Skip to content

Why are things so confusing

I hate debating and don’t want to debate anything but this is just something that confuses me a lot I guess.
So I think (but I don’t know) that atheists basically believe it is impossible for an always existing or eternal being to exist with no beginning in sight or no end.

What confuses me is that atheists must think that it is more likely that the universe is a never ending cycle which somehow ended up containing matter. I don’t get how that is more reasonable than a creator.

When I accept that a creator made the world I don’t claim to say I understand how something could have existed eternally. I can’t grasp that concept. But it seems more likely that matter was made and designed than that it just came out of nowhere without any initial causer. I know this goes back to the whole idea that nothing doesn’t cause something so something must have been the cause.

Why is an infinite chain of purposeless events more likely than God? I don’t get it. I know if I were atheist I would think the other way maybe and say why is God more likely. I simply look around and see physical matter that I can feel and hold and it has weight. I just can’t grasp that it all came from nothing. It not only doesn’t make sense but it seems impossible. The existence of an eternally present being who existed eternally into the past doesn’t make sense to me but it seems possible because it make sense that we came from somewhere.

Especially since we are so organized. If a randomly purposeless universe can come together to make things and become so organized then it just makes sense that there must have been something that caused it. I am not talking about evolution. I just mean the fact that things are organized at all. The fact that things work so darn well just wouldn’t make sense if it were an infinite chain of events into the past.

And if things had a beginning like it seems they do and it also seems that after billions of years things will basically end and entropy will have spread everything out and minimized energy in the universe then an infinite chain of events wouldn’t have a middle section where we exist. We couldn’t have come from that if there is a beginning or some end of the organization of matter in sight. At least that is sort what I’m thinking.

Another thing that is always on my mind are the laws of nature. They just exist. They hold in place. I don’t care if there is some discovery they may vary throughout the universe. There is no reason that laws of matter should hold in place unless they are held in place by something. If things were random things couldn’t just be so stable. We couldn’t just exist.

Now I can feel the fire burning in me where I just wanna yell out Jesus is the answer. And in the end he is the point of this post. I can feel the tears welling up because I don’t understand why so many will never believe in God. I understand why they won’t believe in Jesus, they don’t want to, but believing in God seems so basic to me after thinking through this and I am just frustrated and sad.

Things are so ordered. There is moral order, nature has order, things work well (I don’t mean to say we live in a good world I just mean we live in a world that is connected and sensical). No things like suffering and pain don’t make sense to me. I don’t understand how the idea of a hell will glorify God more than having not made people that would end up in hell. But at that point my frustration would lead me to question God which isn’t logical to do because I trust Him. It is all for his glory. This confusing place all will make sense one day and Jesus will make all of the pain I feel go away. But it breaks my heart that some will experience that pain forever and it will only get worse.

I love the picture that KP Yohannan painted of it. After million million billion years people in hell will still cry out I am thirsty I want to be free but their suffering has not even yet begun because it will go on for eternity. And you can imagine that in million million billion years it has still not begun. At the end of all time the time of their suffering is still no closer to an end than it is the moment they go to hell.
All I know is Jesus is the way the truth and the life and all who believe in him will be saved.

Wanted to add something to the end of this I thought about after.

The main reason that so many going to hell doesn’t make me lose faith is because I partially know the heart of God. I have a glimpse of what he went through and what he wants for all of those people bound for destruction. He wants them to accept the cross and follow Jesus and to be saved from wrath. He died just to give those hell bound people a chance to be redeemed and he did it all by his own power and never requires us to use our own strength but to always rely on him.
And I know that his heart today is to continue reaching out to the entire world. Jesus spent his 3 years of ministry giving everyone he ever saw a chance to come into the light through the way he talked to them. He had a heart for people and he still does. He wants all Christians to pray and rely on Him and to go out into the world telling people the gospel and loving them. He does not want them to undergo his wrath he wants them to experience his love.

That is what comforts me most with all of these thoughts of hell.

Advertisements

How to deal with Lust (mostly deals with masturbation)

My advice for men struggling with masturbation (mostly for those in relationships with another girl they intend to honor).

Tonight God answered my prayer and spoke to me. Recently my struggle with lust broke my heart very slowly. It was not quick for me to learn. But slowly God was speaking to me and tonight I feel it is finally clear that I have the answer I was looking for and I think it could bless any man struggling with any amount of lust. Remember Ephesians 5:3 But among you there should not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.

Dont forget that verse. That is the basis of all of our struggles with lust that we men seeking to be men of God need to go through. It is hard to get advice that will truly bless us to change our ways. Sometimes the advice seems like you have to be perfect to be able to do it sometimes the advice is worthless. I think God’s wisdom will touch all those who have ears to hear it and it will bless them in their struggle to persevere and to become men so much more than before. What a man has become in America even as a Christian has crumbled from the image we have of Jesus and from the ways the early church taught. Many have written about that already.

My purpose is to focus on how to deal with lust afterwards.

Most men when they deal with lust they seek forgiveness from God and they seek some kind of repentance but it is not a repentance of strength and one that will lead to victory. That is why we fail again and again. But have hope, slavery is not inevitable. We don’t have to be perfect, we just have to see how desperately we need this change. That is what I will discuss now.

