Posts Tagged ‘Politics’

Death Of An Innocent Black Child

December 1, 2014

How many more innocent are we going to let die at the hands of those who are meant to take care of us? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

Okay. We’re all talking about Missouri now. There are many of us who have a strong outrage. After all, we have to witness the shedding of blood that is innocent way too often. It is especially tragic when it happens to a child. Even more tragic is that death comes at the hands of those who we pay with our own tax dollars to provide their service for us. They’re in the field that is supposed to take care of us and fight for the preservation of life.

And yet, it looks like the tool that they wield is wielded not for the preservation of life but for the destruction of life and what is the result? There are a mother and father who have a child that does not get to live the life that we would all hope that a child would get to live. Why do we even defend this action that involves taking the life of a child from a mother and a father?

Of course, it doesn’t help that the victim is black and the killer is white. Surely this should show that in our country, we are in a position of intense racial division. No doubt, this is a story that is worthy of all the major news networks as it really shows how little attention we give to the goodness of life in this country, yet hardly anyone is talking about this important story really.

What? You mean everyone is talking about this story? You mean there are riots going on in Ferguson now over the death of Michael Brown?

Oh. Well I wasn’t talking about that.

You see, what I was talking about was the report that came out on 11/26/2014 that since that death, there have been 981 black babies killed in the state of Missouri. Now the death of anyone should give us sadness on some level, but if the death of Michael Brown will bring this level of sadness, where is the outrage that 981 other black children have died in Missouri?

I’m not here to comment on the rightness or wrongness of the Brown indictment. I save that for those who have spent more time following the events, but I am wanting to comment that we have got so used to the death of babies in our country that it goes on around us constantly and we don’t even bat an eye any more.

Exactly how cold have we become?

Of course, I’m not encouraging rioting. That is not the answer. Still, it would be nice if some Christians had the same passion about defending the life of the unborn as many people in Ferguson have about providing vengeance (rightly or wrongly) for the death of Michael Brown. It is a sad state of affairs when we in this country who call on the name of Christ have less passion for our Lord than the world does for its causes. If people deem Michael Brown worthy of a riot, then surely we can at least say Jesus Christ should be deemed worthy of getting yourself out of your pew and actually doing something about the subject of abortion.

We can condemn the actions going on in Ferguson, and to be clear, I think we should, but let us also condemn any passivity on our part. Why is it the way abortion and the rest of America is the way it is today? It’s because we who call Jesus our Lord and claim that He is the sovereign of all and we owe our very lives to Him tend to due next to nothing whatsoever for Him.

Christian. Jesus didn’t call you to just sit in a pew on Sunday and be a “good person.” He called you to go out and be salt and light in the world. He called you to shine in the darkness and to spread the Kingdom of God. Either you are doing that today or you’re not. If you are, God bless you and continue to do more. If you’re not, then maybe you should examine yourself and see what it means when you say Jesus is Lord. I’m not saying see your salvation in jeopardy, but perhaps you should see if you’re really doing with your actions what your mouth proclaims in church on Sunday.

If you want to see the silent holocaust in America end, it’s not an option to sit and wait for someone else to do something. Do today what you can do.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

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

Sense and Goodness Without God Part 16

February 24, 2014

What do I think of Carrier’s politics? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

There’s not much to be said on morality at this point and there’s really very little in the basic chapters on beauty, so I’m going to skip ahead to the last major section which is on politics.

I’ll be upfront about my politics in discussing this so all can be warned of any bias on my part. I am a conservative. I often refer to myself as so conservative I only fly on planes that have two right wings. I have lately in fact chosen to not identify that much as a Republican since many of them seem just as problematic to me as their Democratic opponents.

Carrier describes himself as a moderate. In fact, he is quick to point out that the moderate is the most rational political animal in any society.

Gotta love that humility huh?

When Carrier describes his reaction to media reports, he says on page 385 to

“Look at it all, but assume most of it is false or deceptive–and, sifting through it all, try to identify on your own what is most likely true, and what most likely isn’t.”

