We have a tendency to think of Christianity in very individualistic ways, “If I want to be a Christian, that is between me and God; and if I don’t want to be a Christian, that is between me and God.” But the truth is, your decision to follow Jesus – or not follow Jesus – will affect far more than your own eternal life. Your decision could bless – or devastate – your descendants for countless generations.Continue Reading...
Archives For Parenting
It finally happened. I was teaching a children’s Bible class of 3rd-5th graders, when one of the boys said something like, “I can’t be descended from Adam and Eve, because Adam and Eve were white.” I thanked him for bringing that up and used his comment as an opportunity to address the fact that although Bible story books almost always depict Adam and Eve as Caucasian, the books are simply wrong. I’ve been saying for years, we need to stop illustrating everyone in the Bible as white.Continue Reading...
We often commend mothers by saying they have, “the most important job in the world.” While I will be the first to say mothers have an incredibly important – and difficult – job, I believe we need to rethink calling it, “the most important job in the world.” While this phrase is meant to be complimentary, I believe it has several unintended consequences.Continue Reading...
We live in an increasingly brutal and violent world. A world in which young men walk into movie theaters and schools and heartlessly gun down the precious souls in their paths. Whenever something like this occurs, cries of outrage can be heard across the land, saying, “Something has to be done to stop this!”
I agree! Something has to be done to stop this! But first, let’s examine the culture in which we live today. We live in a culture which…
- …glorifies gore and sensationalizes sin. Our television shows, movies, and video games have created young people who don’t blush or flinch. They have become so desensitized to sin that it does not bother them anymore. Why then, are we surprised when they involve themselves in horrific behavior?
- …does not recognize the authority of God and His Word. There is a whole generation of young people who do not believe there is absolute truth. They believe that all truth is relative; that they themselves are the only authority when it comes to deciding what is right and wrong “for them.” Why then, are we surprised when they rationalize their horrific behavior?
- …teaches children they are nothing more than apes, who are slightly more evolved. Our schools teach children they are not created in the image of God, but are simply the product of billions of years of random chance. Why then, are we surprised when they act like the animals our schools teach them that they are?
The violence we see is appalling, horrific, and heart-breaking. However, it is sadly not surprising. A culture will always behave in horrible ways when God is not their King.
In Judges 19, there is a horrible story about a Levite man who was spending the night in Gibeah, a Benjamite town. Like the Sodomites, the men of Gibeah were so wicked that they sought to rape the man. Instead, he allowed his wife to be thrown out to the vicious crowd to be violated and tortured. After a night of unbelievable brutality, the woman eventually died.
In order to have vengeance, the Levite incited the nation to war by cutting his wife’s body into pieces and sending her body parts throughout Israel. The other tribes of Israel rose up against the Benjamites and almost entirely annihilated the tribe. Thankfully, our nation hasn’t yet sunk to this level of immorality.
This story perfectly illustrates the verse that concludes the book, “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25). When a nation does not recognize God as their King, when they do what is right in their own eyes, it is only a matter of time until they sink to all levels of immoral and brutal behavior. In other words, when the only moral standard they recognize is their own feelings, there is little hope of maintaining a peaceful society.
The answer to our current dilemma is to declare war against the false thinking that has led to our current moral depravity. Paul writes this, “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).
We must declare war against false thinking in our minds, in the minds of our children, in the minds of our neighbors, and in the minds of our friends. We must fight the enemy at the schools, where children are being indoctrinated with Darwin’s lies. We must fight the enemy in the entertainment industry, where people are learning to laugh and be thrilled with immorality. We must put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-20) and fight the enemy at every turn by teaching, preaching, and persuading everyone with the Truth!
I love you and God loves you,
The SnapChat app is a new app for smartphones and it is something about which, I believe, parents need to be very concerned. This app allows users to take a picture of themselves, send it to friends, and have it disappear forever in a matter of seconds. I’m sure you can see the attraction this app has for those who might be tempted to use it for “sexting.”
You may not have heard about the SnapChat app yet, but if you haven’t, you’re one of the few. The people at SnapChat say they process more than 30 million messages a day. It is becoming quite the phenomenon.
I realize many are using this app in legitimate, non-sexual ways. However, if you are a parent, I think there is reason for concern, caution, and awareness. Especially when you consider the fact that several years ago 20% of teens and 33% of young adults have admitted to sending nude or semi-nude pictures or videos of themselves to others (Source: Sexting Survey). I can almost guarantee with this app in the hands of young people, those numbers are going to rise!
We live in a changing world. The sins have not changed, but the ways people invent to commit those sins are changing every day. As parents, and concerned Christians, we must remain vigilant!
Remember the words of Job, “I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin” (Job 31:1)?
The words of the Psalmist, “I will walk with integrity of heart within my house; I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me. A perverse heart shall be far from me; I will know nothing of evil” (Psalm 101:2b-4).
And the words of Christ Jesus, “I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28).
I love you and God loves you,
Two of the best days of my life were the days my boys were born. Each time, I was in awe! The child that I had waited nine months to meet was finally here. I remember, when my wife was pregnant with our first, looking at the ultrasound and saying, “How could anyone say that’s not a person? That’s my son!”