Most people masturbate to porn. This is so horrible for our eyes and our hearts and souls and spirit and everything in us. Like when a man unites himself with a prostitute he sins against his own body so do we brothers, we are doing the same, we would unite ourself with an internet prostitute through masturbation and I know this will rest uneasy with some but we cheat on our girlfriends, future brides, spouses. We cheat. I think unless we can see that we are cheating not only from the heart but with our eyes as well and our hands then we will not be able to change. But if we recognize and accept that this act is completely a form of adultery very similar to prostitution then I think we will be blessed by God to turn away from it. The first step is a repentance of having our eyes opened so that we are desperate for change. Are you thirsty to stop cheating on your wife, girlfriend, whoever? Do you ache inside because you have spoiled the joy of future intimacy, do you ache because you have not been faithful to the girl you profess to love?

I think that is another thing we need to recognize as men. We profess to love these women yet we commit adultery against them and because it is “natural” to struggle with lust and porn and masturbation and because “everyone does it” we think of it as less of a crime. But you would see a man who cheats with another woman physically and in person as one who does not love his wife. So why do we think we are still being loving? How can we commit masturbation one morning, afternoon, evening, and then go and look at the girl we are committed to without feeling the deep remorse and pain of knowing we have been unfaithful. We should immediately tell them we have been unfaithful and recognize that we are being unfaithful and do not immediately assure them it won’t happen again because we don’t want to go down the path to fake repentance from this. That is a part of the cycle. It will be hard to see this as unfaithfulness fully at first. It will be hard to see the seriousness of this but I am sure that if you wish to honor your partner you will find it obvious and God will put it in your heart to see the seriousness of your crime.

Please take a quick break. Just think about your struggles with lust. Think about your partner, think about the life you want to have with them. Is masturbation to porn compatible with that life? Can you love your partner while lustfully looking at the naked body of another woman? Do you realize the unnatural standard you are telling you she needs to have to satisfy you? You are saying to her not only that she must have that body but you are saying she must do these specific sexual things to please you, and you are saying you can’t wait and you want them now. So any faithful girl who does not want to give in is heart broken because they will not have sex with you now (if you are married it is a much more serious story and much worse since the level of adultery is so much stronger I believe). They want to remain faithful to God but you are telling them that you just can’t resist these urges and you need to fill them. I know us guys like to blame it on the temptation or the situation or something else but come on guys. Own up to it. Would you be tempted by porn if you did not lust over those women’s bodies sometimes?  Would you be tempted by porn if you in your heart of hearts thought your partner was worth everything in the world? I don’t think you would. We would not be tempted but we are because in our twisted hearts and from American culture (from many young men) we are told that porn is good. Many people think it is good for a sexual relationship. We must recognize porn is an evil evil thing from the devil and we must recognize that we must do all we can to avoid the temptation. We must run from it. We can’t just live with it.

One quick practical way to deal with the temptation is to fill your mind with the word of God. His words are life and they are healing and they will restore life to our twisted hearts. Men, we are Christians and yet we struggle with this. We have much to repent of. We need to fill our minds with God’s word so that it will pierce into our hearts and cut us deep within. That is when it changes us. Memorize Ephesians 5:3  maybe the verse about uniting oneself with a prostitute which is maybe from Corinthians i cant remember. And when you memorize it memorize it with the intent to have the word of God transform your mind during the day and to give you strength and power. You need to believe this will work so that you do not do it passively. memorizing scripture is good but if we do it passively it will not penetrate our hearts and bring change.

That is one thing we can do and should do to deal with the lust and temptation. But what do we do about our partners? We have been so unfaithful. Now I can’t say everything. There is a terribly long list of things we must do and should do to honor her and to honor God and her family for what we have done.

One thing to recognize is that this girl is a man’s daughter. She is a woman’s daughter. Now the father is the one we should probably go to first since he is the head of the family but we need to apologize sincerely and ask for forgiveness from them for being adulterous with their daughters. Don’t think of this as extreme or silly for your situation. Think about how much that man cares about his daughter and how much you have dishonored her by saying that she is not enough and you need this other sexual escape as well. You have belittled her and if she knows the full extent of the things you do when you masturbate you have broken her heart. You have made his precious daughter cry. You have hurt her. If she does not express the hurt she may believe the lies of American culture that say it is okay cuz all guys do it but I assure you if she knew she could express her heart without fear of being told she was being unreasonable then she would surely say how heart she is and how little she feels. I would not be surprised if she has cried about it before or if she has become numb to the pain and doesn’t think anything of it now because you have allowed her to be or things from her past have allowed her to be.

Before I go on I just want to say that, no sir, you are not to blame for all of this girl’s problems, you are not to blame for everything, but do you love her? Are you willing to love her? Don’t you want her to be filled with joy that she could be with such a man? I hope you do! Your partner is worth more than gold. You should take as much responsibility as you can, not because you are fully responsible, but because you don’t want to lack taking responsibility in one area or another. We do not know how dramatically our sin has affected this girl. I assure you if you go through these steps to love her she will be truly blessed by it in the end and will feel so much more loved so do not doubt she has been affected by it. I think the worst situation is that she has been numbed to it. That brother is a truly broken girl. She is hurting so much inside and is searching all over the place for true fulfillment since she can’t find it in her relationship if she is numb to that pain.