Apparently, the exact same approach used for Scripture.

Carrier also says we don’t need to worry about someone who is a saint in their private life. What matters is how they will live in their public life. I can’t help but see this as quite naive. If someone will lie and cheat and steal in private, why should I think they won’t do so in public? If they don’t, they are in fact living a double life and one side of those images is false and I’m willing to bet it’s the public one.

Of course, none of us can be perfect. We’re all going to have our moral failings. Still, we should seek someone who is trying to live the good life in private as well as in public.If I had children, why should I trust you with public policy of mine if I knew you were something like a deadbeat Dad at home?

When it comes to what should be done about our problems, apparently Carrier has a great idea. As we read on page 395,

“But the simple act of paying off massive public debt is undeniably useful.”

Why yes! Paying off the public debt is simple! Why didn’t we think of that earlier? Now that we know this, we should be able to eliminate the national debt in no time! No one would of course doubt that it would be “useful” to pay off the debt, but it is not simple. Still, Carrier has a plan.

What is it? The government can buy up all the commercial forests. Then, it will rent the land out to lumber companies. Since the government has to maintain this source of revenue, it will then maintain the forests making sure they’re kept environmentally safe. Next would come the mining and oil companies.

Yes. All of this together would pay off the trillion dollar debt.

And who is going to pay for this massive operation? Who is going to pay to hire all these employees in charge of all of this? Who is going to pay for all the new regulations going on? In turn, it will simply give the government even more power over all the basic goods we have in our lives.

I can’t help but wonder what makes Carrier think he’s someone I should take seriously on economics.

Naturally, this government that Carrier wants will have a commitment to secularism. As we see on page 403.

“Likewise, there is no valid ground for criminalizing abortion, for there is no sufficient evidence to convince any objective court of law that people can exist without a brain (see section III.6 “The Nature of Mind”), so elective abortion before the formation of a cerebral cortext (usually sometime between the 20th and 24th week of gestation) does not violate anyone’s rights by any standard except a solely religious one. Only educated medical professionals are capable of determining precisely when a cerebral cortex has formed, or when an abortion is necessary to save the mother’s life, and these facts will vary with every case. Thus, it is not something that can be honestly legislated, without imposing religious beliefs on people, hence depriving them of their religious freedom.”

This must be news to people like the secular pro-life alliance that are staunchly pro-life without religious reasons. But alas, perhaps we should say that Carrier has spoken and the case is closed. It’s clear then that when secularism rules the day, all other cases are seen as secondary. If you believe something for religious reasons, it will automatically be discounted. As we will see later, Carrier has a strong penchant for opposition of a fierce kind to those who oppose him.

But, I suspect that will be next time and that could be when we wrap up this series.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Book Plunge: Letters To A Young Progressive

January 3, 2014

What do I think of Mike S. Adams’s book? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

I’ve often said it’s good to read people you disagree with. It’s also good to read from people you hate, and like many of you, I hate Mike S. Adams. Who doesn’t? It’s the national pastime after all. It’s also why I was thrilled to receive his book as a Christmas gift.

This had been a book I’d been wanting for a long time. I check Adams’s facebook page everyday to see what he puts up and I get a kick out of a lot of it. He’s a blunt and in your face type who’s not afraid to offend those who disagree with him. Good for him. The cause of Christ needs more like that.

The format of the book is Adams writing letters to a student in his class who he has noticed, particularly after a remark made in the class by the student. The student, Zach, is actually a conglomerate of several kinds of students that Adams has seen in his classes.

Adams also writes from experience, having once been on the side of an atheist liberal progressive who came to Christ and began to renounce his past positions. He is writing then hoping that Zach, and all students represented by Zach, will learn from his experience.

Throughout the book, you will find writing on many issues, though the most prevalent one is likely abortion, and who can blame Adams for this one? Adams is disgusted by the thought of women killing their own children in the womb and frankly, we should all be disgusted by that.

