And perhaps evangelism?
Here I am sitting alone in the lobby of the Honor’s House at 3:07am, October 31st. I was eating food and watching Game of Thrones on my laptop, which was about to die. I was half way through an episode and was going to go back to my room to finish it and plug my laptop in.
But then I heard a feeble knock at the side door. Who was knocking? And why was he or she knocking? Could he or she see me; did he or she know someone was there to answer?
I immediately got up and began to walk to the door. It took me a moment, and the feeble knock came again just as I approached the door. In the window of the door, I saw a pretty young lady. She seemed harmless and I assumed she was an RA of one of the actual dorms making her rounds to the small, new Honor’s House, as they sometimes must. I let her in.
She stumbled in the doorway, eyes bloodshot, and speech slurred, but the smell came first. The alcohol on her breath shot to my nostrils. She was wearing one of those “sweaters” that is actually more than 50% holes in the fabric that is probably supposed to go over something. But there was nothing else to cover her body from the cold Halloween morning outside. Shivering and stumbling, she asked if I had a charger for the lifeless iPhone she held shakily in her hand. I said I didn’t have one (I have an Android). In her other hand she had her broken ID card, a necessary tool to do anything and get anywhere on campus. Unable to think of how to respond, she asked again whether I had a charger and then fell into me, at which point I held her up again. She needed to call for her ride. I told her of a land-line phone in the vestibule of the front entrance to the House, and so I led her there.
I stood there, holding the door open (otherwise it would shut and lock on both of us) and watched her while she pressed eight different numbers on purpose, nine altogether including her slipping and pressing two buttons at once at one point. The call gave a busy signal. She tried again, but it didn’t work. I stood thinking “God, You work in funny ways.”
She stumbled toward me and asked me in a whisper if I would help her find a ride. I knew this was an opportunity, and I knew what simple thing God was asking me to do. I responded, “Yeah. I can give you a ride, or I can go get my phone for you.” She asked for the ride, and I told her to wait while I went to grab my shoes and keys.
As I was dressing, I kept thinking “God, You work in crazy ways sometimes.” I came back downstairs fully dressed and led her to the door and to my car. I asked her name and introduced myself. She, shivering, responded politely but drunkenly of course.
As I drove, we talked. She didn’t really know where she was. I asked her which party she had been at, and where her ride went. Her friends had left and were apparently “crazy.” I told her she needed new friends. I told her it wasn’t safe to wander around at night and that she “can’t be doing that.” She nodded and smiled. I told her she was lucky I was up (she was). she said she was “very lucky.” I asked if she liked to drink and she chuckled and said sometimes. I laughed skeptically and she asked what about me. I told her I never drink. We then talked about majors brokenly; she asked me what mine was on two separate occasions. She is a freshman too, sadly.
She gave me directions to her dorm, but I knew where her dorm was and they ended up being wrong directions every time. Eventually I found it.
I parked and told her I was walking her to her dorm because she was pretty drunk. She laughingly denied it as she stumbled around like a wretched blind man. I was not about to leave this poor soul in such a state. God wanted me to go further, I feel. I fixthings.
As we were walking, me like a sober adult, her as a drunken child, she tried to hold my hand and grab my arm, pulling me close. I pulled away allowing a single finger to remain attached to her to keep her from falling. I kept wondering how I could give her what her heart so desperately needs: Jesus. I wanted to help her, get her on the right track, make sure she was better and better each day. The only way I could do so was by getting her number and showing her that someone actually cares about the condition of her heart and soul unconditionally. Yeah, needless to say, I still felt weird and exploitative about it, but I didn’t care. I knew what I was doing. But she did not. She was being even more flirty at this point. She took my phone to type her number in, but took one look at it and said, “Yeah, you’re right, I can’t type this in…” So I told her to say it and I would type it, which was a slow process.
At this point, I was beginning to feel a little weird. I honestly had entirely pure intentions, I hope my followers know that. I really want to text her today and see how she is doing and I really want to show her Christ only. She is clearly not one I am interested in. I just felt that urge to do something other people wouldn’t. I wanted to show her love that only comes from Christ. So really be praying, friends, that I do that.
