Hard But Worth It

Is life easy? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Yesterday, I wrote about the Dutch woman wanting to have herself euthanized next month. The story can present a variety of responses. There is sadness in thinking this woman wants to throw away her life like this. There is anger at the people wanting to do this. There could be anger towards her even thinking that she does not appreciate what she has.

Since she is on the spectrum, I figure I can share my own thoughts on the matter as to what life is like on the spectrum. Is it hard? Yep. Sure is. Yet as a lifelong gamer, something I notice is that most things that bring the most joy are the hardest. There is a great satisfaction in trying to defeat an enemy over and over again and failing and then one time completing the task. The challenge makes the overcoming all the sweeter.

Also, April is Autism Awareness Month so why not give some insight?

So let’s start with the negatives. There are people all around me and many times, it can seem like people are speaking in a language I don’t understand. It’s the language of tone and body. I am someone who can speak sarcasm fluently, but I can’t understand it well in others. I relate greatly to Sheldon Cooper.

Wanting to express myself can be difficult. Usually, if someone comes to the post office I work at and want to put some letters in the slip to mail out, I find it hard to say if I’m sitting there “I’ll take those.” Instead, I usually just hold my hands out. If I can speak without having to use words, all the better. Unfortunately, that’s a struggle when people don’t notice.

For an example where it’s harder, imagine going to the grocery store. You’re in the checkout line and behind someone and there’s a barrier there to separate your orders. You can’t reach it and so you want to tell the person in front of you to hand it to you.

I instead wind up gesturing wildly hoping they will notice me and hand it to me. The words are there, but I can’t seem to verbalize them. Sadly, this method has never worked.

I also tend to live a life in quite regimented order. On days that I work as an example, I go and get a hot tea from the cafe at 3:30 and I don’t start drinking it until 4. I was watching the time on my phone one day and my boss said “You could just go and get it early.”

I looked at her like she practically had two heads.

I have two pairs of shoes that I wear and I follow the same order with them. On the days I wear my white shoes, well those are days that when I take a shower in the evening, I will be washing my hair. I will also be having something besides a pizza for dinner that evening. The system works well in that regard.

Speaking of food situations, those I don’t care for. If I’m at an event with a lot of people and I don’t know them well and I think the food looks messy to me, I get extremely nervous. I can’t explain why, but I know when Crawfest comes along, most students here love it. I’m probably the only student who wants to run screaming.

When I joined my church, I did it with three other single men and I tell my pastor that to this day, I remember how he said what these men would appreciate most is to have someone invite them over to their house for a nice meal.

I was standing there thinking, “Darn. I was hoping you would say introduce us to some nice single ladies. Please don’t have me over to your house for a meal.”

Speaking of single women, that’s also a struggle. I get it. Most men are oblivious to when a woman is flirting to them and we can’t read signals all that well. I suspect I’m worse. It’s also a struggle to express myself to a woman and let her know I am interested in her. It’s one reason I’m in therapy here.

That is also because I am working through the divorce which is still painful. It really stings when you put your trust in someone and give them all of you in every way and they reject you in the end. That gets to what is probably the biggest struggle I have.

I fear that in the day and age of the internet, we’re more globally connected, but we’re less locally connected, and thus it’s loneliness. I come home and it’s just me and Shiro at the end of the day. This is not to say I don’t have friends around here. I remember when my first birthday came around, I wondered if anyone would know on campus. I opened my apartment door and there were gold streamers outside with a gift card, some cookies, and other decorations. I don’t remember everything that was there, but my RA and her husband had decided to do something. That was a huge blessing to me. The gifts were nice, but nicer still were people showing they took an interest in me.

Loneliness is the real struggle though. I notice that it seems like when we all get done at the end of the day, everyone goes out to their own place and that’s it. I have some friends I meet for tabletop gaming and that’s every couple of weeks. I go out with some of the professors at the end of many months for a trivia night. I also see students at the Post Office and I think they know me as a cut-up and someone who tries to make everyone laugh.

It would be a mistake to say people on the spectrum don’t have emotions. We do. We don’t always express them well or have them the same way. Church services that seem to be geared towards getting people towards an emotional high don’t work on me. I have to be doing something else while I’m in a service or else I will zone out. Something interesting for me at least on the spectrum is that this can often help me focus.