You’ll also find other topics dealt with such as handling of crime, gun control, capitalism, claims of homophobia, antagonism towards Fox News, and a modern work ethic. While Adams is often blunt with his opponents, one does not see any hostility in the letters to Zach. One instead sees a sort of kind father figure wanting to come and guide a young man on the path that he should go.

The letters are also very short which means one can easily go through them and have something to think about. Of course, this means one cannot expect to find the most total answer in every one, but one can find satisfactory starting points and the willing student is one who can search further on his own and Adams rightly recommends using books and journal articles more than internet sources and cable news programs.

There are some areas I would like to have seen more on.

First, I wouldn’t mind seeing more pushback. I did not note much resistance on the part of Zach. The reader only sees one side of the dialogue. It would have been interesting to have seen something like Greg and Ed Boyd’s “Letters From a Skeptic.”

The other aspect is that I understand letters don’t come with footnotes or endnotes, but I would have liked to have had us have some of that anyway for the sake of we on the outside. Adams makes some great points and while he does mention books, it would be nice to see more referencing of where the claims come from in case one is ever asked.

Still, this is a great book. It’s going to give the reader enough to think about and it can be read quickly. I started one day and finished the next. I got halfway through it on the first day just enjoying everything I was reading.

If this is the kind of field you’re interested in, I do recommend it.

Oh, by the way, I just want to remind everyone that I hate Mike S. Adams.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

How Would Jesus Vote?

March 18, 2013

Is Jesus A Republican or a Democrat? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

I recently had a column printed in the local newspaper. It was one based on an idea I’ve blogged about earlier in saying the gospels should be read as political campaigns, an idea you can read about here. The person responded saying Jesus is neither a Republican or a Democrat.

That lest me convinced the column had not been read.

Yet having said that, I wonder about this term. “Jesus is neither a Republican or a Democrat.” What am I to conclude from this? Am I to conclude that Jesus would not walk lock, stock, and barrel, with every position that a party holds on an issue? (Which would be difficult since both parties have internal disagreements among themselves.) If that is all I am to conclude, I have no problem.

Next question then. If we say He would not agree with everything, does that mean He would disagree with everything? For instance, Republicans by and large tend to oppose abortion. Democrats tend to support it. Yes. I know there are exceptions, but this is one example. Am I to conclude from this that if Jesus does not side with either party, that He has no view on abortion? Am I to conclude that He does not see it as good or evil?

This is a position that sounds dangerously relativistic. Let’s grant that one party is in support of abortion. One party is not. If Jesus holds a position, and I would hold that He does, then it would follow that His support would be behind the one who has His position on that issue at least. That support could be disqualified on other grounds, but if it was one issue, that one would have His support.

We could go down the line. What about the marriage debate? In that one, we would need to study to see what we think the right viewpoint is and realize whichever one is right, that is the one Christ would support. What about economic issues? These are multi-faceted and we would have to study. We’d want to take into consideration many points. Which plan is the most feasible? Which one produces the best results? Should we consider long-term effects as well as short-term ones? Are there moral considerations with regards to certain taxes? What is the biblical position on wealth? What is the best way to take care of the poor? This could mean more than just simple prooftexting. It could mean doing some studies in economic theories and looking at them and seeing which one helps a nation best.

The answer ultimately then is not to encourage people to vote Republican or Democrat, but to vote Christian, which is just fine. Everyone else gets to vote according to their worldview. Why shouldn’t a Christian? If we as a nation get people to become serious Christians, then in turn those people will respond politically as Christians. If we want to see a nation that runs in a Christian manner, it won’t be by government work alone. It will be by doing what we’ve already been told to do, the Great Commission. If we who are Christians in America think America is falling and want to save America, which is a noble desire I agree, then it is not done by looking at government to be our savior. It can’t be. Government is not useless, but it is not the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God can use the government, but for that to happen, the servants will have to do the work that they have been assigned to do by the Master.