Halfway to her dorm, I asked her if she was okay at this point and she said yes, thank you and quickly stumbled off. I turned and went home. I laughed to myself all the way home at the mysterious ways of God. As I pulled up, I saw why she came to the House. It has many big windows, each full of light from the lobby. And the outside walls are completely lit up, more so than any of the frats or houses around. In the vestibule of the front doors, I could still smell the distinct odor of alcohol. I now sit in bed and type this for you all and for myself. What a weird occurrence and a weird night/morning because of weird circumstances.
But I bet you God can turn even the weird into great things.
And perhaps evangelism?
If you are a Christian who does not conceive disciples, whether biological, spiritual, or most wonderfully both, and you are so able, I cannot see how you can rightly label yourself “conceived twice” or “born again.” The fruit of the Gospel and the fruit of God conceiving us first lies in multiplication, essentially the very word ‘fruitfulness.’
Get married and have children.
Go into the world and create disciples.
Serve and bestow honor on those below you;
Raise them up as Christ has raised you up.
If you commit the unforgivable sin (Mark 3:28-29), you will not be forgiven, never in spite of your desire to be right with God, but because you have no desire to be right with God. Repenting of sin whatever precludes the commission of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (cf. 1 John 1:9). If you have committed the unforgivable sin, it’s because you don’t want to be in right relationship with God in the first place. That is the sin itself.
If you’re upset about possibly committing the unforgivable sin because you want to honor God, you’ve already defeated your own inhibition. Rise. You can be secure in God’s mercy and strength.
Because God is a just God and cannot tolerate sin. It is a problem that must be dealt with before we can be in His perfect presence. But God is also a loving God and cannot tolerate not having us either. Which is we He sent Jesus.
Annulment of sins directly by God? That’s exactly what He did; Jesus is God Himself. Someone had to pay for our evil; that is how justice works. God loved us so much that He took the punishment Himself. And He’s the only sacrifice holy enough to take the punishment.
Pretty awesome, right?
In my experience, I have only ever dated. Therefore, on practice of courting, I cannot speak. However, on theory, I can!
One thing is clear about this whole mess: either method can be and is used in a holy and righteous way to find a spouse. So as far as Biblical preference, it seems that either is acceptable, unless the culture of the ancient Israelites sways you, in which case, the method used then probably resembles courting more, though neither well.
Here is an interesting theory on the evolution of gender roles that seems to somehow apply (first column is pre-modern human history; the second is modern human history):
The first column seems to be the closest to what seems right as far as gender roles and marriage are concerned. But we are presently very different from our ancestors. (Or are we?)
Anyway, back on track, personally, I don’t see a whole lot of difference between the two, but there are some important differences. To quote myself, “Courting is getting close to someone with the specific intention of a romantic relationship. Not that it will necessarily happen, but that is your intention. And the difference between courting and dating is setting and role. Courting is essentially dating, but family-centered and group-centered and generally without romantic contact. It is also highly role-oriented, in that the male is pursuing and being the leader, etc." Being complementarian myself, I would, in theory, prefer courting to dating. I also do not enjoy the “try it before you buy it” idea behind dating. I think it’s important not to put a marriage-like pressure on a relationship until that relationship actually is marriage. I think courtship upholds this idea better than dating.
However, in practice, every attempt of mine to ‘court’ has failed. So you tell me! I guess it just takes the right kind of girl as well.
I certainly do not claim to be an expert on this subject at all, so don’t take my word as canon. I do thank you for asking this question and I hope I answered well. Go forth and enjoy the day that the Lord hath given us.
Nebulous and mysterious at times, real and concrete at others, the Truth is ever constant, as a thick cord that holds the Universe in place.
It was in the obscurity that I dwelt, evil and cold, as a child that knew no difference, standing in my high school church service for, though I didn’t know it, the last time. But perhaps, I am ahead of my story.
