Concerning Allison Mack

What do you say when someone has ruined their life? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I loved Smallville when it was on and today, I’m still a source of information about the incredible show. Also, if there was any character on the show that got my attention, it was Chloe Sullivan, played by actress Allison Mack. What can I say? I always liked girls that looked really smart and Chloe was sensational to me. One of the greatest gifts Smallville did was it gave the Superman story Chloe.

A few years ago, Mack got involved with a sex cult and was recently sentenced for that. That story hit me a bit thinking about it. I knew it had happened, but I did try to pay attention when I saw something about it. While I definitely care about the victims, I also do care about the people who did wrong and how they messed up their lives. I looked to see if I could send a message to someone like that in prison and found no way and then thought, “Why not say whatever I would say in a blog?”

So here is what I would say if I got a chance to write a letter to her.

Dear Allison Mack,

When I was in my early 20’s, the show Smallville was being announced. I didn’t have much interest in it when it was being advertised, but I came downstairs one day while my Dad was watching Season 1, Episode 3, Hothead, where I saw the Dad from the Wonder Years having flames shooting from sprinklers on a football field and you upstairs taking pictures. I was intrigued from that point on and from then on my Dad and I watched every episode together. It was really a bonding moment for us.

During the premier of Season 4, there’s a joke that my grandmother called and wanted to talk to one of us and my Mom said “They’re watching their program together. They’ll call you back.” She said, “Tell them I’m having a heart attack.” We knew she wasn’t, but the reply was “Call her an ambulance and we’ll come to the hospital when the episode is ended.”

My family also knew that you were my TV crush at the time. I didn’t have a lot of them, but I definitely paid attention when you showed up on the screen. I never understood why Clark went gaga over Lana when I definitely would have preferred you any day of the week. Anyone who knew me knew that I had a major crush on you. That lasted until I met someone that I did marry.

Even when I moved out to an apartment not to far from my parents’ house, my Dad would still come over for Smallville nights. When I moved to the city of Charlotte away from my home state of Tennessee, that changed. Still, I was watching every night and my friend, Chris, from seminary would join me. He was thrilled when he found I also loved the show and we were both there to watch the series finale together.

Here we are years later and what do I hear on the news but that you’re going to prison because of being involved in a sex cult and the horrible way you treated some victims. I even remember hearing Michael Rosenbaum in an interview talking about how you seemed to behave differently one time after joining the group. Part of me really wonders why. Why do it? Why get involved in that group? Didn’t you realize that what you were doing was horribly wrong?

On the other hand, as someone who deals with cults on a regular basis and has seen the power of delusion, I try to understand. If any of us thinks that he could never fall for a stupendous lie or commit a great wrong, then we have already taken the first step to doing that. I wish I knew what happened in your life that you thought you needed to find fulfillment in this movement.

I see some of the comments from the victims and their families to what you’ve done. Many people are saying you’re an actress so of course everything you said was a sob story to gain sympathy from a judge. Maybe it was. Maybe it wasn’t. That’s not mine to judge. I also hear many people saying that if you’re in Hollywood, you can get away with anything and get a much lighter sentence. Maybe they’re right. That’s not mine to judge.

I say this next part mainly as someone in active ministry. Already, I can anticipate you rolling your eyes. Honestly, I don’t blame you. You sit under sentence and here comes someone sounding high and mighty and sanctimonious trying to tell you about this Jesus stuff. It sounds like some fundamentalist pastor just pounding his pulpit at that point.

Seriously, I get it. That kind of stuff can annoy me too. I get tired of a lot of preachers that seem to present Jesus as if He takes care of all your problems or life is nothing but joy from that point on. It really doesn’t sell for me. I don’t want to interact with someone who doesn’t seem to know any pain at all. I don’t think they’re living in reality.

I’m not going to tell you that Jesus will take away all your feelings of guilt if you come to Him. I’m not going to try to tell you that you will get out of prison earlier no matter what kind you’re in be it public or house arrest. I’m not going to tell you you can get your career back. I’m not going to tell you the people you hurt will suddenly love you and you will be a gift to the public once more.

None of that is guaranteed.

I will tell you though that you can have forgiveness. I will tell you that you can have life. I will tell you some epistles in the New Testament were written from a prison cell and one in particular, Philippians, was written to tell us about joy, and whatever prison cell you are in, I am certain it cannot compare to what Paul was in.

I can tell you that you can stand before God and be told that you are loved and can enter into His Kingdom. I will tell you you are loved already by Him more than by anyone else whatsoever. I will tell you you could be a vessel of healing if you were willing and that could include towards anyone you victimized if they were willing and you could do your part then to stop further victims later on. Of course, all this would depend on your being sincere that you know you did something awful and that it wasn’t an act. I hope you do know that.

You see, I can think easily of people in my life who have wronged and hurt me greatly. I don’t bear malice towards them. It can be tempting, but such malice does nothing to that other person. It only hurts the person who holds it. Jesus told us to love our enemies and pray for those who hate you. It’s what I try to do. It’s not always easy, but it is doable.

And I know the love of Jesus is a lot greater than my love.

I also understand that you don’t just want to believe in something like Christianity just because it sounds good. A lot of things that sound good, aren’t. I suspect you tried to sell a lot of things to some women to get them into the cult that sounded good, but really aren’t. If you are sincere, you know you have dealt with a charlatan. How do you know Jesus just wasn’t another one?

I get that. It’s a fair concern. It’s a good one too. Jesus demands loyalty for life and you don’t want to take that lightly. Make sure He’s real.

