Wretched

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Posted 9/5/13 at 2:59 PM | Todd Friel

The Dignity of Christianity, Part 1

Photo: Flickr/Pop Culture Geek - Creative Commons

Ugh:

17 year old Boy Scouts attracted to 14 year old boys can now share a tent. What could possibly go wrong?

The Hub Networks latest cartoon aimed at 2-12 year olds is about a guy named Guy who finds a super-power ring. He puts it on and becomes a female crime-fighter named She-Zow. Who is most upset by this? Transgendered people who do not feel this is a good representation of them.

A woman in San Francisco recently married a building in an effort to save it from demolition. She called it a lesbian wedding because she claims the building is female. Guess who is mad? You got it, lesbians. They think this opens them up to ridicule. Um, yeah.

Do we need more evidence that we are living in a post-Christian world?

The Brilliance of the Bible

Unlike the Koran, the Bible is not stuck in a particular century. The Koran gives very explicit rules for all people for all times based on the culture of the 7th century; hence, the burka. The Bible is far more sophisticated.

The Bile presents historical biographies, theology, proverbs and letters to specific people and then asks the reader to apply those truths to their particular context. Brilliant! But that does not mean it is easy. The Christian must take an ancient book and learn the context in which it was written and then rightly apply the truths presented in our century without understanding the text differently than the original audience. FULL POST

Posted 8/28/13 at 11:47 AM | Todd Friel

Forget Miley, What About the "Man" on Stage With Her?

Photo: Flickr/Ambika - Creative Commons
Robin Thicke at a Canadian concert in 2007

Why is Miley getting all of the negative press for her Video Music Award performance? Did you notice there was another child of a celebrity on stage who was just as filthy?

Robin Thicke is the son of Growing Pains dad Alan Thicke. Why isn’t anyone complaining about his sexual gyrations with Miley on national TV? Why isn’t anyone lamenting how perverted his performance was?

Pretty typical actually. When a teenager gets pregnant, we always talk about her behavior and her choices, but we rarely bring up the other party: the man.

When a woman dances in a provocative and sensual way, we call her a wide variety of names that indicate she lacks character: cheap, floozy, tawdry, prostitute, loose, etc. Have you ever heard a man called any of those names when he dances like a tramp? Nope. Those words are reserved for women.

It seems that we have been downplaying the perversion of men for decades under the banner of “boys will be boys.” Why are we repulsed by Miley but completely overlooking Robin?

Two Crises

If “twerking” is what Betty Friedan fought for, then we haven’t come a very long way, Baby. The Miley debacle demonstrates that feminism and women are in a crisis. But there is a second equal or greater crisis: a man drought. FULL POST

Posted 8/22/13 at 1:22 PM | Todd Friel

Is Your Church on Prozac?

Photo: Tom Varco - Creative Commons

People are depressed. According to the CDC, one in ten Americans struggles with depression. That means one in ten Christians struggles with depression. Are they comfortable in your church?

The modern day church has jettisoned many traditions and customs in an effort to contemporize and not resemble the misnomer “dead orthodoxy.” With little thought, we have ditched pulpits, robes, organs, choirs, hymnals, liturgy, etc. This is not to suggest that all modernizing is a sin, I am merely pointing out that we have made radical church changes without debate or recognition that preceding generations were not morons.

Permit me to suggest that many churches have undergone a more subtle shift that perhaps deserves a rethink.

 Attitude

While George Barna has not done a survey on this…yet…I fear that many evangelical churches have decided that the tone of the church must be untiringly HAPPY.

Church growth ministries advise churches to make their guests feel welcome by placing the cheeriest greeters at the front door.

Congregants are directed to put on their happy faces to make church a more welcoming environment.

The pastor is coached to bound onto the stage with a big smile and cheery, “Good morning, Church!” FULL POST

Posted 8/14/13 at 12:54 PM | Todd Friel

The United States of France

Photo: Flickr/fdecomite - Creative Commons
The French Flag

Cicero warned, “To be ignorant of history is to forever remain a child.” Is it possible that the United States is following in the footsteps of Revolutionary France because so many Americans are ignorant of history?

