Guest Views

CP Blogs do not necessarily reflect the views of The Christian Post. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s).

Posted 3/20/12 at 5:49 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

What Caused Sgt. Robert Bales to Snap?

Commentary by Rev. Austin Miles

This has been the most blaring case of military personnel meltdown since the My Lai Massacre on March 16, 1968 when Lt. William Calley, an American soldier in South Viet Nam snapped and opened fire on unarmed civilians, killing 347-504. The remorseful man regretted this for the rest of his life.

It is easy to jockey through this current tragedy, start blaming Sgt. Robert Bales as a violent trouble-maker and bring up that he had been guilty of domestic abuse charges and a hit and run charge. A misfit that would always be a misfit. Neighbors say his house was unkempt where he lived with his wife and children.

There is no question that Sgt. Bales must answer to the charges that he killed 16 civilians in Afghanistan and face punishment.

But there are other things that MUST be considered at the same time. Let us start with the military itself. Sgt. Bales had been obligated to go on four consecutive tours of duty. He had already been on the battle field for three solid years and one month without letup. He suffered a concussion in Iraq and lost part of a foot in another battle field injury. And he had to go back on that 4th tour of front line duty. FULL POST

Posted 3/20/12 at 4:50 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

5 Things a Pastor Should Never Say

By Ben Reed

Ever heard a pastor say something that made you cringe?

We pastors say a lot. From the stage, to the phone, in an email, and in passing conversations, we are communicating with people most of our days. And while much of what we share is (hopefully) helpful, there are certain things that should never be said.

1. “If it weren’t for the people, I’d love being a pastor.”

You’ve probably heard this one. In fact, you may have said it yourself. Often said in a moment of frustration or as a passing joke, this is a statement that can be incredibly hurtful to the people that need help the most. It inadvertently creates a wall between the pastor and those who are in need of grace and hope. And it makes people feel like there are problems too big to bring to their pastor.

 Truth: Being a pastor is about the people. It’s about serving and giving and loving and pouring yourself out for others.

2. “This week was so busy, I didn’t even get a chance to work on my sermon.”

This is sad, really. There are a handful of things that only the pastor can do. (qualifier: having a teaching team is an option that many churches utilize, but when it’s your week to preach, this is no excuse). Preaching is one of them. It’s not that others aren’t qualified...it’s that your role that Sunday is to preach. FULL POST

Posted 3/16/12 at 4:09 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

How a Wife Handles Her Husband's Sexual Addiction

By Josh Reich

In honor of preaching on the topic of marriage at Revolution this past Saturday and this coming Saturday, I thought I’d repost some of the more helpful things I’ve written on the topics of marriage, dating, sexuality, roles, communication and others topics related to marriage.

At Revolution, we’ve never been afraid to talk about hard topics. One of the topics we’ve talked about is porn, sexual addiction and adultery. It is a hard topic, but one almost every couple is dealing with. Either the actual issue or the aftermath. You can listen to the most recent sermon on this topic here.

In the message, I was very honest and open in my talk about our journey. When I was 10, I was at a birthday party and the guys dad thought it was time for all of us 10 year olds to learn about sex and women, so he brought down a box of porn. That began for me an addiction that lasted until I was 22. FULL POST

Posted 3/16/12 at 4:04 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Will Americans Re-elect Obama?

by Rev. Austin Miles

The first question would be: Has life been better since Obama took office? A cable news program posed this question among random people on the streets of America. The majority of the answers were 'No, things are worse."

Obama's term in office has been wrought with disturbances, distractions and questions from the start.

The trust that a nation should have for it's president was immediately thwarted when Obama refused to present a valid birth certificate showing that he was born in America, as well as other papers that would account for his earlier years including college or university transcripts.

Not only did he refuse to provide them but spent over a million dollars on a law firm to block access to any of his papers. That created overwhelming suspicion of his entire White House occupation.