I would be glad to recommend several resources if you wanted me to to look into this. If you’re in a prison or in house arrest, you have a lot of free time. Get in some good reading. Chloe Sullivan was always willing to investigate things. She investigated matters that everyone else thought were ridiculous. For some time, aside from Professor Hamilton in the series, she was the only one who believed the meteors had harmful effects on the citizens of Smallville. Why not be that investigator again? Seriously consider the claims.

And seriously, what do you have to lose? If I am wrong, you have wasted some time of your life, but you weren’t going to be doing that much otherwise were you? However, if I am right, what can be gained? Again, the number one gain is forgiveness. You can live with a clear conscience. Yes. You did wrong. That will never change. Yes. You will still pay the price here for it. However, you can stand before God and be pronounced to be in the right with Him and forgiven regardless of all that was done. He who has more right and more ability to judge you than anyone else, will have the greatest love and compassion towards you than anyone else.

I always like Chloe on Smallville and her devotion even after learning his secret to do anything for Clark Kent. It would be great to see her take that devotion and turn it to the one that Superman is partially modeled after, Jesus Christ. You can’t undo the past, but you can sure make your future a whole lot better.

After all, there was a thief on the cross who had reached the end of his life and there was no hope of getting off of that cross, but his future is awesome. Why? He chose to trust that Jesus that offers that freedom to you and to all of the victims that you helped introduce into this cult. I also hope all of them who haven’t yet come to know Him as well.

Please consider it.

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

Book Plunge: An Impossible Marriage

What do I think of Matt and Laurie Krieg’s book published by IVP? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters.

Laurie and Matt have what they call an impossible marriage. It’s an unusual situation. Matt is like many red-blooded males and really likes to look at the ladies.

So is Laurie.

That’s right. Laurie is primarily attracted to women in their marriage. Because of that, they say their marriage is seen as impossible. They also agree, but you know who else has an impossible marriage?

Every single married couple out there.

All marriages involve two people who are very difficult trying to function as if they were one person. All require death to one’s self. All require sacrifice. All require putting another person before yourself. All require hard work.

So let’s go with the positives of this book first.

This is definitely a book that makes you think. Much of the book is talking about difficulties with sex. Laurie has gone through trauma and during this time looks at Matt as if he is a threat entirely. She is left wondering, “Why can’t we be friends without sex? Why should married couples need to have sex?”

Meanwhile, Matt is having a battle of his own. Can he love his wife even if she is not having sex with him? Some could say Matt was overplaying sex, but honestly I would say that’s not the case. Not because sex is the ultimate, it’s not. (Yes my fellow guys. I really mean that.) I say it because C.S. Lewis told us you can’t love something too much. You only love something else too little. Matt had to learn how to put God first.

This is something that led to a lot of thinking for me. I too had to think about what it is that makes sex in a marriage so important and this book does excellent at showing the gospel message that is meant from sexuality. This is a great book for husbands and wives to read together.

Second, this book has a habit of switching back and forth, though letting you know of who is speaking. You get to see Matt’s perspective on something and then you get to see Laurie’s perspective or vice-versa. This is good not only so husbands and wives can see what they relate to, but they can see inside the head of the other person.

Third, this book also is not something that really speaks out against homosexual practice, which I do disagree with. They state regularly they know that behavior is not acceptable for a Christian, but there is nothing here that shows any hatred towards someone who has same-sex desires. They invite such people to read this book to learn about their perspective.

Fourth, this book is a story. You will go along with their journey and wonder how it turns out. You want to see this couple work even when they are both convinced that they won’t, this despite both of them doing counseling to an extent, Matt even being a counselor, and both of them helping people with issues regarding sexuality.

Now let’s look at things I would change for another addition.

First, I like the story, but I think I was thrown into it. There was something on how Matt and Laurie met and married, but I would like to have known them first. How did they come to Jesus? My main wonder was with Laurie. Was she raised Christian and came to find she had same-sex desires and just decided to sacrifice them? I would have liked to have seen something such as in Rachel Gilson’s Born Again This Way. Not a whole book to be sure, but perhaps a single chapter with each of them introducing themselves first.

Second, some terms are vague. Matt says whenever he wants sex while Laurie is not able to, he is to turn that to God and say that he wants God. Okay. What does that mean? Do you want a feeling or what? How do you know when you get to the point where you can say you have Him? What are you supposed to experience? This term is unclear and I was left wondering about it.

Third, I do think too often subjective experiences were relied on. I am not saying such can’t happen, but when I see people going on more about what they think God is telling them, I do get cautious as many such claims exist. Also with some of these stories, they were often times very difficult to follow.

Fourth, while the book does say that we can make too much about sex, it does seem that the whole book is largely about the couple and the struggle that they have with sex. My conclusion is as much as we might want to downplay it, sex is far more important to a marriage than a lot of us realize.

I have an equal number of pros and cons, but ultimately, this is one of the most thought-provoking marriage books to read. Anyone wanting to marry or who is married should read it. It would also be great for small groups to study together. Either way, go get this book and read it.

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

On Josh Duggar

What are we to make of this wickedness? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Josh Duggar is connected with a celebrity Christian family. Unfortunately, that puts him in a spotlight to be what a Christian is meant to be and sadly, he is definitely not. We could grant some understanding with having a problem with pornography. I am not justifying that, but many men struggle with porn today and if they are repentant and seeking to change, we should be working with them and showing them grace. Sadly, Josh Duggar was doing more. He was also accused of molesting his sisters and now, child porn has been found on his computer.

