Category Archives: Christian worldview

Plot twist: I’ve got cancer.

Also, Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and my Savior, and I’m more grateful for that than ever.

I didn’t see that coming.  No risk factors and no typical symptoms, other than a low-grade fever that could have been many things.

But the blessings from this have been many.

It could have gone undetected a long time, but through a series of other ailments and unusual circumstances I ended up getting scans that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.

The healthcare system here has been amazing, with multiple doctors who have never met collaborating quickly to get tests and results.  I am grateful for first-world medical care.  This could have been a death sentence in most parts of the world and certainly most times in history.  The doctors are so skilled at reading things like CT scans.  They look like blobs of grey to me, but they can quickly see where things are amiss.  But I do laugh when they try to point things out to me, as if I could actually follow along.  They could tell me, “Now here’s the spot where there is a unicorn inside you” and I’d say, “Uh, yeah, sure, provided that you ask me no follow-up questions, I see the horn right there . . .”

It is non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (though we didn’t know that right away), which has a high success rate in treatment.  And it will be probably be addressed via chemotherapy (we should be meeting with the oncologist next week to get a treatment plan).  I was hoping to get through life without chemo, but that is still better than chemo + surgery (the first reviews of the CT scan indicated that it might have been going from my left kidney — my favorite!! — to my stomach, which could have meant losing all of the former and some of the latter).

From a practical standpoint, it has prompted me to document our finances and such even more.  We’ve had wills, power of attorney (medical and legal) forms, etc. along with some general documentation, but I realized it would help to do even more.  After all, even aside from this I could die in an accident any day.  I read about a woman who was so grateful that her husband carefully documented all their financial information so that when he died things were so much easier for her.  It doesn’t fit the worldly definition of love and romance, but it is a great gift to leave your loved ones.  Grieving over losing you will be bad enough, but spending stressful hours sorting out your finances and such will make things harder for them.  So I’ve got a list of things to update to make it more clear about passwords, insurance, retirement accounts, bill paying, etc. I encourage you to do the same.

I am reminded of what a fantastic wife I have and how completely wise and supportive she has been through this.  And my children are amazing, and the rest of the family, friends, co-workers and church family have been tremendous as well.  What an indescribable blessing.

I am much more empathetic to many brothers-in-Christ and others who live with chronic pain.  The last couple months were rough as they included a variety of unusual ailments.  But they pale in comparison to what others deal with on a continuing basis.  Their perseverance and faith are a humbling inspiration to me in light of my far lesser issues.

This was a friendly reminder about our mortality.  Make no mistake: Whether you have 40 more minutes or 40 more years, you will directly face the one true God some day (Psalm 90:12 So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom).  At the risk of being Captain Obvious, you will not sit in judgment of God or dictate the terms and conditions of life to him.   You can’t dictate the terms and conditions to parents, bosses, teachers, police, or even a McDonald’s cashier, so don’t be foolish and think you can do that with God. The rich young ruler walked away sadly when he didn’t like God’s requirements but Jesus didn’t chase after him to negotiate.  Repent and believe now while you can and accept God’s unbelievably gracious forgiveness through Jesus.

I don’t wish these experiences on anyone, but really knowing where your faith is in situations like this is a true blessing.   In the midst of all this – especially when things were less clear — I can honestly say I had contentment through Christ, just as He promised in Philippians 4* and elsewhere.  Yes, there were anxious moments wondering about different scenarios, but whenever I refocused on Jesus I was at ease.  I’ve been sleeping well and am truly trusting in his sovereignty.  Whether I live or die, I trust in what He said in Philippians 1**

Our main prayer is that we won’t waste any of this.  God has already given us many opportunities to encourage others and to share this to his glory.  I did drop the ball once — which I pray won’t happen again — when I failed to pray with a visibly nervous guy in a waiting room.  I prayed for him but should have prayed with him.  We really want to look to the interests of others and not just our own, as in Philippians 2***.  (Yes, I’ve been spending a lot of time in Philippians :-)).