My father grew up in a poor, broken home. He grew up an Atheist and, after growing a ponytail and finding little success in life, he turned to the New Age Movement, where he met my mother, Darla Deck, a “psychic” and radio personality. One thing led to another, and my mother became pregnant with me. Their marriage was now inevitable.
Just as was their divorce. 5 years later, my parents were officially divorced. Around this age I was exposed to pornography by my brother and a friend at school. I rarely saw my father because of custody issues and spent most of my time being neglected by my mother, abused by my brother, watching TV, and eating my weight in fast food and estrogen-rich foods, like soy milk. I was essentially a little girl, afraid of sports and bugs, emasculated by my mom, my own sinful heart, and early exposure to an impure sexuality and overall evil.
It was then that Yahweh saw further to a brighter, more glorious dawn. At some point, my father found God and became a Christian. At age 10, when the consequences of those things in my young life had compounded, my father had not given up on me and loved me still the more strongly. He introduced a modicum of discipline into my life, forcing me to live more humbly and trying to teach me things that would serve me well as I became a man. I began to thin out a bit and become less awkward physically and mentally. However, having no father himself, he was not perfect at fathering, as no father beside the Father is.
Soon I became consumed by my lust and my desire to feel like a man. Tellingly, I sought to fulfill this desire through a female. Such is the classic blunder of man throughout history. I was emotionally unstable, going from girl to girl, doing things I should not have, and was altogether unsure of myself. I felt that the battle I was facing for true joy, true satisfaction was one of solitude, one that could only be journeyed alone. This realization became more clear to me the longer I kept going to my church high school service. Thus came the fateful day that would be my last in church.
I came to church and stood alone in the back during worship, as always. I was listening to my iPod to block out the boring music. Then a young man came up to me, a man who I would later find out was Todd Hutchison, the High School pastor. He asked me some questions, and invited me to get closer to the crowd of worshipers I quickly became uncomfortable and left. I wallowed in my own self-absorption for many months, never again going to church, until,
I heard the deep, powerful note of the cord of Truth being plucked. My actions were wrong. My life was wrong. I was wrong. A friend showed me a book: Wild at Heart by John Eldredge. It made so much sense. And something was stirring inside me. I started to lift weights and run. I began to cherish discipline, mental and physical. A semblance of stability appeared in my life, and I knew it wasn’t from me. I began to hear God, and accept Him back in.
I heard again the strong pound of the cord of Truth, a second note. My father invited me to the controversial Porn and Pancakes at my Church, but by now, I had changed drastically. New people all the time were telling me that I barely resembled my past self, though a mere 8 months had transpired. It seemed already I had accepted Christ into my heart: I began to learn about apologetics, and to read Christian literature, though I still avoided the Bible. I began to be known as the Christian kid. Therefore, when my father invited me to Porn and Pancakes, I was still loth but not entirely unwilling to attend. Pornography was a big problem in my life, and I knew it.
When I went, however, it was as if it were my first time. Church was no longer something depressing, fake, and scary to me. It was bright, enlightened, and powerful. It was then that I knew that I was no longer my old self: part of me had died and come back in Christ. Thus before, when I left in the middle of worship, it was my last time in church, and later for Porn and Pancakes it was my first time in the Church.
For the third but not the final time, the cord of Truth was struck when innocent and eccentric Cortney Bobb invited me into her small group, thus completing the three-note chord.
Since this period of God chiseling away at my evil ways, I have grown tremendously. I am well versed in the Bible, apologetics, and most other subjects, because a wise and righteous man increases his learning. I have pursued only Godly relationships, making sure to not excite love or pursue the evil desires of youth. I have taken strides to expand my comfort zone in recognition that my life’s goal is not about myself, but about serving God and serving others. I have become braver and stronger in the Lord, knowing the war that goes on all around me. I have stepped up to become the president of FCA and the organizer of and speaker at SYATP at my school because I know that the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few and that the Good News is a gift freely given. I study the Bible and pray continuously, because they are both useful for teaching and training in righteousness. I consistently meet with my mentor, Kevin Chaffin, because my ways seem right to me, but the Lord weighs my heart. I have decided to become a missionary that rebuilds slums into the Kingdom of God, recognizing that every house is built by someone, but the Builder of all things is God.