I will not be answering if Jesus is a Republican or Democrat. Those who know me know the way I vote, but I will say Jesus supports what is true and right and righteousness upholds a nation. If we want to change the country, the best way is by fulfilling the Great Commission in all we do, including our politics and economics. Let us not let another cliche saying stop us from interacting in politics at all.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

And Then Jesus Showed Up

November 7, 2012

Where do we go from here? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

Like several of you, I’m quite depressed today. Let me tell a little bit about where I’m coming from.

My birthday is September 19, 1980. That means politically, that when I was born, Carter was finishing his term as president. I grew up then in the Reagan years. My dad worked for USA Today and my mother worked at an Elementary school. I also have an older sister. Now, she lives in Nashville and is trying to make it in the music business. (She goes by the name of Angela Ross over there if anyone is interested in finding her music.) My family is conservative and I grew up conservative, but they said nothing about politics really growing up. They decided to let me make my own decisions. I did grow up in church, and I did make my faith my own at the age of 11. Today, chances are both of my parents would say I know more about both politics and the matters of the church due to a large amount of reading.

We did have financial struggles growing up. My father lost his job when the company was being transferred seeing as my sister was about to graduate. Things have been more difficult since then. The reason I got to go to college was because of disability (Asperger’s). Vocational Rehabilitation was willing to help me. I did graduate and was the first in my family in a long time to have a college degree.

I went on to SES to pursue a Master’s in Philosophy. While there, I got married to Allie, who as readers know is the daughter of Mike Licona and his wife. I bring that up because about a year after that, a controversy broke out over if my father-in-law was denying Inerrancy or not. Readers know I spent much time writing up on that topic. I don’t let anyone mess with my family. It did mean that my education there was pretty much done on my own part as well. I was sure I’d developed some opposition.

Also, three months before my wedding, I had lost my job. It was later that I got a part-time position at a Wal-Mart which later became a job on the night shift. Unfortunately, that job was too stressing for me. Before too long, I got fired, and that has been a black mark on me. I had appealed to managers and told them about the difficulties of the job beforehand, but they did not listen. My wife and I moved back to Knoxville and we live in my grandmother’s old house. (She passed away in November of 2010) We are right next door to my parents. We depend highly on our families to make it as no job has come in yet and donations are down to Deeper Waters. (Keep in mind that any reader who is interested in our newsletter can leave a comment and let me know. Also, we have a page on Facebook that you can like and support)

Seeing all of this, I was hoping for a conservative win last night. I’ve seen the economy dropping and people are not hiring. Any time I have gone on Careerbuilder or Monster, I have been disappointed. My skills are in the area of ministry and there are many jobs I cannot do and do not have the credentials for. Meanwhile, in my field, I see several in the church who have no business being in that position.

So last night, it looks like much of our path got cemented. Not only that, for the first time, marriage lost in some states. We dropped our guard. So the questions are two.

How did we get here?

What do we do now?

Let’s start with the first.

I have several speculations on how it began, but I’ll list a few points.

When the Reformation began, which I think needed to be done, there were still unintended consequences. People tend to move on a pendulum and make great swings from one side to the other. We had trust in the authority of the church and then all of a sudden, that authority was gone. The sad reality is that often at those times some can think “Well what else have we been misled about?” Unfortunately, few people were willing to look for the answers that needed to come. This led to the coming of the Enlightenment. In many ways, our societies were acting like rebellious teenagers. We didn’t like what our parents did so we would grow up and rebel against them.

Like rebels, we sought to see how much we could do on our own. Let’s try to make it without God. Let’s see what we can do. It’s my stance that this led to a greater emphasis on the material world to exclude the world of God. What could be done then? Science is pretty much eventually the only answer. In saying this, it does not mean that science is bad. It most certainly is not. It just means that our society had a wrong focus. We started thinking of science without philosophy or sound metaphysics. After all, to do those could get us into the realm of the divine again.

Next came evolution.