Now when I first heard about child pornography, I thought it was likely teenage girls or something of that sort. No. We mean actual children. Children who are toddlers and some younger. Children who are nowhere near puberty. What do you say about a man who is sexually aroused by that?

Not only that, he had Covenant Eyes on his computer and yet found a way to bypass it. He was also involved on using the dark web to get his fix. This is a man who knew what he wanted and was willing to do anything underhanded to get it. Please think about that. This man sought out means to get his fix of children.

His wife I understand is still standing by him. I understand that divorce is often viewed as a great evil in the church, but there are some evils that are worse. This man is unsafe to be around, especially with children in the house that are the age of the children that he was viewing on the internet. She definitely needs to be open to this possibility. Fortunately, she is at least scared to be alone with him.

Rachael Denhollander issued a powerful Twitter series of posts on the topic. You can read them here. Let’s also spend some time then talking about what a girl is worth, which is the title of her book, and the way wives are sometimes portrayed in Christian marriage.

Women are sometimes blamed for the fall of men. Even if we go to the very first case, Adam and Eve, Eve did indeed give Adam the fruit, but it was Adam who willfully partook of it. Eve didn’t hold him down and shove it down his throat.

Suppose I am somewhere where a woman does everything she can to seduce me. Suppose it’s really a place that would normally be considered safe and I have been following good protocol to stay safe. This woman could do everything she can to seduce me, even stripping naked in front of me. She is responsible for that behavior definitely, but who is responsible for how I respond?

Me and only me.

Some women get the idea that if they dress a certain way, they are responsible for the fall of men around them. Now to be fair, a woman should be aware of how she dressed in the world. There are women who do dress in a way to advertise themselves in a way that is not appropriate, especially for a Christian woman. Many women don’t. A woman might pick an outfit out at the store just because it feels good on her and she’s not aware of how it looks in the eyes of a man.

However, a man cannot control what the women in his life do. He can only control what he does. Men need to learn that self-control regardless. Yes. Your wife might not be in the best state of mind and you might have to go without sex for a time. While a woman should not without cause deprive her husband as there is a mutual duty in marriage, if there is something going on with a physical condition or something of that sort, a man needs to be understanding.

For a woman who is not married, you never need to give yourself to a man before you marry him. If he won’t love you unless you give yourself to him, then he doesn’t really love you. He loves something you can do for him. What is a girl worth? A lifetime commitment.

Also ladies, if your husband is using porn, take action. If he is willing to work on it, be gracious and offer to work with him, but let it be understood you will not share him with pornography. Get him into a program like Celebrate Recovery and make sure he has friends who will hold him accountable. Be a partner in the journey.

Also, it’s worth pointing out that women can be involved in pornography as well. The same would apply in reverse. More and more women are struggling with pornography today.

For all of us, it’s always advisable to do our best to avoid being in sexually compromising situations. Being someone with a public image, I try to be especially careful. Unless the woman is related to me somehow, I won’t be alone with another women be it a restaurant table or in a car or on an elevator. Is that because of the woman? No. It’s because of me. I know beautiful women are extremely tempting for me and my thinking is if you think you are above a sin, you are far more likely to fall to it.

This is also appropriate on social media as well. I have women who are friends, but I try to be careful what I will talk about. Those of us who are Christians should be striving to live lives that are above suspicion. It would be a blessing to me if my intellectual opponents could look at me and say, “I don’t believe what he believes at all, but I do think he does try to live out what he believes and has that character.”

Also to those skeptics, none of this disproves Christianity at all. Josh Duggar’s sin does not show that God does not exist or that Jesus didn’t rise from the dead. It shows that Christians, or claimed Christians, can be evil and hypocrites. None of us needed to be told that. We all know it. You want to condemn this as wicked behavior? You get no complaint from me.

For the rest of us, this is the danger of our Christian culture. We saw this with Ravi Zacharias. All of us who are in the public eye should be able to say to any challenge of our moral character to go ahead and investigate it. There’s a saying attributed to Benjamin Franklin that goes “Our critics are our friends. They show us our faults.”

I also recently had a friend in ministry message me asking if I had two months to teach on a specific topic for apologetics purpose, what would I choose. Without hesitation, I said sex and marriage. I was told he wanted two months worth and I said that would be two years worth. Most Christians do not have a biblical worldview of either and our young people especially get the message of the world for at least six days and the one day we have to teach them normally, we don’t.

Meanwhile, pray for this family. They definitely need it.

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

The Latest Good Doctor

What can not be thought of on television still? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I am giving this an ambiguous title due to the necessity of spoilers. If you watch the series regularly like I do and you have not yet seen last Monday’s episode, then do not read this yet. There are spoilers. You have been warned. Any knowledge of what happens at this point is on your head and not mine.

So in this latest episode, it is dealing with the revelation from the prior one that Shaun, the autistic good doctor, was given by his girlfriend Lea. She’s pregnant. Obviously, the baby is his as she hasn’t been being intimate with anyone else.

Then there came the question of what to do. Were they really ready to have children? Were they ready for that kind of commitment? Could the child be on the spectrum like Shaun is? What about their careers?

Absent from this was the question of “Is this a human life?” I suspect there’s a reason that wasn’t debated on a show about medical medicine. It’s because the evidence is clear. This is a human life. Once that is said, the cat is out of the bag.

