Guest Views

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

Posted 2/23/16 at 7:57 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Thoughts on Racism from a Suburban White Man

Let me start this post by saying how sorry I am that it’s taken me almost 30 years to personally digest the reality of racism in our country. Let me apologize for never truly seeing what was taking place right in front of me. And, let me admit my fault in keeping quiet as a white, male pastor when hate and harm affected the lives of millions each and every day that passed, all while I had a platform to bring light to this horrific situation. I’m sorry. This not an apology for being white, but instead an apology for being a white man who had yet to publicly standing up against the injustice directed towards my brothers and sisters of all ethnic backgrounds.

I’m a privileged white man (as I’ve been told) who grew up in the suburbs of southern California, attended schools that were a melting pot of ethnicity, went to a church that was primarily Hispanic, had friends and girlfriends from all different ethnic backgrounds, and never made it a hundred miles outside of my city limits until I was twenty-two years old. I guess you could say I lived in a bubble, and the idea of racism was something that seemed foreign to me — as if it was something that only took place in movies or really rough parts of our country. Straight ignorance, right? FULL POST

Posted 2/23/16 at 7:52 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Three Takeaways from the New Movie, Risen

by Sean McDowell, Ph. D.

Since the release of The Passion, faith-based films have been coming out from Hollywood at an increased rate. On the one hand, faith-based films are often cheesy and unrealistic. On the other hand, many lose the spirit of the original story and are utterly inaccurate (Noah, anyone?).

With a bit of hesitancy, my wife and I went to see Risen last night. All things considered, we were both pleasantly surprised! While some of the actors were more compelling than others, we both felt Joseph Fiennes (Roman soldier Clavius) and Maria Botto (Mary Magdalene) gave performances that were outstanding and memorable. And personally, I liked the depiction of Jesus (Cliff Curtis). He had a good balance of gentleness and strength, but also real compassion and a natural sense of humor.

While there are many commendable aspects of the film, I want to briefly highlight three key takeaways. First, Risen is creative. Let’s face it—sometimes faith-based movies can have two-dimensional characters and shallow plots. The challenge in making this film was how to tell the “greatest story of all time” in a fresh and captivating way. How can you take a familiar story and make it interesting? Their answer was to look at the fateful events (from the death of Jesus to his ascension) through the eyes of a Roman soldier who was assigned by Pilate to track down the body of Jesus after it mysteriously disappeared. FULL POST

Posted 2/18/16 at 1:08 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

How Can I Make it Up to My Wife if I’ve Used Porn?

How does a guy make it up to his wife if he’s used porn?

I like to post a reader question and take a stab at answering it. Here’s a sad story from a relative newlywed who confessed to his wife thathe used porn. Now she’s devastated, he’s broken, and he’s wondering what to do about it.

He writes:

I grew up Catholic, but in college drifted away from my marriage. In college I also met my now-wife, who is the best person I know. We married a little more than a year ago and now go to [an evangelical] church. She has made me such a better person just by being my wife.
In my early teens I was exposed to some dirty magazines. This grew throughout high school and in college I began to look at porn on the internet. It was entrenched in me that this was normal, that all the guys I knew did it, that it was somehow not as bad as it was. It was a release for me. I didn’t look at it as cheating. I never thought once of how it would make [my wife] feel which probably was my biggest problem.
I knew once we got engaged that I would need to give it up, but since we were also saving ourselves for the wedding night it became difficult. Once married I knew it was wrong, but I would occasionally just look at porn and not masturbate so I thought I was tons better than before. My wife and I since have struggled a little bit on our intimacy issues and in our latest conversation, I felt a need to confess to her my secret. She is hurt, feels betrayed, and as if I was cheating on her.
I never looked at my bad habit as cheating. I never once even pondered the idea of finding someone to be either physically or emotionally connected to besides her. My wife says she is in the process of forgiving me now and she has been 10x more gracious than I ever could be. I just don’t know what to do with all this shame and guilt I am feeling. She now is questioning every time an attractive woman comes on the T.V. screen if I am fantasizing about her and questioning if she is enough for me. I don’t want to hurt her any more, but I feel so guilty that I keep bringing up how sorry I am and she says that doesn’t help her recovery. I am struggling to eat and or work because I am so upset with myself.
1.) How can I help my wife? She says she doesn’t want to bring it up again because the more we bring it up the harder it is to get over.
2.) I feel so terribly guilty I can’t do anything. I can’t eat, I can’t concentrate. I never thought of this as cheating and now I can’t get over the fact that it might be just like cheating. I am so disgusted with myself.
Could you please give me any advice you might have I am desperate?

Wow. What a story. FULL POST

Posted 2/16/16 at 6:31 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Did Abraham Lincoln Really Say That?

"You can’t trust everything you see on the internet these days.”  –Abraham Lincoln.

You get the impression some people find a pithy saying and decide it would carry greater weight if attached to the name of someone important. So, they say Lincoln said it. Or Napoleon. Or Henry Ward Beecher. Or Pogo. Or Charlie Brown.

A magnet on my refrigerator has this one: “It’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” –Abraham Lincoln.

I find myself doubting he said such a thing. It sounds too bumper-stickerish to have come from our esteemed sixteenth president.

So, with my laptop open, I typed in “Did Lincoln say that?” and got all the sources one could ever require confirming or denying various attributions to Mr. Lincoln.