It also means we can hurt just like anyone else. I take rejection since my divorce extremely seriously. My apartment is a mess, but in my own way, I need order in my life and I think things should be a certain way and it’s hard to focus when they are not.

That all sounds hard.

It is.

But I’ve only told you the hard side.

I like though that I have a very strong memory that can pull up random bits of information when needed. I can remember facts I know of for trivia night. I can play games and know where I need to go much easier. I can tell you what’s going on in many passages of the Bible. I rarely have to study for a class.

I have a Greek tutor who says that I can sight=read Greek which he says is quite rare. In my symbolic logic class which is a rare class I am having to work at, my professor says I seem to be going through the fog area quickly and I’m even asking questions about the material that shows I’m really thinking about it. It’s great to be in an apologetics debate and have the knowledge mentally that I need to have.

I enjoy making people laugh. I figure if being on the spectrum, I take things literalistically for the most part, why not have some fun with that? I have a professor who came to me in the Post Office once and said “Can you check my mailbox?”


I just sit there for awhile doing what I was doing and he notices what happened and then says “Will you check it?” That’s when I get up. Even then, I can still have some fun going and coming back and saying “It’s still there.”

“Is there any mail in it?’


“Will you get it?”

Usually, I already have it with me, but it is a game that I play.

Sometimes students see me on campus and ask “What’s up?”

“The sky. Birds in flight. The opposite of down. A two-letter word that starts with a U and ends with a P. A preposition. Elevators rising. A quark. A Pixar movie.”

Naturally also, students and professors regularly assure me that they affirm the virgin birth, which I do affirm, and I likewise assure them that I affirm the virgin birth, which I do affirm. If I start a joke with you, you’d better get used to it. It’s not dying. If I stop joking with you, that’s the time to be concerned. That means something has shifted in our relationship.

I love being able to do math in my head. I do a birthday game as well where I tell someone what day of the week they were born on by knowing their birthday. Numbers are just fun things to play with.

I have a group I get together with every Thursday night via Zoom that I enjoy. It’s a Thomas Aquinas group and I’m one of the token Protestants. They know they can turn to me for Bible questions and I joke I’m here to make sure they understand Aquinas right.

Right now, I’m hoping to either find someone who can show me how to make YouTube videos or just make them for me if I can supply the ideas and my speaking that I want to have done. It is for my Gaming Theologian channel. I am also trying to raise money to help me with my ongoing expenses as I work on my Master’s and then PhD. You can help out with that here.

Naturally, I’m trying to find a good Christian girl. I have said before that in many ways, I am like Monk and I am looking for my Trudy. I would love to have someone I could just cherish and adore.

Is life hard sometimes still? Absolutely. There can still be times of great sadness. I am on medication for anxiety and depression still. However, at the end of the day, it’s worth it. I love going out and walking on campus and seeing people I know. I enjoy going through my books and then having a relaxing evening playing games and watching YouTube videos and whatever TV show I am going through. (Currently, Young Sheldon.) I have friends and I have family. Tomorrow, I plan on writing about the battle to get here.

If I struggle, which I still do, well that just makes the quest all the more exciting in the end, even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time. It’s another step I am taking on the path to making a difference in the world. I also pray it’s a testimony to other people on the spectrum to not give up, like this poor girl.

I pray every night she will find Jesus. I hope you will too. It is ultimately my trust in Christ that keeps me going. It tells me there is a cause greater than myself not just worth dying for, but worth living for.

It’s hard.

Hard, but worth it.

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

Is Paul autobiographical in Romans 7?

Who is being talked about in Romans 7? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

So I caused some debate in my Sunday School class yesterday when Romans 7 was brought up and I started hinting that it’s not autobiographical. Now the problem I see with this is too many people go to their experience, see that they struggle in a way that sounds like Romans 7, and then say “Paul must be talking about that!” Our experience is very real, but it doesn’t mean that the Western way of thinking is what Paul has in mind.

For a start, let’s look at the passage in Romans 7:

What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of coveting. For apart from the law, sin was dead. Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. 10 I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. 11 For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. 12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.

13 Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! Nevertheless, in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it used what is good to bring about my death, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.