  • “Although life is a continuous process, fertilization (which, incidentally, is not a ‘moment’) is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new genetically distinct human organism is formed when the chromosomes of the male and female pronuclei blend in the oocyte.” — Ronan O’Rahilly and Fabiola Müller, Human Embryology and Teratology, 3rd edition. New York: Wiley-Liss, 2001. p. 8.
  • “Human development begins at fertilization, the process during which a male gamete or sperm unites with a female gamete or oocyte (ovum) to form a single cell called a zygote. This highly specialized, totipotent cell marked the beginning of each of us as a unique individual.” –Keith L. Moore and T.V.N. Persaud, The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 7th edition, Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 2003. p. 16.
  • “Human embryos begin development following the fusion of definitive male and female gametes during fertilization… This moment of zygote formation may be taken as the beginning or zero time point of embryonic development.” –William J. Larsen, Essentials of Human Embryology, New York: Churchill Livingstone, 1998. pp. 1, 14.
  •  “Every time a sperm cell and ovum unite, a new being is created which is alive and will continue to live unless its death is brought about by some specific condition.” — E.L. Potter, M.D., and J.M. Craig, M.D. Pathology of the Fetus and the Infant (3rd Edition). Chicago: Year Book Medical Publishers, 1975, page vii.
  • “It is the penetration of the ovum by a spermatozoan and the resultant mingling of the nuclear material each brings to the union that constitutes the culmination of the process of fertilization and marks the initiation of life of a new individual.” –Bradley M. Patton, Human Embryology, 3rd Ed., (New York: McGraw Hill, 1968), p. 43.
  • “It is possible to give ‘human being’ a precise meaning. We can use it as equivalent to ‘member of the species Homo sapiens’. Whether a being is a member of a given species is something that can be determined scientifically, by an examination of the nature of the chromosomes in the cells of living organisms. In this sense there is no doubt that from the first moments of its existence an embryo conceived from human sperm and eggs is a human being.” –Peter Singer, Practical Ethics, 2nd ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), pp. 85-86.
  • “Perhaps the most straightforward relation between you and me on the one hand and every human fetus on the other is this: All are living members of the same species, homo sapiens. A human fetus after all is simply a human being at a very early stage in his or her development.” –David Boonin, A Defense of Abortion. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2003) 20.

“A human fetus is not a nonhuman animal; it is a stage of a human being.” –Wayne L. Sumner, Abortion and Moral Theory, (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1981), p. 10.

(Special thanks to Clinton Wilcox for his help in this information.)

Now in an earlier episode in this situation, one doctor did refuse to do an abortion for her beliefs on life, but it is all too different when it involves the main characters. Much of the episode dealt with this question. Are they going to have an abortion or not?

I found it interesting hearing Lea say she wasn’t sure she was ready for that kind of commitment. Reality is, if you are having sex, you are already saying you are ready. One of the natural consequences of sex is human life coming into being. If you are not ready, then hold off, but if you think you can be committed enough to a human being that you can be naked before them and completely vulnerable, you are ready for the commitment to be a parent then. If you are not, then don’t engage.

Naturally, those of us on the Christian side don’t really support sex before marriage, but our society is at the point where marriage is no longer sacred really and sex is no big deal. This is why Christians need to be taking their thoughts on marriage and sex seriously. We have to be a contrast to the world.

In the end, the couple decide even at the clinic after Lea’s name has been called to not go through with it. I really wasn’t surprised at this. Why is that?

Because in our day and age, we can practically show a rape on TV. (Game of Thrones anyone?) We can show conception. We can show full male and female nudity. We can show the birth process.

Somehow, we still can’t show abortion.

Could it be we really don’t want to confront this? Could it be we really don’t want to watch something like the Silent Scream? Could it be that we don’t want to see a main character on a show go in a room pregnant and come out not pregnant and without a child? Perhaps we have more conscience as a society than we realize.

Our society if it decides to take this question seriously I think will be put in a binding position. If we take abortion seriously, we have to take sex seriously. If we take sex seriously, we have to take marriage seriously. We also have to take morality seriously. We have to realize there are moral truths and sex really means something and has consequences, including pregnancy. (We could also add in the shocker that men and women are different.)

I predict the couple will never discuss this question again. It is only dealt with once. We can rejoice that the right choice was made and we should always celebrate that no matter how a child is conceived. The child is still, as Greg Koukl would say, a precious unborn human person.

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

Pastor. Your Eyes And Heart Need Work.

What are wives required to do for husbands? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I heard yesterday about a video going viral. In it, a pastor was giving a sermon and sometime in the middle, he went on a tirade that is extremely derogatory towards women. If you want the highlights, here’s what someone posted about it.

As a husband to my wife and father to my daughter the things he brought out such as:

“Don’t give him a reason to look elsewhere”

“men are going to look so be sure to keep your self attractive enough he only wants to look at you”

“My friend set a divorce weight for his wife”

“It’s really important for a man to have a beautiful woman on his arm”

“Women stink”

“Weight control”

“Food never taste as good as skinny feels”

“Dress appropriately, dress your age, dress your body type…just look good”.

Now someone could look at this and say, “Well isn’t it true that a wife should care about her appearance?” Yes. It is. Unfortunately, the way this guy spoke will not encourage any wife and places the blame on her and some statements are just hideous.

Let’s start with don’t give him a reason to look elsewhere. If this was a playful challenge given as an encouragement, that could have been one thing. “Women! You’re already beautiful! Your husband is tempted to look at other women because he is a man, but be a feast for his eyes and he will always return to you.”

Instead, what the preacher said was, “If you lower your beauty, your husband will look elsewhere.” When you’re a Christian man and dating, you already know that a woman is beautiful. When you marry, you learn that she really is much more beautiful than you realize.

If you are a man and you look at a woman and don’t see something beautiful, it is not the woman that needs to change but you. This is especially so for your wife. Every woman is beautiful in some way. If you are not seeing beauty, then work on changing yourself.