According to the primary website I checked, Lincoln did not say the following:

–He never said, “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” FULL POST

Posted 2/16/16 at 6:23 AM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Thoughts on Racism from a Suburban White Man

Let me start this post by saying how sorry I am that it’s taken me almost 30 years to personally digest the reality of racism in our country. Let me apologize for never truly seeing what was taking place right in front of me. And, let me admit my fault in keeping quiet as a white, male pastor when hate and harm affected the lives of millions each and every day that passed, all while I had a platform to bring light to this horrific situation. I’m sorry. This not an apology for being white, but instead an apology for being a white man who had yet to publicly standing up against the injustice directed towards my brothers and sisters of all ethnic backgrounds.

I’m a privileged white man (as I’ve been told) who grew up in the suburbs of southern California, attended schools that were a melting pot of ethnicity, went to a church that was primarily Hispanic, had friends and girlfriends from all different ethnic backgrounds, and never made it a hundred miles outside of my city limits until I was twenty-two years old. I guess you could say I lived in a bubble, and the idea of racism was something that seemed foreign to me—as if it was something that only took place in movies or really rough parts of our country. Straight ignorance, right? FULL POST

Posted 1/25/16 at 7:43 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Who Does God Want Me to Vote For?

So Who Should I Vote For?

Here is the proof I am not just a mushy moderate. I know some may be thinking I was safe discussing this concept in theory, but why did I have to talk about politics again? Why did I have to go here? It’s great to have this new insight regarding human disagreements, but what about the real world? What are we going to do about choosing the elected representatives who will lead our country? This is where I may upset some of you.

If the Holy Bible gave us the understanding of the male (conservative) and female (liberal) perspectives, it also has something to say about the kind of direction our nation should take. If you are still struggling with any of us receiving instruction from an ancient book, I would again suggest you read our book, “It Really Is God’s Book” to see some amazing and distinguishing facts that prove the validity of the Bible as the only authentic revelation of the one true God.

I must stipulate one caveat here that may irritate some. We need to have God’s Spirit to understand its mysteries. And we only receive His Spirit by surrendering our lives to Jesus Christ. When we meet the author, the book really makes sense. FULL POST

Posted 1/25/16 at 7:33 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Our Job is to Love People Not Change Them

I love change. I love helping people. And I love seeing people changed by the love God. But regardless of how much God decides to use me, I alone cannot change people. This is God’s job, not mine.

I remember when I first became a believer in Jesus and somehow thought that it was my duty to change people for the sake of advancing The Gospel — Which is funny because I myself wasn’t even changed by a man or women, but instead was loved and directed towards the only true source that could bring me change; God.

I would rejoice when people would find hope in Christ, but would feel like a failure when someone would turn away from wanting to know Jesus as Lord. I took it personally. It was a little discouraging, but that’s because my mindset was completely off. I was focusing way too much on what “I” was doing for God, and not enough on the bigger picture; God’s omnipotent power and preeminent role in the business of life change. FULL POST

Posted 1/21/16 at 3:31 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Is the Trinity a Man-made Doctrine?

Then God said, ‘Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness” (Genesis 1:26).

People with no use for the doctrine of the Trinity give as their reasons:

  1. It’s too hard to understand.
  2. It’s not specifically taught in Scripture.
  3. The word Trinity is nowhere in the Bible.
  4. Some people turn it into three separate deities.

We will grant all these factors. Not only is it “hard” to understand, it’s impossible. So, let’s concede that up front. But that does not stop a thing from being true. We are unable to figure out how we are body, soul, and spirit, a tri-unity of its own on a far simpler level. So, nothing about the complexity of the nature of the Creator should stop us from believing it.

While the doctrine is not spelled out in so many words in the Bible, we find it spoken in places like the Great Commission: “Baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:18-20). FULL POST

Posted 1/21/16 at 3:26 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

Purity Lost...or is it?

Purity. Virginity.

We have two words in English to use about someone who has never had sex, but we don’t have words to use for people who have never said a swear word; never cheated on their taxes; never stolen anything.

So perhaps it’s no wonder that people who have had sex before marriage feel a degree of shame that people in the midst of other sins don’t.

When we have sex before we’re married we figure we’re in a special category of sinners. After all, we’re “pure” unless we have sex…That’s what we’re taught, isn’t it?

This week I’ve thought a lot about “lost purity” and the way we talk about it. I wrote my top post EVER on Tuesday–the 10 Things That Scare Me about the Purity Movement (my daughter’s post on why she didn’t rebel actually went more viral, but this is the top one that Iactually wrote). FULL POST

Posted 1/21/16 at 3:18 PM | Christian Post Guest Voices

This is Where God Speaks to You About Everything

And there I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are on the ark of the Testimony, about everything which I will give you in commandment to the children of Israel. Exodus 25:16-22; 37:7

With over 800 verses dealing with the Tabernacle, and the Bible declaring it was modeled after the one in heaven, I think we can conclude that God is trying to communicate something to us. In fact, I believe this is where the believer can enter the “sweet spot” of Christianity; that is if they are willing. It is here, in this place, where we will find the answers about life. As one of the most overlooked roadmaps in the Bible, our book The Inner Journey helps believers understand the 3 stages of spiritual growth described in the Tabernacle. This journey leads to a place the Lord is beckoning all of us to reach. Today this “meeting place” takes place inside our soul, in the Spirit. Everything that touches our lives presents an opportunity for us to access this holy place. Be encouraged, over time, God will come into focus. This is the place where God communicates with us, here on earth…about everything! FULL POST

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