I would never intentionally do anything to put my children in harm’s way. I would have never encouraged my wife to have taken something into her body which could potentially harm my children while she was carrying them. But, there’s a possibility that many of us have unintentionally put our children into harm’s way. In fact, there’s a possibility we may have done much worse.
I believe, because there is an overwhelming amount of evidence in Scripture, that life begins at conception. I do not believe life begins at birth. I do not believe life begins one day, two days, three weeks, or three months after conception, but at the moment an egg is fertilized by sperm. So, when I refer to a fertilized egg, I’m referring to a human child.
Before I delve any further into this very sensitive subject, I want to say a few things. First, I’m not a doctor (I don’t even play one on T.V.), I’m not a scientist, and I didn’t even do that well in college biology. I want to encourage you to investigate these issues for yourself. But do not write this issue off saying, “Wes has no idea what he’s talking about.” It very well might be, I don’t know what I’m talking about; but there are a lot of good doctors and scientist who say this is an issue that should concern every Christian who believes life begins at conception!
Second, I am just as guilty as anyone at being ignorant and misinformed. I am writing this article because I was outraged to find out there was even a possibility that something I encouraged my wife to put into her body could cause her to unknowingly abort our child! I am not writing this article to judge, condemn, or tell you what you ought to do. I’m writing this article because if you care about the sanctity of human life, you need to be informed.
Let me explain (as I understand it) how “the pill” and other hormone contraceptives work (their mechanism of action):
1. Inhibits ovulation. In other words, it keeps the egg from becoming available to be fertilized.
2. Thickens the cervical mucus. This mucus blocks the sperm, to keep the egg from being fertilized.
With both of these first points, I have no problem. All that is happening with these is that the life is being prevented, not terminated. It is with the third point, I have a huge problem.
3. Thins the lining of the uterus (endometrium), which “reduces the likelihood of implantation.”
In other words, if an egg is fertilized, it is (in theory) more likely to die because it cannot be implanted. Most women taking the pill believe all they are doing is preventing life from being formed. However, there is a very real possibility that life is not only being prevented, it is dying inside the woman’s body.
This information comes straight from the Physician’s Desk Reference. I would encourage you to visit the Physician’s Desk Reference website and check out what I’m telling you. Go to www.pdr.net, in the search box type in the brand name of a contraceptive. Then, click on “concise monograph.” Last, click on “mechanism of action.” If, for example, you look up the drug, “Ortho Tri-Cyclen” here’s what you’ll see:
It is the phrase, “reduces likelihood of implantation” which should concern you. It means there is (at least the possibility) that the pill creates an environment where a fertilized egg (a human child) has the “likelihood” of dying!
This information was recently brought to my attention by Dr. Brad Harrub. You can hear Dr. Harrub’s lesson on this subject by purchasing the mp3 download from Polishing the Pulpit. It is well worth the $1.99 price!
Also, read both sides of the “Oral Contraceptive Controversy” from the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The papers on both sides are laden with medical and scientific terminology. But to summarize, there are doctors on both ends of this debate. Some say that abortion does not and cannot occur. The other side says it absolutely can and does.
To me, the answer is simple; if a drug could possibly create an environment where my preborn child has the “likelihood” of dying, I’ll pass! I love life and I choose to do my best to protect life, before and after a child is born.
You must soberly and prayerfully consider this issue. Like me, you were probably unaware of this information. Now you are aware. I encourage you to dig deeper and see what else you find. If you uncover pertinent information, please consider sharing it with me and others. I believe we must make people aware of this issue. Friends, lives are at stake!
I love you and the God, who gives life, loves you,
I just read a story about a five year old child in Virginia, who apparently stabbed three people over a juice box yesterday afternoon. Two children and one adult were taken to an area hospital. Although their wounds were not life-threatening it makes you wonder, what’s going on in our world?!
I think there are at least a couple things, of which situations like this are symptomatic:
1. First, selfishness seems to be on the rise. I have no idea what the exact circumstances were in this specific incident, but selfishness seems to be at an all time high.
People are naturally selfish. And unless parents teach them otherwise, children will believe their needs and wants should be the number one priority. Anyone who has kids can tell you, it is not easy teaching children to think about others first. But we, as Christian parents, must teach our children, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4).
Make it a priority to teach your children to consider other people “more significant” than themselves.
2) Second, the television is raising so many children today. So many parents have traded in their role of parent for the role of entertainment provider. It is no wonder that violence is on the increase, our children are consuming unhealthy amounts of television, and television is increasingly more violent. “It is estimated that by the time an average child leaves elementary school, he or she will have witnessed 8,000 murders and over 100,000 other acts of violence.”
Parents, it is becoming more and more difficult and, at the same time, more and more important that we guard the hearts of our children. As a father of two boys, I am getting closer and closer to getting rid of the television in our home. But regardless what you decide to do for your family, make sure you are guarding their hearts and minds, “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life” (Proverbs 4:23).
