The Death Of A Reputation

How will you be remembered? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

This morning I woke up and saw on Facebook my memories and what do I see? I see right off the memory of the death of Ravi Zacharias. This was two years ago today.

In the past, I really admired Ravi. When I first got into apologetics, something about his approach and intellectual reasoning was compelling to me. I am sure when I first heard him, his voice was a big draw as he spoke in a way that to me sounded very informed.

I met him a number of times and he knew me well. Ravi was one of the most popular apologists of our time. There was even one time when I tried to get a job at RZIM. Looking back now, I am thankful that that did not happen.

As many of you know, after Ravi’s death, a firm that had been hired by RZIM investigated Ravi and found that he had a horrid secret life. In this life, he sexually violated many many women. I remember reading the report about it late at night and I almost had to stop reading because I felt like I was going to be sick.

Nowadays when I talk with people about him, it’s always a shame. We sometimes discuss if he really died as a Christian or not. I honestly don’t know. The fact that I even say that I find very saddening.

There was a time in one of his talks I heard somewhere on CD where a lady went to see him who was skeptical of Christianity. On the way back, this lady was asked by the person driving her, “What did you think?” To this, she answered, “I wonder what his private life is like.” Unfortunately, we now know.

Ravi did his indiscretions multiple times, but unfortunately for many of us, it only really takes one time. Someone in ministry can have one affair and that shuts down everything. All it can take is one moment of weakness and before too long, the end has come to one’s reputation.

Some of you can think I am extreme in my ways in which I react around women to make sure I don’t fall into that trap. There’s a reason for that. Now that I am a single man again, I realize the temptation all the more. Not only that, I regularly have to give an explanation for my divorce whenever I go anywhere. Many of us who have gone down this path often are upset that it gets treated like the unforgivable sin.

Ravi now sadly is a reminder of how a life can go downhill so easily. Not only that, many of us think about Ravi, myself included, and it’s easy to forget the true sorrow here, the numerous women that he violated. Odds are, we will never know their names, but many of them will have their impression of Christianity damaged by this man and could thus be cut off from the truest healing that they need.

Watch your reputation, especially when it comes to sex, the number one area it seems that we fall at. There are many a skeptic of Christianity who does at least admire the character of Jesus in the Gospels. Bart Ehrman even says that Jesus is still one of his heroes. We are to live a life like that such that even if our opponents disagree with us intellectually, they could hopefully admit that we do practice what we preach truly.

When your times comes, live such that you will be remembered with sadness that you’re gone and appreciation for how well you lived. It’s natural to wonder what happened when Ravi stood before God. It’s better to ask us what will happen when we do.

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

Book Plunge: Pagans and Christians in the City

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

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

But what if it isn’t?

What if it never died?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hook-Up Culture Ending?

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

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

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

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

Real convincing argument.

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

So what are some takeaways from all of this?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The World Of Divorce

What’s it like going through it? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

This season of DivorceCare just ended. I suspect it will be my last time here. I am in the process of applying to be a student at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and I will then be moving to New Orleans when accepted. Even if I don’t start a semester immediately, I want to be able to get situated, get good employment, and start meeting people.

It really left me tonight thinking about the world of divorce. It’s still a struggle for all of us. I am helping someone out now who is on the journey just as I was helped, but all of us on the path are still hurting.

Other couples can be difficult to see. I am reading through an apocalyptic novel, a chapter a night right now, involving a simple country guy who somehow survives a plague that outright kills most of humanity and recently, he has come across a girl he went to school with who also survived. Tuesday night, they professed their love for each other and well, we know what comes next. No. The book didn’t describe the scene at all, but you did know what was happening. (Do you need to seek a minister to marry you if the world has come to an end like that? Questions theologians ask.)

Did I go to bed depressed some? Yep. I thought about this tonight as we described seeing other couples sometimes. When I was married, it was we were getting together with friends. Now, I am getting together with a friend. When you’re married, your friends seem to be other couples. When you’re single, not as much.

I really do miss that interaction. I wonder if I will ever experience the love of a woman again and getting to give her my love as well. Add in that I’m on the spectrum and that makes it even harder. I understand many guys have a hard time knowing if a woman is flirting with them. For me, it’s far harder.

Not only that, but how do you properly express yourself? How do I know I’m not being a stalker type? How do I show someone how much I adore them without appearing too obsessed over a person?

How do you even make the first move? I remember reading a book on flirting and it told to go through a week at a time. The first week was learning to make eye contact. Hard, but doable. I start looking everyone in the eye as I am told to not just look the opposite sex but the same sex so you can just get better used to eye contact. Okay. Good.