There are twelve similarities between the France of 1789 that led to the French Revolution, the Reign of Terror and the beheading of thousands of people and the United States of 2013.

The Zeitgeist of 1789 France

The mood of the people was: change. As in, “fundamentally change our country.”

Intellectuals had grown ashamed of their country, history and institutions. Have you seen your child’s history textbook lately?

French theaters were turned into instruments of propaganda by liberal anarchists. Hooray for Hollywood.

King Louis XVI’s efforts to lower taxes and create a free market economy were blocked by the nobles. Paging Barack Obama.

The news media admired agitators and never discussed the church without scandal nor the government without criticism. They relied on outrages of the court. They distorted, lied, colored and mis-reported. Nice work, Diane Sawyer.

France had a major debt-crisis that led to the crumbling of their economy. Does the number 17 trillion ring a bell? FULL POST

Posted 4/15/13 at 3:26 PM | Todd Friel

Bill O’Reilly, Bernie Goldberg and a Goat

In his latest effort to look out for us, Bill O’Reilly advised Christians to stop “thumping the Bible” if we hope to win the gay marriage debate. Oh really?

Bill claims that the compelling argument is on the side of homosexuals, “We are Americans, we just want to be treated like everyone else.”

A fourth grade homeschooler could deflate that appeal to emotion with one swift poke. Would we let a thug get away with murder by simply stating, “I am an American, I just want to be treated like everyone else”?

Unfortunately for Bill and the many Christians who would agree with him, Bill’s desire to ban Bible thumping was exposed as foolishness when Bernie Goldberg told Bill, “If society has a consensus that it is OK for Lenny to marry his goat, then we can have that conversation at that time.” Yikes.

Who defines what is moral?

Option 1: Consensus. According to Bernie, when 51% of the public decides bestiality is OK, then open up the barn door. One wonders, would that be true of other issues like, say, cannibalism.

After all, on the island of Boingo Boingo, consensus says that noshing on Uncle Joe, while chewy and needing BBQ sauce, is acceptable. Who is right? Americans or the Boingo Boinguesse? FULL POST

Posted 3/20/13 at 10:27 AM | Todd Friel

In Case You Are Tempted to Travel to Rome

The pomp. The circumstance. The formality. Viewing the installation of the new humble pope might tempt an evangelical to swim the Tiber and join the Roman Catholic Church. Especially when one views much of contemporary evangelicalism: the silliness, the shallowness, the Harlem Shake.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhA4Mx4Kd1E

Watching that could make any clear thinking evangelical long for something deeper, richer and more mature. But before you start paddling, please consider a few things.

Works, works, works No matter how you slice it, Catholicism teaches salvation by works. The Roman Catholic Catechism states: “Since the initiative belongs to God in the order of grace, no one can merit the initial grace of forgiveness and justification, at the beginning of conversion. Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification, for the increase of grace and charity, and for the attainment of eternal life. (2010)

The Catholic Church also teaches that others have worked for your salvation in addition to Jesus:
This treasury (or merits) includes as well the prayers and good works of the Blessed Virgin Mary. They are truly immense, unfathomable, and even pristine in their value before God. In the treasury, too, are the prayers and good works of all the saints, all those who have followed in the footsteps of Christ the Lord and by his grace have made their lives holy and carried out the mission in the unity of the Mystical Body.” (1477) FULL POST

Posted 3/7/13 at 1:33 PM | Todd Friel

Help! I’m Married to a Heathen!

There are few things more painful than being unequally yoked. Perhaps this will encourage you to press on and endure with joy. Yes, joy.

1. Remember how patient God was with YOU!

Your days can be long, painful and so frustrating. Before you throw a pot or pan your spouse’s way, remember how long-suffering God was with you. How many years did He pursue you as you continued to blaspheme Him? Perhaps that thought will get you through one more day.

