Posts Tagged ‘homosexuality’

When Shame Dies

January 19, 2015

Is anything wrong in our culture besides saying that something is wrong? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Many of you are quite likely fathers of daughters and so when I present an article called “What It’s Like To Date Your Dad“, you could be thinking, “I encourage fathers and daughters to have date nights. It’s one of the best ways I find out what’s going on in the life of my daughter, find out about the boys in her life, get to know her as a person, and just have some real bonding time together.” God bless you if that’s you. You’re being a good father.

But that is not what the article is talking about, unless you mean your date nights with your daughter end with the two of you making out in the bedroom together.

Unfortunately, this is what has happened. The girl in the article describes meeting her long lost father who had been missing from her life for years and feeling sexual attraction to him. Apparently, it was mutual. She describes meeting him and then within five days she lost her virginity to him. Note that this happened in the house of his girlfriend who he was living with at the time. (By the way women, if a man is willing to leave another woman because he thinks you’re better, be cautious. Who’s to say he won’t do the same to you when he finds someone he thinks is better?)

Was this a one-time thing? Nope. The girl now says that they are engaged and that they will get married and that they plan to have kids.

And this is also being defended. You can find many comments that do say that this is sick and this guy should go to jail since the girl is a minor. But then, there are others who are saying “Well who are we to judge?” and “As long as they’re happy that’s what matters.” While some of this goes into the marriage equality debate, it’s important to remember that when this whole thing started, we were told there was no slippery slope at all.

I think it’s conclusive now that that statement was wrong. We are sliding down that slope. People are defending a father having sex with his own daughter. Why?

I am convinced the reason is that they have no choice.

Sex has been treated like a deity in our culture. In a way, I understand it. If you remove God, then in all honesty, sex is the most transcendent experience that you have normally. It is radical and earthshaking and totally transforms your view of the other person. The next closest thing, and I cannot speak from experience on this one, could be drug usage. In any case, people are searching for the transcendent.

Let’s be clear also. We are a pleasure loving society. Of course, I am not anti-pleasure, but I am opposed to assuming our pleasures are the highest good. (This is not to disagree with someone like John Piper’s Christian Hedonism. I disagree with Piper in other areas, but I think he’s correct on this one.) There is no doubt of course that sex brings with it a great deal of pleasure and for many, it could be the highest pleasure. (And as far as the pleasures of the body go, yes. This one is right at the top. There is no comparison.)

So when we start talking about our society’s obsession with sex, let’s be clear right at the start. It makes sense. Since men so often think about sex, let’s note that those of us who are Christian men could be said to be just as much obsessed. Even when times come that we are not thinking about sex, it is always on the back burner and it can be brought up to our mind again immediately.

I remember the Christmas when my parents got me my first car. What did I want to do immediately? I was driving to see all my friends to show it off. I had my own set of wheels and it was a taste of freedom and I was looking forward to going everywhere I could, but I had to make sure everyone knew exactly how much I was going to be enjoying the freedom and experience I had.

Our society has done the same with sex.

When we thought we had liberated it, we wanted to show it everywhere. In the past, all you needed to see in a movie was a man and a woman going into a room and seeing the door close and perhaps hearing a click of a lock. You didn’t need to see what was going on. It was known. We can all be sure that our imaginations work well enough to supply the details. This is also why I tell men to wait until marriage to have sex as your view of women will also change. It’s very easy to imagine a relationship with a fully-clothed woman.  This is why myself and many other Christian men have to do the look away or the sky look when we’re out in public and see other women.

How much harder is it when you can so easily see them taking their clothes off right in front of you? Modern media has made that possible. Sexual relationships outside of marriage are seen as the norm and common. Of course, we just have to ask who are we to judge? As long as people are happy, what right do we really have to intrude? Are we going to be seen as prudes?

Now as I’ve said, we should not be prudes. None of us should be anti-sex. What we are really for is sex in the right place and in the right context. Put it right there and Christians should agree that it’s absolutely wonderful and a gift from God. Put it in the wrong spot and it’s just like nuclear energy. It’s fine when used properly and directed toward a proper purpose in the proper context, but get it wrong and you get Chernobyl.

A few months ago, one of my friends put up a status on Facebook saying our culture’s problem is we think way too much about sex. I argued that was the exact opposite of our problem. We do everything but think about sex truly. We have thoughts of it of course, but think about it? We do it. We dream about it. We fantasize about it. We do everything but really think about the act itself. It’s become more of a reflex than anything else.

If you don’t think but just say “If it feels good, do it” and don’t really see a purpose to sex, then in the end, how can you say someone is misusing sex? The only way to misuse it is if you think there is a proper use of it. Remove the proper use and there is no misuse. What becomes allowable at that point? Anything at all. Why is this trumpeted everywhere? Because we have to have acceptance. Without acceptance, all that is left is shame.

And that ultimately is the problem in our culture. We are becoming a culture without shame.

Shame in itself can be seen as a bad thing. No one likes to experience shame. Note I am not talking about guilt. Guilt is the internal feeling that you have done something wrong. Shame is the external awareness that your actions are not accepted by society and that you internally notice their condemnation. If society is not condemning, there is no reason to hide, so do what you want.

Ultimately, when we sear our morality this much, we actually cheapen ourselves and the world around us. What does it say about a woman who’s willing to take her clothes off for just anyone whatsoever? It doesn’t speak of a confident woman. It speaks of a woman who just sees herself as a body and of her body as the highest good she has to offer. Ultimately, it speaks of a woman who is treating herself in a cheap way.

The Christian ethic here is different. Here, the woman is told to say that she is a temple and in fact a temple of the Holy Spirit, which means she is to be honored above all. You don’t get to enter that temple cheaply. The right to come into that temple comes with a price. You must be in covenant with the person themselves in order to have a right to go into their temple. What is the price the woman charges? Your whole life. Until death do you part, you are hers and hers alone and she is yours and yours alone. You are to be faithful to her and be to only her and only then are you granted the right to enter the temple.

That we look on this as bizarre and look on the other as common tells me our society does not know what shame is really any more. As said, shame normally has a bad side to it in that no one wants to experience it, but when we do, it can be an indication that we are actually doing something wrong. If we do not have shame, then we are just like a person with CIPA who is incapable of feeling pain. It might sound nice to not be able to feel pain at first, until you realize how much not feeling pain can cause you trouble. Pain is really a gift in that case. Without being able to experience pain, we would have far more suffering in this life.

If there is no shame, then we will not be able to say anyone is doing anything wrong. We might be able to say we find it personally gross, but can we say it is wrong. “Oh I would not want to have a sexual relationship with my father, but can I really say what they are doing is wrong?” In fact, the only thing that is said to be wrong today it looks like is to say that anything is wrong.

But if some things are wrong, then silencing that warning is not helping us. It’s hurting.

If we as a society defend this, then we have to ask really where will it end? We can say that some things today are unthinkable. That’s what we would have said about redefining marriage thirty years ago. Today, it’s becoming more and more common. How many times do you see the homosexual on the TV show being seen as a celebrated figure? Even if you think the belief is wrong that homosexuality is wrong, there can be no doubt that society had a strong stance against this in the past and it would have been seen as unthinkable for many.

We have a precedent for where this is going and that there are people who are willing to defend a father sleeping with his daughter is ample demonstration of that today.

On the other hand, while society has no shame, the tragedy for the church is that we do have shame. We act like sex is something shameful to talk about. It’s not. God talks about it a lot in Scripture. Someone once told me years ago says that God talks about sex all the time because He knows that we think about it all the time. Some might object “Well why do Christians have to seem to put their noses in everyone’s bedroom and saying what they think is wrong?”

It’s not that we’re putting our noses in your bedrooms. In fact, I don’t know any Christians who are for being the sex police as it were and monitoring what goes on in bedrooms. It’s that what is going on in your bedrooms is being thrust in our face every day and when we dare say anything about it, we are immediately told that we are just talking about it too much. We’ve reached a point where a Christian cannot really have a discussion about the issue. We have to start out saying “I’m not a homophobe,” or “I don’t hate homosexuals” or something of that sort. Why? Because the “tolerant” opposition has said that if you disagree, you must be a hater or something of that sort.

For all the talk on tolerance, you’d think this Gospel that was preached would be practiced some.

Christians sadly then end up giving just a negative message on sex. We need to give a positive message, kind of like the kind I said earlier in this post. We need to celebrate and uphold sex. It has been said that one problem in our culture is that unmarried people are having too much sex and married people aren’t having enough. Why should the society outside of the church think that the church has no problem with sex if we seem to have such a negative view of it?

Too often, our messages have in fact been just that. Negative. There is a time and a place for the don’ts, but there is a place for the positive and we must give the positive. I can still think of years ago as a college student being in a church service and hearing a pastor speak to teens who had just done the Silver Ring Thing. He was telling them if they have sex before marriage, that will be for selfish reasons. Okay. I can agree with that. Fine. So what were the reasons to not have sex before marriage?