All that said, I have to admit that this involves three things I’m not fond of:

  1. Medical stuff (time, $, decisions, uncertainty, pain)
  2. Things that make my wife anxious
  3. Being the center of attention

Prayers are welcomed, not just for healing and minimal side effects 🙂 but that Christ would be glorified every step of the way**** and that others could be comforted and encouraged throughout this.

It is always a good day to be a Christian, but in times like this I especially enjoy it.

P.S. If you would like a great, easy to read summary of the Bible and Christianity, I highly recommend The Story of Reality by Greg Koukl. Even if you don’t end up believing you will have a much better understanding of what you disagree with.


*Philippians 4:10–14 I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble.

**Philippians 1:15–26 Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.

***Philippians 2:3–4 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.

****Ephesians 6:18–20 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.

The predictable outcomes of living together outside of marriage

train-wreckSo predictable:

  1. Girl agrees to move in with guy to get closer to marriage but keep her options open.  Guy figures he’ll get more sex and save a little $.  The stigma vanished long ago, so why not?
  2. Real-life challenges strain relationship, making him slightly less likely to want to marry.
  3. Delays in him proposing make her increasingly irritated that he won’t commit, so that makes him much less likely to want to marry her.

The last step repeats until they both hate each other and break up – her deriding his ability to commit and regretting the time she wasted — sometimes years — and him thinking it was good that they lived together first so he could realize how awful she was (“Whew, dodged a bullet there!”).

Here’s another example:

The important part is that Jane has secured the status of public investment while keeping her options entirely open.  If Jane decides that she can do better, she will toss him aside as she has done with so many other men, and find a new man to have sex with. Eventually Jane finds that one of these men is the one she wants to marry, so she pressures him to propose. He could be man #3 in her quest, or man #53. If she chooses man #53 and he doesn’t propose, Jane loudly complains that all men are afraid of commitment. And Jane should know, given her wide experience with men.

Jane then says to any conservative who will listen, which is pretty much every conservative:

Look at cruel Bob. He moved in together with me for free sex, but now I’m afraid he isn’t going to commit. He was just using me!

And the conservative is outraged. Here Jane is following the sacred path to marriage, tirelessly sampling penises (poor Jane sampled 53 just to be thorough) until she finds the one whose owner owes her a marriage vow, and now that she found the one she wants to propose he is ruining the whole thing!

Of course, this is all un-biblical yet rarely challenged in the church.  It is terrible for the man, the woman and any children the union produces.  Abuse is more likely, they are more likely to get divorced even if they do marry and more.

There is a better way: No sex outside of marriage and one man/one woman unions in lifetime commitments.


Also see Global Spike In Cohabitation Is Destabilizing Children’s Lives (Hat tip: Glenn)

Also see The Economics of Sex (Hat tip: Stan).  This seems purely secular, but is deadly accurate from an economic standpoint and is supported by the Christian worldview. Don’t blame the “patriarchy,” blame the dissolution of women collectively keeping standards high.  They chose to compete against each other rather support each other, and they ended up losing.

Free and valuable advice to any business: Stay out of the culture wars and don’t give into Leftist bullies

And yet another foolish business gets involved in the culture wars and supports Planned Parenthood. This time it was Chili’s — though I heard they stopped the promotion (after the damage was already done).  I left this note at their site:

Hi — I’ve always enjoyed Chili’s but now every time I see one I will think of how you support the largest child-killers in the country, and perhaps the world: Planned Parenthood. They kill children, sell their body parts, protect rapists & sex traffickers, lie about doing prenatal care, and so much more. You used bad judgment.

I realize you can’t boycott everything or you’d starve, but I do avoid business that are more in-your-face with their radical Leftism, such as Target (Motto: “We hate you Christians because you are intolerant bigots who know the difference between men and women, so please spend lots of money here!”).