Then the next week was when wisdom shows it’s a good idea, give a gentle smile to someone you deem attractive. I started doing that and I was really surprised how many smiles I got back. I don’t know what that means exactly. I couldn’t help but wonder if they thought I was cute possibly.

So far so good. Let’s go to step three!

Small talk.

I don’t think I came back for months and still I struggle with this one as I despise small talk.

It’s a hope of mine to get to seminary and find guys who will be my wingmen and give me tips on if a girl is interested in me or not. I would totally miss it if they were. I do love the academic life and the intellectual arena, but I am not the best when it comes to the social arena.

Some people might think I focus on that too much. First off, as a guy, I think about physical interaction a lot and miss it everyday so yeah, this is something I focus on. Second, it’s easy for people who are still married to talk about learning to focus on God. Divorce really rips out something from you and it’s as if you’ve lost a limb or even a few of them.

Add in also now that when I am at work, I am essentially bored silly. My work doesn’t challenge me and I realize I did not go to college for this. When I am spoken to by my managers, it is essentially to tell me about things I have done wrong or they think are wrong. I see other people interacting fine and wonder what I’m missing. Really, one of the times I feel the loneliest of all in my life is when I’m at work. I am truly an outsider.

I look at the world around me and see so much chaos going on and I want to be out there doing something and making a difference, but here I am doing what any high schooler could do. I spend 40 hours a week doing it. At least on the way to and fro I can listen to an audible book and while I’m at work I can on breaks read my other books. I won’t deny that work at least pays the bills, but I want meaning in what I do.

When I fill out a survey online and I get asked my marital status, it is still always painful to select divorced. It was a word I never wanted to use to describe myself. I really think I tried to do most everything I could do to be a good and loving husband. In the end, it was rejection.

Rejection is painful. It’s one reason I hate going to work as I feel like an outsider there. I have been there for about ten months and thus far no one has even asked for my Facebook information or anything like that. The only exception is one person who got fired and came through my line and wanted my number and I gave it to him.

I am thankful my parents have provided me a place to live. I am also thankful that I get to spend my time with my cat here. I don’t want to say life is completely terrible. It’s not. I still enjoy my reading and doing my apologetics and I love my gaming time with my friends. I have more money for that now and I also am now playing Final Fantasy XIV online with friends of mine. (If you play, let me know. I am Phoenix Skywing.)

I also try to live by the maxim that the best revenge is a life well lived. I have no wish to harm my ex-wife. I don’t even know where she is right now or what she’s doing. I have a general idea, but I don’t look her up or anything like that. She’s made her decision. I still pray for her every night, but I don’t watch her or keep tabs or anything like that.

For going to New Orleans, I am looking for a church now that is autism friendly. I am also going to talk about getting a job with the New Orleans Baptist Association if I don’t get one at a local church. I have also given some thought to doing Christian comedy from an autistic Christian perspective. One benefit of my work now is I have so many interactions that really show the way people think that I can make plenty of jokes about how people act in a retail environment.

The biggest concern about this is sadly, the church can treat divorce like it’s the unpardonable sin. This is one area we definitely need to improve on. I am thankful I have a good church family. I can’t imagine going through this and having a church family that would kick me while I’m down as if I was an awful sinner because of what happened. Sadly, there are too many people who cannot say the same thing about having a good church.

Until then, I will be sharing my Patreon also so that if I do lose my job, which wouldn’t surprise me frankly, I can at least have some more income coming in in the meanwhile and hopefully, I can get to a point of working entirely from home doing apologetics. I also ask people who want to encourage to mainly listen if you have not gone through divorce. Help from people who have not been there is often remembered as being more painful than it is helpful.

If you have been through it, I welcome you walking beside me, especially if you’re a guy and can share in the struggles that guys have. I remember as an example talking to a guy friend here who has gone through it about the struggle I had at the start of it when I felt guilty finding myself attracted to other women. I remember also thinking about going through a store and saying to myself, “She would like this. Oh yeah. Right. She did that.” I was so used to buying her gifts and now so much I have to unthink. Having a guy who has walked the walk has been essential to me.

Divorce is painful. Even writing this blog has been painful. There are times I can be minding my own business and just get hit with sudden sorrow for a moment or so. One reason I think I game a lot now is so that I can have my mind off of the matter for a short time. I have a goal I can accomplish and I work on doing that.