Men, we need to own up to this. We need to take steps of real repentance. If you have struggled with masturbation and porn in the past dont let this get by you! At the very least it has hurt your heart badly and if you are single it is destroying your future relationship with your spouse. It is destroying your perception of sex and of what a woman is and of how we should treat them. It will numb you to things. It will scar your eyes. You will never be able to remove those images naked women you have seen from your eyes. If you have been addicted before they will be there unless God removes them. Those images can remind you constantly of what you have done and to stay strong and of how screwed up your perception of women is.

Now I know most people reading this may feel like I missed them or was not really speaking to them since they don’t feel how I feel about this or there struggle with lust is so different. Some of you maybe I have got it right and you know things need to change. But if you don’t really get it yet then please don’t move on. I can always right more about this God willing, I have to say I usually don’t have many wise words to say and my posts are fruitless but there is more conversation to be had. I haven’t even gotten into the things that I wanted to because there is so much to go over.

Remember a few things, the bible verse memorization: get them verses engraved in your minds. Seriously. It is so helpful to write the verse you are working on down 100 times on a piece of paper. And focus on one at a time unless you feel very much called to more. Be faithful to that one verse in your mind and watch God transform your heart and mind slowly.

Another thing is to talk to the parents. You have disrespected them by doing this to their daughter and you are unworthy of her, so unworthy. You have cheated, not soft cheated, if you are full on into masturbation and porn then it is legitimate cheating and you have united your heart and mind with these unrealistic women who make their lives about sex. MEN life is not about sex. These women are so broken, we should be crying over this as Christians that they would be tempted by this world to turn their lives over to sex, we should pray for them, not support them. That is working against the gospel, that is the work of satan to enslave these women. Christian men cannot be addicted to porn. So you need to apologize to her parents, truly sorry, if you apologize lightly about this after confessing then that isn’t good, don’t apologize until you are feeling quite emotional about how serious this is, if you are convicted it will tear you apart inside to know what you have done.

Another thing is your partner, you owe her the world. You have destroyed your eyes and your heart. You have done evil. Be ready to begin the most important and radical repentance of your life because if you don’t then you will only keep hurting her and your love for her will never heal her. She needs real love. Regardless of how she feels, if she is numb to it, she needs the love of a godly man and the freedom of Christ. You need that as well because without it you are condemned to hell but thank the Lord that he came down for us 🙂 He has given us this way to be fixed not only for eternity in the hands of God but we don’t have to live lives of slavery to pain on earth. We can learn to live a life of love and you will be amazed at how much it blesses the people around you. Your partner will be blessed most, her parents will be blessed and so glad to know she is finally in good hands because you are fully living to love her. Remember what marriage and relationships are, it is Christ’s love for the church, that is how we ought to view our love for our partner. And one of the best things is once you are conquering this you can bring others along with you and come on guys, you can finally be free from this thing which has been torturing you! As much as porn and masturbation are our won fault, there is no way to express what torture it is. Once you know how evil it is the torture you will feel is worse. The way it enslaves us to treat women horribly is just obscene. We can be free to set others free!

Just a few more things. Anyone who struggles with masturbation but not porn. I am so glad you are not in a struggle with porn but still your heart is lustful and incontrollable. You still desperately need to repent otherwise it could get worse. You don’t want to grow numb to it. I didn’t once get to talking about what sex is for really. But it is all about the intimacy of marriage and about the woman you will be with or your current partner. If you will be married in the future then you are only ruining what your intimacy will be, you are making it about yourself when we are meant to love our partner so much more than ourselves. We are so selfish. We dishonor women so much. And we disgrace ourselves with this shameful act. But we can be free forever and we can be forgiven eternally and God is the strength that we have to rely on. By his power alone can we do this. These are steps but unless he touches your heart and opens your eyes you will not be able to defeat this. I urge you to see the seriousness of the sin you are committing against your current or future partner. And wow! I have missed one heck of a thing. Do not forget this is sin against God! We dishonor him with our bodies and our lives and our hearts. We are so wicked. We must repent. There is no other way. Lust is one of so many sins we commit against him. We need to work to be filled with his transforming power through the word. Not even a hint of sexual immorality because it isn’t proper for God’s holy people! No more inappropriate tv shows for any of us, never, no more porn. If you keep it up after this I pray for your soul you can repent in the future because the wrath awaiting those is clearly layed out in Ephesians 5 for those who do these acts of disobedience.

Guys I admit I struggle with many sins and I am so far from being a Godly man. I do not write this as one who has conquered even lust. I write it as one who is struggling against it. I struggle with laziness so badly, I hope the next quarter of school I can schedule very well and get work done ahead of time. I need to cut out the games and tv and wasted time. We are free in Christ to serve him and not to waste our lives. You will find me sinning again in the future committing the sins I condemn. I recognize that I struggle to repent as well. But we must take these steps. We must fill our mind with God’s word, we must spend time in prayer and watch God heal us. Do not be afraid, God has a good will, pray and read the word, memorize so that important verses and concepts stick with you to transform you and search for other ways to grow. God bless! The long post was just to get out as much information as possible incase this actually helps someone (God willing). Love you guys! Thank the Lord I am not captive to my old sins.