Think of the guilt that you’ll feel. Think of how embarrassed you’ll be on your wedding day. Think of the possibility that you could get pregnant or you could get an STD.

And as I was listening I was thinking “Those sound like selfish reasons to me too.”

Never seemed to occur to say “This is wrong. It’s wrong because God made sex and here’s how He made it to be used and why and here are the benefits when you use it this way.”

In fact, during this sermon I was getting bored.

Note to all pastors reading this. If you are preaching a sermon on sex, and your audience is getting bored, especially college age guys, you are doing something wrong. (In fact, we could say at this point if you preach on Christ and your audience is not keeping interest, you are doing something wrong.)

If we do not get our message out about what sex is, our youth will only hear one message and that message will far overwhelm ours. Think back to when you were dating. If all you had when you were alone with your boyfriend/girlfriend at the time consisted of nothing more than a few verses from Paul, do you really think that those alone would have overpowered your hormones at the time? Those of us who are married today know well that in the proper context it’s still extremely difficult to override our hormones if we have to and those hormones can often provide some darn good justification for something we want.

We need to get our positive message out and we need to celebrate it. Yes. What goes on in our bedrooms is a private matter, but the subject matter of our bedrooms should be discussed. Churches need to have messages on sex on a regular basis. Why? Because the people in your congregation are thinking about it on a regular basis.

If you lived in Salt Lake City and were the pastor of a Christian church, you would need to have messages addressing Mormonism regularly because your congregation sees it regularly. If you lived in Egypt in the same situation, you would need to talk about Islam. If you were an Israeli pastor in Israel, you’d talk about Judaism. Well in America, the great deity that is being talked about is sex, and we need to talk about it.

As it stands, our culture not only looks at illicit sex with approval, but broadcasts it. This girl in the article I linked to earlier has her fifteen minutes of fame today. Why? She is sleeping with her father. These kinds of stories are being broadcast everywhere. Just look at the magazine rack in the grocery store. This woman in the story is being interviewed as if this is a real deep human interest and we all want to know what it’s like to be sleeping with your Dad.

How do we reverse the trend where sexual stances that should be shamed are celebrated and sexual stances that should be celebrated are shamed?

For one thing, we have to drop out of this mode of “It’s not for me to judge.” Of course it is. Jesus did say judge not, but He spoke of hypocritical judging. Not all judging. How else are you supposed to know who the pigs and dogs are that He spoke about? If you have enough information to make a judgment, then you need to make a judgment. Believe it or not, how someone feels is not the most important thing in the universe. Whether they’re doing something right or wrong is more important.

It’s also because of our individualism. The self-esteem movement has told us that how we think about ourselves is most important, but in reality, I don’t think any of us have fully bought into that myth. Why? Because we are all still seeking everyone else’s approval. But if we hold to a strong individualism, then you dare not speak out against what the individual does. What right do you have to speak against their feelings after all?

Reality is that we can reverse the trend and the best way the church can do this is simply to be the church. We must speak where Jesus would speak and be silent where He would be silent. Jesus had the greatest of love for sinners, but He never once hesitated to call sin sin. Many of us consider the story of the woman caught in adultery, but even then while Jesus did not condemn her, He did say “Go and sin no more.” (I do not think the story was part of the writing of John, but I do think that it is a true story that found its way into the copies of John.) Jesus called the action sin still. You can have utter hatred of sin, as Jesus did, and total love of sinners, as Jesus did.

We should not be ashamed of our stance on sex and we should in fact celebrate sex, while making it clear that we find what the world does shameful. When Duck Dynasty had its situation with people caling A&E and disconnecting their cable, what saddened me most afterwards was how Christians stopped their actions after their show was restored. Christians were willing to fight for a TV show, their entertainment, but they were not willing to keep going for marriage.

Remember church. We can win battles. We often do. We just don’t usually show up.

Go look at the above story again. Really look at it. A girl is sleeping with her father. If she has a boy, he will be her son/brother and if she has a girl she will be her daughter/sister. The father will always be a father/grandfather. The reason she is able to do this so confidently in society is she sure she will be accepted.

How far is this going to go?

As far as we let it.

How far are you willing to let it go?

If we do not speak today,will there be anyone to speak in the future?

In Christ,
Nick Peters

When Christian action is not action

January 13, 2015

Are you really making a difference? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Many times, Christians get offended over something that happens in the media. I’m not complaining about this per se. It can happen. Sometimes, the offense is justifiable. What’s the response often? “I won’t buy this product,” or “I’m going to cancel my service,” or “I won’t shop there,” or “I won’t watch their TV shows, their movies, or listen to their music.” In doing so, many Christians think that they are taking a stand.

Let’s use Amazon as an example. Some Christians don’t shop there because Amazon supports practices they don’t believe in. What does the Christian often do then? “I will just shop somewhere else. That will show them!”

Really? Let’s think about that a little bit.

It would be hard to guess how many customers Amazon has but they are one of the largest companies in the world no doubt. Numerous people shop there, including me. My in-laws usually get me Amazon gift cards for my birthday and Christmas and anyone who doesn’t know what to get me and wants to get me a gift knows that they can just go and get a gift card and that will be enough for me.

So all of those customers all over the world, which probably number in the billions….

And you are going to stop shopping there to take a stand.

I am just sure Amazon is really feeling the heat.

The sad part also is that a Christian can really feel like they’re doing something when in fact, they’re not really doing anything. Now keep in mind this is different from someone who acts out of a personal moral stance. If you think it would be immoral for you to buy from Amazon, then don’t buy from Amazon. That is not the problem. I am not telling you to buy or not to buy. I am just saying that the idea of refusing to shop there on your own is not going to make a difference. Amazon will not notice you.

Wal-Mart is another example of a company like this. When I used to work there, we often had a joke up front when we met customers who decided to get angry and say “I am never going to shop here again!” We wanted to have them go and stand in front of a wall and hold a sign saying something like “Never coming back again.” Then we’d use a Polaroid instant camera and take a picture and post it on the wall and just watch and see. Of course, no one ever did that, but the joke was funny because it really wasn’t a threat. Considering the attitude of some customers, many people in retail would be glad to see some people never come back again.

Now if you think you’re doing a service for God by refusing to shop somewhere, then you can think you’ve taken a Christian stand when in reality, your stand is not affecting anyone whatsoever. Pick whatever major company you want. You are not making a difference.

Are there some exceptions to this? Yes. What makes them exceptions shows what we’re lacking in the Christian world today.

First off, how about the reverse instead? Shop at companies that support what you support and are Christian businesses and let them know Take the time to thank them for good service and for holding to the position that they hold. They need to be told this. This also puts more money in the hands of someone who is going to hopefully do some actual good for the Kingdom.

Second, organization. This is the problem majorly with boycotts. We do not have organization. Let’s start with one reverse example that worked great. Chick-Fil-A Day.

Let’s suppose that Chick-Fil-A Day had not been planned but that one morning, some Christians got up and decided to post on Facebook and say “Let’s all go to Chick-Fil-A today and stand up for traditional marriage.” Think that would have made the evening news?

It would be amazing if it even made local news.

What made Chick-Fil-A day a success was it was planned out. Christians knew in advance. We had a time. We had numerous places. We had the reason. We all agreed and discussed this as well using social media. Christians came together and did something. Whether someone thinks it was right or wrong, they did something. What we did that day was show that we can take action and we sent Chick-Fil-A’s sales soaring through the roof.

Let’s use another example that was a boycott. Duck Dynasty. When the events with Phil Robertson took place, Christians started immediately organizing on Facebook and calling A&E and cancelling their cable subscriptions. When Cracker Barrel started joining in with A&E, Christians immediately made a concentrated effort. In both cases, the companies relented. Christians won the battle.

Notice in both cases what was needed. Organization. It was not one person doing something. It was Christians gathered together who had a unified cause, a reason to fight, and a clear goal in mind.

You know what the real great tragedy of this is? That in all these cases when Christians came together and did something, as soon as they were done with their mission, they went right back to their ordinary lives. “Yes. I do realize that the homosexual agenda is often going after our freedoms and I do think that marriage is something sacred and should be honored, but frankly, we got Duck Dynasty restored to where it was. Isn’t that enough?”

Looks like a TV show was more important to most Americans than marriage itself.

Christians seem to be a group that wins a major battle and then retreats back to their safety bubbles instead of going forward. Those who are our intellectual enemies are not doing such a thing and if we ever plan to win the culture war, we have got to learn to move forward. No one ever wins a war just by fighting on the defensive. At some point in time, you have to take the battle straight to the enemy and challenge them directly.

Another case where a boycott could also work would be in a small community. Suppose a new business shows up like say a new Mom and Pop grocery store. Then it becomes apparent to the community that this store is anti-Christian. Since this is a local community and the store doesn’t have a global market, the community can band together and say “We will not shop there” and the store is going to have to make some drastic changes then.