The church made a big blunder here. Let’s realize something immediately at the outset.

Evolution is either true or false.

That’s not too difficult is it?

Evolution can be proven true or false by science.

That’s also not too difficult is it?

The problem is we too quickly took evolution into the religious field. If there’s something I’ve seen lately, it’s been the danger of the Inerrancy of interpretation. Now let’s suppose a macroevolutionary theory would contradict our reading of Genesis. Does that mean that Genesis is wrong? Not necessarily. It means that our interpretation is wrong and what we have to ask is “Is our interpretation correct?” Note that to establish that, we can also use literary methods to study the text.

In fact, recent studies are showing that our interpretation could be wrong. Some works on this include John Walton’s “The Lost World of Genesis One” and Henri Blocher’s “In The Beginning.” Does this mean they’re right automatically? No. But like anything else, we need to just say “Bring forward your case and let’s examine it.” Too often, the church has had a habit of deciding the case before the evidence has come in. This can only cost us.

What our actions did made it a case of science vs. the Bible instead of realizing that if we believe the Bible is true, then if something is true scientifically, it will contradict the Bible. Instead of firing shots, we should have said “Okay. We’ll wait and see what the evidence is on your side.” If the Bible is true and Inerrant, nothing in science can go against it. If we believed in the Inerrancy of Scripture, there would be no need to worry. We could wait and see what happens.

Note also that Darwin’s argument was meant to counter Paley, who had a design argument different from that which has been the case historically. The fifth way of Aquinas, for instance, is not about the internal make-up of objects, but about things working for a final cause, the cause that Aristotle said was the most important cause of all. Darwin dealt with an argument that is not the one the church should have been relying on to begin with.

Note also that neither argument is metaphysical.

When we made a battle go on between science and religion, some decided to return the favor. This includes the works of Draper and A.D. White whose works have largely been found to be lacking in substance, but at the time, people were believing them simply because they did not do the background work and check up on what was said. This is always a problem for us. In fact, it’s a problem for anyone.

Well what happens if we think the external world is no longer our friend?

That’s right! We go to the internal world. Christianity then became a system that is meant to give us good feelings and became a more personal belief system than one that described the world as it is. Religion slowly becomes a personal preference just like a favorite ice cream flavor. We were in fact doing Stephen Jay Gould’s NOMA long before he came up with it. There was an emphasis on internalization to demonstrate that Christianity is true. In other words, we became anti-intellectuals. We withdrew from the world.

And this rift has grown. The church has become less effective in its approach. People have grown more individualistic and more focused on what is going on internally.

Those of us watching last night should see the results of this. A lot of Christians were saying that we cannot support a Mormon. If that is the case, then why did we not have a Christian out there? Could it be because we have so isolated ourselves from the world that we are no longer raising up good Christians in the area of politics? How is it we are to be salt and light in the world and think that we cannot directly influence the governments of our world?

Instead, we became a society that was interested in what can be done for us, or rather for each of us, me. Claims were not studied. Few people have really read anything on economics. People often go by what is going on with them personally instead of looking at the big picture of all the world. We should not be surprised if the world has a self-focus. We should be extremely disappointed if the church is doing the same thing.

As we were sitting here today watching a movie with Allie trying to lift up my spirits, Allie’s Mom called her. I had the phone on speaker as I was sitting here, which is what I usually do, and she wanted to speak to Allie. She told Allie that she was thankful for her. Why? Because she’s seen too many who are compromising with the world. They are looking out for themselves and the great example she had was the marriage debate and how it turned out in some states last night. She was thankful Allie had not compromised and agreed to meet the world halfway. I’m thankful for that as well. She did her own research to decide, something a lot of people don’t do.

That gets us into what we do from here, the second question.

Mike Licona wrote a piece that made it onto Parchment and Pen. I will have a link to it at the end. One term showed up in there. Before the claim, let me show what he said.

