• Culture,  Ethics

    Is it True that Homosexuals are Born That Way?

    How significant is the argument that homosexuals are born that way? And, is it valid? In 2015 the Supreme Court decided that, against millennia of human history and biblical teaching, the definition of marriage should be expanded to include homosexual relationships. The case was Obergefell vs. Hodge, and Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion. In his reasoning, he demonstrated that the born that way argument held significant influence on his decision. He argued that it was important to give homosexuals the right to marry since homosexuals are born that way and can’t change. “Only in more recent years have psychiatrists and others recognized that sexual orientation is both a normal expression of human sexuality and immutable.” Anthony Kennedy, Obergefell v. Hodges, June 26, 2015. The key word used by Kennedy is “immutable.” The idea that gay individuals are born that way with an unchangeable sexual orientation was a key driving…

  • Culture,  Ethics

    Should Christians Use Preferred Gender Pronouns?

    Should Christians use the preferred gender pronouns for transgendered individuals? This is a question which has a variety of answers in the Christian community. Some individuals, like Preston Sprinkle or JD Greear have espoused an approach called Pronoun Hospitality, where the Christian refers to the transgendered individual by their preferred gender pronouns in an effort to show love and kindness. Others have argued Christians ought to use pronouns that match with God’s created intent. How should a Christian think through this issue biblically? At the outset, it should be noted that this is not just a theoretical question. Many individuals have already suffered consequences for deciding they cannot in good conscience use preferred gender pronouns and thus call a female a male or vice versa. There are many examples of this, whether it be a Christian doctor in the UK who was fired for refusing to call a male “madam”,…

  • Christian Living,  Culture,  Ethics,  New Testament

    Avoid Every Appearance of Evil (1 Thess 5:22)

    Growing up I often heard the King James Version rendition of 1 Thessalonians 5:22, “Abstain from all appearance of evil.” The implication of course was that Christians should avoid even the appearance of evil, not just evil actions themselves. Unfortunately this verse, like many others, has often been misinterpreted and misapplied. English Translations of 1 Thessalonians 5:22 KJV Abstain from all appearance of evil. NKJV Abstain from every form of evil. ESV Abstain from every form of evil. HCSB/CSB Stay away from every kind of evil. NIV Reject every kind of evil. NASB Abstain from every form of evil. NET Stay away from every form of evil. Comparing the various English translations, we can see that only the KJV translates this verse as “appearance of evil.” There is a significant difference between “appearance of evil” and “form/kind of evil.” Hence, we note that it is the KJV against the rest of the English translations. Although some would use this difference…

  • Culture

    Responding to Your Friends about Homosexuality

    Unless you have been living somewhere without a computer, lights, electricity, or people, you have no doubt noticed the massive cultural shift within the last few years on the issue of homosexuality. In 2008, the majority of California’s voters passed Proposition 8, a stipulation that defined marriage as being between a man and a woman. Now, years later, the culture has turned and it is considered not only politically incorrect to oppose gay marriage, but downright evil. One clear example from 2014 is the Mozilla co-founder and CEO Brendan Eich, who was forced from his position simply because six years ago he did the popular thing and supported Proposition 8. This example is just one of the numerous cultural examples that show that the homosexual culture is far-reaching and will impact everyone in the future. It is necessary for a Christian to be able to interact with a culture that believes homosexuality is…

  • Christian Living,  Culture,  Ethics

    Christian Ethics and Worldview Systems

    Everyone is responsible for their actions, thus ultimately everyone has to decide whether an action is right or whether it is wrong. Even those who reject God must still have a system for determining whether something is right or wrong. One name for this systematic reasoning is called ethics. Ethics is simply a philosophy of determining what is morally right and what is morally wrong. There are two basic systems which people hold to in determining right and wrong. Consequential Ethics The first kind of system is called consequential ethics. Consequential ethics determines what is right or wrong based on the outcome. According to this system of thinking, no act is inherently good or bad in and of itself. It is the result that matters. In other words, consequential ethics believes that the end justifies the means. The underlying assumption of consequential ethics can take various forms, but ultimately proponents…