The trouble as has been said is that Christians need to do something in the culture war, but what they are doing is something that will not make a difference but sadly convince them that they are making a difference. If you want to do something like this, then get organized, and it will take more than you and your immediate family and friends. It will take a concentrated global effort. Honestly, if more Christians were willing to come and work together and get over some of our petty secondary issues (Age of the Earth, style of worship, end times beliefs, etc.) we could do something. When we came together on Chick-Fil-A day and to restore Duck Dynasty, no one was worrying about that. That should prove we can all work together. We can discuss those issues, but let us not spend so much time fighting each other with friendly fire that we miss the real enemies coming into our camps.

Please do take action Christians. We must. We will all pay the price if we do not. When you do something that you think is taking a stand, check and see if it really is. If it’s not really making a change for the Kingdom of God, then find something else that is.

My Fear With Houston

October 27, 2014

Is there a reason the church isn’t having an impact in America? Let’s dive into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Many of us know about the story in Houston where pastors have been told to send in their sermons on homosexuality by the mayor. Thankfully, there has been a pushback to this and not just pastors in Houston, but pastors all over the world, even as far as Australia. It’s good to see members of the church sticking up for themselves finally, but I have a great fear about what’s going on.

What is that? Well back at the time of Chick-Fil-A Day, we had several people line up at Chick-Fil-A’s all across the country. That included me and my family. We all wanted to take our part. Chick-Fil-A set record sales that day and we sent a message to the people that many of us do believe still in traditional marriage or at least Chick-Fil-A’s freedom to hold the beliefs that they hold.

After this great victory, the church showed its further determination in the battle by….

Okay. They didn’t. The church went home the next day and did absolutely nothing with the momentum that they had just created. They went out and bought themselves chicken sandwiches. That was their duty at the time and with that done, they can finally get back to their comfortable lifestyles. The battle had been won after all.

Then we had the Phil Robertson situation. When Phil Robertson was suspended from Duck Dynasty, Christians immediately started cancelling their accounts with A&E and disconnecting their Cable. A Facebook page was set up instantly and it had a million likes on it quite quickly. Christians refused to back down and when the battle was won, Christians followed this up by….

Well, they did nothing again. They had their favorite TV show back and that was enough.

Of course, let’s not forget Suntrust. When Suntrust was found to have cancelled an account of two Christians who were opposed to homosexual behavior, Christians immediately went to their Facebook page to protest and started saying they were going to transfer their accounts over. Suntrust relented and the church continued in the battle by….

What a shock. Again, the church did nothing.

Now we’ll sit back and watch the news and see what is going on in our country and wonder “How did we get to this position?”

Brace yourselves. I have a suggestion.

Could it be we got where we are because the church has been more interested in its own comfort and what Christianity can do for them than it is for spreading the Kingdom of God? Biblically, we’re supposed to be the bride of Christ, yet what would we think of a bride who expected their husband to wait on them hand and foot, to do everything for them, and didn’t give anything in return.

And yet, what kind of bride are we here in America to Christ?

You see church, while we’ve been sitting around discussing how we feel about certain passages in the Bible and having concerts and pizza parties for our youth, the world has been changing all around us. While we’ve been having classes on how to be good parents (And there’s nothing wrong with that), many parents have been killing their own children in the womb. While we’ve been having classes on marriage enrichment (And there is nothing wrong with that), the culture of divorce has sprung upon us and pre-marital sex has become the norm. While we’ve been having classes offered at churches on self-defense (And there is nothing wrong with that), we’ve been neglecting spiritual and intellectual self-defense and our youth have gone off to college and apostasized.

The church can win battles. The problem is the church just doesn’t show up.

The other problem is that when we win a battle, we do nothing. Imagine a general in a war who spends all his time trying to win a spot on the battlefield that the enemy has taken. When he is successful and has the enemy on the run, he has his army sit back and do nothing more. Such a general would soon find himself replaced.

We’re in a culture war. There’s a little tip here that should be obvious. The only way you win wars is by fighting in them. Too many of us have taken the attitude as if we are to be gentle Jesus meek and mild. I’m not sure what NT these people are reading, but it’s not the one I read. Meek and mild people do not get crucified. They are not threats to anyone. At best, they are annoyances that the establishment will walk over.

Which is kind of the way the church is viewed today. You can do whatever you want to them. They won’t stand up. They won’t do anything about it. These same people would not dare try anything like this in a Muslim country. They know that Muslims would not sit back and take it. Now I’m certainly not advocating we use violent means like I think Muslims too often would to protest against what’s going on, but I am asking that we at least have the spine to stand up for ourselves.

Would you enter into a battle if you did not think you had at least a good chance of winning? Of course not. You want to be able to live or at least be healthy. So the question we have to ask is why are there so many people in this country who are willing to take on Christianity and the church and fight against them?

Answer: They’re sure they can win the battle.

Sad reality: They’re right.

They don’t have to be. Christians have shown they can win battles. The problem is we’re just not going out and fighting. We too often have the escapist mentality going on and think that this world just doesn’t really matter. It’s not our home. It’s just passing through. All that matters is my individual comfort. Don’t make me risk myself for the cause of Christ.

Well Christianity is not about just you.

Christ did not die for your personal comfort.

You are called to be a slave of Christ. He is your absolute master. You are to do what He says and part of what He said is the Great Commission. That will not make you feel comfortable a lot of times when you do it. Tough.

We often talk about how much Jesus means to us and how He is worth everything to us, but when push comes to shove, we don’t show it. How do I know that? Look at the way America is today. It got that way because Christians sat back and did nothing. If we continue to sit back and do nothing, we can expect the trend will continue. If we actually get up and stand up for ourselves, we can expect a reversal.

I’ve been hoping for a long time the church will wake up and realize what is going on. So far, my expectations have not been realized. May that soon change. My fear is not that we will lose the battle. (In fact, losing the battle with the case of Houston could spur us to fight even harder.) My fear is that we will win the battle and then do nothing.

In Christ,

Nick Peters

Debunking 9 Truly Evil Things Right Wing Christians Do Part 7

August 26, 2014

Do Right Wing Christians want to abuse homosexuals? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

Today, I turn the reins of the blog black over to my wife Allie. Please let her know what you think.

We have arrived at part 7. Abusing and killing queers is evil.  (http://www.alternet.org/belief/9-truly-evil-things-right-wing-christians-do?page=0%2C2)  To me, I find this honestly kind of silly to even discuss, but apparently it’s an important one to discuss.  We all know abusing and murdering any person is evil, and that is why I honestly find this rediculous that we need to talk about this.  But let’s get to this:

So first the article complains about these particular verses:

(Romans 1:26-27 KJV)  “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.”(

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 KJV with their emphasis) “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

(1 Timothy 1:9-10 KJV with their emphasis)  “Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine.” 

(Jude 1:7-their emphasis) “Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.”

Apparently these verses are called “clobber verses.”  I don’t understand why they’re called clobber verses.  No where in these verses do I see anything about “clobbering.”  I don’t see anywhere about beating homosexuals and killing homosexuals.  All these verses are doing is explaining that homosexuality is as much of a sin as any other sin.  It’s just saying it as it is.  You don’t like it’s a sin, then tough!  I’m sure when you’re angry you wish it was okay to murder sometimes, but you know that’s wrong.  Just because you want to do it doesn’t make it right!  The writer of the article says

“For much of American history, the common term for queer was the biblical “sodomite,” implying that gays are so offensive to God that they pose a threat to society as a whole.”

Yea, homosexuality is offensive to God, just as offensive as any other sin!  As I have explained in another part of this series in responding to this article, I have struggled with bisexual tendancies.  Whether you struggle with tendancies like me, or you have it full-blown, it is a struggle, just as every sin is a struggle that we deal with.  It makes it even harder when everyone around us are telling us, “It’s fine!  It’s just how you are!  You’re born that way!  It’s normal!  Be who you are!”  People, I’m not asking you to not be true to yourself, but your sexuality doesn’t make you who you are!  It’s a part of you, but it’s not your identity!  It’s like my Asperger’s Syndrome.  It’s a part of me, but it’s not my identity!  I have AS, but it’s not me!  You are born into a sinful world and in this sinful world you are exposed to sin constantly.  Your innocence is continually being stripped away – some are stripped away quicker than others due to abuse.  As much as you may not want to hear it, you were born with a sin nature.  We were all born with a sin nature.  Our sin natures are different, but we all have them – even Christians.  Some lean on sexual sins (homosexuality, pedophilia, even cheating on a marital spouse), others lean on kleptomania (stealing), even others lean on hatred and murder.  What do you think addictions are?  They are placing things above God.  I have a very addictive personality and get addicted to things very easily.  I have struggled with different addictions for years (from pornography to eating constantly).  But I read something today that said, “Jesus is a friend of sinners.”  It’s so true!  I have friends, but I have no greater friend than the Lord of the universe!  He is my truest friend as cliche as that sounds.  I know if everyone abandoned me – my friends, my husband, my family, I would still have my God by my side, and he’s never going to leave me nor forsake me.  So yes, homosexuality is offensive to God, but so is every other sin!  All of my sins are just as offensive to God as all of your sins!