I honestly cannot easily picture Christ referring to any woman physically as ugly. He might think that their behavior is awful, but He never rejected a woman who came to Him for help. Jesus was incredibly kind towards women.

That being said, it is true men are going to look. I remember a young Catholic priest telling me about how he can look too and he always says, “She is a beautiful gift, but she is not for you.” A man might notice a woman and have a momentary thought, but a good man just moves on then.

I don’t think a man is responsible for his momentary temptation that flies through his mind. Now if he stares or leers or something else, that is different, but it is a struggle for the majority of men out there. A wife should not take it personally. At the end of the day, he chose her.

The comment about a man setting a divorce weight for his wife is one of the worst. I don’t know of anything in Scripture that says, “If you start thinking your wife is putting on too much weight, you may leave her and trade her in for a less heavy model.” This pastor doesn’t need to be condemning the women. He needs to be condemning his friend instead.

Now it is true that a man likes to have a beautiful woman on his arm and whenever I have had to take Allie somewhere, I have been delighted to show her off to everyone. If anything, I always delighted in telling everyone the story about her winning a beauty pageant. When I went to my 20th year high school reunion, I remember being eager to show her off to everyone I went to school with. Yes. I did get married and I married a beautiful woman.

Women stink? I have no doubt that a woman could have a problem if she has just worked out or anything like that, but so do men. That’s part of the human condition. It doesn’t matter either. A woman is still beautiful.

The statement about nothing tastes as good as being thin feels is one often used in diet motivation. If a woman wants to lose weight for proper health reasons (Not Anorexia or Bulimia) and is motivated by this, good for her. By the way, that should be the best motivation for weight control and that is health.

Now there is certainly truth in the last part about dress appropriately, but many Christian wives don’t have this problem. They’re not going to show up to church in a bikini or something like that. This could be something said more for the teenage girls in the audience who are still wanting to get a man in their lives.

But in the end, the big problem is that there’s nothing wrong with a woman wanting to make herself beautiful for the man in her life. When Ruth approached Boaz to see if he would marry her, she was told to bathe and put on her best clothes. Yes. Men do respond to physical appearance.

The man also needs to work on being the best that he can. It’s meant to be a mutual self-giving. Also, normally if a woman wants to do this, her husband will likely have no problem with it. I remember when Allie got a new dress at Wal-Mart one time and when she came out, my jaw just dropped. I was stunned by how beautiful she looks. I even told her that for my birthday I could ask my parents and in-laws to give her dresses as well. That would be just as much a gift to me.

As far as I know, this pastor’s wife didn’t poison him in his sleep or anything like that during the night. Either way, this is a man who definitely needs to get into marriage counseling and get his attitude towards women taken care of. Also, until that changes, please don’t be in the pulpit. We don’t need this kind of attitude there.

And women, you’re already beautiful. If a man doesn’t find you beautiful just the way you are, then he’s not going to find you beautiful anyway. His idea of your beauty is conditional. Move on.

However, while you should want to take care of yourself, if you have a good man, he will find you beautiful no matter what changes you go through. It is because while he sees your body, he doesn’t see just your body. He sees you and when he sees you he sees beauty. It’s not conditional.

If you’re a man who makes your commitment to your wife conditional on what is fleeting and passing anyway, then you don’t really have a commitment to your wife. You have a commitment to a female body. Work on your eyes, and your heart.

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

Book Plunge: Sex Matters

What do I think of Mona Charen’s book published by The Crown Forum? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Feminism has failed women.

This is not to say that everything it has done has been a catastrophe. What it means is that the movement has done more harm than good. While it hailed itself as pro-woman, it has actually been anti-woman. The damage has been because it had an idea of what they would like women to be, but ignored what women really are, and the same for men as well.

The movement assumed that for many women, the dream is to be a career woman. It assumed that women should experience sex the same way that men do. It assumed that women must be able to have abortions in order to be on equal footing with men.

Unfortunately, this is not the case for the majority of women. Women tend to really want to feel security. Marriage is one of the great ways that women can have that security. Not only that, that also has a positive effect on the man as the marriage covenant usually domesticates a man.

It started with some good goals for women, but then it went on to other ones. Many of the earliest feminists would be appalled at what feminism is today. The first one to really change the way the movement was seen was Betty Friedan with the Feminine Mystique. Much of what she said was rooted in Communism as well.

From there, more and more feminists wanted to push the envelope further. Marriage was seen as a bondage for women. Women should pursue sex outside of marriage. Motherhood should not be a major goal for women. Abortion should be a right for women.

Unfortunately, all of this denies what women are. Women have a natural longing for the most part to be mothers. Many women would be willing to sacrifice a career to raise their children directly. Sex outside of marriage does not do women good but rather allows them to be used.

This is built on the idea that femininity is something artificial that can be bent to be whatever we want, but if women have a nature and we are fighting against that, then we are doing harm to women. The same is also done to men. We live in an age where we hear about toxic masculinity and complaining about the patriarchy, automatically assuming that masculinity is a bad thing and a man is a villain if he leads.

This has also led to women severing their bonds. In abortion, a woman severs the natural bond she has to be a mother to her children. Abortion is actually the most anti-feminine behavior I can think of. First off, many of the babies aborted are themselves women. Second, a woman is doing the exact opposite of the motherly instinct and learning to kill her own children for the sake of something else. It could be money or career or just wanting to have free sex. Either way, a woman does herself great harm as she has to find a way to justify abortion.

