To be honest, I would rather not write this post, but it needs to be written. It needs to be written because this problem plagues nearly every Christian family in the world. In nearly every one of our families there is someone who at one point pledged his or her allegiance to King Jesus by being baptized, but is now living in shameless rebellion to Christ. Should we just mind our own business? Should we rebuke them? Should we shun them? How would Jesus want us to handle these situations?Continue Reading...
Archives For Parenting
Today’s post is part four of our “Re-Examined Series,” in which we are taking a look at some well-known passages that may not mean what we’ve tried to make the mean over the years. Today we will re-examine Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Honestly, I’ve been shocked this week as I’ve dug deeper into this verse. Let’s look at it together.Continue Reading...
Over the next few weeks, I want to do a series of posts in which we “re-examine” some familiar verses of the Bible. Today we will consider Psalm 127:3-5, “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!” Christian parenting experts love to quote this passage, but often miss the real meaning of the passage.Continue Reading...
If you know me and my family personally, you probably know my nine-year-old son loves baseball. He watches nearly every Texas Rangers’ game on television (or lies in bed listening to them on the radio), he pitches for his Little League team, he could sit and talk about baseball for hours on end, and it’s a rare occasion that he does not have some sort of ball in his hand (even in the house). But I strongly believe Christian families need to exercise caution when their children have athletic talent and passion.Continue Reading...
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...
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,