The writer then says, “Thanks to Christian missionaries, African and Latin American queers also have now lived for centuries now under the threat of violent death.”  Not all Christian missionaries are supporting this, I would go as far as saying very few Christian missionaries support this.  Christians who are out to kill homosexuals have their own agenda’s and a real problem with hate – and that in itself is a sin.  God doesn’t want a homosexual killed just as much as he doesn’t want anyone else killed.  The majority of Christians don’t want homosexuals killed.  Christians may not support homosexuality, but they do not wish for them to be killed.  Christians who kill homosexuals are shameful and I believe are even more responsible for their sin than those who don’t follow Christ because they know the truth; they are to show the love of God!  Murdering people is NOT showing God’s love!  As Christians, we are to be ambassadors of Christ, we are to represent him, and if we kill someone due to hate, we are even more responsible than those who don’t follow Christ!

To my brothers and sisters in Christ, it’s okay to hate the sin of homosexuality.  BUT to hate the sinner, the people, the homosexuals, this is WRONG!  Please, I beg of you, show God’s love to them, not hate.  You don’t have to support their lifestyle to show his love.  In fact, don’t!  Make it clear this is against the Word of God!  With all the lies the world tells them, they need to know the truth!  But do it all in love.  Show compassion to them.  They are as human as you and I are.  They hurt just as much as you and I hurt.  Christ died to save them just as much as you and I.  His blood was shed for them just as much as you and I.  Show God’s love to them.  Be the light to them.  For all you know, they may have no other light but the one you show them.  Our next part will be 8. Destroying Earth’s web of life and impoverishing future generations is evil.

 

 

In Christ,

Nick Peters

Apostles’ Creed: To Judge

July 16, 2014

Is it proper to say that God will judge? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

Judging is a funny thing in America today. People constantly say “I’m not trying to judge” and every time I hear that I want to say “But that’s exactly what you’re doing and that’s not necessarily wrong.” Of course, some judging is wrong, and this is the judging that is hypocritical judging, which is what Jesus is talking about in Matthew 7.

It’s a shame that John 3:16 used to be the most quoted Bible verse and today, it’s Matthew 7:1 and even then, just the first part. Jesus is not telling you to never judge. In fact, the very passage talks about throwing pearls to swine and giving what is sacred to dogs. Those actions involve making judgments.

When I lived in Charlotte shortly before the wedding, my best man who was my roommate knew he needed to find a new place to live shortly after Allie and I met. He got a job living in a luxury apartment with a boy in a wheelchair who had had a stroke. (Yes. Luxury apartment all paid for. Just suffering for Jesus I suppose.)

Once in a trip over to visit him, a nurse was there to help out who was saying that we shouldn’t judge. I asked her if her car was parked in the garage downstairs. She said it was. I then asked “Did you lock the doors?” At that point, the light bulb clicked.

Judging is inevitable. You have to do it. If you lock your doors at all, you judge. If you’re cautious about who you choose to babysit your children, you judge. If there are places that you avoid while driving or walking, you judge. When you decide who it is that you are going to marry, you judge.

It’s strange also that judging is being seen as a negative when we have more and more shows of the American Idol variety that rely on the judgment of the man on the street more and more. Why is it that judging is seen as so problematic?

A large part of it is our pseudo-tolerance society. I say pseudo because we do not know what real tolerance is. Tolerance is not being accepting of what everyone does. Tolerance is thinking that what someone is doing is wrong but being able to accept the person regardless.

Let’s consider what has to be there for tolerance. First off, there has to be an area of disagreement for tolerance to exist. A husband for the most part will not tolerate it if his wife wants to make love to him in the evening. Of course not. He’ll openly celebrate it. That’s not something that a guy just puts up with. He wants that. A husband will tolerate it if his wife burns dinner one evening.

Tolerance also when seen as a virtue is normally about something someone has a serious disagreement with on someone. You could tolerate going to a fast food restaurant whose food you don’t particularly like because everyone else in the car is going there. If you make a big issue out of it, then that is more of a problem with you. You don’t call yourself a champion of tolerance just for putting up with food you don’t like.

Third, tolerance has it that what is being done is seen as wrong. Again, you don’t tolerate something that you approve of. Husbands don’t tolerate a wife who wants to make love. Parents don’t tolerate children who clean their rooms.

The obvious example today in America is the debate over homosexuality. For a Christian, if they show tolerance, that means they show love to someone in the homosexual lifestyle without approving of the lifestyle. You can love someone without approving of everything that they do. Case in point, we all do it to ourselves.

Someone can think that the Christian is wrong in not agreeing with the homosexual lifestyle. It does not follow that the Christian is however intolerant. Of course, they could be, and if we think of people with the mindset of Westboro Baptist, they indeed are. Some people do genuinely think homosexuality is wrong but have a great love of homosexuals as people and seek to share the love of Christ with them.

Putting a stigma on judging allows possible evils to go unchecked. It should be for any of us that if a viewpoint or practice we engage in is wrong, we would want to know about it. We would want to be open to evidence and correction that will show that. Too often we are not. Too often also, we blame everyone else for how our lives are turning out instead of taking responsibility.

In a situation like this, people are allowed to use their feelings to hold others in tyranny. Having your feelings hurt is not the worst thing in the world. Sometimes, in fact, it is absolutely necessary. Sometimes you need to be told a hard truth and the only way to do that is by stepping on those toes a little bit. Some people also are not genuinely interested in debate but only in tearing others down. A firm hand can be needed for those.

So what about God? Can God judge? After all, the creed says that He is coming to judge.

It amuses me when I see atheists who complain about the problem of evil. Then you point to a society filled with evil like the Canaanite culture of the past and the atheist complains when God judges that culture as well. No matter what, God is seen as guilty. If God lets evil keep going, then He is wrong. If God judges, then He is also wrong.

God is in fact the only one who can judge perfectly since He alone is wholly good and wholly just. In fact, He is goodness and justice. When God judges also, He will be a good and fair judge with the people who He judges.

“Well how can that be? Christians get a free pass!”

God’s standard is perfection. When God judges a Christian, He will see the Christian in covenant with Christ and will judge the Christian based on the work of Christ. What happens when He comes to the non-Christian? He’s a fair judge and He uses the same standard. The standard is perfection. If someone falls short, they don’t make it. God judges them by their works.

Kind of ironic isn’t it since so many people think God should do just that and judge us by if we did more good than bad in this life.

Now you might say your works are not that bad. You never do anything really really evil. You’ve never murdered anyone for instance.

The reason something like that is thought is because people don’t really know what sin is. Consider what happens when you do what the Bible refers to as sin. You are making these claims.

You are saying your way is better than God’s.
You are saying you know better than God.
You are saying you will not be judged by God so you can get away with it.
You are saying that you will be unholy while knowing that God is holy.
You are saying you are the ultimate authority of how this world should be and how you should live in it.

In essence, you are wanting to be on the throne of God yourself. You are in fact guilty of divine treason.

If that sounds extreme to you, it’s because you just don’t realize the gravity of the situation.

I would also contend that if you are sentenced to live apart from God forever, you will continue to live in rebellion. In other words, you will be building up a debt that you could never pay off.

Saying you are guilty of divine treason could make God sound like a harsh judge, but that’s only getting one side of the picture. That’s what makes forgiveness so beautiful. It’s God saying that He knows you wanted Him to not exist and you wanted to be God yourself, and yet He is going to drop all charges against you. He will not just wipe the slate clean. He will break the slate into a million pieces. You will be seen as innocent based on your trust in Christ.

Keep in mind God could have not sent Christ and been entirely in the right. He could judge us all right now and who could say He was wrong? From a Biblical position, we all deserve death and in fact, we all deserve it right now, so every moment we are allowed to live is in fact a gift of grace.

Also, if you find yourself getting offended at the thought that you deserve death right now for being in rebellion against God, then I can just easily say you are demonstrating pride. If God is the king of this universe, upon what grounds does He owe you anything? You are to bow to Him. He is not to bow to you.

God does have the right to judge and while our judging is imperfect, passages like John 7:24 tell us we need to make right judgments, especially as people of truth who should be constantly seeking out truth. If we live in fear of judging, then we will not be able to fulfill the Great Commission our Lord has given us, for that requires we tell a world that they are sinners in need of a savior and that the King is on the throne and they need to honor Him.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Gentlemen. We Are At War.

July 8, 2014

Is there a battle to win and a cost if we don’t fight? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

Readers of this blog probably know by now that I quite like the church that Allie and I have found. I get a sermon that is intellectually satisfying while touching the heart as well. I wish I could say that this was the norm when it came to churches, but alas, I cannot. Too many churches have the congregations just getting some pablum so they can go home and at the end of the day feel good about themselves.

Christians. Take a look at the culture around you. Does it look like we’re really making an impact? Does it look like the church is being salt and light in this world?