Making matters worse, according to information provided by Bob Boyd, host of the national radio program, Issues in Education, it was shown that he had several social security cards, one being from Connecticut where he never lived. The card he has used belonged to Jean Paul Ludwig who was born in France, died in Hawaii, and his S.S.number had 042 at the beginning which is only given to those who have lived most of their adult life in that state. Obama never lived or worked in Connecticut. Using that SS Card Number and how it was obtained raised more questions. FULL POST

Posted 3/15/12 at 5:00 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Dads, Sing Like You Mean It Because Your Kids Are Watching

By Keith McCracken

My father was a wonderfully eccentric man. He was a quick witted recluse and a virtual Picasso of mechanicalia. He worked third shift (11:00PM to 7:00AM) for 37 years (without missing a day or ever being late) so as to avoid having his talents "supervised into obscurity." To most people outside of his family he was hard to understand and blissfully unconcerned with anyone else's opinion of him. But despite all of that he was very overt about his faith in, and love for, our Savior Jesus Christ.

Though I hold many cherished memories of him, perhaps the most vivid was his excitement over singing certain hymns. By all accounts he possessed at best an "average" voice when it comes to uniqueness and tonal quality. But he sang his favorites with a conviction that was beyond convincing and was by far one of the loudest and most joyful voices in a congregation of approximately 350. I remember looking up at him and "checking him out" while he was singing... "Is he for real?" I would wonder. When he would catch me looking at him he would simply "lock-eyes" with me and sing all the louder while he broadened his grin to match proportion with his pleasure. FULL POST

Posted 3/15/12 at 4:29 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Debunking the Russia/War of Gog and Magog Myth

By Jeffrey Goodman, Ph.D.

One of the more popular topics among Christians today is the "end times." With each significant news story, a correlation between it and end times events prophesied in the Bible is sought. Because of recent military activities and tensions in Russia and Israel, the end times event prophesied in the Bible called "The War of Gog and Magog" is now a red hot topic. Ezekiel 38/39 tells how Gog, the powerful leader from the land of Magog, will lead a confederacy of nations to invade Israel during the end times and start a war of unprecedented size and devastation.

Many end times aficionados believe that Magog represents Russia and that Russia will soon come to invade Israel. However, the ancient Assyrians had dealings with Magog, and their Court records clearly identify Magog and it is not Russia. For decades Christians have been deceived and have been unwittingly deceiving others about who is to be involved in the prophesied invasion of Israel. Russia has absolutely nothing to do with Magog and being the nation that will lead an invasion of Israel.

While many may picture Russia as an "evil empire," personal opinions, traditional views, incomplete research, and current events cannot be the basis of the identification of Gog and Magog and the interpretation of Ezekiel 38/39. The correct identification and interpretation of Ezekiel 38/39 must be based on scripture, with the aid of the archeological and historical context of these scriptures. FULL POST

Posted 3/14/12 at 1:15 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Renewing Your Mind in a Worldly World: How Christians Can Take Back Their Minds

By Douglas Groothuis

Americans are being lied to every day. Popular culture tells us that deep thinking and reflective living is pointless. Instead, we must move faster. We need faster cars, faster food, and faster computers—now. We need more things, more toys, more power, and more perks. We need more hair (if baldness threatens), but we don't need more knowledge or more wisdom. We need less wrinkles (hence Botox parties) and less pounds, but not less vices (as long as we can get away with them). Our media are dominated by celebrities who are not wise, learned or godly people. They are usually over-paid and ego-driven athletes or movie stars. Next to nothing in popular culture encourages us to slow down and cultivate a contemplative life before the God "in whom we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28). Instead we are tempted to believe that God has nothing to do with our most valued activities and dreams. We can do fine without him. Or, we may redefine the God of the Bible and godly religion to fit our designer preferences. Either way, worldliness reigns, world applauds, and the mind is deadened.