“In the first century, the Roman Empire was, for most people, a brutal place to live. Rome ruled with an iron fist and crushed everyone who challenged it and even many who didn’t. An overwhelming majority of those under Roman rule lived below the poverty level.”

This is a hopeless situation. What happened then? Mike Licona goes on to say:

“And then Jesus showed up.”

That changed everything. The world has been going up because Jesus showed up. Jesus turned everything around. Today, we are asking what is going on in our world. Where is Jesus?

He’s not showing up.

Now does this mean I expect Jesus to physically return to save us? Well he will eventually, I know, but I’m not saying that that was the only solution and until that happens, we give up. No. Not at all. There is one way Jesus can show up and that is the way He has not been showing up.

That is, we have not been showing up.

We are to be the body of Jesus, and how are we showing Jesus? We are not. We are withdrawing into ourselves when Jesus went out into the world and confronted others who disagreed. He raised up disciples who went forward with his message. The Roman Empire was a hopeless situation and unlike us, the Christians could not say “We’ll wait until the next election comes about and then we’ll get our Christian choice for emperor on the ballot and we’ll make sure he gets the vote.”

What hope did they have? The government was against them. Heck. It was persecuting them regularly. The other people were looking down on them. They were in the minority. They were a new group and they could not look to past precedent. None of them could say “We can look at the past Christians hundreds of years ago and see what they did.” What did they do? They first off made the arguments that they needed to make. The apologists were busy constantly.

Not every Christian could do this of course, but several were then busy being what the apologists proclaimed. When plague struck, Christians would often care for those no one else would. The lives of Christians were a constant testimony to the world around them. It was unbelievable to people that they were so willing to die for the faith that they were claiming. As Tertullian said “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.”

The Christians were salt and light in their world. Intellectual grounds were being manned and people were living for Christ. Today, we are living for ourselves and not willing to face any discomfort. Meanwhile, in other places, the church is being persecuted and we are not really taking that into consideration. In fact, in those places, the church there is often praying for us to be persecuted. Why? Because that will get us going.

Many of us talk about dying for Christ. That’s a thought we might have to consider. Some of us could have to do that, and it is not a pleasant thought to think about. There is a great danger in some of us that are so quick to say we’d be willing to die for Christ. Let’s keep in mind that the head apostle also made the same claim and later denied that he even knew who Jesus was. There was a lot of talk, but there was no substance behind it. (Kind of like politicians and preachers today and it is a great fault of us that we fall for style instead of substance)

Dying for Christ is a moment and it’s done. Of course, there could be exceptions where a death is drawn out, but if anything is longer than that, it is life itself. Few of us talk about living for Christ. We cannot fault the world for acting the way it does. Yes. It’s sin. Yes. God will hold to account. The big failure last night was not on the part of the world. We cannot expect the world to live like Christians when Christians are living like the world. If there is no difference between how we live and how they live, why should we be surprised?

What that means for us is that we need a revolution. No. I am not talking about a physical battle. I do not oppose the right to bear arms. If we are in physical danger at times, I think physical fighting is justified, but it is not the final solution to our problems. We need a revolution of the mind. We need the church to stand up and say “We are here and we will not be silent any longer.”

We also need to avoid this fear we have of offending people. The world is more than ready to do what it can to the church and we think that if we bend over and do nothing, that the world will just stop what it’s doing. It won’t. We’ve got a long track record to show that. We cannot expect to live as non-Christians and have the world come to embrace the Christian message. Christ did not raise up the church to be reactive. He raised it up to be proactive.

The church is supposed to be a force that the gates of Hades will not stand against. Gates are defensive. We are to be offensive. Do we believe that we are to be that force?

The church is supposed to be yeast filling through the dough. We are to spread our influence. Do we believe that?

The church is supposed to be a mustard seed growing into a tree to fill the Earth. Do we believe that?

If we believe that, then we realize that there is no real “Game Over.” (Yes. I grew up a gamer as well and still am.) We just have to start playing a better game. We should realize that the person behind the game knows that in the end, the good guys always win. We can realize that our world is a really dark place, but that a dark place is a place where heroes can rise up. Right now, the church needs that. It needs us to stand up and lead the charge.

