He called you to go out and be salt and light in the world. He called you to shine in the darkness and to spread the Kingdom of God. Either you are doing that today or you’re not. If you are, God bless you and continue to do more. If you’re not, then maybe you should examine yourself and see what it means when you say Jesus is Lord. I’m not saying see your salvation in jeopardy, but perhaps you should see if you’re really doing with your actions what your mouth proclaims in church on Sunday.

If you want to see the silent holocaust in America end, it’s not an option to sit and wait for someone else to do something. Do today what you can do.

In Christ,
Nick Peters