I love you and the God who made us guardians of our children loves you,
There are many Christian young people today honestly wondering, “Is sex before marriage a sin.” These young people have been confused by a culture that is absolutely saturated with sex. They hear things all the time like, “If two people love each other then it’s not wrong.” But, young people, your friends and the television are not the ultimate authority on what is right and wrong. Let’s see what God has to say about this issue.
1. God created the sexual relationship to be shared by a husband and a wife. Hebrews 13:4 says, “Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (NASB).
An adulterer is a married person who has sex with someone to whom he/she is not married. A fornicator is a broader term which includes anyone having any kind of sexual relationship outside of marriage. Both acts, adultery and fornication, are said to “defile” the marriage bed. These acts dishonor marriage.
2. Under the old law, those who had sex before marriage could be stoned. Thankfully, we are under a new covenant today; but in Deuteronomy 22:20-21, God says that if a man marries a woman and discovers that she was not a virgin on their wedding night and the charge is proved to be true, she should be stoned by the men of the city. If nothing else, this law teaches us that God’s will is for a man and woman not to engage in sexual relations until after they are married.
3. Sexual sin is devastating…and forgivable. Paul wrote to the Corinthians saying, “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sina person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body” (1 Corinthians 6:18). Sexual sin has so many spiritual, physical, and emotional consequences. Sex, as God planned it and designed is a wonderful gift. However, when people abuse God’s gift, the results are devastating.
Fortunately, we serve a gracious and loving God who is able to wash away our sins, no matter what they are. Paul said that there were Christians in Corinth who had been homosexuals, sexually immoral, thieves, and drunkards. But then he wrote, “But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:11).
No matter who you are or what you have done, it is never too late to repent of your sins and appeal to God through Jesus Christ for salvation and a clean conscience (1 Peter 3:21). But please know, and tell others, that God absolutely considers sex before marriage sinful.
I love you and God loves you!
On Monday, November 7th RadicallyChristian.com will be turning one! I cannot believe it has been a year since this journey began. In some ways it seems much shorter and in other ways it seems much longer. Together in the last year, we have built a facebook fan page to nearly 300 fans, a twitter following of over 300, and published our first Radically Christian book. I cannot thank you all enough for your help spreading the Word of God through this website!
In order to thank you, I will be giving away a free copy of The Treasure Chest of Grace on Monday, November 7th. Here are the rules to the contest:
1. All you have to do to enter is write something on our facebook wall between now and the 7th. “Comments” on someone else’s posts do not count. Only things written directly on the wall.
2. You can enter once a day! Every day you write something on the wall your name will be put into the hat. On November 7th I will randomly select a name from the hat.
3. The more days you enter the better your chances will be for winning! You may only enter once a day, but if you enter every day between now and then, you’ll have a better chance of winning.
4. The drawing will be held on Monday, November 7th at Noon Central Time.
Thank you all again for making this year so wonderful! I love you all so much!
Parenting, like any other area of our life, should be done by faith. Meaning, we should listen to God’s instructions, believe and trust that He knows what He is talking about, and follow His instructions to the best of our ability! When we stray from biblical parenting and start following our own intuition, the opinions of friends, or the advice of experts we are no longer parenting by faith!
That is kind of a radical concept today! But when is walking by faith not a radical concept?! Here are a few principles to parenting by faith:
1. Love Your Children! Every parent claims to have love for his or her children, but many merely have a fond attachment. The difference between love and a fond attachment is laid out in 1 Corinthians 13. If you love your children you will be patient and kind, you will not be rude, and you will always seek what is best for your child! Giving your son what he wants may very well be unloving; if what he wants is not what is best for him.
2. Discipline Your Children! Often we quote, “Spare the rod, spoil the child.” I’m not sure, that may be Shakespeare, but it is certainly not from the Bible. What the Bible says about sparing the rod is more serious than, “You’ll spoil your child.” God said, “Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him” (Proverbs 13:24). If you are not diligent to discipline your child, by God’s definition you hate your child! Hey, I didn’t say it; God did!
That doesn’t necessarily mean that every time a child misbehaves he needs a spanking. It simply means that children need boundaries and parents to enforce those boundaries. If you are not establishing and enforcing biblical boundaries for your children start today! There is no better time to start loving your children than right now!
3. Train your children! On the link to Brad Harrub’s recent article someone commented, “Let them make up their own mind. Stop trying to force beliefs on them. Wait till they are mature enough to talk rationally about it, rather than young and underdeveloped mentally.” That sounds pretty consistent with conventional wisdom. But again, those who follow Christ cannot follow conventional wisdom; we must parent by faith!
The Word of God says, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). God did not specify an age at which you start teaching your children how to be Christians. Begin immediately praying with them, reading the Bible to them, and talking to them about what God expects and how much He loves them. Like God commanded the Israelites, be constantly talking to your children about Him and His Word (Deuteronomy 6:6-9).
It is fine to listen to the experts, as long as the experts are in-line with biblical principles. Whose instructions are you heeding? Remember, God created your child. He knows the best way to raise her!
I love you and God loves you! Have a wonderful day!