If not, then why should we go to church and feel good about ourselves? If we are not obeying the Great Commmission, then we should be looking at ourselves with shame.

I have in fact reached the point where I want to go up to pastors and say to them “Please tell me why I should believe that Jesus rose from the dead.” There are two answers that are unacceptable for this one. Now there could be variants on how these answers are said but the answers are still the same.

“The Holy Spirit tells me that Jesus rose from the dead.”

“The Inerrant Word of God says Jesus rose from the dead.”

What’s the problem with both of these? In the long run, they both beg the question. You say the Holy Spirit tells you this? Fine. The Holy Spirit also apparently tells Mormons that the Book of Mormon is from God and that Joseph Smith is a true prophet. Do you believe that? Why should I think what you’re experiencing is the Holy Spirit and not something else? You could say “Well if you experience it, you know who it is.” Don’t you think the Mormons would say the exact same thing?

What about the latter? Now I do hold to inerrancy, but I hold to inerrancy as a conclusion and not a presupposition. You want to claim your holy book is the final authority. Fine. Muslims do the exact same thing. Why is it that I should believe what you say about your holy book but I should not believe what the Muslims say about theirs?

If all you have is your own subjective viewpoint for defending the resurrection, you will not last when opposition comes your way. When I meet pastors like this now I have a simple wish to make of them. “Get out of the pulpit. We’re in a war and we don’t need people like you dragging us down. Give your office to someone who deserves it.”

You see, too many pastors are acting like there isn’t a battle going on. They still have this idea that all Christianity is supposed to teach us is how to be good people. Christ did not need to come just to teach us ethics. The people of the day could have got that from the philosophers of their time. Christ came to bring about the Kingdom of God. Note that. Kingdom. How many people out there think that you could belong in a Kingdom and not care about what you were to do for the King but only think about what the King was to do for you?

There is a culture war that is going on here in America. If you want to deny this, then you are quite simply a fool. There is an active homosexual agenda that’s wanting to silence your voice on the public square. Abortion has been around for 40+ years and we have seen the lives of millions of innocent babies claimed. The new atheist agenda is spreading like wildfire through the colleges and your students are going to encounter it. Muslims would be delighted to bring Sharia Law here to America.

There is not a question any more of if we and our children will face opposition. We will. There is only the question of how we would face it.

Picture if you had a son or daughter who had to take a job somewhere where you had concerns about them walking to their car in the parking lot. What are you going to do? You might ask the police to keep a watch on the area, but the police can’t be there 24/7. What else could you do? You might want to say “I’ll give my children mace” or “I’ll enroll them in a class so they can carry a concealed weapon” or “I’ll have them learn karate.” Why? You want your children to have a fighting chance if they come against enemy opposition.

Picture your having a son who goes into the military. You receive word from his officers that they are about to fly overseas and go and fight the enemy. You ask if your son has taken any courses in combat to prepare for this mission and you hear “Nah. We don’t think that’s really necessary. We figure if we just give them a gun that they’ll know enough to be able to protect themselves.” I suspect you’ll be calling your Congressman or Senator before too long if that’s the case.

Yet we want to send our children into the lions’ den regularly and do so without giving them basic protection in apologetics?

There’s a word for that.

That word is “Stupid.”

Some of you might say “Well my children aren’t going to college.” Okay. College isn’t for every person, but this is happening in high school! Opposition will be there and not just intellectual opposition, but moral opposition. You want your children to practice a Biblical sexual ethic. What reason will you give them? If you just have them say “The Bible says so”, their friends in high school who are not Christians and are sexually active will be more than happy to clear them of their delusions on the Bible. If that takes place, do you really think your assurances will be enough to overpower hormones? How many of you would have had that work with your parents?

Some of you might say you will home school your children. Fine. Do that. Keep in mind this reality however. Sooner or later your children are going to leave home and go off into the world. Are they going to be prepared or not? If not, you are one who will be held accountable, especially the fathers. The fathers are the main ones in Ephesians 5 who are to raise up their family and the only ones said to give an account for how the whole family turns out. I’m not at all saying mothers are unimportant in this. Mothers are vastly important. Fathers in the Biblical teaching however are called to be leaders of their family and to raise up their children well. If you’re reading this and a father, imagine how you will stand before God and give an account of how you raised your children. If they’re not equipped and they fall away, what account will you give?

The reality is that we can win this battle. I think of a certain person in apologetics who recently said about my position to reclaim academia “How do you plan on doing that in a nation under the judgment of God?” How? Simple. One battle at a time. How dare we abandon our intellectual heritage and give it right over to the enemy! This is especially the case with NT scholarship where Christians should be at their strongest. We have too often let the enemy dictate how the battle will be fought. No more.

In other battles, when Christians do something, results happen. When Chick-Fil-A Day came, Christians went in droves to their Chick-Fil-A stores and set records in fast food sales for that day. When Duck Dynasty was pulled from A&E, Christians started on their own a boycott page and called their cable companies and canceled. Cracker Barrel had decided to not carry Duck Commander material. They changed their mind on that quickly when Christians spoke up! When Suntrust decided to pull away from some men who were in support of traditional marriage, Christians immediately began going to their Facebook page and letting them know their discontent and began pulling their accounts. Before a day had passed, Suntrust changed their mind.

Christians WON all of these battles.

The problem is not that the church cannot win battles. The problem is that the church rarely shows up.

I have too often seen churches deny the need for apologetics training. I will go to churches regularly and offer them to come and work with them. It will be of no charge to them whatsoever! I would be delighted just to teach. 99% of the time the answer is that they don’t really need something like that. I always leave a church like that realizing the pastor is just deluding himself. As one of my mentors once told me “The pastor will call you back when his son comes home from college and announces he’s abandoned his faith.”

When we encounter those who abandon their faith, it is normally for foolish reasons. Also, it can be because too much emphasis was placed on a secondary doctrine instead of a primary, the resurrection of Jesus. The two biggest offenders in this category are young-earth creationism and inerrancy. In both cases, when someone finds a reason why these are called into question and they no longer believe them, everything else crumbles like a house of cards. If inerrancy or young-earth creationism are made the foundation for the Christian faith, we are setting ourselves up to fail.

Make no mistake. We are at war. We cannot be just playing games and getting pablum at church and expect to be able to fulfill the Great Commission in this day and age. Here in America, we have the best means to equip our people. There is no excuse for our being unprepared for the battle that awaits us. IF we who have been given so much ability to learn and spread the truth fail with it, we will all give an account before God of how we did.

I can only end with saying what Joshua said for how he would decide. Choose this day who you will serve but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Sense and Goodness Without God Part 15

February 19, 2014

Does naturalism have a good basis for a moral theory? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

We’re continuing with our look at Sense and Goodness Without God by Richard Carrier. Right now, we’re discussing moral theory. Again, I only wish to bring out a few highlights from the chapter of points that I find problematic.

On page 317, Carrier claims that homosexual sex on J.P. Moreland’s view is immoral when supposedly in reality, it harms no one and if you repress your desires, well that does lead to harm. (This would be news to several Christians I know who live happy lives despite having homosexual attractions they don’t act on. It would also be the same for those with heterosexual attractions they don’t act on.) Amusingly, on the same page he describes unsafe sex as risky behavior stating that immoral behavior is risky.

For the first part, I want to note immediately that Gatean Dugas is unavailable for comment. It is hard to have read a book like “And The Band Played On” about the spread of the AIDS epidemic in America (Note originaly it was called GRID, Gay-Related Immune Deficiency) and not see that the behavior is risky. In fact, it is inherently risky. Homosexuals like Larry Kramer wrote about the problems in the homosexual community and others realized that the bathhouse culture opened itself up for numerous risks as most people did not follow “safe” procedures. If you go to the CDC web site today and look up STD’s, you’ll even find specific statements about homosexual sex.

By the way, if anyone wants to think my source for “And The Band Played On” is a homophobic bigot, keep in mind that Randy Stilts who wrote the book was himself a homosexual who died of AIDS.

Yet I also can’t wonder if it’s possible for sex to be risky even if all the “safe” procedures were followed. Could it be that cheap casual sex is also just as risky? Could there not be several psychological reasons for thinking that? For those who are interested in hearing such reasons, I recommend listening to my interview with Freda Bush on the hook-up culture available here.

Now I do agree with Carrier of course that immorality is bad for you, yet it is interesting to hear him say about people who are bad will live with some debilitating factor such as chronic anger or depression. He writes of how they will try to replace the hole in their lives with luxuries, distractions, etc. It will never be enough. The pleasures will be fleeting and they will never know the genuine happiness Carrier speaks of.

At this point, I’m surprised there isn’t an altar call in the book.

Now I do think of course that God has made us for Him, but I would say do not come to God because He will make you happy, though He will in the long-run to be sure. Come to Him because He is true. If you want a religion to bring you comfort and joy, well Christianity offers that, but it definitely promises suffering as well. What Christianity will also say is it is rooted in a historical reality.