2. Your spouse has committed no sin against you that is worse than the sins you commit against Jesus.

His/her words and actions can be brutally painful. It is OK to feel pain. But remember, his/her sins against you are like a stroll in the country compared to your sins against Jesus. Never forget who the chief of sinners is: You!

3. When your spouse is annoying and sinful, remember, your sins put Jesus on the cross.

“It was my sin that held Him there, until it was accomplished.” Your sins were the cause of the death of your Savior, and yet, He demonstrated His love for you by dying while you were yet sinning (Romans 5:8). Is your suffering worse than the suffering you caused Jesus? FULL POST

Posted 2/11/13 at 1:40 PM | Todd Friel

Help! I Don’t Have a Conversion Story!

If you have ever been in an auto accident that didn’t kill you, which must be the case or you wouldn’t be reading this, you probably remember the specifics rather vividly. When your life is radically spared, you tend to remember the details. So why is it that many Christians struggle to remember when God saved their soul from death?

II Cor.5:17 tells us, “If any man is in Christ, he is a new creation.” Conversion of a spiritually dead man being brought to life by the power of the Holy Spirit is radical. That is why many preachers proclaim, “If you don’t have a conversion story, you probably aren’t converted.”

Most born-again Christians should and do have a conversion story. Perhaps they don’t remember the minute or even the year, but they do remember the season when their affections changed and they “got serious.” Why don’t some Christians have a conversion story?

Reason #1

You were never converted. If you cannot recall a time when you called out to the Lord in repentance and faith, then you should “examine yourself to see if you are in the faith.” I would suggest there are three reasons why you may have never truly been saved: FULL POST

Posted 2/4/13 at 12:54 PM | Todd Friel

Why the World is Not Nuts about You

Photo: Flickr/B.S. Wise

Sentimental love flows from the polluted well of postmodernism. Sentimental love is the offspring of moral relativism, which denies absolute truth. Sentimental love is not based on fact or truth, but on emotions.

What does sentimental love look like?

- You can’t make a woman keep a baby if she doesn’t want it.

- You can’t deny two men the joy of marriage if it makes them happy.

- You can believe whatever you want to as long as you believe it is true.

- Women should have equal rights, therefore, they should be allowed to go into military combat.

- If pot makes people happy, then we should legalize it.

- Boy Scouts should allow gay leaders and scouts as long as they qualify.

While the world continues to define love predominantly as “sentimentality,” Christians are commanded to show agape love to both Christian and heathen alike. Agape love is one of the four types of love described in the Bible.

Eros love: sensual, romantic love.

Philial love: brotherly love.

Storge love: familial love.

Agape love: self-sacrificing love.

Here is the rub; sentimental love is purely emotional, while agape love is based on what is true, right and good. In the world’s mind, sentimental love always trumps agape love. That is why your love for the world is so often received as hatred. FULL POST

Posted 1/29/13 at 12:44 PM | Todd Friel

Thanks Barack, We Are No Longer a Noble Nation

The irony is almost overwhelming. In the Old Testament, we read the story of a commander named Barak who allowed a woman named Deborah to lead the nation of Israel into war. Deborah told Barak, “I will surely go with you; nevertheless, there will be no glory for you in the journey you are taking, for the Lord will sell the enemy into the hands of a woman” (Judges 4:9).

Moral to the story? It is a shameful thing for a man (named Barak) to allow or send a woman into battle.

What does the Bible say?

The Bible is replete with clear teachings that men are to be the protectors of women.

Genesis 2 describes men as the “hard ones” and women as the “soft ones.” 6000 years later, technology confirms what is obvious: men are more suited for battle than women. God hardwired men with 1000% more testosterone than women.

Numbers 31:3,4: Moses sent men into battle.

Deut. 20:13,14: In war, the male enemies are to be killed but women and children are to be protected.

II Samuel 23:8: David chose mighty men, not mighty women.

Eph.5:25: Men must love their wives and be willing to give up their lives for them, just like Jesus did for the church. FULL POST

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