Archives For God

I was on a panel this week at an event entitled Uprooting Racism from the Church, sponsored by the Michigan State University student group MSU Project 1:17. In addition to the live panel, they took anonymous questions from the audience for the speakers to answer online.  I’ve realized recently that I haven’t posted about racism / racial reconciliation in a while.  Somewhat because I’ve been busy with posts about sexual purity, lust, porn, marriage, etc. that go along with my recent book release.  But to my discredit, it’s also because some white Christians who would be interested in buying my book about sexual purity would also be upset about what I write about race.  So in my fear of man, I have backed down from speaking the truth (the same temptation I face as a pastor with the topic of race, Lord help me).  How quickly and easy it is to fall into this trap!  I had also become fatigued with debates and fatigued with people being upset with me, so had taken the easy road.  I apologize for that to anyone reading this, especially my friends of color.

I thought posting a blog with my answers to these Q&A questions would be helpful because I’ve already written them, and because I’ve previously articles on these subjects, which you can find at the bottom of each post.  There will be 3 of these, with the questions having been anonymously submitted from the crowd at the event earlier this week.  The original format for these was on a Facebook event page, which I’ve just copied and pasted here.  I’ll post one each day over the next three days, this is day #2 of 3:

The Question: What would you say to someone experiencing “white guilt”?

My Answer: Continue Reading…

God didn’t randomly create sex and then add a bunch of rules
to make it as difficult as possible for us to enjoy. He created it
with great intentionality. And the part of that intentionality we so
often overlook is that sex is about much more than what happens
between the sheets. God-honoring sex produces strong, incredible
families, which produce incredible societies and incredible legacies.
God-honoring sex upholds all humans with dignity and love,
rather than relegating humans to be objects that are consumed
and discarded. Continue Reading…

Game of Thrones is arguably the most popular and successful show on television.  A big reason for its popularity is the gratuitous nudity it’s become famous for.  People will rush to defend these displays for the sake of art, yet the producers know that sex, not art, is what sells.  Listen to a Game of Thrones director, Neil Marshall, quoting an unnamed show producer on the Empire.com Podcast:

This particular exec, like, took me to one side and said, “Look, I represent the pervert side of the audience. Ok?  Everybody else is the serious drama side. I represent the perv side of the audience, and I want full frontal nudity in this scene. So you go ahead and do it.”

This was followed by chuckles and laughs shared between Marshall and the podcast host, both men.

Our culture is a cesspool of objectification of the female body.  Women aren’t seen as human beings, but as objects to be consumed by men.  You see the end result of this in the millions of broken hearts, despairing headlines, and addicts trying to find their next and bigger fix.  Yet we let the cycle continue by gorging on the gratuitous objectified bodies of Game of Thrones and many other porn outlets, acting like we can have the best of both worlds: enjoying the instant gratification of sex way outside of how God designed it, without it having any effect on our life, relationships, and the fabric of society as a whole.

Read more from Noah Filipiak on Game of Thrones at the Covenant Eyes blog:  If you’re watching Game of Thrones, you’re watching porn.

I started my church 11 years ago with big dreams for God.

Church planting networks want people with big dreams for God.

We create huge conferences to encourage people to dream big dreams for God.

At this point your “cynic radar” is already starting to go off as you read this.  Bear with me a little longer before you cast me off.

Try to name one person in the New Testament who had “big dreams for God” in the way pastors and church planters are taught to.  The first people who come to my mind were the Jewish crowd in Matthew 21:1-11 who laid their coats on the ground while waiving palm branches as Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey.  This was “big thing” energy at its height as people shouted praises to Jesus and proclaimed him as their Messiah.

This frenetic crowd was made up of the same mob who shouted “Crucify him!” later in the week. Continue Reading…

Suffering is one of the most common reasons people doubt God.

If God is so loving, how can such bad things happen?

Trite statements by Christians only make this worse:

Something good will come out this, just wait.

God has a purpose for everything. 

Something good will come out of rape, child abuse, or the premature death of a loved one…

As if God were committing atrocities so we’d learn a lesson later.

I want to propose that most people live with the expectation that this world is heaven, so when they discover (through observing or experiencing suffering) that it isn’t, they are devastated.  Specifically, their idea of God is devastated.

This is a very complicated topic because we are indeed eternal beings, yet we do not live in an eternal world.

As eternal beings, we long for heaven.  Not just heaven as the place or destination, but a state of being without suffering, pain, disease, and death.  This is, in fact, what we were created for so it makes perfect sense we’d still be hardwired for this.  What we long for is a world without the effects of sin, while we live in the midst of a world riddled by these effects.

Continue Reading…