So how does a naturalist account for value? (A term I would prefer not to use.) Carrier says “We merely place the highest authority, not the sole authority, in the findings of science.”

This is like the problem I expressed earlier about having a metal detector on the beach and not being able to find paper. What if these questions are not answered by science? If they are not, then science might be able to supplant another field, but it cannot do the work of that other field.

We are told that one could demonstrate that something is a good value for humans and therefore all ought to seek it since all human beings desire happiness. Why yes they do, but I find Carrier seems to have great faith in humanity and after the 20th century, I don’t share that great faith.

It would be great to say that if we all knew the facts, then we would know that these are good and we would all seek one another’s happiness, but does anyone really think that we would? Why should we? We in fact each know that most of the time, if it comes to choosing happiness, we choose our own over everyone else’s.

One of the great lessons learned in marriage is how you have to consistently sacrifice your happiness for someone else. Both persons in a marriage are expected to put the other one first. A husband might want to save up to buy himself something really nice, but he knows he needs to take his wife out to dinner. He might want to stay home and watch the game on TV, but she wants an evening on the town, so off he goes. A wife meanwhile might want to just stay home and watch TV, but she knows she needs to do the housework for her husband. She might not be exactly “in the mood” that evening, but she knows her husband desires sexual intimacy with her and so gives it. Both learn to sacrifice their good for that of the other, but it takes work.

I would furthermore love to see how Carrier would plan on sharing this insight with people in the Muslim community for instance. What happens if he meets any people who do not accept the findings of science supposedly? What does he do then?

Please note also that in all of this, there has not yet been a definition given of “good.”

When it comes to human nature, on page 328 we are told “it is obvious that in order to be called a ‘human’ one must possess certain qualities, therefore a ‘human nature’ exists. Q.E.D.”

Well sure, if you want to be included in group X, you must possess all the qualities of group X. Lions, tigers, and our little pet Shiro are all quite different, but somehow, all belong in the category of cat.

And humans are quite different. We have different races to us. We have different sizes. We have different personalities. We have different shapes. We have different sexes. Yet all of us possess this human nature.

The problem with Carrier’s position is that he states that we all have to possess these qualities. What qualities are they?

Your guess is as good as mine. They’re never listed. I suppose we have to take their existence by faith.

Now as a Christian, I would point out that we all have the image of God. We are endowed with rationality and the ability to choose the good and reject the evil. We could try to point to physical characteristics to establish our common bond, but they’re vastly different. We can’t even point to the 46 chromosomes in DNA since some people actually have a minutely different number. Those who have the 46 all have them quite differently.

Yet here’s a problem then. If we have no clear idea in naturalism of what these traits are, how can we say that we are all human? Could some not say others are not human? (This was done in Nazi Germany and is done today in the abortion industry.) Could that not in fact give us an excuse to exterminate those that do not fit the bill?

And if we value equality so much, then how is it that we can have a basis for equality in our society if in fact there is nothing that is truly equal about us?

Oh. Speaking of abortions, perhaps some readers would like this quote on page 329.

“And a newborn baby, deserving even greater compassion and respect, has more value than any animal on Earth, with the possible exception of adult apes or dolphins (or, perhaps, elephants.)”

So this newborn baby would possess this human nature, but apparently their human nature is not as special as elephant or dolphin nature. What exactly makes it less special? Who knows! If you think I’m not representing this fairly, just look at what is on the next page when Carrier speaks about Koko, the gorilla who supposedly understands much sign language.

“If in a dire circumstance I had to choose between saving Koko and saving a newborn human baby, it would be hard to justify saving the baby–only the baby’s value to someone else, and it’s potential to develop into a fully-effective human being, would weigh against Koko.”

Here we see where the problem will come from. How will Carrier determine what a fully-effective human being is? Recently, Boghossian has written about faith being seen as a contagion and how it needs to be listed as a mental condition. What would stop Carrier from seeing people of faith the same way as people carrying a disease and thus not being “fully-effective human beings.”?

We have a position similar to that of Animal Farm. All humans are equal, but some are more equal than others!

Carrier goes on to say that “The loss of a human being is a truly profound loss to the entire universe, and the development of a human mind is the greatest, most marvelous thing the universe may ever realize. But more importantly, each human shares our awareness of being, our understanding, our capacity for perceiving happiness and agreeing to help each other achieve it.”

Keep in mind that on page 259, Carrier said

“it is theism that often encourages arrogance, making man the center of the universe, exaggerating his importance in the grand scheme of things.”

Looks to me like atheism is doing a good job of it as well.

So which is it? Is it that theism is wrong when it does this but atheism is not when it does the exact same thing?

Carrier’s great faith however in humanity comes out even more on page 336.

“We tell the Nazis that his beliefs, like that Jews are not human beings and that they are plotting to take over the world, are factually false, and therefore his morals regarding Jews are in error. We also tell the Nazi that even if his belief that Jews are not human beings were true, it does not logically follow that their lives have no value, since nonhumans (even nonliving things) can have value and the special value assigned to human beings is not based on their species but on qualities they can in principle share with other species and that, as a matter of fact, Nazis clearly share with Jews, even if Jews really were a distinct species.”

Geez. I wonder why we didn’t try that! It’s all so simple! Just sit down and explain to Hitler the error of his ways and before too long, the Nazis will be out there turning their guns and tanks into plowshares and attending Bar Mitzvahs with their new friends!

Next we come to the topic of defining good and evil! It’s about time! So I got to this section eagerly looking forward to what was to be said.

I was disappointed. I was told that evil is a word used to refer to anything causing injury or harm. The good is the opposite.

This kind of definition would require much qualification.

The police officer no doubt harms the criminal when he puts a bullet through his skull, but many of us would recognize situations where this is justifiable, save for the most staunch pacifist out there.

The refrigeration industry in American history brought great harm to the ice industry. Several people in that business lost their jobs. We could say the same about what the automobile industry did to the horse industry. This caused harm. A surgeon will cause harm to his patient. (As one who went through Scoliosis surgery, I can assure you it does not feel pleasant!)

Further, some things we can think are beneficial are not. The example that springs readily to mind is the boy who decides to help a butterfly escape from its container by poking a hole in it with a pencil. The boy doesn’t know that the butterfly needing to break out assures it gets the strength this way to survive. By helping it, the boy has killed it. We can also picture giving a lollipop to a small child, an otherwise benign act (Except perhaps to a dentist), not realizing that the child is a diabetic.

And we could ask about helping people, helping them to what and to what end? What is the ultimate one good at the end? Is it happiness? If so, does this not imply a teleology, the very thing that Carrier’s system goes against since that is a principle of intelligent design from the outside? (Note by intelligent design, I do not mean in the mechanistic sense as in the modern ID movement).

Carrier also says that something would be good or evil regardless of what a society says, but that good and evil are defined by human convention. How could this work? What happens if two societies disagree? Who decides which one is right? How is this decided? We can say “We use science to determine this!” Let’s suppose the other society does not think science is the way to determine this. Why should the society that thinks otherwise automatically have to give in to the position that most Westerners hold to?

Finally, I wish to comment on the views of Jesus that Carrier presents. Carrier says that Jesus would have people rob and beat us. (Matthew 5:38-42). This is a common view of the turning of the other cheek, but it is false. The position described is a slap of the face which would not be a brutal attack, but would be an insult. It would also take place privately. Jesus is telling us then that in the private sphere, don’t try to outdo someone on insults and one-up them. Instead, leave the vengeance to God. Trying to outdo them only increases the cycle of evil. Of course, this does not apply in the public sphere where one’s honor would be at stake and it does not apply in the case of an actual attack.

He also says that we should forgive a criminal 539 times. (I have never read that number in the Gospels in the parable of the unforgiving servant.) To this we ask, why shouldn’t we? If someone comes and asks forgiveness, release them from the debt. This does not mean there are never any consequences, but it means you do not hold a grudge.

Finally, he points to Jesus telling the rich young man to sell all he has and give to the poor. Indeed, he did, because this rich young man placed all his joy in his riches. It was what was separating him from eternal life. For several of us, it could be something else entirely.

Carrier says Jesus holds these to be moral positions and says “But we hold that these are at best supermoral, and that it is immoral to expect such behavior from anyone.” Earlier he says “Evangelical Christians like Moreland would have us believe that early-term abortion or homosexual sex are immoral. But we hold they are not.”

So again we have the problem. Carrier’s view will say “We hold this and we are the enlightened ones.” Again, why should I agree with him? I already see that he can determine degrees of value for human beings so why think that more and more he will not choose to value those who are more like him than anyone else?

In fact, it’s human nature for us to tend to do that as I dare say we all to some extent do that. Carrier seems to have great faith in the goodness of humanity. I don’t see that on the evening news. I instead have great evidence that humanity has great potential to do evil and we willingly use that potential every day. I do not see our problem as simple ignorance of facts. Our problem is as Scripture says, our hearts. They are wicked.

Perhaps the prophets are right. What we need is not just new knowledge, which is good, but new hearts.