14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

Well there you go! Paul speaks in the first person. Obviously, he must be talking about himself.

Except, what about Philippians 3?

Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you. Watch out for those dogs, those evildoers, those mutilators of the flesh. For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh— though I myself have reasons for such confidence.

If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.”

Here, Paul does talk about how he kept the law. He says he was faultless. Now I was told yesterday that this is just how Paul appeared to others, but there’s no indication that he is talking about that here. Paul is just stating the facts in his mind, just as all the above about his heritage are facts. Furthermore, this makes no sense later on of the passage when he says “All that righteousness, I count as dung.” The Greek word for dung is skubalon which could be an expletive. Paul never says “I considered myself righteous with regards to the law, but I knew I wasn’t.” That would weaken his testimony. His testimony is, “As good as I was before God, that is all worthless before Christ.” Go the other way and you could have him saying “If I could have kept the law, I wouldn’t need Christ.”

But that still leaves us with a question? Who is being talked about in Romans 7?

Go back to Romans 5. Who do you see as the main person being spoken of? It’s Adam. What if we brought him into Romans 7. Does this make sense?

After all, my opening question yesterday was “When was Paul apart from the law?” He never was. In Galatians 4, we are told Jesus was born under the law. So that means the Jewish Jesus was born under the law, but somehow Paul missed it? Paul would have never said in his days before Christ that he was alive apart from the law.

But what about Adam? Suppose we see that when he got the commandment about the fruit in the garden, that that which was meant to bring him life, did become an instrument of death as he broke it? Not only that, some of the Jewish rabbis at the time thought that the sin that was committed in the garden was coveting. Adam and Eve wanted the fruit so they could have what God has.

If we go that route, things make sense. My main concern also is too often we are identifying with Romans 7. This is even after we have come to Christ. Once you come to Christ, your true identity is in Romans 8 and all the wonderful promises in that.

What do we have to do to reach this? Just stop starting with our own experience. Paul is not talking about himself in this passage even if this could have been a struggle for him at times. If you accept Philippians 3, you need to find a way to reinterpret Romans 7 for this way. If you go the route I have presented, you have no difficulty at all.

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

The Draw Of Sin

Why is it we get drawn into sinful things? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Yesterday, I was talking with a friend about matters and he started talking with me about some of my writings on the topic of pornography. He told me that he thinks I don’t mention that it’s normally a sin people fall into unintentionally. I can fully agree with this which leads to some thinking on the nature of sin and its draw.

When I was growing up, the D.A.R.E. program was the big thing. This was a program meant to keep kids off of drugs. I never attended a meeting or anything like that, but I was well aware of the organization. There were several commercials done in that age with kids talking about what they wanted to be when they grew up and one common line in them was “No one ever says, ‘I want to be a junkie when I grow up.’ ”

And this is how it is with most sins in our lives. Very few spouses will get up in the morning and say “You know, I think today would be a good day to have an affair.” Someone stopping at the bar for an evening won’t likely be thinking “I really want to be an alcoholic.” Someone who overeats on Thanksgiving too much is not likely thinking “I want to get addicted to food and become really overweight.”

With the last two, it’s not to say those automatically happen. A lot of people do overeat on Thanksgiving and manage to control themselves the rest of the year for the most part. Some people can go into a bar and get a drink and control their alcohol and be just fine. These can just be gateway points.

Here’s something to think about. When we are tempted with sin, we are in some way tempted with something that we think is good. This is not to say that the sin is good. No sin is. This is to say that this is our nature.

The porn addict has a desire to see a beautiful person of the opposite sex naked and has a desire to have sex. None of those are wrong desires. Most teenage boys growing up especially will have those desires and that’s normal for them. Having the desires is not a problem and is no sin. It’s what one does with the desires.

In this, C.S. Lewis gave a great piece of wisdom. Only good people understand temptation. Bad people do not. Bad people give in to it. Good people wrestle against it and can be grieved greatly by it. With her interest in saints in the Orthodox Church, I have told her that the saints are the ones who are most aware of their sin and struggle against it. Take the best saint you can think of in any tradition, and yes, we Protestants need to recognize there are some people who have led lives that we think are exceptionally holy, and realize that as they were dying, they still had sins they were struggling with.