Another company, which I won’t mention because I don’t want to give them free advertising, thought it would be smart to brag about their support for Planned Parenthood.  They sell cosmetics to women and assumed that the post-#womensmarch #abortionmarch timing would be great.  But it turns out that many loyal customers, including Mrs. Eternity Matters, said, “Buh-bye!”  Most of their Facebook comments were negative, and the business got caught having employees pretending to be customers and offering positive support.  They tried to backtrack and say that they’d planned to rotate the giving to other organizations in the future, but the original post made no mention of that.  And as they doubled-down with one defensive comment after another the opportunity for grace was gone.

The cost of losing customers for life is enormous.  My advice to any Board of Directors and senior management is to never give in to the LGBTQX, Planned Parenthood or other Leftist bullies.  Remember PP’s scorched earth campaign against Komen – a breast cancer charity! – when they tried to part ways. Do not pick up those snakes.  Just tell them you stay out of the culture wars and move on. They may threaten you, but don’t give in.  If your competitors give in and you don’t then you may reap the benefits!

The “still, small voice” was a real voice

The “still small voice” Bible passage is often misinterpreted.   It pertains to the Prophet Elijah after his amazing victory over the prophets of Baal at Mount Carmel.  He has run away to avoid the wrath of Jezebel and is hiding in a cave. The portion in bold is used to rationalize mystical practices or “nudges” that God allegedly communicates to us, often in the area of decision making.

But read the passage carefully and you’ll see something that should be obvious: The “low whisper” or the “still small voice” (King James version) wasn’t an illustration of a mystical communication.  It was an audible statement.  Note the extended conversation and message that follows.

1 Kings 19:9–18 There he came to a cave and lodged in it. And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” And the Lord said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus. And when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael to be king over Syria. And Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint to be king over Israel, and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint to be prophet in your place. And the one who escapes from the sword of Hazael shall Jehu put to death, and the one who escapes from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha put to death. Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”

This article provides some good background and commentary (sorry, link no longer exists):

Elijah’s Mt. Horeb experience, when he heard “a sound of sheer silence”(1 Kings 19:12, NRSV), stimulated in the church a tradition of desert spirituality which pursues solitude in order to experience the divine. Practitioners of lectio divina (i.e., reading sacred things) also desire such encounters. They say: “When we read the Scriptures we should try to imitate the prophet Elijah. We should allow ourselves to become women and men who are able to listen for the still, small voice of God (I Kings 19:12); the ‘faint murmuring sound’ which is God’s word for us, God’s voice touching our hearts. This gentle listening is an ‘atunement’ to the presence of God . . . .”[1] About Elijah’s experience of hearing God’s “still small voice”(KJV, NKJV) questions arise. Does 1 Kings 19:12 endorse contemplative spirituality? Was the prophet’s encounter with God in the cave on Mt. Horeb/Sinai a mystical “atunement”?

. . .

Ironic isn’t it, that the question the Lord repeatedly posed to Elijah contradicts the sense in which contemplative spiritualists mean to understand the “voice.” They use the prophet’s cave experience as a pretext for their retreating into the solitude of their “higher consciousness” to find mystical communion with the divine, but all the while God is asking, “What are you doing here?”

Do not take that passage out of context to rationalize what may not be from God.  Just read what his word really says and use wisdom to guide your decision making.


Here’s much more on the Bible, decision making and hearing from God.

The Bible, Decision Making and Hearing from God from Eternity Matters on Vimeo

Acts 5 = worst church marketing program ever?

Short version: If God can grow his church while striking two generous but deceptive donors dead, then maybe — just maybe! — He doesn’t need slick, manipulative, man-made “church growth” programs.  Just preach the Good News inside and outside the church.

