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Showing posts from March, 2015

There's No Such Thing as Premarital Sex

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The only way premarital sex would be possible is if marriage is nothing more than a legal status rendered by a temporal government.

The Bible doesn't contain a single verse that prohibits sex before marriage. Considering how seriously God takes marriage, this might come as a counter-intuitive surprise. Even saying it sounds like I'm making light of sex, but that's only because the church has made light of marriage.

For example, our culture has made sex recreational--a game for perpetually bored teenagers and a distraction for desperately lonely adults. Some will say that it's a helpful gauge of compatibility, yet for most people, it's just another item on the human experience checklist. One of the better ones, for sure, but not any more life-changing than a good sneeze or a piece of cake.

In response, the church has made sex dangerous. Instead of being fun or informative, sex is a horrible monster that needs to be kept locked up lest it give you a disease or worse,…

Don't Try to Make History

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Revolutionists heed the times; terrorists try to change them.

Every revolution has its central figure. The Reformation has Martin Luther, the American Revolution has George Washington, and rock n' roll has Elvis Presley. But any serious student of history knows that world-shaping events are so much more than their main characters. Without the printing press, the Reformation would have never happened. Without guerrilla warfare, the American Revolution would have failed. And without overdriven electric guitars, rock n' roll would have become just another subgenre of blues.

Yet we're compelled to reduce revolutions to their watershed moments. We want to discover those key decisions that turn ordinary people into legends. We want to know whether great men are merely a product of history or if history is made by great men. In short, we want to know if we can make history.

Most would probably say that great people and history produce each other, but the truth is God produces bot…

Stop Confessing Your Sins to God

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Confession is one of the most powerful forces in the universe. At least when we don't keep it locked up.
During my nine years addicted to pornography, I confessed my sin to God more than once. These prayers weren't offered out of fear for lost salvation--that prayer had come years earlier. They were offered out of duty and with a desire for deliverance.
I was taught that Christians needed to confess every sin to God, especially before communion (read 1 Corinthians 11:28 out of context). In so doing, they would right their relationship with him and break free of the sin. But the strange thing was, no matter how many times I confessed to God, I could never break free.
There were two other confessions I made during those nine years that proved more effective. But they weren't to God.
The first one was to my parents about six years in. I had developed a nasty habit of cheating through my junior year and as the guilt compounded with other things, I decided to lay everything out…

From the Perspective of a Privileged Person

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Privilege is blindfolding ourselves to the past in the name of progress.

Three people had to die before I could see it. Mike Brown, Eric Garner, and Tamir Rice had to die before I could see my privilege.

Only until last year, I saw white privilege as white guilt--a term used by black people and brainwashed, white liberals to coerce reparations out of a generation that had no memory of the Jim Crow era.

I couldn't tell you what it was like being black during that time. No one ever told me, and I wasn't there. I'm sure it was awful, but that's not my fault. It isn't healthy to live in the past with regrets that aren't even mine, so why take on another man's guilt?

Then Mike Brown died.

My first thought wasn't sympathy; I was annoyed that another unarmed, black kid was going to be dominating the news. It was Trayvon all over again. Just as senseless a consequence and likely just as careless a victim.

Then Eric Garner died.

More accurately, then I found out…

3 Ways to Misread Lists

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Lists should condense thought, not replace it.
I used to think that I hated listicles. The numbers always seemed contrived, the uniformity felt forced, and the content vapid and unoriginal. In my mind, they were the easy posts where a blogger could write a few sentences on a handful of related ideas and call it a cohesive thought. But the more of them I read (and write), the more I realize that what I really hate is how they're read.
The purpose of many list posts is to break down a complex idea into its component parts. As such, they're not meant to capture the idea as much as introduce it--like the cliff notes to a good book or the Best Of album of a great artist. But what often happens is that folks will read the tip of the iceberg and think that the list is all you need to know to understand. There's no reason to think deeply because all the answers are on the surface and can easily be translated into action and opinion. I know people read lists like this because that&…

You Can't Miss Your Calling

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If you're worried that you haven't found your calling, you're looking in the wrong place.
I like my job. As a radio and podcast producer, I feel like my career nicely balances my desire for creative expression and logical coherence. This puts me in a very small category because most people hate their jobs. And unfortunately, the church hasn't helped.
For decades, Christians have been made to feel guilty for not devoting enough of their lives to God. Weekly gatherings weren't enough; we needed Sunday evening services, Monday Bible studies, Tuesday Bible classes, Wednesday prayer meetings, Thursday cantata rehearsals, Friday church parties, and Saturday gender-restricted breakfast devotionals.
You could be a pretty good Christian by attending all of those church functions. But if you really wanted to please God, you needed to be in his service for a living. Being a plumber was ok if you gave a discount to church members and being an executive wasn't sinful so lo…