If you’re reading this blog and a Christian, I’m going to assume you’re a Christian who at least somewhat takes your faith seriously. Do it more so. Do your part. It could be tempting to lie down and surrender and I will say part of me is having a “Why bother?” attitude. What I write I write not only for you, but also for myself. This is not the case for us. The early church won the battle overall, and they did not have America to do it with. They didn’t even have free elections.

We can’t guarantee America will last. Great empires do fall. The gospel will not fall. If we believe that, we must live it. We must stand up to our age and say “No. You will not marginalize and bully us. You will not trample on us. You will not deny us our right to speak. We will get our message out. We will live our message. We are going to be what Christ wanted us to be. We will say what we believe and we will make no apology for it.”

It is only by the church standing up and being the body of Christ can we hope to make an impact. Let’s hope we do it here in America. If we do not, we can know that someone else will somewhere, maybe in China, but when we stand before God, the line of “It was someone else’s job” won’t work.

Let’s do our part. Our Lord deserves 110% and still more.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Mike Licona’s blog entry can be found here

A Mormon in the White House?

October 7, 2012

Should Christians be concerned about a Romney presidency? Let’s talk about it on Deeper Waters.

A friend at church asked me to write about this topic. I am not writing about this as someone in politics but as an apologist dealing with the issues of Mormonism. I really don’t write on politics as politics in this blog, but I do comment on moral issues that can show up in politics. I understand the concern of many Christians. There are some that have a great fear with a Mormon like Romney getting into the White House. Let’s address that then.

First off, I will unequivocally state that in my view Mormons are not Christians. We have essential differences on the nature of God, the nature of Christ, and the nature of salvation. This does not mean that there is no common ground between us. For those of us who are thankful that we won the Prop 8 battle in California, it has been said, and I agree, that we could not have won that battle if the Mormons had also not taken part in it. On numerous moral and political issues, Christians and Mormons can work side by side.

Many of us know this because while we disagree with Mormons, they tend to be very good people to us. I’ve only met one to this day I can think of that really rubbed me the wrong way. When I lived with a roommate in Charlotte, we went out of our way to witness to the Mormons when they came by. We’d stop and get pizza for them and some gatorades and have them enjoy a meal with us. We even went out to eat one time with them. There was a time they weren’t showing up for some reason and I called them and they said they didn’t have good transportation. I asked where they were and came and got them myself. That had the added bonus of having them a captive audience in my car while I got to share the real gospel with them. One of them became friends with us on Facebook when his missionary journey ended. One Mormon we suspect was on the verge of conversion when they switched him out and we wonder to this day if we will see him in eternity. Hopefully someone will finish the work we started.

Therefore, my claim is clear. I am not going to claim Mitt Romney is a Christian. That does not mean I think he is a bad person overall. I just say that I do not trust him on religious issues. Thankfully, as I’ve told people before, I am not electing a pope or a priest. I am electing a president. What issues is it the president is supposed to reside over in our country? Let’s take a look.

The president is to make sure that our country is kept safe. In our day and age, we know that there are forces that would like to see America fall. We’ve already seen it from Muslims such as happened on 9/11 in both 2001 and this year. There is much strife going on in the Middle East and it could wind up coming our way. N. Korea could one day build a weapon that could be capable of reaching us as well. Could Communism still be a threat. Wouldn’t surprise me.

Keep in mind when I speak of these threats, as devout readers of this blog will know, I am not speaking of a “Last Days” scenario with asking if this will be the president that will be the antichrist. That’s been thought about every president in recent history. I greatly admire Reagan and I know there were several who said he was the antichrist. After all, his name was Ronald Wilson Reagan. 6 letters in each name! 666! Reagan was the beast!

Well, no.

So when I write this, I do not have any fear about Romney being “The Antichrist” any more than I had or have fears about Obama being “The Antichrist” or any other world figure for that matter.