The title is sarcastic, of course.  The church grew dramatically even with this not-so-seeker-sensitive approach where God kills Ananias and Sapphira on the spot for lying to the Holy Spirit (and if that wasn’t enough, the next passage is about how the Apostles were arrested and beaten for proclaiming Jesus). It is unfortunate that mainline, “seeker-sensitive” and “emergent” churches didn’t study it more carefully before watering down their doctrine so badly.  When leaders feel that they must twist or ignore the word of God to advance the kingdom it is evidence of weak or non-existent faith.

Acts 4:32–5:11 Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus, sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and with his wife’s knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.” When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last. And great fear came upon all who heard of it. The young men rose and wrapped him up and carried him out and buried him. After an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. And Peter said to her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much.” And she said, “Yes, for so much.” But Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” Immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. When the young men came in they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. And great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things.

In the midst of the explosive church growth we read this cautionary tale.  Some people read it as the early Christians being communistic, but that isn’t the point at all.  As always, we must read carefully and in context.

The passage describes the general behavior of believers but it doesn’t say God commanded this (“no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own.”). 

Peter didn’t say that Ananias and Sapphira were obligated to donate anything at all: “While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal?

The sin wasn’t in not giving enough, it was lying to God.   This was a serious thing, especially when the church was forming.  They needed purity and honesty, just like we do today.  Just because we are in the age of grace doesn’t mean that God doesn’t take sin seriously. 

Satan was defeated at the cross in an ultimate sense, but he was and is still active in tempting Christians and non-Christians. 

Despite this event, the church continued to grow.  Consider how lax church discipline is in the U.S. today.  I’m not wishing for judgments like those again Ananias and Sapphira, but the lack of discipline has let all kinds of false teachers in the church and corrupted our witness. 

Again, this passage was not a Biblical command to never own property.  Saying your possessions aren’t your own doesn’t mean anyone can come take them, it is recognizing that ultimately they all come from God.  We aren’t giving him anything He didn’t give us in the first place.

Other passages round out the New Testament guidance on giving, notably 2 Corinthians 9:6-7:

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

We don’t need deception to spread the Gospel.  We need the truth.  We should share it as ambassadors, but we should share it without apology.  If you distort the message to appeal to spiritually dead people, then don’t be surprised when your church gets off track.

Leftists increase the misery of those they claim to want to help

Never confuse productive Biblical giving with wasteful, counterproductive “Christian” Leftist confiscation and redistribution.

I could go on at length about how the Left — including the “Christian” Left —  actually hurt people financially when trying to help them*, but even if their impact was financially neutral they do them a great disservice by fueling their natural covetousness.  Some do this out of ignorance and others out of selfish cynicism — i.e., those who promote minimum wage laws to gain votes even though they know the laws will reduce jobs and benefits.

Their constituents have material blessings that dwarf what royalty had a century or two ago. But they can’t enjoy them, because their Leftist overlords keep them in perpetual bitterness and ungratefulness!  Telling people that they are entitled to what others have nearly eliminates the possibility of them feeling any gratitude.  That is a miserable way to go through life, and the predictable outcome is seen in generation after generation.

The Kenya church and hospital that we support and have visited many times offers a great contrast.  They don’t just throw food at the poor, they teach life skills to aids orphans that let them be independent and to help themselves and others.  And the poor didn’t get EBT cards to spend on junk or sell for cash, they got real food.

We got to witness a monthly food distribution for those who care for children in the AIDS orphan program. These ladies were incredible. They literally sang and danced with such joy after receiving a 30-40 lb. bag of grain, then they put it on their backs to carry it several miles back to their homes. What incredible gratitude!

And this all ignores the indescribable carnage of the Left’s pro-abortion extremism. The Leftists actually rationalize that it is better that you be crushed and dismembered in the womb than that you might live a life of relative poverty.


*Leftists literally fail at basic economics.  My dog did better on an economics test than Leftists.  Seriously.  Sort of.