Many of you have been there and I appreciate that. Also, not all of you are Christians even, but I appreciate your help as well. I am thankful that as much as I love debate, posts like this don’t become debate posts. I am also thankful some people I know have been inspired to speak out and share their stories on divorce. I would love to see the stigma against it broken. This is also why I have a Facebook group for Christian men and divorce. Feel free to find it and join in, but you have to answer all the questions to get in.

And if you have read this long, I appreciate your reading. I do really look forward to what’s coming up in my life, though I won’t deny it is somewhat frightening too. I have never lived as far away as in Louisiana, but I want to do something to make a difference down there as well.

Please be praying for me and consider becoming a contributor to my Patreon as well. All the support I can get will be great and I am a spender who tries to be conscientious with money. I am always looking for a bargain.

Again, thank you for reading.

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

Divorce About A Year Later

How is life today? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Some of you know I have been applying to NOBTS. If you don’t know that, then obviously you need to subscribe to my newsletter. Recently while filling out the application, I had to explain the circumstances of my divorce. That involved getting out the paperwork and looking at it again. I don’t remember the exact date, but it was this month.

So how is it a year later?

Well, everyday in some ways, it still hurts.  Little things can happen that remind me of something from her. Sometimes, it can even be good things. I can pet my cat and be thinking about missing getting to touch her as well. I can hear someone say something and remember that she used to say that as well. Any time I feel rejection in some way, rightly or wrongly, it brings it back and I think about how I have been rejected.

That’s something that makes divorce so much different than something like death. Divorce is an intentional rejection by someone that is treating you like a problem that has to be eliminated. It doesn’t happen by accident. Sometimes it is justified, but in my case, it wasn’t, and the irony is I had plenty of people, even priests and pastors and others telling me I could get a divorce at any time and it would be biblically based. One priest said a divorce was a godly option or I could remain a martyr in my marriage.

Loneliness is a big problem for me. That’s one more reason I want to move to the campus. I have friends, but very few of them are local, though it is nice for something like Final Fantasy XIV to have some people I can play it with. (If you play too, find me on there. My name is Phoenix Skywing.) It would be nice to have fellow men around who share my theological passions.

Of course, there’s also women to consider. A seminary could be a great place to find a devoted Christian woman who’s looking for her MRS degree. I had hoped that I would never be involved in this search again as it’s extremely difficult being on the spectrum and having to approach someone, but it looks like I am. Add in also that I am completely inept at knowing if someone is flirting with me or not.

It’s really odd to think I’m talking with my therapist about women I am interested in and getting advice. Normally, this seems to come up in most every weekly session. I still hate to this day going to bed at night and realizing that I am sleeping alone. I love having Shiro here with me, but it’s hard to think he’s stuck in one room at my parents’ house since they already have a cat and he only has me. He seems to tolerate my Mom some, and is slowly maybe starting to accept my Dad, but there’s no one he ultimately trusts but me.

There are some people who after a divorce seem to take a view that sex before marriage will be no big deal. I still hold the view that I don’t want it to happen, but having been married before and enjoyed that fruit, I also know what a great temptation it is for me. Fortunately, I have been able to avoid pornography still. That’s not about how awesome I am. There’s a great need to rely on the grace of God and His strength when I am weak.

However, as a guy, this is definitely a great want in my life. I find women to be absolutely beautiful and I don’t want to go through life alone. I also still wouldn’t mind being a Dad someday. Therefore, I do strive to be careful with women and have already set up some boundaries for when I am dating to help make temptation less likely to master me.

I have also become somewhat of an advocate for men going through divorce. One man was inspired to tell his story after I shared mine. I have also set up a Facebook group for Christian men going through divorce or who have gone through it or who are about to go through it.

It’s really sad divorce comes with such a stigma to it. We can think that if many churches today heard that Paul was coming back, they wouldn’t question him about coming behind the pulpit despite having been a murderer, but if news came out that Paul was a divorcee, then there would be serious questions as that had to be explained. I am not saying we should not take divorce seriously. We should. I am saying it is not the unpardonable sin.

Something that also stings in my case is knowing I was accused of being abusive by her. There are plenty of people who knew both of us who would tell you that this is not the case. As I said earlier, I have been told that I had grounds and I have tended to choose to not go into that due to my desire to not shame her. The news came out in September because we thought she had gone missing. A few people knew about it before I went public, but I had kept it secret for a reason.

I would be crazy to deny there was also some shame involved in that. I hate having to tell people I’m divorced. Divorce can be a scarlet letter that you wear.