  • Christian Living,  Culture

    Happiness is not the Ultimate Goal for Christians

    Unfortunately it is common to view happiness as the ultimate goal in life. This trend seems to be increasing with more people literally searching for happiness than ever before. Although this might be expected from unbelievers, who don’t know better, viewing happiness as the ultimate goal in life is actually quite common among professing Christians as well. An illustration of heralding happiness as the ultimate pursuit is an infamous sermon from Victoria Osteen, wife and co-pastor with Joel Osteen (her husband). In front of a church of 40,000+ people in Texas she said the following. I just want to encourage every one of us to realize when we obey God, we’re not doing it for God–I mean, that’s one way to look at it–we’re doing it for ourselves, because God takes pleasure when we are happy. . . . That’s the thing that gives Him the greatest joy. . .…

  • Apologetics,  Culture

    Brief Analysis of Critical Race Theory

    Almost everyone has heard of Critical Race Theory now, if for no other reason than the fact that Trump made major headlines when he came out with an executive order banning Critical Race Theory in government. This created quite the stir since many people view Critical Race Theory as instrumental in fighting racism. This mindset has shown up in the church as well. The Southern Baptist Convention, which is America’s largest Christian denomination, passed a Resolution in 2019, which stated that Critical Race Theory could be used as a helpful tool to combat racism. Although this is not the majority view of SBC churches (many prominent SBC leaders have publicly decried CRT), it is a prominent viewpoint which has been embraced by many Christians in many denominations. Christians cannot escape the influence of Critical Race Theory, nor can they ignore the tremendous damage that this worldview produces. Many secularists have…

  • Apologetics,  Culture

    The Alliance of Postmodernism and Activism

    In the past I have written about how understanding Marxism and understanding Critical Theory are imperative to aid the Christian’s analysis of the modern cultural upheaval. Yet, there remains one other essential concept to understand culture. That is Postmodernism. Marxism, and more specifically Critical Theory, have merged with Postmodernism and they exemplify an intricate, albeit anti-god worldview. Christians must understand the contribution of Postmodernism in order to understand the cultural infatuation with activism. The Beginnings of Postmodernism Postmodernism is a philosophical movement which began in the mid-1900s and attained popularity in the late 20th century. Encyclopedia Britannica defines Postmodernism this way: a late 20th-century movement characterized by broad skepticism, subjectivism, or relativism; a general suspicion of reason; and an acute sensitivity to the role of ideology in asserting and maintaining political and economic power. Breaking down this definition is helpful. Postmodernism is characterized by skepticism, that is a denial or…

  • Apologetics,  Culture

    Critical Theory and the Frankfurt School

    Last time we talked about the influence of Marxism and Neo-Marxism on modern society. This is a foundational point, but it is really only part of the picture. The Neo-Marxist desire for cultural destruction needed a tool through which it could destroy Western culture. That tool is Critical Theory. As dynamite is to the field of demolition, so Critical Theory is to the Marxist worldview.   The Frankfurt School and Critical Theory Although Antonio Gramsci is typically credited with being one of the more influential players in moving Classical Marxism into Neo-Marxism, he was far from the only player. Marxism was a powerful ideology, and a thinktank of Marxist philosophers were involved with starting The Institute for Marxism in Frankfurt, Germany. While the school began conceptually in 1923, the Institute decided to avoid the negative name association of Marxism, and went by the name, The Institute of Social Research. The…

  • Culture

    Marxism, Neo-Marxism, and the Goal of Destruction

    Last century the world saw over 100 million deaths thanks to the communist worldview of Marxism. You would think that such a lesson would be unforgettable. However, the Western world has not only forgotten such a lesson, but according to BBC News, Karl Marx was voted as the greatest thinker of the millennium ahead of Albert Einstein! Because of Marxism’s continued influence, it is imperative for Christians to know about it. We must recognize it, be able to decry its evil, and we must warn our churches about Marxism’s seductive and sinful promises. The Beginnings of Marxism Marxism is associated with the man himself, Karl Marx (1818–1883). Marx was born to a nominal Christian family, but he converted to atheism very early. Unsurprisingly, his atheism colored many of his views throughout his life. Marx studied the philosophy of Georg W. F. Hegel at the University of Berlin. Hegel had quite…