And somehow, I think you need God for that.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

On Phil Robertson and Duck Dynasty

December 21, 2013

What do I think about the Phil Robertson issue? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

Normally, I don’t post on Saturday, but next week is Christmas and I will be busy and I have other reviews going on and this topic is important to cover right now so with a few hours before the podcast today airs, I’m going to give some thoughts on this one.

I can also say that I have never actually seen an entire episode of Duck Dynasty. My wife and I do not get A&E. I’ve only seen the tail end of one episode when we went to visit my parents and I remember seeing a truck get blown up (Which I thought was awesome) and having the family gather together for prayer and a meal. I liked what I saw, but never watched more.

Yet I have been watching what has been going on and quite enjoying what I see.

Phil Robertson as we know was asked by GQ his stance on various issues. This would include sinful behavior. It’s hardly a shock to anyone that Robertson, a conservative Christian, gave an answer that a conservative Christian would do. What should he do instead? Lie? (For those wanting to talk about how a true Christian behaves and believes, a true Christian does not lie.) No. He gave an honest answer. Some say he was crude. It’s amusing that these same people quite likely have no hesitancy using profanity and probably don’t complain about a number of jokes their favorite comedians make or can show up on television elsewhere.

What did A&E do in response? They cut him out of the show for going against what they believe. A key point in this has also been that Robertson included bestiality in the list of sexual sins.

Maybe he did that because it is included in the Christian list of sexual sins? Notice also he included men and women sleeping around. If anything, since that was listed afterwards, it could be implied that he’s saying that was worse. I don’t think he was saying that. He was just listing sexual sins.

And to top it off, he gives a passage from Scripture.

Now going back to A&E’s response, a lot of people see this as a free speech issue. Upfront, I will say that this is not an issue about free speech. I will assume for the sake of argument that A&E has all right to fire Phil Robertson if they so choose. The right to speak does not entail the right to be heard or agreed with.

Of course, in turn, families all across America have a right to boycott A&E and to cancel their cable.

And before going on, I just want to ask this question. A&E, what the heck were you thinking? Duck Dynasty is your cash cow. It is the number one show in the nation. It is the reason people are watching your network. Why on Earth would you want to risk the equilibrium of that show? People who watch it already know how Phil thinks whether they agree with him or not.

That having been said then, what is the real issue here?

The real issue I think is hypocrisy.

There are many homosexuals out there who are practicing homosexuals who see no wrong with the behavior, but at the same time, they’re also not dogmatic about wanting to redefine marriage. Many of them even oppose redefining marriage. They don’t want to be the center of attention. They don’t want to make their sexual behavior the focus of their life or stake their identity in it. Of course, they don’t want to be discriminated against in other areas of life, but they’d prefer to really just be left alone.

Most Christians will have no problem with these people. Now we’ll disagree with their lifestyle, but we suspect that we can have good and honest conversation with these people about the issues. These people will also disagree with orthodox Christians. Some will claim to be Christians themselves, but I don’t see any way around 1 Cor. 6 for a Christian. Those interested in more on this are invited to read Robert Gagnon’s “The Bible and Homosexual Practice” and listen to his interview on my show here.

What do we Christians mind?

We mind the ones that are very much in our face with their lifestyle and not only wanting us to listen to them, but demanding that we accept them.

“Oh you are huh? Well what about those Bible thumpers who go around telling everyone that they’re going to Hell? What about them?”

By and large, I think they’re generally an embarrassment to the kingdom. I do. The ones that I see are generally high on passion and low on knowledge on the topic. All they know how to do is quote the Bible. Get them in a discussion where they actually have to defend the Bible and they’re toast. Of course, I am not condemning evangelism, but I do think we are in a world where the Bible no longer has the authority it had before in the eyes of the world. We need to do pre-evangelism as well.

So was Robertson doing that? No. He was just answering a question and yes, he did quote Scripture, but he didn’t just say a Scripture. He also made an argument about the nature of the body and how it works. I have no problem with that. He gave the Christian view and then said “And here’s why I think this view is true.”

GLAAD of course would have none of it and immediately made a protest. Unfortunately, this has come back to bite them. GLAAD has been receiving complaints from people everywhere and if you go to their Facebook page, the people are livid. What do they point at? The hypocrisy.

All this time, the homosexual movement has been saying we should tolerate them. We should have a live and let live attitude. We should be willing to accept that they are different. Classically understood, Christians will have no problem tolerating homosexuals. True tolerance means “I disagree with your view, but I will give you all right to hold that view and live your life the way you want.” (Of course, this excludes actions that are illegal.)

The government with behavior can do three things after all. It can promote a behavior and say this is what we want society to do. It can prohibit a behavior and say this is what it doesn’t want society to do. It can also permit a behavior as a way of saying they’re not saying yes or no either way but leaving it up to people to decide.

Right now, the government permits homosexual behavior. There’s nothing illegal about it. That’s not saying anything about it being right or wrong. After all, the government permits adultery and Christians should condemn adultery. The government permits some forms of pornography (Excepting child pornography of course) despite that Christians consider (or they should!) that to be immoral as well.

Knowing that, most Christians will do the same. We’re up for having honest and frank discussions with people in the homosexual community who disagree with us. I have friends who are part of that community. I have friends who I disagree with on many issues and we know we disagree, but we can maturely discuss the issues.

GLAAD is not pleased with that. They don’t want discussion. They have shut down discussion immediately instead. When it comes to what Robertson has said, the question has not been asked “Is he right?” Personally, I think that would be a good question for us to discuss. Let’s suppose for the sake of argument that Christianity is true. Let’s suppose God does have a Kingdom. Let’s suppose this really is a behavior that excludes you from the Kingdom.

Isn’t that the kind of thing people should know about?

Let’s even suppose for the sake of argument that Christianity is false. However, Phil Robertson still believes that it is true. He honestly believes that people who are participating in homosexual behavior without repentance and not seeking to repent are going to be excluded from the Kingdom of God?

Isn’t it consistent for him to want to warn people about that?

GLAAD has decided to skip the step of if what is said is true or not. Now they could say “Well we’ve studied the claim and we’ve found that it’s not true.” Okay. Perhaps you think you have. Has your audience? What about people out there who think otherwise? What about people like myself who say we’ve studied the Bible and found it to be true and we agree with it here? We need to hear more than your indignation.

All this time GLAAD has been telling us to be tolerant of people who are different, but apparently, when someone shows up who is different from them, then that tolerance goes out the window. They no longer have a desire to be tolerant. They not only refuse dissenting arguments. They refuse dissenting opinions. If you speak out and say something that offends them, then they will come after you.

I’ve debated Muslims before. These Muslims tell me that I’m an idolater and a blasphemer. I am guilty of the sin of shirk for since I hold to the deity of Christ and the Trinity, I am assigning partners to God. I deserve to go to Hell forever.

And you know what? If Islam is true, they’re exactly right! If Jesus is not who He claimed to be, I am guilty of a great blasphemy anyway and I deserve what I get.

Am I offended by this? Not a bit! I think the Muslims are being entirely consistent.

When the Muslim says that, what do I say? I don’t go off on a tirade about being offended and therefore it is wrong. What I do is give my reasons why I think the Bible is true and why I do not think that the Koran is true. My reasons could be wrong for the sake of argument, but I give a reason.

What has happened with GLAAD is instead of focusing on the question under discussion, we are instead focusing on the feelings of those involved. If GLAAD feels offended, we cannot help with that. We cannot change what we believe is the truth just to help them feel better. What this ultimately means if we keep going down the route of discussing the feelings involved is that we are held captive by GLAAD’s feelings.

And why should we be?

Should we submit the truth to our feelings or submit our feelings to the truth?

GLAAD’s problem is that they are not practicing the gospel that they preach. The tolerance is a one-way street. If you agree and accept them, they are fine with you, but if you dare raise disagreement, GLAAD isn’t so…well…glad.

An interesting example of the kind of tactics GLAAD is doing is in the interview discussion between Al Mohler and Wilson Cruz. Do you know who these people are? Well let me tell you a bit about them.

“Wilson Cruz currently serves as a full-time GLAAD staff member and national spokesperson, having spoken about LGBT issues on MSNBC, Huffington Post Live, NBC Latino and in USA Today, among many others. He will soon be guest hosting ‘Raising McCain,’ the new talk show on Pivot TV hosted by Meghan McCain. His involvement with LGBT advocacy began in 1995, when he accepted the GLAAD Media Award on behalf of the groundbreaking drama, My So-Called Life. Cruz’s role as gay high school student Rickie Vasquez was a groundbreaking moment in the history of LGBT images in the media. Since then he has gone on to appear in several memorable roles that have spanned television, film, and the Broadway stage. In 1997, Cruz joined GLAAD’s Board of Directors. In 2008, GLAAD honored Cruz with its Visibilidad Award. He recently served on the Board of Directors for The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), and for the past two years he co-chaired their annual Respect Awards which raises money for the organization. Cruz also worked at The National Gay & Lesbian Task Force as a Field Organizer, advocating in cities around the United States to expand human rights ordinances to includes sexual orientation. He has been the Grand Marshal at Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, West Hollywood and San Diego Pride events, as well volunteering for the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center and APLA’s AIDS Walk. He is based in Los Angeles.”