I left out the most important thing. Remember, you are not alone! God is working in our lives. If you are ready but feel so weak you are not alone in this. You are not going to be the reason that you get over this, God will do it because he is good! He is your strength. Rely on him. That is why we need his word, that is why we need prayer and even fasting. When we live lives of love then God is already working through us. The Holy Spirit is the one who causes us to love. He is the reason that I have the convictions I do that are leading me to feel like I have a way to get out of the mess I dug myself into. Don’t worry about how bad your situation is. Just focus on doing things like praying and reading the bible. Keep God in your life and HE will do things in your life and make it better. He will give you the convictions you need when you need them. If you need to have a serious talk with a partner then he will guide you. You are not even alone in your most shameful moments about this. Why would we ignore our problem when we have the God of the universe to work it out in our lives!

Me

I don’t want to be a fake writer. I don’t want to claim some radical Christian life I don’t have. I have so many struggles. I have lust struggles, I have major laziness struggles, I have love struggles. I want them all to be worked out but I go about it all wrong and my love for others and God is constantly empty and I have no power to overcome my problems without love. Even right now I have homework to do but I didn’t want to pass up writing this.

My greatest dream is that my friends and I would all be servants of Christ so humbled that we band together to spend our time constantly trying to bless strangers and our neighbors. I will never be able to be the radical Christian I so desire to be without a company of Christian brothers with the same desires and will to change things. I want to see the area I live in shaken because God is present. I have big dreams of what the gospel could do if only I and others were faithful to be servants of God above all. I don’t think all are meant to serve the same way as me but for the longest time now I’ve had this desire to wreck the peace of wherever I am with the gospel and shake people so that they can be awakened by God’s love for them. I think we can all focus on spreading the gospel to whoever we see wherever we are given that it is okay to talk and we are not being unfaithful in other things.

The bottom line is that if we are faithful in love then we shouldn’t be prioritizing serving others too much because everything will be in its proper place.

I have mentioned my dreams, I have vast dreams for how things could be…but I am so unfaithful in the littlest things. I need so much help and prayer. We all do. Without a community we are going to have so many more struggles. Paul had believers always pray for him. He always had people behind him in his service. We all need that. I know I need that especially because I get discouraged so so easily.

Having company when sharing the gospel makes it 100 times easier. Having friends passionate after the heart of God will make discouragement disappear. I have experienced that firsthand with my own roommates setting aside time for prayer a few nights in a row, being faithful in that was a major blessing always. I know that being constantly dedicated to service is the best thing and I personally think it is what we are made for. I think if we miss the servitude aspect of the Christian life then we have missed it completely.
But this post was meant to expose my weaknesses. Online I can be bold in who I want to be in what I truly think since I am not going to be there when whoever reads reacts to it so I don’t even think about that. In person I am the weakest feeblest guy ever. I am a guy who needs help and who needs desperately the power of the Holy Spirit to drive me forward in love. I hope this blog blesses someone!

Jesus is being serious

As a Christian (if you are one) have you ever been mad at someone for anything at all, for something they did against you or bugged you or anything in any way? Read Matthew 18:21-35 and be filled with joy. My bible has a little footnote that 10,000 talents is comparative to millions of dollars btw.
Jesus tells this parable comparing what God has done in forgiving us (paying back an immeasurable amount of money) to what we do to anyone when we are not gracious and merciful with them. God has given us so much mercy that if we do not turn and give mercy to others then we will be asked to pay back all we owe God and we know we don’t have anything to pay him back with which probably means we will “pay” by serving an eternal punishment.
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+18%3A21-35&version=NIV
Im not kidding, do you get annoyed with your brothers or sisters or with friends? Let us learn how great God’s love is for us so we are filled with a desire to express mercy to others.

Haggai has a message for us all!

If you are a Christian then I kindly ask you to take the time to think through this. My question is how is your relationship with God? Is it good? Do you walk with the Lord daily? Or is it bad? Is your relationship with God in shambles? I am going to say something from Haggai today. In Haggai from what I know of the book, God speaks through Haggai to tell the people of Israel to build the house of the Lord which is been neglected (and lies in ruins) instead of working on building up their own houses and they have not been fruitful because of it. They are going through what seems like drought and famine and just all sorts of bad things physically because they have neglected God for building their own things and working their way instead of building up the house of the Lord.

Before I get into my point I would just like to note that all of my message for this post comes from my memory of sermons Francis Chan gave on Haggai and from something I learned at church two weeks ago plus of course what I got from reading it today.

Haggai 1:2-4

This is what the Lord Almighty says: “These people say, ‘The time has not yet come to rebuild the Lord’s house.’”

Then the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai: “Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?”

Think about those verses in terms of your own life. I asked those opening questions so you might think about your relationship with God so you can compare it to the relationship of Israel with God in this book. Israel was essentially rejecting and putting off God, they may have been going through their usual religious customs, I don’t know, but they were neglecting what they needed to be doing which was to build the house of God. Do you ever feel like you are neglecting God? Do you feel like you go day by day and hardly read the bible and hardly pray and hardly care about the way God actually wants you to live? Even if you read the bible often and pray often do you live the way God intends for you to? Or are we people who live our own lives and enjoy building up our own kingdoms while rejecting what God wants for us. If you are, stop being like the people in Haggai. Stop rejecting what God has for you and start working on building up the work of the Lord in your life.