The myriad messages of popular culture have been sticking to and deforming our souls. American men and women are not known for their reasoned convictions about those things that matter most. Polls show that Americans are very "religious" concerning belief in God and church involvement. Yet they watch an average of four hours of typically mindless and violent television per day, are terribly ignorant of basic biblical truths, seldom read thoughtful books, and are theologically confused on basic doctrines. Some of the most popular Christian teachers and writers today often lapse into heresy or aberrant doctrine. (Hence the need for The Christian Research Journal's many articles correcting these errors). Few Christians share their faith regularly or wisely. If they do, they are often stumped when faced with skeptical questions and challenges, since their evangelism is not grounded in solid apologetic arguments (see 1 Peter 3:15-17; Jude 3). Pollster George Gallup found that many of the same people who say, "Yes, Jesus is the only way," also affirm that "Yes, there are many paths to God." But this is logically impossible. Jesus cannot be one of many ways—and the only way! Gallup comments, "It's not that Americans don't believe anything; they believe everything." Here Proverbs give a word to the wise: "A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps" (Proverbs 14:15). FULL POST

Posted 3/13/12 at 9:43 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Strike Two. You're Out

Picture of Malt
Photo: World Harvest Mission / Scott and Jennifer Myhre

By Drs. Scott and Jennifer Myhre

This is Malt. She arrived at Kijabe hospital at 11 pm last night, after a seven-hour ambulance ride from Isiolo, a rather remote Kenyan town far to our northeast. In those seven hours, as her post-c-section mom held on for life, they called EIGHT hospitals and were refused admission until they finally made it all the way to Kijabe.Why? Because yesterday the public sector nurses, clinical officers, mortuary attendants, lab and pharmacy personnel, all went on strike, for a "hardship allowance" to be added to their salaries. The entire government health system was paralyzed, leaving only private and Christian hospitals like Kijabe to suddenly fill in the gap. This was much worse than the previous doctor strike. Proving we can limp along without doctors, but we can't manage without nurses!! There are many issues of injustice tied up in who controls health funds, and how they are distributed. However I suspect that Malt's parents live on less than the INCREMENT the Kenyan nurses are demanding in their monthly salary. And there are the people who suffer and die when the strikes begin. FULL POST

Posted 3/13/12 at 11:26 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

What Do Pastors Do All Day?

By Rev. Charles St-Onge

When I was young I used to ask my dad what he did all day at the office. I wondered that it was always a hard question for him to answer. Turns out that he was a key developer of the "mortgage backed securities" market in Canada (which, unlike the US market, was carefully regulated and did more good than harm). But how exactly do you explain that to a middle schooler? We're barely at the stage of understanding what a mortgage is, never mind an MBS.

Someday, I imagine (and it may be just my imagination) my kids will ask the same question I asked my dad: "What do you do?" The days of people assuming their pastors only worked "on Sunday" are probably long past. Comment if I'm wrong! But what exactly do we do with the other six days? I thought it might be useful for discussion to walk through a "typical" week, and attempt to answer the question, "What DO pastors do all day?"

Monday

Morning – At the office by 7:30. Lead a 15 minute school faculty devotion at 7:45, then school opening at 8:15. Registration fees for summer youth event are due, and the amount owing seems high. Track down info and fire off emails. Lead early childhood chapel (60 2 – 5 year olds) at 9:15. Meet with children's director for the capital campaign. Write "Chronicle" blog. Member of our visually impaired outreach calls – pray for his sick uncle and discuss his job search. Help set staff meeting agenda. FULL POST

Posted 3/12/12 at 11:58 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Why I am Pro-life: A Short, Nonsectarian Argument

By Douglas Groothuis

Abortion is the intentional killing of a human fetus by chemical and/or surgical means. It should not be confused with miscarriage (which involves no human intention) or contraception (which uses various technologies to prohibit sperm and egg from producing a fertilized ovum after sexual intercourse). Miscarriages are natural (if sad) occurrences, which raise no deep moral issues regarding human conduct—unless the woman was careless in her pregnancy. Contraception is officially opposed by Roman Catholics and some other Christians, but I take it to be in a moral category entirely separate from abortion (since it does not involve the killing of a fetus); therefore, it will not be addressed here.1

Rather than taking up the legal reasoning and history of abortion in America (especially concerning Roe vs. Wade), this essay makes a simple, straightforward moral argument against abortion. Sadly, real arguments (reasoned defenses of a thesis or claim) are too rarely made on this issue. Instead, propaganda is exchanged. Given that the Obama administration is the most pro-abortion administration in the history of the United States, some clear moral reasoning is called for at this time. FULL POST

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