A woman also has to shut herself down during sex which can lead to the hook-up culture. Women are too easily used and many women have taught themselves to not feel anything during sex lest they form a connection that get severed. Many women will also say yes to sex when they don’t really want to because of fear of losing the guy or of being seen as a prude by society.

We’re also told men need to stop pressuring women to have sex. This is true, but at the same time, in reality, men also have far more testosterone in their bodies and think about sex a whole lot more than women. We are also far more aggressive. Andrew Sullivan is even cited with an example of how he was getting testosterone for something and at the start, he almost got into a fight with his neighbor because of it.

Do men need to control their strong desire for sex? Yes. Will you change male nature though? No. The more you do that, you will find yourself fighting against reality.

Let’s consider some ways we are doing that. Charen cites someone who complains about a tool that is used by women to help them see if a date rape drug has been put in a drink. A woman complains saying she doesn’t want to live in a world where she has to fear that her date has done something like that.

That’s a fine goal, but the reality is we do live in that world. We do live in a world where some men are scum and you might not know if that guy you just met in a bar is one of them or not. I remember hearing actress Bates say about the Weinstein situation that in her day, when a man invited you up to his hotel room, you knew what it was about.

Men, however, also can be natural protectors. If a man has a wife, for the most part, he will want to protect her and provide for her. I remember even when I worked at a movie theater as a young adult. We worked at a mall and often got out of work after midnight. I would always walk my female co-workers to their cars and told them the same thing. “If someone comes after us, you run. Don’t look back. Don’t worry about me. Just run.” After all, I’m a Christian. I knew where I was going. My goal was to keep the women safe.

This has also changed college culture. Date rape is on the rise and more and more control is being exerted. Many a woman can seduce a man or at least have sex where the man thinks it’s consensual and then months later he’s slapped with rape and abuse charges. The problem is usually when a couple is having sex there aren’t a lot of witnesses around.

And what about after that? The family is in crisis. It was long beforehand, but it has only gotten worse because of feminism and “sexual liberation.” We have let government take the role of parents and it just doesn’t work. The main loss is the loss of fathers. Children are best raised by their biological mothers and fathers in a committed relationship.

The breakdown of the family is a disaster for men and women both, but especially for the children afterward. We are fighting against reality by doing this. We need to go back and examine feminism and see what is really good for women, and not for men, and not just what we would like to see.

This is an excellent book that we definitely need to read and the data is far more than I can show in just a blog review. I would that more people would read a book like this. Our society is on a downhill track and we really need to change it.

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

Book Plunge: Ordeal

What do I think of Linda Lovelace and Mike McGrady’s book published by Citadel Press? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

The book is called Ordeal and reading it is certainly one. It’s not because it’s a bad book. Quite the opposite. It’s because this book is a real-life horror story. Unfortunately, having read other books on sex trafficking, it’s also a pretty common story.

Linda is an ordinary girl at the start who meets a guy who sweeps her off of her feet. Sadly, that’s how it normally begins. Before too long, problems show up. The man, Chuck, has a bar and he takes Linda there one night to see a lot of topless women and sex acts. One case involves a woman with three men doing different things to her at the same time.

Linda is disturbed by this, but before too long, Chuck takes her to a hotel where five men are waiting for her and the same thing happens to her. The degradation keeps going more and more. Chuck speaks abusively to her, points a gun at her a number of times, threatens to kill other people in her life, etc.

Chuck always wants more and more and is pushing the envelope constantly to see what new activities he can come up with, which even includes having Linda be involved with animals. Linda’s big break came with a porn movie she did called Deep Throat. Unfortunately, that movie also came to define her. Before too long, whatever she did was based on that and if she tried to get other acting roles, they expected her to do a nude scene at least once. This was after she had escaped Chuck and she always said no.

Reading this book shows just how broken a person can become. This is something that can easily happen in the porn industry. If you are someone who watches porn, there’s no sure way to tell if the person is there against their will or not and one could be unknowingly supporting human trafficking.

This book is not for the faint of heart. The language is also very raw and profane a number of times, but that’s because that’s how it happened. It’s meant to show the evil of the industry and people involved, people like Chuck.

I sincerely hope that someday there will come an end to the pornography industry. There are too many Chucks in the world who want to take advantage of women and use them. There are too many people that treat other people as just means of entertainment and nothing more.

Parents especially need to watch their daughters. This was the world back in the time of Linda Lovelace. It has only gotten worse since then. Anyone can be a Linda Lovelace and any guy is capable of being a Chuck. Be on guard.

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

Book Plunge: Chasing Love

What do I think of Sean McDowell’s book published by B&H Books? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

“All you need is love.
All you need is love.
All you need is love, love.
Love is all you need.”

So said those great philosophers decades ago, the Beatles. So says modern culture today. Many girls grow up with a dream of that Prince Charming who will come up and sweep them off their feet and take them away to a life of bliss. Many guys tend to think more physically and think about getting married and having constant sex with their wives. Both sexes have legitimate desires.

Yet love is one of the most confused topics in our culture today and this is what Sean McDowell is writing about. His writing is aimed mainly at teenagers. Thus, it’s really easy for anyone to understand. The chapters are short and you could read on just one chapter of your choice at a time if you wanted to. Each chapter also ends with a question that McDowell answers.

It’s clear in this that he’s spoken to a lot of teenagers and knows what is on their minds. That’s great and needed. He is also not legalistic. Nothing in this book remotely gets close to the idea that sex is some dirty and taboo subject. (And yes, there does seem to be a connection in the book and in our culture between sex and love)

McDowell works to set up the idea that sex is God’s idea and gives us a theological basis for how to think about sex. This is absolutely essential I think as too many people, including Christians, do not have a worldview place for sex. Sometimes it can seem like a happy accident, but I honestly cannot fathom how someone can have sex and think of it as just an accident of the universe.