This doesn’t mean that someone won’t want the sin. That is part of the struggle. You will not be tempted with something that is disgusting to you. Most of us will not be wrestling with the temptation to have sex with our mothers, for example. That seems absolutely repulsive to us even if we think our mothers are beautiful and wonderful women.

Some of you might be skeptical of the idea of temptations involving perceived good. What about murder? Usually, a crime is committed for one of three reasons. Money, sex, power. None of these are evil in themselves. It is how they are wanted and how they are used. A person wanting a murder could want justice. Justice isn’t a bad thing. It’s just the murderer wants to be judge, jury, and executioner.

Even the suicide wants something good. The suicide wants some peace from what is going on in their lives. Peace is a good thing. They just have a wrong way of wanting to get that peace.

In some cases, one does need to remove the object of temptation. It’s not in all cases, but some. If you have a problem with overeating, you can’t respond by removing all eating from your life. You’ll soon have another problem. It depends on the object of temptation entirely.

If one is tempted with porn, one should seek to cut things off entirely since porn in itself is a sin. It’s not wise to say that one needs a moderate amount of sin in their lives. In other cases, self-discipline is the idea. It also requires self-examination where you look into yourself and ask “What do I really want?” Don’t settle with a base answer like sex, power, justice, etc. Ask why one wants those things.

Suppose we go back to the guy tempted with porn. What does he want? On a basic level, he wants sex and he wants to see a naked woman, or in this case, women. Having a desire for the naked human female form is not wrong and having a desire for sex is not wrong. Yet we could ask what other things this guy wants. Perhaps he wants to feel like a man. That could be a root of the problem. Then we have to ask why this guy thinks he needs porn to feel like a man. He could ask what it really means to be a man. These are the productive questions.

Many an affair begins innocently. A woman starts talking with a man at the office and then they talk and talk and one day they go out together for lunch at the same time and just happen to go together and they just talk and talk and before too long, they’re in a hotel room together. At the start, she just wanted someone to talk to. That wasn’t wrong. What could we ask?

Why does she want this connection? What does it provide for her that she’s lacking? If she is already married, how is she viewing her marriage? Are there legitimate problems that need work? (And in every marriage, the answer is yes) What can she do to improve it?

Many times, dealing with the actions can be just like dealing with the symptoms of a disease without dealing with the disease itself. We Christians often talk about repentance so much, but that repentance which we rightly talk about is a process. It can be a long and hard and painful process. Repentance does not mean the temptation goes away or one no longer struggles. That we are struggling is really a sign of how seriously we are taking sin. People who don’t care don’t really talk about repentance. If you are feeling guilty for a sin and wrestling with it, even if there is a part of you that still wants it, as far as I’m concerned, you are in the process of repentance.

Finally, have some grace for yourself. Everyone is always struggling with some sin and for many of us, we’ve been struggling with the same kind of sin for years. Grace seems to be a concept we often think applies to everyone else instead of ourselves. Picture what you’re saying to yourself. If you wouldn’t say it to anyone else in the same situation, don’t say it to yourself. Grace is always there for people who are willing to struggle through the walk and God is always there with them even if one doesn’t feel like it.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

The Struggle Of Men

What does a man have to deal with in today’s world? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I have seen two different things this past week and yet, I think they’re both related. One is a female friend of mine who posted about what it is like probably for seminarians and ministers who are men. She is not justifying any struggles that they have with pornography, but is wanting us to understand why they turn to pornography.

When you go to seminary or enter ministry, you sign up for a hard life really. I went to Southern Evangelical for quite awhile and sadly, thinking back, I don’t really remember anything being said about pornography. Maybe it was and I’ve forgotten it. I don’t doubt looking back that some of my fellow students were struggling with pornography.

Often while driving with my wife down the road, we hear commercials here for men who are struggling with ED. I tell my Princess regularly that I suspect the reason for much of the struggle is pornography. There are men in their 20’s who have to be on Viagra. This is many times because they’ve got so used to airbrushed and fake women in porn that they don’t know how to get aroused by a real woman. That’s too tame for them.

Btw, let’s keep in mind also that many people in porn could be there because of human trafficking. Watching porn can, in that case, be giving power to this kind of thing. I find it interesting that many atheists who complain about slavery in the Bible can have no problem with porn which can lead to sexual slavery easily.