At the same time, I try to not let it dominate my life. Many people can think about getting revenge on their exes. This is actually how Sue Grafton’s alphabet murder series came about. She kept thinking of how she could kill her ex and then thought, “Why not turn it into a book series?” For me, I don’t really want that. There is a part of me that wants justice, but I want mercy also for her. I have decided personally that the best revenge is a life well-lived.

Even last night, I had a dream that we found out she had to go to the hospital again. This is just a dream, of course, so don’t take this as a fact, but I woke up from it and going back to sleep, I began praying for her again and her well-being. Can I say she has hurt me more than anyone else ever has? Yep. 100%. Still, I try to think of how I have treated my God and then I remember I too have rejected too many times one who loves me so much and I pray for mercy.

Going to work five days a week is a pain as well mainly because my job requires nothing that gives me any challenge intellectually, but is instead a lot of socializing. It’s one reason I am working on making Deeper Waters self-sustaining so that I can just do apologetics work full-time. Again, please consider becoming a donor to help make this so. The more free time I have, the more I can do the important things, like hopefully starting up the podcast again one day.

This is a season in my life. It’s a sad season, but it is still a season. It will pass. The thing is that when people say that, it doesn’t really help that much. You don’t want to have to wait for the season to end. You want it to end then.

Fortunately, the overwhelming majority of people have been in my corner. I haven’t really lost relationships. If anything, my pain has been something that has helped some other men, and for that, I am grateful. I have one really good friend who has gone down this road and has interacted with me regularly. He had someone do the same for him. I am helping someone else down this road now and hope to help others down it too.

Still, I can’t deny the pain is real. You have to choose to keep going. There were times early on when it was sometimes tempting to just quit. That was never the answer though, although everyone I understand thinks about it at some point. I have chosen to face my pain consistently, but never doubt that it is very much there.

Sometimes people will reach out and say things that I also know are meant to be supportive, but they have the exact opposite effect. Some of it can even be true, such as the importance of being thankful for what you have. I am and should be, but I also do acknowledge there is a real loss on my end and a real desire for other gifts, like a remarriage some day.

Honestly, if you haven’t been through a divorce, one of the best things you can do is just listen. I might just need to vent a bit at times and then I can come to my own conclusions. Naturally, pray as well.

Thanks to so many people who have been there for me. I hope many of you never have to go through the pain of divorce, justified or unjustified. For those wanting to know about seminary, just follow my Facebook or subscribe to my newsletter for updates.

Thank you again for everything.

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

 

 

What Is A Woman?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why Not Watch Porn?

What’s the harm? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

In a recent post on waiting for marriage again, I wrote about a recent conversation with two co-workers. That conversation about why one should wait until marriage also included talk about pornography. The guy in the conversation was definitely stunned that I don’t watch porn, though a lot of women have been stunned about that too.

The sad reality of today is it’s considered axiomatic. If a girl starts dating a guy, she will usually assume that he is caught up in watching pornography on some level. Even sadder, too many times, she’s right.

Now I being a formerly married man have got to rightly see a woman’s full body before, so what’s the harm? Why not go back to that? I mean, sure, these are women I don’t know, but why should this suddenly be forbidden grounds once again?

First off, let’s consider that rule about women thinking that their men watch porn. This is unfair to the woman as the woman will often then start watching if anything, just because she thinks she has to compete against what is on the screen. Newsflash: She can’t. What is on the screen is fantasy and acted out entirely. What is going on in reality is not acted out. It’s real flesh and blood and there are no retakes of a scene or anything like that. There are no airbrushed bodies either in reality.

No woman should think in anyway that she has to compete with a woman on a screen. Even if you’re not watching porn, I urge you married men definitely to not talk about an actress on TV or the movies that you think is attractive. That can make a woman think in a social media world that she has to compete.

Second, we don’t know the story of these women always, but many times they are caught up in sex trafficking, which still goes on here in America. Watching pornography can further aid that. Would you want to take part in anything that could enable the sex slavery of women?

Third, when I listen to the radio many times, I often hear ads about products that deal with ED. I strongly suspect the reason this has risen so much is pornography. Some men have been turned on so much by porn that they need something stronger and stronger in order to be able to respond to a beautiful woman. There are men in their 20’s and possibly younger that are struggling with this already and some that I have known like this have been struggling with pornography. Pornography has it that you need more and more to get the same sort of reaction and it has to be harder and harder. It’s the law of diminishing returns and you are damaging your brain further and further.