If you waste much time doing things for yourself like tv and games or hanging out with friends and just fun enjoyable things when your relationship with God is taking a back seat then you are just like the people Haggai is prophesying to who are rejecting the building of the house of the Lord while they build up their own houses. I don’t think God really cared that this house was built so that they could worship him there. I think he cared that their hearts were circumcised from evil so that they would turn and live for him. Is your own heart circumcised from evil? Have you been baptized into death on the cross with our savior Jesus or have you lived life all about yourself while rejecting the work of God? If you are living a life full of personal enjoyment in some of the things I already mentioned then examine your own life and check if you have left the house of God in shambles while enjoying your life. Don’t focus on your life’s prosperity now. Rebuild what is broken. We are all sinners and were separated from God but through Jesus we are restored and even exalted with Jesus in his death. He will bring us with him when we die. Don’t live for yourself like Israel. The books of the prophets prophesy against us in America today as well. They prophesy against me and you both because we are sinners who have rejected God. Jesus forgives us our sins but we must work on our relationship with God and forget our fleshly indulgences. God will give us all that we need. He may take all normal enjoyment from our lives through our American comforts but we will still have what we need if we stick to him. I am not saying you must stop living in comfort in every way but if comforts like tv and games and time with friends get in the way of God then sacrifice it right now and pray and read the bible and start working on rebuilding a relationship with God that will last and that when Jesus judges you at your death he will say well done good and faithful servant. Do you squirm to hear him say that? Just think of those words and work towards it. By God’s grace we can all put off the flesh and live through the Spirit! God bless you, sorry for large blocks of text.

A post about popular Christian figures who we should be discerning about

This is one more footnote I want to add but I think since it is important to add I want it to be read before the original post and before my other “footnote” (this footnote came about two hours after the one below). This note is that there could be a person totally unaware of what is going on behind the scenes with Mark Driscoll and Jesus Culture and the others and they may have no clue that there is something questionable there and they can be worshipping to the music and being edified by Driscoll’s book or something like that. I think that is totally fine. The purpose of this post isn’t to be legalistic and to say that it is wrong to do that. It is to be discerning. I think earlier before this current edit if you had read this post maybe it would have rubbed you the wrong way if you are being blessed by one of these sources. My point is to point out the bad stuff and hope that you can continue on without being sidetracked by bad teaching. I think if one was totally aware of the Jesus Culture movement but goes to a church where they happen to play one of those songs and worships along then it is fine to worship God that way if you feel right doing so. I bet I will end up hearing some of their songs at church and no doubt will hear DCB and Hillsong United. I just want us to know the bad and to not be lead astray by it. I think what I am saying now may be slightly different than what I said below in the post so just remember that if you read it. Here is the gist: Think of it this way. Golf was invented by a pagan I am assuming but a Christian can play golf without endorsing the pagan’s beliefs especially if they don’t even know the creators beliefs. Just because I play halo occasionally doesn’t mean I endorse the lifestyle of the makers of halo. Just because you listen to certain music doesn’t mean that you endorse that lifestyle. Just don’t be lead astray by the content. Certain musics can have a negative influence while some will not. Never do it in a bad conscience but always to the glory of God. Discern based on the content of the Jesus Culture music and the content of the Mark Driscoll book above all. If even then it seems bad then throw it out just like you would anything that is bad! God bless you I don’t think I will feel the need to make another edit. Continue on.

I have already finished writing the post at this point so what I am saying now is almost a footnote but I think it is an important one so I am going to say it first. The most important thing a Christian is made for is to be a born again and saved follower of Jesus purposed to make other disciples. I believe that. Because I believe that I want to be discerning about these things because if I see someone who is interested in Rick Warren and Mark Driscoll and they fully embrace these people then they might go straight down the wrong path and never be saved and I will hold myself personally responsible because I have failed to correct someone and it cost them salvation. We need to think of a lot of things in terms of salvation. We do not want to do things that will mislead people and guide them away from God. If Jesus Culture music misleads some people to worship God in a false way then it needs to be exposed. We don’t want people to be lead astray. If we can in good conscience worship through the lyrics of a Jesus Culture song then that is good but we must not endorse that group. I think that is why Paul makes the note that he can eat meat sacrificed to idols since he knows that an idol is nothing but if it will cost the conscience of another brother then he will never eat meat again. (sorry if I paraphrased that badly) Do you see the length he will go to in making sure a brother is not led astray? It is probably because he cares about the soul of that brother and loves him deeply so we too should be very concerned for the souls of our brothers and sisters and love them deeply and make sure they are not being lead astray. With that being said I hope this post blesses you!

To the surprise of many of my Cru friends I am going to mention some protestant teachers or figures that I think every Christian should be careful about and I will mention why or you can research why. Some are surprisingly John Piper, Mark Driscoll, Beth Moore, Rick Warren, Jesus Culture and some lesser ones are David Crowder Band, Hillsong United since they are so popular.  The purpose of my post isn’t to hurt anyone’s conscience in any way. If someone can worship just fine to Jesus Culture music and they are exalting God above all then wonderful. If someone is edified by John Piper (which if you read most of his stuff you probably will be) then good that is right. My point is to be discerning about things happening in the background that most people may not know about.