McDowell encourages students to look at the sexual ethic of Jesus found in Scripture and practice purity. However, if someone does mess up, he’s there with grace as well and to show that God has grace for you. He also says if you are abused, it is not your fault, which is 100% true. There are also chapters on hot button issues like homosexuality and transgenderism.

So anything I would change? Yes. I think more needs to be said on some topics.

For one thing, Sean McDowell’s Dad, Josh McDowell, has said that pornography is the greatest threat the Christian faith has ever faced. Even if that’s not true, and I think it certainly could be, it is a great threat that we face. Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s enough time spent on that topic. I would have at least a few chapters devoted to it.

By the way, pornography is not just a guy’s problem. It has largely appealed to men, but it is becoming more and more appealing to women and many women have no place they think they can go to talk about it. Too often when guys get together to discuss their struggles, sex is all they talk about. For the women, it’s the opposite as sex can be rarely talked about.

With that comes another issue that needs to be discussed and that is sexting. Even if a woman isn’t engaged in pornography, she is affected by it. Too often, boyfriends are just assumed to be watching porn and women think they have to compete with that. If so, then a woman is more prone to send pictures of herself completely topless to guys. Women can feel more pressured to go further thinking it is necessary to keep a guy.

This should also touch on social media. Nowadays, when kids get home, they have sexual pressure on the internet as well. Think about the story of Amanda Todd. It’s so prevalent out there that I just typed in three words to remember her last name. Amanda, flashing, suicide. Ten hits on the first page all about her and the last one was something about the most beautiful suicide girls of all time. Yeah. Lovely stuff.

So anyway, this girl is apparently on a video chat one day and a guy convinces her to lift up her shirt so her breasts can be seen. She does and the image is stored forever and the guy ends up stalking her. He threatens to share the picture everywhere and even uses it as his Facebook page image and he regularly created new accounts to stalk Todd. Before she was even 18, Todd had hung herself.

The pressure is real.

I think in light of events like this, definitely more needs to be said about social media and sex. If someone like Ravi Zacharias isn’t even safe from doing sexting, we definitely need to say more about it. Too many kids are playing with sex not knowing the powerhouse that it really is. Movies and sitcoms and other shows often show a lot of the pleasures without any of the side-effects which can be physical, psychological, emotional, and I would add in spiritual.

So thus, McDowell’s book is great as is, but I want to see more added on to it. Perhaps if he releases a future edition, he can include more on these topics. Our young people are entering territory that is completely new and they need guidance.

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

On The Fall of Ravi Zacharias

What does what happened to Ravi mean? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and fall out.

Not too long ago, RZIM released a statement saying that it looks like allegations of sexual misconduct against Ravi Zacharias are true. I am sure some of you are still skeptical, but we can’t do all of our own investigations into Ravi and for the sake of argument, since RZIM is saying it and I have no reason to think they would want to make up something about the founder of their organization whose name is on them, I want to ask what it means. Even if you don’t think the claims are true, consider it at least a for the sake of argument discussion.

Concerning Christian truth, it really means nothing ultimately. Ravi was a man like any other man. Christianity did not stand or fall on him. If your faith was built on Ravi Zacharias, you built it on the wrong man.

Concerning ethics, well that’s a different matter. It’s not that any ethical truths stand or fall with Ravi. What matters for this is how one should live their life, especially if they’re in a ministry capacity.

Regardless of where they stand on the issues, I am convinced someone would have to be a fool to think we don’t live in a sex-crazed society. Even as I do something simple like play Words With Friends on my phone, something even my wife’s grandmother does, I see ads popping up for games that are meant to appeal to lust in some way. It has really become unavoidable.

This is also one reason men especially need to be careful. We are not the only ones who can fall in this area, but it seems we are more prone to falling. It’s one reason why when Allie has been in the facility getting treatment, unless they were related to me or with someone else, I have not allowed a woman into the apartment. I do not drive alone with other women unless they are family.

Apparently, Ravi didn’t live up to the sexual ethic along the way somewhere and sadly, his ministry will suffer for it. For my part, I keep thinking about a lady who heard him speak who was a skeptic and when asked on the way home what she thought of the talk said, “I wonder what he’s like in his private life.” Sadly, we now know that private life wasn’t consistent and if your private life and public life are inconsistent like that, your witness for the kingdom will suffer.

Not only that, but anyone connected with RZIM could suffer. What about the memory of Nabeel Qureshi? He traveled frequently with RZIM. Will this damage his reputation even though he quite likely had nothing to do with it or even knew about it? Time will tell. It’s not fair if it does, but sadly, it’s what happens.

We also sadly remember a man’s failures much more than we do his successes. We remember fondly King David’s battle with Goliath in the Bible, but what’s the next story everyone remembers if it’s not the first one? David and Bathsheba.

Earlier this year, it’s believed that Mike Adams committed suicide. Sadly, when I think of him now, I don’t think of all the good he did, but remember how he died, which seems to be common with people who commit suicide. It shouldn’t be that way, but it is. When people fail, we remember it.

In some ways, you could say our society delights in it. Perhaps we think it makes it easier for us. “Hey! If Ravi Zacharias can’t live this kind of ethic out, surely I can’t be expected to!”

None of us is off the hook though. We’re all expected to honor our bodies and those around us properly. Perhaps when one gets in a position of fame, which is a kind of power, then one becomes prideful and thinks they are above the rules and can hide indiscretions.