Many men turn to this because, first off, we tend to be very visual and have a high drive. This is not the case for all, but it is our natural tendency. We also live in a world where sex is all around us. You can say that we can turn off the TV and things like that. Yeah. Not going to solve the problem. A man just needs to go to the grocery store. I’m not even talking about the magazine rack. Men are drawn to beautiful women and in our day and age, women do dress to be beautiful.

I am not saying that is wrong at all! Women should do that! Women are beautiful and that should be celebrated. If a man cannot control himself, that is the fault of the man. Of course, there is a difference if a woman is trying to deliberate show herself off. There is a fine line here where both sides need to be considerate of the other.

Men often feel the pressure and pornography will make a man feel like a man. This is something all men long for. All men want to be men and if a man feels aroused, he certainly feels like a man. The problem is it’s all fake. It really requires nothing of the man. It is not a challenge. All he has to do is click the right web sites on his computer today.

In the past, women complained about being treated like objects, and rightly so, but today the women are often objectifying themselves. It’s too easy to go out and give everything you have to a guy immediately or have these topless marches and put yourself out there on display. If anything, this allows women to be treated more like objects. Abortion on demand doesn’t make it any better. Now men don’t have to worry about consequences, like children.

Many good guys have suffered from this. This past week I have seen good guys struggle with being single. It really touched me, because I do remember those days. What really irked me was hearing women talk about how they just wanted a nice guy who cared about them and their feelings. Never did believe it. Good men often get overlooked and the guys who are often some of the sleaziest do not.

These men really struggle.

Getting married doesn’t necessarily end all the problems. It can help, but many times our society has taught women that men are dirty perverts because they think about sex so much. While for the most part, we do, that’s not because we’re perverts. This is a good thing that God made and He made men and women to enjoy it.

For we men, there’s great misunderstanding on how essential this is to us in marriage. Often a man will complain about getting duty sex where the wife just goes along because she knows her husband needs it, but there’s no real desire on that part. For a man, duty sex beats no sex, but it’s not really satisfying. Men want to be wanted. They want to know they are appealing and attractive and bring joy to their wives.

A man will often measure himself by his accomplishments and for a husband, one of those is bringing joy to his wife. If a man brings joy to his wife everywhere else, but he doesn’t seem to in the bedroom, he feels like a failure. This is really such a great area in men’s lives that many women just don’t understand. (An excellent place to go to is the XY Code by Paul Byerly. He writes from a Christian perspective to help women understand men.)

Here’s the good news for you wives. If you do desire and pursue your husband, you will make this so much easier for him. You have great power. It’s really hard for men and they struggle more when they don’t feel desired and they’re trying to work with this burning question of their own masculinity looming in the background. (Women wanting help in this area can be blessed greatly by going to To Love, Honor, And Vacuum.)

Men struggle today and I am convinced our society is in a war against men. Masculinity is looked down on in our world. Men are in a struggle to determine if they really are men and sadly, they think going out and having sex will prove that they are. It won’t. It can give that feeling no doubt, but the best way to be a man is to properly love the women in your life, and this includes even if you are single. You do not have to be sexually active to be a man after all.

For those of us who are Christians, that means definitely avoiding pornography which treats women as objects and doesn’t require any challenge of going out and winning the heart of a real woman, a real accomplishment. It is far better to win the heart and then body of a real woman than to go out and do nothing to get a fake one, and sadly the fake one can make it harder to act with the real one. Also, save sex for marriage. Make a covenant with the woman first and then enjoy the fruit of the covenant.

And women, we men should understand you, but understand where the men you encounter are coming from. I know many men who struggle with porn and wish that they didn’t and are working to overcome it. (Women can struggle too, but this post is about men.) Your husband also is not a pervert because he thinks about sex so much. This is the way God made men and they function best when kept happy. What they really want is not just a release, but they want you. They want to feel close to you and accepted and loved by you and sex does that best.

It’s a hard time to be a man in today’s world. The church needs to recognize this as well and be there for men, especially those struggling with pornography. Condemn the action, but remember the man can often be a victim of his own desires.

In Christ,
Nick Peters