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Showing posts from July, 2015

Arguing on Social Media is Good for You

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Facebook and Twitter haven't made us less kind; they've made us less fake.

Social media has finally been around long enough that it's no longer considered cool and nonconformist to refuse participation. Instead, it's becoming more and more fashionable to suspend our existing accounts and reevaluate their benefits.

Some do regular technology fasts to prevent it from becoming an addiction. Others sever ties with the digital world to reconnect with the physical one. A few bury their head in the proverbial sand because the stories online occasionally hit a little too close to home.

But there are those who are just tired of all the opinions. Everyone has one and no one seems to care who gets hurt by it. If trolling wasn't bad enough, the faceless arguments have brought so much criticism to the medium that some are abandoning it altogether.

Writer, Amy Julia Becker, recently said in Christianity Today: "I found the amount of anonymous vitriol that emerged in my blog…

The Duggars Should've Never Had a Show

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Climbing the ladder of leadership may have gotten easier, but a fall is no less devastating.

On May 19, 2015, In Touch magazine published an exclusive report that Josh Duggar, eldest son of 19 Kids and Counting's Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, had been named in an underage sexual abuse probe. Further reports and interviews confirmed that Josh had sexually molested five girls, including two of his own sisters, when he was a young teenager.

Just last week, the show's network decided to cancel the show after airing ten seasons. But as far as I'm concerned, the cancellation is about ten seasons too late.

Enough has already been said about how the Duggars handled the discovery of their son's abuse. From the year it took them to report it to the delay of professional help for Josh, many have been calling for the show's cancellation because the convoluted timeline smacks of a cover-up.

However, I can't fall in line with the rest of the critics who've never had a chi…

Bill Cosby Should Expect Grace

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The expectation of overflowing grace doesn't depend on its agents as much as its source.

Last Monday, The Associated Press obtained court documents from a 2005 deposition where Bill Cosby testified to giving sedatives to women for the purposes of having sex with them. Since the resurgence of rape allegations last year, Cosby has lost his agent and activists have called for the removal of his star from the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the revocation of his Presidential Medal of Freedom award. And even though he has yet to admit that any of these drugs were given without consent, the tide of popular opinion seems to be turning on the Cos.

Scandals like these aren't uncommon, even within the church. Just a few weeks ago, Bill Graham's grandson, Tullian Tchividjian, admitted to having an affair and has subsequently resigned as the pastor of his church. While I may not know Tchividjian or anyone from his church, I can probably guess how folks are reacting. Over ten years ago, ano…

The Approaching Scourge of Virtual-Reality Porn

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My latest for Think Christian:
Before the Internet, it was easy to think of pornography as a worldly problem far removed from the church. Videos and magazines could only be bought in stores, which required showing one's face at a public establishment--something most Christians probably avoided. But by the time I was 15, I had a computer in my room with a wire to the world. Suddenly, pornography could be accessed at the touch of a button and, more importantly, with complete anonymity.

This puts me in the unfortunate 97 percent of Christian men who've viewed pornography, according to a recent survey of 1,000 subjects (64 percent of Christian men view it at least once a month). It's not only a problem outside of the church; it's pervasive. And it's only going to get worse.Continue reading...

photo credit: Congreso Wearables Big Data Salud 2 via photopin(license)

If Jenner is a Man, then Jesus is Still Dead

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Dismissing the possibility of psychological realities is the result of an ideology incongruous with Christianity.

For many Christians, the stories about Caitlyn Jenner and Rachel Dolezal are about truth. Since Jenner was born biologically male, her identifying as a woman must be due to either mental illness or delusional sin. In the same way, Dolezal was born to white parents; therefore, her identifying as black is just a lie, conscious or otherwise.

Neither of them can deny how they were born, and no amount of cosmetics can change their DNA. The truth, then, is not consistent with their perceptions.

This is the argument of Dr. Michael Brown who recently wrote that, "perception does not change reality." He also writes that this line of thinking has other potential repercussions:
How about, "Even though I was assigned the ethnic identity of a white male at birth, I identify myself as a black female." Why not? Or what if I sense that, despite my American pedigree, I am a…

80 Useless Questions on Marriage Equality

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When conservatives and progressives go head-to-head, the church is always the loser. Also, logic takes a beating.

Last week, Kevin DeYoung wrote an article for The Gospel Coalition entitled, "40 Questions for Christians Now Waving Rainbow Flags." I thought a handful of the questions were a bit dismissive or presumptuous, but overall, they seemed to be pointed yet fair and representative of most conservative Christians.

But instead of fostering dialogue, I mostly saw conservatives rabidly re-posting it as a less than charitable argument by assertion (which is a logical fallacy akin to declaring victory before the war has even begun).

Two days later, Matthew Vines wrote an article for Religion News Service entitled, "40 Questions for Christians Who Oppose Marriage Equality." Here again, most of the questions seemed reasonably pointed with a few presumptuous ones sprinkled in.

And just like their conservative counterparts, progressives chose to attack rather than commu…

God Doesn't Judge the Nations Anymore

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Justice wasn't the only reason God brought judgment.

Since last Friday's Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality, over 26 million Facebook users have rainbowed their profile pictures using an app called Celebrate Pride. This is ironic because according to Billy Graham's son, Franklin, the rainbow is a sign of God's judgment:
The rainbow was a sign to Noah that God would not use the flood again to judge the world. But one day God is going to judge sin--all sin. Graham goes on to say that the pride rainbows should be a sobering reminder that God's judgment is coming. In fact, he seems to believe that the controversial ruling is paving the way for this very thing:
The President is leading this nation on a sinful course, and God will judge him and us as a nation if we don't repent. In an interview with Fox News, he clarifies further:
When we read in the Scriptures, we see how God judged Israel time and time again. When they would turn their back on him and begin …

What's Your Flag?

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Guest post by Shawn Cornett based on his June 28th, 2015 sermon entitled "Flags." Shawn is the Pastor of Griffith First Christian Church in northwest Indiana. He blogs regularly at The Lavished Pauper.

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Our indivisible nation is divided by flags.

I woke up this past Saturday morning to a bunch of Facebook posts about flags. There are those who believe that burning the American flag is an expression of free speech. Others believe that the Confederate flag is a symbol of racism and hatred. And some believe that waving a rainbow flag symbolizes a fight for equal rights and protections.

However, flags often cause just as much division as they do unity. Burning the American flag divides because many see it as an act of treason. The Confederate flag divides because some believe it preserves their heritage and history. And the rainbow flag divides because others believe it represents an attack on "traditional" family values.

No matter how divisive, everyone seems to have…