I mention Piper because he has always had wonderful and sound teaching but recently has become close with pastor of Mars Hill Church Mark Driscoll and Rick Warren pastor of Saddleback Church and others without really warning people about how dangerous their teachings are, I will go on about them later. I haven’t found Piper’s teaching to be off for the most part, it always seems so edifying, but now he is just embracing and endorsing most specifically these two men who do not teach right, Warren more so than Driscoll.

Driscoll has been known to do very dangerous things in his pulpit. He can use language that is just edgy and you can research about that, he has given some sermons that are incredibly tempting and wrong in front of a church including young adults my age. You can research about that too, John MacArthur wrote a good amount about one sermon Driscoll gave about the Song of Solomon. There is a lot more about Driscoll, generally the culture he seems to embrace is one to attract a young audience and make them feel comfortable while he abuses his pulpit in many dangerous ways (even if he does some good from the pulpit it is important to know he also does some harm). Maybe he says useful things about some things but he has said so many dangerous things that until he repents of it, it is really unclear if he still agrees with what he does or not. I only mention being wary of these men because they may teach things or live a way we admire or want to follow when we must not follow them because they seem to not be very pure in their teaching and as Christ’s Church it may be safer not to endanger ourselves.

Rick Warren just straight up doesn’t teach the true gospel from everything I have learned about him. Maybe he says things that beat around the bush but he won’t teach it. He essentially teaches a prosperity gospel or an easy to accept gospel. He makes salvation sound easy when the bible makes it clear that although believing in Jesus is all we need for salvation, it is not sufficient to say we believe in Jesus and to think that in our hearts we believe to actually believe. There is so much more to it. I warn strongly against Rick Warren, I don’t think people should look to him for any wisdom since he just teaches a bad gospel, I have the same to say about Mark Driscoll although his teaching seems less heretical, but my best advice is to stay away, don’t feel bad if he has edified you in some way because he may say things that are helpful but if one embraces him then how can one tell the good he says from the bad? I know it sounds hard or ridiculous. I didn’t just say this stuff out of nowhere though, I have read much about these men and listened to them and in the end I just don’t think they are building up the body of Christ or the spiritual lives of my own friends for that matter. If he has then good, don’t take what I am saying the wrong way, but be discerning. John MacArthur and many others have written and said things about Rick Warren as well. I will try to post many links at the end of this.

Another is Beth Moore, I don’t mention her just because she is a woman, I think that is enough to warn us that something may be going on there. I never understood exactly why women wish to teach in church unless it is because they feel it is not right to exclude them. I am not against it morally or something, but Paul seems to think it isn’t right so why do we even mess with it and push the boundaries. If that is how God calls his church to live don’t fight it. God isn’t a sexist. He just built us for specific reasons. With that being said I don’t think women teachers are bad because I don’t even fully understand the context of what Paul was saying and why he said it. I don’t know if he would speak against someone like Beth Moore, that isn’t the point though, I was just babbling for a minute. The point is that at the Passion Conferences she has mentioned something about meditation or silence and just listening for God to speak in the silence. I don’t know a lot about it but it seems it is derived from Roman Catholic Mysticism and is called lectio divina. Read about it. I will try to post good resources at the end about these things. From what I understand her teaching on this is just dangerous because we are not meant to simply listen for God’s voice in silence. God spoke already. He spoke in the bible through prophets and apostles. We don’t need to search around for his voice. Sure we need to pray about things since for me I am so unsure if I should be a biomedical engineer or if I should seek something else, many people wonder if they should be with their current boyfriend or girlfriend, we should pray about that. I don’t think we should meditate on things in silence for God to speak though. If God wants to speak with you he doesn’t need to do it in silence, let him do it while you diligently study the word daily or while you pray about things or just randomly. God didn’t need for Isaiah and Ezekiel and Daniel and Paul or anyone to be silent for him to speak to them, Paul was the lowest of men when God took him. My point is that we should not listen for voices in our heads in silence during meditation, other religions do that but the bible never teaches it. Satan can easily say something or put a thought in our head in a moment of silence and we might think it is God. It might be straight out coincidence and we will wonder if it was God when it could have been the devil. So don’t follow that teaching, just be wary of Beth Moore since she is strongly supporting something that isn’t right. Pray and seek God through his written words.

I said Jesus Culture because their entire purpose is just not right. They want to bring people into an encounter with God and to have some supernatural experience and they often purpose their conferences and concerty things after this idea. People are driven to live for the FEELING of the presence of God. They are all worried about the physical presence of God and his Holy Spirit and are all totally unbiblical in this because in history and in the bible things just don’t work that way. The presence of God doesn’t feel like electricity in someone’s body. I wonder when I hear the testimony of the lead man Chris Quilala and he mentioned the presence of God felt like electricity and he wants others to experience that, I was pretty sure that wasn’t biblical at first but beyond that it almost just sounds like it could be a practice of demons to make people who are supposedly worshiping God to give them this electric good feeling and it drives people to think that it must be the spirit of God moving when it could be something else. I think that the gifts of the spirit and God’s presence are wonderful things but only in certain contexts do they even occur and do we feel the presence of God. We shouldn’t live off of supernatural things. We should never go to Church because we love to feel good during worship. Worship is all about God and not about us. We should never live to feel good fleshly feelings and just assume they mean spiritually God is with us when it can just be our emotions tricking us. I am not saying in our worship we need to feel nothing. We certainly should feel something because worshipping God deeply impacts people but always think about the lyrics, exalt God and not man or our feelings. That is another thing I would love to talk about in another post sometimes. My warning about Jesus Culture is very serious because worship music seems harmless but the lyrics are so powerful and they shape us and we should be aware if we are glorifying God or if it just feels good to sing the music for some other reason. I don’t want to go further than that right now, it is a warning based off of some of the bad theology of Jesus Culture.