Fourth, this really makes you less of a man. There’s no need to go out there and really impress a real woman. Nope. Just go and watch a woman who doesn’t even know you take off all her clothes in front of you on a screen. That doesn’t make you a man. You might feel like one, but if anything, you are less of a man. You are really telling yourself you are incapable of getting that in reality, so you might as well go to porn.

Personally, I see a woman as a privilege and I want it to be that assuming I remarry, which I definitely hope for, that a lady will know I waited for her and when she shares her body with me, there is no competition. She doesn’t have to compete against a computer screen. She is the one and only.

And ladies, if your man is watching porn, declare war on it. Don’t accept it. It’s either you or porn. I’m not saying he will necessarily quit cold turkey. It’s a struggle. Still, he has to be willing to get help. It’s a form of adultery in the marriage and it should not be tolerated.

And always, please do work on your marriages. I can tell anyone easily that divorce hurts. In some ways, it hurts every single day to this day.  Please work on your marriage so none of you has to go through with this.

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

Waiting For Marriage….Again

Should divorced people wait again? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

The whole thought seemed incredulous to them. Seriously? You’re not going to have sex again until you marry again?

I was talking to some co-workers yesterday, one a guy and one a girl, though not in any romantic relationship with each other. They both seemed stunned at first that I would be waiting until I got married again for sex.

I was stressing that this was part of being consistent with my views on sex and marriage. I’m not doing this because I like the idea. I really don’t. I do it because it’s the right thing to do. I also say this because some of my friends have never married and when I was married, I could say “Save sex for marriage” very easily because I had someone I could be with. Now, I have to say the same thing again when I have no one. The rules of reality don’t change based on my personal circumstances.

I also stressed why I was doing this and without even citing a single verse of Scripture. It was just a simple way of stating that a person is worth a lifetime commitment. I personally focused this on the girl the most since women really control the market and it seemed to be effective. Why? Because I think every girl wants to know that she’s worth a lifetime commitment. Too many women sell themselves short. Because they sell themselves for less, should they be treated as less? No.

I showed my phone as an example and said I could sell this for a penny. That would be stupid, but I could do it. That would not mean it is worth a penny. A woman can give herself to a man for less than a lifetime commitment. That does not mean she’s worth less than a lifetime commitment.

This also means no pornography. For some men, that’s really hard. For me, for the most part, it has not been a challenge. I never engaged in it before and although there have been some times of temptation, by the grace of God those have been few and far between and I have relied on Him and overcome them every time.

However, I do plan on remarrying and when I do, I want whoever I am with to know that I was faithful even when I was unmarried and did not do anything that I should have saved for marriage. This person will know that she is also worth a lifetime commitment. After all, talk is cheap. I want a girl who will say “You don’t get to be with me until you actually go through the promise and make a lifetime commitment to me publicly before God and men.”

Why say all this? First off, the standard doesn’t change for divorced people. It’s not “Well, you’ve been married and had sex before so no big deal. Do what you want?” I plan to take further precautions when dating this time around to make sure I don’t fall into temptation. The first way to highly increase the chance if not make it certain is to think that you are above it.

Second, I want my single friends who have never been married to know I am following the hard path as well. It’s not because I like it again. It’s because I’m convinced it’s the right thing to do.

And also, to my friends who are divorced, I share the burden with you. Someone did ask “Well what if you never marry again?” yesterday. Then that means I don’t again. I don’t like that, but that’s what it means. Sex is a great gift, but my happiness and well-being does not depend on it. I can’t make it my god or else it becomes a demon.

Yet I will continue to hope that love like that can be a reality again and I can have a special lady to share my life with. if I find that, I want her to know I was faithful in singleness. That also gives all the more reason to trust me in marriage.

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

Being Asked About Divorce

Should divorced people be questioned about their divorce? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

As readers should know, I am applying for seminary and right now, answering questions about my divorce. When my work manager asked about my application and I told her I was answering questions about my divorce she told me that she thought that was none of their business. I understand that sentiment honestly, but the more I thought about that, the more I thought it’s entirely their business.

It’s strange that whenever I have gone for a job interview, no employer has ever asked me questions about morality and my worldview around it. Would I want to hire an accountant who was a master with numbers, but did not think stealing was wrong? Would you want to see a doctor who thought that it was okay to commit murder, or worse a surgeon who thought that?

Why does this matter for the ministry? Because ministry is an aspect where you are meant to live a holy life. If so, I should not mind being questioned about the life that I have led and since marriage is one of the most important questions, I should not mind being questioned on that.