Ultimately, I am more joyful yet more solemn than I have ever been, more pleased yet more dissatisfied than I have ever known, and more holy yet more sinful than I have ever seemed.
In the Light of God’s fire do I now speak, as a testimony to the justice and mystery of Yahweh, God Almighty. He shall forever reign.
“God is not a man, that He should lie,
Nor a son of man, that he should change His mind.
Does He speak and then not act?
Does He promise and not fulfill?”
I believe it is a manipulated kind of love that forces two masculine souls (as opposed to bodies or minds) or two feminine souls (as opposed to bodies or minds) together in a way that appeals to the heart because it is corrupted by sin. But homosexuality is fundamentally in discord with the way of righteousness and the Love that God is.
I think the physical has a lot to do with love. God invented matter itself; He thought it up Himself and He is enamoured by His creation. He also created sex, such a glorious thing. He has made us, by our very nature, physical beings (as opposed to, for example, angels, which are not physical but spiritual beings). So physicality has a lot to do with love. It is not all of love. But God did not create our bodies for no purpose, with no plan in mind. He has a glorious plan for every atom that has ever existed.
You’re right in saying that God is pure love, but you’re not right in saying that there is nothing physical about it. God recognized the need for a perfect sacrifice to redeem the humanity He loves so much, so He took on the flesh and became man as Jesus Christ. That’s a real love story. It is totally physical. God has romanced us physically from the time of creation. To Adam He gave Eve, to humans He gave dominion over the Earth. All physical things, all things God sees as good, as it says in Genesis 1.
So I don’t think accepting only the spiritual side of love does justice to how God has created us. God had a very specific purpose in mind when He created us with a physical side; how could He not have, being a perfect, loving God?
I think God cares about the smallest of things just as he cares about everything else. If you and I believe in a God big enough to care about the biggest of things, we have to also believe in a God that cares about the smallest of things. He is, after all, infinite, omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent.
I hope I have written clearly and touched your heart and mind with my words. I pray that you have a blessed night. Goodnight, friend.
My future wife will take time out of her life now to learn essential skills like sewing and cooking, just as I take time out of my life now to learn essential skills like construction, planting, harvesting, and hunting.
My future wife will take time out of her life to read the Bible and ingrain the Word into her life, just as I take time out of my life to read the Bible and ingrain the Word into my life.
My future wife will put time and effort now and in the future into taking care of the temple that is her body for Christ’s sake and looking good for her and my sake, just as I put time and effort now and in the future into taking care of the temple that is my body for Christ’s sake and looking good for my and her sake.
My future wife will take time out of her life to develop an intimate prayer life with God, just as I take time out of my life to develop an intimate prayer life with God.
My future wife will want to have lots of sex and many children, just as I want to have lots of sex and many children (whether biological or adoptive).
My future wife will devote her every waking moment to the purpose of our lives, glorifying God, just as I will devote my every waking moment to the purpose of our lives, glorifying God.
My future wife will not see divorce as an option, just as I will not see divorce as an option.
My future wife will treat me like a man and act like a woman, just as I will treat her like a woman and act like a man.
My future wife will love, desire, and respect me, just as I love, desire, and respect her, and just as we both love, desire, and respect Christ.
My future wife will trust me and walk all her life in intimacy with me and with Christ, just as I will trust her and walk all my life in intimacy with her and with Christ.
And we will both do all this with the sole purpose of glorifying God and saving and serving others in His name; for no other reason does doing any of this have purpose.
"Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ."
By Jim Burns
It is likely no surprise to you that God has wired women and men differently. We all recognize some of these differences, but others often hide in plain sight. Shaunti Feldhahn, a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist, author and speaker wrote a fantastic book, …
You will read this, you will read it all, and you will read it now.