My mentioning of David Crowder Band and Hillsong United is related to the mention of Jesus Culture. These two just have shaky backgrounds. I always thought DCB had wonderful and powerful music and when I sing it I think it is true worship music but his background theology is a little shaky, I don’t have much more about him, just be wary about his lyrics since some of his music my have bad theology in it (I read something about his theology once that and as I remember it he was influenced by something Catholic, research it!). When thinking of these two, Todd Friel who is the host man of the show wretched which i have watched videos of on youtube had good input. There is the verse in the bible about eating meat sacrificed to idols and Paul says that he can do it since he knows that those idols are nothing and the meat is fine but for the sake of the conscience of others he might not eat it since he doesn’t want them to think an idol is anything (or something like that). So apply this to the music. If you can worship God in Jesus Culture Music and David Crowder Band Music and Hillsong United music then I think you should be very wary that their backgrounds may be shaky and they may not believe in the gospel rightly, but don’t let it stop you from worshiping God if you can do it in good conscience. I don’t want to do more than warn people about these teachers and music groups. I think the Christian church should be more discerning of what it eats spiritually. We eat a whole lot of garbage. I do too. Earlier I mentioned a strong warning against Jesus Culture since I don’t want people to get involved with their movement but if you think you can rightly worship through the music they have written then just pray about it and please do not forget what I have said or any of the convictions you may have had, the Holy Spirit may convict you.

I never mentioned Hillsong really so Ill do that here. I have read that they teach more of a prosperity gospel or are a part of the Word of faith movement which is wrong, it follows a lot of unbiblical hooplah which is not in the bible and is a false gospel. They probably don’t teach repentance and carrying the cross and that this Christian life is hard and that in service to God we must be pure and stay away from evil (or if they do it probably does not manifest in their lives the way that is right, I am not 100% sure on that since I don’t have infinite time to research but research yourself and find out, the information is out there. There is so much). And if you are concerned about them then research them and their connection to the Word of Faith movement which I guarantee you is a bad and false movement.

If you are personally bothered that I mentioned any of these names then please research for yourself and find out. The bible is clear that there will be a lot of boloney and false teaching and bad stuff out there. No joke. There is bad stuff out there and I almost guarantee for everyone that we as Christians have not been discerning enough about it. When men like Paul Washer and John MacArthur or Voddie Baucham are discerning about this stuff it offends people and they don’t like it. I think that is because people want to hold onto what they like. Just let go of your preconceived ideas about what is right and wrong and stick to the scriptures. The reason we are offended by men like that is because they accept completely that men are sinful from the core like the bible says and so they know that we will hold onto evil things without knowing it so they are careful and discerning and say things we don’t like. I can’t specifically endorse everything all of these men say and have said but I believe you, the reader, can find loads of things you don’t like if you listened to enough Paul Washer, or John MacArthur, or Voddie Baucham. I bet the same would be true of men like Spurgeon, there are probably loads of teachers that teach harder things than we cannot accept. I am not trying to have a talk about all of that now though although it would be an important one.

The only reason I mentioned all of these people to be discerning about is because of the influence on my life the teaching of the above mentioned three men (Washer, MacArthur, and Baucham) have taught (among some others who I did not mention). It led me to do a lot of research and I found out much about these questionable people that make me think I shouldn’t submit to the things they preach with their mouths and their lives. It doesn’t mean I will disagree with everything they say but it means that I think they may say enough I disagree with that I think they could lead me down a dangerous path. Some probably think I am legalistic and I totally disagree. I am certainly not legalistic in this. I think I am not legalistic because I only hold to these principles to protect myself from being corrupted. I have experienced much worthless worship where I don’t feel like the song I am singing glorifies God because I am only singing for an emotional reason (because it feels good) or some other reason. I have heard much bad teaching which has led me astray but I have learned to be careful. I think a person who is legalistic will cut out things that aren’t even bad and won’t have an explanation as to what they are doing in a profitable way for others, they might just call others to be legalistic. I am trying to minimize the bad influences out there on myself. I didn’t come to these conclusions on my own. I have wasted so much time researching when I should have been doing homework and in the end it isn’t a total waste because it has helped me be more discerning (but I really should be a harder worker). We have freedom in Christ but if we are not discerning about all sorts of things then we are unsafe and are likely to be lead astray. We should seek profitable things and good things above all.