And to let everyone know, this is not a description I have made on my own. This is a description that comes from GLAAD’s own web site and can be found here.

Now what about Al Mohler?

“A native of Lakeland, Fla., Dr. Mohler was a Faculty Scholar at Florida Atlantic University before receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree from Samford University in Birmingham, Ala. He holds a master of divinity degree and the doctor of philosophy (in systematic and historical theology) from Southern Seminary. He has pursued additional study at the St. Meinrad School of Theology and has done research at University of Oxford (England).

Dr. Mohler also serves as the Joseph Emerson Brown Professor of Christian Theology at Southern Seminary. His writings have been published throughout the United States and Europe. In addition to contributing to a number of collected volumes, he is the author of several books, including Culture Shift: Engaging Current Issues with Timeless Truth (Multnomah); Desire & Deceit: The Real Cost of the New Sexual Tolerance (Multnomah); Atheism Remix: A Christian Confronts the New Atheists (Crossway); He Is Not Silent: Preaching in a Postmodern World (Moody); The Disappearance of God: Dangerous Beliefs in the New Spiritual Openness (Multnomah); and Words From the Fire: Hearing the Voice of God in the Ten Commandments (Moody). From 1985 to 1993, he served as associate editor of Preaching, a journal for evangelical preachers, and is currently editor-in-chief of The Southern Baptist Journal of Theology.”

This is just a snippet of what can be found here.

In fact, I’ll even say I’m not a big fan of Al Mohler, but let’s suppose I didn’t know these two men from Adam. All I had was these descriptions of them and I’m hearing them speak about what Christians believe. If I have not done any research on my own, which of these two men should I give more credibility? The one who has a Christian position at a Christian ministry earning degrees in the subject from a Christian seminary, or should I listen to the one who has been an actor and works at an organization that champions homosexuality and has based his whole life on that view?

If you answered “Al Mohler has more credibility” you’re spot on!

Yet what does Cruz say to Mohler?

“You know, it is not a Christian thing to compare or to include homosexuality in a list that includes bestiality or slanderers.”

You can see that here.

Upon what authority does Cruz make this statement? Could he biblically back it?

Amusingly, Cruz goes on to say this:

“And here’s the other thing. There was a time in our history when we couldn’t actually speak up and say something about how we were being characterized. That is no longer today. When someone speaks about us in these ways, we will rise up. We will speak out. And the problem with some of these people on the other side is that they don’t like that anymore. They want us to stay quiet. But we won’t stay quiet when someone makes misogynists statements, when they make racist statements the way that Mr. Robertson did. That’s not American. That’s not Christian. ”

Yes. The problem is people don’t like the way that homosexuals speak out and they want them to stay quiet. This is incredibly funny considering that Cruz and his colleagues want Robertson to be silenced and stay quiet. They don’t want him to speak up at all or say his opinion.

In fact, let’s suppose for the sake of argument that Robertson made misogynist and/or racist statements.

He has freedom to do that too! If he’s a racist, he has that freedom. If he’s a misogynist, he has that freedom. It doesn’t mean he’s right to do so, but he’s free to do so. If you want to silence him, do so with an argument as to why it’s wrong.

What we can hope is that this will instead show that the homosexual narrative is not playing the way it is. We are told that more and more people are coming over to the homosexual side, at least supporting them. This should show that they are not and GLAAD has now shown their hand and the people who support Phil Robertson are angry about it. The message has been given loud and clear. “Do not speak out against us or we will deal with you.”

What this demonstrates is something I have said for awhile. Tolerance has been a sham. It’s always been a one-way street. It was never meant to go both ways. As soon as the homosexuals have the power, they misuse it just as much as anyone else would. They have wanted us to live and let live, but they do not want us to do that, unless we’re just isolated to the private sphere. We dare not be public with our faith, though the homosexual can be public with his lifestyle.

My hope in this is that we will instead get the debate started again and maybe some Christians will wake up and realize what is going on in their world around them and come out of their enclosed societies where they never interact with the world. What we see here today is that Christians are still a force to be reckoned with.

And now, they are ready to show that they will not be bullied any longer.

Where we go from here is up to everyone else and to what you and I do, but this is not a free speech issue in my view. It is a hypocrisy issue and it is time we call the other side on it.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Deeper Waters 10/5/2013 Robert Gagnon

October 3, 2013

What’s coming up this Saturday on the Deeper Waters Podcast? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

Dr. Gagnon will be my guest and is an informed speaker on this area, having written the book “The Bible and Homosexual Practice.” This is one of the most thorough works if not the most thorough (And certainly the most thorough I’ve read) on the matter of what the Bible has to say about homosexuality.

Gagnon doesn’t even begin with Scripture but rather begins with the ancient society that the people of the Bible lived in. How was homosexuality viewed in their culture? What did the other societies do in relation to homosexuals or even to simple accusations of homosexuality? How did Israel behave in comparison to them?

Then, there’s the looking at the biblical texts and even texts that some people would think at the start have nothing to do with homosexuality. Does the story of Noah being shamed by his son have anything to do with homosexuality? It just might.

Of course, there is then time spent on accounts like Sodom and Gomorrah and looking at any argument against that being about homosexuality that can be found. Certainly, Gagnon takes us through the arguments of the holiness code in Leviticus and argues why it should be treated as a prohibition and explains why eating shellfish would not fall in the same category.

What about the writings of Jews outside of the Bible? Gagnon also looks at the positions of Philo and Josephus for instance to see what they say. Now some could say “Well Jesus never says anything about it?” According to Gagnon, Jesus in fact does say something about it and we’ll be definitely looking at that this Saturday.

Then we come to the NT and especially the passage in Romans 1. Is this a condemnation by Paul of homosexual behavior? Is it true that Paul knows nothing about loving and committed homosexual relationships? Do modern studies on sexual orientation change anything that Paul has said?

For those who want more, Gagnon also looks at modern discussion on the topic and even scientific studies on the matter. We’ll be discussing what the implications are of accepting the redefinition of marriage and why it is so important that we win this battle today.

I urge everyone to listen in and please be willing to call in and ask your questions, though I’m suspecting that some that champion tolerance in calling in might reveal themselves to be people who are in fact only tolerant of that which already agrees with them. In other words, intolerant. If you want to call in, the number is 714-242-5180. The time is 3-5 PM EST.

The link can be found here.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Note: This blog entry is largely a copy of what I had back in August when unfortunately we had to reschedule so if some of you are getting a sense of Deja Vu this time, there’s a reason. The information he has is still just as relevant so please be listening.

Deeper Waters Podcast 9/28/2013: Ex-Homosexuals

September 27, 2013

What’s coming up on the Deeper Waters Podcast on 9/28/2013? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

We’ve all heard something about the debate on marriage today and when it comes to the topic of homosexuality, we’ve been told that homosexuality is something immutable. It’s not a choice. It’s something that you’re born with and you just don’t change that! There is no such thing as an ex-homosexual.

Well if that’s the case, then my three guests on this week’s episode don’t exist.

My guests are Greg Quinlan, Douglas McIntyre, and Grace Harley. All three are Christians today and all three were at one time practicing homosexuals. All three have stories of how their change came about and want to speak about the way that people like them are ignored and if not that, in fact persecuted by those on the other side.

If what you hear on Saturday is true, then it is a strong argument against the idea that homosexuality is immutable. If there is just one case otherwise, then the claim is shown to be false. This is not to say that the change would not be difficult for some and in fact, it might be the case that some just don’t pull it off, but such is the same if anyone is addicted to anything or has a strong desire towards something. These three say they have done it and that there are several several others out there that you just don’t hear about.

They’ll tell us about what we should be doing in the debate on marriage today. We want to win this battle of course, but there’s a right way to fight and a wrong way to fight. If you want to fight the right way, why not learn from those who have been there?

Also, how does the church treat homosexuals and what can be done? While my guests definitely don’t go in for the Fred Phelps technique at all, they do see problems with the way the church goes about in its normal witness to homosexuals. This includes a stigma that many Christians have against homosexuals. How is it that the church should treat a homosexual man, woman, or even couple that shows up in their presence?

And what about the family situation? How should people respond to questions of homosexuality in their family? Are there steps that a mother and a father can take to instill proper ideas of sexuality within their children?

It is my hope that with a show like this, you listeners and myself as well will better learn how to respond in this debate and know that we are not alone. If anyone asks for evidence that homosexuality is not immutable then, we can just point them to the testimony of my three guests.

I hope you’ll be planning to join in this Saturday from 3-5 PM EST on Blog Talk Radio. The call in number if you want to ask a question of my guests is 714-242-5180. Make sure they’re questions. No angry diatribes wanted.

The link can be found here.

In Christ,
Nick Peters