Oh but Nick! Don’t you know about the White Horse prophecy?

Yes. I do. It’s the idea that when the Constitution is hanging on a thread, the Mormon church will rush in and save the day. Then, the Mormons will control the government.

Some might think Mormons want to do that, but is it really feasible is the question? An expert in counter-cult apologetics has even informed me that he doesn’t think this will happen since the LDS church is crowing about the Romney candidacy. The truth is that Mormons, like Jehovah’s Witnesses, are in a much more precarious position today because of the internet. The information that their church would not let them get is now readily available for anyone to see.

To be fair, some would say that about Christians. The difference is many of us already know about said information and have responses to it. Also, we do not want to shield the church from this information. We instead want them to know about it and know what to say to it. This is not the same in the case of Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses. Granted however that there are a few in those camps who will go out and interact with the other side.

A Mormon presidency would bring Mormonism out into the open even more and in many ways, I consider that a good thing. Consider what I have said about the new atheists. I thank God for them. They are bringing the discussion of what Christianity is out into the open and doing their side a great harm with having people think that their arguments are just so destructive to Christians, not realizing the majority of us just laugh about them. I hope the new atheists add to their number of published books and keep it up. We’ll keep writing scholarly books that show the mistakes and errors and let their side deal with what they’ve done.

If we can start talking to Mormons more and witnessing to them, then that is all the better. I also think that if ever some group tried to force itself on the Constitution, we would not have to worry since this country has already had one revolution and could have a second. The Mormon church would be taking a huge risk to make a move like that and it is doubtful whether they would ever want to attempt it.

Another issue for us today that a president deals with is the economy. I do happen to think from an economic perspective that Romney’s ideas do work better. I recommend for people reading a book like Henry Hazlitt’s “Economics in One Lesson.” (If you can only read one book on economics, read that one.) From a Christian perspective, one can read the book of Ronald Nash “Poverty and Wealth.”

What about health-care? For those of us who want to do away with Obamacare, then we do need to support Romney. He’s said he will repeal it and the voters definitely expect that. For those who want to speak about pre-existing conditions, My Mrs. and I both have pre-existing conditions. Since moving, I had to go see my old doctor so the health insurance company could know that my Asperger’s is not a problem for my insurance.

Some might disagree, but this is a question that we have to ask. Which candidate is better equipped to help grow our economy?

Moral issues certainly play a part in how we vote and that was the main reason voters were voting in 2004. There are a number of issues we have coming up. The debate over redefining marriage is going on. Obama has already said his view is in support of doing that. Abortion is another major issue. We can be thankful that Mormons stand with us by and large on these issues. We need to especially get into the Supreme Court people who will support our views. Hugh Hewitt, a conservative radio talk show host, has said the most important rule is to be able to count to 5. I would even vote for a pro-choice Republican if I thought he’d put someone conservative on the Supreme Court who is more likely to overturn Roe V. Wade.

What we have to ask is not “Who believes like me the most in religion?”, but “Who is more capable of doing the job?”

If there is one area we should be concerned about, it’s that Christians unfortunately are not producing the best candidates. Christians are shying away from politics when we shouldn’t. There are several brilliant Christian minds that could make a difference in the world if we will allow them to do so.

I can end this no better I think than the way Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson of the Mormon Research Ministry did in their article from the Christian Research Institute. (Link below) It’s from 2008 but still valid.

It doesn’t appear that Romney’s Mormonism is causing many evangelical Christian leaders to oppose his candidacy. In fact, one group of Christians has even jumped on his bandwagon by hosting an Internet site (www.evangelicalsformitt.org). Perhaps University of Notre Dame sociologist Christian Smith summarized the precarious position of many when he said (Los Angeles Times, October 15, 2006), “Some evangelicals may think that Mormons are going to hell, but at the same time, they might think that it wouldn’t be too bad to have one in elected office.”

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson’s article can be found .