If you have read this to the end thank you for the patience and if you have something you would like to say because something rubbed you the wrong way then try to have a conversation about it with someone or me. I certainly realize I may have said something wrong in all of this, I know what I am saying is something most of my friends will not initially agree with for sure. But in your reading just remember that we are imperfect people with a bad sense of morality. We let filth slip in the backdoor to our lives far more than any of us realize, take the apostle Peter for example, he began to separate from gentiles because he was afraid of the Jews, if the apostle Peter messed up then how much more have we messed up who live in America, who have had 2000 years since Jesus died for false teachings to arise (we have all been taught false things, I guarantee it), who live in a prosperous setting at school where it is very easy for comfort to get in the way of serving the Lord. I am saying that although it is possible I said something wrong, it is also very possible I said something that our human flesh just doesn’t want to believe. I think I have said enough about all of that! Now some resources:

Jesus Culture

http://standupforthetruth.com/2013/01/jesus-culture-going-mainstream-2/

http://solasisters.blogspot.com/2013/01/problems-at-passion-2013.html

http://the-end-time.blogspot.com/2013/01/discerning-gnostic-conference-called.html

http://www.donotbesurprised.com/2013/01/jesus-culture-and-judah-smith-to-

http://defendingcontending.com/2013/01/04/gospel-discernment-and-passion-2013/join.html

John Piper

http://solasisters.blogspot.com/2013/01/problems-at-passion-2013.html

http://apprising.org/2013/01/05/has-john-piper-lost-his-mind/

http://defendingcontending.com/2011/03/30/john-piper-rick-warren-redux/

http://defendingcontending.com/2011/04/05/can-we-warn-about-a-ravening-wolf-spiritually-while-simultaneously-throwing-an-arm-around-him/

http://defendingcontending.com/2013/01/02/can-we-call-them-brothers-in-christ/

Mark Driscoll

http://www.driscollcontroversy.com/?page_id=105

http://defendingcontending.com/2008/09/27/john-macarthur-on-mark-driscoll/

http://www.driscollcontroversy.com/?p=1

http://defendingcontending.com/2013/01/02/can-we-call-them-brothers-in-christ/

Beth Moore

http://www.donotbesurprised.com/2012/01/biblical-silence-vs-mystical-silence.html

http://solasisters.blogspot.com/2013/01/problems-at-passion-2013.html

http://defendingcontending.com/2013/01/04/gospel-discernment-and-passion-2013/

Rick Warren

http://apprising.org/2010/04/01/the-inadequate-gospel-of-rick-warren/

http://www.extremetheology.com/2006/12/did_rick_warren.html

http://defendingcontending.com/2009/07/07/open-letter-to-rick-warren/

http://defendingcontending.com/2011/03/30/john-piper-rick-warren-redux/

http://defendingcontending.com/2011/04/05/can-we-warn-about-a-ravening-wolf-spiritually-while-simultaneously-throwing-an-arm-around-him/

http://defendingcontending.com/2011/05/29/building-bridges/

http://defendingcontending.com/2013/01/02/can-we-call-them-brothers-in-christ/

You must answer today

So many people don’t know where they would end up if they died today, if they died right now. They think they would stop being anything (stop existing), they think they will go to heaven but have doubts, few may think they are going to be punished after death in some sort of hell.
What do you believe? Do you believe death is all just meaningless and you will have nothing to answer for? I believe I will be judged right after death and will be counted either guilty for the way I lived or righteous.
No one will be judged righteous by what they did, they will all be judged guilty for the way they have lived because they have not chosen to surrender their life to God and repent and believe upon the work of Jesus Christ in his death. The only way to be seen as perfect at the end of life is to have the blood of Jesus cover over all of one’s sins. All sins are judged and through Jesus all sin is forgiven and none who is under salvation will receive any condemnation. Those who have accepted the cross and it’s life giving power have repented of their ways and are free from slavery to a self serving life.
I will struggle against sin for the rest of my life but hope is building in me because the forgiveness in Jesus is eternal and I do not doubt the power of Jesus to save me from my self brought condemnation.
Do not continue on in life without asking yourself what your life means, do not continue on without realize how short life is. It is a dust in the wind compared to eternity. You will not be on earth very long. America wants to trick you into living a life full of worldly pleasures (things money can buy, life full of evil, sexual lust, life full of selfishness). America is so full of selfishness that the Christian so called church in this country will lie to you and will to tell you you must truly turn to Jesus and repent to receive salvation. This world wants to take a person and give them hope that they will be fine at death but it cannot give any assurance of this. You have to simply trust that what your friends tell you is right, you have to trust that there is no good God out there. You have to trust that there is nothing that will punish you even though our own consciences condemn us when we sin.
We do not have peace of mind because we do not have eternal hope in Christ. We have doubt because God is real and He will not abandon the universe, he is actively involved in every single process that happens on this planet and beyond. The atom is held together because he holds it there. He creates the strength of the electric field and the strong force, He makes gravity what it is, he gives the world substance. Without physical there is only spiritual left. When the whole universe is shaken when judgement comes all that was temporary will die and be cast into the fire but all that has eternal life will life.
I just wanted to give you a true message today and present the gospel to you in a way where you may realize that you are not safe without it. I hope you desire the true gospel and freedom from a life of sin. It is so hard to let go of sin, we need to love of Jesus to let go, but nothing is impossible with God. Seek him and do not give up. Do not let your own doubts deter you. Do no let your own shortcomings make you think salvation is impossible for you. Seek his truth and he will give it to you.
And that’s the gospel truth.