We can’t.

This is not to say the Christian ethic is easy, but it is possible. It’s doable. There are plenty of people who do it. You and I have never heard of them, but they do it. Several people save sex for marriage and stay faithful to their spouses. Several people can still avoid pornography.

Watch a sitcom or movie today and it will look like everyone, including the women, want nothing more than to jump in bed immediately and have at it. Everything also always works perfectly. If there’s one piece of advice I give guys who are virgins who are about to marry concerning this, it’s to consider everything you see in movies and TV because it’s totally unrealistic. Unfortunately, this also does set up a norm.

What is needed is for our society to really think about sex and sexual ethics. You might think we do that already. That’s the problem in our society isn’t it? We all think about sex too much. No. It’s really the opposite. We think about it too little if we do at all.

Oh we dream about it. We fantasize about it. We talk about it, watch it, and just plain do it, but think about it? Hardly. We don’t think about what it is, what it means, and what it’s for. Very few of us have a worldview of sex. We could just see it as a happy accident that the universe worked out this way to give us this experience.

It’s even worse though if we’re Christians. If we are, we should realize God is the one behind all of this and seek to want to know why he made the system the way He did. It’s all His idea after all.

We also need to build one another up in this. We absolutely need to have other Christians to hold us accountable. I have Christians I can talk to about my struggles, including while it is that my wife is away at this time. It is either my passions are going to control me or I am going to control them.

But it is doable. One can control their passions and in the end, for the sake of the holiness of sexuality, I am convinced it’s worth it.

As for Ravi, it’s hard. For me, Ravi was my first apologetics hero. I look over and see the gift that he had given to me and my wife on our wedding day hanging on my wall right now. I know I have several of his books on my bookshelves. It doesn’t mean what is in them is false. Still, perhaps everything he wrote will be viewed with more suspicion now because of his own personal sin.

That is a tragedy.

And yet then, I think of the saying, “There but for the grace of God go I.” Scripture tells us if anyone thinks he stands, he needs to be careful lest he fall. It further tells me I want to live by the Pence/Graham rule as much as I can. We all have only one shot at building a reputation in life. When my time is done and people look back on my reputation, I hope it will be something that people will be pleased with. I hope even my opponents intellectually would be able to say that though they disagreed with me intellectually, I did live my life honorably.

And to my friends who have been supportive of me over the years and been my confidants and mentors, I thank you greatly. When I was with my folks this past weekend for Christmas, I showed my Dad the final speech of Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory with him receiving the Nobel Prize with his wife. He said something in it along the lines of how he used to think his accomplishments were his own, but they were also the accomplishments of those who stood with him, including his biological family and his family of friends. I fully say the same thing. Everything I do here is not mine alone.

I have played the Final Fantasy games for most of my life. What you learn from those in one sense is you need a party. No one fights alone. I don’t either. My friends mean everything to me and I am grateful to them all and hope I can be just as good a friend to them as they have been to me.

In the meantime, pray especially for Ravi’s family. One can hardly imagine what they are going through with these revelations coming out. Then learn to watch yourselves. If you are in ministry, do so especially. Your failure would have far greater ramifications than that of many others. Be careful.

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

PornHub Under Scrutiny

What is going on with the industry? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Of all places, even the New York Times has apparently had an article against PornHub. The charge is that the site is infested with rape videos. There looks to be no denial by PornHub that this has happened. Of course, this would be a very tough denial to pull off. Just last year, a missing teenager was found when sexually explicit videos of her showed up on the site.

What do these changes mean? Not much I suspect sadly. A number of things could happen here. Maybe they won’t be held up. Maybe instead people will find work arounds to get such material up there as you can’t go to each person in each video and just ask and even if you could, many could know they have to lie. If it leads to the site shutting down due to competition, then it could very well be because the competition is even worse and doesn’t have any censoring of any kind.

The only cause for rejoicing here is that even in the secular world now, a closer look in the proper way is being given to the porn industry. Unfortunately, even then one wonders how effective it will be. With so many men in the world participating in the industry even if only consumers, getting information against it is going to be difficult.

The danger of people going to other sites also is very real, especially since these sites could allow for rape videos. In the porn industry, what is needed from consumers often is novelty. Something new is needed that hasn’t been seen before and like any drug, when the prior dosage isn’t enough, a new high must be hit.

The real danger is to the women involved. Our culture has reached a point where women really are giving sex more and more to get love. This is one reason I don’t have an account on SnapChat. I know the stories of women sending topless pictures of themselves and I want no part of that. It’s not because of any lack of desire for female beauty on my part, but because I think such is reserved for the marriage covenant.

Also, many women do find themselves in the human trafficking industry. I recommend books like Rebecca Bender’s In Pursuit of Love or Annie Lobert’s Fallen. Their stories of how they fell in in ways that seemed innocent enough at the start and how they managed to escape are gripping.

Josh McDowell has said the porn industry is the greatest foe the church has ever faced. He could very well be right. This is because it is a great depression on our values and our view of men and women and sex and thus, the building block of society, the family. Our young people are the hardest hit with many women who might not even watch porn thinking they have to do more and more to please their men and it usually being assumed that the young man is watching pornography.

I can’t tell the future of what will happen, naturally, but I do encourage Christians to start acting now. Parents are the first stage with learning how to talk to their children about sex and that will be different for boys and girls. The next stage is going to be the churches where pastors actually need to do sermons on porn and make places accessible for men and women affected by the industry in any way to seek recovery. Beyond that it will be contacting your state representatives and asking them to do something about the porn industry.

We can all change matters if we do something.

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