I understand some people feel frustrated when years later after being remarried and showing themselves to be a faithful spouse, they are still questioned about the previous marriage, but we are talking about people who do not know us as well as people who have known us for years. If we have done nothing wrong, we could consider it a bother, but in the end, why not be grateful? These should not be seen as quests to out us on something, but quests to see if we are fit to hold a leadership position in the Christian ministry community.

I also think this should not apply to just divorced people. It should apply to marrieds and never marrieds. If a man is a pastor in a church, I think he should have accountability software on his computer and devices and should not be allowed to have devices that don’t have monitoring. These would not be used to spy, but simply to report behavior that could be pornographic in nature, for example. I also think if he is married that he and his wife should be required to have their marriage status questioned regularly to see how things are going and if they are both living holy in their marriage.

Many of the same would apply to someone who is single. If he starts dating someone, he should have someone also he can be held accountable to to ask the nature of the dates. This is not to get personal information, but to make sure that purity is being kept up. Is he following the steps and not playing loose with sexual temptation?

Now why do this? Because holiness matters and consider how much damage it does the Christian church when we hear about someone who has betrayed that trust? The most egregious example out there is without a doubt, Ravi Zacharias. There are many others who this has happened to and barring the return of Christ, there will be many more this happens to and how many of these could have been caught early if we had been practicing accountability?

Does that mean I like being questioned about the status of my divorce and how it happened? No, but I also don’t like going to the doctor and getting a shot if I am sick with something. I also don’t like having to go to work when I get tremendously bored there. There are many things I do that I don’t particularly like doing, but I know that they are good for me to do.

The same applies here. We are in the business of walking and talking like Jesus did and we need to be held accountable. It would be better for us to be held accountable before our fellow Christians and thus not stumble, than to not be held accountable by them, stumble, and then be held accountable before the world.

So to my fellow divorced people, when you are questioned, I understand it’s rough, but be thankful somewhere or try to be. These are people wanting to make sure you are living holy. They do not know you as well as the people who have known you for years and you are often coming in with them blind to who you are. Be understanding and appreciate being held accountable.

In the past, I would have loved to have been a man like Ravi. Now, I want to make sure I am not like him. If that requires accountability, I should gladly take it.

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

The Seduced Slave Girl

What happens if a slave girl is seduced? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

As we go through Leviticus, we come across this law in chapter 19.

“‘If a man sleeps with a female slave who is promised to another man but who has not been ransomed or given her freedom, there must be due punishment. Yet they are not to be put to death, because she had not been freed. 21 The man, however, must bring a ram to the entrance to the tent of meeting for a guilt offering to the Lord. 22 With the ram of the guilt offering the priest is to make atonement for him before the Lord for the sin he has committed, and his sin will be forgiven.

So what is going on here?

First off, nothing is said here about how the sleeping together came about. Most likely, it is not rape, but seduction. It also says nothing about who it is that has slept with the girl. It could actually be the master himself. It could be just a way of saying anyone who does this, including the master.

Why is the death penalty not put in place here? It is not because the girl is a servant, but it is because she is not married. She was to be redeemed and to be a wife and she hasn’t been and when men wanted to redeem wives, they generally wanted to redeem virgins.

When it comes to the money that is paid, it is not clear who it is that gets the money. Is it the master or is it the husband-to-be? I also think it’s worthwhile to point out the woman doesn’t have to have any penalty on her. Instead, it is the man who is to take responsibility. Even if this is seduction and it take two to tango, the man is seen as the one who has done the seduction.

Also, if the marriage was called off because of this, what happens to the girl? She remains in the household of the master and likely he has to keep providing for her. This would mean a master better think twice if he wants to be the one who is sleeping with the slave girl.

Also, how is all of this information coming about? We can seem to gloss over that idea, but if we are talking about finding out who did what and making proper restitution, what does that entail? That’s right. An investigation. This would be a matter that would be looked into.

Why is that important? Because this is nothing silent, but it is something that is public and the man would have been seen as having done a shameful thing. If the woman let herself be seduced, this would ultimately be her own punishment as everyone would know about what she did. If a man doesn’t want to see his love life come under scrutiny like this, it would be wise for him to just avoid interacting with the girl altogether. (For an idea of what that could be like, think back to any major affair that has happened whether it be Ravi Zacharias or Bill Clinton.)

Again, all this shows that the Bible treats sex and marriage seriously. We would be wise to do the same even if our laws are different.

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