With false teacher Rachel Held Evans as the author you can judge a book by its cover

fake3Faux evangelical Rachel Held Evans wrote A Year of Biblical Womanhood: How a Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting on Her Roof, Covering Her Head, and Calling Her Husband “Master” and in this case you can judge a book by its cover.  Held sets out to mock the word of God that she claims to believe, and she succeeds before you even open the book. This is why the “Christian” Left loves her and why she gets so much Leftist media attention.

Exhibit A: The picture and subtitle of Evans on the roof relates to Proverbs 21:9 (and repeated in Proverbs 25:4) “It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.”

You don’t need a PhD in theology to see how badly — and deliberately? — she misapplied the verse.

  1. It isn’t a literal command to anyone. It is a colorful illustration teaching the wisdom of not marrying someone who is quarrelsome. It isn’t immoral to marry such a person, but it also isn’t particularly wise.  It wouldn’t be pleasant to live on the corner of your roof (they had flat roofs), but it would be more unpleasant to have a quarrelsome wife.
  2. The biblical illustration doesn’t have the quarrelsome person on the roof, it has her suffering spouse there.
  3. It was not a punishment, it was a metaphorical escape.

Evans didn’t let those pesky and obvious details got in the way of mocking the word of God.  She accomplished exactly what she wanted to in this book.  Her message is basically this: “Hey people, I am totally a Christian, but let me show you how silly the Bible can be.  If you find something there you think you like then that’s great, but you shouldn’t take it seriously.”

So before you even open the book you can know that she is a false teacher and enemy of the real God (as are her editors and publishers who approved it).  The only way to miss it is to not read the verses (false teachers thrive on the biblical ignorance of their followers) or to share her view that the Bible is a foolish, man-made book.

But it gets worse as Evans continues to sit in judgment of the word of God:

as a woman I have been nursing a secret grudge against the apostle Paul for about eight years.

Note how she tips her hand about her belief that the writings of Paul weren’t inspired by the Holy Spirit.  The Apostle Peter had her number 2,000 years ago:

2 Peter 3:15–16 And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.

Worse yet, she accuses the authors of the Bible of being blasphemous liars, allegedly speaking for God in literally hundreds of passages when it was “really” what they wanted:

God never told the Israelites to kill the Canaanites. The Israelites believed that God told them to kill the Canaanites.

So Evans also disagrees with Jesus, who affirmed the Old Testament down to its finest details, and insists – without evidence — that massive sections of the Bible are lies.  Or could it be that Evans is believing what she wants God to be and that she is the liar?  I suppose she thinks that the command against making a God in your own image is just another one of those passages that the writers made up.

Evans told people that voting for Hillary Clinton is “pro-life.”  You have to be a true Molech-worshiping ghoul to hold that view.  Hillary is inseparable from Planned Parenthood and the rest of the pro-choice extremists — including the “Christian” Left – who not only insist on legal abortions up to to child’s first breath but want more abortions via taxpayer-funding.  Yet for Evans that was the only “Christian” option.  Indeed.

Evans posted countless pictures and gushing commentary over the #womensmarch #abortionmarch but was nearly silent for the #MarchforLife — and even then she only criticized it. “Christian” Leftists really tip their hands that way, claiming to be “pro-life” while being the true pro-abortion extremists. If they really believed what they said they’d be opening up pregnancy centers all over. Instead, they reflexively support anything Planned Parenthood does.

Evans is also loud-and-proud about supporting LGBTQX behavior, even speaking at conferences to push a false view of the Bible. Affirming people that they can and should act out on same-sex attractions or change their gender is evil.

You can also know Evans is a false teacher by those she promotes.  For example, check out Jes Kast, whom Evans adores, and see if her theology is biblical, or Glennon Doyle Melton, the “super mom” who left her husband to be with a lesbian.

As bad as the self-avowed “Christian” Leftists are, at least they own their label (sans the scare quotes).  Evans masquerades as an Evangelical while holding their views, which makes her even worse than them.

Run, don’t walk, from faux evangelicals like Evans. In her own words and deeds she shows how much she loves the world and not Jesus.